2016 Berserk TV series: Episode 1

It was so good I skimmed through the entire episode.

Eluvei said:
If you look carefully, you can spot Caucasian Casca in several frames of the opening.
This was honestly the most disappointing part for me.
jackson_hurley said:
They ran out of brown...
I think even Pippin was given darker skin than Casca in the opening, which is strange since her appearance in the promotional art (the one with Mozgus) colored her with a much more accurate skin-tone.

Anyways the first episode definitely felt like a patchwork episode, but that was kinda expected going in. The Anime News Network reviewers were more generous and positive in their first episode impressions (see here: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/preview-guide/2016/summer/berserk/.103851) than I expected them to be. I guess one really just has to go in looking at the anime as its own product in order to appreciate any of its positives. Because comparing it only to the manga just makes you notice the narrative shortcomings due to the compromises I guess it had to make for the adaptation to get made, I suppose.
Feeblecursedone said:
Pippin does have dark skin though.
I know that's my point. That it was kinda strange Pippin had his skin colored accurately but Casca didn't (who's supposed to be darker than Pippin).
...How is it possible that in This Era of Novel Adaptation to Tv/Film are we still having this issue with BERSERK. We'll get back to BERSERK in a moment lets look at the other adaptation projects in the room first :

1.Written by Fuyumi Ono - Juuni Kokuki was an eight book series whose adaptation was handled by Studio Pierrot with a 45 episode run
2.Written by Hiromu Arakawa - Fullmetal Alchemist was a Twenty Seven book series that had 2 solid adaptations handled by the same studio BONES

...Now back to the elephant in the room BERSERK for some odd reason has not been nor does it seem to be able to have a competent STUDIO to handle the adaptation , scripts, and score in any capacity whatsoever. I hate to say it but maybe the 90s series was lightning in the bottle that was never meant to be had again. Or maybe not maybe one day we could get the production team right and have a great project to support because as it stand right now I'm more supportive of BERSERK the Novels than Berserk the Series I'm interested in BERSERK Musou because it looks like it'll be a lot of fun. Now don't get me wrong the series has some well executed scenes here and their but its still quasi perfunctory like the films so no I will not be watching the next 23 episodes of the show I will however be awaiting the next fan edit.

For someone unfamiliar with the books the films and series will seem like the greatest thing ever but for everyone else not so much. With that said have fun everyone.

VengeanceQuest982 said:
For someone unfamiliar with the books the films and series will seem like the greatest thing ever but for everyone else not so much. With that said have fun everyone.

I seriously doubt that. :troll::ganishka:
Theozilla said:
I know that's my point. That it was kinda strange Pippin had his skin colored accurately but Casca didn't (who's supposed to be darker than Pippin).
Yeah, they really appeared to insist on making her white when you look at this, a really confusing image because of how similar their skin tones are. It's even more absurd when you compare it to the original page, which works mostly because of the contrast.
It looks like someone has done the 1st round of fan edits for the new Berserk series all ready by editing out the op song and replacing it with "Tell me Why by Pen Pals" I can't wait for the ED song to be swapped out for "Waiting so Long by Silver Fins". I'd have posted the link but linking to copyrighted materials is a big no no from my point of view and the adm's so I'll leave it to you to look for it on your own.


"This hammer has broken Daemons on my anvil, Elf.
Speaking of nostalgia and things we miss, I'll miss the painting style of scenery/characters that the old anime had. Especially band of the hawk campfire moments and in the ending song.
I frankly lost count of how many times I had to hit the pause button during this episode. I didn't really expect anything grandiose given the particularly underwhelming trailer, but holy hell if it didn't look bad. For a first episode (that by definition is meant to hook the viewers and thus should be used to showcase some of the best pieces of animation the show is capable of offering), it actually looked like the staff had already run out of budget and were just cutting corners everywhere: that's a damn shame.
On top of the abysmal quality of the CGI and the outdated-looking backgrounds, they somewhat had to make Casca white, for whatever reason. At this point it's probably the littlest of the show's multitude of problems but still, it's quite irritating.

Technical aspect aside, they re-arrangered the events post GA arc as well as they could, (and shoe-horned a bunch of cameos in the process), but the whole package still ended up feeling a little disjointed, as expected. Other than that it wasn't too bad, I suppose. However a lot of iconic scenes from the manga ended up losing a lot of impact due to the very poor direction and animation work.
Ok, very brief thoughts first, more to come.

I was ready for a rushed adaptation, but some of the choices just ruined this.

The music absolutely killed several moments in here completely. HORRIBLE choice to go with cocaine riffs on guitar, totally pulled me out.

Why add the tree, and make it humongous, just to kill it in a way that makes it look like Guts is cutting through space and time. WTF! The skeletons were enough. In fact, it was a fairly good adaptation of the brand episode.

The opening with Farnese and Scheirke was good.

Rolling Isidro into the thugs at the beginning worked for me as it fits his character that he's trying to learn how to be a better swordsman.

The animation is bad but I'm wiling to overlook that if they can just get the tone right without crazy guitars and shitty patchwork plot choices.

It seems really early to introduce the Holy Iron Chain Knights. As a viewer I don't feel like I'm on Guts side yet and we're jumping right in.

It feels like there is promise here but some really bad artistic decisions. Not looking forward to the torture of the entire conviction arc in under five hours. Are they actually going to try to complete the entire series in one season?
I refuse to watch this since it looks so bad but is the Hirasawa song any good? Can't find it on YouTube anywhere yet (and yet that rubbish rock song is, wtf?)
Just watch the new Anime, omg love it, yes had some parts lokoed a bit off but OMG we get more anime after the Eclipse so much YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Henry Spencer said:
I refuse to watch this since it looks so bad but is the Hirasawa song any good? Can't find it on YouTube anywhere yet (and yet that rubbish rock song is, wtf?)
I was going to ask, I thought Hirasawa was also going to have a musical piece in the new anime as well. I haven't watched it myself but was curious to those who know. Strange choices from what others are saying; not really thrilled with the changes I'm hearing, but I feel like when all of this is said and done, the 1997 television show will still be the winner.

I don't think the opening song from 9mm was bad, but it doesn't feel like it fits Berserk at all and more for a Shonen series. I like the idea of it being a recap for the material that's already been covered, but like other's have pointed out, they can't even get Casca's skin tone consistent, not to mention it is a bit jarring seeing the beautiful 2D drawn looking animation next to the 3D patchwork design they are using. Also I'm disappointed we most likely won't be seeing the Lost Children animated, I loved that part of the story and I think it would have held up very well to show off a new Berserk anime (along with Guardians of Desire).


"This hammer has broken Daemons on my anvil, Elf.
I know everyone keeps saying OST sucked, but i did like that choir/opera piece during the skeleton battle. Other than that though, not.


Staff member
Tama said:
I was going to ask, I thought Hirasawa was also going to have a musical piece in the new anime as well. I haven't watched it myself but was curious to those who know.
It's only heard during the next episode preview at the very end, and it's overlayed with voice overs, so it's difficult to hear.

I feel like when all of this is said and done, the 1997 television show will still be the winner.
I think that's a pretty safe bet.

Honestly, I find myself at a loss for much to say about this thing. I don't think it's quite as bad as people have said in the thread. It's a terrible first episode, but I don't think it sinks this new series just yet. For what it's worth, I was far less appalled by this than I was after watching the first Golden Age movie. That could be due to expectations being different, a thicker skin after a series of adaptations I didn't like, or that this one was just closer to the mark for Berserk.

That being said, this episode was undoubtedly a complete mess, in more ways than one. Structurally, that's to be expected. They tried to smash together two completely different parts of the story, and as a result, it ended up being hamstrung by what it set out to achieve (summarizing bits of Black Swordsman and Lost Children). So, with that "out of the way," I do expect future episodes to be a bit more even keel and straightforward in terms of pacing. And it's only then that we'll see what this adaptation truly has to offer us in terms of its quality. But it will probably just limp along, given this is the starting point. Imagine Berserk -- imagine Guts -- without the Beast of Darkness...

But visuals and audio were the real stinkers here. The visual quality was all over the place -- from competent to straight up terrible-looking facial expressions and animations. It doesn't appear to have been animated by people confident in their abilities, or who had much experience with the tools. And that Dragon Slayer sound effect -- would smashing skeletons really sound like Guts was knocking over metal garbage cans in the street?

Ultimately, I feel like this was just a shitty opening episode because of all the choices they made to cram material in to cover their bases for Black Swordsman and Lost Children, so they can speedily make the transition to Conviction. Future episodes will probably be smoother.

It's worth mentioning that it was amazing to be watching this thing translated — legitimately — mere hours after Japan got it. That's the dream, right? Kudos to CrunchyRoll for that, even if they went back on the Hawk->Falcon translation. :void:
I'm not upset, just sad for Miura and all the people involved in this inconsistent, dated, amateur, low budget, poor taste, pathetic adaptation. They even have a really hard time depicting they own vision of what Berserk is. This is tragic.

It felt like those life situations when you're stuck in a very awkward and unpleasant position.


Staff member
Since the thread moves very quickly, here are my first thoughts after watching this:

I think adding Flora and Schierke early on like that is clumsy. It's too much stuff at once (the H.I.C.K.s plus them) and it serves no purpose until so long after. Why not introduce Schierke around the time she is supposed to be (volume 22) and Flora in volume 24? For those saying the bullshit will be limited to this one episode, this should be a clue that it's going to be a general thing. If they feel they can take shortcuts with the introduction of the core elements of the series (Guts, Puck, the Brand, Apostles...), then they will with everything else as well.

Anyway, they translated Femto's title as "Falcon of Darkness" in the trailer but it became "Hawk of Darkness". In the actual episode. Nice "fix". :schierke:

Isidro's introduction is also pretty clumsy. I see what they tried to do, but it doesn't do his character justice at all. His introduction in the manga was very important to set the tone for his character and while this approximates a vaguely similar context, it fails to fulfill what actually matters. They could have been smarter, like to have him try and steal from the bandits while they toyed with Puck. Small change, big difference. Of course, the bar fight is a travesty. The visuals are shit, as are the animations. I'm not sure what the point of not showing the Dragon Slayer until later is. A progression towards a dramatic reveal? What a stupid idea.

Also, Guts comes in to get his water flask filled and to buy a bottle of rum so he can flambé the rabbit he doesn't yet know he'll catch? Really? That feels so random, not to mention that rum is produced from sugar canes. Does it look like there are any around there? They could have at least made it wine or cognac or anything. I mean it's a small thing but geez, any idiot knows these things. And of course, Guts cooking at night is ridiculous. He fights all night long, every night, that's a core tenet of the Black Swordsman period. Putting out his fire is similarly stupid, because it keeps specters at bay. And that scene lasts forever too, and basically serves no purpose other than to show us Puck catching up with him.

Puck's dialogue is unconvincing too. It made sense in the manga because he follows Guts right away, but here it feels like he went out of his way to search for Guts for hours. I am 100% for sticking to the manga and I appreciate their efforts in that regard, but just transposing the dialogue to another context doesn't work. Making the absolute loser bandits from volume 14 into badasses to the thugs from volume 1 is also pathetic. It's nonsense. And I mean they chose the worst guy too, whose character design inherently implies he's worthless. He couldn't even stand up to a tied-up Jill in the manga. How anyone could make that choice, I don't know. Colette's voice acting sucks, and they misspell her name (but then again so did Dark Horse, I guess a Google search is above any and all of them). They give the old guy a random name... Ok? Serves no purpose. They also change the dialogue uselessly just because they're desperate to hide the DS until the moment they chose to reveal it.

I'm surprised that they spent so long on the dialogue with the monk instead of focusing on stuff that matters more, like the Brand or beherits, or apostles or Puck or anything really. To reveal the Brand in the dream feels like a very undramatic way of showing it to me. Kind of a wasted opportunity. And God does the music suck. When Guts yells Griffith at 13:00, Jesus Christ that's bad. Terrible voice acting. I find the way they cut between scenes to be super abrupt when Colette is killed. The Dragon Slayer's sound effects are so weird. Definitely feel off. The paused skeletons are weird. They're supposed to be waiting to see what the possessed Colette pulls off, not just stay there completely frozen right next to Guts.

The tree also makes no sense at all. In the manga, it "comes alive" because Guts is near. Because of the Brand. To have it travel through the forest, even aside from the fact a tree typically doesn't move, is ridiculous and contrary to how things work in Berserk's world. Also, what's the point of making up a story about there being 20 guys and the bandits being a big group and all of that bullshit if it's to show nothing for it? The tree could have showed up on its own and it would have made no difference. The tree looks like it's from a PSX cutscene by the way. Yikes. That fight is absolutely stupid too. Guts is immediately at the tree's mercy, literally about to die. Then he sees Colette's corpse also about to get eaten and gets pissed, and with a single sword strike kills the tree, which immediately dies in a weird dust tornado. Then queue the sad music for Colette, ruining the complex mood of the scene.

Anyway, I wonder why they couldn't just use any random apostle here instead? A made-up one, or the Snake Baron or whatever... I can hear that maybe they wanted characters (bandits and tree) to feel familiar to fans, but this really wasn't the best way to do it. They completely miss the point of why he shoots his cannon in the trees (the specters were hiding in the branches and it blew them off). The ending song is hilariously inappropriate. Next episode promises to feature some terrible shortcuts as well, so you guys better be ready.

Also it seems to me, given the pace of things, that the Conviction arc will be wrapped up in 13 episodes.
People who say wether or not this animation is good is a matter of opinion is what annoys me the most when talking about this adaptation, and no amount of actual animation and artistic flaws presented as dare I say it FACT can change the fact that to them we are whiners that should be grateful we are given anything at all. Well I'll be the first to say that sometimes less is more
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