“Berserk” is one of the most successful manga series of all time, and many call it the greatest manga ever published. The series has been released since 1989 and, despite several periods of hiatus in the series, has achieved huge success both in Japan and abroad in the West. The story tells about the character Gatsa, who is fighting for survival in a world filled with monsters and demonic creatures. Berserk has a great influence, which can be seen in various works, including the legendary Dark Souls series.
As a successful manga series, “Berserk” naturally received several anime adaptations, each of which was an attempt to bring a bloody dark fantasy series to the screen. However, while each of these adaptations has its strengths, they ultimately don’t adapt this legendary manga the way the series deserves. “Berserk” is a milestone in the manga world, and such a work deserves an anime adaptation corresponding to its prestige.
History of the Berserker
Berserk is centered around the life of Gats, a dark, brooding mercenary known as the Black Swordsman. Once a member of the legendary Hawk Gang under the leadership of its leader Griffith, a tragic event and betrayal turn Gats into a man bent on revenge. Traveling the earth, Gats hunts down the terrible demons known as the Apostles, and searches for his former friend and the object of Griffith’s revenge. The Berserker storyline is divided into several arches, the most famous part of the series is known as the Golden Age Arch, a story that covers the past and the origin story of Gats. The Golden Age Arch remains one of the most iconic Berserker stories, and not only anime, but also video games adapt this part of the epic story.
“Berserk” is a dark fantasy story with horrific images of violence and carnage. This is definitely not a series for children, and even adults may find the content of this manga disturbing. However, the terrifying images are not groundless, and the work of Kentaro Miura sells the terrifying reality of the demon-filled world in which Gats lives. Although the history and world of the series are certainly gloomy and dreary, there are some moments of levity and carelessness. it will be a relief for those who struggle with the dark parts of history. Despite the dark themes, “Berserk” is a story of redemption, redemption, as well as forgiveness.
Pros and cons of existing adaptations
Berserk was first adapted as a 24-episode anime in 1997, which adapted early manga arcs, including the legendary Golden Age Arch. The series was very well received, but due to its short length, most of the series remained unadapted. In addition, most of the graphic content that the series was known for has also been toned down, and some plot elements have been removed to tell a coherent story in a small number of episodes. The story of the Golden Age Arch will be adapted again in 2012 in a trilogy of films.
In 2016, “Berserk” received a second anime adaptation. This new series will follow the Golden Age Arch films, adapting the Persuasion arch in the first 12-episode season and part of the Millennium Empire Falcon arch in the second 12-episode season. Despite the coverage of a large amount of new content, fans found the new series ugly due to the poor combination of 2D and computer animation, which leads to scenes that look unnatural, awkward and unattractive. In the end, fans of the series for this reason refused new adaptations and pinned their hopes on a new adaptation that would pay tribute to the series.
What the new adaptation can bring
Although it can be argued that the current adaptations are enough for new fans to enjoy the story of “Berserk” to their heart’s content, a completely new adaptation that provides a unified aesthetic and adapts the entire breadth of the series would be ideal. In addition, the serialization of “Berserk” continues despite the death of the original mangaka Kentaro Miura, and there are still many stories that have yet to be adapted in any of the anime adaptations of “Berserk”. Once the series officially ends, the adaptation, covering the entire story from beginning to end, will probably become one of the most sought-after projects of manga fans.
The current anime landscape is also very different from what it was before when the first adaptation of Berserk came out. Blood and violence are not censored as much as they were in the 90s, and nowadays it is possible to make a more accurate adaptation of the mixture of demonic horror and bloody Berserk violence without the need for mitigation. Although it is not necessary to see all the terrifying events and creatures in “Berserk” in order to appreciate its story and setting, this is part of the aesthetics of the series, and without this it would not look like “Berserk”.