• Anime Abandon

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    Anime Abandon: Berserk

     Dec 30 2015 | more 

    The year closes with one of Sage’s personal favorite anime of all time.

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    • sumguy0110

      yes. Yes! YEEEEEEESSSS!!!!

    • LotusPrince

      While I freaking love most of Berserk’s ending, I actually take more issue with the last bit of the ending than I do with the first episode. How the hell could Guts have escaped that situation? When I’d only seen the anime, there was no way for me to figure it out. Then I read the manga and learned that there was basically no solution. The manga shows how Guts escaped, and it was because of a character who wasn’t even in the anime. 😛

      That said, the series is overall fantastic, and Susumu Hirasawa is a legend.

      • georgeversion1

        Skull Knight rescues them in the manga.

    • Kilgore

      What happened to the new intro used in Bubblegum Crisis? I really liked that one.

    • Julio Vazquez

      Well…sage I have to admit when I first saw Berserk it was by complete accident and not in a good way. At all happened one Saturday night back around 2011 and I was going around the internet and when over to the streaming site Toonami Aftermath to see what’s on. During this time I had no knowledge prior about Berserk except hearing from a college friend who would go on and on talking about it. I began watching the episode only to be horrified by what I saw and I was mesmerized by the absolute horror that it showed like it came from the deep abyss of the human imagination. I just sat there and watch the whole thing from beginning to end with the next episode being the first one while the one that I saw was the actual final episode of the show. Ever since then I’d avoided Berserk and when I heard of the manga and read some of the chapters it’s like a horrifying and yet beautiful nightmare. But in the end I dropped it because quite frankly it’s just not for me, sure it might be praised by a lot including yourself but when you end up watching the final episode by accident then it’s just not the anime 1 could easily come back and finish.

    • penguintruth

      I wouldn’t consider Haruhi a “moe title”. It has moe elements, but it’s far more interested in the “school ensemble” story with a sci-fi/comedy flavor. Outside of Mikuru and a few Yuki scenes, the moe parts take a back seat. I couldn’t stomach the franchise if it were just a moe product.

      Ahem, but that aside, for some reason, I’ve mostly avoided ever seeing Berserk, outside a page or two of the manga shared online or a clip of some outlandish bloodbath from the anime. I really should finally sit down and watch the whole thing. There are the new adaptations, but all that bad CG makes me queasy, so I should probably stick to this version.

      Man, Robot Carnival, that takes me back to Sci-Fi Channel’s Saturday Anime. It’s been so long since I’ve revisited that, I should give that a watch, too.

      • Cameron Ward

        Discotek recently released Robot Carnival back in September. Though a heads up. If you see it on Ebay for cheaper and a different box art, it’s an import. Luckily, it’s not a bootleg, but still.

    • Dasvaun

      Alot of the issues you brought up with the how the story starts and ends can be explained by the fact that this is only one arc in the full story(The golden age specifically). The manga has been going on since 1990, and isn’t even done (in part due to the numerous and lenghty hiatuses, and part that its a very long story). I do recommend you read what you can.

      Speaking of which, you never gave your thoughts on the manga. Have you read whats been released so far?How does it change your view of the anime?

      On a less serious note, what did you think of the Dragonslayer (the giant slab of metal he had in the first episode)? Does the anime talk about the cannon he gets?

    • Efrain Julian De Jesus

      Berserk is good, but to me spoilers what happens to Casca in Eclipse was unneccessary and rendered a really good character into a plot device. And afterwards there isn’t really any picking up the pieces there isn’t. Now she is there for Guts to take care of. This could’ve been fixed by giving her some sort of internal monologue to figure out what is going on in her head, but there isn’t. I’mprobably going to catch hell for this but she is a woman in refrigerator.

      • John Ellis

        In the last chapter they were going into her mind to try and rescue her. from her madness.

    • MiscellaneousSoup

      I feel like I’ve heard of this one before.

    • Cameron Ward

      I need to rewatch the series. I loved the story and characters, but found the low quality animation to be distracting. This is weird, I just posted a review of Robot Carnival for my last review of 2015 lol.

      I really enjoyed it.

    • Adzl33t

      So has Bennett watched any anime series pass 2006? (Berserk anime was released in the 90s anyway.)
      Admittedly that’s I stop being a major anime fan during that Moe period too, it’s like Japan had their own 90s Dark age, pandering to a specific fanbase like those Rob Linfeld schlock.

      Though still I can find a handful of anime this decade I like, but I guess that kinda makes me more of an expert of anime than Bennett just because I don’t limited myself mostly to 90s action OVA’s

      • hariman

        Well, Anime Abandon does focus on older stuff in the first place, mainly stuff that’s older than 10 years. Especially the bargain bin stuff that was aired on Sci-Fi, Cartoon Network, or only available via rental/import.

        Eventually, some more recent stuff will pop up, but bigger/more recent anime probably don’t need covered on Anime Abandon.

        Now, if Bennett ever does a joke review of Avatar: The Last Airbender or Samurai Jack? I’ll be laughing very hard.

        • Adzl33t

          I would have appreciated some much older stuff like Speed Racer, Astro Boy, or Lupin The Third, for historical purposes

          I think that would be more interested to learn about than “Junk Boy”

    • Gaius Iulius Caesar

      While the mid to late 2000s were are terrible time for anime, so much so I only got back into watching new stuff a few years ago, I think that Lucky Star and Haruhi are bad choices to display. Lucky Star isn’t moe blobs, it’s four panel comics animated, just like azumanga daioh. You didn’t watch it for the cute characters but the humor. And Haruhi, it ranks as one of the few moe shows that isn’t terrible crap. I guess they work as recognizable shows from that era instead of something forgettable that no one would remember, like 95% of what came out then.

    • Narratorway

      Robot Carnival a.k.a. f**kin FINALLY!

      …now when ya doing NeoTokyo?

    • JillyBean

      This is one of the anime that has been just so hyped to me I’m afraid to watch it. But at the same time I know one day soon I have to sit down with it and give it a good solid chance. Hopefully that day will be soon. Happy new year Bennet.

    • azamonra .

      I’ve not seen the anime but I’ve read the manga and it actually makes better use of the post Golden Age opening showing Guts as a being virtually indifferent to the suffering of others around him. Only coming close to helping others as a matter of happenstance in his gaols. Contrast Guts as he is now in the manga to the man he was in the beginning and you’d hardly believe he was the same man at times.

      Oh and if you want to talk about first impressions; the manga opens with Guts fucking some women that turns into a demon that he kills by jamming his literal arm cannon into her mouth and blasting the back of her head off. XD

    • Alexa

      Yeah the ending kind of got spoiled for me, but c’est la vie, I still ended up loving the show and would go on to read the manga which is very jarring, kind of made me nauseous, but I think that was the point. And it really is very much akin to Game of Thrones, heck the story has been around longer than GoT, and still isn’t finished. Its to the point that I slightly suspect GRR Martin might have used some elements from it, just slightly. I mean, imo, Guts feels like a a combo of Jon Snow and The Hound in some respects, but with a way more tragic background than either. But again that’s just me…

    • CyanBloodbane

      Berserk is my favorite anime of all time. Dat ending. not many shows rip your heat out and make you them thank for it.

    • hariman

      Man, Berserk is one fucked up series. … Berserk Abridged is hilarious too.
      But, yeah. Not for me. It’s creepily effed up, and I have no desire to watch a series so dark and monstrous as Berserk.

      • Mulatto_Fury

        Your loss.

        • hariman

          No, no it’s not. I lose nothing by choosing to not watch an anime that ends with one of the darkest and most cruel endings an anime has ever had.
          You might think I lose something, but that’s a view that assumes that I’d get something good out of watching misery, suffering, and horror on a level matched by very few anime.
          All I would get is depression and misery until I managed to get the honestly disturbing focus on the cruelty of men to each other, the pettiness of the greedy characters, and the aforementioned ending out of my head.

          • Mulatto_Fury

            Ever heard the old phrase “it’s about the journey, not the destination.”?

            Berserk has a lot of those elements that you find dark and cruel, but it also has a lot of light moments to it that make the dark moments have such an impact.

            The reason why I call it your loss is because Berserk, for as dark, cruel, and emotionally draining as it can be to watch, has left an imprint on the anime fan in me that no other anime has. So much so that it is one of the few anime, Cowboy Bebop, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and FLCL being the only others, that I go back and watch at least once a year.

            It is a show that makes you feel for characters in a way that most other shows don’t. But if you are more concerned with your ‘feels’ than with experiencing one of the best anime ever, be my guest.

            • hariman

              …Yeah, it’s obvious that Berserk leaves a mark on it’s viewers. But I don’t want to watch something where the leader is so desperate for money that he sells his body and then….
              …I stopped watching the hyper violent/creepy/disturbing/hateful anime/series because it affected my mood, my temperament, and how I dealt with others.
              I already have a lot of stress from work in the first place, and watching angry, violent, miserable things only compounds that.
              I won’t deny that Berserk has those character moments and the heart in it that you and Bennett point out. That you defend it so readily, and that you watch it again and again proves that.
              I will state that it is my choice to watch or not watch an anime. That I choose to protect my “feels”, aka my emotions and mind, is my choice.
              I don’t have to like what you like, nor do I have to watch what you watch. My avoiding something does not invalidate your love of something, and you can just let someone alone when they aren’t interested in something you hold dear.

      • gakusangi

        I felt that same way, but getting out of it and into the later story arcs with some of the newer characters that never appeared in the initial anime, I found myself really sucked in. I still has some highly dark and uncomfortable moments, the chemistry between everyone and the adventures make it all worth it in the end…and I get see where From Soft took all of its ideas XD~!

    • Jesse Shearer

      I really sort of wish I’d been keeping a list of “Must See” titles that have been the subject of this show. This is certainly one that that would go on the list. Certainly worth checking out because it sounds really good.

    • kaoruchan180

      you know this has been on my watch list because I think? a new anime continuation or something? is coming out, my friends are into it, and I missed it the first time around. So I was debating whether or not to watch this and decided “ok I’ll watch some and when it hits spoilers stop” and that was clearly a good decision because it means I now know to just skip the first episode. So I’ll go watch it and come back later now that I know that. Thanks.

    • aaronbourque

      …trying to watch this for the past hour, I have discovered than none of Sage’s videos play for me.

    • Jiryn

      Honestly, I watched this with eager anticipation to see how you’d handle the ending Bennett.
      I mean, my girlfriend at the time and I found the series for sale at BestBuy and picked it up on a whim years ago. Found it expertly crafted… up till the total mind fuck ending… which left us… well.. it never left us.

      • damaster1121

        I would suggest reading the manga if you never did. The golden age arc was published in 1997 (the time frame of the anime), and new chapters of berserk are still coming out to this day (330+ as of right now, and the golden age only covers the first 100). Additionally, the art style is the best I have ever seen. You can barley tell the difference between the first chapter and the most recent chapter.

    • Black Doug

      I’m not sure if Sage reads these comments, but I wonder if he’s watching Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans. We’re in the midst of a Gundam renaissance in 2016 and IBO is the glorious center of it. One of the main characters, Akihiro Altland, even looks like Guts (and has been nicknamed as such on Reddit).

      • penguintruth

        There’s Gundam for everyone these days. For UC fans there’s The Origin and Thunderbolt (which is right up Sage’s ally) and for AU fans there’s IBO. It’s a good time to be a Gundam fan. Er, unless you want to actually BUY Gundam anime, then it’s obscenely expensive.

        • Black Doug

          Plus there’s a new Build Fighters OVA coming, and while it isn’t the best series it’s a ton of fun. And agreed, the expensiveness of anime is bullshit, though at least IBO seems to be headed to a television broadcast in the States and Build Fighters Try is already airing on Cartoon Network.

    • Bogdan Naratov

      I have to say as much as I love this show now, I hated it when finished watching first time. No, it’s not because of “that ending” scene. It was in those times when I still didn’t know what manga was and how some shows are just an advertisement for manga they’re based on. And Berserk is one of them.
      I hated it because I wanted more and felt unsatisfied, always keeping in mind that first episode as I watched the rest. I agree with Sage now that for someone who only begins exploring anime, skipping 1st episode entirely would be a great solution.

    • Nasuth

      The remake, “Golden Age”, is honestly really really really good. It fixes a lot of the problems of this one, most notably the animation with a whole team of WB-funded artists making it look absolutely gorgeous

    • MacNillus

      I have notice that Griffith looks like Fulgrim from Wh40k. Guts also kind looks as Ferrus Manus. And Caska design was an inspiration for a partymember from DA:I.

      • =][= Vorlon

        Fulgrim….the ultimate bishi!

    • lordsjaak

      happy new year sage and i hope you bring more forgotten gems in the collection

    • nlvldg

      no clerks reference. 0/10
      But seriously, damn this is a great anime and manga. A friend suggested it last year over the WB one on that was on Netflix and man am I glad for it.

    • Kilgore

      Was the 3D intro the big secret project that has been teased for the better portion of a year? If so, still awesome.

    • Tiberius Rex

      As rough as I find the anime version (as a big fan of the manga), man I’ve never found a better example of adaptation decompression. Berserk got the story beats just right. Now my wish is for a Berserk animated adapt to go beyond the Golden Age arc.There is so much better storytelling beyond that… it’s just not so laser focused on the Guts/Griffith dynamic

    • Hampton D. Evans

      So, is it me, or was Guts’ design an inspiration for Kurogane’s from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle?

    • Jeffrey

      Thanks for doing Berserk.

    • Corey Mcintyre

      Sage have you ever considered doing a Vlog type video of you discussing Berserk without holding back on spoilers? As a huge fan of the series I would LOVE to hear your interpretation and your opinion on the ending.

    • gakusangi

      I got into the manga recently, though I skipped the whole beginning part because I already knew it, I didn’t need to see everything leading up to his Black Swordsman Guts so instead I picked it up in the middle of the Falcon of the Millennium Empire arc. I loved the characters introduced and their chemistry and I’ve been with it ever since. Of course, I got into it because of the Souls video game series, so I wanted to see what they all had in common.

      • Jason olin

        You are actually missing out. The show changes and leaves out some really cool stuff and fights as well. Stuff that is left out of the movies as well. I’d recommend reading the manga you skipped to get the full story experience.

        • gakusangi

          Well, I got the basic idea of how the band of Hawk came together, who all was in it, what they accomplished and what happened with Griffith that ultimately kickstarted the main plot of the story. I know there’s some things you can get in summary and I never watched the anime, personally, but I like where it is now, with everyone.

    • Athanasius Kirchner

      Why the Lucky Star hate, Sage? Why can’t you appreciate it for what it is, a wonderful show that managed somehow to adapt yonkoma to a wildly different medium with great success? What’s wrong with Konata, huh, you tell me! Tell me Sage!! C’mon, speak, SAAAAGEEEEEEEE!!!

      Nah, just joking. I love Lucky Star, but would never subject an unwilling person to it. On the other hand, I dislike Berserk. What a ridiculous, overhyped POS. It’s laden with the usual Medieval fantasy garbage that I despise (why do writers need to butcher the period so much? It’s as if the long millennium of the Middle Ages wasn’t interesting in and of itself). I find that my likes and dislikes align pretty well with yours generally, but not here.

    • Jason olin

      I watched Berserk just after basic training in the middle of 2000 and instantly fell in love, dramatic cliff hanger ending and all! Guts is the ultimate human warrior, flawed but so amazing at his craft…. which is killing every demon and many humans that get in his way! It remains my favorite manga series and one of my favorite anime series as well. I can even forgive the terrible CGI in the movies and newest tv series. It is also the only manga series I keep up with on a month to month basis.

    • Jasmine Sawalma

      I wonder how Sage reacted when he found out that the manga of Berserk actually had a cute character by the name of Puck. Hmmmm….