Berserk 2nd Season – Ep. 1-2 Preview
Berserk 2nd Season:
Original Air Dates: April 7th, 2017 – ???
Synopsis: With Guts and the rest having survived the chaos that was the Tower of Conviction, he returns to the blacksmith Godo’s home with Casca in tow. There unfortunately he finds the culprit of all his torment, and target of his vengeful quest, waiting for him. This meeting sends Guts on a new journey, as well as internal struggle, forcing him to confront his darker natures.
1st and 2nd Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Berserk is back and that means more of the same 3D animation that proved so divisive, or perhaps even generally off-putting, as with its 2016 predecessor. Outside of adapting the manga’s narrative and events faithfully, we’re presented with the same stilted 3D animation that just doesn’t do the original artwork justice. However, when the show shifts to a heavy use of traditional animation, like in a flashback to Farnese’s and Serpico’s past, Berserk becomes surprisingly watchable, looking comparatively decent next to the stilted CGI.
Linny: It is definitely unfortunate that the quality hasn’t really improved at all as Berserk is such a beloved franchise that just seems to keep struggling to receive a decent anime adaptation. The lack of improvement in this new season means there’s no chance of winning over new viewers by convincing them that things do get better.
Tom: One thing of note is how much character development and struggle we’re introduced to here with both Guts and Farnese. While Farnese’s appearance in the series has largely been adapted, entire sections of Guts’ emotional journey have been left unanimated, even more if you don’t count the prior three CGI films that really should be required watching (and available for streaming.) Without a lot of this backstory, it feels like newcomers will be missing out on a ton of the nuance for Guts’ internal struggle between his stoic ‘heroic’ side and his more violent lustful and brutal tendencies.
Linny: Viewers get a better understanding of Lady Farnese and why she is the twisted and psychotic person that she is. It won’t necessarily make you like her and learning about Serpico’s background at the same time will only make you loathe her more but at least you get to finally know why she is the way she is. On the other hand, Serpico is revealed as more of a tragic figure which was only hinted at last season.
Tom: It almost seems like there’s been an effort to bump up the level of gore this time around, with an actual warning appearing at the start of each episode preparing viewers for what are, surprisingly, pretty brutal sequences even if the art isn’t up to the manga’s level. But no matter what’s presented here, it still feels like the manga remains the far and away better means of experiencing what is one of the medium’s best and most brutal stories.
Linny: This season continues to be as gory and brutal as ever, displaying acts that will make more sensitive viewers flinch. We also get to see why Guts becoming reunited with Casca isn’t going to be a happy and good time for anyone involved, including themselves and are reminded once again, that Berserk isn’t a show for people who enjoy happy endings.
Tom: Overall if you didn’t have any issues with Season 1, Berserk Season 2 is likely to please, but with so much left unadapted, many of Guts’ more emotional moments feel hollow. For those who struggled with Season 1 I’d suggest avoiding this adaptation, as all it’s made me do is want to find some time to reread the manga.
Linny: If you sat through Berserk’s last season hoping for a more visually impressive followup, the bad news is there isn’t one. The good news is that the show seems to be following the manga as faithfully as they can, though I am no expert on that. All in all, brace for the same challenging animation this season.
Berserk 2nd Season is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com