Berserk (1997 TV series)
(Kenpū Denki Beruseruku)
|Genre||Adventure, dark fantasy|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Naohito Takahashi|
Kazuya Murata (assistant)
|Produced by||Toshio Nakatani|
Shūkichi Kanda (animation)
|Written by||Yasuhiro Imagawa|
|Music by||Susumu Hirasawa|
|Studio||OLM TEAM IGUCHI|
|Original network||Nippon TV|
|Original run||October 7, 1997 – March 31, 1998|
Berserk, also known as Berserk: The Sword-Wind Romance (剣風伝奇ベルセルク Kenpū Denki Beruseruku), is a Japanese anime television series that aired from 1997 to 1998. An adaptation of the manga Berserk, it comprises 25 half-hour episodes produced by Oriental Light and Magic and first aired on Nippon TV. The episodes adapt part of the manga's Black Swordsman arc, continuing through the Golden Age storylines.
Though the manga storyline remains largely intact, many changes were made, with the modification or elimination of characters, some of the series' most violent and brutal scenes, and material that would have extended the storyline beyond the planned run of the anime series. Themes of friendship and ambition are more developed and emphasized than those of causality and the supernatural, all of which were made with the approval of series creator Kentaro Miura.
Susumu Hirasawa composed the soundtracks for both the anime and video games, using an eclectic selection of instruments. He received the offer to compose music for the series due to Miura being a fan of his works and listening to them while he works on Berserk, that also led to Miura almost never requesting a specific composition for him to include. Hirasawa has said that Berserk does not feel like a self-restrained story, and that composing for the series is similar to the sensation of unlocking one of his inner restraints, leading to compositions on a "Berserk style". Hirasawa's work on the series led him to meet Yūko Miyamura, which led to musical collaborations between the two. Hirasawa's album Technique of Relief builds off of his work on the series and the Miyamura collaborations.
Hirasawa recycled some earlier works for the series: "Take the Wheel" (from Aurora) and "Kun Mae #3" (from side project Shun's Kun Mae in a Calculation) were re-written and re-recorded as "BERSERK -Forces-" and "Murder", respectively. Music from other composers is also used in the series: "Madre Assente", from Ennio Morricone's The Blue-Eyed Bandit soundtrack, is used on the scene of the Queen's funeral.
The opening theme is "TELL ME WHY" by PENPALS, the ending theme is "Waiting So Long" by Silver Fins, and the insert song (used on the "next episode" segments) is "BERSERK -Forces-" by Susumu Hirasawa. PENPALS went on to re-record "TELL MY WHY" (subtitling as "alt. version") for their 1998 studio album Americaman, while Hirasawa has re-recorded "Forces" multiple times over the years.
|Character||Japanese voice||English voice|
|Guts||Nobutoshi Canna||Marc Diraison|
|Griffith||Toshiyuki Morikawa||Kevin T. Collins|
|Casca||Yūko Miyamura||Carrie Keranen|
|Rickert||Akiko Yajima||Michelle Newman|
|Judeau||Akira Ishida||Christopher Kromer|
|Pippin||Masuo Amada||Jeff Ward|
|Corkus||Tomohiro Nishimura||Mark Sebastian|
|Nosferatu Zodd||Kenji Utsumi||J. David Brimmer|
|Void||Unshō Ishizuka||Jon Avner|
|Slan||Atsuko Tanaka||C.L. Jones|
|Conrad||Toku Nishio||Sean Schemmel|
Berserk first aired from October 7, 1997 to March 31, 1998 on Nippon TV. VAP has released thirteen VHS and twelve VCD including two episodes each (a single one in the last VHS and three in the last VCD) from 1998 to 1999 in Japan. The seven discs "DVD-BOX", using Audio-CD cases, was released in Japan in 2001, with the seven volumes being re-released later in individual DVD regular cases in 2003.
|The Sword-Wind Romance|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||November 6, 1997|
|Susumu Hirasawa soundtrack chronology|
|Singles from The Sword-Wind Romance BERSERK Original Soundtrack|
At the time of the anime's production, Hirasawa was signed to Nippon Columbia, while VAP is the production committee member that has the home audio/video release rights, which led to disagreements; the opening and ending themes were created by bands signed to VAP. The soundtrack was released by VAP, the obi promotes only the VAP bands, while Nippon Columbia and HIrasawa's personal label TESLAKITE get a courtesy credit in the liner notes. Hirasawa's theme for the series was released as a single five days ahead of the soundtrack by Nippon Columbia/TESLAKITE, with no mention of VAP in the packaging.
All tracks written and performed by Susumu Hirasawa, except where noted.
|9.||"BERSERK ~Forces~" (TV Version)||1:56|
|10.||"TELL ME WHY" (TV Version) (performed by PENPALS)||1:15|
|11.||"Waiting so long" (TV Version) (performed by Silver Fins)||1:22|
- "Murder" contains a sample of "Kun Mae #3" by Shun, from the album Kun Mae in a Calculation.
- "Fear" contains a sample of "Two on a Floor" by P-Model, from the album Fu Kyoka Kyoku Shū.
- "Fear" and "Monster" share a motif, which they also share with "ZODDO II", from the album Berserk Millennium Falcon Arc: Chapter of the Flowers of Oblivion Original Game Soundtrack.
- Hirasawa went on to sample "EARTH" for "LOVE SONG 2003 Type-A2", from the concert DVD Interactive Live Show 2003 LIMBO-54.
Berserk received critical acclaim from critics and audiences who praised its dark fantasy narrative, visuals and musical score. Zac Bertschy of Anime News Network praised the series, giving it a score of A stating, "if you have a single bone in your body that's interested in dark fantasy, do not pass Berserk up. It is the finest example of its genre available on the market today and is based on a manga that nearly surpasses all others in terms of quality and popularity. The TV series was a resounding success and remains enchanting, entertaining and truly terrifying to this day. Watch this show."
- "Berserk 6: God's Hand - DVD". Madman Entertainment. Archived from the original on October 23, 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
- "Berserk DVD 5 - Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
- Clements, Jonathan; McCarthy, Helen (2015). The Anime Encyclopedia: A Century of Japanese Animation (3rd ed.). Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 978-1611720181. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
- "自分の中にある規制の鍵をひとつ開ける、という感覚に近い" [It's similar to the sensation of unlocking one of the restraints I’ve built up within myself]. Berserk: Golden Age Arc I - The Egg of the King (pamphlet) (in Japanese). Studio 4°C. 2012.
- Bertschy, Zac. "Berserk DVD 5". Anime News Network. Retrieved 11 June 2016.