Berserk (2016 TV series)

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Berserk
Berserk 2016 anime key art.jpg
Key visual for the second season of Berserk, featuring characters from the Hawk of the Millennium Empire arc.
ベルセルク
(Beruseruku)
Genre Dark fantasy,[1] horror[2]
Anime television series
Directed by Shin Itagaki
Written by
  • Makoto Fukami
  • Takashi Yamashita
Music by Shirō Sagisu
Studio
Licensed by
Original network WOWOW, MBS, TBS, CBC, BS-TBS
English network
Original run 1 July 2016 23 June 2017
Episodes 24 (List of episodes)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Berserk (Japanese: ベルセルク, Hepburn: Beruseruku) is a 2016 anime television series based on Kentaro Miura's Berserk manga and a sequel to the Golden Age Arc film trilogy. This is a television adaptation of the manga after the 1997 anime of the same name, covering the Conviction arc from the manga. A second season, covering the first half of the Hawk of the Millennium Empire Arc, began airing on April 7, 2017.[6]

Plot[edit]

The story follows Guts as the "Black Swordsman", an appearance which was briefly seen in the first episode of the 1997 television series as well as in the final scene of the Golden Age Arc films.[7]

Guts was once a wandering mercenary taken in by the mercenary group known as the Band of the Hawk (鷹の団, Taka no Dan) and he fought alongside them before their mutilated leader, Griffith, sacrificed his followers to become one of the God Hand and continue his dream of ruling a kingdom of his own. Only Guts and his lover Casca, who lost her sanity and memory from the horrors she saw and endured, escaped the "Eclipse" ritual, though they were branded with marks that attract evil, restless spirits and other similar entities. With Casca in the care of blacksmith Godo and his adopted daughter Erica as well as Rickert, the only member of the Hawks absent during the Eclipse, Guts set off to hunt down the God Hand's Apostles to find and kill Griffith in a quest for vengeance. Years have passed, and Guts is joined in his hunt by an elf named Puck as events the God Hand have long waited for are beginning to unfold.

Voice cast[edit]

Character Voice actor English[8]
Guts Hiroaki Iwanaga[9] Kaiji Tang
Griffith/Femto Takahiro Sakurai[9] Steve Cannon
Casca Toa Yukinari[9] Karen Strassman
Puck Kaoru Mizuhara[9] Sarah Anne Williams
Farnese Yōko Hikasa[9] Erica Lindbeck
Serpico Kazuyuki Okitsu[9] Max Mittelman
Isidro Hiro Shimono[9] Erik Scott Kimerer
Schierke Chiwa Saito Mela Lee
Ivalera Satomi Arai Tara Sands
Nosferatu Zodd Kenta Miyake Imari Williams
Skull Knight Akio Ōtsuka[9] Taylor Henry
Grunbeld Kiyoyuki Yanada Paul St. Peter
Locus Shougo Nakamura D. C. Douglas
Rakshas Masashi Nogawa Frank Todaro
Sonia Yoshino Nanjō Skyler Davenport
Mule Wolflame Mitsuki Saiga Griffin Burns
Void/Narrator Unshō Ishizuka[9] Jake Eberle
Slan Miyuki Sawashiro Allegra Clark
Charlotte Aki Toyosaki Gina Bowes
Silat Yuichi Nakamura[10] Lex Lang
Tapasa Kōji Ishii[10] Taylor Henry
Azan Hiroki Yasumoto[9] Richard Epcar
Luca Miyuki Sawashiro[11] Wendee Lee
Nina Natsumi Takamori[10] Ryan Bartley
Jerome Daisuke Hirakawa[10] Todd Haberkorn
Erica Ayana Taketatsu[10] Brianna Knickerbocker
Rickert Minako Kotobuki[10] Erica Mendez
Godo Takashi Inagaki[10] Abbot Kefford
Mozgus Rikiya Koyama[10] Ray Chase
Flora Sumi Shimamoto Philece Sampler
Emperor Ganishka Tesshō Genda TBA

Production[edit]

A new Berserk anime was announced in December 2015 in Hakusensha's Young Animal magazine,[7][12] with a short preview trailer released at Comiket later the same month.[1][13] The anime's website announced in February 2016 that the project would be a television series.[14] A second trailer was streamed in March 2016.[15][16] A teaser video was streamed on the series' website in early June 2016.[11] At the conclusion of the first season's final episode, a teaser confirmed a second season for April 2017. The brief clip showed off the character Schierke and the Berserker armor, indicating the second season would adapt the next arc, "Hawk of the Millennium Empire".[17]

Kentaro Miura, the author of the original manga, is serving as executive supervisor for the anime.[18] The series is directed by Shin Itagaki and written by Makoto Fukami and Takashi Yamashita. The character designs are provided by Hisashi Abe. Animation studio Liden Films is producing the series with GEMBA and Millepensee helming on the animation production.[2][9] Shirō Sagisu returns from the Berserk: The Golden Age Arc films to compose the music for the series, while Susumu Hirasawa, composer for the 1997 series and the Golden Age Arc films, returns to produce two insert songs for the series, titled "Ashes" (灰よ, Hai yo) and "Ash Crow".[9][15][19] For first season, the opening theme song, "Inferno", is performed by 9mm Parabellum Bullet,[15][20] while the ending theme, "Meimoku no Kanata" (瞑目の彼方, lit. "Beyond Closed Eyes"), is performed by Nagi Yanagi.[21] For second season, the opening theme song, "Sacrifice", performed by 9mm Parabellum Bullet, while the ending theme, "Issai wa Monogatari" (一切は物語, lit. "Everything is the Story"), performed by Yoshino Nanjō feat Nagi Yanagi.[22]

The primary voice cast are reprising their roles from the Golden Age Arc film trilogy, while voice actor Unshō Ishizuka is reprising his role as both Void and the Narrator from the original anime.[2]

Producer Reo Kurosu has described the show's animation style as "a hybrid between 2D and 3D",[23] elaborating that "For this series we’re trying to do something new. The director is a 2D animator so what goes on in his mind and what he puts on storyboard is all in 2D. From there it’s all about choosing which tool to use between full CG animation, traditional 2D, or a hybrid of the two. The director and the 2D and 3D studios will meet and discuss what to use when depending upon what we’re trying to accomplish with each scene."[24] The 3D characters and objects are rendered with Cel shading to make them look more like 2D animation. A particular feature is that the shadows on 3D objects contain a linear hatching effect which simulates shading with a pen or pencil, and the same hatching effect is applied to the shadows that appear on any 2D models to create a more uniform look.

Broadcast and release[edit]

The 12-episode series[25] premiered on 1 July 2016 on WOWOW,[14][26] and later on MBS's Animeism programming block,[14] TBS, CBC, and BS-TBS.[20] The second season of the series began airing on April 7, 2017, with an hour-long two episode premiere.[6]

The series is being simulcast on Crunchyroll.[27][28] Crunchyroll announced at the annual Anime Expo on 1 July 2016 that the company will be releasing the series with an English dub on Blu-ray and DVD. The exact date that the series will be released has not been announced.[29]

On March 17, 2017, IGN released a clip of the Berserk English dub and was announced that the series will be distributed by Funimation, but the series was dubbed by Bang Zoom! Entertainment. This marks the first time NYAV Post had no involvement in dubbing Berserk media since Sword of the Berserk. The first season was available on March 20 by Funimation.[30]

Episodes[edit]

Reception[edit]

IGN contributor Meghan Sullivan gave the opening episode a score of 8.5 out of a possible 10. In the review Sullivan praised the episodes' direction, stating "despite the somewhat distracting visuals, 'The Branded Swordsman' gets Guts' quest for vengeance off to a strong start".[31]

Writer Cecilia D'Anastasio applauded the opening episode in a review published by Kotaku, going so far as to state that it "already outshines the 90's original". Though, noting the series' sub-par animation quality, D'Anastasio concluded, "Berserk is not for the faint-hearted. But 'The Branded Swordsman' proved to me that directors of fighting-heavy anime are making more of an effort to beautify and civilize the genre, doing justice to manga that showcases writing and ingenuity."[32]

Anime News Network contributor Jacob Hope Chapman was critical of the show's production quality in his review of episodes 1–3, stating that "Berserk 2016 is an abominably ugly and almost forcefully unpleasant realization of our dreams, with cut-rate CGI, questionable music choices, and disorienting camera work". However, to him the strength of the source work helps to carry the show, and Itagaki's frenetic directing style at least keeps the action interesting: "Once you manage to unclench your teeth at all those garish cel-shaded puppet bodies smacking against each other, Miura's compelling story and captivating world still shine as one-of-a-kind flights of dark imagination with poignant characterization, even as they struggle under such a lackluster production."[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Luster, Joseph (29 December 2015). "VIDEO: New "Berserk" Anime Project Teases Some Animated Violence". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Green, Scott (22 March 2016). "Staff and Cast Listed For Summer "Berserk" TV Anime". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  3. ^ "Berserk (2016)". SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show. Archived from the original on October 8, 2016. Retrieved May 5, 2018.  The copyright information states "©2016 Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Australia Pty Ltd." for the promotional images of the screening.
  4. ^ Osmond, Andrew (May 27, 2016). "Universal To Release New Berserk and Drifters". Retrieved June 22, 2018. 
  5. ^ "Aniplus HD to Simulcast New Berserk TV Anime". Anime News Network. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 17 July 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "Berserk Anime's New Visual, April 7 Premiere Revealed". Anime News Network. Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "Berserk Gets New Anime Project Featuring Guts as 'Black Swordsman'". Anime News Network. 21 December 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  8. ^ "Funimation Acquires Berserk Season 1 (2016) English Dub - Funimation - Blog!". Funimation - Blog!. 2017-03-20. Retrieved 2017-06-10. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "New Berserk TV Anime's Cast, Staff, July Premiere Unveiled". Anime News Network. 22 March 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Green, Scott (10 June 2016). "Bloody, Shirtless Guts, Scourging And More Featured In Latest "Berserk" Anime Preview". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 
  11. ^ a b "Berserk TV Anime's Teaser Video Previews 9mm Parabellum Bullet's Theme Song". Anime News Network. 10 June 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 
  12. ^ Green, Scott (21 December 2015). "New "Berserk" Anime Planned for 2016". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  13. ^ "New Berserk Anime's 1st Video Teases 2016 Date". Anime News Network. 29 December 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  14. ^ a b c "New Berserk Anime is TV Series That Premieres in July". Anime News Network. 4 February 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  15. ^ a b c "New Berserk Anime's Promo Features Susumu Hirasawa's Insert Song". Anime News Network. 26 March 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  16. ^ Green, Scott (26 March 2016). "Haunting "Berserk" 2016 TV Anime Teaser Accompanied By Theme Song News". Anime News Network. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  17. ^ "Berserk Anime's Next Arc to Premiere Next Spring". Anime News Network. 16 September 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  18. ^ "Berserk TV Anime's New Key Visual Revealed". Anime News Network. 25 March 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  19. ^ Ash Crow - Susumu Hirasawa Soundtracks for BERSERK|Susumu Hirasawa (P-MODEL) Official site
  20. ^ a b "New Berserk TV Anime's July 1 Premiere, Character Visuals Revealed". Anime News Network. 26 May 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  21. ^ "Nagi Yanagi Performs Berserk TV Anime's Ending Theme Song". Anime News Network. 6 June 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  22. ^ "Berserk Anime's New Cast, Theme Song Artists Revealed". Anime News Network. February 19, 2017. Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  23. ^ "Crunchyroll Talks with "Berserk" Producer Reo Kuroso About the Anime's Premiere and More". Crunchyroll. 13 July 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  24. ^ "FEATURE: Interview with Berserk Producer Reo Kurosu". Crunchyroll. 15 July 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  25. ^ "2016 Berserk Anime Listed at 12 Episodes". Anime News Network. 11 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  26. ^ Green, Scott (4 February 2016). "2016 "Berserk" TV Anime Broadcast Plans Announced". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  27. ^ "Crunchyroll to Stream New Berserk Anime This Summer". Anime News Network. 25 March 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  28. ^ Luster, Joseph (25 March 2016). "Crunchyroll to Stream "Berserk" Anime This Summer". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  29. ^ "Crunchyroll to Dub Release Anime on BD/DVD". Anime News Network. 1 July 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  30. ^ [1]
  31. ^ Sullivan, Meghan (1 July 2016). "Berserk Episode 1 - "The Branded Swordsman" Review". IGN. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  32. ^ D'Anastasio, Cecilia (1 July 2016). "The New Berserk Anime Already Outshines The '90s Original". Kotaku. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  33. ^ Chapman, Jacob (17 July 2016). "Berserk Episodes 1–3". Anime News Network. Retrieved 22 July 2016. 

External links[edit]