First Impressions (Anime): Berserk (2016)

Ah… I admit… blogging has slipped my mind a bit these past 2 weeks. I’d like to think I don’t get stressed often, but that’s what’s been happening with a particular problem in my work life. It’s all ok now though, and I’m glad for that. There’s gonna be some troublesome times ahead as usual, but I think it’ll be ok.

One month into the new season of anime and here’s my 1st First Impressions of the Summer 2016 Season \o/

Anime: Berserk (2016)  ベルセルク (2016) ⇒ Summer 2016

Screen Shot 2016-07-04 at 9.05.21 PM

No, but really, did you expect me to start with anything else? Hahahahahha.

If there is ever a series I can say is my favourite ever, it might be Berserk. But I’m sure most of  you already know that XD I absolutely lost my shit when I heard the news about a new anime project for this classic series.

To be honest, there are a lot of things questionable about Berserk. I don’t think its something just anyone can get into. This particular Berserk 2016 anime too, it’s not something I can recommend to just anyone.

WARNING: This warning list is so long, I could probably write an essay on how screwed up Berserk is, but I’ll list them all out, short and sweet, instead (like how I did before).

Extremely mature and graphically violent.  Very NSFW (inclusive of nudity, sex, rape, underage perversion, prostitution, masturbation, pedophilia etc.). Torture. Gory and grotesque. Frequent use of profanity and slur. Blasphemy. There’s more I can go on, but basically it’s a whole load of shit and you should be prepared. And hopefully not turned off by all of this.

Besides the long list of warnings above, another reason why I can’t recommend this to many is because this Berserk 2016 anime is a continuation of the series from a specific arc in the middle of the story. If didn’t read the manga or watch any of its previous 2 anime adaptations (either the 1997 television series or the 2012/2013 film series), you’re not going to get what the hell is going on.

Unlike the previous anime adaptations’ traditional animated style, this new series is primarily animated using CGI. When I first watched the PV, I’d be lying if I said I was totally on board how it looked with the style of animation. After 4 episodes, I still have mixed feelings on the CGI animation. It definitely looks cool and very polished, but I feel like it takes away some of the gritty atmosphere present in the series. It also takes some time getting used to movements (or the lack of some movements) of characters. Although the animation is often stunted and unnatural—This might be due to the quality of animation more than the style itself—I must admit that the CGI provides some great opportunity for camera movement, especially during battle scenes. Action sequences and high-tension scenes are really dynamic  🙂

Screen Shot 2016-07-04 at 9.06.56 PM

In addition to the CGI, I also have mixed feelings regarding the seiyuu cast for this anime adaptation. It’s pretty much expected that the recurring cast would be the same as the film adaptations from 3-4 years ago—such as protagonist, Guts, and main antagonist, Griffith/Femto—but there are a lot of new characters that appear from this arc onwards. I’m not bothered about the new seiyuu cast though, they’re all good. What I’m bothered about… is actually Guts’s seiyuu choice.

It was quite disappointing to find out that the choice for Guts’s voice was an actor with limited experience in voice acting; I’m not fond of Iwanaga Hiroaki as Guts partly also because I imagined Guts with a deeper voice. It wasn’t as obvious in the film trilogy, but the lack of experience and impact in how Guts is portrayed is a lot more prominent now that this is a TV series, not to mention how he has more lines than before. I really wished someone more experienced in voice acting had been chosen to voice such an awesome character like Guts. 

Berserk isn’t complete without an Insert song by Susumu Hirasawa. And as usual, the OST’s as good as ever with Sagisu Shiro again. I’m so glad the anime kept/remixed many soundtracks from the film trilogy for the anime. Even the opening, Inferno by 9mm Parabellum Bullet sounds so good, although the ending isn’t memorable, at least to me.

As you can see from how much I gushed above, overall mixed feelings about the currently airing Berserk 2016 anime series. This isn’t something I can bear to drop, but I’m hoping just a little that it might get better in other ways.

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3 thoughts on “First Impressions (Anime): Berserk (2016)

  1. I think a lot of Berserk fans are in the same boat in that, despite the new show’s rather immense issues, its hard to put down. Episode 1 aside, the show has been reasonably faithful to the content its adapted and it looks like that at least will stay consistent. The grittiness and gravity of the show is somewhat offset by the clunky animation but as you pointed out, there are some instances of interesting camera work as well. I’d have a hard time calling it ‘good’ currently but I don’t think its nearly as bad as some exaggerated opinions make it out to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Totally agree with you on that. I’ve heard a lot of people going on about the animation (especially when you compare it to the quality and how good the upcoming game looks even though it’s of a different style), but looking at things in terms of all other aspects, it’s honestly not too bad at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Anime Season Interests: Spring 2017 | Manga, my life.

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