Thanasis is a writer, professional geek, and assistant editor at MANGA.TOKYO. He started watching anime with the mecha shows of the 70s and hasn't stopped since. He loves JRPGs.
‘Berserk’ has always relied in its basic theme pillars: violence, sex, and the exploration of the human condition. ‘Night of Miracles’ is no different. Boobs, blood, and baneful creatures: the three P’s of success.
The chronology of the story follows a perfect linear fashion if you count out the few flashbacks. Each episode starts immediately where the last was cut off, giving a sense of continuation that I personally like. My guess is that the idea behind this is to create another trilogy of movies like the ‘Golden Age’ arc.
Guts has escaped the Holy See knights’ camp taking their leader, Lady Farnese as a hostage. They are heading for a mansion where Gut’s next target is: one of the Apostles. Guts will have to fight his way through a hunt of hellish hounds to get to the kennel master, one of the Apostles. Like the swinging maniac he is, Guts and his ridiculously giant sword (someone should make a mash up with Cloud from Final Fantasy VII) manages to slaughter everything but the cute knight who in the process is almost eaten alive, and raped by a horse before being controlled by an evil spirit and trying to seduce Guts.
While Guts has made some new enemies and some new friends, back in Mindham the king is dying, both the king and the princess miss Griffith a little too much, and through the darkness the only hope seems to be a hawk of light.
Religion: ‘Berserk’ is taking place in a fantasy medieval world. In the Middle Ages, religion and folklore were tied by superstition and bigotry. People were afraid of both demons and the church. Science was frozen in place, innovation was almost non-existent. ‘Berserk’ has always commentated on how religion is limiting our perception instead of expanding it. Lady Farnese is unable to see Puck because of her “rigid world view”. Throughout the episode, Farnese’s faith is questioned and her devotion is compared to the most fundamental of human needs, desire.
Nature: The episode is also subtly commentating on the relationship between humans and animals. When Puck sees a row of animal head trophies, he feels disgusted and comments on the human cruelty. When he finds a human head trophy on the wall, things get a bit more complicated. The love of the Apostle for his hounds, their lust for flesh, their perverse sense of devotion, are all a commentary on the way humans justify their illogical actions against nature.
Human Condition: Anime are many times wrongfully mistaken as childish. Instead, series like ‘Berserk’ could serve as basis for many humanistic studies. From Farnese’s horror to Guts’ determination, there is a certain depth to the series’ writing by Makoto Fukami and Takashi Yamashita.
Light Vs Darkness: A prominent theme that will probably dominate ‘Berserk’. This time the grey area between the two wasn’t very obvious and the scene where the evil spirit left Farnese because of the light made the distinction even more evident.
Censorship is a huge deal in Japan. It was the reason behind the most recognizable form of hentai, tentacle porn. It’s also the reason why we couldn’t see Farnese’s nipples during this episode.
There is going to be an uncensored version for sure, but still, this is ridiculous. They put this huge black line in front of her vagina, but boobs are ok when grabbed and when bouncing if there are no nipples. I am sure there are a lot of children saved by the trauma of seeing a nipple when hellish dogs are decapitated here and there. To be honest, I am not very familiar with the censoring laws and how this whole thing works, but this seemed ridiculous.
I am all about freeing the nipples. That’s what I got from this episode. I felt so sorry about those breasts that I couldn’t even celebrate Gut’s victory against the Apostle in an appropriate way.
NEXT EPISODE: “Revelations”, “Keiji” (啓示)
©KENTAROU MIURA(STUDIO GAGA) HAKUSENSHA/BERSERK PARTNERSHIP