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The anime was criticized heavily for its original and uncommon animation techniques. Such criticism might have been catastrophic for a new anime, but for a classic like Berserk it only managed to increase the hype regarding its continuation. To be honest, I thought that these twelve episodes were all we would get.
Berserk fans rejoice, because in Spring 2016 we’ll get a second season that looks closer to the spirit of Kentaro Miura’s manga.
Japanese Title: すがるもの, もがくもの
St. Albion was just the main stage of this arc. Everything led to there and everything was eventually resolved there. The ooze kept on engulfing the monastery, growing in size the more souls it collected. In the end, the Egg of the Perfect World managed to use the energy to resurrect Griffith, all blue eyes and ciel hair, gorgeous as ever.
As the sun rose, the tower collapsed, killing everyone inside. The survivors (most of the main characters minus the villains) are apprehended by Silat and his Kushans. The fight is stopped by Zood who rushes to a nearby hill to greet his master, Griffith. Guts, blinded by anger, wants to attack but he is stopped by Casca.
In the end, Zodd and Griffith escape into the skies, while the rest of the gang take their own ways. Guts leaves with Casca. Nina reunites with Joachim. Isidoro leaves on his own. Luca and her merry band of prostitutes stays together with Jerome. Farnese leaves her faith and travels with Serpico to find Guts. I’m guessing that Azan will follow.
Quotes: When Berserk becomes philosophical, it really delivers on the punchlines. Here are a few of my favorites from this episode:
My favorite was Luca’s salute to the Egg:
Zodd the Immortal: I don’t remember if we had the chance to encounter Zodd in this arc before. Yet, if you are not familiar with who this large behemoth creature is: Zodd a recurring antagonist throughout the series. He is a powerful Apostle who travels from battlefield to battlefield seeking ever-stronger opponents. He serves as both the rival of the Skull Knight and Guts. He lost his horn after a vision with Griffith. As you can imagine from the last scenes, Zodd is Griffith’s little pet.
Birth: The episode was full of birth and rebirth imagery. In the beginning Nina is ‘reborn’ in a way as she assumed a birthing position inside the barrel. She sheds away her old self and decides that she want to fight to survive. Later, we have the birth of Griffith, and by the end of the episode, every character comes to his own personal rebirth-epiphany.
Krishna: I am not an expert of Berserk lore, but when Silat refers to Krishna, he probably means that they are seeking a kind of deity. Krishna is a major Hindu deity worshiped in a variety of different forms. Krishna is recognized as either the Svayam Bhagavan or as the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Krishna is one of the most widely revered and popular of all Hindu deities. He is up there with the pantheon all-star team along with Ra, Jesus, Zeus, and Allah.
Enemies become Friends: The enemy of my enemy is my friend, or something like that. In the end, Farnese, Azan, and Guts are on the same side as the Kushans attack them. The St. Albion incident was a transformative experience for everyone, and people who stood on opposite sides in this arc will probably fight as comrades in the next.
This episode had more drawn scenes than the rest of the episodes combined. I hope that’s a sign that the next season will go back to the drawing board and leave behind any experimentations with manga lines and 3D scenes. They had the chance to do it and it didn’t work. It’s time to go back to the true spirit of Berserk. Most of the 2D of the episode was gorgeous, meaning that GEMBA and Millepensee are able to bring the fans what they want.
To be honest, I was expecting less from the final episode. Even with the new season announced, the arc didn’t leave a lot of loose ends. We know where most of the characters are heading, and we were given a proper conclusion to each one of their arc stories. Overall, a nice conclusion to an arc that could have been better if not for the animation experiments. I put my two cents on a fully drawn second season.
Keep checking Manga.Tokyo for season reviews for all the SUMMER 2016 series we covered.
NEXT TIME: Spring 2016, Second Season
©KENTAROU MIURA(STUDIO GAGA) HAKUSENSHA/BERSERK PARTNERSHIP