Berserk is commonly regarded as one of the darkest, grittiest pieces of literature ever to grace the manga industry. Unfortunately, the author Kentaro Miura met with an untimely demise before he could complete his magnum opus. While his Young Anima team and Miura's friend Kouji Mori have taken the initiative to finish Miura's work, one caveat remains - the absence of a proper anime adaptation.
While no anime adaptation has been fully appreciated by fans unanimously, it is worth checking them out to decide for oneself which suits one's taste. As such, this article will take a deep dive into the numbers and names of all the Berserk anime adaptations, their watch order, and whether or not a reboot is even possible.
Berserk has garnered several anime adaptations over the years, but none of them fully pleases fans
The three major adaptations of the anime include Berserk (1997), Berserk (2016), and The Golden Age Arc – Memorial Edition (2022). The film makes a substantial contribution to the character growth and the investigation of numerous backstories. Hence, it is advisable not to skip any of them, including the Original Video Animation that contributes significantly to the same.
In that regard, Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King, Berserk (2012) would be the first go-to adaptation, followed by The Battle for Doldrey, from Berserk: Golden Age Arc II (2012), and Berserk Ougon Jidaihen III: Kourin, which was released in 2013. Finally, the OVA for Recollections of the Witch from 2017 is a must-watch in itself.
While the Golden Age Arc films are all remakes of the original 1990s adaptation, the 2016 and 2017 adaptations act as direct sequels to the original anime. The Memorial Edition, on the other hand, is a collection of films that have been re-organised into a television series with episodes. Perhaps an anime would merge the superior storytelling of 1997 with the Golden Age's animation!
The Golden Age Arc films cover the manga's Golden Age arc, which was a theme of the 1997 anime. The original anime does a superior job at world-building and is truer to the source material even though the movies unquestionably have better animation owing to the time period in which it was released.
It is recommended for new viewers to start watching with the 1997 anime series adaptation before moving towards the 2016 and 2017 sequels that follow up with the plot from there. The Memorial Edition is a must-watch as it is a remaster of the films. The Golden Age movies might be approaching the end if one chooses to view a better-animated version of the original 1997 anime. Despite Miura's passing, the manga got a new lease with Mouri's efforts.
As it happens, this serialization began in April with chapter 372, giving an insight into the fates of Griffith and Casca. An anime reboot is highly unlikely at this point, but with the popularity of the manga and the hype that exists for this new serialization, it is a positive fact that a successful anime might exist someday. In fact, it is likely to air after the manga has finished its story serialization.
The plot of the Berserk manga
Guts is the protagonist in the story who takes the form of a mercenary warrior drawn into the domain of the God Hand, strong beings who dominate the supernatural realm. He is gruff and embodied the heartless character motif, before he meets Casca, the girl of his dreams.
The Berserk story takes place in the imaginary nation of the Kingdom of Midland, which was modelled after medieval Europe. Guts travels with a band of mercenaries known as the Band of the Hawk and wields a massive sword known as the Dragon Slayer. Griffith, a charismatic visionary with an insatiable thirst for power, formed the organisation. What follows next is a story rifed with gory action sequences and incredible art panels that is sure to appease the readers.
The different instalments of Berserk can be streamed on Netflix, Crunchyroll, and even Youtube!