Synonyms: Kenpuu Denki Berserk, Kenfu Denki Berserk
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 7, 1997 to Mar 31, 1998
25 min. per episode
R+ - Mild Nudity
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.331 (scored by 48474 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action adventure drama fantasy horror
SynopsisA brave young warrior named Guts fights for his fortune as a mercenary on the front lines. A fated encounter unites Guts with the charismatic and deadly young man named Griffith. Leading the rogue soldiers known as the Band of the Hawk, Griffith wields his formidable force like no other. Driven by a quest for status, the Hawks exert military and social prowess the likes of which have never been seen before. The armies of Midland will quake with fear as Griffith and Guts set off on a path that will bring the world to its knees.
(Source: Season One Complete DVD Collection Back Cover)
Related AnimeAdaptation: Berserk
Alternative version: Berserk: Ougon Jidaihen I - Haou no Tamago, Berserk: Ougon Jidaihen II - Doldrey Kouryaku, Berserk: Ougon Jidaihen III - Kourin
Characters & Voice Actors
I'm one of those guys who usually read the manga before watching the anime. You can imagine, then, what my sentiments were like when I began watching a 25-episode-anime of which I'd read 300+ chapters of manga. To clarify, I was preparing for a completely unripe anime-draft of a manga praised to the heavens that'd actually been worth it, and then some. To my pleasant surprise I discovered the anime adaptation of Berserk lost to its original version in nothing but length and detail.
But the main elements, the magic that made the epic manga what it is are all present in the animated version. Guts, The Black Swordsman, is still the hapless avenger wandering in search for revenge and peace of mind. The world in which the story is set is still that medieval realm right down to the brilliant castles with their greedy landlords, the disadvantaged common folk, and the never-ending wars. And, perhaps most importantly along with the characters, the story is still the same tragedy of fate, friendship and love.
Perhaps one point of criticism for some could be the outdated artstyle. Having aired more than ten years ago, the art and animation will inevitably seem rough and simple for those (like me) who've discovered anime rather recently, through recent shows with more high-tech appearance. Upon closer look, however, I'd say that instead of a shortcoming, Berserk's old-school animation works exactly in the shows favor. The story is, after all, rough by nature and set in an age long gone, in which case the ancient animation actually accentuates the overall mood quite nicely. I wonder if the series's impact would've been the same had it been done in the 2000s, closer to this day. I dare doubt it.
An avid listener of music though I am, I rarely pay much attention to the tunes played in anime. But whereas most shows fail to catch my admiration with their musical score, Berserk did so in spades. Far more than once I found myself being chilled to the bone as the horror scenes rolled in, aided by terrifyingly fitting ominous sounds without which the anime's horror elements would've lacked greatly. In comparison, the joyful tunes of bonfire festivals, the musical elegance of the upper class's dances, and the emotional pieces of the more waffy scenes all help to highlight the sentiment of each situation. 10/10 score for this department; a true rarity given by me.
One might wonder why I've so far mostly talked about aspects many would consider minor in comparison to an anime's story and characters. Well for one, both animation and music contribute so much to the show's overall score that there's nothing minor about them in this instance. As for the other reason, if I'd start to go on detailing bit by bit what makes the story and characters of Berserk so unfathomably excellent, we'd all soon be looking at a review of more than 10,000 words. And since reading all of it would be that much more away from your Berserk-watching (or reading) time, I'm going to keep it simple. Just imagine a story so compelling and layered you'll truly find yourself gasping at times, a cast of characters so real you actually start to care for them though they don't even exist, and a high-fantasy medieval world so immersing you can almost feel the reality around you blur away.
But an adaptation from a manga as this is, there's no way to escape the shadow of the original work. An no matter how excellent an anime this is even forgetting the manga, fact of the matter is that Berserk is the greatest MANGA ever made, and the anime is just a colorful side-kick next to it. At the beginning of my review I said the anime loses to the manga in nothing but length and detail. True. But ponder on this: the anime is one of 25 normal length (a bit over 20 minutes) episodes. The manga is one of over 300 and still going on chapters. The conclusion being, Berserk anime loses A LOT to the manga in length and detail. I didn't even care to count all the scenes an details of the original work that didn't exist in the anime, and now as I'm doing so for the sake of writing this review, I can't help but note that, again, A LOT is lost when such a number of details that helped understanding the characters in the manga, for example, are nowhere to be seen in the anime. To refrain from writing a novel-length review, again, let's just say that even though Berserk manga had nothing but text and black and white drawings to reach me, I never felt nearly as immersed by the anime as I did by the original.
Be that as it may, Berserk is truly one to deserve the title "epic" in the history of anime. It is an obligatory watch for anyone who likes Japanese animation. It is a classic right there among Evangelion, Miyazaki's works, or any other anime one might deem ageless and undying. It is right there among them, shining in their midst as the bloodiest gem of them all. read more
What are you living for? This is the question posed by Berserk, pitting humanistic free will against nihilistic predestination. More intimately, this is the battle of human suffering in the wake of divine fate and the ambition of one's fellow man. Set in a medieval world of strife, vast green lands and blue skies obscure the supernatural demonic powers lurking in unseen shadows. One man named Griffith, graceful leader of the notorious mercenary group Band of the Hawk, stakes everything on a fate he means to forge for himself at any cost, and as he shines ever brighter the shadows nearby grow ever darker. Ultimately, this is the story of those who are caught up in his conquest—the conquest of their hearts, of the kingdom of Midland, and of his own destiny.
One of those people is a young man called Guts, who we find introduced as The Black Swordsman. Along the way we'll find out how he came to be a warrior more powerful than any other human, with death more than just nipping at his heels from his very birth. He isn't merely your average war-torn soul—he embodies the desire to live on the battlefield, choosing to relentlessly face his fate head on and swinging a sword that might as well be a tombstone as tall as a man. His dogged ferocity endears Griffith, compelling him to draw Guts into the Band of the Hawk. Here he also meets Caska, a dark and fiery-tempered woman second only to Griffith in terms of skill and leadership; second to none in terms of honor and loyalty. And thus our tale truly begins.
It is a story about a world full of evil and brutality, of dreams and despair, where people struggle to find themselves in the midst of it all and define the meaning of their existence. Friendship and love are slow to come, but when it's there it'll bring tears to your eyes, for the relationships forged in Berserk are more meaningful than almost any you'll find in anime.
You will soon learn that there are no limits to Griffith's ambition, nor to his charisma. A leader that seems to grace his era as if stepped right out of a painting, his Band of the Hawk serves him faithfully, offering their own hopes and aspirations to his "bonfire of dreams"—for simply being near him seems to promise glory. He is also in possession of a strange relic—an egg-like pendant bearing ominous notions...
Berserk is not for the faint of heart (or the very young), brimming with violent battles and head-to-head confrontations resulting in dismemberment, bodies sliced entirely in two, blood and entrails by the bucketload, and some very intense sexuality including rape and molestation.
The quality of the animation here varies somewhat from time to time, but it is always good enough, and frankly needs no real mention because it is so overshadowed by every other quality here. That said, there are some pretty stunning moments of gorgeous animation—particularly during the action scenes—but most will likely think it looks somewhat bland by today's standards. I urge you not to let this deter you.
I'll make note of the music, since that is certainly one of the most enjoyable things about Berserk. Some viewers might recognize Hirasawa Susumu's very distinguished sound from other anime like Paranoia Agent and Paprika, and it is all extremely memorable. You will find yourself whistling along when "Forces" chimes in, and various other tunes are used to delightful effect, heightening the emotional impact of already emotional scenes.
Berserk's finale is one of the most notoriously shocking cliffhanger endings in anime history. The story arc covered by the anime is known as the "Golden Age" of Miura's manga, encompassed by volumes 4-13. One might even advise a newcomer to skip the first episode (a flash-forward that takes place beyond the ending) and save it to watch after the 25th, but this might not even be necessary—anyone who is truly drawn into this tale will feel compelled to read the manga afterward. This is such a layered and powerful story, filled with so much ugliness and beauty, that you will almost inevitably be drawn in. Berserk is a true classic. read more
Two hardcore hack and slash shows. While Berserk is most likely more on the "darker" side of the two, both are still definitely a guy's "beat the crap out of them" type of show. Brutal, but each has a touch of emotion here and there.
Somewhat similar in atmosphere and style, though the plots are quite different. Both feature a quiet lead with an enormous sword, plenty of hacking and slashing in a medieval setting, and a cruel and brutal environment. Berserk is particularly harsh, but living in Claymore's world is certainly no cakewalk.
Claymore has the closest feel to Berserk, Claymore is a shounen, yet it feels like something so much more... or to put in a better way, Claymore is the Shounen Berserk.
Your slash-and-hack-gory-ish series has just gotten better. Both compares similarly because as it inclines to shounen fans alike. Awesome sword fight scenes, good artwork and a deep storyline which makes Claymore a good series to follow if you like Berserk before. A sure must anime for those who want gore to the max and of course...BLOOD! ^__^
Both heavy action series with an excellent story and superb character development .
Take everything that made berserk amazing.... its amazingly human characters and their development, its dark fantasy universe, its sheer brutality, and its non linear storytelling, and place all of them in another series aimed at a wider audience with a female lead... you get claymore
Both are set during the medieval period, both have very dark stories. Although the plots of the two differ considerably, the fact that both are dark fantasy series set during medieval times is more than enough reason for a fan of one to try the other.
Violence, Demons, Absolutely badass main characters, big swords.
Good story and characters. Same sort of action and adventure. Both shows are for a mature audience.
Fantasy, supernatural, swords. Both have amazing characters and story.
The Berserk and Claymore universes have very similar atmospheres, alot of action and alot of demon killing.
Claymore and Berserk both have very good storylines as well, and grow increasingly more interesting every episode.
If you like dark fantasy anime like Claymore, I heartily recommend Berserk. It's a (much) darker medieval anime with a really engaging plot. If you gave Berserk a miss the first time round or are new to anime (but loved Claymore), I think you'd be remiss to not grab a copy of Berserk :)
berserk and claymore may have some similar stuff(big swords, demon slashing, etc.) but they are in no way comparable, both storys are so different like bananas and oranges, berserk is much more anime than claymore but still, claymore is good enough to recomend it.
They both fantasy action titles,rated mature,and they include both demons.
Monster fighting, not always ends well, gore scenes, dark ambience
Medieval time setting is the standardfor both. Higher powered supernatural beings with a stake in the outcome is also a shared attribute. Both treat blood loss as no big deal and both thrive on despair when the chips are down. Big swords and a mercenary type attitude are a constant in both.
Both shows adapted from an amazingly well drawn manga. Berserk follows Gutz who weilds a greatsword and fights demons who are lured to him in an attempt to track down the five demon lords. Claymore follows Claire who wields a claymore and hunts down yoma (pretty much demons) to track down a immensely strong yoma called Priscilla.
Both titles have tragic heroes with big swords who slay demons and struggle with their own humanity.
Pretty much the same with the sword fights and supernatural/fantasy setting.
Both got hardcore sword-fight action, plot twists and medieval Europe settings.
Medieval swordplay drama horror the best kind for anime
The main similarity between these two animes is they both have a dark, at times depressing mood and take place in the medieval era. They also both contain a lot of gore, action and demons. Berserk surpasses Claymore in that it has a greater variety and better development of its characters. Berserk also has a powerful underlying romance, similar to Claymore.
Time period and swordplay
Another Great fighting anime with growth and depth shown in characters
As noted by others, there are many similarities, and if you liked one, you'll almost certainly like the other. Both take place in a dark fantasy world and medieval setting. Both focus on a character who lost someone dear to them and is on a journey to find the killer, a being with awesome power evolved beyond the main character's current ability to defeat. Death, fighting, and monstrous powers and beings abound.
Both have Anti-Social characters who fight monsters with Huge swords
in a dark and "mature" world. Blood, Gore and Sexual Themes are present in both,
although more frequent in Berserk.
Both has main hero with huge sword, lots of blood and armies of foes slised in a salami
Os dois animes possuem várias lutas utilizando espadas, as épocas são parecidas e os personagens tem presença marvante.
Both have many addictive and great characters (and, maybe, Teresa is even better then Guts!), well animated fights and are very-very attractive in general. But that's all, though Berserk is really the most (maybe, even only) similar to Claymore.
You gona love this one!It has the same atmosfaire and brutal sword fights that will leave you satisfied! Blood,violent scenes are on the plus side.It even has the same disappointing ending!
Two animes with medieval theme and supernatural monsters. They got very much in common.
both character have same profession as mercenaries,traveling from town to town their face strong opponent but they manage to survive and complete the task.They have also using big sword to slay their enemies and they also strength beyond normal human.a lot action in this series it's not boring to watch.I recommended you to watch this anime.if you like action series.
Both shows involve a powerful main character cutting down every demon in their path. Both shows have a very depressing atmosphere and are very dark in terms of the story. I enjoyed Claymore more, but Berserk is definitely the darker and more violent of the two.
Both are bloody and hardcore fights anime's while having feelings as a topic.
Lots of gore, violence, battles.
blood, demons, great story and ofc blood... need I say more??
well from the splatter and fights side berserk is kind of similar to claymore
Both series deal with inhuman fighting power and have strong supernatural elements. Claymore has mostly female fighters while berserk has mostly male fighters. This being the primary difference they are otherwise fun to watch for action and an interesting plot. Of the two I would say Claymore is better because of a few problems with Berserk such as its brevity (unlike the eternally long manga) and some artistic oddities some people can't deal with (one enemy takes the form of a serpent with a man's face inside its mouth which is dumb). Other than that berserk is a good series although it has a somewhat tragic ending as opposed to the ending of claymore.
mostly similar to its brutality
Lead character in both series want revenge. Lots of fighting, action, drama, violence and other mature content.
Both are filled with great sword fights, and gory deaths. These series are action packed and are very enjoyable. Plus the main characters, Guts and Clare carry big ass swords, and how can you go wrong with a big ass sword?
Strong main hero swinging a huge sword around. The only difference is Guts from Berserk only kill humans in the anime and only near the end those he get to hack monsters, though the manga focuses more on the monster aspect later on. In Claymore she too hunts monsters, she's basically a female version of Guts.
Lots of action and blood, good story that keeps you hooked, and both main charactors carry a big ass sword.
These shows share the same atmosphere and they have similar animation style. Although, in my opinion there is a huge gap in quality between these two series, I know that there are a lot of people out there who loves Claymore, unlike me. They consist of similar fighting styles, in addition.
Well their is what the eye see's big swords, monsters, and lots of blood. Then their is what you may feel which was for me pleasantly unpleasant watching both protagonists learning how to care for others which knowing their pasts is difficult for them. Above all what both shows have made me feel is a sense of hopelessness that no other anime/movie has cast upon me, and with the death of hope is the birth of fear.
Both of these shows are violent with the theme of revenge. Berserk imo has less gore but more nudity compared to Claymore. I also find Berserk to have the better story but both are very enjoyable dark fantasy anime.
Same gore/big swords/dark feel/people joining up, both are about the same length and they both have a manga that's still running.
I loved this THE MOST of all Sword fighting animes. Hmm maybe it's just because of Clare :D
While it may not be as epic as Berserk it's still has some similar premises along with it's own original flair. Claymore is the story of Clare seeking revenge on a demon named Priscilla but who can become more demon like with every battle similar to Guts. This series contains awakened beings similar to apostles but are battled by claymores; female warriors that kick ass while looking hot as hell. As a shonen this series is really a good movement of women characters where the men are the useless ones. While its just as violent there's no rape or fucked up shit as in Berserk but Claymore is still very good.
Both are mature, revenge themed stories taking place in medieval settings.
Both are amazing fighting series. Both describe the word epic!
Both shows start in a similar way, starting in a present where monsters exist and then going into a lengthy flashback story.
The similarities don't end there: the most obvious similarity between the two is the way two best friends' relationship worsens over the course of the story, eventually leading to the best of friends becoming enemies.
While not identical (Berserk is set during medieval times, where as Gungrave is about gangsters), both shows are similar enough for most fans of one to like the other.
Guts and Griffith share a similar relationship to that of Brandon and Harry.
Both are dealing with friendship and betrayal
Both have friendship and betrayal as their main themes.
Both of them have similar themes, but the only difference between them is the the setting of the story.
They have very similar plots and characters, although Gungrave has a less open ending.
Story-wise these two are quite similar, but have a different setting. Whereas Berserk is set in a medieval world, Gungrave is more of a post-modern sci-fi. And in contrast to Berserk, Gungrave continues it's story where berserk ended it, giving it more closure and makes it a more rewarding watch. It also offers a better soundtrack. In my opinion, though, Berserk is still a better anime due to it's amazing characters, but if you've enjoyed Gungrave, chances are you will enjoy Berserk, as well.
It starts off in a similar matter, with the end of the show starting first. Basically, it has a deep, fulfilling and great story that Anyone can enjoy.
both main characters were betrayed by people or person they called friend/s. being vague to not give to much away.
Both seires have the same feeling starting out normal and then spinning out of control. the plots are remarkably similar with just the difference of mediavla times verses modern times. The main characters are motivated by similar goals and so are the villians. In short, Gungrave is basically like a modern times berserk but with a little less gore and a complete ending.
The main character in both has a very strong bond with another male. Though in each pair the friendship is shared, one of them still feels more important. The supporting character in each also has what seems like impossible dreams. Though the environments share absolutely nothing in common, the story lines follow a similar path, including the way the story is told, with both animes being nearly entirely flashbacks.
In both series, the backgrounds of violence, betrayal, murder, loyalty, and other mature themes are explored. They have a deep plot with two main characters who makes up an interesting story throughout each episode. As such, friendship also plays a prominent role in both series.
It becomes complicated as their royalty and friendship are tested. It flows well and shows how much these two develops over time.
Both series also contains action, drama, and a dark atmosphere.
Similar in the sense that one of the main drives of the both series is the deteriorating friendship of two friends. Both are great in their own way,but in my opinion Gungrave has the better ending.
Opening Theme"Tell Me Why" by PENPALS
Ending Theme"Waiting So Long" by Silver Fins
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Which fansubbers do you like the best? Click + to approve of their subs for this show. Click - if you don't think they did such a great job.
Anbr [Anbr] (Brazilian Portuguese)
Shakaw [Shakaw] (Brazilian Portuguese)
Agaman [AGM] (Brazilian Portuguese)
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