It's the 4th of July everybody! As an American, I will celebrate my country with one of our time honored traditions...beating the dog shit out of something weak and defenseless. Everyone is lining up to shit on Eromanga Sensei. Worst animu of the year! Sure that's pretty low hanging fruit, but I'm going even lower. If bashing Eromanga Sensei was the equivalent of America's pummeling and carving up Serbia, picking on poor Berserk 2017 is like the 1983 invasion of Grenada!
Berserk 2017 has 2 clip show episodes in a 12 episode run! That's really all I need to say to illustrate how fucking shit
this series was. That could be the entire review right there!
However, I'm a tad more professional then that so let's get on with the review. This series covered the part of the manga where Guts meets Schierke, gains the Berserker Armor, and fights the New Band of the Hawk. Basically this is the part of the manga where Miura abandons the "Ow the Edge" feel of the Black Swordsman Arc and makes Berserk a shonen with occasional tits and gore. I'm exaggerating of course, but the tone has changed vastly and it often seems to almost venture into shonen territory. This SHOULD make it easier to adapt into a fun and fluid anime right? Unfortunately it would seem not. They cover very little of the manga in these 12 episodes, not only because there are 2 fucking clip shows, but because the pacing isn't great. If they were going to make it short and sweet, they could at least put serious attention and detail into the battle scenes. However, the art budget got gutted AGAIN, so this series often looks even worse than Berserk 2016! The battle scenes are predictably lackluster, so we mostly get padding and dialogue. Does it even end at the logical point with Guts gaining the Berserker armor and standing tall against Griffith's minions? Nope. The series rushed that scene and farted on for another episode so we could meet Bonebeard the Pirate...the character near universally considered to be the worst character in all of Berserk. Yes, he's worse than Puck. Since this series bombed and there are no plans for a Berserk 2018, this is where the Berserk anime journey ends...with Bonebeard the fucking Pirate! I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
If you had told me last year that Berserk 2017 would look even worse than 2016 I wouldn't have believed you. How could they possibly sink further down when they had reached the center of the Earth? From that point, any direction would be up. However, Studio Gemba has accomplished the unthinkable. There are a lot of anime studios I love to give shit: Toei, ARMS, 4C, OLM, etc. Those are all GODLIKE though compared to Gemba. Only Idea Factory can compete head to head with Gemba when it comes to being an absolute shitstain of an animation company.
Were my expectations high following last years' travesty? Nope. Was I STILL somehow disappointed by this trash? Yep. Berserk 2017 isn't even good as a guilty pleasure. Keep in mind my standards aren't that high. Dragonball Super is something I watch as a guilty pleasure. Berserk 2017 is to Berserk what Superman 4 was to Superman films. It is a blow so devastating that it may never recover. As successful a cult following as the manga has, it will likely be YEARS before we see another attempt at a Berserk anime if ever.
I think being an anime-only watcher has helped me in sticking it out with this anime despite its glaring faults in the technical department(CGI,sound effects, etc).
I decided to give the Berserk franchise a chance with the introduction of the 2016 season and if I had to compare that season to 2017's there are a couple things I can mention.
The story for this season was amazing as always and it is what keeps me coming back to watch week after week. I didn't have any issues with how the pacing was done.
I felt like the directing was a bit better this season than
in 2016 although this was mainly for about 75% of the series. The last 1/4 had some major issues that I couldn't look past. Much of the same can be said for art and animation. The addition of 2D animation for some scenes were more than welcomed on my end but if you are one that do not like the mixture of 2D and 3D in shows then it might be a bit jarring for you.
The soundtrack is what you would've been familiar too from the 2016 season and it is great as always. The introduction of new characters as well as the development given to some members of the cast was appreciated. Overall I was able to enjoy this season of Berserk a little bit more than I had the first season.
If you are coming across this anime for the first time, I'd suggest you give episode 1 of the 2016 season a go to see if the 3D CGI would sit well with you. After that I recommend you check out the Berserk anime that came out in the 90s(or the movies if you're short on time) or you can read the manga for which I keep hearing great things about. I hope my thoughts on this show was useful to you!
I'll keep this short and sweet because everyone here must have seen Berserk (2016).
It's basically the exact same, except the pacing problems have gotten better. There really isn't too much too say, the CGI art is trash, but if you have read the manga you'll take what you can get. Obviously the ending is incomplete because the manga continues on much much further, and is still ongoing.
I'd say don't watch this if you haven't read the manga, because it will confuse you and will be the least bit enjoyable. For me I love seeing manga come to life through animation even if it
isn't the best so I did enjoy it to a degree, and overall will give it a 7.
TL;DR: 7/10 - The dreadful 3D CGI animation is almost bad enough by itself to ruin this whole adaptation, but in the end, this show has enough awesome characters, plot developments, and fight scenes to make it worth watching.
Let's get this out of the way. The 3D CGI "art" is bad. There is no way around it, and there is no excuse good enough to make up for it. The actual moments where they take the time to fully draw each scene without the CGI is so beautiful that it literally makes the show worse because you know what it could've been, what
it should've been. I wouldn't go as far as saying that the show is unwatchable, but I'm admittedly a huge nerd for Berserk, and I've conditioned myself by watching RWBY, Blame!, Knights of Sidonia, etc..
Spot on adaptation, frame for frame, and scene for scene. So what can I say about the story? It's Berserk, and it's the good times, where we really see some actual character development and the fight scenes sprinkled in are frequent and satisfying. There's new characters, both allies and enemies, magical weapons, mysterious powers, interesting plot developments; I really envy anyone who is unfamiliar with Berserk and gets to see it for the first time in all its glory!
All of the voices are still coming out pretty much how I imagined them when I was reading the manga. 9mm Parabellum Bullet returns to provide the opening once again this season, and it's just as awesome as the first one; the ending was just okay. Just like the plot, the score of this show often pushes the boundaries of being over-dramatic and cliche, yet somehow it always appears graceful and confident. You may, however, get tired of BLOOD AND GUTS AND GUTS AND BLOOD AND BLOOD AND GUTS AND GUTS AND BLOOD AND BLOOD AND GUTS AND GUTS......and blood
Solid characters appear this season, and we get to see deeper character development of ones that have been around a while. The unlikely cast that began to form in the first season becomes better, faster, stronger, and most importantly, more fun to watch as they work together to get out of life-threatening situations. Gone are the days of watching Guts, all alone, getting thrown around for twenty minutes before somehow impaling the enemy and dragging his broken body away. Now he has friends to watch him do it too! We also get to see most of the enemies that will become more of a presence as time goes on, even if it's just for a moment. There are also a few characters, both new and old, whose true alignment is hard to determine.
This one was tough, because I truly enjoyed this season, and this new anime series as a whole. I didn't want it to end, and I'm excited that a third season has been confirmed. That being said, I can't blind myself to the complaints of others, who have enjoyed Berserk in the past, but were completely turned off by the new animation. "Read the manga" is not something you want to hear when describing an anime adaptation, and I can't honestly say that those who are newbies to Berserk would be able to appreciate this show as much as I did.
It pains me to give an official entry in the Berserk series such a mediocre score, but I feel that if I went any higher it would be the fanboy in me, not the reviewer. This isn't what anyone imagined when they pictured the day that Berserk would get a continuation to the anime adaptation. I wish they could've chosen another show to try this on, but I respect them for trying at least, and it is enjoyable to watch. I hope that they prove everyone wrong next season, and really get the hang of overlaying the CGI with drawings and commit to it like in the movies, but if none of that happens I'll still watch it.