Sep 13, 2017
Sesshomaru (All reviews)
Berserk 2017, don't judge a book by its cover. I've tried so but the product evokes as well the popular adage "don't make the same mistake twice!".

With regard to story and characters, some texts I read seemed to trigger a cycle which reversed the link between cause and effect. In combination with an attitude of "Everything is good, as long as it is entertaining", this leads to an illogical positivist philosophy.
In brief, the good story and its characters are not a merit by creative team. It is a prove for the abilities of the Manga-ka and the applause for writing a gorgeous Manga with good story and character development belongs to him and no one else.
In other words the appropriate use of an already given story and its characters is a solid grounding skill that is required for the preparation or completion of an respectable result. That basic knowledge cannot, neither be regarded as valid sign of professionalism nor as a possibility to mitigate flaws in other disciplines, e.g. visual adapting.

It doesn't matter how much effort and fine polish you use to improve the visuals of Berserk 2017, if techniques are used in the same way as in Berserk 2016, the result will be the same visual disgrace, just like a leopard cannot change its spots.
Instead of using the standard 2D, GEMBA chosen a 3D modeling which cuts to 2D in dint of close-up shots. But the 3D modeling looks sloppy because well portrayed expressions or emotions are still often lacking. The synchronization quality between speeches and mouth movement is bad. Last but not least to put insult to injury, the most compelling expressiveness and vivaciousness in the case of an anime character that creates a tension in the observer, somewhere between interest and seductive sensibility, is the expression force of eyes. But the performance attempt in Berserk 2017 is still remotely inadequate to printout the strength and beauty of this elementary component. For this reason and because of the stiff, unnatural movement of the characters, the created actions scenes do leave the spectator's souls untouched. The shadows are still done by linear hatching, it looks cheap and, at the same time irritates because frequently it looks like the shadows are floating and even moving when the camera zoom-in or -out. The cinematography is still sometimes incorrect so that the viewer frequently feels uncomfortable, by the disorienting camera work. All in all it looks artificial, totally unpleasant and even sometimes ugly, like the outward appearance (esp. the face) of the pirate-captain near the end of episode 12.
An creative team must be prepared to listen to complaints and accept criticism. Notwithstanding the fact that the predecessor was already criticized a lot, all the flaws of the 2016 version are represent in Berserk 2017 as well. In this connection, the saddest aspect is - it would be laughable if the matter were not so serious - that there are signs of what it could have been but they did not put any effort on and ignored the feedback, so that it feels like wasting the breath with the words.

The sound section was not much better either. Quite the contrary, the sound of sword is still ridiculous and synthetic no matter what it hits. The BGM seemed frequently misplaced and even disturbing. I constantly had the feeling that the music reminded me of other famous Themes. "Peering into Darkness" e.g. reminds me of Maurice Ravel`s "Bolero".
The OP: "Sacrifice" - 9mm Parabellum Bullet, isn`t bad but it sounds more like an opening to an shounen, rather than a dark and gloomy medieval fantasy show. A suitable musical form that allow the right atmosphere to be created for a show like this, needs to be more gloomy (IMO). The sound of e.g. good gothic-rock or power metal could have been appropriate.
The ED: Issai wa Monogatari by Nanjou, Yoshino (feat.) Yanagi, Nagi. Maybe the text is poetically interesting but starts off in monotonous singing, to developing somewhat style and then refocusing on typical, appropriate for an ending theme, instead of inventing something new and therefore it is not very notable. In the predecessor the voice acting seems to be the one thing that at least showed some effort. But this time it does not feel the same.

Well, there has been a small probability to convince me but then I encountered the problem that they have done "the same mistakes twice!". That was a very disappointing development in my view and so I really hope that there will be no continuation of using the Manga as a sacrificial lamb on the altar of commerce.

As bad as the predecessor but this approach, also has additionally the downside of being the second failure. It makes simply no fun.