5 July 2016 | residentgrigo
How many insults does the masterful manga deserve?
I have been a decade long fan of the manga, have a tattoo to prove it, and now ask myself why Berserk adaptations peaked in 1997. The preceding films quickly fell apart and i don't know which manga GEMBA is adapting in the first 2 episodes but I sure as hell have never read it. Nor do I want to! First with the good:
A pure CG approach, or a combination, is valid on paper and the only way to go on a midnight budget, if the manga's scope is to be reached. Especially in today's problematic anime scene but what we got is less Clone Wars or Knights of Sidonia (let's ignore the dumb writing) and more comparable to a middling PSX cut-scene. Some good shots and camera movement are featured but those are few and far between. The returning VAs are fine and Susumu lastly wrote a new song. That's it.
My viewing experience of the pilot reminded me of the time I accidentally discovered sleep paralysis. My eyes were darting all over the place due to the lack of basic direction and my body wanted to revolt but NO emotions came. Just the understanding that something was very, very wrong. This isn't a TV show, not even a working print, it's upside-down broken. Can the soundtrack and the sound effect be even called that? I know that Shirō Sagisu can compose if he is given direction but this is even worse than the films. Did a deaf man put it together? Why is the CG quality constantly switching and why are some characters drawn and then 3D modeled in the same scene? Pick a style! The shape- and motionless background characters even remind me of 80s hentai. Being ugly and an affront to my ears isn't the core problem though. Where is the passion? And more importantly ANY characterization. The decade long adaptation project now lack a backstory for both the protagonist and antagonist. Apostles, who are the raison d'etre for our Black Swordsman, are be being skipped left and right, while entire arcs now remain "lost". The worst offender though has to be the incomprehensible opening animation. I don't care about the bland song but the ugly, bewildering and frankly tasteless nature make it the least comprehensible piece of animation i saw in years and i have graded 2500+ pieces of animated content on ANN and 2400+ on IMDb. I lastly suspect that what we got to see since 2012 is a deteriorating attempt to get foreign investors interested in the larger IP by creating continuous online buzz, while promoting the new game (another mess in the making) and Vol. 38/39. An inexpensive sizzle reel that just can't stop.
2016 has worse anime to offer but you will need to look at (pseudo) hentai to find it. Is this where we are now? Actually no. Kuon Michiyoshi produced a somewhat interesting 2 part Bersek hentai doujinshi that is better than anything "official" fans got to see since the PS2 game. My only conclusion thus has to be: The films and this sequel are worse than porn.