1988 was when Kentaro Miura first created the dark fantasy, Berserk. The chronicles of Guts and his ever long hunt for revenge has literally spanned decades in manga form. In 1994, the original anime was released showing Guts during the Golden Age with the Band of the Hawk and what led to the start of his path of vengance. In 2012, a trilogy of films was released retelling the Golden Age in even more stunning detail almost 20 years after the first anime had finished. Now, Berserk feels like a popular name again, with the manga returning to regular print again in Japan and even a new game by Tecmo Koei in the works and last, but not least, the first season of its new anime coming to an end.
The story takes place during the Conviction arc, after the trilogy of movies that takes place during The Golden Age chapters in the manga. Guts is already well into his travels in the land in search of a way to challenge the Godhand, while fending off demons and fiends after his life night after night because of the brand on his neck. During his travels, Guts comes across a band of holy knights who follow the Holy See Religious Order and are in the process of hunting down those who they consider to be heretics and punishing them through torture and executions. Guts initially has a run in with the Knights but had escaped, until he learns that his friend, Caska had wandered into their region. Guts goes after her and tries to find her in their camp.
The art is generally a mixture of mostly CG animation with a few scenes per episode where it’s still hand drawn. There are some times where it looks a little awkward to watch Guts move around in his gear at times, there were some incredible scenes where you wouldn’t quite have the same impact if it was animated traditionally. The monsters and apostles that appear in the show look creepy and some downright terrifying. Seeing them move in CG and watching Guts battle them to the death looked amazing.
At the close of the season, it was announced that season 2 will be coming back in early 2017 with a teaser of it being the Falcon of the Millennium arc in the manga. The end of the season felt pretty complete. No cliffhangers or an abundance of unanswered questions. The adventure in this arc was over. If you were to start watching the series from here without knowing anything about the history of the show, you won’t feel helplessly lost aside from wondering about who three or four characters who make cameo appearances are. But for now, since the series is done for now until next winter season, I would definitely give the show a look.