As good as the Berserk anime ended up being, the adaptation overall felt very… awkward, shall we say. Especially early on, it seemed to have trouble figuring out how to bring out the most of its source material, like it was just trying to put the scenes from on screen and hope it worked. Admittedly, I haven’t read the manga, so I’m completely guessing, but a lot of the issues I had seemed more directorially inclined than inherent to the source. Indeed, it was primarily the themes, the characters, and their relationships that encouraged me to stick it out to the end, despite my misgivings about its presentation.The most interesting of the characters was, of course, Griffith. It’s astounding to watch as he sweeps up everyone around him into his grand dreams for the future. At his highest point, all the hopes and all the fears of every character center squarely on him. It seems like all but a certainty that he – despite his humble origins – will claim the crown, and that everyone will come out better for it in the end.
But there’s a hunger building up in Griffith, a need on which he places all of the weight that bears down upon him. There is one man capable of undermining everything that he has worked for, one man Griffith is desperate not to lose.
It all started with a duel between two young swordsmen in a field. It was a most unusual duel: with one combatant standing on the other’s sword, and the other fighting back with his teeth. Griffith’s experience ultimately won the day over his opponent’s Guts, and he claimed his spoils with a piercing gaze and a single phrase:
It was in that moment that was sparked one of anime’s most destructively unhealthy and unforgettably tragic relationships. A relationship that would drive a great leader to bring about his own downfall, that would lead him to at once betray all those most dear to him and unleash an unspeakable evil upon the world.
And also naked water fights.