Berserk finale

This is a cheater post- tomorrow’s will be a doozy though.

As Koanic requested, I’m going to link to the final two episodes of Berserk in order to illustrate the Behelit myth and, tangentially, some very important truths about melonheads and neanderthals in general. The remake had 100 times the budget, but I’m not savvy to the dark side of the internet so you’ll have to find it yourself if you’re picky. It’s called Berserk 1.3: The Descent.

To briefly set the stage, we have followed the friendship of Griffith (Gilgamesh) and Guts (Enkidu). Griffith is a commoner of extraordinary natural talents, military and political, and he routinely accomplishes the impossible without breaking a sweat. Griffith has decided to become a king someday, even though this is outrageously ambitious for a former street rat. Guts is a wild man born from the corpse of a hanged pregnant woman who has somehow survived a life of overwhelming cruelty to become a tough motherfucker with- ahem- trust issues. (Being a child soldier sold off to a pedophile by a surrogate father will do that.) With this comes a complete lack of fear or restraint that allows him to fight well above his weight.

These two meet as mercenaries on the battlefield, and Guts wins Griffith’s respect in a show of strength. Griffith beats him in a duel and indentures him into his up-and-coming mercenary band, the Band of the Hawk (this “hawk” symbolism translates to a phoenix later). Over time, Griffith wins Guts’ respect and the two come to regard each other as peers, and Guts becomes the commander of the Hawks’ shock troops. They fight many battles, assassinate some political enemies, and win the esteem of the king, who raises them to knighthood. Griffith already has the princess eating out of his hand, so it’s just a matter of time at this point.

Naturally, Guts starts getting the wanderlust just as things are going perfectly. Griffith takes this very poorly (“You belong to me. Or don’t you remember?”) and challenges him to a duel to win his freedom. Guts beats him effortlessly, and wishes him well before wandering off to pursue his dream of becoming a master swordsman like the oblivious thard he is. In a fit of rage, Griffith returns to the castle and makes his first and last mistake by raping the princess. For this, he’s thrown in the dungeon and tortured for a full year before his mercenary friends, now outlaws, can rescue him. Even so, he despairs for the loss of his tongue and slashed tendons, which prophesy a bleak future at best, with a lot of soup and sitting around, in comparison with his previous ambition of becoming king.

In the middle of a suicide attempt, he accidentally stumbles across the behelit- an odd piece of jewelry given to him by a fortune teller as a child. At this exact moment, a solar eclipse occurs and the world goes bonkers.

To understand this finale without watching the rest of the show, you have to realize that it comes completely out of left field. Up until this moment, it was a fun, normal medieval anime without much sex or violence, but enough to keep a 12-year-old enthusiastic despite the remarkably low production quality. There have been little supernatural allusions here or there, but they are mostly forgettable.

That’s where we join Griffith, Guts, and the remainder of their mercenary friends. (Trigger warning: The theme song is hilariously awful, even for anime.)

The good bit starts at 10 minutes but the monstrous imagery is absolutely perfect, so don’t skip. We don’t get much gore at this point, but it’s still a sufficiently unpleasant visual and auditory experience that I’d recommend TMs abstain. That means Egyptian, TEM, Mycroft, and Zeke. You guys seem more sensitive to this stuff for some reason. Hell, even I still have nightmares about this once a year.

The final episode gets gory very quickly, and we get to watch all of the characters we’ve come to know and love die horrible, pointless deaths and Guts’ girlfriend gets raped by a demon. Definitely don’t watch this one unless you’re into that sort of thing.

The ending is a kick in the balls that is quintessentially Japanese. There is no bright side or silver lining, and all our heroes’ virtue and strength and courage ends up mattering exactly zilch. Don’t think too hard about it, or you might realize a lot of people end their lives this way in real life.

There’s little extra meaning to be found in the latter episode, it’s just gross and horrible. Which is what it had to be for the story it tells.

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16 Responses to Berserk finale

  1. Koanic says:

    Heheheh.

    A little wishful thinking from the Other Side.

    As a future Chief Torturer, I find this sort of thing inspirational. I certainly wasn’t going to think it up on my own! But like any good listener, I know how to mirror.

    Vamp fags. Even their version of hell is for sissies. It’s a pity they lack the character necessary for real pain. But then, if they had it, they wouldn’t deserve it.

    Sigh. One must work with what’s available. Fortunately, time is no object.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      Now you’re sounding like Heaviside.

      I only saw the first Underworld and I don’t remember any versions of hell in it, so either that’s in a sequel or it didn’t make an impression on me. While the movie’s imagery could make for decent imagination fodder, it was frankly quite boring. As I said previously, the best part is just ogling Kate whatserface.

  2. justabum says:

    Remember de loop put into the first episode, for that is after the Behelit moment, Guts has a fricking automated cannon hand man. He lost it to de demons…

    De Manga has girly magic that is omitted from the anime, Guts wears a pouch, in such pouch is fairy healing dust. lol

    The youngest merc Rickert is the peter pan dude wuth the fairy, he gives the dust to Guts…

    Manga also continues after the Behelit moment, after 2 survivors are rescued, Casca after Rapey demon rape, gives birth to Zodd…

    So there is a time loop thingy going on. Plus some mysterious black knight dude along with Zodd come rescue Guts and Casca. They are the only two who survive…

    I’m guessing the black knight dude is Guts after a mass Behelit collection of pain, blood, and a castle of bones becomes some supernatural god head being…

    I have to catch up with de Manga, been quite a few years, you guys way behind…

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >Remember de loop put into the first episode, for that is after the Behelit moment, Guts has a fricking automated cannon hand man. He lost it to de demons…

      Yeah I know, but by the time you get to the end you get caught up in the other stuff and forget about the first weird episode entirely. Maybe it’s different for adults or global coherence maximizers like adult bigoccs.

      >De Manga has girly magic that is omitted from the anime, Guts wears a pouch, in such pouch is fairy healing dust. lol

      It’s a very flawed series in general. But he needs the fairy dust because he gets beat up so much.

      >The youngest merc Rickert is the peter pan dude wuth the fairy, he gives the dust to Guts…

      Naw that was Judeau.

      >Manga also continues after the Behelit moment, after 2 survivors are rescued, Casca after Rapey demon rape, gives birth to Zodd…

      How do you know that thing is Zodd? I’ve read the Manga twice and I didn’t catch anything to suggest that. I wouldn’t be surprised by a time loop- that would also be very unfulfilling and Japanese- but I can think of no evidence to support it except maybe all the “prophesies” and “causality” talk.

      • justabum says:

        The episode where guts and griffith fight Zodd, after they both injure Zodd… Zodd realizes only two people in the Berserk world could assault a demigod, fate and all,plus being so close to the time of the behlit moment. Then Zodd leaves them both alive, Zodd looking illuminated with some kind of knowledge he keeps to himself… Zodd also saves guts in the largest battle when his sword breaks fighting that Rhino general…

        I’m sure I read this from a Japanese manga translation website, some really obsessive guts fan put up.

        Apparently Casca was pregnant to guts before the behlit moment, the demon bit came from rapey.

        Unless I’m remembering this wrong. It does make sense to me. Remembering more when I think of it. I read this stuff 5 or 6 years ago. I could be remembering this very wrong though… So might have to watch and read again…

        Ever seen the Gyver anime movie sequel to the series? There was a female gyver, watched it on youtube years ago, but can’t find it now…. The female gyver pretty much looked like the original gyver from memory. Wasn’t able to make much sense on how it fit in though.

        • Aeoli Pera says:

          Well I don’t know what that is, but while looking I found an anime called “The Guyver” which is enjoyable. It has manboob lasers.! :-D

        • Aeoli Pera says:

          Okay, that actually makes a weird sort of sense now that I think about it. Zodd’s and Skull Knight’s interventions otherwise come off as deus ex machina. (Which would be believable because the series is extremely flawed.)

  3. justabum says:

    Yeah Judeau. knife boy

  4. justabum says:

    Remembered time loop thingy. Casca’s baby disappears into thin air, baby Zodd has access to time and space travel from a very early age. Just like Skull Knight dark knight blah blah blha.

    makes sense to me is all.

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