Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Berserk

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Transmitted:October 1997 - March 1998
Country of origin:Japan
Genre:Medieval fantasy
Starring:Nobutoshi Kanna, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Y√Ľko Miyamura
Rating:4/5
No. of seasons:1

Japanese anime series, set in medieval Europe, with fantasy / horror overtones.
Sound good?

The plot:
Gatso is a mercenary, armed only with is trusty gigantic broad-sword.
Joining the Band of the Hawks, led by the beautiful, elegant and enigmatic Griffith, Gatso soon becomes Griffith’s most trusted warrior, something which causes great consternation for Caska, Griffith’s previous favourite, who is secretly in love with Griffith.
Starting out as a small gang of rebellious trouble-makers, The Band of the Hawks have lofty intentions, with Griffith determined to seal their place amongst the nobility.
Along the way, The Band of the Hawks must fight demons, monsters, and their own emotional turmoil to meet their destiny….whatever that might be.

Strange one, this.
Part medieval epic, part monsters and magic, it comes across more Excalibur than you might imagine, with a bunch of fantasy and horror madness thrown in when things start to lag a little.
At twenty five episodes, it’s not overly long, but nor does it feel simplistic, the characters allowed room to breath and to evolve.
Played dead straight, the creators seem entirely oblivious to the obvious phallic imagery, with Gatso wielding his mighty sword, often times between battles to be found sitting, with his massive sword jutting into the air from between his legs at a slightly embarrassing angle.
No real humour to be found here, which is something of a relief as, frankly, Japanese humour doesn’t travel well, seeming too obsessed with bodily matters to be even vaguely amusing.
An engaging plot, likeable characters, and plenty of bloodshed make this one of the better anime series we’ve seen recently down here at Smell the Cult HQ and it could even be a good one for those as yet uninitiated.
Though the silly monsters may put you off.
You fools.
Liked this rather a lot.

Find an episode guide here:

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