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"You can not escape your fate"
on 10 April 2014
A little and personal overview of "Berserk: The Complete Collection" available on DVD
Berserk is a seinen manga created by Kentaro Miura.
With 36 volumes and still on going, this manga really put itself at the top of the world's most appreciated stories of redemption, anger, violence and revenge.
Back in 1997-1998 an anime adaptation (mainly The Golden Age Arc, where only the first episode is from a small part of the Black Swordsman Saga, which is chronologically after the Golden Age Arc) was made and it was a good success, introducing a lot of people (including myself) to the dark world of Berserk.
But now let's see the pros and cons of this series!
+ A lot of the background landscapes are like a painting and they are really beautiful
+ The overall feeling of the series is really dark and almost unsettling
+ The chara design is very similar to the one used in the original manga
+ The story is easy to follow, but it's very interesting with some really cool plot twists
+ The soundtrack is magnificent! The composer Susumu Hirasawa really nailed it
+ The absence of various "comic reliefs" like Puck (the little elf) made the series even darker!
+ Guts, Casca, Griffith, Judeau, Rickert and all the other members of the "Band Of The Hawk" are unforgettable characters because they are easily likeable
- You can see that the budget was very limited from the various animations and long shots of the characters
- The overall violence is really cut down if compared to the original manga (of course, if you don't like guts and pieces of meat flying around this point will be a plus to you!)
- If you red the manga, you can easily notice the various "cuts" to story and characters
- The last episode (25th) is disappointing but this series utilize a "circular ending" approach... You will understand once the series is over...
In conclusion, this animated transposition of "Berserk" is a really dark and enjoyable series to watch!
The story and the characters are great and they will leave you a mark inside that will make them unforgettable.
Unfortunately the budget was very low but the studio still managed to gave us a great piece of entertainment that will make you think about a lot of things that exist in real life too! Like friendship, revenge, free will, etc.
Of course the manga is superior in almost every aspect, but don't let that get in the way.
Try to enjoy it as a thing on it's own!
P.S: The video quality is not great but it's not that bad either... I watched a couple of episodes on my PC then i watched some more on my Playstation 3 and the overall quality improved.
So my advice is to watch this series with a blu-ray player or with a Playstation 3!
The audio quality is good, especially the original japanese dubbing.
I haven't tried the english dub yet, so i can't really say anything about it.
Here's a list of the "special dvd features"
1) Textless opening and closing
2) Original japanese opening and closing
3) Interviews with the manga creator Kentaro Miura and the producer Toshio Nakatani
4) Encore TV opening
5) Forces full version
6) Paint it Berserk
7) Production sketches
8) Art gallery
10) TV spot
-production sketches (36 images)
-art gallery (8 images)
-outtakes (2min 18 sec)
-textless opening (1min 12sec)
-berserk trailer (2min 5sec)
-more production sketches (35 images)
-more art gallery (10 images)
-more outtakes (6min 51sec)
-same trailer of dvd1
-story boards (8min 11sec)
-more production sketches (27 images)
-more outtakes (5min 4sec)
-textless closing (1min 22sec)
-same opening of dvd1
-audio interview with kentaro miura, the manga creator (20min 2sec. remember to turn on the subtitles since the interview is in japanese)
-more production sketches (27 images)
-more outtakes (5min 41sec)
-interview with tushio nakatani, the series producer (18min 1sec)
-more outtakes (8min 40sec)
-japanese tv spot (31sec)
-more outtakes (10min 16sec)
-encore tv opening (this is actually the same textless opening from dvd 1...)
-forces full version (2min 49sec)
In conclusion i would like to add another half star to the overall rating (4.5 out of 5 stars), since the special features are a nice touch especially for the two interviews and the often hilarious outtakes of the english dubbing cast.