Episode 1 – “The Rent World”
Berserk fans were spoiled by this third season opener by having not just one but two new episodes to watch. Huzzah for us!
This first episode looked at Griffith’s return to the human world. The finale of Berserk (2016) involved a reincarnation ceremony that took place at the Tower of Conviction. The Egg of the World, and Griffith & Casca’s deformed baby by proxy, become part of the ceremony and are part of what helped Griffith to be restored to his human body.
At the beginning of the episode, Guts, Casca and Puck have returned to visit Erica and Rickert. Unfortunately, so too has Griffith. Rickert, not knowing the truth about Griffith, is just ecstatic that his old comrade has survived the Eclipse and is still alive. Guts however knows otherwise.
See, Griffith is different this time around. For one, he and Zodd are now working together to create a new Band of the Hawk. Second, Griffith can feel the presence of Guts and Casca’s baby inside him, which has apparently given him protective feelings for Casca. Much to Guts’ horror of course.
There is a huge fight between Zodd and Guts, which ends in a draw because Zodd and Griffith leave for the latter’s new kingdom, whatever that means. Guts finally tells Rickert the truth about Griffith, and the kid is devastated. He’s torn between wanting to stay with Erica and traveling with Guts, but when Erica runs off that makes up Rickert’s mind for him.
With Erica and Rickert now staying behind, Guts leaves with Puck and Casca by his side. Guts resolves to never leave Casca behind again, but where should he go next? And how can he help Casca? Puck gets the bright idea that Guts should take Casca to his elven homeland, Elfheim. It’s a beautiful land full of flowers, elves and fairies, and it’s a place where it’s always spring. Sounds perfect right? The catch is that it’s a long journey to get there. Guess Guts had better get going then.
Elsewhere a war is waging in a kingdom. The men are being slaughtered by the enemy soldiers while the women are tied up and taken away presumably to be used as prostitutes. There is a blonde girl who looks up at the sky – she can hear the wind whispering that the Hawk of Light is coming to save them. Sure enough, Griffith shows up on his white horse to save the day. Or will he?
Episode 2 – “Winter’s Journey”
Grrffith has shown up in the ravaged kingdom, along with the Kushan, who are still searching for Guts. A white dove flies away, and we see that a young witch used the bird to view the aforementioned events. Now she too knows that the Hawk of Light has returned, but she is unsure of whether Griffith will be the world’s savior or its destroyer.
This second episode had two main components. The first is that there is that the black dog “spirit” which we saw briefly in Berserk (2016) has returned, and it is continuing to taunt Guts. It wants Guts to harm or kill Casca, because she is in the way of his revenge mission. He cannot go after Griffith if Casca is with him, because he’d have to leave her behind again and that didn’t work last time.
Guts is able to temporarily fight off this dark madness inside him, but it returns at the end of the episode and leads to Guts seriously harming Casca to the point where she becomes afraid of him. As a result Guts has to bind her hands together and keep her on a rope lead so that she won’t try to run away. 🙁
The second is that we are re-introduced to Serpico and Farnese, who are also chasing after Guts. Much of the episode is a flashback to Farnese and Serpico’s past. We learn that Farnese is very mentally unstable as a result of years of neglect by her parents, and that she and Serpico are half siblings. After Serpico’s mother was caught up in Farnese’s heretic witch hunt, and Farnese forces him to burn his mother alive as proof that she is still his only master, Serpico becomes somewhat mad himself.
At the very end of the episode, Isidoro, Farnese and Serpico catch up with Guts. Farnese humbly asks if the three of them can be allowed to travel with Guts.
My thoughts: I’m so glad we get more Berserk! The graphics are in the same style as the previous season, except that (to me) they seem smoother and there is more emphasis on the 2D rather than the 3D. There’s a new opening and ending theme, both of which are awesome, and I’m so excited for this season!
If you are watching Berserk for the first time, please watch with caution as this series is extremely graphic. There is tons of blood, gore and extreme violence. Furthermore there is still lots of trigger-worthy content for those who have a hard time stomaching sexual assault (due to Casca’s rape at the end of the original 1997 Berserk anime, and the many subsequent references/flashbacks in seasons 2 and 3).
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