QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Here you will find (hopefully) all the answers you need for Berserk. This section is intended for those who haven't seen the series, but are thinking of watching it. I will include questions that I've received and also ones I've seen posted numerous times on anime message boards. And of course, to fill up space, I'll include some personal opinions I have on the series. You can browse through quicker here:
Q. What is Berserk?
A. Berserk is an amazing anime series created by Kentarou Miura. There is an anime series which was created in 1997 and lasted for one season. The manga, however, began in 1989 and is still being created!
Q. What is it about?
A. It's a complicated story about Guts, the main character. The anime TV series is based on Guts' life when he is younger (in his teen years). The series could be labeled as medieval or fantasy, but it really doesn't compare to anything else. I personally label it as "Serious Medieval Series".
Q. I heard the ending sucks...
A. Those that say the ending ruins the anime series don't understand that the series doesn't just end like that. It continues in the manga obviously. Although the anime series is amazing, the manga is BETTER... making it a must see for any Berserk fan. (And believe me, after you watch the series, you'll be one!) I personally found the ending to be good.
Q. Where can I get it?
A. Any store that sells anime DVD's most likely has Berserk. BestBuy, Fry's Electronics, and many other stores will have them. You can also buy it online which is cheaper. One of the cheaper online stores I've seen are Deep Discount DVD's. I will give other stores towards the end of this FAQ.
Q. How many DVD's is it? How long is the series?
A. The Region 1 (USA) release is 6 DVD's. The series itself is 25 episodes for the first season. The first season is the only one that's been created.
Q. Are the Region 1 DVDs worth buying?
A. YES! Not so much because of the DVDs are the greatest, but because it contains my favorite anime series. The Berserk Region 1 DVDs are pretty good though. It has a very nice presentation to it. The box is one of the best looking I've seen! The DVDs themselves are in red-cases adding to the good presentation. The illustrations on it could have been better, but I have no complaints. My only complaint would be that each DVD in the set has the same menus! If you compare these to the Region 2 (Japan) original DVD's, you'll realize how bad they are. Of course this is just a minor set back. The Berserk DVDs have some very good extras in it, including: hilarious "outtakes", production sketches, interviews, beatiful art galleries, and more.
Q. So is there going to be a SEASON 2?
A. Rumors say so but I haven't seen hard evidence. The rumors have started as early as the first season was done, but I still have not heard anything about it being in production. I will of course be happy to hear a season 2 in the makings, but don't hold your breath.
Q. I don't like it's "genre", why would I like Berserk?
A. Simply because Berserk is in a league of its own. That's why its hard to classify a concrete genre for it. You will like it... I recommend it to any anime fan and to pretty much anyone. Of course if you don't like too much bloody scenes, you might pass on this series. However, it's not senseless bloodshed.
Q. What about the bootleg version of Berserk?
A. I won't recommend the bootleg version of Berserk over the US version, but I will give details on it. The bootleg version is by Anime-Cartoon. It contains:
The bootleg DVDs are also known as HK (Hong Kong) DVDs. Do consider supporting the higher quality US Version by Media-Blasters.
The HK Berserk DVDs are of decent quality. The subtitles are very accurate compared to other bootleg anime. Anime-Cartoon is known in the "bootleg anime DVD industry" (if there is such a thing), as one of the better companies. I've found that the 3 DVD's work fairly well but do have problems. The first and second DVD's do some sort of layer changing while your watching it, and on certain episodes it will skip pretty bad. If this happens, consider yourself lucky. On other DVD players, it will completely stop and not play at all. I'm pretty sure it works on your computer's DVD player if applicable.
For example, the HK DVD's basically did not play on my RCA DVD. However, it played on my cheap Apex version. I thought it was because my RCA could not play CD-R's, but then I tried it on my portable Pioneer DVD player, which played CD-R's, and that did not work. So be careful about buying these Hong Kong bootleg DVD's because it may not play for you. It is still recommended you get the Region 1 versions since they are much better.
Q. Is the Berserk video game good?
A. Yes! It is one of the best anime video games I've played. Here is more information on it:
For Sega Dreamcast, this game has really good graphics. Of course, the graphics fall short of "standard" by today's consoles. The character designs are very good, just as you would imagine them to be in 3d.
The story takes place during Guts' journey as The Black Swordsman. One reason the game is so good, is because the creator of Berserk, Kentarou Miura, helped create it. I wouldn't recommend this game to anyone who hasn't seen the Berserk TV Series, but I would recommend it to everyone who has. It's simply a blast to play as Guts with his awesome Dragon Slayer.
The game itself is just a hack'n'slash. The story is an original one and not based off the manga. The game is pretty short but has different difficulties and extras that I never bothered to get. It's still a great addition to any Berserk fan!
Q. What is manga?
A. I actually get this question quite often... some people think manga is just a fancy word for anime and is in the form of DVD's, TV series, or VHS. This is obviously wrong... Manga is basically a graphic novel. In Japan it is extremely popular! It's popularity has caught on and many manga series are coming to America.
Q. How many volumes is the Berserk Manga?
A. Currently it is 26 volumes and counting. It doesn't seem to be over anytime soon... and let's hope it never ends! Such a great series deserves to go on for a long, long time.
Q. Is the Berserk Manga liscensed in America?
A. Yes by Dark Horse Comics - a company that has done good releases like Blade of the Immortal. It will be released in volumes (not comics like some people think) and to my knowledge it will keep everything intact; ie: read from right to left, "sound effects" stay the same. The obvious difference will be the English translations.
Q. What is the release schedule for the American Berserk manga?
A. Volume 1 will be released on Oct 15th, 2003. Volume 2 will be out January 14th, 2004. Volumes will most likely be released every 3 months.
Q. How often does a new volume come out in Japan?
A. Roughly 6-8 months a new Berserk volume comes out. In Japan, however, it's also released in chapters via Young Animal... every 2 weeks or so.
Q. Where can I find translated manga in text format?
A. There are few websites that I've found that translate the manga in text format. One is Skullknight.net and the other is Berserk Translation Database. Both are great sites and hopefully you'll find what your looking for.
Q. Who translates the manga online?
A. The Hawks.org translate them, and what a fantastic job they do. All I do is distribute it... the real and only credit goes to them. They are a crucial part to the popularity of Berserk in America (and across the world).
Q. Season 2? Yes or no?
(The following is from Animenation's article, Ask John. Since it was written very good, I won't be editing anything.)
A. The 25 episode Kenpu Denki Berserk animation aired on late night Japanese TV between October 7, 1997 and March 31, 1998. The series earned unusually high ratings for its timeslot- higher ratings than contemporary late night shows including Outlaw Star and Vampire Miyu, but was still a late night show with a very limited target audience and very limited commercial potential. The TV series ending, which has been steadily criticized by American fans for years, was extended the year after its initial broadcast with the release of the Japanese Dreamcast game "Kenpu Denki Berserk: Sennen Teikoku no Taka Hen Sousitubana no Shou," released in Japan on December 16, 1999. This Dreamcast game continued the TV series story, but still did not provide a resolution to Gutts' conflict with Griffith. (This video game was released in America on March 16, 2000 under the title "Sword of the Berserk.")
In April 2002, nearly four years after the Berserk animation had ended on Japanese television, Media Blasters announced at the Anime Central convention that Japanese production studio OLM was considering the possibility of producing more Berserk animation. At that time, it was hinted that new animation would have to be produced in an OAV format because the next chapter of the Berserk story was simply too violent for adaptation as television animation. Now, almost a year later, it can only be assumed that OLM has decided against progressing with new Berserk animation. In the nearly 5 years since the Berserk television series ended on Japanese television, there has never been a confirmed report that new Berserk animation was scheduled for production, and there has never even been widespread rumor in Japan of plans for more animation. While the Berserk manga has been a consistent bestseller in Japanese bookstores, the animation was simply never successful enough in Japan to insure a second series. There's always a possibility that strong demand from the American market may lead Media Blasters to encourage the production of more Berserk animation, but at the present time such a hope looks remote.
(Back to me...)
So basically, nope. There's still a chance but like I mentioned in General Information, don't hold your breath.
Also it is clear that Media Blasters wants a second season, but it is clearly for money purposes. If Media Blasters has any influence on the final decision, then we might just get another season (or OVA). However, I have heard and also believe that Kentarou Miura gets the final say in this matter, and right now he is simply saying no. I'll post any news concerning more Berserk here.
Q. Where do you buy your Berserk (and anime related) products?
A. If possible, I like to buy from stores around me like BestBuy or Fry's Electronics. However, those places charge a lot more then online stores. The following are some stores I've baught from before and have had good experiences with:
I recently ordered some Berserk manga and the Berserk Illustration File Artbook from Anime Gamers. Their manga is really cheap, only $6.75 per book as opposed to Anime Nation's $9.95 a book. Ah but the Illustration Artbook was $35 dollars from Anime Gamers, while only $25 dollars at Anime Nation! So my conclusion, do lots of research since no one website will contain the lowest possible prices.