Berserk is Back!!!

By Isaac Shapiro

BERSERK IS COMING BACK!!! Okay now that the geekgasm is out of the way, let's get down to business.  If you're reading this you probably fall into one of two camps.

1. You're jumping for joy looking for someone to near you to give a huge bear hug in an effort to share your enthusiasm since you've been waiting for this for over a decade.

2. You're scratching your head wondering why this is such a big deal.

Berserk is something of a cult classic manga/anime. Created by Kentar? Miura. Berserk is the original ‘bad ass dude with a giant sword’ story that most others imitate. Berserk began its serialization back in 1989 and after 20+ years and 35 volumes it's still going strong. The first major arc was adapted into a 25 episode anime debuting in 1997.  Berserk aired at midnight, but since then the series has spread internationally and gained a cult following that's been hungering for more since the series' cliff-hanger ending. The dedicated few sought out the manga to quench their thirst, but everyone else has been eagerly awaiting this little piece of news.

And now it's officially happening. A new anime project was announced via the wraparound jacket band on the 35th volume of the manga, stating that a new anime is being developed by Studio 4°C (Tekkon Kinkreet, Transformers Animated, and the upcoming Thunder Cats reboot) and will be produced using full CG animation.  An official twitter page has already launched and several 15 second spots have been airing on Japanese television, giving audiences a little taste of what's in store.  So far three of the spots are posted online with two more to come . The spots are voiced by famed Japanese singer, and sometimes voice actor, Gackt, who's a self-proclaimed fan of the series and will most likely be involved with the production.

Here's the official Dark Horse penned synopsis:

His name is Guts (or Gats, Gatts, Gattsu depending on whose translating), the Black Swordsman, a feared warrior spoken of only in whispers. Bearer of a gigantic sword, an iron hand, and the scars of countless battles and tortures, his flesh is also indelibly marked with The Brand, an unholy symbol that draws the forces of darkness to him and dooms him as their sacrifice. But Guts won't take his fate lying down; he'll cut a crimson swath of carnage through the ranks of the damned — and anyone else foolish enough to oppose him! Accompanied by Puck the Elf, more an annoyance than a companion, Guts relentlessly follows a dark, bloodstained path that leads only to death … or vengeance.

Details on distribution are a tad scarce. The announcement doesn't give an air date or channel, which means this may be released as a direct to DVD OVA (Original Video Animation) series. OVA's differ from regular anime series in that they generally have higher production values, and sometimes never air on television. The new Berzerk anime could follow a similar model to Kouta Hirano's Hellsing, an extremely popular manga which had a short run as an anime series but only covered a fraction of the original manga, and since has been revived in OVA form.  The new series is dubbed Hellsing Ultimate, and features ridiculously high production values. Hellsing Ultimate is still being released today, working its way towards adaptation of the entire manga series (7 out of the 10 volumes have been released).

Could such a thing happen for Berserk? This series is so dark that Miura had put in a little fairy named Pucks who follows the main character in an attempt to try and lighten the mood. Most of the time he doesn't succeed. In the original anime a lot of the content from the manga was cut, despite the fact that it aired at midnight. Making the idea of a direct to DVD OVA with no editorial restrictions purely awesome (we can only hope that we'll get to see the black swordsman in all of his glory without any compromises). If your interested in seeing why Berserk has gained such a following, Dark Horse comics picked up the license and has been translating and publishing Berserk for a while. (You can pick up a bunch of volumes relatively cheaply over here and thank me later.)

Or you can check out the entire 25 episode anime.

Via: AICN Anime