Berserk - the Anime Story
Berserk is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kentaro Miura. Set in a medieval Europe-inspired dark fantasy world, the story centers on the characters of Guts, a lone mercenary, and Griffith, the leader of a mercenary band called the "Band of the Hawk". Themes of isolation, camaraderie, and the question of whether humanity is fundamentally good or evil pervade the story, as it explores both the best and worst of human nature. Both the manga and anime adaptations are known for their use of graphic violence and sexual content.
Miura premiered a prototype of Berserk in 1988. The actual series began the following year in the now-defunct magazine Monthly Animal House, which was replaced in 1992 by the bimonthly magazine Young Animal, where Berserk continues to be serialized intermittently. The series was adapted into a twenty-five-episode anime TV series covering the series' Golden Age arc by Oriental Light and Magic from October 1997 to March 1998. A trilogy of films, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc, was released beginning in 2012. A second anime TV adaptation was broadcast in 2016 and 2017 for a total of twenty-four episodes.
In an interview with Yukari Fujimoto, Miura mentioned manga artists Yoshikazu Yasuhiko and Fujihiko Hosono as early influences to his art style, as well series like Violence Jack by Go Nagai and Guin Saga by Kaoru Kurimoto for the story and atmosphere of Berserk. Fist of the North Star by Buronson and Tetsuo Hara influenced Miura to develop his current art style.
Ranpo by Masatoshi Uchizaki served him as a reference for his background. Pygmalio by Shinji Wada and The Snow Queen (Guin Saga spin-off) inspired Guts' sword size by mixing the characters' swords of both series.
Susumu Hirasawa participated in the soundtracks for all adaptations of the manga, using an eclectic selection of instruments. He received the offer to compose music for the series due to Miura being a fan of his works and listening to them while he works on Berserk, which also led to Miura almost never requesting a specific composition to Hirasawa.
Hirasawa has said that Berserk does not feel like a self-restrained story and that composing for the series is similar to the sensation of unlocking one of his inner restraints, leading to compositions on a "Berserk style". Hirasawa has made five songs with lyrics for the series, the last two of them were written in a language Hirasawa created by mixing elements of Thai, German and Latin together.
Besides Hirasawa, the video games and film trilogy feature work by composers Masaya Imoto, Hiromi Murakami, Shinya Chikamori, Hiroshi Watanabe, Yasushi Hasegawa, Tomoyo Nishimoto, and Shirō Sagisu; the anime and the film trilogy feature theme songs by Penpals, Silver Fins, AI and CHEMISTRY.
In addition to video games and game guidebooks, Berserk has spurred on a range of different merchandise, from lighters to keyrings to Kubrick. Statues and action figures are produced by Art of War, Prime 1 Studio, and First4Figures. A Berserk trading card game was released by Konami in Japan. A figure of Guts was released by Max Factory in its Figma line in January 2012. Several other Max Factory Figma figures have been released; Guts in his Band of the Hawk attire, Guts in his berserker armor as well as Griffith, Femto, Casca and the Godhand.
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