Hey everyone, it's just your regular Berserk fanatic checking in again with some new and exciting information on KOEI/Tecmo's upcoming Berserk title!

With westerners usually being the last to receive any news on this, I regularly check the updates coming straight out of Japan and this time there are some fresh new gameplay trailers - One for Guts and another for Griffith and in addition, I've got some more information on playable characters, enemy Apostles and which arcs of the story the game will cover.

To begin, the story will take place from the very beginning of the Golden Age arc. You'll be able to experience the Band of the Hawk's journey, right up until their nightmarish end. From there, the story will continue to and even surpass the Conviction arc, right up to the end of the Millennium Falcon arc. Of note, I'm unsure at this point if they'll feature The Lost Children arc, but The Black Swordsman arc is in there, at least in some form as you can see from the screenshot below.

Guts vs The Count - It's time to avenge Pippin!
Playable characters announced so far are Guts (Band of the Hawk, Black Swordsman and Berserker states), Griffith, Casca, Judeau, Serpico, Schierke and Zodd.....yes, Zodd is a playable character, both in his humanoid and Apostle state. With this in mind, it's quite likely we'll be playing Farnese, with Isidro and Skull Knight as possible options also.

It's uncertain whether or not the game will have an English dub, but as far as the Japanese release is concerned, voice actors from the 2012/2013 movies and the latest Animé will be reprising their roles for the game. This is great news for those of us used to the native voicing, but I can't help wishing Marc Diraison, Kevin T Collins and Carrie Keranen return as Guts, Griffith and Casca in an English dub, because to me, they are Guts, Griffith and Casca.

In other news, the 2016 Anime is now confirmed for a Blu-Ray release with an English Dub. This is incredibly exciting news for myself and I'm sure many fans alike. The source for this information comes directly from Crunchyroll themselves, so be sure to check it out here.

What does this mean for fans of Berserk? Well, for starters we could be seeing a remastered version of the original 1997 Animé bundled with the Blu-Ray of season 2, along with extra animation and features not aired in the current 2016 Animé. Will we be seeing more of The Black Swordsman arc or perhaps The Lost Children arc? It's unlikely, but anything's possible.

The new show has been very hit and miss, with the transition of episode 1 and 2 skipping about 6 volumes of Manga in total. Needless to say it hasn't been a smooth ride. The show is very much censored on the nudity side of things and with jarring 3D CGI, many fans are none too happy about it. Even I was getting ready to drop it, but because Berserk is my all time favourite series, I owed Kentaro Miura enough to stick with it and so far I think I'm happy I did.

Check out the Animé preview of episode 7 below:

It hasn't been an easy watch and even I took to change.org to start a petition, but perhaps it doesn't matter. Episode 2 was a little better than episode 1. Episode 3 was a lot better but changed how scenes played out, then episode 6 in my opinion turned out to be great and I'll tell you why in just a moment. Up first however is my explanation to episode 2 and 3.

Episode 2 is an interesting one because this is where Guts got captured. In the Animé he got captured fairly easily, but what actually happened off screen was a lot more interesting. Guts went after The Count, completely murdered him and ended up in a room filled with stairs....and the God Hand. Here, you learned how to kill an Apostle once and for all and also how the Behelit truly works and what purpose it serves for the Apostles. This is such an important plot point I'm amazed they left it out, but they did and there's no helping that now. On top of this, closing The Black Swordsman arc there and moving into The Lost Children arc, Guts ended up in a fight with a young girl who unfortunately ended up being an Apostle. This whole arc was massively dark and made Anakin (of Star Wars fame) killing the younglings look like an average day out. Ultimately Guts won, but at what cost? The fight went airborne with Guts on Rosine's (moth girl) back, Guts killed her, fell to the ground and then in his weakened state ended up coming across the Holy Knights, getting him captured. You don't see any of that in the Animé so it makes him look like a pushover, but his struggle is real.

That was just me paraphrasing the actual events that took place in the Manga, but in episode 3, the Apostle he fights is actually the very first Apostle he faces in the living world. It breaks down the door (and wall) of Godo's house where Guts is staying at the time and then Guts, with quick thinking, grabs the Dragonslayer Sword for the first time and rips the Apostle a new one. Godo is a Blacksmith and the one responsible for teaching Rickert how to smith, so big weapons laying around are a pretty regular occurrence. The body of the girl mounted on the wall in episode 3 also wouldn't exist because of the way The Eclipse/Apostle Feast works. Finally though, is the moment you're probably waiting for - Episode 6.

Skull Knight at his best.
Episode 6 for me was the most well put together episode so far. Music wasn't out of place for once. It didn't have terrible glitch styled Dubstep remixes of the 2012/13 movie soundtrack and most importantly, the 3D CGI of the characters was vastly superior to that of past episodes. If you compare Farnese here to previous episodes, her actual character model has been tweaked. Her face looks more proportionate to her body. Her model in general appeared to be no longer wooden and actually showed subtle facial expressions, as did Guts'. Skull Knight also looked menacing and although his voice lacked reverb, he was still very much mysterious. His script was lacking a fairly important quote from the Manga, but what he said got the point across and he looked absolutely amazing.

The camera was still a little jarring with how suddenly it moved, but it was genuinely a great episode. The original Animé did show some nudity, but considering episode 6 featured the Baphomet Orgy (Goat Demon, technically), even with the nipple-less boobs and general lack of genitalia, this episode did a really good job of making things weird with how psychedelic and experimental the animation became. I'd honestly still prefer it all to be in 2D with whoever did the animation of the God Hand flashbacks to take charge, but it feels like each episode now is getting better. The only odd thing was that they rolled the credits five minutes early, then the story continued and then it went straight into the preview for this weeks episode.

For the most part, the 2016 Animé does stay true to the Manga, but sadly lacks a lot of the intellectual and existential points the Manga emphasises. The Manga itself is Seinen (aimed at around 30 year olds and up), but the Animé is more Shounen (a demographic aimed at teenage boys). Romance is quite often present, but tragedy usually destroys or over-shadows this. I personally see The Conviction arc ending between episode 10-12 and as much as I hated the 3D CGI to begin with, I can see the improvements as they gradually appear and look forward to seeing how the show turns out, once all 24 episodes have been shown.

Check out some new screenshots and the two new gameplay videos below:

Are you looking forward to Berserk? Do you feel it'll remain true to the original content or be a complete and utter letdown? Let us know in the comments below, or you can hit me up on Twitter @CaptainCortez

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