Berserk’s perfect animation will never come to fruition, in large part due to the difficulty of adapting the original manga.
The dark fantasy comic Berserk, written and illustrated by the late Kentaro Miura, is still regarded as one of the best works of seinen manga. More than a dozen video games and two anime adaptations are based on this renowned series, which contains 364 chapters and five primary storylines. As a result, the original Berserk manga’s particular enchantment cannot be captured in these re-imagined adaptations.
In 1997, the iconic Golden Age tale arc of Berserk was made into a short anime series, and in 2016-17, a 3D anime covered even more of the story. The latter, on the other hand, was roundly rejected by fans for a variety of reasons. Although it may be impossible to please every single Berserk fan, many fans still hope for a definitive Berserk animation.
Difficulty In Adapting Berserk’s Manga For Everyone
To make an anime adaptation of a manga or light book series, there are a slew of issues that must be overcome: from pacing to animation quality to finding adequate voice actors. Berserk is no exception, as the two previously produced anime productions have shown. Berserk’s content can be challenging because of its extreme nature. Shock value is seldom a factor in Berserk’s chapters yet the R-rated content makes it unsuitable even for a mainstream seinen anime series, despite the fact that Berserk never stomps on shallow shock value.
Not even Vinland Saga goes as far as Berserk, and the two anime versions of Berserk had to be edited or removed because of this. To some Berserk purists, this concession may seem like a step backwards, as the series’ genuine impact stems from its uncompromising depiction of raw cruelty and depravity. Sanitizing it diminishes what makes Berserk so enduring in pop culture.
Another problem is that the Berserk series is unfinished, and it appears unlikely that the story will have a solid closure following Miura’s death earlier this year. Even if Berserk’s 1997 anime shows that the Golden Age narrative is at least semi-contained, diehard Berserk fans desire more, and they may never see the show’s finish. No one would be happy if, after adapting the entirety of the original manga, a new, definitive Berserk anime came to an abrupt end, especially new fans who discovered the series through this possible third anime adaptation.
However, as both Game of Thrones and the 2003 version of Fullmetal Alchemist indicate, different continuations from the original material could not work out to fans’ satisfaction, the animators could always come up with their own conclusion to end the anime. There are two possible outcomes for the anime: Either it simply ends, or it comes up with a dangerous finale that may disappoint or enrage its many devotees.
Preserving the Original Berserk Manga’s Art
Most pop culture fans know the phrase “the book was better,” and this often applies to the manga industry as well. Kentaro Miura, a well-known manga artist, was noted for his ability to put everything he had into his work and produce work that was both memorable and impactful. In a matter of seconds, he was able to depict huge war scenarios, gorgeous scenery, expressive characters, and deep emotions in two-dimensional graphics. In terms of aesthetic appeal, the 1997 anime failed miserably due to stale animation techniques, while the 2016 anime had questionable looks by today’s standards. Even with a hefty budget, a third Berserk anime is unlikely to succeed.
All manga-to-anime adaptations, including Berserk, are bound to lose some of the beauty of the manga’s art in the process. As with Tite Kubo’s Bleach, there are some series that are better in manga form than anime form, and Berserk is no exception. Another anime might surprise newbies with cutting-edge visuals, but it won’t satisfy true Berserker fans, for whom the original manga’s aesthetic is unsurpassed. In all likelihood, an anime adaptation of Berserk wouldn’t satisfy all fans at once, and the manga would remain the definitive rendition of the story.
Since there are so many manga volumes and Dark Horse is releasing deluxe three-volume omnibuses, it’s evident that Berserk was destined to be a manga-only masterpiece for all eternity. Attempting to animate it again may be seen as disrespectful by some fans, therefore it may be wise to avoid that situation. Aside from that, there are numerous other fantasy manga and light novel series that may be anime adaptations with less controversy and difficulty.