Berserk is infamously known for its dark theme, with violence, gore, and sexual content.
Viewers under 18 or viewers who cannot stomach watching those types of scenes are not advised to watch the series. It really encapsulated the “darkness” of the genre it took after.
The violence is intense, and the art style really captures what Berserk is going for. It has less “anime-ish” looks and more semi-realistic appearances. That said, it gives the anime a much more serious atmosphere.
Coupled with less vibrant colors and more on the darker spectrum of the color palette, despite the heavy tone of the anime, Berserk is a great watch.
If you want to take a break from watching typical shounen animes, Berserk is perfect. Plot-wise, despite the violence and sexual content, it is a great story with great characters.
Berserk Watch Order By Chronological Order of Events
The recommended watch order to stream Berserk is via chronological order of events.
Finally, in 2012 a new version of 1997 was made. However, it is not a series but a three-part movie called the “Golden Age Trilogy”.
In 2016, an anime series was released which continues the storyline of the Golden Age Trilogy.
|2||Berserk: Golden Age Arc I – The Egg of the King (2012)|
|3||Berserk: Golden Age Arc II – The Battle for Doldrey (2012)|
|4||Berserk: Golden Age Arc III – The Advent (2013)|
|5||Berserk 2016: Season 1, Episodes 1 – 12 (2016)|
|6||Berserk Recap Episode Commemorative Special (2017)|
|7||Berserk 2016: Season 2, Episodes 13 – 21 (2017)|
|8||Berserk: Recollections of the Witch (2017)|
|9||Berserk 2016: Season2, Episodes 22 – 24 (2017)|
Do I Have to Watch Berserk 1997?
Yes, if you want to know the details and information that led up to how things happened in Berserk 2016–it is absolutely crucial to watch the 1997 version.
The Golden Arc Trilogy features the same events that took place in Berserk 1997. However, as it is just a movie that condenses the first series’ episodes, it omits many details and context.
Is Berserk 2016 a Sequel or a Remake?
Berserk 2016 is the sequel to the Golden Arc Trilogy. The first season takes place after the eclipse. Hence, this makes it a direct continuation of where the Golden Arc trilogy and where the original version of 1997 left off.
Berserk 2016 essentially continues the main plot of the franchise, where significant events in the manga are shown in an animated version.
Where to Watch Berserk (October 2022)
|US||Funimation, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Crunchyroll|
|Canada||Netflix, Crunchyroll, Funimation|
The first version of the franchise is relatively hard to find as the 2016 version is taking over to be made available to watch at present.
If you cannot find 1997 to stream, the Golden Arc trilogy can be used as a substitute. Although it is not as detailed as the 1997 version.
Berserk 1997 is available to watch on Crunchyroll. However, only in the English dub version.
For US viewers, some seasons are available to watch on Amazon Prime and Netflix.
If you cannot find the Berserk franchise in the stream because it is unavailable to watch in your country, then a VPN must be installed to access the episodes.
Complete Summary of Berserk Anime
|Berserk (1997)||Berserk (2012)||Berserk (2016)|
|# of Episodes||25||0||24|
|Runtime||Approximately 23 minutes per episode||0||Approximately 24 minutes per episode|
|Manga Canon Episodes||2-25||0||2, 4-24|
|Mixed Canon/Filler Episodes||1||0||1, 3|
|Anime Canon Episodes||0||0||0|
|Special Episodes (OVA)||0||0||2|
|Movies||0||Berserk: Golden Age Arc I The Egg of the King (2012), Berserk: Golden Age Arc II The Battle for Doldrey (2012), Berserk: Golden Age Arc III The Advent (2013)||0|
Berserk was written and illustrated by mangaka artist Kentaro Miura, who started the serialization and production of the manga “Berserk” in 1989.
Miura first launched a prototype of the manga in 1988 first, and in the next year, it officially started its publication in the Monthly Animal House of Hakusensha Magazine.
However, it was discontinued and was substituted for Young Animal magazine in 1992. It has been the publication house for Berserk ever since.
However, in May 2021, tragic news struck when Kentaro Miura, at 54 years of age, died suddenly. But before his death, he wrote and illustrated some chapters of the manga, which was later on published in September 2021.
On June 2022, the series was continued under the supervision of Kouji Mori, Miura’s childhood friend and fellow mangaka artist.
The 1997 version of the series was animated by Oriental Light and Magic, while the 2016 version was under Liden Films, which combined 2D and CG animation to reanimate the franchise.
Berserk, due to its immaculate storytelling, characters, and dark fantasy genre, earned Miura the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2002. It would go on to sell 50 million copies worldwide, as reported in May 2021, making it a successful production.
Berserk Complete Anime Synopsis
1. Berserk (1997 – 98)
|# of Episodes||October 8, 1997 – April 1, 1998|
|Runtime||Approximately 23 minutes per episode|
Guts is an orphaned mercenary with insane strength and physical capabilities that seems to surpass what is considered human standards.
He is well known by the people as the wandering “Black Swordsman.” He is equipped with a sword much larger than his own physique but wields it like the weight is nothing.
Guts is a lone-wolf type of mercenary who accepts only high-paying jobs and never stays with a group.
One day when he was coming back from a mission, he was ambushed by a group of mercenaries that called themselves the “Band of the Falcon,”. They are a mercenary group founded by a man named “Griffith.”
Griffith saw him in action as he battled and took an interest in him. He offered Guts to join his group but was refused by the latter. Guts challenges him to a duel where Griffith easily wins with one strike.
Guts, after recovering from his previous wounds, challenges Griffith to a duel once again, but on the condition that Guts stays in the group if he loses.
Just like the first duel, Guts lost and is now part of the Band of the Falcon. What Guts doesn’t know is that his decision to stay with the group would lead him to a much more sinister and dark fate.
2. Berserk: Golden Age Arc I – The Egg of the King
|Original Release||February 4, 2012|
|Runtime||Approximately 1 hr. 16 minutes|
The 2012 movies have new animation styles and voice actors. However, one thing remains consistent— Berserk’s own brand of gore and violence. The Egg of The King is a more abridged version of the 1999 release but with better animation.
The first movie relays the same plot as the 1999 anime. It follows the same pacing and characters.
The audience is introduced to Guts and his acclimation to the Band of the Falcon.
3. Berserk: Golden Age Arc II – The Battle for Doldrey
|Original Release||June 23, 2012|
|Runtime||Approximately 1 hr. 32 min.|
The Band of Hawks, also known as the Band of Falcons, under the leadership of Griffith, won battles one after another, making a name for themselves. Moreover, it gained their group of mercenaries a powerful reputation.
Their status in Midland continues to rise, and the band seems to be leading a fruitful and smooth path as their position continues to rise. It further rose after their battle in the fortress of Doldrey. It is a fortress infamous for being impenetrable, but Guts and his comrades were easily able to overpower them.
After the successful battle, Guts decided to leave despite his established companionship with the Hawks. He wanted to chase after his own dreams and aspirations.
He said his goodbyes and parted with the mercenaries, but not without Griffith trying to convince him to stay. His choice to separate caused Griffith to lose himself, and the fate of the Hawks would then take a terrible turn.
4. Berserk: Golden Age Arc III – The Advent
|Original Release||February 1, 2013|
|Runtime||Approximately 1 hr. 50 minutes|
After Guts left the Hawks, the band of mercenaries diminished in the years since his departure. Unbeknownst to him, since he was busy pursuing his destiny.
Guts returns to the Hawks, which is now under the leadership of Casca, the only female mercenary in the group.
The Band of the Hawks, a once prospering band of mercenaries protecting and giving glory to the kingdom of Midland, is now being treated as fugitives. Griffith, their leader, was imprisoned for the crime of treason.
Griffith was left in a state of being disabled for the entirety of his life. He is unable to speak, walk, or even function without an aide. The once great leader of the Hawks is now a broken man with a broken body after years of torture.
But in his possession is a strange-looking object, an object that would make the world a living hell–the Crimson Behelit. It was known as the “Egg of the King.” Griffith then made his choice.
A solar eclipse showed up in the sky, signifying his decision to sacrifice his comrades and ultimately hurt Guts. He resented him the most in exchange for being a member of the Hand of God.
5. Berserk 2016: Season 1, Episodes 1-12
|Original Release||July 1 – September 16, 2016|
|Runtime||Approximately 24 minutes per episode|
A few years passed after the solar eclipse showed up in the sky. The world was delved into chaos and was brought into a state of hell on earth after what Griffith did.
Guts, who is now wandering alone after surviving the whole ordeal of his comrades being murdered in front of him, is now fueled with revenge to get back his former commander of the band of the Hawks.
Guts, who seems to be destined for death wherever he goes, defies meeting such a destiny.
He tries to overcome all the hurdles that come his way. Bands of demons, beasts, and otherworldly creatures of demonic descent are after his life. Using his sword, the “Dragonslayer,” he battles for his life.
On his journey, he got himself some allies like Puck, an elf, and Isidro, a thief. This unlikely trio tries to survive the hell before them.
6. Berserk Recap Episode Commemorative Special
|Original Release||March 3, 2017|
|# of Episodes||1|
|Runtime||Approximately 24 minutes|
A recap episode of what’s happened so far in the story of Berserk.
7. Berserk 2016: Season 2, Episodes 13 – 21
|Original Release||April 7 – May 16, 2017|
|Runtime||Approximately 24 minutes per ep|
After the appearance of demons, it has become common for the people in Midland to see those creatures wreaking havoc and creating destruction in their path.
Guts continues to wander, not staying in one place because of the demons who are following his trail.
He prefers to be alone since he can be as reckless as he wants. But now he has a companion tagging along with him, Casca, his former comrade of the Band of the Hawks. Casca seems unable to recall who Guts is, and distrusts him greatly.
Not having many options to protect herself, and with injuries, she has not much of a choice but to stay until they find a place for her to recover.
Puck, their elf companion, suggested that they bring Casca to the land of Elfhelm, a safe place where demons have yet to cause ruins. Worn out and struggling to find a place to settle down, they set off for Elfhelm.
8. Berserk: Recollections of the Witch
|Original Release||June 2, 2017|
|# of Episodes||1|
|Runtime||Approximately 24 minutes|
The episode focuses on Schierke, a witch-in-training, a former disciple of the witch named Flora. She is a new addition to Guts’ allies.
She takes a trip down memory lane to remember the history and origin of the once-great Band of the Hawks. That is before their ultimate downfall in the hands of their commander Griffith.
9. Berserk 2016: Season 2, Episodes 22 – 24
|Original Release||June 9 – January 23, 2017|
|Runtime||Approximately 24 minutes per episode|
Guts is entangled in a fierce battle with Grunbeld, an apostle and a member and leader of the reconstituted Band of the Hawk.
Having fought with his Berserk armor, he was able to get more powerful moves and strikes. But, as human as he is, there is only so much he can hold out before succumbing to his injuries.
Grunbeld is now in his apostle form, which is a dragon. Guts is stuck in a life-or-death situation. The swordsman had no chance of winning, but with the help of Schierke and with the addition of Flora’s spirit, he managed to flee and escape.
After healing from his wounds, Guts and his companions move on forward to Elfhelm, Puck’s homeland. However, their journey is not without trivial circumstances coming their way to slow them down.