Episode four of the new Berserk series was my favorite of the handful we’ve gotten so far: it’s an episode that contains a lot of introspection for Guts, and it was the setup for the Tower of Conviction (which is an awesome arc). We got some really pretty sequences while Guts was deep in thought at Godo’s place and some rightful criticism by the tiny Erica. It was also nice to see Rickert, one of the few survivors of the eclipse. Thankfully this episode was largely internal, and therefore was comprised of mostly 2D animation.
First off, some backstory since Godo hasn’t been present in this rendition so far. Godo forged Guts’ mighty Dragonslayer sword, that heaping slab of iron that’s cut down swathes of enemies and will soon be used to hunt apostles, and as shown in this episode was used a bit of parallel to Guts.
After the eclipse, Casca was reduced to a sort of infantile state, justifiably so because man that shit was horrific. Guts left Casca in Rickert, and companies care whilst he searched for Griffith. She obviously now vanished and wound up in danger. This triggers a huge spark of realization for Guts. He’s now realized that his hatred and inability to process tragedy in a healthy way has lead to this. In the early chapter of the manga Guts explains that he’s only really good at fighting, and that he feels most comfortable in combat. Couple that with his need to escape the guilt of what happened that day led him to abandon his friends. And Erica rightfully put him in his place.
What I also loved this week was the appearance of the Beast of Darkness, the manifestation of the white-hot rage that fills Guts. The Beast is a big part of the later portion of the story, as Guts begins to lose control of himself. We should have seen the Beast in the Lost Children arc,but since it was skipped it was only natural to see him pop up sooner rather than later.
The entire sequence of this episode that focused on this internal conflict inside Guts was glorious, beautiful story panels and animation really popped on screen, and the inclusion of many of Guts’ old comrades was a nice touch. The swirling and unsettling nature of Guts’ mind is the highlight of the series so far; so many times has the animation ruined a great scene, but the artists went all in on 2D for a lot of the episode and it was great. It was also nice to see Godo get the full 2D treatment since he won’t be in the series again. Such a stoic and interesting character and seeing him lower the Dragonslayer into the forge one more time was an epic moment.
After some touching moments at Godo’s Guts sets off on what will be his longest quest, the quest to rescue Casca and keep her at his side forever, the stoic and powerful Guts proclaiming he would never lose her again is a fantastic character moment for Guts, who was largely devoid of emotion for a largo portion of the story so far. The demon infant calls out to Guts warning him of Casca’s livelihood. And in response Guts sets out for the Tower of Conviction. Here we are introduced to a brutal and terrifying character. High Inquisitor Mozgus.
Mozgus is a nasty dude. He spits religious rhetoric and uses it to murder and torture mostly innocent folks, like we saw during his introduction. Mozgus and his tortures are a creepy and ultra violent group. It was really cool to see the breaking wheel come into play this episode. The breaking wheel is an incredibly disturbing form of torture, and it’s surprisingly not the worst form we’ve seen or will see in the duration of the series. The fight that eventually breaks out between Guts and Mozgus is a truly epic battle. So I really look forward to see how that is portrayed and how soon it will occur.
We round off this episode with the reveal that Casca was in fact in attendance for the day’s execution and the arrival of Mozgus. She’s also very clearly not all present, beside her is another important character who I can’t wait to see going forward. I’m also pretty confident Isidro will show himself pretty soon as well.
“Epiphany” was the best episode of Berserk yet. Its large focus on Guts and beautiful 2D animation perhaps lessened the blow of last week’s largely disappointing outing. With the inclusion of the old gang—Casca, Mozgus, and Luca—Berserk is headed towards the Tower of Conviction. Guts is pissed and with his newfound conviction we are surely in for an exciting few episodes to follow.