Episode 2: The Holy Iron Chain Knights
It’s still amazing to me that we’ve finally got another Berserk series. I’ll stop gushing and get over it soon. It’s still awesome though.
“The Holy Iron Chain Knights” may be the second episode but it’s the first episode to feel like it’s part of a story. “The Dragonslayer“ was awesome but it was definitely a standalone episode that was focused on getting us back into the world of Berserk and reminding us of how badass and tortured Guts is.
“The Holy Iron Chain Knights” took us into the next main arc of Berserk, which is known as the “Conviction” arc. It did skip over a part of the Conviction arc, the “Lost Children” story-line. While I am sad to see content skipped over and understand that it may annoy or even aggravate fans of the series, I do understand why that part of the story was skipped over.
For fans of the manga, think about the”Lost Children” story-line. A lot of children die in the story-line. The death of children is distrusting to read but it is not at all an equal comparison to actually seeing it happen as we would in an anime. So I get why it was glossed over. I’m just sad that we miss parts in that story-line that are hints and reveals that are important to the story as a whole or at least to parts of the story beyond the “Lost Children” story-line
Back to “The Holy Iron Chain Knights“! Guts and Puck find themselves under assault by the (you guessed it) Holy Iron Chain Knights, led by Farnese de Vandimion. While initially kicking ass, Guts’ injuries begin to take their toll while he is facing the “Bridge Knight” Azan. Pushed in a corner, Guts rushes Farnese but finds himself on the end of her sword after the intervention of Serpico, another of the Holy Iron Chain Knights.
After a brief flashback to a conversation Guts had with Griffith in the past, Guts find himself a prisoner being held by Farnese. Farnese tries to get information from Guts concerning the Band of the Hawk and tries to deduce if Guts is a heretic. The conversation quickly devolves into violence after Guts taunts Farnese and mocks her faith. Even though Guts is the one that’s flogged, I’d say that Guts won that conversation.
While the day drags on with him as prisoner, Guts realizes that once night comes the demons attracted to his mark will slaughter him in his disarmed state. The’ll also kill the remaining Holy Iron Chain Knights but I’m not so sure that was motivation for him. With the assistance of Puck Guts escapes his bonds, reclaiming his gear and taking a fairly distraught Farnese with him as a hostage. Darting off into the night, Guts finds himself the target of the rising demons and, unbeknownst to Guts, a vigilant Serpico following his trail.
I find myself still working to accept the animation style at this point. In my opinion, I still think the style feels ill matched to Berserk. But another concern comes from the fact that it feels like the quality of the animation is subject to a lot of variation. Some moments feel like they really drop off. This feels particularly noticeable when you compare it to the moments the series gives us with incredible detail. I don’t hate it, I just wish it always looked like this:
Overall, “The Holy Iron Chain Knights” was a good first step into the story that this new Berserk series is going to follow. Perhaps not a great one, but I’m still interested in seeing more. The fact that the “Lost Children” story-line was skipped over is unfortunate and leaves me somewhat disappointed, but I understand that there was significant reasons to do so. The animation ranges from sub-par to fantastic, with the average style falling somewhere in between that’s likely determined by your personal tastes. I do want to add that one thing Berserk is kicking ass at is it’s sound and music production. I was so happy to hear Susumu Hirasawa’s “Hai Yo” featured in the episode. While those same tastes have probably already determined if you’ll be watching the next episode or not, I’m excited to see the story move forward.Tweet