Episode 5 – “Spirit Realm”
This is a fairly laid back episode. Schierke’s elderly mistress asks Schierke to help Morgan’s quest to get aid for his village, and then asks Guts’ troupe to help Schierke as well. In exchange Guts will be given a ward for the brand on his neck and some other assistance. Guts agrees that they will help Schierke.
That night, everyone is able to fully rest and relax for the first time in a long time. Over dinner, Schierke and her mistress explain the different realms of existence, and how they all interact with each other. There is also an explanation for how mages can interact with spirits of various people and creatures in the spirit realm.
Later that night Guts shows his grey behelit to Schierke’s mistress, who explains in more detail what kind of object it is and what it does. If I remember correctly, how Guts got the behelit is never shown in the anime (please gently correct me if I’m wrong). In the manga Guts acquires it from Vargas, a character who was on a quest for vengeance against Griffith. A man named the Count killed Vargas and later became an Apostle, and once Guts killed the Count his behelit fell into Guts’ hands.
The elderly mage also gives Guts some intriguing information about the God Hand, including the tidbit that they are acting on behalf of another entity so far deep in the spiritual realm that no human could ever reach its depths alive.
After leaving to go take a bath, Guts and Schierke have a quick discussion about his intentions that leaves Schierke frustrated. She’s very set in her ways, and is quick to dislike Guts. However Schierke’s mistress warns to keep her eyes open to the truth, as there are things going on that she may not necessarily be aware of.
Everyone finishes their baths, and then the fun begins – Schierke has magical weapons for everyone. Well, Isidoro and Serpico anyways. Guts refuses Schierke’s battleax, saying he prefers his sword because that’s what he knows best. Farnese is not given a weapon, nor is Casca of course. I loooove Serpico’s weapons ~ <3 Very cool!
In the morning everyone prepares to leave. Schierke reveals that the mage house exists in the spirit realm, which is why all minor wounds have been healed. Schierke asks her mistress if they can leave Casca with her, but Guts says he wants to keep her with him because then he can protect her.
After they leave, Schierke’s master has a surprise visitor. It is someone whom she’s apparently known for a long time, an “old friend.” It’s revealed to be the Skull Knight! They discuss Guts’ fate.
At the very end of the episode, we see that Morgan’s village is under attack by trolls. They kill two villages and take a young woman hostage shortly before Guts’ group arrives. Once they do make it to the village, the villagers are a little uncomfortable to see that there is a real witch traveling with Guts. Furthermore the priest of the village is extremely hostile towards Guts’ group, hinting at future conflicts with him and his rigid ideologies.
Episode 6 – “Fight For Survival Against the Demonic Legion”
Now that they’ve arrived in the village and been allowed to stay, Schierke explains that she will use telepathy to communicate with everyone during the attack on the trolls. Everyone must tie one of Schierke’s hairs around their finger, even Casca (who can’t communicate verbally but can interpret images). Isidoro gets upset that he isn’t/can’t be in charge and runs off.
Isidoro bumps into Morgan down by the river and they talk for a bit about Morgan’s past. Isidoro gets bored and runs off, like the impatient, ignorant kid he is.
Eventually the trolls attack en masse and Schierke summons all her allies to the church where she is performing a spell. If everyone, villagers and allies alike, are in the church then the trolls can’t touch them due to the magical protective barrier. But there are so many trolls that it proves difficult to get everyone to safety.
The troll attack gives Serpico and Isidoro a good opportunity to test out their new weapons, though the former gets more experience than the latter. Schierke is on the roof chanting as she casts her spell, which is where the priest finds her. He is intent on trying to stop her, believing her magic is evil. He says he would rather die by “God’s will” than be saved by “evil magic.” Farnese and Casca, who have climbed up to the roof after the priest, try to stop him but are blocked by numerous trolls.
There are so many trolls on the ground that Guts is forced to defend the front of the church from the numerous invaders while Isidoro and Serpico try to slay the trolls which have crawled into the church.
As the episode ends, Schierke’s spell begins to take effect and the trolls which have made their way into the church promptly die. However her spell does nothing to the priest, who may seriously impede Schierke’s ability to protect everyone if he succeeds in interrupting Schierke’s spell. Will he be stopped in time before he causes serious harm to everyone?
My thoughts: So one of the reasons why I really enjoyed episode #5 was that it’s what I suspect will be one of the few lighthearted episodes in this series. We know that Guts and the others are safe while resting at the mage’s house, so this episode was a good opportunity to introduce some comedic moments and allow for some explanations that haven’t fully covered in great detail yet. It was also really cute to see moments like Puck weirding out Farnese, and Puck & Ivalera fighting over a cookie at mealtime (only to lose it to Casca, who snatches it right out of their grasp). Oh and let’s not forget Schierke getting pissed at Isidoro repeatedly, going so far as to tie him up and beat him with her staff for trying to peep on Farnese and Casca in the bath. xD
It’s interesting. I remember writing last season about how much I disliked Berserk‘s new graphics, and while I still don’t love them, they are growing on me. And I can’t tell whether it’s just me or not, but the animation feels smoother this season for some reason. Anyone else notice anything?
I don’t remember much about this story arc, mostly just bits about Schierke’s spell and the magical weapons given to Serpico and Isidoro. I’m looking forward to next week’s episode because this storyline is essentially new to me (given my crappy memory).