Alright, we’re back on track after the episode last week which recapped seasons 2 and 3 of Berserk. This episode resumes the battle between Guts and Grunbeld, and wraps up Flora’s story arc.
So with his new berserker armor, Guts can’t feel pain as long as he’s wearing it. We’ve established that. However as Schierke points out, this could literally continue until Guts breaks all his bones and bleeds himself dry. That’s how powerful the armor is. The feelings inside him, boosted by the armor’s od, block out everything that isn’t relevant to beating his enemy.
Guts breaks Grunbeld’s shield, and severely damages the shaft of his mallet weapon. It seems like there’s nothing Guts can’t do. However it’s because he’s temporarily lost himself in the od of the armor, to the dark hatred inside himself which has been magnified many times over. Blood is literally pouring out of the armor and Guts still doesn’t register anything except fighting Grunbeld.
Grunbeld transforms into his true Apostle form, that of a crystallized dragon. He’s scary and somewhat beautiful at the same time, methinks. Guts has broken some bones by this point, but the armor reinforces them and fixes them so they are temporarily strong enough to fight.
Schierke hears Flora’s voice in her head telling her to help Guts overcome the armor’s od, and after a brief hesitation Schierke is determined to try. She flows through the armor’s od and sees Guts’ hatred manifested as a giant fiery dog, but she also sees memories from his time with the original Band of the Hawk, which manifest as gently flowing bubbles of light. Schierke is sucked into a portal reminiscent of a solar eclipse, and inside she finds a protective ward from her mistress which has kept Guts’ ego safe. Schierke communicate with Guts, showing him images of what’s going on around him. She shows him that Isidoro and Serpico are being attacked by demons as they try to protect her body, and that Farnese and Casca are also moments away from being eaten by demonic beings too.
This is enough to snap Guts back into himself. He steps away from his fight with Grunbeld and saves all his allies, revealing himself to Farnese and Casca at the end when Farnese fails to recognize Guts in the armor. We see that Guts has gained a white streak in his hair, a small cost he pays for wearing the berserker armor.
As Grunbeld prepares to attack Guts again, Flora’s spirit appears as a white wall between the two, and we see glimpses of a much younger Flora moving within the whorls of energy. Much to Schierke’s dismay, Flora tells her that it’s time to leave the nest so to speak. It will be up to her to decide whether she decides to stay with Guts and the others and help him on his journey. In her final moments as they say their goodbyes to each other, it’s clear that Flora and Schierke loved each other very much. Flora’s spirit also prevents Grunbeld from chasing after Guts and the others.
The last part of the episode looks at Griffith’s old hometown, the city of Windham. A dense fog has appeared over the city and magical creatures are swarming everywhere. Beneath the city a resistance is slowly forming, but they still have few defenses against the monsters. It’s also mentioned that Princess Charlotte (from season 1) is still alive, and being held safely atop the Tower of Rebirth. What is it with this show and towers? >>;
As the resistance group emerges from the sewers to the city streets above, a giant elephant and crocodile-like monster appear on either side of them. It looks like they’re doomed to die, but two of Griffith’s Apostles appear and save them. The Apostle with the lance, Locus, tells the citizens that soon a strong wind will come to blow away the fog hanging over the city, and that in the meantime they should hide at home and wait.
After the credits, there’s a timeskip to about a month after the fight with Grunbeld. Guts is still wearing the berserker armor, but he’s spent the past few weeks recovering and appears to be doing much better. Schierke worries that Guts might lose control to the armor’s od again, but Guts tells her not to worry because if it happens again then he has a witch who will come and save him.
In the final moments, we see Guts looking the most peaceful he has in a very long time as he watches Casca and Isidoro play in the water. He seems particularly happy to see Casca smiling again.
My thoughts: And so ends one arc, with another one about to begin. If the next episode is what I think it is, I’m not thrilled with the upcoming part of the story. I have a love-hate relationship with Berserk in that I detest all the fighting, but I love the characters and their relationships with each other. As for the story arcs I seem to like them in an alternating fashion – I liked the Golden Age arc covered in season 1, didn’t like the Mozguz arc, enjoyed the Flora arc, and now we are potentially heading into another section of plot I do not like. Ah well.
But in the end, I’m just glad to see Berserk animated in one form or another. Yes even with this style of animation. I may whine about the fighting and comment on how gory it is, but I will always be happy to have more Berserk to watch. <3