Berserk (2017) – Episode 11 [Proclaimed Omens]

“It’s ‘crabinalism!’ “

Guts and his comrades have a relaxing evening, making themselves a seafood dinner while they discuss what Elfhelm is like. Schierke is particularly excited as she has always wanted to visit the magical land of the fairies. After the sun goes down, Farnese drops a bombshell: she wants Schierke to teach her magic, so she can better accept the truths of her world. Schierke says that while mages usually start learning magic from the time they are small, because Farnese has seen many terrifying things that defy logic and normal explanation she would probably be able to learn.

After everyone else goes to bed Schierke leaves the shack to watch the ocean waves, and that’s where Guts finds her. Schierke tries to be strong and pretend that she’s not bothered by Flora’s death “because death means different things to mages than it does to regular humans”, but she quickly dissolves into tears and runs to Guts for a hug. Well, an unreciprocated hug anyways; Guts doesn’t do hugs.

After she calms down, the two share a quiet moment… at least it’s quiet until Ivalera decides to tease Schierke for falling for an older man. Then the Skull Knight shows up, and he has an omen to share with Guts: if Guts continues to allow the armor to take control, Guts will eventually lose himself to it and stop being human. Schierke pledges to the Skull Knight that she will help Guts keep his control over the armor.

The Skull Knight goes on to say that Griffith is now “beyond the laws that govern the physical world.” Like a character in a story challenging the story’s author. (Hey, there’s the plot of Re:CREATORS! ;D)   The Skull Knight says that the Apostles saw Flora as a greater threat than a huge army, and that Guts will likely see the Apostles and Griffith again soon. Only another human who is “outside the story” (Guts) can stand a chance of stopping Griffith.

But all is not lost. The Skull Knight gives one tidbit of hope for Guts regarding Elfhelm, then adds a twist: while it’s likely that the island’s ruler, Hanafubuku, can restore Casca’s mind, Guts has to remember that it may not be what Casca wants. The very notion seems to shock Guts, and indeed it’s probably something he hasn’t considered before.

That night the protective ward keeping Guts and the others starts to bleed: danger is coming. It’s a small army of enchanted crocodiles. They’re being controlled by some Kushan soliders a short distance away, and it’s not until Serpico kills these men that the crocodiles stop attacking. Schierke had put a protective shield around the shack to keep the crocodiles out, but when a new, greater danger emerges, that shield becomes useless.

This new evil looks like a purple jellyfish crossed with a squid, crossed again with an elephant. When fighting the crocodiles Guts had been able to keep the armor under control, but as soon as the purple monster injures Guts and causes blood to trickle into his mouth, the armor is unleashed.

So Guts becomes a Berserker and loses himself to the armor’s od, and he’s able to defeat the giant seaborn creature. However, Serpico reminds everyone of the legend that Berserkers were feared not only because of how they killed their enemies, but because in berserk mode they became a threat to their allies as well. Berserkers will kill anyone before them, friend or foe.

Thankfully Schierke is able to travel inside Guts’ mind to bring him back safely again before he hurts his companions. Once he’s regained control, Guts is furious that he ceded control of his mind to the armor again. Schierke throws Guts’ earlier words back at him, reminding him gently that if he keeps all of his anger and emotions inside he will become a messed up adult.

My thoughts:
This episode highlights how far Farnese has progressed as a character, and in fact I’d argue that between Guts and all his allies, Farnese undergoes the biggest transformation. She morphs from an ultra-religious brute, responsible for the unjust killing of hundreds of innocents, to an unsteady “mother” of a disabled individual. After having met Guts and seen how he fights, and been introduced to spiritual beings like fairies and trolls, she has had her eyes forced wide open as to what possibilities exist in the world. I’m not all surprised that she would want to learn magic, and I think it’s a beneficial decision for both herself and Schierke. For magic not only gives Farnese an opportunity to become more confident in herself as she learns, but becoming a teacher instead of merely an apprentice will give Schierke more confidence in herself too.

Tl;dr – Farnese learning magic is good for everyone. ;D

What else… I love the little comedic moments that feature Puck in the background of a scene doing something crazy, like baiting a crab in this episode, or fighting with Ivalera over a cookie in another. x3  They really help to establish the casual atmosphere that these characters all have with each other, and they’re moments of humor in an otherwise very dark and graphic series.

I’m sad that next week is the last episode. T_T    I hope there are plans to do another season.


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