We are back to this week Berserk´s episode! After the (fantastic) introduction article made by Jonuiuc about the first chapter; the second one is the one that present us the history and works as a “Berserk recap episode” in various ways.
Chapter 2: The Knights of the Holy Iron Chain
The Chapter starts where the past one left off with the Knights of the Holy Iron Chain, whose mission is to investigate and find the so called Black Swordsman, this unit is lead by Farnesse a Lady Knight; Azan a chubby old man whose mustache reminds me of Mario Bros and Serpico, a guy who likes to have his eyes closed ala Bruck although in truth he is quite skilled.
After the introduction, some soldiers get killed due that this division is formed from pampered nobles and people who aren´t very skilled or haven´t been in a battle Guts manages to cut some of them until he fights Azan who shows that he is a very trained soldier and someone whose strength is to be feared. On any case the Holy order manages to knock out Guts and take him to the camp.
Guts didn´t get killed due that the Church higher ups wants to ask him some things, still Farnesse wants to have her solo time with him and see what information she can take him out.
Now this scene it´s 3 things at the same time:
1.- Is one of the central points of the chapter;
2.- It shows us more of Farnesse psychology and;
3.- It´s one that can be told quite quickly if one already knows Berserk´s Golden Age Arc.
I am saying this because this part of this chapter was perfectly used in order to told us in a quick and easy way about Guts past, at the very least part of it, from the Band of the Hawk, their contract to Midland, the leader Griffith and his disappearance, when Casca took the role as the leader and finally the sudden disappearance of all of them with the exception of Guts.
Now this isn´t the whole history, but it is enough in order to make the people who isn´t into Berserk get a little of background and necessary information in order to keep going forward and make the things have some sense while at the same time it gives us more information on Guts and why he is so cranky, bitter and all of that. It´s also at the same time gives the viewer enough information in order to get intrigued about what´s the deal with his past. This thing is one of Berserk 2016 challenges; but I will talk about it more a little later.
Now on the second point it gives us more of Farnesse Psychology, which is of Someone who is only a symbol and not a true leader of the Company like Azan who has won the soldiers respect, at the same time one can see the sadistic and perverted side of her. although I have to say that in the manga the message is more clear than in the Anime due to the expressions and how masterfully the Mangaka made the scene; where the Anime it isn´t quite clear and she just looks more angry and offended than anything leaving the part where one can see that she is delighted and getting pleasure from the fact that she is hurting Guts and make him bleed.
Finally this scene it´s one that the Berserk Manga Reader can tell you in the quickiest and dirtier way like : “Guts Tells Farnesse some harsh truths; she gets angry and hit him until Azan comes… The end”.
Continuing with the history, Guts is imprisoned like a bad dog inside a cage until our good boy Puck comes to the rescue in his amazing chibi form!...Also yeah, Puck is my favorite character :P
Guts and Puck peeks at Farnesse flagellating herself in seek of forgiveness to the Divinity, She detects their presence and Guts puts her lights out for the time being, Our Anti-Hero grabs his things and the chick because why not and decides to use her as a shield/kidnap in order to run from Azan, Serpico and the other Knights of the order.
Also Guts scares some horses in order to avoid being persecuted, although Serpico still manages to dominate one and starts chasing him.
While Guts was running alongside Puck we can see a little of the interaction between these two characters where Puck is more like his jiminy cricket to Gut´s Pinnochio, ergo he tries to make him say nice things and even confronts him when he is being a total douche getting some mixed results from the Black Swordsman who more often than not acts like a Tsun-dere in disguise.
At the same time we can see that Farnesse isn´t able to see Puck, thing that impress the Elf; still the reason it hasn´t been said in this chapter and I don´t remember quite well what was it was said in the manga anyway :P
Finally Serpico manages to catches them with crossbow in hand until he notices the demons that are coming with the night. With that scene the chapter ends.
Now I said some paragraphs above that I will talk about one of the most crucial challenges of Berserk 2016, and that is that it has to be 2 things at the same time: 1.- A new Anime based on a Manga and 2.- A sequel to the movies and previous Anime adaptation.
One can see those things since if it would have been a simple Anime adaptation that decided to start in that point Puck would have been already there, no need to make a way to introduce him; still this Anime is a continuation in a sense of the classic anime and the movies, at the same time, the fact that we get to see some information regarding Guts past and the Golden Ag Arc it is clear that this information was given in such a way in order for the newcomers to understand and engage with what Berserk is instead of watching an Anime where in order to enjoy it one needs to read a lot of Manga volumes or watch an old anime or 3 movies (4 hours and a half). It is like Grex said in his Fate Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks Article, where such anime was trying to be an original while at the same time a continuation of Fate Zero. Similar thing happens in here.
Now the time will tell us if Berserk 2016 manages to accomplish such complicated and hard Endeavour.
Putting that on the side I have to say one thing about this chapter and it´s that it was very good, heck the time went flying for me while I was watching it! So that´s something… Now my only gripe is the way it ended very… how to say it? Very “In your face” Like if the Anime staff said “welp, where out of minutes pack it where it left” so eyah a bad way to do a cliffhanger ending, still I am expecting to what will come in chapter 3 which Jonuiuc will cover next week!
Anyway, that´s all for me. See ya in 2 weeks!