Berserk is a legendary manga that has been running for 30 years and has over 40 volumes. Even now, it is one of the most popular and finest manga series available. After reading the manga, you’re certain to want to see the anime.
Over the years, the manga has received several adaptations, including a film series, a few television adaptations, as well as a few video games, light novels, and even a card game. For a series that has been on the air for more than two decades, the sequence may appear a little disjointed. Therefore, stick around as I show you the best order in which to watch the Berserk series and movies.
Berserk Series Watch Order
The following is the recommended viewing order for Berserk. Side note: In certain circumstances, the newest season may be considered two independent seasons with 12 episodes each, extending the series to three seasons. For the sake of simplicity, we shall consider the series to have only two seasons in this article.
- Berserk (1997)
- Berserk (2016)
- Berserk: The Golden Age Arc – Memorial Edition (2022)
Berserk Movies Watch Order
The movies contribute significantly to the development of the characters and the exploration of numerous backstories. Avoid skipping any of them, including the OVA.
- Berserk: Golden Age Arc I – The Egg of the King (2012)
- Berserk: Golden Age Arc II – The Battle for Doldrey (2012)
- Berserk Ougon Jidaihen III: Kourin (2013)
- Berserk: Recollections of the Witch (2017)- OVA
Berserk The Complete Watch Order
Oriental Light and Magic translated and separated the manga into a twenty-five-episode anime television series spanning the series’ Golden Age arc from 1997 to 1998. The Golden Age Arc is a trilogy of films that began in 2012. Following that, the second anime television version aired in 2016 and 2017 for a total of twenty-four episodes.
1. Berserk (1997)
Berserk is set in a pseudo-Medieval fantasy world in which two nations have been at war for one hundred years. The narrative begins with a teenage swordsman named Guts meeting and being forced to join the Band of the Hawk, a mercenary group.
The Band is commanded by Griffith, a charismatic swordsman with dreams to become king. This is not the subject of the first episode. The first episode depicts a much older Guts fighting monsters in what looks to be another universe.
For most of its length, Berserk is devoid of magic and has only glimpses of the supernatural monsters introduced in episode 1. Even more remarkable is the fact that it essentially spoils itself. Around halfway through the program, a random background figure states unequivocally that Griffith became king and that everything has gone worse since.
This appears to negate the aim of the remainder of the series but instead lends it a foreboding air as if everything is bound to end in disaster. Everything else is held together by the quality of its character writing.
The anime devotes a large portion of its attention to Guts, Griffith, and Casca, one of Griffith’s lieutenants who appears to despise Guts from the minute they meet. At first glance, Guts appears to be a generic action hero wielding a colossal sword, yet nothing could be farther from reality. Guts is defined by his combat prowess, but that is only because combat is all he knows.
Griffith’s impact is what truly transforms him. As the story proceeds, Guts develops an interest in anything other than combat and begins to yearn for a personal objective. This distinguishes him from the rest of the Band, since everyone, including Casca, is devoted to Griffith and his goal. Griffith himself is a mystery for most of the series.
He never really opens up to anybody, not even Guts, and his next move is never obvious. His charm shines through each scene, and it’s easy to see why he’s so popular, but what actually distinguishes him is his ambition. From beginning to end, every move he performs is directed toward his ascension to the throne.
Two factors contribute to the foreboding nature of his desire: the offhand remark from episode 1 and a strange-looking item he carries dubbed the Egg of the King. Griffith claims that it was given to him by a fortune teller who told him that it signified his destiny to be king, but the egg’s look lends it a sinister aura, leading one to question if it is truly a trinket or something far worse.
2. Berserk: Golden Age Arc I – The Egg of the King (2012)
Guts, a mercenary, draws the attention of the Band of the Hawk after killing Bazuso during a siege and being compelled to join the organization after being defeated twice by Griffith, the gang’s commander.
The Hawks were eventually utilized by the Kingdom of Midland during the Hundred Year War with the Tudor Empire, with Griffith elevating the kingdom’s hierarchy following his group’s devastation of the Black Ram Iron Lance Cavalry.
Guts and Griffith meet the demon Nosferatu Zodd during one siege, who observes the Behelit around Griffith’s neck and tells Guts that Griffith will be his destiny.
Griffith’s progressive ascension in rank is not well greeted by the noblemen, and a botched assassination attempt on the king’s brother Julius culminates in his death by Guts, who is also compelled to assassinate the noble’s son Adonis to ensure there are no witnesses.
Guts, emotionally traumatized by his deeds, later overhears Griffith discussing his notion of friendship with the Midland Princess Charlotte and is further disturbed when he and the other Hawks discover they are only a means to their leader’s purpose.
3. Berserk: Golden Age Arc II – The Battle for Doldrey (2012)
Following an incident in which he and fellow Hawk member Casca formed a bond while being separated from the others and defending themselves against attacks by Tudor’s misogynist commander Adon, defeating a hundred of his men single-handedly while covering Casca’s escape, Guts decides to leave the Band of the Hawk to become equal to Griffith.
He would fight in the brutal struggle to exploit a civil war in Tudor to seize the impregnable Fortress of Doldrey, with Guts slaying the Purple Rhinos’ commander Boscogn and Casca dispatching Adon. Guts separate from Griffith a month after conquering the stronghold and winning the battle, after beating him in a duel.
Griffith does not take his old ally’s departure well, and he is discovered sleeping with the king’s daughter, Charlotte, in an error of judgment. Griffith is imprisoned in the Tower of Rebirth for his acts, while the members of the Band of the Hawk are labeled criminals.
4. Berserk Ougon Jidaihen III: Kourin (2013)
A year has passed since Guts’ battle with Griffith and subsequent expulsion from the Band of the Hawk. Guts return to assist the Hawks in rescuing Griffith from the Tower of Rebirth after discovering they have been declared outlaws in Midland.
They discover, however, that Griffith is a shattered man who is barely alive and has been reduced to a silent cripple as a result of months of physical and mental torment. When Griffith reunites with his Behelit while committing suicide due to his realization of what he has been reduced to, a solar eclipse takes him, Guts, Casca, and his friends into another world, where they confront the God Hand archdemons.
Griffith accepts becoming the final member of the God Hand to fulfill his ambition, even though his transformation would necessitate his comrades to be offered as branded sacrifices.
Guts’ effort to save Griffith fails in this futile struggle against the God Hand’s monster legion of Apostles – former humans such as Nosferatu Zodd – as Griffith is reincarnated as Femto with Guts and Casca left.
Guts and Casca are spirited back to their world by the enigmatic Skull Knight, but not without consequences: Casca loses her sanity as a result of witnessing her comrades’ slaughter and then being raped by Femto and Guts loses his left forearm and right eye in his attempt to force their former leader of her.
Guts begin on his mission to hunt out the Apostles and the God Hand to assassinate Griffith after leaving Casca in Rickert’s care and discovering his brand will expose him to nocturnal attacks by different fallen monsters.
5. Berserk (2016)
Guts ultimately attract the companionship of Puck, an elf, and Isidoro, a young kid who wishes to learn how to fight from him. Lady Farnese, the alleged commander of a military band, and Serpico, her bodyguard, meet paths with him in a chain of events that culminates in another horrific scene.
Everything that made “Berserk” one of the most popular anime series of all time is included. Guts’ colossal sword continues to wreak havoc anytime he wields it, as seen by the title’s gore and pretty stunning fight sequences, with the conclusion serving as the pinnacle of this trend.
Add to that a lot of theological notions that may easily be seen as blasphemous, some humor, some drama, and plenty of nakedness, and you have the first season’s backbone.
Clearly, the CGI images are distracting and appear to detract from the title’s core, particularly in terms of animation, where the characters’ movements resemble those of video games, rather than anime.
However, the underlying content is so powerful that this flaw is quickly forgotten as Guts goes about amazingly dealing with his adversaries, and within 2-3 episodes, the spectator becomes accustomed to the CGI.
The coloring remains black and gory in a horrific manner, which serves the title well, while Hisashi Abe’s figures, as well as the backdrop, are rendered in great detail. Once again, the season’s conclusion demonstrates the production values’ skill. Hiroshi Iwanagi performs an excellent job as Guts, with his bass and deep voice perfectly complementing the image.
However, everything positive about the 2016 arc is nearly entirely missing from 2017 one. The tale takes a very absurd turn, with Guts becoming a compassionate and even kind man, the new characters being mainly boring, and even the colors being bright and even mottled, to the point where the phrase fruity comes to mind.
Additionally, the combat is runty and less impressive, the gore is virtually non-existent, and the entire title has an absurd PG15 vibe. Finally, there is no stunning conclusion to compensate, as there was in the first season, and the season’s last episodes appear to be fillers.
6. Berserk: Recollections of the Witch (2017)- OVA
In this OVA, Shierke reflects on the story so far, turns her thoughts toward the horrors to come, and looks back at the history of the Black Swordsman.
7. Berserk: The Golden Age Arc – Memorial Edition (2022)
Death of Kentaro Miura shocked the fictional animation media to the core and put the notable series in the unknown. However, despite the sadness and everything that happened to the Berserk series, we got more content in 2022 in the form of special 13-episode TV series called Berserk: The Golden Age Arc – Memorial Edition.
Essentially, the famous Berserk Goldern Arc trilogy of movies is recut in the 13-episode series. At first, it was screened in Japan, but international fans can now watch the Memorial Edition of the films on Crunchyroll. There isn’t anything new for the fans to watch, but more recent fans will be glad to “binge-watch” the Berserk trilogy of movies in the form of the TV series and one of the best story arcs ever written. Definitely check out this series, if you watched everything already listed, to remind yourselves how good Kentaro Miura was.
Do You Need to Watch Berserk in Order?
Berserk suffers from a significant time gap between its seasons, films, and OVA. Due to this time gap, it is critical to watch Berserk in order, and as such, I would urge that you carefully adhere to the chronological order outlined above. You may, however, omit the OVA Berserk: Recollections of the Witch (2017), as it serves as a recap of the second season’s latter half.
Will There be More Berserk Anime?
The Berserk series is still an ongoing topic amongst the fans, especially after the death of Kentaro Miura, but the original rumors of Berserk season three are, for now, on pause. There was some traction to the rumors of the new Berserk anime series season debuting in April of 2022, but the Berserk creators fastly denied that.
Of course, some Berserk fans started talking about the notable series never-ending, but that was denied by Miura’s close friend and the only man who knows Berserk’s ending. In June 2022, Kouji Mori, Miura’s friend, and colleague, announced on Twitter that the manga series would eventually continue and that he would fulfill the promise of his friend and end Berserk how he wanted it.
The manga series will eventually continue and get its proper ending, but the anime and its fate are still in question. Nevertheless, if there are any new updates to the new Berserk series (especially for more recent story arcs), we will update you on time. For now, we can wait for new anime updates and see what will happen.