Berserk Watch Order: The Complete Guide 

Berserk Watch Order: The Complete Guide 

Berserk was a long-running anime and manga series that has been around for over 30 years. Sadly, the manga creator, Kentaro Miura, died last 2021, and anime and manga fans may never be able to see the proper ending of Berserk. However, that doesn’t mean anyone should skip out on this epic anime.

Berserk is a beloved classic and an anime ahead of its time. Unlike some anime where it’s okay to skip out on some of the OVAs and movies, Berserk requires you to watch them since they are essential to the plot or would retell their story in a different tone. Despite the long breaks the anime has gotten, every new drop of the animation is important.

Below is the complete watch order of the anime Berserk. Do not get discouraged over it never properly finishing. The anime still tells a great tale. Perhaps in the future, a director will take the reins and properly end the series, but for now, enjoy the masterful storytelling of Kentaro Miura.

Berserk 1997

Berserk Watch Order: The Complete Guide 

The best way to start this anime is with its very first release. Berserk had its first animated series in 1997. Just like the manga, the anime follows a lone mercenary named Guts who wanders around the world trying to survive. Unfortunately, he is beaten by the leader of a mercenary group called the Band of the Hawks. Because of his loss, he eventually becomes a member. In the group, he quickly becomes one of the most esteemed warriors.

However, due to wanting to fight for his own dream, Guts eventually leaves the group. After he left, the leader of the group got imprisoned and even got himself marked for death, leaving Casca the new leader. When Guts returned after training, the group was preparing to free their leader from the castle. After helping the group, Guts returns to adventuring on his own.

Berserk: Golden Age Arc I – The Egg of the King (2012)

Berserk Watch Order: The Complete Guide 

The first part is a retelling of how Guts, a sole mercenary, joins the Band of Hawks. However, the movie’s adventure focuses on one siege when the Kingdom of Midland employed them. During this particular siege, both Griffith and Guts face the demon Nosferatu Zodd. The demon warns Guts that his leader will eventually cause his own demise. However, the advice falls on deaf ears as the two continue their brotherhood.

After some time, Griffith’s status rises in the kingdom. However, his rise in status isn’t well-received by most noblemen. During one attempt to kill Griffith, he orders Guts to assassinate Julius in return due to him being a culprit to the assisnation. Guts is successful, but he is also forced to kill Julius’s son Adonis due to him being a witness. This eventually haunts Guts for some time.

Berserk: Golden Age Arc II – The Battle for Doldrey (2012)

Berserk Watch Order: The Complete Guide 

Taking off from the last movie, Gus and another Hawks member Casca grew close. Gus covered Casca’s escape during a battle by taking on 100 warriors. Soon, Gus decided to leave the Band of the Hawks after questioning his friendship with its leader, Griffith. He decides to leave to find his own dream so he can be viewed as an equal and a friend to Griffith. Before leaving, he participates in another battle to capture the Fortress of Doldrey.

The group manages to capture the fortress and win the war. A month after, Guts decides to challenge Griffith. After defeating the leader, he leaves the group because he wishes to find his own dream and reason for fighting. Unfortunately, Griffith ended up not taking Guts’ departure well. He ends up sleeping with the King’s daughter Charlotte and is caught. He gets imprisoned in a tower called the Tower of Rebirth. The Band of the Hawks was also labeled as a group of criminals.

Berserk Ougon Jidaihen III: Kourin (2013)

Berserk Watch Order: The Complete Guide 

The movie is also titled “Advent.” The movie Advent takes place a year after Guts’ departure from the group. Guts catches wind of the Band of Hawks being labeled as outlaws during his travels. Worried about the current state of his group, he decides to return to them to confirm the rumors and aid them if needed. He arrives in time while the group plans to free Griffith from the tower.

Though successful in their quest, Griffith is barely the leader they once knew. He is now broken and crippled due to a year of torture he has sustained in the tower. Once Griffith is reunited with his Behelit, a solar eclipse draws him and several comrades into another dimension. He, Guts, and Casca face an archdemon called the God Hand. The archdemon tells Griffith that his journey has led up to this moment and that this is his destiny. Griffith agrees to become the final member of the God Hand despite knowing his allies will have to become sacrifices for this transition to occur.

Guts and Casca attempt to rescue Griffith but ultimately fail, and Griffith is reborn as Fernto. The two are then spirited back to their original world by a Skull Knight. However, the two sustain repercussions. Casca loses her sanity from the entire ordeal and even gets raped by Fernto. Meanwhile, Guts lost his left forearm and right eye while he struggled to remove Fernto from Casca.

Guts decides to leave Casca under the care of Rickert since he knows he will get attacked and cannot risk Casca in her current state. He decides to find a way to hunt down the Apostles and the God Hand and finally kill the corrupted Griffith.

Berserk 2016

Berserk Watch Order: The Complete Guide 

After a long hiatus and three movies to recount the happenings of the first animated series, Berserk came back to television with a new animated series in 2016. The anime is still based on the Berserk manga by Kentaro Miura. It also acts as the direct sequel to the Golden Age Arc trilogy films that was released back in 2012. The first season of the 2016 anime covers the Conviction Arc. Meanwhile, the anime actually had a second season which covered the first half of the Hawk of the Millennium Empire arc in the manga.

Similar to the previous series and movie releases, the plot still follows the journey of Guts, now known as the Black Swordsman, a title he earned at both the end of the 1997 anime and the Golden Age Arc Movies.

He and his lover Casca are now branded and will be haunted by demons until they ultimately die. Since Casca is no longer sane due to the events that occurred in the previous arc, Guts had decided to make this journey for vengeance by himself and leaves his lover behind. 

He journeys out to kill those who have branded him to fight against his fate while being pursued by beats. He even wields a mighty sword called the Dragonslayer to exact his revenge through his journey.

While on his quest, he meets unlikely allies, even a tiny elf by the name of Puck, and a young thief named Isidro, who hopes to learn from the former mercenary. He sets out on a unique journey with his new party mates, unlike the first time he set out where he was always alone.

Berserk: Recollections of the Witch

Berserk Watch Order: The Complete Guide 

This is the second season of the 2016 Berserk anime. At some point in the first season, Casca rejoins Guts. However, she no longer trusts her former partner. By this time, Demons now roam freely. Because of the roaming demons, Guts cannot stay in a single place; otherwise, he would be welcoming death. Things just got a lot harder because now, he has to protect himself and former Commander Casca, who seems to not recalls or trust Guts.

Guts will have to figure out a new area to heal and keep Casca safe. Puck, one of their allies, suggests they journey to Elfhelm, a mystical land that is rumored to be a safe haven from demons. The team then sets out on a journey to Elfhelm.

Unfortunately, anime viewers will never be able to find out if the group managed to reach Elfhelm. This is because the anime was cut before they reached Puck’s homeland. Furthermore, the anime hasn’t made any news to return after 2017. To make matters worse, the manga’s creator died in 2021, leaving the fate of the manga and the anime unknown.

Did The Manga End?

Berserk Watch Order: The Complete Guide 

Currently, the final installment of the manga is set to release in November for US fans. Volume 41 is said to be still drawn by Miura himself before his ultimate passing. Publications have not made any further announcements if any of the artists will pick up the manga to continue the story.

Before his passing, Miura mentioned that Berserk was already 70 % finished. With that, we know the final chapter is not the supposed ending that Miura intended, and the much-awaited fight between Guts and Griffith may never happen.

The Berserk Manga has over 50 million copies currently under circulation worldwide. This number includes both physical and digital sales, making it one of the best-selling manga in history.

Berserk’s Influence

Berserk has been hailed as a great influence in the dark-fantasy genre of anime and other types of media. On Berserk’s Wikipedia page, a writer and editor named Kazushi Shimada said that Berserk had paved the way for animes like Fullmetal Alchemist, Jujutsu Kaisen, and Demon Slayer. 

A number of manga artists even mentioned that Berserk had inspired some of their works. Among the mangas that drew some inspiration from Berserk are Attack on Titan, Blue Exorcist, and Black Butler, to name a few.

IGN’s Guts also stated that Berserk’s main hero, Guts, has served as a basis for other heroes. Guts are probably even the ones who started the trend for heroes wielding oversized swords.

The Berserk manga’s influence did not stop with other anime and manga creators. Berserk has also played a role in influencing several games. Games that were inspired by the manga are Dynasty Warriors, Final Fantasy, Bloodborne, and even new releases like Elden Ring. However, there are more games that are not mentioned in this article.

Are There Other Releases, Other Than The Anime And Manga?

Berserk Watch Order: The Complete Guide 

If you got hooked on Berserk and want to collect everything about it, Berserk has released several things for fans to enjoy. Currently, five official artbooks have been released. Berserk also had a short-running card game based on the characters a fan would meet through the anime and manga.

In addition, a drama CD was released, where the Voice cast of the anime voiced the Awakening chapter of the manga. There are also video game releases and a spin-off novel for the anime.