First of all, let me say that Berserk is one of the better stories that I have come across and I am quite the fan.
ANIME: 2/10 :rumpshaka:
Simply amazing. Although the overall idea is not new (man attempting to control his/her own destiny) it is the intricacies that really impresses. Very few devices are used blatantly as plot accelerators; the story really seems to flow flawlessly. You still get standard story arcs: History of Gatts, development of skill and character, betrayal, the gathering of others to the cause... but Kentaro Miura is able to take these standard plot lines and create something new of them.
Great! Characters are complex, but you are able to understand them somewhat. There is very little inconsistency in them, and they are engaging enough to really get you to care for them. Gatts is the typical scarred toughie, Casca is the soft-hearted butch and Griffith is the beautiful leader...
I will say this. This is well drawn, and there are no "in-rough" (tenuki) drawings. That being said, it is not above and beyond any other well drawn manga.
FAMILY METER (hey I threw this in because I have a daughter!): XXX
What's with the gratuitous violence, especially against children? I suppose this was really for shock value, and to show how violent and depraved the human condition can become.... but seeing multiple children being skewered or raped... if THAT doesn't disturb you, you should seek help. Those parts are not entertainment, and if you are entertained by that, YOU'RE SOME SICK BASTARD! However, I am hooked by the great plot and cast of characters, and literally endure the violence, just so I can see FEMTO's ASS OWNED LIKE THERE'S NO TOMORROW.
They really butchered the translation from the manga. The story is disjointed and at times incoherent, since key manga scenes are cut either for violence or for timing.
I gave this one a 5 simply because the characters are what drive this series... but ultimately, the story is so poorly translated that the characters are not really very engaging. They are able to keep the charcters mostly consistent.
This anime had HORRIBLE artwork. Are they trying to emulate the old school style? The art really reminded me of the same quality as Fist of the North Star... but Hokuto No Ken was done in 1986... Kenfu Denki Berserk was done in 1997! And DAMN tehy gratuitously used still pictures; this reminded me of the old 1970's HULK cartoon, where they would show a still and pan the camera around it to "simulate" motion! @_@ They could have at least cleaned the handwork up with CG.
FAMILY METER: R
What can I say? They really toned down the violence (except in the demon world and the creation of Femto) but the themes are still pretty violent. Word is that the last few episodes were so voilent that the second season for Berserk is on hold solely due to the stations being afraid to fund it.
NOT for the weak of stomach, or people who can't stand to see women, children and even men, mutilatd, raped and eaten. The anime is a TRAVESTY of the beautiful storytelling, charcter dynamics and artwork of the manga. However, if you thought that Genocyber and Fist of the North Star were amazing anime, and that Dragonball Z was not only better than the original Dragonball, but is the ultimate anime series, then the anime is for you! Otherwise, just read the manga and don't bother with the anime.