"What is most important? Valor, magic, destiny, love? Which of these have the greatest influence on human behavior? In this is the second DVD in the 'Berserk' series, we find ourselves enmeshed in the violence of an imaginary, horribly violent world, where crowns and empires are still to be had for the taking. We follow Guts, a mercenary leader in the service of the White Hawk - a military group led by Griffith, an albino soldier who has the air of some great destiny about him.These episodes open with the White Hawks attempting to take control of a castle, but unable to defeat the leader of the opposition. Zod, rumored to be a Nosferatu, is making hash of Guts troops, and he and Griffith both enter the castle to take on the fighter. They discover themselves faced with a giant demon, and only Griffith's amulet, the Crimson Behelit of the God Hand seems able to put up any resistance. The amulet with play a part again later underscoring the idea that magic or fate is somehow driving events. There is something dark about the amulet, and thus about it's bearer as well.In other episodes, we are introduced to the politics of the Midland Empire, as Griffith begins his climb into the ranks of the nobility. The other lords see him as a commoner, and deeply resent his success. While Griffith seems to thrive in the conspiracies, Guts becomes increasing uncomfortable. He is, after all, a straightforward swordsman, and has little patience for courtly things.In spite of an unending saga of violence (two castles are conquered and an assassination attempted) the relationships between Griffith, Guts, and Caska become complicated by Caska's jealousy over Gut's access to Griffith. Both of the Lieutenants are confounded when a true romantic complication, Princess Charlotte comes into play. How this will work out remains to be discovered in later episodes, but this much dynamic tension is sure to have explosive results as the series develops.When I first looked at this series I expected the large amount of swordplay and bloodshed to put me off. Yet is hasn't, and the development of the other story arcs has made this much more than a medieval kill-a-thon. Even so, you have to have a fairly high tolerance for military drama in order to get to the true plot. Keep this in mind, but also remember that there is much more to the story."
pgilbert38 | Clinton, MD United States | 10/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I agree completely with the guy who wrote the first review up there. That last episode (25) was a trip and a half. Still, the anime me and him watched may be different from the ones released here in the United States. Some of the stuff that happens in the Japanese version may be cut out of the American version simply because of it's so graphic (without a doubt the most disturbing stuff I've ever seen). At first glance, the content seems gratuitous, but when one appreciates the purpose of the series, it becomes clear why the imagery is so deeply disturbing. Anyways, if you do decide to follow this series to the end (which you should if you've gotten this far), All I can say is brace yourself."
Truly fine specimen.
D. B. Downey | Edgewood Texas | 10/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This one is one of the best chapters of the greatest animated epic of our time. It starts off with the poetic battle with Nosferatu Zodd. It has one of my absolute favorite outtakes with the actor playing Griffith singing another ballad. There's an epic battle, assassination and counter-assassination planning and execution. Finally leaves you on the edge of your seat with Guts exploring Griffith's sideways language luring him to the threshold of equality. Which, of coarse, ultimately drives the series home."
The plot thickens and the quality improves
Sebastian Fernandez | Tampa, Florida United States | 04/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first five episodes in the series were enjoyable and promising, showing a glimpse of the story to come and with only a few hints on what the big picture was. In this second installment, we find ourselves immersed deeper into the conflict between Midland and Chuder, in which the Band of Hawks plays a pivotal role. The relationships among the main characters become more complex and juicy and there are clear signs of involvement by non-human creatures.In the first episode of this disc, sixth overall, the Band of Hawks face Zodd the Immortal, a mercenary monster who has the reputation of being invincible. Guts, our hero and main character, honors his name and is willing to face Zodd, even against the advice of everyone else. Right from the beginning, the importance and power of the Eye of the King becomes apparent. This is a piece of "jewelry" that hangs around the neck of Sir Griffith, the leader of the Band of Hawks. The message that is repeated in the introduction of each chapter regarding the destiny of mankind becomes clearer and clearer.In terms of the relationship between the characters, Guts starts to wonder why Griffith is so willing to get in harms way in order to defend him. Caska still has trouble coping with Guts' presence and position as one of the commanders of the Hawks. In the meantime, Griffith becomes involved in games of power with other members of the court, even though he is unaware of this fact for a while. The quality of this series has been steadily increasing throughout the first ten episodes, so I cannot wait to watch the next installment. At this point I can say with certainty that anyone that enjoys anime and epic fantasy will have a great time watching this production."
Luna | 04/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The storyline of this anime just keeps getting better and better. this dvd starts off with the band of the hawk facing Zodd the Immortal, and its the best battle so far in the series. a lot of dark hints of what is fated to happen later on in the series are given, mostly from Zodd.
as usual, plently of battles and bloodshed, but also a slight piece of romance when princess charlotte first appears. the last episode on this dvd is a total cliffhanger.
also, dont forget to check out the outtakes at the end! beserk has some of the funniest outtakes ive ever seen in an anime."