The three notorious Berserk anime movies that kick-started the series’ poorly received anime adaptation actually improved a major development in Guts and Casca’s relationship that the original 1997 anime didn’t cover.
Besides trying to cover 25 episodes’ worth of material in less than six hours, the Berserk: The Golden Age Arc trilogy wasn’t received well by longtime fans because of its abundant use of CGI as opposed to traditional illustration techniques. Fans saw this as a major slight to how late Mangaka Kentaro Miura always strove for perfection, an artistic style that affected the frequency in which he released chapters of his manga and one that the original anime clearly respected.
Regardless, there are some standout moments from the trilogy that outshine the original anime, especially a beautifully emotional scene in the second film, The Battle for Doldrey, that actually improved Guts and Casca’s relationship. When celebrating the end of the Hundred-Year War, Casca, at the behest of Guts, goes to dance with her beloved Griffith. But as the star of the night, Griffith is besotted by fawning women, making dancing with him impossible. As Casca walks away dejected, Berserk’s hero Guts comes to her rescue and the two twirl across the ballroom.
Guts and Casca’s Dance Was a Turning Point For Their Relationship
The scene is incredibly touching, not just because Guts respects Casca, but because of how much they are able to enjoy themselves. This is surprising for Casca after having been slighted once more by Griffith, an unfortunate pattern that took its toll on Casca. The scene’s inclusion also augments an earlier moment on a balcony between Guts and Casca that also appears in the original 1997 anime. The anime’s version is touching as Casca confides in Guts about her insecurities while Guts offers her comfort despite their tumultuous past. But it’s just one moment. The movie, on the other hand, follows what happens on the balcony with the dance scene, adding a different kind of emotion to the scene. Most especially, it provides more context to when Guts and Casca’s romance.
Berserk’s Second Movie Cut Griffith’s Poisoning for the Dance Scene
Of course, critics of the CGIed trilogy will point to the fact that the movie skips Griffith’s poisoning. In the anime, Casca does look to dance with Griffith but rather than him being otherwise engaged, he ostensibly falls dead from poison. This scene is critical because it underscores how much the royal court despised Griffith for receiving the recognition and praise that only someone of noble birth should enjoy. Additionally, it showcases Griffith’s cunning beyond the battlefield as he’s able to turn the tables on his assailants for his own benefit and serves as a foreshadowing for Griffith’s later rise to power in the Berserk manga. That said, the creative decision to leave this point out in the film was more because of the limited amount of material a movie can cover. Moreover, it was overall wise to replace the poisoning scene since it was already just the latest development in a much broader and complex storyline that would have required the addition of many more scenes and characters to explain.
Regardless, a scene expanding Guts and Casca’s relationship outweighs any of the politics that were part of Windham’s court. The Golden Age’s version of Windham is just a momentary blip in the series, while everything involving Guts and Casca is one of Berserk’s most important elements. If anything, the original anime’s writers should have thought to add such a pivotal scene in the 25-episode masterpiece since they had much more time at their disposal. Without the film’s gratuitous CGI, the dance scene could have been much better in Berserk’s original anime.
Next: Berserk: Guts’ Debilitating Despair Proves Casca’s Strength