Review: Berserk, ‘Spirit Realm’

Written by Rachel Freeman

Berserk Season 2 – Episode 5 – Spirit Realm

Why. Is. Everything. So. Sloooooooow?! Seriously. It feels like every show that just started their second season is dragging their feet! We basically get a mythos lesson about the two sides of the Spirit Realm and how the human world fits in to it. Also, if you haven’t watched the three Berserk movies (the first Golden Arc film is available on Netflix), you get some more insight on Guts and Casca’s brands and why they are so important. If you have watched the movies, you already know this shit and while recaps are nice, I don’t need an entire episode. I don’t read the manga, but apparently, this is how it’s set up in the manga, so I can’t complain too much since they’re strictly following the source material.

One of the best parts for me is the introduction of Schierke, the little witch we have seen bits of in the past few episodes. Her mentor, Flora, is dying, but she tasks Schierke to aid Guts in his mission to stop Griffith. We haven’t seen it in full, but we saw Schierke take out those trolls last episode with little to no effort on her part. She is incredibly powerful. Again, I don’t read the manga, but I have been told about her character and I have honestly been waiting for her for a while now. She provides some comedic relief with banter between herself and Ishidoro in this otherwise, incredibly serious setting. Plus, I’m always happy to see strong female characters. I mean, Casca used to be one, but she’s currently insane and Farnese is pretty much useless. I hate her less though. So, there’s that.

Our band of heroes receive some pretty sweet new weaponry in this episode too. To Serpico, the Sylph Cloak, that allows him to manipulate wind to protect himself and the Sylph Sword, made from an eagle’s wing, that allows him to use the wind as his sword. To Ishidoro, the Salamander Dagger, which can set things aflame when it touches them. And finally, to Farnese, the Silver Dagger, which doesn’t have any element manipulation but it can harm demons, and the Silver Surcoat (which Casca receives one of as well), which aids in their protection against evil beings. Schierke tries to give Guts the Axe of the Gnomes, but in a very Guts-like manner, he promptly refuses it. Because he’s Guts. And he wields a giant sword that has been soaked in demon blood (due to Guts killing so many demons). Why would you need an axe when you have that on your side? The actual best part happens at the end of the episode. I can’t even say what it is. But it’s the best. Just watch it.

Overall Score: 8/10

The episode gave us some awesome new weapons and set us up for an epic fight next episode, but ultimately it was just a lot of talking and information sharing. Which let’s be honest, while the plot is interesting, we watch Berserk so we can see Guts brutally slay his enemies with his giant sword. Not so we can learn about the Angels and Demons in the Spirit Realm or how elemental weapons work.