Fan-Made New Berserk Anime visual wows fans, but can it surpass previous Professional Studios’ attempts?

The fans have been on an uproar ever since the New Berserk Anime, titled Berserk: The Black Swordsman released its first key visual. Despite being a classic widely held as one of the best Manga ever, few series have struggled as much as Kentaro Miura’s iconic dark fantasy epic Berserk when it comes to anime adaptations that truly capture the spirit of the source material.

First adapted in 1997, the 25-episode anime series skipped entire story arcs and ended abruptly on a cliffhanger, leaving fans disappointed. But that adaptation would come to be seen in a far more positive light after the disastrous 2016 adaptation, which rendered the brutal and intricate artistry of Miura’s world in crude and lifeless 3D animation.

Of course, we know that replicating Miura’s artwork and aesthetic in animation is likely an impossible task. Yet even allowing for the inherent differences between mediums, both previous ‘professional‘ attempts at adaptations failed miserably at capturing the distinct visual style that is as central to Berserk’s identity, as its grim storytelling along with a couple of other elements such as pacing and story-telling.

The New Berserk Anime is actually made by fans and not a professional studio

In an age where most studios are afraid of picking up the job to animate Berserk manga – sick of the inability of studios to produce an anime worthy of Miura’s legacy, a team of dedicated fans announced in early 2023 that they would take matters into their own hands.

  1. The fan-studio calls themselves Studio Eclypse (befitting of a studio attempting to make a new Berserk Anime).
  2. They titled their adaptation Berserk: The Black Swordsman,

While we were quite excited to hear this, we weren’t about to get our hopes too high after past experiences. As such, a question became pivotal – can this New Berserk Anime be better than past professional studios’ attempts?

Why major studios have not attempted to take up Berserk as a project?

In this context, the reader, that is you, might be confused as to why other studios are ‘afraid’ (so to speak) of adapting Berserk. We have a dedicated answer to this question here – Why Has No Major Studio Attempted to Make a Proper Anime Adaptation of Berserk?

However, that changed yesterday, when the fan-made studio released the first full look at Guts in the series with a poster!

Where previous adaptations failed to meet the challenge of measuring up to the manga’s visual splendour, the poster suggested these fans have cracked the code, overcoming the inherent divide between mediums.

Studio Eclypse’s Berserk Anime will Release its First Trailer soon

Berserk The Black Swordsman visual
Berserk’s Millennium Falcon Arc | Image via Dark Horse Digital
  • Along with releasing the striking poster, the fan creators also announced that the first trailer for Berserk: The Black Swordsman will be out “soon.”
  • The studio, Eclypse, has promised their adaptation will be a faithful retelling of both the story and look of Miura’s manga through 2D animation, avoiding the mistakes of cheap CGI from the 2016 adaptation.
  • This aim can already be seen in the rich visual style of the released key art. Hopefully the full trailer matches this whenever it drops.

When will the upcoming Berserk: The Black Swordsman release?

A still from Berserk Reboot (2016-2017 version)
A still from Berserk 2016| Image via Liden Films

However, the vague “soon” gives little hint about when we can expect the trailer— soon could mean anywhere between the next few weeks or months, depending on how the production is progressing.

  • After stalking the studio’s official account for a bit, we realized that they are currently in the process of hiring voice actors (they’re also doing live–auditions to find the perfect VAs, so check them out if you’d like to contribute to the project!). This means that there is still significant work before Berserk: The Black Swordsman is ready for release.
  • Rumours previously suggested a fall 2024 target for the overall release, which would line up with finalizing voicework and animation in the coming months before debuting a trailer. So maybe we get a trailer before the end of April/May?

Will the new Berserk anime be censored?

Will the new Berserk anime be censored
Berserk: The Black Swordsman | Image via Studio Eclypse

Another major problem with the previous Berserk adaptations has been excessive censorship, which often dulls the uncompromising brutality that is core to the manga’s identity.

Fearing backlash, studios continuously toned down the disturbing yet tactfully handled violence and adult content that makes Berserk such a uniquely grueling, affecting experience on the page.

  • Thankfully, Studio Eclypse has explicitly promised no censorship of the graphic content fans expect and deserve from Berserk. Their adaptation aims to hold nothing back.
  • It’s undoubtedly a bold approach more likely to draw controversy, but we’re finally getting exactly what we’ve always wanted with Berserk’s anime adaptation: visuals that haunt your dreams.

What are some things you’re expecting from this new version of Berserk? Do let us know in the comments, we’d love to discuss it with you!

The series will only cover the first arc

New Berserk Anime will only cover the Black Swordsman arc
Berserk (1997) | Image via TMDB
  • For now, Berserk: The Black Swordsman plans to cover solely the introductory Black Swordsman arc about Guts’ early days, forgoing adaptations’ frustrating tendency to skip ahead randomly in the expansive story.
  • The studio has announced no current plans to continue beyond this first grim chapter.

But should the adaptation find an audience hungry for the full Berserk animated experience, calls for further seasons plumbing the dark fantasy epic’s depths will undoubtedly follow.

Conclusion:

Will the upcoming New Berserk Anime be able to beat the performance of the previous attempts?
Berserk (1997) | Image via TMDB

After years of enduring one disappointing or utterly disastrous Berserk adaptation after another, the manga’s loyal followers were starting to lose hope of ever seeing an anime worthy of Miura’s dark masterpiece. Yet this teaser poster for the upcoming fan-made series Berserk: The Black Swordsman has already exceeded expectations in visual presentation alone.

Now, with promises of 2D faithfulness, uncompromising content, and a trailer soon to come, it seems this ambitious passion project has the potential to finally end the franchise’s adaptation curse.

If this news has you thirsty for more updates, scoops, and discourse around emerging and niche anime productions like Berserk: The Black Swordsman, be sure to check out our weekly anime newsletter. Delivered twice weekly, it overflows with original editorials, fandom chatter, unexpected recommendations and other animated goodness custom-tailored for the bleeding-edge anime fan.

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