Why Has No Major Studio Attempted to Make a Proper Anime Adaptation of Berserk?

Why Has No Major Studio Attempted to Make a Proper Anime Adaptation of Berserk?

Berserk is one of the most influential and critically acclaimed manga series of all time, yet it has never received a proper anime adaptation from a major studio. This is a curious fact, given the series’ popularity and acclaim. So, why has no major studio ever attempted to make a faithful and complete anime adaptation of Berserk?

What is Berserk All About?

Why Has No Major Studio Attempted to Make a Proper Anime Adaptation of Berserk?
Berserk (1997) | Image via TMDB

The manga is set in a medieval Europe-inspired world where humans live alongside demons and other supernatural creatures. Guts is a mercenary who has been fighting demons since he was a child. He is a skilled warrior and wields a giant sword called the Dragon Slayer.

Griffith is a charismatic and ambitious leader who dreams of creating his kingdom. He leads a mercenary band called the Band of the Hawk, of which Guts is a member. Griffith’s ambition eventually leads him to betray Guts and the Band of the Hawk and to sacrifice them to become a powerful demonic being.

Guts survives Griffith’s betrayal, but he is scarred both physically and emotionally. He sets out on a quest for revenge against Griffith, and to find a way to restore his humanity.

The Challenges of Making an Anime Adaptation of Berserk

Why Has No Major Studio Attempted to Make a Proper Anime Adaptation of Berserk?
Berserk (1997) | Image via TMDB

There are several challenges involved in adapting Berserk into anime.

  1. The series is extremely graphic and features very dark subject matter. This would make it difficult to create an adaptation that is both faithful to the source material and acceptable for broadcast on television.
  2. Berserk is a very complex and ambitious story. It has a large cast of characters, a sprawling narrative, and a dense thematic core. Adapting such a complex work into anime would require a significant investment of time and resources.
  3. Berserk is a very popular series, and fans have high expectations for any adaptation. This would put a lot of pressure on any studio that attempted to adapt the series.

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The Financial Risk

Why Has No Major Studio Attempted to Make a Proper Anime Adaptation of Berserk?
Berserk (1997) | Image via TMDB

In addition to the creative challenges, there is also a significant financial risk involved in adapting Berserk. The series is very long, and a faithful adaptation would require multiple seasons. This would require a significant investment from a studio.

Moreover, Berserk is a difficult series to market. It is not a typical shonen action series, and its dark and mature subject matter may alienate some viewers. This would make it difficult for a studio to recoup its investment.

The Lack of Interest from Major Studios

Given the challenges and risks involved, it is not surprising that no major studio has ever attempted to make a proper anime adaptation of Berserk. Major studios are typically looking for projects that are safe and profitable. Berserk is neither.

However, it is important to note that there have been a number of attempts to adapt Berserk into anime over the years, one in 1997 and the other in 2016. The most recent attempt was the Berserk Memorial Edition, which was released in 2022. However, this adaptation was not well-received by fans, who criticized its poor animation and rushed pacing.

Conclusion

Berserk is like the black sheep of the anime world. It’s too dark, too complex, and too niche for any major studio to touch. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of a faithful adaptation. One day, maybe just maybe, a small studio with a big heart will give the anime adaptation of Berserk, the one that it deserves. Until then, fans can only dream.

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