The Berserk Season 3 release date might be coming up over the horizon. The only question is which story arc will be adapted… or rebooted next. Those questions may be answered – TOMORROW!
In early October 2022, a Berserk countdown heralded the pending announcement of something related to the Berserk anime TV series. The Berserk countdown is on the official website for Berserk: The Golden Arc – Memorial Edition (Berserk Ougon Jidai-Hen Memorial Edition), which began releasing episodes weekly on Crunchyroll and Hulu starting on October 1, 2022.
The Berserk timer is currently set to end at 12:30 AM on December 11, 2022, which for Western anime fans is 10:30 AM EST on December 10, 2022. The end to the countdown coincides with the start of Berserk: The Golden Age Arc – MEMORIAL EDITION Episode 11, which is titled “Eclipse”.
There is no indication of what announcement will be made when the Berserk countdown ends. Above the timer is the words “あと” which can be translated as “after” or “another thing”, which could be a hint that it’s a Berserk sequel.
Obviously, anime fans are hoping for a Berserk Season 3 announcement that finally continues the story after 5 years of waiting by finishing the Falcon of the Millennium Empire arc and then jumping into the Berserk Fantasia Arc. Although, some fans are hoping that the Lost Children, Berserk Conviction, and Falcon of the Millennium Empire arcs will be rebooted as a remake of Berserk 2016.
After all, Berserk Season 3 is both feared and desired by fans of the series based on the way that the Berserk 2016 anime turned out. Thankfully, there’s good reason to believe that mistake won’t happen a second time.
The anime first started with the Berserk 1997 anime produced by animation studio OLM, which adapted the Black Swordsman Arc through the Golden Age Arc. The three Berserk movies by Studio 4°C that were released from 2012 through 2013 covered the 11 manga volumes of the Golden Age story arc.
For Berserk 2016 and 2017, the Berserk anime series switched studios again to GEMBA, a subsidiary of Digital Frontier (GANTZ: O). Anime fans hated this adaptation since it heavily relied on poorly animated 3D graphics and even the professional critics mocked it in reviews.
In Fall 2022, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc was adapted into TV episodes by returning Studio 4°C. This new Berserk anime is intended to honor Kentaro Miura’s death. It’s not a huge improvement in animation quality since it’s simply a remastered recut of the movies that originally relied on a clumsy mix of choppy CG and traditional 2D animation.
However, the Berserk memorial edition anime also introduced several new scenes that were not adapted by the original movie. One highlight is Griffith and Casca in the Bonfire of Dreams (Yume no Kagaribi) scene that was cut from the original.
All of the new Berserk scenes will use traditional 2D animation. It’s possible that the producers learned from the Berserk 2016 backlash. Thus, the Berserk Season 3 anime could only use CG when necessary.
Arguably, 3D animation in anime has advanced a lot over the last 10 years. Although anime purists still prefer that CG is used minimally, Japanese animators have learned how to use these new tools in ways where the CG isn’t necessarily distracting from the experience.
The main staff and studio producing Berserk Season 3 haven’t been announced yet. If Studio 4°C returns to produce the third season it’s possible it could feature a similar staff to the Memorial Edition project.
Toshiyuki Kubooka directed Berserk: The Golden Age Arc movies at Studio 4°C, while Yuta Sano directed the Memorial Edition TV version. Writer Ichiro Okouchi handled the scripts.
Chief Animation Director/Character Designer Naoyuki Onda supervised the remastering process and any additional new work. Satoshi Iwataki was the Animation Director. Akiko Saito, Chiaki Imanaka, Takayuki Kusaki, and Yusuke Hirota were the CGI directors. Composer Shiro Sagisu created the music.
The Berserk Season 3 OP (opening) and ED (ending) theme song music hasn’t been announced yet.
The Berserk: The Golden Age Arc – Memorial Edition OP song was performed by Susumu Hirasawa while ED song “Wish” was performed and written by Mika Nakashima.
The TV remake’s finale, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc – Memorial Edition Episode 11, was released on December 11, 2022.
This article provides everything that is known about Berserk Season 3 (Berserk 2023) and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.
Berserk Season 3 release date in 2023 possible?
As of the last update, producer Aniplex, Studio 4C, or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Berserk Season 3 release date. Nor has the production of another Berserk anime sequel been announced.
Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information.
In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when, or if, the Berserk Season 3 release date will occur in the future.
Berserk 2017 ended with Episode 24, City of Humans, and finished with a 2D scene that set up the next part of the story. While it may have just been a blatant call to read the manga, Studio GEMBA also left audiences with the message, “The story continues….”
Back in 2017, there were plenty of manga chapters available for Berserk Season 3 to be produced immediately, so why have anime fans been waiting so long for a continuation? Unfortunately, the Berserk 2016 reboot sold very badly, with only 803 copies of the Blu-ray/DVD sold in its first week!
Of course, Blu-Ray copies sold in Japan are just one factor. Streaming revenue has become the 800-pound gorilla in the modern anime industry and the series was popular internationally on Crunchyroll.
But there needed to be some restructuring of the anime production committee since the last projects did not perform up to expectations. Notably, NBC Universal Japan was involved in the 3D Berserk anime project as one of the major production partners in the anime production committee. In 2017, a press release even discussed a partnership between Crunchyroll and NBC Universal Japan for co-developing anime and the press release even mentioned the Berserk anime by name.
Obviously, the new Beserk anime project by NBC Universal Japan never came to fruition. Instead, they dropped out of the anime production committee for the Memorial Edition project whereas producer Aniplex has stepped up to the plate.
That’s probably a good sign since Aniplex has been producing a lot of anime sequels as of late. Confirmed notables include Demon Slayer Season 3 (and probably Demon Slayer Season 4: Infinity Castle Arc), Sword Art Online -Progressive-, Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Season 2, My Dress-Up Darling Season 2, Kaguya-sama: Love is War -The First Kiss Never Ends-, Ranking of Kings: Treasure Chest of Courage, The Misfit of Demon King Academy Season 2, The Irregular at Magic High School Season 3, and SK8 The Infinity Season 2.
Now, when there’s a major change in producers, production staff, and studio it will take years to bring an anime project from the pre-production stage to beginning actual animation work. Animators are typically contractors who shift between studios and projects are scheduled out years in advance since many studios are completely booked up for the foreseeable future.
As such, if Aniplex began pre-production several years ago and Berserk Season 3 is announced on December 11, 2022, then it’s possible that the Berserk Season 3 release date will be in mid-to-late 2023. However, if pre-production only began more recently then anime fans should expect to wait until 2024 or 2025.
Berserk 2016/2017 – What went wrong
To say that anime fans hated the animation style of Berserk 2016 is almost an understatement. There was much gnashing of teeth on Reddit and many a meme bemoaning the TV show’s visuals, which resembled the purposefully old-school graphics but not in the good-feeling nostalgic sort of way as provided by the 2022 Uncle From Another World OP video trailer.
The 3D animation rendering style constantly switched between CGI and cel-shading, which was especially jarring. The most infamous scene had Guts “walking” away from his group and the animation literally had him scooting away South Park style. The Berserk 2016 Blu-ray edition had the studio attempting to fix some of the most egregious moments, but the end result still left a lasting impression that CG in anime should be avoided.
So, how could the Berserk anime have gone so horribly wrong? It started with Studio GEMBA and anime producer Tetsuro Satomi wanting to go with 3D computer graphics for the animation. The problem was that GEMBA had only done production assistance up until that point. So, GEMBA was tasked with doing the full production for the first time.
At the helm was director Shin Itagaki, who had previously directed Devil May Cry in addition to being an episode director for a variety of popular anime including Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Itagaki wanted to replicate the high detail of the manga art with a 3D/2D hybrid.
Unfortunately, this vision caused the studio to waste a lot of time trying to find a balance that was feasible based on their time and budget. Many high-detail 3D models were scrapped and simplified versions had to be recreated.
By the time the models were being animated, GEMBA only had four months to spare before the big premiere in Japan. The time crunch meant it was impossible to 3D render the lighting effects for environments as originally intended.
Studio Millepensee (which was helping GEMBA) had to manually apply texture effects in many cases because the software wasn’t automatically tracking everything as intended. The staff was forced to compromise on a variety of technical issues, resulting in low-quality animations that anime fans will remember for years.
Or will they? The final scene of Berserk 2017 was memorable just because it was entirely done using 2D animation. It’s possible that GEMBA produced that scene in recognization of anime fans’ outcry. It’s also possible the 2D scene is a promise of things to come and Berserk Season 3 could be produced in that art style.
Berserk manga ending soon? Studio Gaga picks up the banner and starts running
The story for the anime is based on the long-running Berserk manga series by Kentarou Miura. While the Berserk hiatus is infamous in the manga fandom, the mangaka managed to output 41 volumes and 364 chapters since starting serialization way back in 1989.
The official English translation is provided by Dark Horse Comics. New volumes usually come out within a year after the original Japanese release. As of November 2, 2022, the English translation will be caught up with Berserk Volume 41, although multiple chapters have not yet been released in the tankobon format.
As all Berserk manga fans know by now, Miura suffered an untimely death in May 2021 (Berserk art director Shichirou Kobayashi also died in 2022). In Summer 2022, it was announced that Studio Gaga (Miura’s team of assistants) will resume the story with Miura’s close friend and fellow manga artist, Mori Kouji, leading the charge.
Back in their high school days, Miura and Mori co-authored a sci-fi doujinshi, which was sent to Weekly Shonen Sunday but didn’t make it past the last round of selections. Miura’s friends and apprentices know how he wanted to end Berserk, which means Guts’ story will have the ending Miura envisioned.
What’s more, when Miura started the Fantasia story arc with Chapter 308 he estimated back in April 2009 that his progress amounted to about 60 to 70 percent completion toward reaching the Berserk manga’s ending. However, the Berserk creator admitted that he himself does not “know anything for sure when it comes to the future.”
As such, it’s uncertain how many chapters there will be until the Berserk manga’s ending is reached. A very rough progress estimate would be that the manga series was past the 80 percent mark in 2022.
Berserk Chapter 364 was the final chapter worked on directly by Miura. The chapter centered on the Moonlight Boy and the mystery of his origin.
It’s possible that Studio Gaga will only stick to what they know for certain Miura had intended for the final story arc rather than expand on the ideas as Miura himself might have done if he were still alive. Whatever the case might be, the manga resumed with Berserk Chapter 365: Lull of a Waning Moon on June 24, 2022.
Since then new Berserk manga chapters have been consistently released every month. After the Berserk Chapter 370 release date on October 14, 2022, there was a brief hiatus. Berserk 370 finally finished the Fantasia Arc/Elf Island Arc that began in Chapter 308. The Berserk Chapter 371 release date was scheduled for December 9, 2022, in Young Animal Issue 24, 2022.
At that progress rate, the Berserk manga’s ending could potentially come out within several years assuming that Studio Gaga doesn’t take any major breaks.
Therefore, the Berserk manga’s ending should provide room for even Berserk Season 4 in the future.
Berserk 2017 left plenty of room for more anime episodes
Anime-only viewers who jumped into the series with Berserk 2016 were very confused. The first episode dropped audiences into the middle of the action without providing a recap even though it had been many years since the last anime adaptation of the manga series.
Even worse, GEMBA made the decision to skip the next short story arc, the Lost Children, and jump straight into the Conviction story arc of the manga series. That story arc started with Chapter 95, ended in 82 chapters with Chapter 176, and was covered by Volumes 14 through 21.
All in all, Berserk 2016 skipped some manga chapters but it covered the major events of the Conviction story arc with 12 episodes.
Berserk 2017 covered over half of the Falcon of the Millenium Empire story arc, which was contained in Volumes 22 through 35 (or Chapters 177 through 307).
Thankfully, the manga series currently has plenty of chapters available for producing Berserk Season 3. There are 57 chapters left in the Falcon of the Millenium Empire story arc for the third season to adapt.
In the best-case scenario, the adaptation pacing of the Berserk Season 3 anime could finish off only the Falcon of the Millenium Empire arc rather than attempt to find a stopping point in the middle of the Berserk Fantasia arc.
Warning: The following 2 paragraphs have descriptive spoilers.
If the studio goes the latter route, Berserk Season 3 will probably find a stopping point somewhere near the defeat of the Sea God in Berserk Volume 37: Chapter 327, which takes place right before a mini flashback arc. The arrival at Skellig Island by Guts and his party doesn’t occur until Berserk Volume 38: Chapter 342.
Berserk Season 4 could then pick up in the next part of the story where the group attempts to restore Casca’s sanity. They are astrally projected into her mind as part of a dreamscape journey.
The current Fantasia story arc is still unfinished even by Studio Gaga. Began back in October 2009 with Berzerk Chapter 308, the Fantasia arc is still ongoing with 62 chapters completed as of September 9, 2022.
For anime watchers who wish to read ahead in the manga, Berserk 2017 finished off with the events described in Berserk Chapter 249.
Berserk 2023 TV anime spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)
Whether or not anime audiences loved Berserk 2017/2017 or bemoaned the CG animation, it can be argued that Studio GEMBA picked a great stopping point in the Falcon of the Millenium Empire story arc.
Guts and his party were staying at a canteen while searching for any ship willing to sail them to Skellig, the island home of Puck where Elfhelm is located. They hope to be able to cure Casca of her dementia because the island exists between planes and is home to wise elves and mages.
Such a simple quest to find a ship quickly escalates because Farnese goes to her family, the House of Vandimion for help. Farneses’ father, Federico de Vandimion III, initially rejects her request for a ship because it’s claimed that she tarnished the family name with her actions. They’ll only grant her request if she marries her brother’s childhood friend, Roderick of Ys.
Not only is the family squabbling, Guts is challenged to a duel and a monster suddenly invades the banquet hall. The face of Emperor Ganishka forms itself out of the fog and declares war on the Holy See. All of this action is just preparation for an invasion by the Kushan Empire, which has attacked the city and several ships in the harbor on fire.
Roderick is Farnese’s childhood friend and seeks to help her by offering his ship, the Sea Horse, to Guts and his party. They must fight their way to the harbor and Guts even forms a temporary alliance with the sword master, Nosferatu Zodd, to combat Ganshika’s fog apparition.
The number of opponents is so overwhelming that Guts almost loses himself to the Berserker Armor. He allows the Beast of Darkness to take over his body, allowing him to fight back against the hordes. With the help of Schierke, Guts does not surrender completely to his inner darkness and regains his sanity.
Although the Kushan Empire suffers a defeat, Emperor Ganshika uses the life force of those killed by the fog to perform a ritual sacrifice so he can gain more power from the astral world. Ganshika transforms into a giant monster and faces off against Griffith and his Neo Band of the Hawk.
The Emperor is losing his mind and becomes obsessed with killing Griffith. The corpses of the stomped soldiers become monsters on the battlefield. In response, Griffith and his Apostle follower charge into battle while changing into their true forms, astonishing the human Falcon members.
The battle culminates in Griffith causing Skull Knight to accidentally redirect a swing from the Sword of Actuation at Ganshika. The slash opens a fissure deep into the astral plane and the Emperor transforms into a white tree. The Falcons see a new city mysteriously appear nearby the ashes of Wyndham and Griffith dubs the city Falconia.
The cut into the astral plane causes a world transformation event where the supernatural world overlaps with the physical world. The members of the God Hand appear in the physical world along with creatures straight out of fantasy. Trolls, giants, unicorns, dragons, hydras, and other mythical creatures now stalk the earthen plane, causing humans to flee to Griffith’s kingdom of Falconia to find an escape.
Guts’s Band of the Hawk comrade Rickert journeys to the city of Falconia, the seat of power for Griffith, the resurrected former Hawks commander. But the glittering towers of Falconia cast the darkest of shadows, and a legion of demonic monstrosities dwell in the darkness!
Rickert meets Griffith inside this new capital. Upset that Griffith was willing to sacrifice allies to build this utopia, Rickert slaps Griffith across the face. Rickert is eventually forced to flee the city and he forms his own company.
Meanwhile, Guts and his party are traveling worlds apart to reach their destination in Skellig. The blast of bright white light from the astral world caused by Ganshika’s death envelopes the physical world. Felt even far away by Guts and his party, they feel like the world is being split apart. Guts’ brand even begins bleeding.
Journeying on the Sea Horse, Guts confronts Captain Bonebeard and his ghostly pirates. They even have a run-in with a Sea God. Reaching Skellig does not lessen the danger since they find themselves befuddled by countless traps that protect Elfhelm from intruders.
Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait until the Berserk Season 3 release date to watch what happens next. Stay tuned!