Berserk, one of the darkest and most disturbing manga in history, was adapted into a truly terrible reboot anime in 2016. Crunchyroll began streaming Season 2 in 2017, and it seems that somehow, during the break, the anime’s style got even worse. Heads fly off mid-sentence, characters are just barely animated into movement while they speak, and the show doesn’t seem to follow the laws of physics at all. Part of the joke online is that a well-intentioned Kotaku critic, Cecilia D’Anastasio, gave the anime a positive review in 2016, to which the fans said, “Are you kidding me?”
Now, Berserk fans post the worst GIFs they can find from the production, with D’Anastasio’s headline as the only caption: “The New Berserk Anime Already Outshines The ‘90s Original - Kotaku.”
Berserk, based on the manga first published in 1988, tells the story of a man named Guts, aka the Black Swordsman, born to a woman’s hanging corpse and doomed to fight monsters his whole life. The story just keeps getting more disturbing as it goes on; Guts is raped by a man who “bought” the ability to rape him, and the villains he kills as a man have all sorts of freaky, cruel ways of hurting others. In Volume 17, a possessed horse attempts to rape a woman in the manga. The moment, which spawned the questionable “rape horse” meme, follows hundreds of other jokes about the story’s incredible, no-holds-barred darkness and its anime’s bad quality.
It’s truly a depraved story, which makes it all the more hilarious that its anime adaptation is comically bad. For instance, the anime turns an already admittedly disturbing image (rape horse) from this:
Compare the video game to the anime (as the video above does), and sometimes it’s difficult to decide which one is more stupid. Notice that Farnese, leader of the Holy Iron Chain Knights, is reduced into a screaming (yet wordless) woman who doesn’t have nipples. Some anime fans blame the series’ quality on the fact that it’s animated entirely in 3D, but others point out that there are perfectly acceptable anime based in 3D animation, including Ajin: Demi Human. Still, whatever is going on in the Berserk anime is fun to mock.
Even watching dedicated Berserk fans tear into the show on Twitter with GIFs and insults is truly a delight.
The Berserk Season 2 finale airs June 2 on Crunchyroll.