It’s finally here – the finale of the tower of conviction arc! Following Guts’ victory over Mozgus last week, the only minor problem at hand was the rampaging demons that were laying the surrounding camps to waste. Guts, determined to survive along with his haphazard band of compatriots, arms them with torches and they succeed in holding them off – but something sinister stirs in the dark. The tormented souls that overwhelmed the tower form a gelatinous shrine that resembles a hand as the mysterious egg-demon from the previous episodes appears to give birth to…something. The tower then collapses, crushing any survivors within. As dawn breaks, the monsters have disappeared and the refugee camp now basks in the light of a new day, freed from the oppressive rule of Mozgus and his torturers.
Of course, Berserk doesn’t know how to do a “happy ending”, so promptly after escaping almost certain death at the hands of the creepy jello demons, Isidoro, Nina, Luca and the others immediately find themselves surrounded by the Kushan army. Guts, thoroughly over everyone’s shenanigans, is unfazed and proceeds to tear through anyone who gets in his way or even so much as looks at Casca the wrong way.
Amidst the chaos, a familiar face from the original series appears as Nosferatu Zodd, a formidable apostle, charges his way through the attacking Kushan forces. Tearing soldiers apart, he moves quickly towards an unseen goal – that is until the Skull Knight appears and points out to Guts just what has happened over the course of the night. In the distance, a bright light fills Guts’ vision and a face from his past emerges.
That’s right – Griffith has been reborn into human form! Zodd makes his way to his master and kneels before the 5th member of the demonic God Hand as the spectators can do nothing but witness the spectacle with bated breath. (The music for this part is badass by the way…)
Reborn and looking absolutely fabulous, Griffith climbs onto Zodd’s back and takes off into the sky as Guts and the others watch helplessly from afar. Guts fights his way through the remaining Kushan fighters with Casca, seeking some desperately needed down-time with Casca as he reflects on Griffith’s appearance in the mortal realm and what it all means. Nina, Luca and the others find survivors of the hellish ordeal are largely those of “little faith” who fled the tower – ironic given the zealotry displayed by so many of Mozgus’ followers in the earlier episodes.
And so, the new Berserk anime ends season 1 with a lot to look forward to – now that Griffith’s been reborn, what devious plot does he plan on setting in motion? How can Guts compete against the overwhelming power of the God Hand? While there are certainly questions that remain, the promise of season 2 this coming Spring helps to take a bit of the sting off of the finale.
I’ll be doing an overall review of the series separately – but sufficed to say that the finale delivered on all fronts. With fantastic music, characters, and animation that seems to be steadily improving with each new episode, Berserk will continue to be on my list of shows to watch.