When we last left Guts and his merry (?) band of adventurers had found their way to the home of a mysterious witch. The episode opens with the witch learning more of the increasing troll attacks from Morgan, while also commenting on Guts and Casca’s respective brands. Guts is initially wary of the witch due to her knowledge of the brand, but quickly realizes that she’s not an enemy.
Furthermore, it turns out she won’t be as helpful as they initially hoped; she is near the end of her life and cannot go to the physical realm as a result.
Thus, our newest member enters the fold as the witch instructs her apprentice, Schierke, to assist Guts in his journey. Though lacking the experience and power of her Mistress, Schierke offers quite a useful arsenal, including the ability to create wards to fend off lower-level spirits, and commune with elementals.
Schierke is a great addition to the group, as she expertly toes the line between a stoic mage and an easily flustered young woman. Watching Isidoro push her buttons, as well as Schierke’s retaliations, lends another level of comedic relief as the rapport of the group as a whole continues to improve.
The witch invites Guts and the others to stay the night, offering them safety and protection in her hidden realm for the night. Isidoro attempts to peep on the girls bathing, only to be brought to task by Schierke as Guts and the Witch have an extended conversation on his persistent battle. Guts also asks about the Behelit that Puck has, recognizing it as an important artifact of Griffith’s before The Eclipse.
The witch explains that Behelits are very particular – to be used in a certain time and place by a specific person in order to activate its full potential. Drawn from the depths of the spiritual realm, these Behelits disrupt the natural order of the world and give birth to Apostles and Angels – including the infamous God Hand.
Following the conversation, Schierke consults with her Mistress, expressing her concerns of leaving, as well as her own doubts regarding Guts’ ability. Having seen Griffith in visions, she understands just how powerful the reincarnated Hawk is. What chance could a meathead like Guts have? The witch comments that Guts has succeeded in battling his fate thus far, and while the Gods issue men their fate, its up to them to do with it what they will.
Before they turn in for the night, Schierke presents them with some much-needed equipment upgrades (level up!)
Serpico seems to get the best deal, as he’s given a cloak and sword imbued with the power of air elementals. The cloak can repel arrows and other projectiles, while the sword – a large feather – can manipulate wind into powerful maelstroms.
Of course, Isidoro is eager for equipment of his own, and Schierke presents him with a dagger imbued with fire elementals.
Schierke also tries to upgrade Guts’ weapon with a large axe, but is turned down as Guts prefers to “stick with what he knows”.
The next morning, new ally and upgraded equipment in tow, the group departs for Morgan’s village to dispatch of the trolls so they can continue on their journey. When Morgan arrives, his fellow townsfolk are burying two more victims as they look for the help Morgan promised to bring.
And that’s where the episode ends!
It was nice to see Guts and the others enjoy a relaxing evening – it helped to slow the series down and flesh out some key plot elements. I’m hopeful that with Schierke’s addition we’ll see a more full-bodied dynamic among the group. If that happens in the next few episodes, in conjunction with what’s sure to be some awesome action sequences, Berserk fans have a lot to look forward to.
I’m excited to see the battle against the trolls kick off properly in the next episode – no doubt we’ll get to see that new equipment in action!