The Berserk Season 3 release date is both desired and dreaded by fans of Kentarou Miura’s Berserk manga. The fandom heavily criticized the episodes of Berserk 2016 and Berserk 2017 for the animation style. At the same time, the final episode seemed to promise that the future of the Berserk anime will harken back to the Berserk 1997 animation. But the real question is whether there are enough Berserk manga chapters written to cover the third season for Berserk 2018.
After all, Miura is well known for taking long breaks between writing major story arcs for the Berserk manga. Earlier in June of 2017, Miura announced, via Hakusensha, that he was taking yet another hiatus. The plan is to come back this winter, although it’s doubtful the anime will be making a comeback that quickly.
Berserk Manga Has Enough Source Material For Berserk 2018
Anime-only watchers are probably wondering where the manga matches up with the anime and whether there are enough chapters for a third season. Fortunately, the huge time gap between anime seasons has allowed Miura to get way ahead of the anime, although the adaptation is catching up fairly quickly.
Hakusensha published Berserk Volume 39 in Japan on June 23, 2017. English manga readers are not too far behind since Dark Horse Comics published the manga’s 38th volume in English on July 5, 2017.
The Berserk 2016 adaptation was pretty straight forward, but the anime director did decide to skip several manga chapters. The Golden Age story arc consisted of 11 manga volumes and was adapted into the 1997 anime and the Berserk movies. The next set of story chapters, the Lost Children, was relatively short, but the Berserk 2016 anime went straight to the rest of the Conviction story arc.
To give an idea about pacing, Berserk 2016 adapted three volumes, or 82 chapters, and fit all that source material into 12 episodes. Berserk 2017 adapted over half of the 131 chapters of the Falcon of the Millenium Empire story arc, ending with the events described in chapter 249. That leaves 57 chapters before launching into the Fantasia story arc, which first began serialization in Young Animal in 2010.
All in all, there are over 100 manga chapters available as source material for making Berserk Season 3. The Fantasia story arc is currently incomplete, but creator Kentarou Miura published Berserk Chapter 351 before beginning the hiatus. But will the anime also go on hiatus and skip a year?
Berserk Season 3 Release Date
As of this publishing, the anime production studios Millepensee and GEMBA have not announced anything official about the Berserk Season 3 release date, although this article will be updated as soon as the anime sequel is confirmed. However, there can be reasonable speculation about when, or if, the Berserk 2018 premiere date may occur.
Berserk 2016 aired its 12 episodes in the summer, while Berserk 2017 came out in the spring. Berserk Episode 24, “City of Humans,” brought a kind of closure that sets up the next step in the story. The only hint the anime producers gave about their future plans was a cryptic message which proclaimed, “The story continues….”
That’s not an official confirmation or an announcement of a third season, but it’s better than nothing. There are enough manga chapters to produce Berserk 2018, so any delay may not take years. Assuming the producers follow historical patterns, it’s reasonable to expect the Berserk Season 3 release to be in the spring or summer of 2018. But it’s possible fans could be waiting for Berserk 2019.
Man, the animation in Sailor Moon Crystal seasons 1 and 2 were bad.
Berserk Anime: Hold my sword.
— DJ @ VacationCon (@OhHeyDJ) May 30, 2017
The biggest delay could be over the anime production companies themselves. The outcry over the poor CGI animation was so bad that fans mocked the new anime series on Twitter. Yet reviews agree that the final minutes of the final episode is exactly what the fandom desires. Everyone hopes that the last 2D animated scene is a promise of things to come, and that the third season will be entirely hand-drawn, limiting the CGI to when it’s really needed. However, if the anime studios are switched out over the fan backlash, that’d just mean a delay.
Another new development was the recent announcement of a new partnership between Crunchyroll and NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan (NUEJ). According to Animation Magazine, the plan is to co-develop anime properties, including “titles based on existing content.” It just so happens that the NUEJ is one of the producers on the committee for the new Berserk anime.
“Crunchyroll has always been a trusted partner in bringing the series we produce to screens everywhere internationally,” said James Takagi, Managing Director of the NUEJ. “With Crunchyroll, we will make the newest and best anime titles accessible to audiences outside of Japan. Together, we look forward to working with fresh and exciting talent to bring anime fans around the world more of what they love — premium anime content.”
Could this announcement affect Berserk Season 3 in some way? The press release mentions the Berserk anime, but not any specific ramifications, so fans will just have to wait and see.
Berserk 2018 Spoilers From The Manga
When we last saw Guts and his party, they were staying at a canteen. The final part of the Falcon of the Millenium Empire story arc starts with everyone searching for a sea vessel willing to take the group to Skellig. Farnese believes her family, the House of Vandimion, may be able to help, but her father, Federico de Vandimion III, believes she has tarnished the family name and rejects her request. Farnese does manage to procure a ship, but only on the condition that she marry her brother’s childhood friend, Roderick.
Besides familial disputes, the visit with the Vandimion family turns deadly. Guts is challenged to a duel. A monster invades a banquet hall. Worse, a foggy apparition forms into the face of Emperor Ganishka and declares war against the Holy See itself. It turns out the city is under attack by the Kushan Empire’s army and several ships in the harbor have been set ablaze.
Roderick seeks to impress Farnese by offering the usage of his ship, the Sea Horse, to Guts and his party. But fighting to the ship is another matter. During the battle, Guts begins surrendering himself to the Berserker Armor, and Schierke is barely able to restore his sanity. The battle even results in Guts forming a temporary alliance with the sword master, Nosferatu Zodd, to combat Ganshika’s fog construct.
The Kushan defeat eventually culminates in the death of Emperor Ganshika and the fall of the Kushan empire at the hands of Griffith and his Neo Band of the Hawk. But Ganshika transforms himself into a giant monster. During this battle, a fissure is opened into the astral plane by Skull Knight, and an event called the World Transformation causes the material world to overlap with the supernatural.
The World Transformation is so powerful that it looks like a bright white light from space. Even before the blast overtakes them at sea on their ship, Guts and his party feel as if the world is being split apart. Mythical creatures are now fully manifesting themselves in the physical world and the earth is now crawling with trolls, giants, unicorns, dragons, and hydras. Humans trying to escape these astral creatures seek refuge in Griffith’s new kingdom of Falconia.
The World Transformation is where the current Fantasia story arc from the Berserk manga begins. The story of Berserk Season 3 will probably end after Guts and his party finally reach the island of Skellig after having run-ins with ghostly pirates and the Sea God. There, the party will attempt to restore Casca’s sanity and memories by projecting themselves into a dreamscape within Casca’s mind. Ending the anime earlier on would make a good stopping point for the anime since this journey into the dreamscape is incomplete as of this article’s publishing. Let’s just hope fans don’t have to wait until 2019 to watch the third season of the Berserk anime!
[Featured Image by Millepensee/GEMBA]