Berserk (2017) – Episode 7 [The Arcana of Invocation]
As if the trolls weren’t bad enough, Morgan’s village comes under attack from an ogre. It’s huge, ugly, and has the ability to regrow any limbs which are cut off. The ogre figures out that it can breach Schierke’s shield by throwing physical objects though it without actually touching the shield with its body, so it starts launching broken wooden beams at the church.
Things take a turn for the worse when a kelpie shows up and starts attacking Guts alongside the ogre. Realizing that Guts can only do so much, and Schierke is limited in what aid she can provide because she has to maintain the protection spell, Serpico leaps into battle. Guts chooses to fight the ogre while Serpico picks the kelpie as his opponent. Isidoro is somewhat stunned and remains in the church with the villagers and Puck, while Farnese, Casca, Schierke and the priest watch from the roof.
Serpico is initially cocky about fighting the kelpie, but soon finds himself in over his head when he can’t get any of his wind attacks to touch the kelpie. The magical creature keeps using walls of water to block Serpico’s attacks, and Serpico can’t find a way around this defense tactic. The kelpie tries to drown Serpico in a blanket of water but fails; this however causes Serpico to realize he can use his wind magic in other ways.
Desperate to help somehow, Schierke starts to travel within her consciousness to beyond the spirit realm but is sidetracked when she finds a shrine for the water spirit who used to be worshipped by locals before the church arrived. Schierke allows the spirit to possess her and uses the water spirit’s magic to flood the town.
And boy Schierke really goes all out. Water gushes between the houses and all around the church in a fast-moving flood, but it’s still not enough to kill the kelpie and the ogre. Guts jumps into the water and slices the ogre’s head in half, finally defeating it, while Serpico slices the kelpie’s head clean off as it’s flailing in the water.
But now that the monsters are gone, Schierke is unable to come out of her trance on her own. Ivalera says that Farnese should tap Schierke’s staff in a specific rhythm, and the sound will help Schierke’s consciousness come back to the physical realm.
However it doesn’t happen soon enough to prevent Casca and Farnese from falling off the roof of the church when a dislodged house crashes into it. Guts is unable to grab Farnese’s hand in time, and the two women are swept away.
Once the waters have receded, the villagers are able to see how much of their home has survived. Meanwhile Schierke is trying to trace Casca and Farnese’s od (life force) but is having difficulties because she is upset and blaming herself for what happened. Guts gives Schierke some supportive advice, and sure enough she relaxes enough that she is able to pick up the women’s od. Great! Except… oh shit, they’ve been captured by trolls!
Guts and the others head back to the village, and the villagers waste no time in thanking Schierke for her efforts. Schierke asks the priest if a small shrine dedicated to the water spirit can be erected in the west end of the village square, and he agrees.
However Serpico is still severely injured from his battle with the kelpie, and he’s unable to travel. Serpico reluctantly suggests that he stay behind while Guts, Schierke and Isidoro chase after the trolls.
My thoughts: I think this episode was easily the most CG-heavy episode of the season so far. Yeah some scenes were a little clunky, but the graphics were also beautiful. Like the water shots with Schierke, those looked pretty good in my book. Decent for Berserk‘s mix of 2D and 3D animation anyways.
I also wanted to give a quick fuck yeah to the close-up shots of Serpico being badass while in battle with the kelpie. There were some really nice shots that look like they could’ve come from the manga, and I think they were really well done.
I think the scene with Morgan and Isidoro at the end of the episode was a nice touch. Isidoro looks up to Guts, whether he wants to admit it or not, and wants to be as skilled as Guts one day. So it was really hard for him to watch the battle with the trolls and be a spectator because he doesn’t yet have the necessary level of skills to defend himself (or others) in a battle of that magnitude. It sucks having to watch your idol do what you only wish you could do, and feel helpless and scared while doing it. But Morgan giving his father’s old sword to Isidoro and being all supportive in a roundabout way helped take away some of that sting and helped Isidoro feel more dedicated to his goals.
I’m getting tired of the trolls so I hope that the next episode or two will be the last of them. I don’t remember what happens in the manga past the bit with the church, so the next couple of episodes will feel like they’re new to me. Curious about what will happen, I am.
Lastly, I have no idea why it was never mentioned until now, but Schierke’s mistress’ name is Flora. I remembered that and so I couldn’t figure out why she was never named before up until now, when Ivalera sort of just blurts her name out of the blue. *shrug*