Berserk (2016) – Episode 9 [Blood Flow of the Dead]
At the Tower of Conviction, Farnese and Serpico meet with the Abbott. He tells Farnese that her father, Lord Vandimion , has asked that she be pulled from active duty because he wants her back at home. She is understandably upset, but the Abbot urges her to go with the order because a lot of the funding for the refugees comes from her family. Well then. Afterwards Farnese accuses Serpico of writing to her father behind her back, and he doesn’t deny her accusations.
Farnese and Serpico cross Nina, who is sobbing as she’s being brought back to her cell from the torture chamber. One of her index fingers has been badly burned, but she is otherwise unharmed; however that didn’t stop her from spilling her guts about the heretics to her torturers. So Nina is not only selfish but a coward too.
Down in the torture chamber, Serpico and Farnese meet with Mozgus, who tells them that almost all of the heretics have been caught. Mozgus asks Farnese some questions about her report, including whether it was true that the Black Swordsman actually showed up. Mozgus brings Casca into the torture chamber and has her put into the iron maiden. As the spikes start to pierce her skin, and a drop of her blood drips near her brand; she screams and madness is unleashed.
Outside the tower Guts can hear Casca’s screams. As Luca negotiates their entry via a secret passage, Guts swings a huge jump through the open entrance and gets into the tower.
Back inside the tower, Casca’s screams and her bloody brand have summoned evil spirits into being. They look like gelatinous blob creatures, but they can move really quickly, almost like a snake. When they consume a person they strip all flesh from the bones leaving only a skeleton. However even though the spirits engulf Casca’s body, she is not affected like the others in the torture chamber are. Puck has found Casca by this point, and he leaves to find Guts.
Guts, on the other hand, has already found Farnese, who was escorted from the torture chamber when the evil spirits appeared. Guts shoves the tip of his dagger in her mouth and demands that she show him how to get to the torture chamber. Farnese initially resists, but Guts’ reaction convinces her to obey his command.
Nina, the useless, selfish bitch that she is, is resting in her cell. She can hear the sounds of the evil spirits under her feet and she panics. Luca, Isidoro and Jerome rescue Nina at this moment, and Isidoro rescues some of the other prisoners. As they head to the basement to look for Casca, their group is forced to turn back by the arrival of one of the evil blob creatures which fills the entire hallway. They are forced to retreat up the tower instead, but get blocked by the evil blobs on both sides.
In the torture chamber Guts finds Puck crawling across the stone floor in a helmet. The evil spirits have left the chamber taking Casca with them, so Puck leads Guts to where they are, with Farnese deciding to follow them at the last moment.
We’re shown that Casca is indeed safe within the cocoon of evil she’s been consumed by; the spirit of her child with Guts is what’s keeping her safe. It is a morbid, grotesque shot, but I also think it’s one of my favourites from the entire season.
Near the top of the tower, Mozgus and his torturers are assaulted by a wave of evil blob creatures. Suddenly the Egg of the World drops down for the ceiling and, as far as I can tell, injects Mozgus like he did with the goat man in the cultists’ cave. Mozgus is granted new powers, including the ability to breathe fire from his mouth, which he uses to fry the blob creatures and indirectly save Jerome, Luca, Nina and Isidoro.
One of Mozgus’ torturers attacks Luca’s group, punching a hole in the tower wall with a stone pillar. Luca steps back onto a loose stone and falls, but Nina catches her and Jerome holds onto Nina. Luca sacrifices herself so that the group will not be caught in the attack, but she is saved by the Skull Knight who races down the side of the tower to catch her. At the bottom he draws his sword against the Egg of the World.
Back atop the tower, Mozgus and his torturers have grown wings. However formidable they were before, their new wings give them increased speed and agility, meaning Guts has to really stay on his toes in order to avoid being caught in one of their torture devices.
Farnese, who had been left behind in the winding stairwell, finally catches up to Guts at the top of the tower. She sees him taking a moment to rest and catch his breath after being knocked to the ground, and she is speechless.
My thoughts: Huzzah, the action’s finally being stepped up a notch as we head into the final few episodes. This final, climactic battle is my favourite part of this Conviction Arc and I know I will enjoy what’s left of this season. I really, really hope they make another Berserk movie… or two… but using the animation style from the first movie trilogy. >>
Speaking of which, this CG animation is no longer bothering me as much as it was earlier in the series. I’ll be touching on it more in my final impression, but after seeing a decrease in animation quality in a couple of the other shows I’m following this season, CG is not without some perks.
Also Nina needs to DIAF. Not since Mari (Nijiiro Days) have I disliked a character this much. (┛◉Д◉)┛彡┻━┻