(OST stands for original sound track just in case you didn’t know)
As I’m sure you know, in anime the music and sound design are extremely important for creating a brilliant scene. It’s hard to get an emotional moment without an emotional song and it’s hard to feel like you’re watching great action unless the music really delivers.
So how do the berserk 2016 and 1997 sound tracks compare in this regard? I’m going to talk about each one individually and then wrap up my points at the end. Through all this, know that I like both soundtracks very similarly as they both have great music on them; I will get to explaining later why I don’t think the new one works as well though. As the 2017 anime of Berserk is currently unavailable to me I won’t be talking about that (unless I update it at the end of the post).
The 1997 Soundtrack
I’m not sure if this is a common thing but the only reason why I started reading Berserk in the first place was because Guts’ theme and how brilliant it was. I love the calm quiet nature of the song and it does a brilliant job to deliver on a great atmosphere, I can genuinely listen to this song on loop for two hours it’s that good! That being said I, only really listened to this track before actually seeing the anime making it quite jarring when it enters just because I often don’t really see it as part of the OST.
The track “forces” really communicates great action and gets you pumped yet the rest of it is quite calm and ambient. This is great for me due to the fact that I love the ambient, quiet moments in the manga and feel that lonely, atmospheric music best communicates guts as a character so I’m not complaining.
Whilst the soundtrack is only half an hour long its home to some classic tracks that will most likely make you very nostalgic if you were watching it “back in the day”.
The 2016 Soundtrack
This soundtrack is good in its own way and is actually 73 full minutes of songs that I mostly like. I really like the ominous “GOD HAND” bit and find the action music to be pretty fun. Unfortunately no single track really sticks out as “great” to me yet I enjoy listening to it. I’m actually listening to it right now, I normally write with a podcast on in the background but even after the first listen I find myself playing it again which has got to count for something.
So the songs aren’t really bad, theirs more of them and the anime is half the length of its predecessor so my main gripe comes from how the music is used.
In lots of action anime I feel like this soundtrack would work, but not for Berserk. Whilst I like the music it comes across as massively off-putting and against the tone of the manga which is a massive problem. It also lacks a lot of quiet atmospheric tunes which breathe life into the old anime.
On top of that the sound design in the new Berserk is also pretty bad, the sword sounds hollow and the enemy collisions really don’t sound realistic at all so my point about the new Berserk OST could be due to my dislike for the sound design.
This series has been really fun to write so far and I will continue it soon, on the contrary to what I said in the previous post I have another Berserk idea coming up soon talking about how the manga could have been completely different to what it actually was. After that post I will be taking a hiatus to catch up to Berserk so I can talk about it more so be sure to follow so that you can keep up.
Also if you didn’t know this is part of a series analysing the manga and anime adaptations of Berserk be sure to check the other Berserk posts out!