"In this world, Is the destiny of man truly controlled by some abstract philosophical concept? Is it like solid waste being spewed from the pen of a writer, desperate to add depth to what is otherwise meaningless violence? At least it is true that man has no control, even over his own anime."
Berserk Abridged is an Affectionate Parody of the Berserk anime series that was created by hbi2k. The series was supposedly canceled after Episode 17, but this was revealed to be a hoax, and eventually all 25 episodes of the anime received the abridged treatment. The series chronicles Guts' recruitment by Griffith on his way to Comic Con and the resulting insanity up until the final episodes where the series goes in a drastically different direction than the original anime. The series is noteworthy for its use of Zodd and the Snake Baron, AKA Phil, of the first episode as a Greek Chorus. It's also worth noting that this is one of the first Abridged series to actually finish, but then again, a lot of other Abridged Series are based on Long Runners.On January 9, 2011 hbi2k's youtube channel was terminated for copyright infringement and all Berserk Abridged episodes were taken down. The claim came from VAP Inc., one of the Japanese producers of Berserk. Hbi2k filed a counterclaim, and on January 27th, his channel was reinstated. All his videos are viewable again with the exception of a couple of Berserk Abridged episodes.Can be found here.
The author, as well as doing Gantz Abridged has made some gag teasers for fake Abridged series, such as "Batman: The Abridgimated Series" consisting of the Berserk Abridged characters doing Batman and tried to do an episode of Hellsing Abridged before Zodd beat him into continuing the actual series.)
Ascended Extra: Zodd and "Phil" only made two and one appearances respectively in the actual show (although Zodd at least appears some more in the manga), but they together get a special episode including a Fourth Wall Mail Slot and both are seen several times for scenes not following the storyline.
As You Know: Lampshaded in episode 15, when one of the Generals explains the entire history of Midland's 100 year war to the assembled military leaders, as they ask him WHY he's repeating things everybody already knows.
Audience Participation: hbi2k encouraged viewers to make a witty one-liner for Judeau's Big Damn Heroes moment, the winner actually having their line said by Judeau later on, who curses himself for not using that line.
Cloudcuckoolander: Guts varies between this and Genius Ditz but crosses over into it completely when he believes that menstruation is a myth and women give birth to leprechauns.
Guts: You know, the enemy could discover us here at any moment. This might be a good time to pull out your broom and fly us to safety.
Casca: For the last time women can't fly on brooms!
The Cuckoo Lander Was Right: During the last episode, Guts explains that the universe is just experiencing some technical difficulties, and all they have to do is wait for a cosmic maintenance man to arrive and save them. His description of said cosmic maintenance man is a picture-perfect match for the Skull Knight. Hbi2k's next series, Gantz Abridged, confirmed that this is exactly how this particular multiverse he's created works, especially when both Judeau and the Skull Knight appear as cosmic maintenance men.
The same joke is inverted with the Governor, who says the same thing that Griffith had about Guts ("I must have him!") in regards to Griffith. When General Boscono asks if he means in his army, the Governor snaps, "No, I must have him naked and chained to the foot of my bed! Do I have to draw you a freaking picture?"
Foreshadowing: Zodd nonchalantly telling Guts that Guts will eventually get to bang Casca; also about Griffith turning into "some kind of freaky lipstick monster" (which really happens in the actual series). The diet pills mentioned off-hand also come in relevant towards the end.
Not to mention all the references to the Eclipse.
An unintentional one is during Episode 13, where some mooks call out their commander for thinking of raping Casca, saying that rape is never funny. This is one of the reasons why HBI 2 K chose to do a happy ending for the series.
Forgot About The Mind Reader: "Oh God, they can hear my thoughts! Don't think about sex! Don't think about sex! * sings the Meow Mix song in his head* "
Snake Baron: "You think YOU have Freudian issues....my WHOLE BODY IS A PHALLIC SYMBOL! ....Jeeaalous?" invoked
Gag Dub: One episode even features various dubs of a line spoken by Judeau; the Media Blasters dub, the manga's English translation, a scanlation, Spanglish, German, and Simlish.
Genre Savvy: Zodd's line after the series ended, as follows: "but it's like the only time in the history of anime that the demons win. Every other show ends with the Ancient Hero of Bullshit showing up at the last minute, wielding the legendary Sword of Deus ex Machina and slicing the hell out of us. Well not this time! This time, WE WIN! Griffith turns evil. Everyone gets raped or eaten or killed. Fuck you. THE END!"note Although what he's saying is technically incorrect. Devilman, a manga that inspired Miura, ends pretty much the same way, only with more hermaphrodites. Though he did specifically mention anime history, and Devilman's anime didn't quite end with the Demons winning.
Doctor: I'm afraid you've suffered some very serious injuries. You'll need several weeks of bed rest, followed by months of intense physical therapy, and even then, there's a very real possibility that you may never make a full recovery.
Casca: Are you sure?
Doctor: Of course I'm sure! I'm a doctor! I've got my doctor hat on! I'm always sure!
Casca: Well, you know, he is the main character of an action anime.
Doctor: Oh! Well hell, that's different then. I'm sure he'll be up and about very soon.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Judeau claims he wants this for Casca when he tells Guts to take her and leave the Hawks. Unlike the original series where this is genuine, here he gives Guts every paper-thin hint possible that he wants Guts to return the offer.
Jerkass: Corkus and the aptly named Earl of Douchebag.
Larynx Dissonance: hbi2k plays Caska. This is lampshaded in his next series, Gantz Abridged, when Kishimoto initially starts talking with the Caska voice and everyone complains about how horrible it sounds.
Guts: Hey Caska! These three frames of animation seem to be keeping him at bay! This is your chance to get back to the rest of the Hawks!
And in an unrelated scene
Griffith: Now remember: we'll need our entire animation budget for the battle scene, so everyone move out while using as few frames as possible! ...Okay, we're there, you can start animating now! ...Any time!
Network Decay: Pointed out in-universe in Episode 12.5 (DTV Pitch) when Zodd mentioned specialty cable networks being good at the start, then going downhill quickly when they lose their focus, using G4 as an example.
No Fourth Wall: Interesting in that, as the commentary points out, there's actually two levels of fourth wall breakage: human characters think that they're in a gornySeinen show, while demons know that they're actually in an abridged series of a gornySeinen show.
Rape as Backstory: Discussed. Guts' history of sexual abuse is not played for laughs, since Word of God is that he couldn't think of a way to make it funny. Though the discussion itself contains a level of Black Comedy it's has more to do with Casca's clueless reaction than Guts' very legitimate pain.
Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: The Tudor soldiers who corner Casca during Guts's battle against a hundred of them show no opposition to killing her... but are absolutely appalled at the idea of raping her. An interesting change in world where All Men Are Perverts.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Zodd directly compares Guts and Griffith to Naruto and Sasuke respectively, though Griffith thinks it's more the other way around.
Royally Screwed Up: Inbreeding is blamed for Midland's problems with monarchy. Did I say that? I meant to say that it's lauded for its nobles having their regal bearing, like a cow looking at an oncoming train.
And it's what makes their brains so smart! With thinking!
Running Gag: Griffith's not so veiled attempts at getting Guts into bed.
Also - Band of the Hawk? More like Band of the Whore. ...okay, that was bad. But if someone has a name and they're in the Hawks, they are a prostitute or they were at some point.
There's Corkus' belief that Jello Shots and Barry White always works with girls. This one also appeared in Gantz Abridged.
And Puck is perpetually used as the standard for irritating things.
One villain named Puck as the Jar-Jar of Berserk. hbi2k later commented that Puck is worse than Jar-Jar, because as bad as Jar-Jar was, he only ruined one movie out of three.
What Could Have Been: One of the things that Hbi2k was gonna do was make the final episodes in the style of AMV Hell. He doesn't go through it because he felt like it's not Grand Finale material, however you can see where he was going for his AMV Hell style in bits and pieces, like Slan's entrance to the song of She's A Lady with Corkus singing along.
Speaking of Slan's entrance, each member of the God Hand was gonna have their own theme. However, this only went that way for Slan (and if you interpret it as such) Femto, (which by the way is The Hawkman Cometh). Void, Conrad, and Ubik get their entrances set to He Has The Whole World In His Hands.
Word of God: By name no less in the final commentary, hbi2k says that the Downer Ending happened, and that the other, happier ending was partly for his own amusement and partly due to the fact he couldn't find a way to parody the actual ending without feeling extremely uncomfortable since he couldn't find a way to show Casca being rapedand make it funny. From what he said in the (non-commentary) opening of the 24th episode, a lot of fans emailed him telling him that he shouldn't parody the ending, and he added that in a way, he agreed with them, since it's a hugely emotional moment. The Downer-est Downer Ending of all time. No fan of the show would want the end of that parodied, and hbi2k is on that list. And he did what any fan would've done; the Mega Happy Ending. And then follows up with an amv montage of all the bad things that happen jammed into a couple minutes when Zodd rebels. Literally the only way that he could have left the majority of the abridged show's fanbase feeling happy.
Yaoi Fanboy: The Governor, who uses his boy harem to act out his Vision of Escaflowne Fanfiction and is obsessed with Griffith for his resemblance to Dilandau.