Web Video: Berserk Abridged
"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."
"Beating a dead horse with another dead horse."
—Berserk Abridged in hbi2k's own wordsBerserk 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.
On June 7, 2014, hbi2k finally revealed his next individual series, abridging the 2013 Berserk CGI movies that chronicled the pre-Eclipse plot.
Can be found here
This series provides examples of:
- The Abridged Series: Obviously.
- Affectionate Parody: hbi2k clearly loves the hell out of this series. That doesn't stop him from making fun of it in every way possible.
- Adaptation Distillation: Character Exaggeration aside, the series is surprisingly faithful to the series' character development.
- 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.
- Ax-Crazy: Corkus' complete obsession with murder.
Griffith: "What is it with you and murder, Corkus? Look, we murdered some people yesterday, and murdered some people this morning, and guess what we're doing tomorrow? More murder."
- Although he does have some standards, and prefers the murder of a Deadly Decadent Court to murder in battle.
- Babies Ever After: In the Where Are They Now ending, Guts and Casca are said to have had two kids.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: This is why Guts compensates with his BFS. And goes on a Rage Against the Character Designer.
- Battle Couple: Guts and Casca are a more comical version of this in that they both take turns at dissing General Adon.
- Bi the Way: Griffith, eventually, so the author can make all the Ho Yay jokes but not have to work around him getting tortured for sleeping with the princess.
- Berserk Button: Don't steal jokes from LK's Abridged series or Guts gets very angry.
- Reminding him of his terrible childhood experience with Donovan in the abridged movie is also a bad idea.
- Bland-Name Product (Behelit-O's—The only cereal that stays creepy, even in milk!)
- Blood Knight: IT'S MURDERIN' TIME!
Guts: (singsong voice) "I love hurtin' people, I looove beatin' people uuup..."
- Brick Joke: One that went cross series in Gantz Abridged. Skull Knight actually does show up to help Kurono in the filler chronicles.
- But Jello Shots Are Quicker: Combined with Barry White.
- Butt Monkey: Judeau
- In the episode 23 commentary hbi2k admits that in the later half of the series if he ran low on ideas giving Judeau more crap was his fall back plan.
- Calling Your Attacks: "Kill Bill no jutsu! That means I've got to beat you easily now, so it will be all the more impressive when you kick my ass later."
- "Piledriver! Now say you're my bitch or I'll dislocate your shoulder."
- Camp Gay: Griffith is to quote Guts "quite possibly the most flaming person in this series." The Abridged Movie layers this on a lot more.
- Character Exaggeration: Pretty much everyone goes through this, as to be expected.
- With the exception of Sir Adon, who's basically the same.
- Chess Motifs: Charlotte asking Griffith how he sees the other Hawks, and he says that they are (paraphrased) "like those pieces in chess which aren't that useful, but later in the game you can sacrifice them to bring a more important piece back to live" (i.e. pawns).
- 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.
- Contractual Genre Blindness: "Hey everybody, check out what a great diversion they're all making!"
- Crack Pairing: Judeau/Slan as mentioned in the end credits montage.
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: "Note to self. When there's an echo in my voice, it means I'm thinking. Otherwise, I'm talking."
- 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?"
- Dirty Mind-Reading: Griffith is terrified when the Godhand reveal they can read minds and Thinks Unsexy Thoughts, but they assure him that they're prepared for his perverse fantasies. They're not.
: Oh. My. God. That's
what goes through your head?! You're one sick little puppy you know that?!
- Does Not Understand Sarcasm:
- Don't Explain the Joke: (Referring to the Dragon Slayer, Guts' huge sword.)
Patron: "Do you think he's compensating for something?
Bartender: "Oh gee, I dunno, do you think?"
(Cuts to the outside of the tavern and there is a long beat.)
Patron: "It's his penis right?"
- Downer Ending: Defied by the narrator. He eventually ends up in a fight with one of the cast who disapproves of the new direction.
- Dude, Not Funny!: Invoked in Episode 13. The Mooks do not take rape jokes lightly.
- Averted with hbi2k himself in the commentary, saying that anything can be funny if the joke has the right context (bringing up the famous George Carlin musing of Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd).
- DVD Commentary: Completed. Sans DVD, but still played straight.
- Editing Works
- Even Evil Has Standards: The demon lords at the end think Griffith's dirty thoughts are disgusting.
- Even Nerds Have Standards: Final Fantasy cosplayer Guts finds the nobles Akatsuki LARP a little too nerdy even for him. Lampshaded by Rickert.
- Everything's Better with Plushies: Guts and Griffith plushies were trying to make plans for fighting The War of the Abridged Series Creators, when a Tonberry plushie took them out.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Charlotte's status as Royally Screwed Up subverts this.
- Evil Plan: The "Diet Pill Pyramid Scheme".
Demon spirits: Hey meester, how about some diet pills? Yes, buy our diet pills! Why exercise and diet to lose weight, when cheap effective weight loss solutions can be yours?
- Evil Redhead: The Earl of Douchebag, the King of Midland's brother.
- Fluffy the Terrible: The Baron of Koka Castle is given the terrifying name of Phil.
- 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* "
- Fourth Wall Mail Slot: Zodd and the Baron answer questions from various users for an episode.
- Freud Was Right:
Snake Baron: "You think YOU have Freudian issues....my WHOLE BODY IS A PHALLIC SYMBOL! ....Jeeaalous?"
- 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.
- Garninshing The Story: It's noted that a score by Yoko Kanno can make even mediocre anime seem great.
- 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
- Good People Have Good Sex: After making love Casca remarks on how someone in the series has finally had positive sexual experience.... until Guts fills her in about his, er, choking fetish.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Zodd using his severed arm to beat the crap out of Guts and Griffith, which Guts thinks is hardcore.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Guts in the series is gleefully psychotic. So is Corkus. Though that's not much of a change.
- Corkus changing his rants about entering high society and living the good life to murder, murder being like a fine wine, and more freaking murder is, though.
- Ho Yay: One of the chief running gags is Griffith's homosexual feelings towards Guts.
- Hollywood Healing: Parodied:
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.
- Intimate Psychotherapy: Guts tries to invoke this through explaining his choking fetish to Casca, saying that it wasn't healthy for him to keep repressing this habit and that he needed someone to talk to about it. Casca wasn't going to put up with it.
- 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.
- Kneel Before Zod: Zodd says the line at the end of one episode.
- Knight Templar: Guts, during his stint as a mall Santa.
- Lampshade Hanging: And how! (it wouldn't be an Abridged Series if it didn't)
- Larynx Dissonance:
- hbi2k plays Caska. This is lampshaded in his next series, Gantz Abridged, when Kishimoto initially starts talking with the Casca voice and everyone complains about how horrible it sounds.
- Averted for the film trilogy, where Casca is finally played by a woman.
- Limited Animation:
Guts: Hey Casca! 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!
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Griffith.
- Made of Plasticine: Lampshaded by mooks.
- Meal Ticket: Griffith actually calls Charlotte that.
- Mr. Exposition: That's Captain Exposition to you!
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Just ask Corkus!
- Musical Episode: "A Midlandish Theory"
- 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 gorny Seinen show, while demons know that they're actually in an abridged series of a gorny Seinen show.
- Oh God, with the Verbing!
- The Other Darrin: In the abridged version of the TV series, hbi2k did all the voices himself. The cast was expanded for the film trilogy, with different people voicing Corkus, Judeau, Gambino, Zodd, and Casca.
- Paper-Thin Disguise - Guts points out Zodd's human form as this trope: "So...you're actually a ten-foot tall demon-thing who disguises himself as an eight-foot tall ogre-thing...?"
- Pastel-Chalked Freeze Frame: "Holy crap, what happened to the animation budget?!"
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Adon actually has a checklist to make sure he insults Caska in every possible way before fighting her.
- Power of Friendship / Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Griffith ultimately declines the God Hand's offer, offended that they would even suggest that he sacrifice his friends for ultimate power.
- Precision F-Strike: In the last episode Griffith tells the God Hand to go fuck themselves.
- Rage Against the Author: Zodd versus BA's creator. Zodd usually wins.
- Guts is implied to have beaten up his own character designer (and creator), Kentaro Miura.
- Raging Stiffie: Guts had one just before he realized Casca was a girl. It was a huge relief to him.
- 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.
- Averted in the "not played for laughs" part with the movie version, where the reason Guts's adoptive father let Donovan rape him is because it was opposite day.
- 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.
- Retirony: An inversion. One of the Chuder soldiers is explaining to his friend that General Boscogne is giving him a promotion for informing him that the uniform has a fatal spot exactly in the center of the neck [[Irony shortly before getting shot in the center of the neck.]]
- 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.
- Sedgwick Speech: "Oh, the irony. The contrived, hamfisted IRONY!"
- Sex Equals Love:
Casca: "You're a stupid selfish son-of-a-bitch and I want you to die!"
Guts: "Wow. You really hate me, do you?"
Casca: "Yes - I really hate you."
- Shout-Out: Final Fantasy, Vision of Escaflowne, Hellsing, The Legend of Zelda, and Naruto ("X no jutsu" is something of a Running Gag) to name just a few.
- Left the Background Music On: Frank loves his music.
Griffith: "Damn it, I thought I said NO MUSIC!"
Frank: "You said no Johnny Cash. This is Billy Joel!"
- Not to mention he was the DJ at the Queen's funeral and fooled around with the music during the service.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Foss, among the circle of nobles trying to bump off Griffith.
"Am I the only person in this conspiracy who's not clinically retarded?! Throw me a fricken bone here, people!"
- Talking Is a Free Action: Zod points out that he could kill Guts three times over just in the time it takes for him to talk about it!
- Take That: "... the soundtrack by Yoko Kanno makes even the most mediocre anime seem great. Why else do you think anyone ever watched Wolf's Rain?"
- Also spoofing political pundits.
- Theme Song: Uses a part of Susumu Hirasawa's "Forces".
- Stinger, The ( The very end of the final episode ends with a shot of a manga panel, showing Guts holding Caska's Fetus Terrible (evidently named Superfly).)
- The Unintelligible: Bazuso. "I think he just taunted you!" "How can you tell?"
- Those Two Guys: Zodd and "Phil".
- Thoroughly Mistaken Identity: The King of Midland is frequently mistaken for the Burger King by demons and humans.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Really every member of the Hawks, given that this avoids the actual series' Downer Ending, particular mention should go to Nice Guy Judeau as described in the Where Are They Now sequence He ends up marrying Charlotte and becoming King of Midland.
- Training Montage: Parodied, naturally.
- Tsundere: Casca's hatred of Guts is something that's never-ending in its ill-humor.
- ‹bermensch: "I was wondering, do I seem like the Nietzche-ian Superman type to you?"
- He thinks he's WHAT kind of Necromancer?
- Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Related to Raging Stiffie above.
- Walking the Earth: Guts' ever frustrated need to get to Comic Con.
- He finally makes it in episode twenty.
- 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.
- What Would X Do?: It's time for another exciting episode of What Would Lupin the Third Have Done?
- 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 raped and 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.