Berserk: the Anime that Achieved What Game of Thrones Couldn’t

In its final season, Game of Thrones tried to subvert expectations. It kind of forgot about character development. But more than 20 years ago, Berserk got its villain right.

Game of Thrones Hair Designer on Jon Snow, Daenerys Hair | Time

Game of Thrones finished airing more than a year ago. Many have decided to forget about it than remember the travesty that was the final season. Why did the dragons die? Why did Dany transform so suddenly?

Above all, why did the people of Winterfell hide in the crypts during an Ice Zombie apocalypse?

One thing that helps answer these questions is to compare it to an anime series called Berserk. It is a dark fantasy series, based on the manga by Kentaro Miura, that started its run in the late 1990s.

In a lot of ways, Berserk is similar to Game of Thrones. It is set in a medieval era with protagonists trying to grapple with their ambitions, lust, morality, and duties. It has relentless violence, both physical and sexual.

But above all, both have characters who are deeply flawed, who want the world in their grasp, and who collapse into madness when their dreams crumble into dust.

Read more (spoilers ahead!)

Wandering Earth: China’s foray into Blockbuster Sci-Fi

The best parts of Wandering Earth occur when it sticks to its imaginative and unique premise. The worst parts occur when it tries to emulate Hollywood, becoming cliched and unoriginal.

Last month, the Chinese sci-fi movie Wandering Earth became available on Netflix. The movie is based on the short story by Cixin Liu, one of the most well known writers of Chinese science fiction, and the author of the Three Body Problem (see my review of the book).

The Plot

The Sun is expanding, heating up the Earth and slowly killing all species in it. The world unites to build huge fusion-powered thrusters on the Earth’s surface to steer it toward our closest star, Alpha Centauri.

And all this happens in the first 10 minutes of the movie, even before the title appears. Crazy? You bet.

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