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"Those Who Cling, Those Who Struggle" is the twelfth and final episode of season one of the Berserk 2016 anime adaptation. It covers manga episodes 171 through 176.

OverviewEdit

Guts and his group fend off the flood of corpses with their fire while Luca saves Nina down below the tower. Meanwhile, the Egg of the Perfect World collects the energy of St. Albion's souls and sacrifices himself to resurrect Griffith in a corporeal form. The Tower of Conviction collapses, killing everyone inside as the sun rises. Guts and the others collect themselves, but are quickly surrounded by Silat and his Kushans. The Kushans are immediately repelled by Nosferatu Zodd who bursts through the rubble and marches to a nearby hill. At that moment, everybody ceases fighting to witness Griffith arising from the ground as Zodd kneels before him. Guts goes to immediately attack, but is stopped by Casca. As the Kushan army proceeds with its invasion, Zodd and Griffith escape into the skies while Guts, Puck and Casca ride to Godo's on horseback. Isidro departs on his own while Luca mourns the death of the Egg. While Nina reunites with Joachim, Farnese leaves her faith behind; deciding to follow Guts as Serpico travels with her.

SummaryEdit

"In that moment, all held their breath. And all were transfixed. And all realized... that what they had desired had come."

Luca finds Nina

Luca protecting Nina from being trampled by the refugees.

Attempting to walk away from the wreckage of the merchant's stall after she fell on it to escape Mozgus's twin disciples, fearing she may having broken her ankle, Nina sees the refugees running towards the Tower and is saved from being trampled on by Luca. But the reunion is short lived as Luca, knowing that the corpse mounds are about to break into the city, places Nina in a barrel. While Nina refuses to leave Luca's side as she forces the lid on, she accepts Luca's insistence after she tells her that the fearful having a strong desire to live. Just as she finishes hammering the lid in place, Luca notices the corpses slowly flowing into the city. Within moments, Nina's barrel is caught in the tidal wave of corpses flooding into St. Albion. She nearly pushes the lid off in a panic, but remembers Luca's words and calms down while curling herself into a ball.

Guts assists Farnese

Guts telling Farnese to protect herself instead of praying for help.

On the battlements, Guts and his group begin their slow walk as Puck explains to Isidro that the blob-like creatures before them are the manifested spirits of the wronged dead who have manifested through numerous corpses and consumed the living to build their strength. Isidro feels it makes no sense with Farnese concurring despite her previous encounter with the dead. Just then, a tendril of spirits lunges at Farnese before Guts destroys it with his explosives with Isidro seeing the spirits creeping on them from behind. Through Farnese resorts to pray, Guts tells her to focus on using her hands to warding the spirits off. With a newfound resolution, Farnese swipes her burning stick at them, defending the back along with Isidro and Serpico while Guts and Jerome defend from the front.

Blood spirits forming a hand

The possessed blood forming a layer on the Tower of Conviction, giving it a new, Eclipse-like air.

At the Tower of Conviction, most of the refugees that barricaded themselves there end up being consumed by the spiritually possessed blood before it bursts out of the walls to completely cover the Tower. Puck senses this and directs everyone to it, Casca shrieking at the sight as Guts recognizes the altered structure before them to be identical to the hand that formed during the Eclipse. Puck feels the desires of the individual spirits shift from those wanting salvation and those wanting retribution to a shared desire for a perfect world. Puck than directs Guts's attention to his satchel, the elf revealing that Behelit is responding to what are witnessing. Suddenly, Guts and Casca collapse from the burst of pain emanating from their brands.

Tower of Conviction ruins

The Tower of Conviction no longer casts a looming shadow over St. Albion.

At the top of the hand structure as it begins to clutch into a fist, the Egg sits on the palm with his face arranged like a Behelit as he smiles contently while shredding tears of blood. Inside the Apostle's body, the Demon Child transforms into a fully developed human infant before growing repeatedly into a young man. As the Egg cracks, the Tower begins to collapse with Guts telling the others to take cover. As the sun rises, the dust clears to reveal the now ruined city of St. Albion with the Tower of Conviction now a large pile of rubble. Only Guts and his group survived alongside Nina and Luca, who is revealed to have took shelter in a nearby well after placing Nina in the barrel.

Skull Knight atop the ruins

The Skull Knight directing Guts's gaze towards Griffith.

But the reunion is short lived as the group find themselves surrounded by a large number of Kushan scouts under Silat, who came on orders from his leader to find the particular person which an oracle told him would appear in St. Albion. Silat orders the scouts to attack the group, Guts finding himself and the others at a disadvantage due to the fatigue from last night. But the group receive unlikely aid from Azan, who also survived the Tower's collapse. But before the fight can continue, Nosfertu Zodd charges into the city and kills some of the Kushan. Guts glances up at the top of the wall Zodd crashed through, seeing the Skull Knight who points him to someone in the distance. Guts is shocked to see a fully reconstituted Griffith, naked and basking in the morning sun.

Griffith gazes at Guts

Griffith reborn.

Every one present is transfixed by Griffith's sudden appearance as Zodd approaches the figure and kneels before him. Griffith calmly turns to face the monster and places his hand on Zodd's head, as though petting him. Though Guts finally has his chance to kill Griffith, he could not move towards him. Silat, having found his quarry, sends his scouts after Griffith and sees them all massacred by Zodd. While Azan uses this moment to get everyone else to safety, Guts and Casca remain where they are with the swordsman shocked to see Casca approaching Griffith. Griffith turns his gaze towards them, his eyes being the only thing revealing his true inhuman nature.

Zodd and Griffith escape

Zodd and Griffith escape the ruins of St. Albion before they are overrun with Kushan troops.

Though the others realize they left Guts and Casca behind, Isidro in disagreement, they are decide to left them behind while hiding from a massive Kushan army approaching the city. They then see Zodd flying off the distance with Griffith on his back while Guts stole a horse to get himself and Casca to safety. Serpico is unsure whether Guts can realistically fight through the entire army, but Luca voices her opinion that Guts is capable of anything when it comes to protecting Casca. Isidro remains determined to one day have Guts repay the debt he now owes the boy for saving Casca from being burned at the stake.

Luca holds flowers for those killed

Luca paying respects for the dead.

After covering enough distance from the city, the group find Luca's apprentices among a very small number of refugees that able to escape St. Albion's destruction. Jerome nearly breaks down from the irony that only the faithless survived, but Luca clarified that they survived because they chose to act without hesitation. Luca then bends down to pluck several flowers from the rocky ground around her and ties their stems together. She then walks to a nearby cliff and lets the wind carry the bundle of flowers into the air to pay her final respects to everyone who died last night, including the Egg of the Perfect World whose suffering she recognized. As Luca assures her girls that Casca will be safe with Guts, Isidro gathers his affairs and bids them goodbye as he heads off to find Guts.

Nina and Joachim reunited

Nina seeing Joachim.

Nina separates from the group and heads for a nearby river to soak her ankle, convincing herself to stay by Luca's side so she can learn to be a brave as her. But as Nina approaches the river, she encounters Joachim as he apologizes being a coward the night he ran off from her in the cave. Joachim was about to leave when Nina calls him back as she feels she can identify with him as they both have something in common. Luca, aware that Nina decided to remain with Joachim, accepts the girl's decision to not return to her.

Farnese abandons her faith to follow Guts

Farnese deciding to leave the Holy See and follow Guts.

Farnese sits on the edge of a cliff, looking out at the distant ruins of St. Albion and still in shock over the tower's destruction. It gives her an apathy on how she used her faith to avoid facing her true self - a scared child who constantly relives the night she first burned a person at the stake. After Azan told Serpico how he survived last night and his survivor's guilt over their men throwing away their lives, they notice Farnese removing her armor. Farnese tells Azan that she intends to follow Guts, telling a shocked Azan to tells her father and the leaders of Holy See that she has renounced faith. Farnese leaves the group, Serpico following close behind.

SK gazes upon the ruins of the Tower

The Skull Knight contemplating events now in motion.

On a cliff near the ruins of St. Albion, the Skull Knight contemplates the current situation as Griffith's restoration will soon cause a chain of events that will ultimately change the very nature of the world itself. Meanwhile, at an abode in a magical forest that is home to a young witch who felt Griffith's reconstitution, a suit of blackened armor is shown in a secluded cavern.

Next Episode PreviewEdit

In the dark shadows, a twisted breastplate of black metal comes into focus. A mysterious abode in a magical forest in seen briefly before the dark breastplate comes into focus again. The eyes of a young witch flash open before the mysterious abode is shown again. Flashes of branches from the tree the abode is built around and the skull-shaped helm of the armor are shown repeatedly. Suddenly, the eyes of the malevolent armor glow red as the full set of the blackened, evil armor is shown in a secluded cavern.

Characters in Order of AppearanceEdit

Manga/Anime DifferencesEdit

This section requires expansion.

TriviaEdit

  • This is the only episode of the first season to use a different ending theme, "Ash Crow" instead of "Meimoku no Kanata".
  • This is also the first episode of the anime to end with a teaser for the next season, rather than the traditional episode preview.

Episode NavigationEdit

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