Welcome back to the the Band of the Haken’s coverage of Berserk. I am Requiem, your host for Episode 15, “Banner of the Flying Sword.”

We start with Griffith, right where we last saw him- riding his horse right up to the Kushan forces. Gotta say this for Griffith, he’s got swag for days. Ol’ Snowy Locks then introduces himself to the enemy general...by putting a sword through his eye. That’s gotta sting.

The Kushans take the non-unreasonable step of trying to kill Big Grif, only to be beaten( and possibly eaten) by our old friend Zodd, in his somewhat-approximating human form. Another attempt gets a bunch of soldiers a lance right through the noggin, courtesy of a newcomer, a Knight in some sweet armor who calls himself Locus. Apparently Locus is also known as the Moonlight Knight, though I didn’t see him throw any roses or mention saving Sailor Moon.

Meanwhile, we see the blonde girl who popped up a few times last episode head toward Griffith, proclaiming him the Hawk of Light and saying the wind told her now is when the world starts to change. Apparently the wind is awfully chatty in the World of Berserk. Her approach, however is interrupted by an attack but the two bodybuilders of the Bakiraka, who in turn are repelled by yet ANOTHER newcomer, this one Kushan exile named Raskas, who looks like a living duffel bag with a fright mask and mentions that, like Locus, he came to find the Hawk based on prophecy (although Locus called it ‘divine revelation’). Then we see the gates of the city destroyed by yet another interesting newcomer, a giant wearing yet another badass set of armor. Never let it be said that Berserk doesn’t know how to showcase incredible armor design. Locus, Raskas, Zodd, and the new guy...looks like there’s a new Band of the Hawk.

From this scene of carnage, we cut back to Guts and Co., with Farnese kneeling and asking to accompany Guts. When pressed for why her sudden change of heart, she states her desire to learn the truth about the world outside her Order and to learn to survive the darkness. Isidro and Puck don’t buy it, but little Miss Masochist proves her sincerity by whipping out her blade and hacking off her pigtails. I guess impromptu haircuts signify keeping it real in Berserk-world.

Guts surprises everyone by accepting them. Well, he says they can do what they want as long as they stay out of his way, but that counts as warm greeting on the Guts scale. Puck is especially surprised, but Guts’ voiceover makes it pretty clear that the situation with Casca and his own inner demons means he needs to rely on people for the first time in a long while. So, Farnese and Serpico join our merry band. Like the Scooby gang, but with more PTSD.

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That’s it for Guts & Friends this episode! We cut to a battle, where a young Lord (whose name we eventually learn is Mule Wolflame..I mean, Wolflame is cool, sure, but Mule? Ouch, Mom and Dad) is leading a group of Midlanders against the Kushans, and things aren’t going so great...until they are saved by, once again, a new character, this time an archer who lands a headshot everytime. Then here comes Griffith and the rest of the new Band of the Hawk! It looks like Griffith has himself an army.

Post Battle, young Mule meets the blonde girl from earlier, whose name turns out to be Sonia and who is the Band’s new seer, as she has some form of psychic abilities. She leads our new viewpoint character through the Hawks’ camp, where we’re shown Griffith’s new army, which includes defectors from Kushan. We also get a little more information on Locus and the giant, whose name turns out to Grunbeld and, like Locus, he’s a legendary knight-in this case, one who’s supposed to be dead. We also get a look at a group of..orcs, I guess?... who are also under Griffith’s command, and finally Sonia leads Mule to the Human Shampoo Commercial himself, as Griffith appears surrounded by globs of light, which, Sonia claims, are the souls of those who died in battle, appearing a last time so their loved ones can see them off. You’d almost think Griffith was pretty awesome if you didn’t know what a gigantic bastard he is.

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We end this episode with Mule making what I’m sure seemed like a great idea at the time, and swearing his sword to Griffith and the new, improved Band of the Hawk. I’m sure you won’t regret that decision, son!

Well, Guts picked up two new companions but Griffith’s got a whole new army. That’ll probably work out great for everyone involved! Join us next week for more coverage of CLANG!