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Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I- The Egg Of The King DVD Review

Berserk- The Golden Age Arc 1- The Egg Of The King DVD

While far from perfect, there is much to admire about “Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I- The Egg Of The King.”

Part of a new series of movies, the first “Berserk” film, which is based on the manga of the same name, revolves around the cold, reckless, angry, giant sword wielding mercenary warrior named Guts. The bulk of the story involves Guts being brought on board to the Band of the Hawk (a group of deadly mercenaries led by the white-haired Griffith). Griffith (who happens to possess the powerful egg of the king AKA the crimson behelit) essentially takes Guts under his wing, but this shady leader seems to have dreams and delusions of his own. Alas, their friendship sours as Guts mistrust of Griffith grows. Other characters that are integral to the story here include Casca (a feisty female warrior in the Band of the Hawk), Princess Charlotte, a demon named Noserfatu Zodd, and a Lord who becomes murdered (won’t say who).

Having never read the manga series or seen the previous anime series that was made, I can’t compare or contrast them. I will say that, judging this on its own merits, it’s a flawed, but well made first installment in this series.

As this arc is part of a planned trilogy, the movie feels a bit truncated and rushed. Whether or not material has been cut out I don’t know, but you get the sense that writer Ichiro Okochi clearly tries to cram in as much story and character development as possible in the 77 minute runtime. The super fast and sometimes awkward editing also gives that impression as well.

On the plus side, the story does pull you in. While you can guess where things might be headed for Guts and Griffith, viewers will likely want to see how this all plays out in the upcoming parts 2 and 3.

As for the animation style, I found the mixture of 2D and 3D animation to be visually striking. While some may find it jarring, it really works particularly well with battle sequences that featured inventive camera angles and stylistic sword fights. Speaking of which, the action here is far and away one of the main highlights of this film. The exciting, violent as heck action sequences really capture your attention from the get go. I can only imagine that there will be even bigger battles to come in future films.

Video/Audio:

Presented in 2.35:1, the film definitely looks and feels cinematic. It should be mentioned that this title is also available on Blu-ray (which I’m sure looks even better).

This disc contains English and Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1. Thankfully, the English track is not a rushed hack job like so many English tracks we see these days. The Japanese track is also quite on the money in terms of voice acting. As for the action sequences, they’re loud and lively on both audio tracks.

The only extras here are a trailer for Neon Alley and a production art still gallery.

Summary: “Berserk” and anime fans should check out the first film in this arc.

December 13, 2012 - Posted by | DVD review |

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