Berserk: Golden Age Arc III: Advent ベルセルク黄金時代篇III:降臨  (2013)

Berserk: Golden Age Arc III: Advent        Berserk III Movie Poster               

ベルセルク 黄金時代篇III:降臨  Beruseruku Ogon Jidai-Hen III: Kourin

Release Date: February 01st 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 112 mins

Director: Toshiyuki Kubooka

Writer: Ichiro Okouchi (script)Kentaro Miura (original manga)

Starring: Hiroaki Iwanaga (Guts), Takahiro Sakurai (Griffith), Toa Yukinaru (Casca), Aki Toyosaki (Charlotte), Kenta Miyake (Nosferatu Zodd), Takahiro Fujiwara (Pippin)

Studio: Studio 4°C

Website   ANN   MAL

There are three entries in the Berserk Golden Age Arc and this review follows on from one I wrote in 2012 after watching Berserk: Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King at a cinema. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD alongside the second film, Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey, and third film, Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Advent.

This trilogy of films adapts Kentaro Miura’s on-going manga which has reached 38 volumes at the time of this review. It has already been adapted into a twenty-five episode TV anime in 1997/98 and a new series is going to air in the summer. With this film…

Berserk (2)

The Golden Age arc is coming to an end.

Continue reading “Berserk: Golden Age Arc III: Advent ベルセルク黄金時代篇III:降臨  (2013)”

Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey ベルセルク黄金時代篇 IIドルドレイ攻略 (2012)

Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey   Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey Movie Poster

ベルセルク 黄金時代篇 II ドルドレイ攻略  Beruseruku Ogon Jidai-Hen II: Doldrey Koryaku

Release Date: June 23rd, 2012

Running Time: 93 mins.

Director: Toshiyuki Kubooka

Writer: Ichiro Okouchi (script)Kentaro Miura (original manga)

Starring: Hiroaki Iwanaga (Guts), Takahiro Sakurai (Griffith), Toa Yukinaru (Casca), Aki Toyosaki (Charlotte), Kenta Miyake (Nosferatu Zodd), Takahiro Fujiwara (Pippin)

Studio: Studio 4°C

Website   ANN   MAL

There are three entries in the Berserk Golden Age Arc and this review follows on from one I wrote in 2012 after watching Berserk: Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King at a cinema.

This trilogy of films adapts Kentaro Miura’s on-going manga which has reached 38 volumes at the time of this review. It has already been adapted into a twenty-five episode TV anime in 1997/98 and a new series is going to air in the summer. The three films adapt around twelve volumes of the manga and cover the same ground as the TV anime. A quick flashback at the beginning of the second film sets the scene but it’s best to watch the opener so you can figure out what is going on and who each character is. Essentially…

Berserk Anime Movie Guts Talking

Continue reading “Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey ベルセルク黄金時代篇 IIドルドレイ攻略 (2012)”

Berserk: Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King ベルセルク黄金時代篇III:覇王の卵 (2012)

Genki Jason Berserk Golden Age Arc I Egg of the King Review Banner

Berserk: Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King        Berserk Film Poster                      

Japanese Title: Berserk Ōgon Jidai-Hen III: Haou no Tamago

Romaji: ベルセルク黄金時代篇III:覇王の卵

Release Date: 4th February 2012 (Japan)

UK Release Date: 2013

Running Time: 80 mins.

Director: Toshiyuki Kubooka

Writer: Ichiro Okouchi (Script),Kentarō Miura (original manga)

Starring: Hiroaki Iwanaga (Guts), Takahiro Sakurai (Griffith), Toa Yukinaru (Casca), Aki Toyosaki (Charlotte), Kenta Miyake (Nosferatu Zodd)

I find it hard to believe that I resisted Berserk until earlier this year. My first taste of it was an unpromising opening episode from the anime that was part of a cover-disc on Neo magazine and a Dreamcast game (Sword of the Berserk: Guts’ Rage) which convinced me that it was a simplistic medieval hack and slash title. Then I was inspired by fan fervour to watch the twenty-five episode TV series. At first bemused at the story of a guy with a huge sword in a love triangle with a bishōnen and tsundere I gradually lost my flippant attitude and got sucked into the saga of Guts.

How did I go from dismissal to full embrace?

I came to realise Berserk was a magnificent existential drama taking place in a medieval world laced with supernatural elements and populated by characters I came to care about. It also had awesome action, music and an ungodly amount of gore which also helped. When I watched the movie at a recent anime film festival it was with a sense of trepidation. If it was bad I would be pretty disappointed. Thankfully the movie proved to be a great adaptation.

Guts is a wandering mercenary who has a huge sword and few dreams or ambitions beyond surviving. All of that changes after he meets Griffith, leader of a group of mercenaries named Band of the Hawk who are working for the Kingdom of Midland in their war against Chuder. Guts decides to throw his lot in with them and develops a deep relationship with Griffith but also finds that Casca, a commander in the Band of the Hawk, is jealous that Griffith returns his feelings. Both Guts and Casca find themselves facing fierce battles and fierce emotions as they are swept along in Griffith’s rise to power.

BErserk Griffith Victorious

Berserk Golden Age Arc is the first of a trilogy of films that adapt Kentarō Miura’s much lauded manga which began all the way back in 1990 and was adapted into a twenty-five episode TV anime in 1997/98. The manga currently stands thirty-seven volumes and is still being printed. This trilogy of films focusses on the Golden Age Arc which ranges across volumes three to fourteen of the manga, the same story covered by the anime. That is a lot of ground to cover but this film sets everything up neatly.

Berserk GutsThe script does an excellent job compressing the story into eighty minutes and you do not need to know the original story to fully understand what happens.  The film charts the initial success of the Band of the Hawk and ends just after the assassination run with Griffith’s speech about dreams. While the TV anime had enough air time to give us a mixture of full blown battles with detailed tactics and the twisting court intrigue faced by Griffith in the kingdom of Midland, the film is more selective and the story is told elliptically.

Continue reading “Berserk: Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King ベルセルク黄金時代篇III:覇王の卵 (2012)”

Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent Trailer

Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent           Berserk Movie III Descent Poster

Japanese Title: Berserk Ōgon Jidai-Hen III: Kōrin

Romaji: ベルセルク 黄金時代 篇 III: 降臨 

Release Date: 4th February 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Toshiyuki Kubooka

Writer: Ichiro Okouchi (Script), Kentarō Miura (original manga)

Starring: Hiroaki Iwanaga (Guts), Takahiro Sakurai (Griffith), Toa Yukinaru (Casca), Aki Toyosaki (Charlotte), Kenta Miyake (Nosferatu Zodd)

Possible spoilers ahead. This is a new teaser trailer for the third Berserk feature and it gives us a glimpse into the mayhem, carnage and trauma that comes at the very end of the Golden Age Arc. This is where the story goes from conventional medieval combat to full on supernatural horror and I was left pretty horrified at the end which just reinforced how swept up in the Berserk saga I was. It is directed by Toshiyuki Kubooka who was the director of the previous two instalments and Studio 4°C look to have continued with their excellent animation.

After Guts leaves the employ of the Band of the Hawk it all goes very wrong for Griffith and The Band of the Hawk. Casca does her best to hold the remnants of the mercenary army together but with Midland’s soldiers closing in on them their days seem numbered. Until Guts steps back into the picture. This, however, will lead him to the Eclipse Ceremony and the horrific  creation of Femto.