Customer Reviews: Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I - The Egg of the King
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on September 3, 2012
I'm going to start this review with a bit of backstory. This may be a long read but this is Berserk so I'm going to take my time and get this right.

The original Berserk anime is infamous for its massive cliffhanger ending. I was never into manga until I watched Berserk, then I simply HAD to read the manga, because I literally could not live with not knowing what happened next. The fact that Berserk is one of the most well drawn and well written (if poorly updated) manga series ever made.

For years the fans clamored for season 2, even after it became clear that it wasn't going to happen there were still some hold outs, but eventually even they died out as well. Then the past few years we have started to see a lot of old uncompleted anime series get reboots. Some like Ultimate Hellsing were just what the fans were waiting for, others like Inuyasha: Final Act were rushed and kind of disappointing. But if any anime deserved a reboot, it was Berserk. And now here it is, the long rumored Berserk reboot that we have waited for all this time.

Now I'm going to review the actual series itself of Berserk (be patient the movie review is coming).

I don't really look at Berserk like a manga, to me it's more like a great work of art, and it reads more like a classic novel that will survive the ages. It's also easily one of the best drawn series I've ever read. The detail Miura puts into his work is spectacular, and his stories are breathtaking. As we follow Guts on his journey we see him go from an aimless wanderer, to a soldier and a friend struggling to find his place in the world, to a revenge driven sociopath fighting his fate as he travels down his dark road, to a man doing his best to heal from the wounds inflicted upon his mind, body, and soul by the dark hand of fate.

His journey constantly exposes us to the very best and the very worst of humanity. We see the darkest and most depraved things imaginable happen in these pages, which only makes it all the more heroic when we see the characters we've come to love climb out from the darkness and hold on to their humanity against all odds. Berserk can make you cry one moment and laugh another, look on in horror at a characters depravity then cheer another's heroism.

There are really only two negative things I can say about this series. The first is that the updates are very irregular, Kentaro Miura will take very long breaks, and they kind of happen pretty often too. But what can I say; quality takes time, when you take a look at some of the artwork I can see why each page could take an entire day to create.

The only other thing isn't really a complaint since I don't have a problem with it, but as a warning to others the series is very dark. There are extremely brutal death scenes, with a lot of gore. There is also a lot of nudity, including some very graphic rape scenes. This series is NOT for the faint of heart, and certainly not for children.

Ok on to reviewing this actual movie, Im going to break it down into pros and cons.


- Great quality. The animation is absolutely superb, and the battle scenes were stunning. In particular I want to praise the Guts vs Griffith fight as well as Zodd's transformation. In fact I actually want to praise Zodd's entire scene. The big battle scenes were also warrant mention (although I think I already did that).

- Excellent sound track, I loved the music in this movie. I didn't think it would be possible to top the soundtrack for the old anime, but this at least matched it.

- Good cast. I used to watch nothing but dubs, but after my girlfriend forced a few subtitled anime on me I've grown a great appreciation for Japanese voice actors and this movie has some great ones. Their also recasting the original VAs for the English dub, which I've always felt was one of the really good English dubs out there. So whether you're watching it subbed or dubbed you should be happy.

- The story is very compelling and manages to hold on to the feelings and themes of friendship and loyalty that are present in the original anime and the Golden Age manga arc.

- Most importantly to me, it wasn't rushed. Inuyasha: Final Act was clearly rushed, and was a big disappointment to the fans. Covering over two hundred manga chapters in 26 episodes is a disgrace, no matter how pretty the animation is. And I'm happy to say that Berserk did not make that mistake. There were a few scenes that were cut, but nothing important was lost. The most important scenes are still there and are handled well.

- This won't break your bank. Most anime is pretty expensive, but fifteen dollars (seventeen blu ray) is pretty good, especially for a movie that clearly had a very high animation budget.


- While it wasn't rushed there are a few scenes that were left out. Most notably Guts' childhood is just covered in a series of flashbacks that don't explain much. While this didn't bug me, there might be a bit lost for those who haven't read the manga or seen the original anime.

- This is my main gripe, and the only thing that made me consider giving this less than a perfect five star rating. There are a few times during the CGI battle scenes where some of the characters faces get this kind of cheesy PlayStation 2 graphics look. It happens a few times during the opening castle siege, and once or twice during Guts' fight with Casca (that was what really bugged me because it was such an important scene). It didn't happen so often that it ruined the movie though, and the fans have been vocal enough about it that I'm sure it will be cleaned up for future movies.

So all in all this is a quality product. A great movie for old Berserk fans or newer people just coming to the series. I own the original Box of War anime set, as well as the remastered version, and every volume of the manga. I'll be proud come November to add this to my collection.
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on December 31, 2015
I owned the series as a kid in the 90's and still it's one of my favorite anime of all time. If you haven't seen the series then this retelling will seem full of holes. Fortunately, you can find the series online in HD for free on numerous sites if you want to gap those holes with information. That is why I can only give this four stars, another 40 minutes would have been sufficient to explain the rest. The voice acting is also pretty bland, standard for English versions of Japanese shows I guess. Why Americans are so bad at voice acting Japanese content? I sincerely do not know.

The animation though is bar none the best I've seen. It's fantastic and beyond praise worthy. The battlefield scenes are wonderfully done and the gore is just as vivid as I hoped it would be. This show/series/movie collection has some of the best mature content in all of anime. We get a powerful and masculine protagonist as well, something many and most anime's lack and in place, give us weak willed children to watch. The story in the manga is much more extensive and goes far beyond the end of the series and the end of these movies. So if you do like this then there is amply more content to enjoy.

If you're tired of lame heroes, predictable villains, and censored content for the masses then BERSERK cannot be missed.
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on January 25, 2015
[No, I'm not serious. But the violence is far more realistic than the last anime incarnation of 'Berserk'.]
If you've ever wanted to see a realistic film depiction of Medieval siege-warfare, well... go elsewhere. `Berserk' is a strange, hyper-violent vision of European sword and sorcery, from a Japanese POV. It looks like the dark ages, but there's no historical connection whatsoever; instead, it serves as a brutal playground for Kentaro Miura's twisted imagination.

This film trilogy is actually a reboot; it takes the viewer back to the first meeting of Guts the Black Swordsman and The Band of the Hawk, rather than acting as a sequel to the first series. It's different from the manga as well, but retains the essence of the tale.
While I liked the original anime, I wasn't terribly impressed with the animation. This film, as well as the two that follow, are spectacular in comparison. The blend of animation and CGI isn't flawless, but it's pretty damn good, providing much more detailed art and realistic movements. The battle scenes, in particular, are very dynamic, giving the violence the kind of impact it needs.
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on December 6, 2015
The anime seems off, I don't know not to put it. I've seen the show before and was great, but with this dvd it seemed like they tried to remake it with a slightly different style, and I don't care for that...
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on July 24, 2015
The animation is gorgeous the story is great and interesting and the voice acting is excellent in English. I have a background in animation and can say this is a real artistic joy to watch, each frame looks like a piece of art work that you could post on your wall as a print. So nice. It's quite violent along with the other usual things one should expect in Japanese anime, but I was so surprised at the quality of this anime.. though I shouldn't be considering who made it and their past work with that Batman anime and Animatrix. Fantastic.
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on August 15, 2014
This rendition of Berserk is fantastic! The blu-ray boasts both English and Japanese dubs, to include subtitle options. The English dub also features much of the original cast used in the Berserk series from 1997. While this movie could be a bit longer (namely to improve overall character development), it serves as quite a feast for the eyes and an excellent reduction of a series-to-movie!
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on July 4, 2016
I really enjoyed the anime all those years ago when it came out and I have been following the manga every religiously. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard they were making a condensed version of the anime into 3 movies so I knew as a Berserk fan I had to have this.

The animation I found was incredible and the tones are even more darker than before. This is the Golden Age of Berserk and in my opinion the best that it has had to offer so far. You will feel the camaraderie and grow to love the Band of the Hawk and it's leather the White Hawk Griffith. But what starts out as something so great quickly turns to something so heinous.
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on May 29, 2015
Loved that the series got a face lift the story deserved it! I was a little sad to see the battle scenes cut out as well as some slow parts which helped build anticipation and also background story on the characters was cut out 😢 sad. but over all I did love that they kept to the origanal voices and script.
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on October 22, 2013
The red is a lot to like about this adaptation on the manga in movie form.The animation is excellent and well looks much better than the anime series. Their is some nice looking CGI.I would also commend them on the quality of the voice actors. My understanding is that it uses some of the voice actors from the anime series.The show is dark,violent and just as bloody and violence as the manga or anime.There is plenty of action,intrigue and likable characters.People who who like sword and sorcery type fantasy may love this.As a fan who is really into beserk it was nice to see something done with on the animation side of things.

I do have a few issues with this however. While the CGI is pretty good I could have done without it to be honest.The back ground music is forgettable in my opinion.The anime series have very good back ground music that I actually still have on my mp3 player even now. I am surprised they could not have done better in this area or at least used the anime series background music.One huge problem is the amount of time they have is not enough to go over the largest amount of materia they have to cover. Because of this the film's rushes through certain events quickly.Personally it might have been better to just leave some things out rather than fly through them. The fast pace hurts when it comes to developing an attachment to the characters and understanding all of the little plots and issues going on with the story line. My biggest complaint is that it is going over material that was covered in the anime series already. The majority of people who will be Watching this are most likely fans who have been eating to finally see material after the eclipse.They could have skipped all of this as far as I am concerned as the anime series dealt with this part of the manga better.

In all worth buying for fans of the manga and people that like this type of entertainment. For fans looking for new material it may not be worth it to be honest.For newer fans I would suggest watching a friend's copy of this and buying the anime series as it does the portion of the manga far better than this does. I would not have purchased this is I was not such a big fan of beserk and wanted to support it. My suggestion is to get the film's and and anime series together for a better understanding for new fans. Older fans may want to wait for the price to drop considerably before purchasing this.
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on April 26, 2015
FINALLY! Redo of the Berserk anime/manga! The quality and acting here is excellent. The original voice actors from the first anime all reprise their roles again.
A very violent medieval series with a slight fantasy edge to it. This is loyal to the manga and is leaving itself open to continue the story as the manga is still in serialization - which is not what the original anime did. A great story, great characters, but is a story of loss and trying to find a way towards redemption and revenge.
Game of Thrones animated - NOT suitable for under 18 years old.
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