Berserk: The Golden Age Arc

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Berserk: The Golden Age Arc
ベルセルク 黄金時代篇
(Beruseruku Ōgon Jidai-hen)
Genre Dark fantasy,[1] horror, science fiction[2]
Anime film
I: The Egg of the King
Directed by Toshiyuki Kubooka
Written by Ichirō Ōkouchi
Music by Shirō Sagisu
Susumu Hirasawa
Studio Studio 4°C
Licensed by
Released February 4, 2012
Runtime 77 minutes
Anime film
II: The Battle for Doldrey
Directed by Toshiyuki Kubooka
Written by Ichirō Ōkouchi
Music by Shirō Sagisu
Susumu Hirasawa
Studio Studio 4°C
Licensed by
Madman Entertainment
Viz Media
Kazé UK
Released June 23, 2012
Runtime 98 minutes
Anime film
III: The Advent
Directed by Toshiyuki Kubooka
Written by Ichirō Ōkouchi
Music by Shirō Sagisu
Susumu Hirasawa
Studio Studio 4°C
Licensed by
Madman Entertainment
Viz Media
Kazé UK
Released February 1, 2013
Runtime 113 minutes
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Berserk: The Golden Age Arc (Japanese: ベルセルク 黄金時代篇, Hepburn: Beruseruku Ōgon Jidai-hen) is a series of films, an effort to adapt the Golden Age Arc of Kentaro Miura's Berserk manga series.[3] The project was first announced as a new anime project in September 2010 on a wraparound jacket band on volume 35 of the Berserk manga.[4] The first two films, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I - The Egg of the King and Berserk: The Golden Age Arc II - The Battle for Doldrey, were released in Japan in February and June 2012, with the third film, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III - The Advent, released in February 2013. The third film also marks the first time new footage based on the manga has been animated beyond the storyline of the TV show. Viz Media has licensed all three films for a home video release.[5] The first film was released on (DVD/Blu-ray) November 27, 2012, the second on August 6, 2013, and the third on April 15, 2014 in the United States.[6]

The Japanese voice cast features Hiroaki Iwanaga as Guts (replacing Nobutoshi Canna from the original anime), Takahiro Sakurai as Griffith (replacing Toshiyuki Morikawa), and Toa Yukinari as Casca (replacing Yūko Miyamura).[7][8] The English voice cast features Marc Diraison as Guts, Kevin T. Collins as Griffith, and Carrie Keranen as Casca, all reprising their roles from the original anime.

Films[edit]

The Egg of the King[edit]

Berserk: Golden Age Arc I - The Egg of the King[9][10] (ベルセルク 黄金時代篇I 覇王の卵, Beruseruku Ōgon Jidai-hen Wan Haō no Tamago) was released on February 4, 2012 in Japan.

Guts, a mercenary, attracts the attention of the Band of the Hawk and is forced into joining the group after being defeated by its leader Griffith twice. Once the Hawks defeated the kingdom of Chuder's Black Ram Iron Lance Cavalry, they are recruited by Midland for its war against the rival kingdom. During one siege, Guts and Griffith encounter the demon Nosferatu Zodd, who notices the Behelit around Griffith's neck and warns Guts that Griffith will be his doom. In time, Griffith's gradual rise in status is ill-received by the noblemen, and a failed assassination attempt by the king's brother Yurius results in his murder by Guts, who was also forced to kill the noble's son Adonis to leave no witnesses. Guts, emotionally scarred by what he has done, would later hear Griffith discussing his idea of friendship with the Midland Princess Charlotte and is further unsettled to find he and the other Hawks are a means to their leader's end.

The Battle for Doldrey[edit]

Berserk: Golden Age Arc II - The Battle for Doldrey[11][12] (ベルセルク 黄金時代篇II ドルドレイ攻略, Beruseruku Ōgon Jidai-hen Tsū Dorudorei Koryaku) was released on June 23, 2012 in Japan.[13]

For three years, Guts believed his mission was to pursue Griffith's dream together with him. But after coming to understand Griffith's outlook as well as fighting 100 men plus a bear (and winning), Guts realises that he would need to leave the Band of the Hawk to be considered Griffith's equal and truly be called his friend. After forming a bond with Casca while they are separated from the others, Guts and the Hawks take part in a bloody battle to capture the impenetrable Fortress of Doldrey from the Chuder Empire's army of 30,000 strong defenders. A month after capturing the fortress and winning the war, Guts parts ways with Griffith after defeating him in a duel. Griffith does not take his former ally's departure well, and in a lapse of judgment he is caught sleeping with the king's daughter, Charlotte. Charged with treason for his actions, Griffith is imprisoned in the Tower of Rebirth while the members of the Band of the Hawk are branded criminals.

The Advent[edit]

Berserk: Golden Age Arc III - The Advent[14] (ベルセルク 黄金時代篇III 降臨, Beruseruku Ōgon Jidai-hen Surī Kōrin) was released on February 1, 2013 in Japan.

It has now been a year after Guts dueled Griffith to leave The Band of the Hawk. Upon learning the Hawks have been labeled outlaws in Midland, Guts returns to aid them in freeing Griffith from the Tower of Rebirth. However, they find out that Griffith is a broken man-barely alive and rendered a mute cripple after months of physical and mental torture. When Griffith is reunited with his Behelit while attempting suicide upon realizing what he has been reduced to, a solar eclipse occurs that draws him, Guts, Casca and their comrades into another dimension where they encounter the archdemons known as the God Hand. Told that his tribulations have been leading to this moment, Griffith accepts becoming the final member of the God Hand to achieve his dream while knowing his transition requires his allies being offered as branded sacrifices. In this hopeless battle with the God Hand's monstrous horde of Apostles-former humans like Nosferatu Zodd-Guts's attempt to rescue Griffith fails as with Guts and Casca remaining as Griffith is reborn as Femto. Guts and Casca are spirited back to their world by the mysterious Skull Knight, but not without repercussions: Casca loses her sanity from the nightmarish ordeal she endured of watching her comrades slaughter and then raped by Femto; and Guts losing his left forearm and right eye in his attempt to force their former leader off her. After leaving Casca under Rickert's care, learning his brand will subject him to nightly attacks by various fell creatures that will seek his life, Guts embarks on his journey to hunt down the Apostles and the God Hand so he can kill Griffith.

Music[edit]

The soundtracks for the film series was composed and arranged by Shirō Sagisu, with the theme song composed and arranged by Susumu Hirasawa. The insert song of all films, "Aria", was sung by Hirasawa, a live performance (from Phonon 2555 Vision) is included on the home video releases of the second film, another live version is on the Nomonos and Imium DVD; the ending theme of the first film, "Utsukushii Mono" (ウツクシキモノ, "Pretty Thing"), was sung by the R&B singer AI (in an uncharacteristic epic ballad style) and composed by Rykeyz and Redd Styiez; lastly, the ending theme of the third film, "Breakthrough", was performed by CHEMISTRY, written by Kaname Kawabata, Hidenori Tanaka and UTA, and arranged by Sagisu, Miho Hazama and CHOKKAKU. A special TV program, narrated by Akio Ōtsuka (the voice actor for the Skull Knight), that summarized the events of the first two movies, used the Hirasawa song Horde of Thistledown (冠毛種子の大群, Kanmō Shushi no Taigun) (from The Secret of The Flowers of Phenomenon) as its ending theme.

Reception[edit]

Reception for Berserk: The Golden Age was mostly mixed, with Kotaku's Richard Elsenbels panning the first two installments of the trilogy, but describing the third installment, Berserk: Golden Age Arc III: Descent, as supreme and delivering an experience surpassing the original manga both in emotional turmoil and brutal violence.[15] In Chris Qu's review for ReelRundown, he mentions that despite the overuse of poor CGI, he was glad to have viewed the films and recommends them to anime fans seeking out grittier films.[16] Mr. Conair of Theanimehub says that the adaptation, though hampered by insufficient length and lacking build-up in many areas, does have many instances of tight directing, strong emotional execution and even lighter moments that made the source material great.[17] The trilogy earned audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes, with Berserk: The Golden Age Arc 1 - The Egg of the King scoring 75%; Berserk: The Golden Age Arc II - The Battle for Doldrey scoring 85%; and Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III - The Advent receiving 85%. The trilogy also received an average rating of 3.8/5.[18]

Home media[edit]

Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I - The Egg of the King (Viz Pictures - Nov 27, 2012[19])

  • Video: 2.35:1 [MPEG-4 AVC] (1080p)
  • Audio: English and Japanese (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Extras: Art Gallery and Trailer (Viz Releases)
  • Case type: Keep Case
  • Note: The film suffers from banding issues.

Berserk: The Golden Age Arc II - The Battle for Doldrey (Viz Pictures - Aug 06, 2013[20])

  • Video: 2.35:1 [MPEG-4 AVC] (1080p)
  • Audio: English and Japanese (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Extras:
  • Production Art Gallery
  • International Trailers for the First Film
  • Live Concert of Susumu Hirasawa "Aria" (4 min)
  • Interview (in Japanese) with Aki Toyosaki and Minako Kotobuki (12 min)
  • Outtakes of the English Dubbing (15 min)
  • Case type: Keep Case
  • Note: The film suffers from banding issues.

Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III - The Advent (Viz Pictures - Apr 15, 2014)

  • Video: 2.35:1 [MPEG-4 AVC] (1080p)
  • Audio: English and Japanese (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Berserk Films to be Distributed in 16 Countries Globally". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  2. ^ "The Official Website for Berserk: The Golden Age Arc". Viz Media. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  3. ^ "Berserk's Golden Age Arc to Be Made Into 3 Anime Films". Anime News Network. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  4. ^ "New Berserk Anime Project Launching (Updated)". Anime News Network. 27 September 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  5. ^ "Viz Media Licenses Berserk Film Trilogy". Anime News Network. 7 April 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  6. ^ http://www.blu-ray.com/search/?quicksearch=1&quicksearch_country=US&quicksearch_keyword=berserk&section=bluraymovies
  7. ^ "Berserk Film Slated for Next January". Anime News Network. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  8. ^ "2012 Berserk Film Trilogy's Main Cast, Staff Listed". Anime News Network. 24 August 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  9. ^ http://fantasiafest.com/2012/en/films-schedule/282/berserk-golden-age-arc-i-the-egg-of-the-king
  10. ^ https://www.amazon.com/Berserk-The-Golden-King-Blu-ray/dp/B008UE8ICK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1374152199&sr=8-2&keywords=berserk
  11. ^ http://fantasiafest.com/2013/en/films-schedule/246/berserk-golden-age-arc-ii-the-battle-for-doldrey
  12. ^ https://www.amazon.com/Berserk-Golden-Battle-Doldrey-Blu-ray/dp/B00CENSU3A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374152199&sr=8-1&keywords=berserk
  13. ^ "Berserk's 2nd Film Slated for June 23". Anime News Network. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  14. ^ http://fantasiafest.com/2013/en/films-schedule/247/berserk-golden-age-arc-iii-the-advent
  15. ^ Elsenbels, Richard. "The Third Berserk Movie is by Far the Most Violent Thing I Have Ever Watched". Kotaku.
  16. ^ Qu, Chris. ""Berserk: The Golden Age" Arc Trilogy - Anime Film Review". ReelRundown.
  17. ^ "Berserk: The Golden Age Trilogy Review". Theanimehub.
  18. ^ "Berserk the golden age arc". Rotten Tomatoes.
  19. ^ http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Berserk-The-Golden-Age-Arc-I-The-Egg-of-the-King-Blu-ray/52442/#Review
  20. ^ http://www.fandompost.com/2013/09/10/berserk-golden-age-arc-ii-battle-for-doldrey-blu-ray-anime-review/

External links[edit]