Berserk: The Golden Age Arc
|Berserk: The Golden Age Arc|
(Beruseruku Ōgon Jidai-hen)
|I: The Egg of the King|
|Directed by||Toshiyuki Kubooka|
|Written by||Ichirō Ōkouchi|
|Released||February 4, 2012|
|II: The Battle for Doldrey|
|Directed by||Toshiyuki Kubooka|
|Written by||Ichirō Ōkouchi|
|Released||June 23, 2012|
|III: The Advent|
|Directed by||Toshiyuki Kubooka|
|Written by||Ichirō Ōkouchi|
|Released||February 1, 2013|
Berserk: The Golden Age Arc (Japanese: ベルセルク 黄金時代篇, Hepburn: Beruseruku Ōgon Jidai-hen) is a Japanese anime film trilogy, which adapts Kentaro Miura's Berserk manga series, specifically its Golden Age arc, and was produced by Studio 4°C. The first two films, The Egg of the King and The Battle for Doldrey, were released in Japan in February and June 2012, and the third film, The Advent, was released in February 2013. In North America, Viz Media has licensed the trilogy for English home video release.
The Egg of the King
A mercenary named Guts attracts the attention of the Band of the Hawk when he killed Bazuso during a siege, forced into joining the group after being defeated by its leader Griffith twice. The Hawks were later employed by the Kingdom of Midland for its Hundred Year War against the Tudor Empire, with Griffith raising up the kingdom's hierarchy after his group decimated the Black Ram Iron Lance Cavalry. 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 Julius 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 his actions, would later hear Griffith discussing his idea of friendship with the Midland Princess Charlotte and is further unsettled to learn he and the other Hawks are a means to their leader's end.
The Battle for Doldrey
Following an incident where he and his fellow Hawk member Casca bonded while being separated from the others and fending off attacks by the Tudor's misogynist commander Adon, defeating a 100 of his men single-handed while covering Casca's escape, Guts decides to leave the Band of the Hawk so he can become an equal to Griffith. He would participate in the bloody battle to exploit a civil dispute in Tudor to capture the impenetrable Fortress of Doldrey, Guts defeating the Purple Rhinos' commander Boscogn while Casca dispatched Adon. A month after the war's end from 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.
It has now been a year after Guts' duel with Griffith and his departure from 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.
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). 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.
|Band of the Hawk||Character||Japanese voice actor||English dubbing actor|
|Guts||Hiroaki Iwanaga||Marc Diraison|
|Takahiro Sakurai||Kevin T Collins|
|Ayako Takeuchi||Barbara Goodson|
|Casca||Toa Yukinari||Carrie Keranen|
|Judeau||Yuki Kaji||Christopher Kromer|
|Rickert||Minako Kotobuki||Michelle Newman|
|Corkus||Yoshiro Matsumoto||Doug Erholtz|
|Pippin||Takahiro Fujiwara||Patrick Seitz|
|Gaston||Kazuki Yao||Sean Schemmel|
|Members of the
|King of Midland||Nobuyuki Katsube||Christopher Corey Smith|
|Princess Charlotte||Aki Toyosaki||Rachel Lillis|
|Julius||Rikiya Koyama||Jesse Corti|
|Adonis||Maki Mizuma||Colin DePaula|
|Anna||Ayako Takeuchi||Lisa Ortiz|
|Hassan||Hiroshi Arikawa||Michael Sorich|
|Raban||Hochu Otsuka||Marc Thompson|
|God Hand||Void||Shinji Ogawa||Jon Avner|
|Conrad||Rikiya Koyama||Sean Schemmel|
|Nosferatu Zodd||Kenta Miyake||J David Brimmer|
|Skull Knight||Akio Otsuka||Jamieson Prince|
|Bazuso||Kendo Kobayashi||David B Mitchell|
|General Gien||Sean Schemmel|
|Gennon||Kazuki Yao||Steve Kramer|
|Adon||Rikiya Koyama||Mike Pollock|
|Boscogn||Takayuki Sugo||TJ Storm|
|Silat||Yuichi Nakamura||JB Blanc|
|Erica||Ayana Kaketatsu||Michele O'Medlin|
|Old Fortuneteller||Guin-poon-chaw||Barbara Goodson|
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. Berserk: Golden Age Arc I - The Egg of the King (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.
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, Beruseruku Ōgon Jidai-hen Tsū Dorudorei Koryaku) was released on June 23, 2012 in Japan.
Berserk: Golden Age Arc III - The Advent (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.
In North America, Viz Media has licensed all three films for a home video release. The Egg of the King was released on November 27, 2012. The Battle for Doldrey was released on August 6, 2013. The Advent was released on April 15, 2014. The Golden Age Arc has also been available for streaming on Netflix.
The soundtracks for the film series are composed and arranged by Shirō Sagisu, with the theme song composed and arranged by Susumu Hirasawa. The insert song of all films, "Aria", is performed 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"), is performed 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", is performed by Kaname Kawabata of CHEMISTRY, written by 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.
In Japan, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc 1 - The Egg of the King brought in $594,707 with a gross of $1,348,352, and the last film in the trilogy brought in less, with an opening weekend of $280,248 and grossing $399,445.
Kotaku's Richard Eisenbeis panned the first two installments of the trilogy, but described 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.
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- Official website (in Japanese)
- Berserk: The Golden Age Arc official website at Viz Media
- Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King at IMDb
- Berserk: The Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey at IMDb
- Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III: The Advent at IMDb
- Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King (film) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Berserk: The Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey (film) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III: The Advent (film) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia