|Original Name||ベルセルク 黄金時代篇I 覇王の卵|
|Official Release Date||May 23, 2012|
|Screen Format||16:9 Wide Screen|
|Audio||Dolby Digital 2.0ch, Dolby Digital 5.1ch|
|Running Time||80 minutes|
Genre: Animation, Fantasy, Horror, Action
Original Creator: Kentarou Miura 三浦 建太郎
Director: Toshiyuki Kubooka 窪岡 俊之
Animation Studio: Studio 4°C
Music: Shiro Sagisu 川畑 要
Berserk is probably one of the longest running manga series' that is still a favorite among fans. Being around for almost 25 years, it sports an impressive 337 chapters and counting, a 25-part TV series, 2 video games and tons of other merchandise. And now it is a movie that is the first part of what hopefully one day will be an adaptation of the complete series.
The first movie covers medieval mercenary Guts' joinder and rise within the Band of the Hawk, an up-and-coming mercenary band led by its charismatic and ambitious leader Griffith. Through his determination, near suicidal courage and incredible strength, Guts becomes an appreciated officer and gains Griffith's respect.
The story of the first part ends after the Hawks' first major victory and recognition at the court of Midland. It manages to condense the first third of the Golden Age chapters into a lean 80 minutes without feeling like it left out any essential story parts.
The epic journey of Guts and his comrade mercenaries starts out with it's main theme of loyalty and friendship, combined with quite a high level of violence and gore. But as fans know and the ending hints at, things will get very dark, very soon.
The movie's production design and music are top notch and long time followers will be in for a treat to see this newest iteration of their favorite fantasy characters. The art looks astonishing at times and by combining traditional and cell-shaded 3D animation, action scenes get more dynamic while character models can look clunky at times.
All in all, this movie is a treat for fans and a great way for newbies to get acquainted to one of the magnum opuses of high fantasy manga.