Berserk: Ougon Jidaihen I – Haou no Tamago
Released Year : February 4, 2012 to ????
No of Episodes : 1
Genre : Action,Adventure,Demons,Fantasy,Military,Seinen,Supernatural
Plot : Guts, an immensely strong sword-for-hire, has little direction in his life, simply fighting one battle after the next. However, this all changes suddenly when he meets and is bested by Griffith, a beautiful and charismatic young man who leads the Band of the Hawk mercenary army. After Guts joins the Band and the relationship between the two men begins to blossom, Casca, the tough, lone swordswoman in the Band of the Hawk, struggles to accept Guts and the influence he has on the world around her. While the two men begin to fight together, Griffith continues to rise to power, all seemingly in order to reach his mysterious, prophesied goals. What lengths will Guts and Griffith go to in order to reach these goals, and where will fate take the two men? (Source: ANN)
Our Review : Just earlier this morning upon writing this review, I had the privilege of watching this movie in theaters in Japan. For the longest time, virtually everyone who has watched the original Berserk anime series have endlessly demanded more. And now that day has come upon us though not really in the most idealistic of terms. Many of us wanted a continuation of where the series leaves off, but for now, we have to settle a re-telling of the Golden Age arc which will eventually pave way for the rest of the manga to be adapted.
As for what it is covered, if you're already familiar with the source material you of course know what to expect and it's once again faithfully adapted (spoiler: there is no blackswordsman arc at the beginning). But I feel that for those already familiar with story, you want to see it with whole new animation which the original series was harshly criticized, then new animation is what you get and it's pretty awesome. But I suppose starting from the Golden Age, it can attract new audiences as well.
The action is very fluid and I feel that the postures and the weight of the armor and swords are properly depicted in the battle scenes. There are no still shots or any corner cutting. It really felt like an animated 300 but without all the trendy slow-mos and bullet time. What I really liked in the opening battle sequence is that the soldiers on both sides show fear in their eyes and that their arms and hands do shake when in battle knowing they could die. I like how more danger is more implemented with the battle scenes. Of course the battle scenes are violent, but I feel there is more psychology behind the battles as well. I like how Guts in his earlier days is portrayed as someone who fights off his experiences and instincts. When he's on that field, to him, it's just a day at the office.
I felt that the shaky camera angles you see in the Borne films was utilized too much. The panning both zooming in and out and the circular shots try to give it a live action feel. At this point, the fighting isn't drastically defying the laws of physics so the action does feel realistic.
What I felt somewhat upset that they changed the voice cast from the original TV series who were also used in the DC and PS2 games. I felt that the new seiyuu for Guts didn't have the same intimidation and that don"t fuck with me attitude that Nobutoshi Canna had. Sakurai Takahiro did capture some of Griffith's qualities but strongly lacked his charisma. Casca's new voice actress is nothing compared to the great Miyamura Yuko. If they could get those voice actors for the games, why not for something as big as this? Was this Miura's choice like masami's when they did the new Saint Seiya oavs?
Thankfully the music is once against compared by Hirakawa Susumu. To me, not having him for the music is like not having Kanno Yoko not doing the music for a Cowboy Bebop sequel and it would also be like Initial D without the Eurobeat. The style is still the same but brought to a whole new intensity appropriate for the epicness this project will bring.
For now, this movie does a great job of being just the beginning of what is to come. I understand this is supposed to be released internationally. I hope when it hits theaters or is on DVD wherever you are, you support this movie.