Berserk: The Egg of the King is the first part to a series of films based on The Golden Arc of the Berserk manga. Set in a medieval time our story starts off with an army raiding a castle only to be blocked off by a axe-welding warrior who can wipe out a ton of soldiers with one swoop. He then gets cocky and opens a challenge to the invading army to see if their strongest soldier can beat him. We are then introduced to one of our main characters who is named Guts (sounds like a name of a GWAR band member if you ask me) and he is up to the challenge and fights the big metal monster. The fighters clash with Guts winning in a very gory fashion and the army continues to raid the castle. From a far we see our other main characters, Griffith, and Casca admiring the battle. Celebrating victory they then offer Guts to be a higher ranked member of the army but he refuses as if the army was a useless thing. Guts then starts riding into the horizon but is then ambushed by bandits. Guts slices though them very easily and before he could kill Casca, Griffith stabs Guts with his sword knocking him out. We soon find out that the so called bandits were actually Griffiths men sent to test out how strong Guts really is. (Click "Read More" to read the rest of the article).
Guts wakes up at Griffith's headquarters and is very surprised and angry that Griffith let him live and then Guts challenges Griffith to a duel. If Guts wins he gets to kill Griffith but if Griffith wins he gets to own Guts for the rest of his life. Guts loses the duel and is forced to join Griffith's army. The story flashes forward three years to Griffith's army defending their kingdom against another army. During the battle Guts decides to go after a swordsman in the castle which rumor says that he is two-hundred years old. Guts confronts the swordsman and is shocked to see that it is a creature that he thought was a myth. Once the battle ends the beast gives Guts a warning about his future. What does this mean? What was that creature Guts fought? Why do I always use this gag to close off paragraphs in my reviews?
I gotta admit I did find the movie to be pretty slow at first but once it flashes forwards three years (which is pretty early in the film) the story picks up greatly and you will get pulled into a whirlwind of entertainment. The characters are really well written and you will feel for them greatly. The film was also very graphic so if you are squeamish to the sight of limbs getting sliced off then I recommend watching something else as this ain't no chick flick honey.
The animation is a weird blend of 2D and 3D computer generated models which left me feeling quite mixed up about it. First of all the 3D animation is rendered very badly and it is very choppy making it very hard to watch at some points. The 3D models they designed aren't that bad looking but it does feel like that I am watching a cut-scene to a Dreamcast game from 2002. However on the other side of the coin the 2D art-work is pretty good and it is animated pretty well. My only complaint for the 2D animation is that the mouth animation can be a bit odd looking in some parts. But don't let the artwork put you off as the story is strong enough to keep you from turning off your movie players. The English dub won't make anybodies best of lists but it is decent enough to sit through without having to switch to the Japanese dub. One little gripe I have is the main menu's sub-menus (from before you start the screen) is really fidgety as when you try to select something it just goes straight back to the main menu instead of going to the option you want. I thought I was just pressing the wrong buttons at first but no matter what direction I press it always seems to skip what I want to select. Despite my complaints I do recommend checking out this film as it has a very good story that will draw you in to the point where you will want to continue to see what happens next.
Title: Berserk The Golden Age Arc 1: The Egg Of The King
Genre: Animation/Anime, Action, Fantasy
Running Time: 76 Minutes
Distributor: Madman Entertainment
Rating: MA15+ (Strong bloody violence)