Blu-Ray Review: Berserk - The Golden Age Act 2: The Battle For Doldrey (2012)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Wednesday, November 13, 2013 0 comments

The Battle for Doldrey is the second act of "The Golden Age" which is a part of a film series based on the long running comic/manga series Berserk.  The film is about a group of warriors lead by a white haired swordsman named Griffith whom is in a great battle against a rival army.  During the battle the general of the rival army spars off with the beautiful female warrior named Casca.  Unfortunately the rival general gets the upper hand due to Casca feeling slighty under the weather but lucky for her Guts (her comrade and one of main characters of the series) jumps in right in the nick of time and stops the rival general.  This leads to Guts and the general  into having a violent battle.  It seems like victory for Guts but Casca succumbs to her illness and passes out and starts falling off a cliff with Guts grabbing her but falls on down with her.  The two manage to survive and recover in a nearby cave.  While resting they hear some of the men from the rival army outside looking for them so they can slay them.  The two leave the cave and get caught up in a battle with them.  The battle is very violent but somehow they managed to survive and avoid getting raped (well Casca did.  Nobody wants to rape Guts).  After the battle Griffith attends a meeting at the home base and is given the task of taking back a castle that was captured from them over one-hundred years ago.  The battle isn't going to be easy as the building is heavily guarded with archers and an elite group of warriors called "The Holy Purple Rhinos".  Will Griffith and his men be successful? Or are they due to fall like the rest of the armies that have tried to take over the colossal structure?  One way or another we are going to see one epic battle that will go down in the history books.  (Click "Read More" to read the full review).

This film's story was told mostly through action rather than words and I really did enjoy it as it felt appropriate for this kind of film. Yes there are scenes in the film that take place off the battlefield and those parts were also pretty enjoyable but the actions scenes told a much stronger story.  When I say "action scene" I'm not strictly talking about the violence as there's a lot more going on in those scenes beside the clash of flesh and steel.  There is also a strong amount of emotion that is shown from the characters and it does help make those scenes even stronger.  The characters in this film are very strong and also very interesting and they will draw you in emotionally making you care a great deal about them.  This film was also a lot darker than the previous film with some very disturbing scenes of sex and violence.  There was one sex scene in this film that started out like a typical love making scene but mid-way through it got very disturbing and graphic to the point where it nearly becomes rape.  The ending of the film also leaves on a huge tease and it just makes me pull out my hair trying to figure out what's going to happen next.  I guess I'll just have to wait till the next movie comes out (or read the manga).

I'm very mixed on the artwork as it's one of those films that uses both 2D and 3D animation.  The 2D artwork looks very good with some well designed characters that have some beautiful coloring.  The animation for the 2D artwork is also really good and smooth however on the other side of the coin (the 3D animation) we face some problems.  The 3D artwork looks like it was ripped straight from a video game with low detailing and odd coloring and while it could look worse it does stick out like a sore thumb and it won't age well.  The 3D animation was fifty/fifty as sometimes it was really smooth but other-times it is very robotic to the point of being laughable and makes me feel like I am watching some robot president at Disney World, not to mention that there were some horribly rendered scenes that were more choppy than an axe-weilding maniac.  I did however like some of the environmental effects that was animated using 3D like sand blowing in the dessert and the rain in the woods. 

If you are a fan of nudity you will see some full-frontal female nudity and not the kind that shadow the lower half as you do get to see the full shebang which is something you don't normally see in anime (Perfect Blue (1997) is another film that also has full-on female nudity).  The animation for the nudity was a bit weird as the breast moved around like jelly on a plate.  Not all nudity in this film is to please the male audience as you do also see Guts and Griftth nude too and while it's not full-frontal you do get to see Griftth's sexy behind.  The English dub was really good with some charming acting that really adds some extra charm and attitude to the characters.  Soundtrack has a very grand symphonic sound that worked really well with all the scenes. 

Overall I really enjoyed this film and I found it to be better than the first one.  I'm really looking forward to the third film that I'm sure will be better than this one although I could just be setting my expitations too high.  Anyway I'm starting to go off-topic so in the end you should go see this film (and the first one if you haven't).  Great viewing.

Title: Berserk The Golden Age Arc 2: The Battle For Doldrey
Animation Studio: Studio 4°C
Genre: Animation/Anime, Action, Fantasy
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Distributor: Madman Entertainment
Rating: MA15+ (Strong animated violence, sex scene, nudity)
Price: $34.95
Recommended: Yes


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