Berserk: The Egg of the King offers a great start to the film trilogy that is to be based on the popular manga and anime series Berserk. This faithful film adaptation should please both fans and newcomers alike with its massive battles, bloody fights and intriguing storylines surrounding the compelling characters. It is quite simply one of the best animated action films of recent years.
'Berserk' may just be the perfect title considering how wild and out of control its central character Guts is. This mercenary, who carries a big sword, values money over honor, hates obligations and has little purpose in life, is incredibly skilled as a fighter. What makes him particularly dangerous is the way he just throws himself into the jaws of death and fights like he does not care about losing his life. He draws the attention of Griffith after defeating a strong fighter called Bazuso, and ends up joining Griffith's Band of the Hawk, known as 'outsiders' and 'commoners' to kings and knights but 'the gods of death' to enemies on the battlefield.
The brutal and bloody battle scenes are epic in scale. While some of the 3D computer graphics employed are less than refined, it does not detract too much from the intense and well-designed action sequences. What is most impressive is how every single action scene in the film contributes to the telling of its story, whether it is through revealing something about the characters, or simply by advancing the plot. One classic example is the fight between Guts, Griffith and the mighty Zodd the Immortal, which is tremendously entertaining and at the same time gives much insight about Guts, Griffith, their relationship and even their fates.
Berserk: The Egg of the King's story of ambition, loyalty and betrayal is a gripping one. Viewers will come to connect with and care for the characters. In particular, there is something mesmerizing about Guts. Perhaps it is his sad past (as hinted by one brief scene in the movie, though the film never goes into a lot of details about that), or it may just be his extremely violent nature. The complex relationships between Guts, Griffith and the Band's female warrior Casca are subtly portrayed and form the backbone of the story. By the time the film reaches its end, one cannot help but wish to see more of these characters' adventures. So if the filmmakers can continue to perfectly combine strong storytelling and exciting action, the Berserk trilogy will surely be destined to become an anime film classic.
Australia's REEL ANIME 2012, presented by Madman Entertainment, will be showcasing From Up On Poppy Hill, the latest masterpiece from the Academy Award-winning Studio Ghibli; Wolf Children, from Mamoru Hosoda, critically-acclaimed director of Summer Wars; Berserk - The Egg of the King, the action-packed first feature film in a brand-new trilogy, based on the best-selling manga and anime series, Berzerk; and Children Who Chase Lost Voices, a visually stunning adventure film from cult director Makoto Shinkai (Voices of a Distant Star, 5 Centimetres Per Second). All films will be screened in Japanese language with English subtitles.
REEL ANIME 2012 will screen in selected cinemas from September 13 - 26. For more information, please check out their official website.
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