Chopping Block Review- Berserk: The Golden Age Arc 1- The Egg of the King
By Nolan Patrick Smith- Pastrami Nation
If you are a fan of Japanese animation, also known as anime, then you most likely heard of a violent little series called Berserk. A well-known manga (Japanese comic book) and anime, Berserk was created by Kentaro Miura and instantly became a hit. When it was announced that Berserk would be getting the anime treatment once again, fans everywhere were more than thrilled, and yet a little bit worried. Does the first installment of Berserk: The Golden Age leave its mark, or is it simply treading familiar ground?
The animated feature, which clocks in with a run time around 100 minutes, hits its mark dead on. Based of the legendary manga series, this first volume introduces the world to Guts (English voice over: Marc Diraison), a young mercenary with a fighting spirit and a massive sword to back it up. In a world of swords, knights and kingdoms, one needs to be able to survive, which is what Guts has done by any means necessary. But when he butts heads with the Band of the Hawk, a fearless group of mercenaries led by the almost unbeatable Griffith (Kevin T. Collins), his whole life changes.
The animation is beautifully done by STUDIO4°C and licensed in the US by Viz Media, as it has a very distinct, modern feel to it. Very different from the previous anime, which had a dark, gritty feel, this animated feature has some of the best modern day, 2-D animation I have seen to date. The voice cast for the English cast is top notch, as the man who voiced Berserk, Marc Diraison, returns to voice the lone swordsman, and does so effortlessly. The entire voice cast puts out an amazing performance; well worthy of the glorious animation it is paired with.
With a name like Guts in an anime called Berserk, you better believe there is plenty of blood and violence to go around, just like its original source material. Having been a fan of the original manga and anime, I am very pleased with this new interpretation of a classic franchise. I highly recommend Berserk: The Golden Age Arc 1-The Egg of the King, giving it a solid @@@@ out of FIVE.
Where can you watch this animated film? Well, it comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray on November 27th, but you can watch it now at Neon Alley, an online anime channel accessible through the PS3 Video Game System. For more information on Neon Alley, visit their website at www.neonalley.com.