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REVIEW: Berserk: The Golden Age Arc II Blu-Ray


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SpacemanHardy



Joined: 03 Jan 2012
Posts: 1630

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:07 am Reply with quote
I dunno. I thought it was pretty badass. Very Happy
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here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 1124
Location: Sunny California

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:10 am Reply with quote
Out of curiosity, does anyone know why they don't simply do a reboot of the series like Hunter x Hunter? They've easily got three seasons worth of material with the manga. The story is way too big to be shoved into a few films. Other manga series with extreme violence and nudity, such as Claymore, Elfen Lied, Blade of the Immortal, Gantz, and heck Berserk, have been made into television series.

Is it because there isn't enough popularity to sustain a series (this seems unlikely) or do the films make more money? Just wondering...
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gedata



Joined: 04 May 2013
Posts: 150

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:18 am Reply with quote
Quote:
but unlike these films it understands the strengths of its source material. And improves on them


In what way? I love the TV anime and all, and the manga has it's annoying stretches, the TV series did a wonderful job of adapting it's material, but an improvement? eeeeeehh
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nightjuan



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 1390

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:38 am Reply with quote
It has been said that the structural flaw of the Berserk films is their limited running time and that still remains true.

I wouldn't blame the director for that though, but rather the sponsors or the producers who decided that they could trim down such a complex tapestry into just the essential threads and little else. I'd also put the blame for the misguided use of the 3D computer graphics on the business side of things. Perhaps they chose to adapt the Golden Age in this fashion in order to quickly fulfill a contractual obligation and move on to the next parts of the story which haven't been made into animation yet.

Whatever the case...that underlying problem essentially makes the movies more or less serviceable as quick, digest versions of the story but, like the reviewer has explained, the impact of the emotional beats tends to suffer because of their lack of sufficient build-up and context.

Which is a pity, since there are in fact some positive aspects to the films, such as the battle scenes and even isolated character moments that show the director and his creative team aren't without talent, but they also seem way too constrained by the limitations of the chosen format.
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Etrien



Joined: 27 Mar 2009
Posts: 483
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:37 pm Reply with quote
I don't really disagree about the film, but I do feel that other than the very beginning, the manga > the tv version.

...Even if the tv version DID give us "Pure Moods, with Guts" for its soundtrack.
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EnigmaticSky



Joined: 06 Aug 2011
Posts: 573

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:46 pm Reply with quote
I swear that this was just reviewed like a month ago... Well, it is always good to have multiple reviews of the same thing.
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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 1407

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:16 pm Reply with quote
nightjuan wrote:
It has been said that the structural flaw of the Berserk films is their limited running time and that still remains true.

I wouldn't blame the director for that though, but rather the sponsors or the producers who decided that they could trim down such a complex tapestry into just the essential threads and little else. I'd also put the blame for the misguided use of the 3D computer graphics on the business side of things. Perhaps they chose to adapt the Golden Age in this fashion in order to quickly fulfill a contractual obligation and move on to the next parts of the story which haven't been made into animation yet.

Whatever the case...that underlying problem essentially makes the movies more or less serviceable as quick, digest versions of the story but, like the reviewer has explained, the impact of the emotional beats tends to suffer because of their lack of sufficient build-up and context.

Which is a pity, since there are in fact some positive aspects to the films, such as the battle scenes and even isolated character moments that show the director and his creative team aren't without talent, but they also seem way too constrained by the limitations of the chosen format.



Agreed. The battles are done well enough, and it certainly serves as an effective crash course, but the time allotted is basically an insurmountable problem. I can't necessarily blame the director or writers for making do with what they've been handed. Like others have mentioned, doing another series would have served this story a lot better, especially since it's pretty obvious that what is coming in the third movie is going to lose a lot of punch.

I've seen this problem crop up different times with some of the DC animated movies where Warner Bros. being married to an 80 minute run time kept a decent story from being really good.


EnigmaticSky wrote:
I swear that this was just reviewed like a month ago... Well, it is always good to have multiple reviews of the same thing.


It was, but I agree it's good to get different perspectives, which is something I have always liked about ANN.
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Zhou-BR



Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 339

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:15 pm Reply with quote
Despite the unfavorable comparisons to the source material and even the TV adaptation, I still thought this movie was a vast improvement over the first one. The climactic battle was fantastic, and to me the emotional core of the story was left intact. I also appreciated the half-hour-long (I know it wasn't actually that long, but it sure felt like it) sex scene, which was the best I've ever seen in a non-hentai title.

Now bring on Berserk III: The Rapening.
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doubleO7



Joined: 17 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:22 pm Reply with quote
What a coincidence that this review should be posted today, I just watched the film this morning.

Overall I enjoyed it. It was certainly better paced that the first film, but I did recognize all of the issues pointed out in the review, namely the cutting of certain details and scenes.

In particular, there were two omitted scenes that I really wish they had included. The first was where spoiler[Guts is fighting the Purple Rhino's leader, and his sword breaks, so Zodd, who was observing the battle from a nearby cliff, chucks his own sword down onto the battlefield, which Guts promptly uses to behead his opponent. In the movie, his sword never breaks and Zodd is nowhere to be seen.]

The other is the spoiler[flashback to Griffith's past with Gennon, which was present in both the manga and the old anime. They mentioned it briefly in the film just before Griffith stabbed him through the face, be we never really learn the how or why of what exactly happened between them.]

On another note, and slightly off-topic, but I just recently started reading the manga but found that all but a small handful of the first 20 or so volumes are sold out pretty much everywhere. Have the older volumes gone out of print? I knew a few of them have been scarce for awhile now (such as the volumes depicting the Eclipse), but now it seems a lot more are disappearing. How likely are these volumes to get reprinted in the future? I sure hope I haven't missed my chance to ever own the complete manga.
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scriver058



Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 58
Location: NY

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:59 pm Reply with quote
I pretty much always figured that with these 3 movies, we were getting truncated versions of the story just like what we got with the Fist of the North Star movie, the Escaflowne movie and the X movie. See it for the big budget animation and such, but no way should these movies replace the original anime series/manga.


I did enjoy the first 2 Berserk movies, but some of the cuts that have been made to this one were head scratchers, like spoiler[omitting Zodd during the Doldrey fight and cutting out Adon's brother from when Guts slayed 100 men, but what really bothered me was that the part where Casca applied fairy dust to Guts wounds after he slayed the 100 men, and they talk and she realizes he intends to leave the Hawks was cut out as well. They went straight from a near dead Guts to the Doldrey battle, which I just found strange as hell. That campfire scene would've helped the movie's pacing. And what did we get instead? An extended dance number as well as a longer sex scene between Griffith and Charlotte which, idk, skeeved me out since it was fairly graphic and she's 16 at the time, no?]
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Mr Adventure



Joined: 14 Jul 2008
Posts: 1131

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:04 pm Reply with quote
I'll be curious how I feel about this movie when I see it, as I have not original manga or tv series to compare it to.
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Echo_City



Joined: 03 Apr 2011
Posts: 1236

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:37 pm Reply with quote
Not sure if I should see this movie then. I enjoyed the first movie enough, despite the horrible CG, but I'm not sure that I should jump on this one. I'm sort of the "tabula rasa" for Berserk as I didn't see much of the 90s anime (cheap animation, low-detail art & unavailability played into this) so if the original is supposed to have depth, as I gather from the review, but this movie is shallower than a filler arc in Naruto/Bleach (as I also gather from the review) then I'm not sure that my first impression should be this one.

Most importantly, why did the creators of these films pick the odd 2.35:1 aspect ratio that lowers detail and creates letterboxing on 1080 displays? A complete and utter waste: nothing in the expanded horizontal view was essential or made up for the lack of vertical view & reduced detail. If something is both 1080 and 16x9 then it should be the expected 1.78:1.
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doubleO7



Joined: 17 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:16 am Reply with quote
Echo_City wrote:
Not sure if I should see this movie then. I enjoyed the first movie enough, despite the horrible CG, but I'm not sure that I should jump on this one. I'm sort of the "tabula rasa" for Berserk as I didn't see much of the 90s anime (cheap animation, low-detail art & unavailability played into this) so if the original is supposed to have depth, as I gather from the review, but this movie is shallower than a filler arc in Naruto/Bleach (as I also gather from the review) then I'm not sure that my first impression should be this one.

Most importantly, why did the creators of these films pick the odd 2.35:1 aspect ratio that lowers detail and creates letterboxing on 1080 displays? A complete and utter waste: nothing in the expanded horizontal view was essential or made up for the lack of vertical view & reduced detail. If something is both 1080 and 16x9 then it should be the expected 1.78:1.


Er, no. That's just not true. Yes, its a watered down version of the manga. But this movie is still a passable (albiet inferior) adaptation. The fact that its actually based on the source manga already puts it a step above the likes of long-running shonen filler, which are typically anime-exclusive arcs and more often than not mediocre, if not downright bad.

What I'm getting at here it this. If you enjoyed the first movie, you'll enjoy the second one too. Same crappy CG, same great soundtrack, same good looking 2D animation (when they bother to use it). Its basically more of the same, but with better pacing. So at least its got one thing that's an improvement over the first film.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 7609

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:54 am Reply with quote
Echo_City wrote:
Most importantly, why did the creators of these films pick the odd 2.35:1 aspect ratio that lowers detail and creates letterboxing on 1080 displays? A complete and utter waste: nothing in the expanded horizontal view was essential or made up for the lack of vertical view & reduced detail. If something is both 1080 and 16x9 then it should be the expected 1.78:1.


Because it plays in theaters where most screens are formatted to that aspect, and fills your field of vision more fully? Do you never see movies at the theater? It's not an odd aspect ratio at all, it's just uncommon for anime, but we are seeing it happen more often like with Eva 3.33. I get your point if you're talking direct to video or TV, but these things are theatrical. And most films that aren't 2.39:1 are 2.20:1, or 1.85:1, which still isn't 16:9. Yeah, so it wastes space on your HDTV, but at least you've convinced me that people who bitch about letterboxing and not just pillarboxing exist.

Ideally, you'd have the original anamorphic image on a BD and a 21:9 TV to maximize screen real estate for the films that needed it, with no black bars added. And then a TV for each of the other different aspects. Hell, 16:9 itself was already a compromise between CinemaScope etc aspects and 4:3.
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Lady Multi



Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 405

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:36 am Reply with quote
I wouldn't say the movie 'improves' on anything from source as the movie can't cover all that happens in the story... but other than that, I agree with the review.

And to add to my agreeing: the animation in the movies makes me iffy... the CGI can sometimes make an otherwise awesome epic look cheesy.

I was hoping they'd veer away from the sometimes-weird animation after it being a flaw evident in the first movie, but I see the trend continued...and from what I saw of the third movie made all the way to the end.

It's not enough to make me not like the movie though. Smile

...Oh and I see WalMart has learned that Berserk is a -mature- rated movie. The first movie was right next to children's movies when it came out. I laughed and I have a photo somewhere to prove it.
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