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


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Stark700



Joined: 30 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 1:28 pm Reply with quote
It's been a very long time since I've seen the original Berserk movies. Recently, I began reading the manga again after seeing it return. And for this movie, imo it was my favorite from the trilogy especially in the latter half with the Eclipse. The violence and psychological parts captured the feeling of despair perfectly. Action was decent too.
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pachy_boy



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 1:56 pm Reply with quote
Having never read the manga or watched the original series, I watched this film trilogy just to see what all the fuss over Berserk was about. I did find out, and I'm glad I watched it, but overall it still wasn't for me. Berserk is definitely an acquired taste, and I don't personally feel compelled to check out the original source material to find out what happens beyond the trilogy's storyline.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 2:37 pm Reply with quote
They dumped the Bakiraka and Wyald scenes, but Slan's pubes were nice. As woefully disappointing as these Berserk films have been, this is definitely the best of them. The Star Wars Episode III, if you will.

pachy_boy wrote:
Berserk is definitely an acquired taste, and I don't personally feel compelled to check out the original source material to find out what happens beyond the trilogy's storyline.


That's quite a massive flaw, because the TV series usually causes the opposite action to happen. The general trend seems to be "what the hell was that? Time to read the manga." The films lack the compassion and underlying humanity that made the casual anime watchers into the manga devotees. I also think the massive lack of Hiraswa's score plays into that. That score evokes some deep feelings and the TV series wouldn't have worked without it.


Last edited by walw6pK4Alo on Tue May 13, 2014 2:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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j Talbain



Joined: 27 Oct 2010
Posts: 167
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 2:39 pm Reply with quote
I love the manga. I own all 37 books, original Anime series, action figures, etc. But I'm not going to lie this movie was hard to get through. It really hit the nail on the head with it's disturbing nature, it does show has much anguish Gatsu has to go through and why he want's griffith's head on a steak. Not for the faint of heart.
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One-Eye



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 3:03 pm Reply with quote
Carl's review is spot on for me. Unfortunately its just as I thought it might be, that is I would say buy the tv series and before the last episode switch to this 3rd movie to get a slightly more complete ending. The first two movies in this trilogy were so weak imho that they don't match up to the original tv series. I think the relationship of the characters that is built up over the length of the tv show is totally lost in these movies and takes away some of the power of the events of The Eclipse. What this means is that I will probably have to wait another decade, before someone else takes a stab at the story (by then we might actually be closer to the manga finishing!). Sad

I'm still of the opinion that they should have made this into an OVA series like they did with Hellsing Ultimate and released an hour long episode twice per year, this way more of the story and the characters could have been brought out with higher quality visuals not the awful CG they used in these movies.
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Jingoro2014



Joined: 13 May 2014
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 5:32 pm Reply with quote
One-Eye wrote:


I'm still of the opinion that they should have made this into an OVA series like they did with Hellsing Ultimate and released an hour long episode twice per year


yeah, but it was also the single worst release schedule of any anime in history. it took them 6 years and 9 months to release 10 episodes. THAT'S HOW YOU LIKE ANIME TO BE RELEASED? no thank you.
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nightjuan



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 1415

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 6:05 pm Reply with quote
It's suffering from the same two structural flaws that affected the other two Berserk movies and which would have been inevitable by this point, unless the project had taken a very different shape right from its inception.

a) The 3D computer graphics are ugly, especially for the human characters, and only occasionally manage to be convincing under specific circumstances or with the aid of certain special effects. I suppose they may have worked relatively well for the surrealism of the Eclipse, which had some visually impressive moments even in the film itself going by what I can currently recall, but still far from a perfect representation of the original manga artwork.

b) The available time length isn't enough to fit anything other than a simplified version of events. The original story is too complex and dense to afford cutting much of anything. For that matter, if they were going to adapt something, it would have been better to choose another arc and not the Golden Age, which would have the benefit of being new to the animated format.

That said, I think the third movie still has enough effective and memorable scenes, even in their watered down form, to make it a significantly better watch than the first and second, especially when the Eclipse happened. But again, it's mostly a quick compilation of the story and not a true replacement for the reading experience. Mind you, I should probably point out that the graphic nature of certain scenes of explicit sexual violence isn't too far from what the manga presented. In fact, going for a quick look at the original pages, it's still amazing how Miura was able to get away with something so...ostensibly pornographic, really, even if it does play a role in the context of the story.

In any case, I'm almost sorry for the main staff and the animators since whoever made the key decisions behind the project ended up dragging the whole thing down. I doubt the director was the one who decided to make a couple of movies rather than something else, and who knows if he was or wasn't truly responsible for the use of 3D.
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One-Eye



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 6:52 pm Reply with quote
Jingoro2014 wrote:
One-Eye wrote:
I'm still of the opinion that they should have made this into an OVA series like they did with Hellsing Ultimate and released an hour long episode twice per year


yeah, but it was also the single worst release schedule of any anime in history. it took them 6 years and 9 months to release 10 episodes. THAT'S HOW YOU LIKE ANIME TO BE RELEASED? no thank you.

Angry Much? No one says that they would have to have the same production schedule as Hellsing Ultimate. The point was more overall releases thereby giving the story more time to develop and better visual quality. But hey if you rather take the crap they served this time around then be my guest and eat up.
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BloodGod



Joined: 30 Jan 2014
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 6:57 pm Reply with quote
I haven't sat down and watched the third film yet, been meaning too, but the other two were definitely inferior to the original TV series and manga. I wouldn't recommend the films to someone new to the content, but rather as something for existing fans to watch for fun.

As a dub fan, I was mostly excited by the fact that they got the majority of the original cast back together, especially considering most of them seemed to fall off the face of the earth after the original series. Probably what I enjoyed best while watching the films.

walw6pK4Alo wrote:
The general trend seems to be "what the hell was that? Time to read the manga." The films lack the compassion and underlying humanity that made the casual anime watchers into the manga devotees.


Back in the day, this was certainly true for me. This was the first real manga I ever read -after that notorious cliffhanger anime ending- and it is still my favorite to this day. The content certainly isn't for everyone, but is far from the most hardcore I've read.

One-Eye wrote:
I'm still of the opinion that they should have made this into an OVA series like they did with Hellsing Ultimate and released an hour long episode twice per year, this way more of the story and the characters could have been brought out with higher quality visuals not the awful CG they used in these movies.


I agree 100%, but then I say the same about every manga I love. Wasn't the original idea behind the films that they were going to eventually release the rest of the content of the manga in animated form? What ever happened with that?

I was hoping the movies were just a recap of sorts for the Golden Age, and that they would pick things up from there in OVA form or some sort like Ultimate. That's probably a pipe dream at this point though.
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Echo_City



Joined: 03 Apr 2011
Posts: 1236

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 7:37 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The film looks as good on a big screen as its terrible CG will allow it.

You can say that again. For a "big name" series I expected better. Even Mardock Scramble had better CG...
Quote:
Far better are the outtakes, all fifty minutes of them—twenty for this film and, interestingly, an additional thirty for the first.

I wondered why the first film didn't have outtakes. Nice of Viz/Sinterniklaas to complete this for the fans.


While I could not get into the original series due to the age and timeless crappiness of the animation in the original series I did find the 21:9 nonsense with these movies to actually be more annoying than 4:3 pillarboxing.
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Jingoro2014



Joined: 13 May 2014
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 7:44 pm Reply with quote
One-Eye wrote:
Jingoro2014 wrote:
One-Eye wrote:
I'm still of the opinion that they should have made this into an OVA series like they did with Hellsing Ultimate and released an hour long episode twice per year


yeah, but it was also the single worst release schedule of any anime in history. it took them 6 years and 9 months to release 10 episodes. THAT'S HOW YOU LIKE ANIME TO BE RELEASED? no thank you.

Angry Much? No one says that they would have to have the same production schedule as Hellsing Ultimate.


actually you did which is why i pointed out that's a dumb idea.
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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 1462

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 7:53 pm Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:
They dumped the Bakiraka and Wyald scenes, but Slan's pubes were nice. As woefully disappointing as these Berserk films have been, this is definitely the best of them. The Star Wars Episode III, if you will.

pachy_boy wrote:
Berserk is definitely an acquired taste, and I don't personally feel compelled to check out the original source material to find out what happens beyond the trilogy's storyline.


That's quite a massive flaw, because the TV series usually causes the opposite action to happen. The general trend seems to be "what the hell was that? Time to read the manga." The films lack the compassion and underlying humanity that made the casual anime watchers into the manga devotees. I also think the massive lack of Hiraswa's score plays into that. That score evokes some deep feelings and the TV series wouldn't have worked without it.


Agreed. I'm not much of a manga reader, but as soon as I finished the TV series I said, "Woah, woah. I'm not just going to let it drop there. You don't get to kick me in the stomach and walk away."

I'll also agree that this was easily the best of an overall lackluster outing. I say that because it finally felt like they took the time to slow down, unfortunately, a lot of what made this portion of the story so heavy was already left behind.
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PipingHotTea



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 150

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 8:25 pm Reply with quote
pachy_boy wrote:
Having never read the manga or watched the original series, I watched this film trilogy just to see what all the fuss over Berserk was about. I did find out, and I'm glad I watched it, but overall it still wasn't for me. Berserk is definitely an acquired taste, and I don't personally feel compelled to check out the original source material to find out what happens beyond the trilogy's storyline.


That's totally fine though, you can't always like everything. But it's starting looking like that watching the films first kinda misleads people to thinking the original source material and the 26 ep series are not worth looking at, both of them are worth looking at. But again, there is always a possibility some people may not like it and that's okay.

But I will agree, the whole film series is a hot mess. Really miss Hiraswa's music, Shiro's work doesn't make the cut for the grim atmosphere. Maybe in the next 20-30 years, someone can animate a worthy adaptation of the manga.
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One-Eye



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 1282

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 10:07 pm Reply with quote
Jingoro2014 wrote:
actually you did which is why i pointed out that's a dumb idea.

No my point was that with an extended format "...more of the story and the characters could have been brought out with higher quality visuals not the awful CG..." which you chose to ignore or failed to grasp because you either have some weird axe to grind or coming on forums and being belligerent is just part of your style.
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Echo_City



Joined: 03 Apr 2011
Posts: 1236

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 11:28 pm Reply with quote
PipingHotTea wrote:
pachy_boy wrote:
Having never read the manga or watched the original series, I watched this film trilogy just to see what all the fuss over Berserk was about. I did find out, and I'm glad I watched it, but overall it still wasn't for me. Berserk is definitely an acquired taste, and I don't personally feel compelled to check out the original source material to find out what happens beyond the trilogy's storyline.


That's totally fine though, you can't always like everything. But it's starting looking like that watching the films first kinda misleads people to thinking the original source material and the 26 ep series are not worth looking at, both of them are worth looking at. But again, there is always a possibility some people may not like it and that's okay.

I can see what you're getting at here but I can't get into the original series as its visuals, sub par for its day, have only gotten worse. Neither the movies nor what I've seen of the show have given me the impression that this is the deep series that it seems to be considered to be.

I'm not big on manga (too many mangaka are like George Lucas IMO: good ideas but without oversight they flub it), especially not manga written by a guy who is obsessed with Idolmaster. I learned my lesson about mangaka like that from Hellsing. Rolling Eyes
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