Berserk: Golden Age Arc I–The Egg of the King

  • Directed by Toshiyuki Kubooka
  • February 4, 2012
  • Based on Kentaro Miura’s Berserk manga series

Voice Cast

Band of the Hawk

  • Guts-Marc Diraison
  • Griffith-Kevin T Collins
  • Griffith (young)-Barbara Goodson    
  • Casca-Carrie Keranen
  • Judeau-Christopher Kromer
  • Rickert-Michelle Newman
  • Corkus-Doug Erholtz
  • Pippin-Patrick Seitz
  • Gaston-Sean Schemmel

Members of the Midland Court

  • King of Midland-Christopher Corey Smith
  • Princess Charlotte-Rachael Lillis
  • Julius-Jesse Corti
  • Adonis-Colin DePaula
  • Anna-Lisa Ortiz
  • Hassan-Michael Sorich
  • Raban-Marc Thompson

God Hand

  • Void-Jon Avner
  • Slan-Cindy Robinson
  • Ubik-Liam O’Brien
  • Conrad-Sean Schemmel

Other Adversaries/Miscellaneous

  • Nosferatu Zodd-J. David Brimmer
  • Skull Knight-Jamieson Prince
  • Bazuso-David B. Mitchell
  • General Given-Sean Schemmel
  • Gennon-Steve Kramer
  • Adon-Mike Pollock
  • Boscogn-TJ Storm
  • Torturer-Liam O’Brien
  • Silat-JB Blanc
  • Erica-Michele O’Medlin
  • Old Fortuneteller-Barbara Goodson

A man gets recruited into a mercenary band and helps its leader on his rise to power.

Not sure what originally interested me in this. I saw this film sitting by its lonesome on a shelf in my local used retailer but did not pick it up then. However some time later I came across the complete trilogy and picked it up then. Maybe I was rather intrigued I guess by the visual potential.

Berserk: Golden Age Arc I–The Egg of the King is not fun or bouncy, but rather something more serious. For example, there aren’t any two-dimensional female characters that are overtly sexualized in their visual presentation. That there is a bit refreshing. They are not all well rounded but do not look like they were drawn by creepy old dudes.

That doesn’t mean this film shies away from sexuality. The character of Griffith I took as being implied to be bisexual at the minimum (with a possible strong preference for men over women). Not confirmed but certainly there. The confusion comes with the Star Wars-level-of-complexity romance Griffith engages in with Princess Charlotte of Midland whom Griffith and his mercenaries fight for. Or is he simply trying to bring an important person under his sway.

When it comes to the character of Griffith, I honestly thought when I first saw him that he was a she. Rosy lips. High cheekbones. A level of hair product used that would only be found in the ‘80s. He certainly looked female.

Griffith has ambition beyond being just a mercenary. He has dreams of ruling his own kingdom all buoyed by wearing this red egg-shaped thing around his neck that he has had since his youth. It’s magic and offers protection but what it all does is kinda vague. It is enough though to be noted by a demon called Nosferatu Zodd encountered towards the end. A demon with a name derived from a silent film vampire and a Superman villain MUST be evil!

There is a character called Guts (yes Guts) and when he and Griffith meet, Guts seems convinced that Griffith has an interest in him beyond that of skills on the battlefield. Guts brings up Griffith and his possible interest in his ass (that’s the VERY word he uses) several times. Makes it seem Guts is awkwardly feeling out Griffith.

Griffith is supposed to be a charismatic leader. The thing is he only comes off as supposed to be. I never really feel like he is. The characters go through the motions and seem to follow him blindly regardless, but the character never quite gets to that point because he does not meaningfully connect to the cast.

Guts is following Griffith but I’m not really sure why. Is it because he beat him in battle? Or is it because he falls under Griffith’s power? Either is equally possible given the story, but which is never clear. Guts is extremely loyal to the man and apparently Guts lives and dies on Griffith’s every word much as everyone else does, but how he holds this sway is never really shown. He just is.

The Egg of the King is a medieval fantasy type world, but the fantasy is very light. There is a demon that fights for one side of the conflict (the aforementioned Nosferatu Zodd), the Tudors, and there is this weird egg thing from which the film gets the name. Beyond that everything’s fairly realistic in its presentation.

The story is very heavy on talking and light on the action. It is much more concerned with exposition than actually showing. I’m not against a great deal of talking in a film, but you need to actually show as well and this doesn’t do nearly enough of showing.

The passage of time is poorly communicated in this story. The character of Guts fought for the other side before falling in battle and being taken in by Griffith’s group the Band of the Hawk. And by the end of The Egg of the King he’s been fighting for him for three years, but if they hadn’t said anything I would not have known any real time had passed.

The animation is absolutely beautiful. It is stunning and detailed and brings to life this world. There is definitely some standard animation mixed with CGI here, but CGI is not used to an excessive level but rather only as needed. Watching this 10+ years after it came out and it’s hard to pick the difference between the two unless you’re really looking for it.

The gore is not shown just because they can show it. That is a common mistake. Rather what they show is used to drive home the point of how violent whatever is occurring is. There aren’t a great many guts but rather blood squibs along with the stumpy end of severed limbs. Lots of severed limbs at one point.

Based on language and gore, this is most certainly not for kids. It is much more for adults. From the general characters to the enemy to what is shown on the screen it is not for kids who might be in to One Piece or anything like that. If anything, it’s more like an animated Game of Thrones. But while serious, it falls into many comms of Japanese animation like heavy exposition.

Ultimately, Berserk: Golden Age Arc I–The Egg of the King is an adequate start to an animated film trilogy. It sets things up nicely but it’s far too heavy on the talking. Fortunately it teases enough that you want to at the minimum to check out the next film. I’ll give this an if you want.

Published by warrenwatchedamovie

Just a movie lover trying spread the love.

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