Okay, we’re not all Irish, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy St. Patty’s Day like an Irish lad and lass. Especially when we got our own Green Shindig coming to Baltimore; come on. March 10th invites back the 2nd Annual Shamrock Shindig; coming to town with music from Barleyjuice, bringing in the food truck, and Shamrock Alley for the kiddies. Come on, you know it’ll be a blast. Only more fun when the parade comes marching in. And since we’re talking about the second coming of something cool, let’s talk about the second coming of something awesome. This week’s series of choice, Berserk Golden Age Arc Part II: the Battle for Doldrey.
Previously, Berserk: The Egg of the King was reviewed and this examiner was personally very eager for the next one to be released. Well, a few months behind, the second movie was seen and it was as amazing as the first if not more.
For those familiar with the Berserk universe, this movie covers the Band of Hawk’s ascension to nobility and the little things that led up to their inevitable downfall. It also highlights the relationship between Guts and Casca, and the growing independence Guts had from Griffith. Just as the first movie, The Battle for Doldrey is a faithful adaptation of its manga counterpart. One of the better part of the story is the delving into the characters. Granted, most of the Band of Hawk are still generic faces without a name, but by developing into Guts, Casca, and Griffith’s relationship, you get to learn how they stand. And in relation, how everyone else stands up to them. Also granted, that there are a good deal of them dying in gruesome and grueling ways.
To reiterate on one of the two main parts, this movie details just how Casca and Guts got to understand and even like each other more. It also lets you peek into the history of Casca, showing why she is so faithful to Griffith and where her dislike of Guts came from. It strips her character (literally in some parts) bare before you and lets you see the core of her character. In comparison, you look at Guts as he was in the previous movie and you get a different side of him. The word “friend” truly struck him hard and made him think about where he was going in his life. There’s a good deal of psychological development there focused on these two. The other main point is the Band’s climb to fame. It shows how not everyone liked it. Just as in the manga, the supernatural took a backseat to something that was remotely believable as if you had read it in a history book. Speaking of books, this production seemed to flow into noticeable breaks, like chapters. But seriously, it was good to have noticeable breaks that made transitions between high interest moments better to absorb. That is something that the first movie didn’t do too well.
Now one thing to note is that because Berserk is a mature series, there are some things focused on that aren’t suitable for children. The amount of gore for one isn’t advisable. But because this movie focuses on relationships as much as battles, it’s important to note that subjects of a sexual nature are in the underlying plot. There is rather obscured nudity and frontal scenes as well as implications. Long story short, this movie is not for children. However, it could be said that this is a necessary evil as it feeds into the three main characters, past and present.
Now that we’ve covered the goodness and the warnings, it wouldn’t be much of a review if we didn’t address some annoying issues. So much as the series was enjoyable, it definitely had its distracting moments, that being the art. The art overall was grand and delightful. What came as an annoyance was the over usage of 2D and 3D blending. In battles, it has its appeal and does not subtract from showing the intensity of the war. However, it is when they are not in battle that it became annoying. 3D is a great way to mass produce a multitude of random characters to fill a space, and that’s great. But it seemed overused as they were using it in places where it wasn’t necessary. It would be a completely 2D setting and suddenly one person that wasn’t that important would be in 3D. It was rather distracting. Especially when in the next frame, that person would be in 2D and have better definition and detail then the 3D portrayed them with. Not to mention, some of the emotions didn’t quite translate in the 3D state as well as they did in their 2D state. As stated, great for battles and in some situations, but the over use of the blending was definitely an annoyance.
Overall, the movie was greatly loved. It is definitely a must see as the last part of the trilogy should be not too far away. As for the issues with it, while distracting, they’re also something that are at least adaptable too. But hey, as always, don’t just trust what you read. Check it out for yourselves and form your own opinions. And as always, keep reading, watching, and smiling.