Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Things No One Cares About: Berserk II: The Capture of Doldrey

Originally Published: February 10th 2013

Well I'm back and like it or not I'm reviewing things no one cares about and like it or not I'm talking about Berserk again. Luckily we're still in the Golden Age arc,unluckily it's another Berserk movie. However Studio 4° C being made up of people with hopefully functioning ears(if not very capable sign language experts) listened/saw when people told them that the first movie was a travesty. Unfortunately some of the criticisms went in one ear and out the other and then they made this film with what was left.

I guess I should actually say what I'm reviewing, in case your like me and just saw Berserk and said screw reading the rest of the title. This time it's the sequel to The Egg of the King(Egg for short), The Capture of Doldrey. This movie has a longer running time of 90 minutes and covers the battle leading up to Doldrey and ending with Gut's departure from the Hawks and Griffith's capture. As said above this movie is an improvement to Egg but it's still left with a bit of egg on it's face(make sure to tip your waitress). So enough pussy footing around let's do some reviewing.

The plot is actually much tighter this time with that extra twenty or so minutes it has to fill so there is a better sense flow. They spend a little more time building up Guts' and Casca's relationship,which is nice as it is a focal point of the arc. However they still manage to screw that up by having the section where Guts and Casca await rescue be weirdly stilled and shoe horns in Casca's motivation with nary a framing device. Which is somewhat odd considering that the manga handled it in a graceful way. In the end it leaves that part a bit of a jumbled mess before going into the next battle.

As someone who's gone through the Golden Age arc in all in both anime and manga form,the story manages to still be engaging and was actually fun to see unfold. As said a bit earlier that flow makes it easier to watch. However while they learned that skipping around is bad the bug apparently isn't out of the studio's system just yet.

How they cut things is like a crescendo,with my voice following its example. First they forget a minor thing or two like the Adon Coborlwitz's brother,eh not a big deal. The scene he's missing from really doesn't have to have him and he was one off cannon fodder anyway. Then they cut Zodd out of the titular conflict, again not too big a deal as all we're deprived of is a character moment for Zodd. Guts is still bad ass just not with the extra amount of bad ass that Zodd's weapon gave us. Then they decide to cut out the Flaming Tombstone chapters which without spoiling things are fairly important. Seeing as it is a bit of the last straw for Guts and further cements just how terrible Griffith can be. Instead they decide to cut straight to Guts leaving the Hawks, which to me would have been a great way to end the movie. Instead we're treated to Griffith taunting the king with a plot point that doesn't really come into play till a little later and the creepy as hell dungeon master. Again not an awful ending it's just that part feels so sped up that it should have just been saved for the next one.

So the story and characters got a little better, so by that logic the art should be better too right. The answer is actually sort of yes. The CGI is still god awful but it's less noticeable and it never gets as bad as Guts' fight with Bazuso in Egg. Plus those jarring art shifts are smoother, more like a squeaky hinge then a air horn signal. The fact that this still remains fully uncensored is really nice as the scenes where the violence gets ramped up does feel visceral. It's most notable during Guts' slaying of 100 men,it's brutal and the art reflects that. Plus the entire section where Casca and Guts are naked is left in without having to worry about increasingly silly ways to cover Casca's chest. So all in all the art department sobered up and we're all the better for it.

Well on to the all important yes/no section of the review,which really shouldn't be that important but hey some people want it and I feel like indulging so here it it:no. I can't really say you should go
out and buy this movie because it's still bad however I won't say treat it like a social outcast. Its an improvement and hopefully by the time the get to the next Arc they'll have figured this out. Till next time,don't die.

As usual comments, criticism and death threats are welcomes

P.S Manga fans should be on the look out for a nice little early bird cameo from some of Guts' future companions. It sort of makes sense I guess.

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