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Berserk Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King ("Ougon jidaihen I - Haou no tamago")

Canadian Premiere
  • Japan
  • 2011
  • 76 mins
  • HD
  • Japanese
  • English (subtitles)

“An awesome anime” — JAPAN CINEMA

An orphaned drifter, Guts is appropriately named. Courage and fortitude, he has plenty of, as well as a gigantic sword and exceptional skill and strength in wielding it. His martial skills are easily put to use as he wanders a land ripped apart by civil war and constant clashes of mercenary armies. One particular assembly of soldiers for hire, the Band of the Hawk, stands out for its deadliness. Guts catches the eye of Griffith, the Band’s comely and charismatic leader and possessor of a powerful mystical amulet, and is soon enough inducted. Though he stands at his leader’s side, can Guts be sure whether Griffith, a formidable fighter and brilliant strategist with sweeping ambitions, is his best friend — or most dangerous foe?

Debuting with a prototype graphic novella in 1988, Kentaro Miura’s hyper-violent yet philosophically charged high-fantasy manga series Berserk continues to expand in scope and complexity to this day. The fraught journey of its hero, Guts, has unfurled over the course of several story arcs, but it all began with his first encountering Griffith and the Band of the Hawk. Adapted as a TV anime series in the 1990s, the “Golden Age Arc” is revisited and revived in the first installment of a new feature-length anime trilogy created by Studio 4ºC. That’s right, the reliably ahead-of-the-curve production house responsible for such Fantasia favourites as SPRIGGAN, MIND GAME, TEKKON KINKREET and GENIUS PARTY! Muira’s imaginary world, an exquisitely detailed pastiche of medieval Europe, and the spectacular storms of clashing steel that erupt there are brought vividly to life by the film’s painstaking artwork and intense dynamic battle scenes. A must-see for fans of grand fantasy and superior-standard Japanese animation!

— Rupert Bottenberg

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