Berserk: The Golden Age Arc is a trilogy of anime films adapted from Kentarou Miura's Berserk manga. The films cover the same titular story arc as the 1997 anime and serve as a prequel to the 2016 anime. They were written by Ichiro Okouchi, directed by Toshiyuki Kubooka, scored by Shiro Sagisu (with Susumu Hirasawa providing the opening theme), and developed by Studio 4°C. The three films were the first installments in a now-shelved "Berserk Saga Project" aiming to adapt the entire manga.
Story[edit | edit source]
I - The Egg of the King[edit | edit source]
An epic trilogy gets underway in this sweeping medieval adventure that finds lone-wolf fortune hunter Guts recruited into a mercenary group dubbed 'The Band of the Falcon', but questioning the impetus of the team's leader Griffith following a decisive victory on the battlefield. Meanwhile, a dark storm begins to gather on the horizon.
– Official logline
- Guts enters the castle through a siege tower and is shown quickly leaping ahead of the pack.
- While Casca and Corkus discuss the flow of the battle, Guts takes a quick look in Griffith's direction before turning back to the battlefield. This action appears to affect Griffith to some extent.
- Guts' first battle as a member of the Band of the Falcon is not included.
- When both Griffith and Guts rush in for a joint attack on Zodd, Guts only damages his arm as opposed to severing it, skipping when Zodd demonstrates his ability to reattach severed limbs.
- Guts never tries to visit Griffith after he wakes up from the battle with Zodd. Instead, the following scene involves Guts cutting at the air in frustration and a recovering Griffith interrupting him.
- Minister Foss is absent.
II - The Battle for Doldrey[edit | edit source]
For three years, Guts believed his mission was to pursue Griffith's dream together with him. But in order to become Griffith's equal and truly be called his friend, Guts realizes he will have to leave the Band of the Falcon. At the same time, a bloody battle to capture the impenetrable Fortress of Doldrey from the Empire of Tudor is about to begin. The Band of the Falcon will face an army 30,000 strong!
– Official logline
- Samson is not featured or mentioned during Guts' fight against a hundred of Adon's men.
- Adon is captured by the Band of the Falcon, used by Casca's group to infiltrate Doldrey before he fights Casca.
- Guts' sword does not break in his battle against Boscogn. Consequently, Zodd does not appear to throw his own sword from the cliff for the swordsman to use in the battle.
- The Queen of Midland does not conspire with Minister Foss and the other nobles to assassinate Griffith. In fact, the second attempt on Griffith's life is completely written out of the film.
- The Band of the Falcon members enjoy themselves during the victory celebration instead of being apprehensive, and appear much more adept at adopting noble lives; Guts and Casca cheerfully dance with one another.
- Farnese, Serpico, and Azan make a cameo during the King of Midland's speech; the former two even notice Guts as he surveys the scene.
- After Guts leaves the Band of the Falcon, he passes by a caravan with Puck lounging in a birdcage. Puck notices Guts as he passes by.
III - The Advent[edit | edit source]
In BERSERK: THE GOLDEN AGE ARC III - THE ADVENT, the horrifying conclusion to the Golden Age unfolds in a magnificently violent nightmare, signifying the birth of a new era. It's been a year since Griffith's imprisonment by the Kingdom of Midland. Once praised as the saviors of the Midland, the Band of the Falcon has been on the run and is on the brink of breaking apart. Much to everyone's surprise, Guts returns to the Falcons, and the search for Griffith begins!
– Official logline
- Guts' first duel with Silat is not shown. Instead, the film skips to Silat's ambush of the remaining members of the Band of the Falcon after their first year in exile.
- The flashback to Guts' rape at Donovan's hand during his and Casca's first time making love does not occur, and he does not start to strangle Casca.
- The Skull Knight's warning about the Eclipse happens shortly after Guts and Casca make love, instead of being the impetus for Guts to rejoin the Band of the Falcon.
- Rickert's encounters with the Count, Rosine and Puck's circus troupe are written out of the story.
- Casca's immobility at the sight of Griffith's crippled body leads Judeau to take the keys from her and unlock the torture mask placed on their former leader himself. Originally, Guts shouts to Casca to give him the keys.
- Rather than the Band of the Falcon taking Charlotte hostage to escape from the tower, she returns to a separate belfry where she can survey the mercenaries in their escape from Wyndham without her. The band members ambush the gates and a caravan is prepared for Griffith so he can escape.
- The King of Midland does not age considerably after the one year time-skip and simply orders a division of the Midland army to give chase. Consequently, Corkus' ambush is directed toward the chasing army and the escape goes much more smoothly without the encounters with the Bakiraka assassins.
- The flashback to the King's attempt to rape Charlotte does not appear in the film.
- Like in the 1997 anime series adaption, Wyald and the Black Dog Knights do not appear in the film, with Zodd's second appearance before the Band of the Falcon being written out and the band finding out Griffith's condition on their own.
- As Griffith is thrown out of the caravan, he does not imagine what a normal life with Casca could have been like with his disabilities.
- Rather than his final words lamenting that he never told her "that important thing", Judeau dies in Casca's arms regretting that he ended his life being "all talk".
- Before being raped by Femto, Casca is rushed by demons instead of having her sword broken.
- When Guts emerges from the lake of blood during the Eclipse, Gaston is already dead.
- Guts does not see Casca in the grip of a tentacled apostle. Instead, his encounter with Femto starts with both of his arms free. Guts then has his left arm caught by Borkoff when he tries to reach Casca as Femto begins to rape her. He also yells "What the hell do you think you're doing?!" at Femto as the reborn demon molests Casca.
- Guts does not scream Griffith's name when he frees himself from Borkoff and charges Femto.
- While Femto is raping Casca, Guts rushes and attempts to stab him, but is stopped by Femto's telekinetic abilities. However, the sheer power of Guts' determination and wrath allows him to force himself forward, almost managing to stab Femto in the eye with a broken sword before being repelled by another surge of the demon's newfound powers. It is only when Guts rushes Femto a second time that apostles pin him down.
- In Guts' first encounter with restless spirits, the Skull Knight does not toss to him the thorned sword; Guts takes the knight's thorned sword of his own accord and attacks the spirits until daybreak. His "declaration of war" is also cut down considerably.
- The film covers the story up to "Vow of Retaliation" before time-skipping to Guts having acquired his prosthetic cannon arm, new black armor and the Dragon Slayer, walking off into the snowy night to go after the apostles and God Hand as the Black Swordsman.
- The miscarriage scene with Guts and Casca's deformed demon child, the final night with Casca in Godot's mine, and the fight with the Unidentified Roaming Apostle where Guts uses the Dragon Slayer for the first time are not present in the film.
Cast[edit | edit source]
Music[edit | edit source]
|01||The Wrath Of God (Part II)||Shiro Sagisu||Plays during the raid on Bazuso's fortress and Guts' battle with Bazuso.||3:43|
|02||Et Voici Guts||Shiro Sagisu||Plays during the raid on Bazuso's fortress and Guts' introduction. Translates from French as "And Here is Guts".||1:33|
|03||Griffith's Dream||Shiro Sagisu||Griffith's theme. Plays when Guts and Griffith duel. Reused in part II - The Battle for Doldrey.||3:16|
|04||Des Cambrioleurs||Shiro Sagisu||Plays when Guts is attacked by Corkus' group. Translates from French as "The Burglars".||3:06|
|05||Semper Invicta||Shiro Sagisu||Plays in the aftermath of Bazuso's fortress being seized. Translates from Latin as "Always Invincible".||4:21|
|06||Des Liens Solides||Shiro Sagisu||The Band of the Falcon's theme. Translates from French as "Strong Bonds".||4:12|
|07||New Horizons||Shiro Sagisu||Plays during the battle between the Midland army and the Black Ram Spear Knights.||4:01|
|08||Obscurite des Victimes||Shiro Sagisu||Plays when Guts finds what remains of men of his slaughtered by Zodd. Translates from French as "Obscurity of the Victims".||0:53|
|09||La Bete Immense (Part I)||Shiro Sagisu||Plays when Zodd is introduced. Translates from French as "The Immense Beast".||1:22|
|10||Voix du Diable||Shiro Sagisu||Plays when Griffith is told the story of Zodd. Translates from French as "Voice of the Devil".||1:45|
|11||La Bete Immense (Part II)||Shiro Sagisu||Remix of the original. Plays when Zodd assumes his true form.||1:02|
|12||The Sound of Tortured Souls||Shiro Sagisu||Zodd's theme. Plays when he battles Guts and then a reinforcement of Band of the Falcon members.||3:46|
|13||Pour L'Eternite (Part II)||Shiro Sagisu||Translates from French as "For Eternity".||5:08|
|14||L'Amour Impitoyable||Shiro Sagisu||Translates from French as "Love Without Mercy".||2:21|
|15||Jeux de Nobles||Shiro Sagisu||Plays during the Autumn Hunt. Translates from French as "Nobles' Games".||2:40|
|16||L'Amour Impitoyable (Piano Solo)||Shiro Sagisu||Charlotte's theme. A remix of the original version.||2:16|
|17||Blood and Guts||Shiro Sagisu||Guts' theme. Plays when he escapes from Julius' manor. Reused in the first episode of the 2016 anime.||4:51|
|18||Avant la Tempete||Shiro Sagisu||Plays during a preview of part II - The Battle for Doldrey. Translates from French as "Before the Storm".||3:44|
|19||Blood and Guts (Closing Credits)||Shiro Sagisu||Remix of the original||6:39|
|20||Pour L'Eternite (Part 1)||Shiro Sagisu||Remix of the original. Plays when Griffith tells Charlotte of his ideals and beliefs.||5:13|
|01||After the Battle||Shiro Sagisu||Theme of the Blue Whale Knights. Plays during Casca's battle with Adon and later when she and Guts are surrounded by the Blue Whale Knights.||3:42|
|02||Et Voici Guts (opus 02)||Shiro Sagisu||A remix of the original version, played when Guts and Casca fall down the cliff into the river.||0:51|
|03||Son Cauchemar||Shiro Sagisu||Plays when Casca dreams of her past. Translates from French as "Her Nightmare".||4:04|
|04||Blood and Guts (passionate)||Shiro Sagisu||A remix of the original version, played when Guts slaughters most of the Blue Whale Knights.||3:31|
|05||La Bataille pour Doldrey||Shiro Sagisu||Plays during the elite White Tiger Knights' siege. Translates from French as "The Battle for Doldrey".||3:14|
|06||More Death and Silence||Shiro Sagisu||Plays during the Battle for Doldrey when Boscogn leads his men into battle against the Band of the Falcon.||2:46|
|07||Boscorn||Shiro Sagisu||Boscogn's theme.||1:01|
|08||Tout Pour La Victoire!||Shiro Sagisu||Plays before the Battle for Doldrey commences. Translates from French as "All for Victory".||1:13|
|09||Griffith's Dream||Shiro Sagisu||A remix of the original version, played during the Battle for Doldrey. Reused in part III - The Advent.||3:15|
|10||My Brother||Shiro Sagisu||Plays as the Battle for Doldrey draws to a close.||3:07|
|11||Hundred Years War||Shiro Sagisu||Plays during the Battle for Doldrey.||3:40|
|12||Flute Silencieuse 01||Shiro Sagisu||Translates from French as "Still Flute".||0:59|
|13||Le Retour Triomphal||Shiro Sagisu||Translates from French as "Return of the Triumphant".||2:31|
|14||Le Bal du Royaume `Midland'||Shiro Sagisu||Translates from French as "The Royal Ball 'Midland'".||2:32|
|15||Flute Silencieuse 02||Shiro Sagisu||A remix of the original version.||1:00|
|16||Rituel de Separation||Shiro Sagisu||Translates from French as "Ritual of Separation".||0:58|
|17||L'Amour Impitoyable (version guitar)||Shiro Sagisu||A remix of the original version. Translates from French as "Ruthless Love" (or "Love Without Mercy").||2:35|
|18||Suite: Larmes de Tristesse No7 d' Essai sur le doigte du violoncelle||Shiro Sagisu||Plays as Griffith is tortured by the King of Midland. Translates from French as "The Tears of Sadness #7: The Testing on the Fingering of the Violoncello".||2:08|
|19||Eschatologie||Shiro Sagisu||Translates from French as "Eschatology".||4:44|
|20||Suite 'Blood and Guts' (closing credits)||Shiro Sagisu||A remix of the original version.||5:13|
|21 - Bonus Track||Le Debut d'la Fin||Shiro Sagisu||Translates from French as "The Beginning of the End".||3:05|
|22 - Bonus Track||Des Liens Solides (version guitar)||Shiro Sagisu||A remix of the original version.||4:49|
|01||Péché originel||Shiro Sagisu||Translates from French as "Original Sin".||1:45|
|02||Flute ancienne||Shiro Sagisu||Translates from French as "Ancient Flute".||1:32|
|03||Citation de Haendel 'Trio F-Dur II'||Shiro Sagisu||Plays during the love scene between Guts and Casca.||2:05|
|04||Totenkopf||Shiro Sagisu||The theme of the Skull Knight. Translates from French as "Death's Head".||2:39|
|05||Violoncelle 'Soulagement'||Shiro Sagisu||"Relief (violoncello)"||5:19|
|06||Guitares '1135'||Shiro Sagisu||Plays during the Band of the Falcon's time of uncertainty after learning the extent of Griffith's maiming.||4:11|
|07||Citation de Locke 'Ayre'||Shiro Sagisu||References composer Matthew Locke.||3:14|
|08||Theme d'orchestre||Shiro Sagisu||Theme of the Eclipse; plays when the apostles proceed to kill the Band of the Falcon. Translates from French as "Orchestral Theme".||1:51|
|09||Cauchemar d'orchestre||Shiro Sagisu||Plays when Griffith is showed a vision of his past by Ubik. Translates from French as "Nightmarish Orchestra".||3:27|
|10||Orchestre 'Soulagement'||Shiro Sagisu||Plays when the Eclipse is explained and Griffith is separated from the Band of Falcon. Translates from French as "Relief (orchestral version)".||3:02|
|11||Bruit de pierre||Shiro Sagisu||The theme of beherits, played when Griffith is convinced to join the God Hand. Translates from French as "The Noise from the Stone".||2:24|
|12||Piano 'Dignite'||Shiro Sagisu||Theme of the Interstice. Translates from French as "Visage" or "Face".||3:11|
|13||Chambre '1147'||Shiro Sagisu||A remix of "Des Liens Solides".
" The Advent - Room '1147' "
|14||Orchestre '1123 noir'||Shiro Sagisu||4:10|
|15||Citation de Beethoven 'Sonate pour piano n°23'||Shiro Sagisu||Plays when Femto violates Casca while Guts attempts to stop him. A distorted remix of Ludwig van Beethoven's "Piano Sonata No. 23", which is also known as the "Appassionata" or "Passionate" sonata.||5:40|
|16||Orchestre 'Darkness comes to us all'||Shiro Sagisu||Theme of the God Hand. Plays when Guts finds the bloodied remains of the Band of the Falcon while fending off apostles, and later after the Skull Knight returns Guts and Casca to safety.||5:08|
|17||Guitare '1123'||Shiro Sagisu||A remix of "Blood and Guts Passionate", played when a heart-broken Guts sees Casca in her broken state and runs off.||4:57|
|18||Chant||Shiro Sagisu||Plays during Griffith's decent into the depths of the Abyss toward the Idea of Evil and later during Guts' fight with restless spirits.||4:01|
|19||Closing Credits||Shiro Sagisu||A remix of "Blood and Guts (Closing Credits)".||4:46|
|20 (Bonus)||Eschatologie II (piano)||Shiro Sagisu||4:47|
|21 (Bonus)||Sang et... (piano)||Shiro Sagisu||Translates from French as "Blood and...".||5:34|
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Studio 4°C co-founder and Berserk: The Golden Age Arc producer Eiko Tanaka has expressed an interest in adapting the Lost Children Chapter, hoping to see future animations of Farnese.
- Part III - The Advent contains scenes considered too graphic for general audiences; because of this, the theatrical release was edited to obscure some details. The Blu-ray release, however, is uncensored.
- The trilogy has earned mostly positive audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes; as of November 16, 2017, part I - The Egg of the King has a rating of 76%, part II - The Battle for Doldrey a rating of 86%, and part III - The Advent a rating of 84%.
References[edit | edit source]
External Links[edit | edit source]
|Golden Age Arc|
|The Golden Age Arc Trilogy|