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DVD Reviews: Berserk Vol. 1: War Cry

The Final Say!

Review Score
Reviewed by Dean Malandrini
Review Date: 23 February 2003
Distributed by:
The AV Channel
Running Time: 125 Minutes

One hell of an epic that I soon wonít forget, Berserk has one of the best story lines Iíve seen in a long time, be it anime or film.  Itís one of those series that leaves you hanging out for the next installment.  The story line follows a young man named Guts who carries a humongous sword twice his size, and by the reactions to all the warriors he encounters it must be pretty damn heavy too.   

The movie starts as far as I can understand at the end of the series (which I wonít give away) and rewinds all the way back to the very beginning of his life.  A young mercenary destroys a man three times his size and covered in armor collects a bounty for killing the brute.  The unwelcome occupants of the castle retreat, and soon after intercept Guts in order to collect the money for killing their biggest mercenary. 

  After some lackeys fail, the leaders take down Guts but to the bands surprise Griffith (the leader) brings Guts back to health only to have him integrated in the band known as the band of the hawk.  An assault on a well paid job brings Guts into the lime light for his first big test he succeeds and absolutely decimates the enemy proving himself, he is accepted into the band with open arms.   

As Guts gets older the sword he welds gets bigger and bigger the sword stays in proportion to his body, he started training very young and by the end the sword is huge.  Griffith carries an interesting baylet around his neck which he received from an old fortune teller who calls it The Egg of The King and itís said that any man who wields it shall rule the world. As Guts touches it, itís eye opens and the appearance is really freaky and alive.  Griffithís goal is to rule as king and have his own kingdom.  

Guts found by a militant groups of mercenaries is lead by a real bastard named Gambino who takes up the role of the boyís father figure and trainer who gives him a hard time until he gets jealous of Gutsí increasing skill and power and tries to kill him, Guts succeeds in protecting himself by killing Gambino but is outcast by the group. 

The band of the hawk has excelled to a great prestige and is now known by the name of Death of the Battlefield and has chosen a side of a bigger war that has been raging for years.  Guts has become one of the greatest assets in the ranks of the hawks and is eventually promoted to commander of their raiders.   

As I said earlier, this series is going to knock your socks off, the animation is fantastic and thereís not a great emphasis on the gore level. Whilst some people may want more, youíre not going to get it.  The story line is by far the thing that grabbed me and I canít wait to see the next one. 

Donít miss out on the extraís, some good quality pictures in there, but most importantly the outtakes are absolutely hilarious.  My partner did find the outtakes dodgy and stupid though I laughed almost the whole way through. 

Sound effects are fantastic, the DVD captures all the fast moving action unlike your VHS machines so instead of recording it when and if it comes to TV itís a must buy for DVD anime lovers. 

The beginning of a great series you canít go past Berserk Vol 1

Berserk Vol. 1: War Cry Features

  • Textless Closing
  • Production Sketches
  • Art Gallery
  • Outtakes
  • Madman Propaganda


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