Tokyo-based animation company, STUDIO4°C have produced numerous feature films, OVAs, shorts and even video games (2008’s acclaimed hit Persona 4 for PS2) but possibly none more aesthetically breathtaking than Berserk: The Golden Age Arc – The Egg of the King. The project is the first in a planned series of animated films intended to adapt the entire original 36 volume serialized manga written by Kentaro Miura. The story is set in a dark fantasy world that is heavily contrasted against stunningly vivid backdrops of primitive, medieval Europe. We follow a violent, Zweihänder-wielding, orphaned mercenary named Guts who is known throughout the land as the mysterious Black Swordsman, a feared warrior who is spoken of only in legend. The first arc revolves around the turbulent relationship of Guts and Griffith, the charismatic leader of the mercenary unit known as the Band of the Hawk. Throughout the epic, Guts is portrayed as the exact opposite of Griffith in just about every way. Both men are willing to sacrifice everything: one in order to rule his own kingdom and the other to protect the lives of his comrades.
Notorious for its heavy usage of blood and violence, Berserk (or ベルセルク Beruseruku) explores themes of isolation, camaraderie and questions whether humanity is generally good or evil. STUDIO4°C has transformed the original twenty-five part anime series (released in 1997) into a beautiful mixture of polished 2D and 3D animation worthy of the big screen. The first episode in the STUDIO4°C trilogy, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I – The Egg of the King was released in Japanese theatres in February 2012 by Warner Brothers Pictures. A release to Western audiences planned for this Fall.