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Berserk 2: Immortal Soldier

(return to disc)

Content rating: 7
Posted 2003-08-05 by StupendousMan
Endorsed by kurt on 2003-08-30 17:05:00

The plot thickens.

The second disc in Berserk contains two stories. The first is a cautionary tale, told in the stand-alone first episode. The Band of the Hawk storm a castle, only to find themselves stopped dead (literally) when the encounter Zodd the Immortal: a giant demon who delights in killing humans. Guts is upset by the death of fifty (!) of his men, which shows some growth into his responsibilities as commander -- he's no longer entirely the lone wolf (though Caska would disagree). He takes on the monster one-on-one, and does quite well ... for a while. Griffith comes to his aid. During the struggle, Zodd gives Guts some advice, warning him that Griffith is bad news. It's nothing that we, the viewers, didn't already know, but now Guts has planted within him the seed of doubt which (I suspect) will grow as Griffith rises in the world.

And rise he does, in the other episodes. These all follow intrigue at the Court of the King of Midland. The mercenaries are completely out of their league here, except for Griffith. He knows how to play the game of politics, and moves upward rapidly. I enjoy the challenge he faces from a seemingly inconsequential minister (who looks very much like Wallace Shawm, aka The Sicilian from Princess Bride).

Caska has been quietly jealous of Guts for quite some time -- she wants Griffith all to herself. I find it very interesting that when she sees Griffith paying court gently to the young Princess of Midland, she smiles, albeit sadly. I think she finds it easier to lose to a Princess than a hulking lout, and understands why Griffith is giving her his attention. Perhaps she thinks that he doesn't care for the Princess; perhaps she's just happy that he has yet another means to achieve his goals. I think that the complex relatioship between Griffith, Caska and Guts is one of the best things about this show.

In the third episode, there's a scene lasting about 30 seconds when the video becomes dark and muddy. No big deal.

I'm giving the Packaging Rating a 9 for the Outtakes. There are about ten short clips in which the English voice actors screw up. Three of them made me laugh out loud. Hey, every show ought to include these!

Equipment used when writing this review:
Sony DVD player, JVC 27-inch TV, stereo speakers

Content: 7 Video: 6 Sound: 8 Packaging: 9 Menu: 7

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