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Berserk 3: White Hawk

(return to disc)

Content rating: 10
Posted 2003-08-06 by StupendousMan
Endorsed by kurt on 2003-08-31 09:03:00

When I reviewed disc 1 of Berserk, I quoted Hobbes' famous line about the life of man being

solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
The episodes on this disc illustrate just how accurate that quotation was, back in the days of feudal lords and mercenary armies. This may be the first time that I've seen a decent portrayal of, say, the Thirty Years War. And it's not pretty. *shiver*

In fact, I'd go so far as to recommend this portion of the series to any teenager who falls in love with the idealized notions of chivalry and battle one reads in Mallory or Scott; just as I'd recommend two other anime in particular, Now and Then, Here and There and Grave of the Fireflies. Yes, it's that powerful. And that's why I'm giving this disc a 10 for content, far above my ratings for the earlier entries in the series.

This is all pretty vague, so let me mention just a bit about the plot. Guts is assigned the task of assassinating one of the court nobles who plotted against Griffith. His reaction to what occurs when an innocent bystander witnesses the event is telling. Despite the image we see on the battlefield, Guts is no mindless and soulless killing machine. We hear Griffith expound his philosophy of life to the Princess Charlotte. And the final episodes feature a battle in which Caska and Guts are separated from the rest of the Hawks. Caska reveals her past, which contains some really disturbing material. And she and Guts are trapped in a very bad spot by warriors of Chuder. The end of the episode 13 has tension so thick you could cut it with a sword.

Let me reiterate: some of the material on this disc disturbs me. No, it's not hentai, or supernatural horror: it's just the nature of the world, and man's reaction to it. I urge readers who may think that Berserk is nothing more than a bloody romp through an action-hero battlefield to watch this series.

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

Content: 10 Video: 7 Sound: 8 Packaging: 9 Menu: 7

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