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  • Full Frame
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Japanese: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • 8 Theatrical trailer
  • Photo gallery
  • Animated menus
  • Storyboards
  • Outtakes
  • Film highlights - Textless Closing and Original Opening

Berserk 3 - White Hawk

Madman Entertainment/AV Channel . R4 . COLOR . 125 mins . M15+ . PAL


A long time ago in a kingdom far, far away…

Reckless berserker Guts, having joined the mercenary band of the Hawk led by the very blonde, very enigmatic Griffith, finds himself a member of the Midlands regular army. And after many successful battles in the name of the king, the Hawks, and in particular Guts, have secured a knighthood and a Count-dom for their common-born leader. Pursuing his dream - absolute world domination - Griffith tussles with the nobles at court, in particular the king's brother, while winning the heart of the king's daughter Charlotte. But with the changing political climate, so too relationships and loyalties within the Hawk are shifting. Griffith is slowly distancing himself from his followers, effectively ignoring his once second in command - the voluptuous Caska - and increasingly alienating his current favourite, Guts. And although at one time she hating his guts (teehee) even Caska is forced to reevaluate her opinion of her stern and humourless rival. Guts, forced at every turn to question his sworn loyalty to Griffith, also finds himself warming to this hellcat in bumpy armour…

Episode 10: Noble Man
Charged with the assassination of Yurius - general of the White Dragon and brother to the king of Midland, Guts murders the brute in cold blood but also, through necessity, his young son Adonis. As the alarm is raised and the body count rises, an exhausted Guts seeks refuge in a sewer. Meanwhile, Griffith is winning hearts at a ball thrown by Princess Charlotte - and one royal heart in particular. Approaching to report his success to Griffith, Guts hears something that is greatly disturbing to him…

Episode 11: The Battle
Midland's vast army, now lead by Griffith, readies itself for possibly the final battle of the war. While both princess Charlotte and Caska pine for Griffith, the vast army rides out and finally, under a stormy sky, battle is joined. But with Caska's 'women's troubles' sapping her strength, she is almost killed. But even as Guts steps in to rescue her, the pair fall off a cliff and into a swiftly flowing river…

Episode 12: Together
Sheltering alone together in a damp cave, Guts and Caska are getting on each others nerves, but slowly the ice melts and Caska relates her own sad, illuminating story. Her rescue by Griffith, her often shocking remembrances as a foot-soldier with the Hawk, and her burning envy of Guts…

Episode 13: Prepared For Death
Guts and Caska leave their cave to brave the journey through the enemy lines to their comrades. But it's slow going. Caska has a fever and is still plagued by her 'women's troubles'. Not only that, but about a thousand Chuder soldiers are tracking them. Set upon, Guts shows his quality in a bout of bloody ultraviolence that allows Caska to escape for help - almost. As body after Chuder body falls to Guts' sword he's slowly wearying, and it's only a matter of time until they gain the upper hand. Meanwhile, the future for a captured Caska looks bleak indeed...

In reviewing volume 2 of this brutal series, I expressed my extreme dissatisfaction with the way the series was progressing; citing the annoying plot obfuscation and lack of serious character development. Encouraged by readers to stick with it, I approached this third volume White Hawk with renewed optimism - there must be something behind this series' huge popularity! And I'm damn glad I did, for episodes 10-13 literaly drip with character development; finally generating some much needed empathy and some much needed humanity in these violent mercenaries. In particular Guts and Caska open themselves up considerably in these episodes, and I finally found myself caring whether they lived or died. Not only that, with episode 13 ending with a seriously gripping cliffhanger, I'm clambering for more of their adventures in wholesale slaughter! Certainly there's a number of surprises hidden in these episodes that definitely spice up the main protagonists and colour their actions in ways I never expected. Berserk is finally becoming worthy of all the noise.


In terms of video quality, there really isn’t much more to say above and beyond my appraisal of the first two volumes. Remaining a tad below their best, Madman’s full-frame transfer continues to utilise somewhat deficient source material and a substandard telecine job. While colours are full and rich, and blacks are deep and solid, the almost constant level of background grain continues, as does the light peppering of film artefacts and the small yet regular amount of telecine wobble. With the exception of the odd background and still image that retains a rather softer style, the image is acceptably sharp without introducing aliasing related problems. And yet again Madman’s compression job is impeccable; with no instances of posterisation or chroma-noise sullying the large expanses of bright colour.


Dominated by long dialogue sequences, this third volume of Berserk provides an even more mono listening experience than its first two counterparts. Firmly ensconced in the centre channel, the mix rarely ventures to the front speakers let alone the the rear or sub. The exception is during the title sequence, whose rockin’ theme song blares from the front channels very nicely indeed. Essentially, however, that’s the only highlight in what is a very subdued audio presentation. Thankfully dialogue remains clear and distinct in both the original Japanese and English mixes.


Continuing the nicely animated menus from the first volumes, the extras they provide access to are similar to those provided on the first two discs, with the odd addition here and there...

  • Production Sketches: Another 27 still images are provided from a collection of production sketches, this time focusing on the supporting characters that appear in episodes 10-13.

  • Storyboards: Over eight minutes, the often unintelligible storyboards from the epic pursuit and fight scene in episode 13 are played out as the audio track continues underneath.

  • Outtakes:Five minutes of fluffed lines and silliness made by the English cast during dubbing. There are one or two funny moments here.

  • Original TV Opening: What looks to be like the original animated opening that appeared on Japanese television.

  • Textless Closing: The closing animation, complete with theme song, with the titles removed. Definitely not worth the effort.

  • Madman Propaganda: Trailers for eight other Madman releases Ah! My Goddess: the Movie , Gundam Wing, Niea Under 7, Orphen, Real Bout High School, Robotech: The Masters, Steel Angel Kurumi, and Transformers: the Movie.


To say that, on the strength of the first two volumes, I was less than impressed with Berserk, is a definite understatement. However, I can finally see that all the ranting on fansites may not wholly be undeserved. For White Hawk, volume 3 of this violent anime series, finally provides the series with some of the soul that it most definitely lacked. With bizarre back-stories revealed, relationships developed, character arcs beginning to actually turn, things are really starting to get interesting. And with the aforementioned cliff-hanger ending episode 13, I find myself in desperate need to see the next volume of Berserk, if not the rest of the series.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=2415
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      And I quote...
    "Now this is more like it! Berserk is finally becoming worthy of all the noise..."
    - Gavin Turner
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Toshiba SD-2108
    • TV:
          Panasonic TC-68P90A TAU (80cm)
    • Receiver:
          Yamaha RX-V795
    • Amplifier:
          Yamaha RX-V795
    • Speakers:
          B&W 602
    • Centre Speaker:
          B&W CC6 S2
    • Surrounds:
          JM Lab Cobalt SR20
    • Subwoofer:
          B&W ASW-500
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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