I do not care about so called “pretty colors” and sounds. They are serviceable here and honestly that is enough for the story, which is the most important aspect here.
I also do not care if my points are nit-picking for some, because they played important role to me.
I may use some buzzwords, as soon as they are self-explanatory, because I’m not motivated to elaborate everything.
I do not remember original anime or manga that well, to compare them with this, but I dislike them too.
English is not my native language and I have close to zero experience in writing essays, so prepare for errors.
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
(Looking at ratings, of course it will harm readers enjoyment)
He is just a blockhead and only swings his sword, no intelligence whatsoever and zero tactics (only used dead body to defend himself from arrows). Despite being lone wolf and doing nothing besides fighting from the childhood, he is still alive. I am not saying that it is impossible, but come on, his battles are not regular one-vs-ones. Not only that, he is also strongest man alive and kills everyone with ease, somehow. He may even be teenager, but managed to wound (One of the strongest?) demon, who wasn’t wounded for like 200 years and dude was not even seriously damaged, after demon went //BERSERK//.
His backstory is extremely vague. He fled from someone and… that is it. It may excuse his stubbornness and that is all. Even his personality is not fleshed-out – we only know two things: 1) He hates being a knight and such, just because. It is not that you can use status for personal gain, like any other and have a fake layer of personality or something; 2) It is implied by Griffith, that he fights just because that is the only way for him to feel alive, but story does not care about that, nor it is developed. – So yeah, he is just a Plot Device and does not even want to not be one (I know that he rejected Griffith, but he achieved nothing and returned back, so what was the point? Oh yeah – to artificially proceed the story in a way the author wanted)
And this brings me to another point of mine – His character is constantly rewritten, like, three years was skipped and “First Thing We Know” completely disappeared and now he has friends (in the previous scenes, there were like no-names for Guts and they even captured him with force), aka important things happened and we do not know how. Also, he is selfish and listens to nobody for three years of lecture and still says that Caska’s wrong about that.
He is just an archetypal Charismatic Leader. Other than that, He has neither backstory, nor any personality traits, expect for few smiles, but they do not define his character, do they? And he does absolutely nothing by himself, so why is he even considered as charismatic? He is also considered to be a genius mastermind or something, but in reality, he did nothing in that department, too, because everything comes down to Guts butchering everyone. He even asked GUTS to ASSASSINATE someone in castle. Blockhead = Assassin, yeah, right… and where are the damned guards? That means, any other enemy can ask any other soldier to assassinate someone in enemy’s castle? Guts also kills some child, who arrived conveniently. Not for the sake of shock factor at all. Also, why did he wanted to kill that guy? From his point of view, guy was just passing by. Sure, dude was bitching in front of Griffith, but how can one conclude that he hired an assassin? I mean, who wouldn’t bitch and abuse his position to some mercenaries. You just can’t be sure and what kind of solution was to kill him? Indeed, teenager…
Well, he is pro-active towards his goal, so at least that means something? Nope. You see, he is the chosen one so that destiny acts like a plot armor and that nullifies any interest of his character, if it even existed. I mean, he literally can’t have a choice.
Some praise his dynamics with Guts, but I do not see appeal. There is just a little contrast there: Both are retarded, but Griffith acts like he is not. Both are the strongest warriors alive, but Guts is stronger. Both has that rage face, but Guts uses it more openly and so on. You can’t even compare them to Rakugo’s duo. I mean, in almost every not-bad story you can find better details.
Caska is whiny (and jealous?) bitch with no real reason. A plot device and also not fleshed-out, like any other character.
They all have no backstory, are unlikeable, forgettable and, of course, not interesting with 2-3 minutes of screen time. At least they are not some pedo maniacs…
Very first scene is just a random battle. We know no one, We know nothing about battle, thus we do not have a reason to care. The war against The Tudors is an afterthought.
World-building is just a background decoration and is as superficial as possible.
Story is rushed as hell. In one scene they are not friends, in next one they are and in next one they are fighting demon, who appeared out-of-nowhere and we didn’t even know that they existed.
Battles are horrible. Not only it is just Guts butchering others, it is also inconsistent. In his first battle he almost died versus one strong dude and then cuts demon, who was not damaged for 200 years. He cut that big ass sword and then Griffith easily reflected his attack and was even able to kill him in one hit. But in the next movie Guts will defeat him.
Humans first time in their lives see a demon and they just do not care?! Caska just saw Guts killing that huge guy and then is surprised, because Guts is strong?! Making a deal, while you barely can walk?! Griffith talks about friendship to princess, while can’t notice Guts and Caska, who appeared there conveniently (I mean, that was the only important sentence there), in front of him?! And they heard absolutely everything from there?! Guts wants to be a friend of Griffith, but he wants to be ordered, instead of asked?! Some teenagers are dominating the world in such little time?! Experienced guys doing nothing but whine?? Here Nosferatu said (Or implied) that Guts will be sacrificed because of destiny, but he and Caska survived?! WHATS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!
Movie is unfinished and can’t stand on its own, because nothing was resolved here.
But hey, at least there are no boring boyscouts, there is some political intrigue, there is close to zero fan-service, there are stakes and that playboy pun was hilarious. It really deserves one or two points.