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Skullknight.net => Site & Forum News => Podcast => Topic started by: Grail on June 21, 2014, 07:03:54 PM

Title: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Grail on June 21, 2014, 07:03:54 PM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v92/Grenga/FloraCast_Banner_zps3c5e3146.png)

Listen HERE! (http://www.gobolatula.com/the_floracast_01.mp3)

 :schnoz: At last!

This past weekend, Lithrael and Gummyskull sat down with me to record a discussion about our experiences with Berserk as female fans. In this podcast, we cover the Berserk fan community, as well take a broad look at Miura's unique treatment of women's stories within the series. I was really pleased to find that we all had a lot to say, and I think listeners will enjoy new perspectives and ideas that they may not have considered before.

Of course, I don't want us to end the discussion with this little podcast. I'd love to encourage other women users here to share their thoughts and experiences with Berserk and being a female member of this (or another) fan community. And of course, guys can say stuff too! :slan:

Special thanks to Walter, Griff and Aaz for inspiring me to do this podcast. I don't think I'm alone when I say that listening to the SkullKast has made me a better Berserk fan, so big props to you guys for taking the time to create such a fun and informative series. Thanks (again!) to Lith and Gummy for joining me. You made this podcast awesome, in my book. And last but certainly not least, thanks to Gobs for helping me to edit the podcast and recording the opening theme. :griffnotevil: Hope you enjoy.
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Deci on June 21, 2014, 07:11:23 PM
My interest is piqued. I tried listening to a few of the SKULLCAST's but I found myself skipping around all over trying to get to different bits and in the end it didn't do it for me. I tend to want to be able to enter into the discussion when it's a topic I love and have a lot of knowledge of, so it can be frustrating. Female Berserk fans always have my attention, however.  :carcus: So I'll definitely give this a listen later tonight. We'll see if it turns out better for me.  :serpico:
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Shinjinobrave on June 21, 2014, 07:17:39 PM
You probably don't know me, because this is my second post in the history of ever, but I'd just like to say how great I think this is. I'm very interested in a female perspective on this kind of media. I've always been into a lot of comics and manga like berserk, though never one quite as amazing. (one came close though). But they always had a hint of being limited in their appeal to anyone other than men and boys. Berserk however, is so layered that I was sure it must've had female fans, but I had never met any. (except two of my female friends who I turned into Berserk-fans) In short, looking forward to listening to this!
 :ubik:
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Gobolatula on June 21, 2014, 07:40:53 PM
Great podcast, guys. It was fun helping out!
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Rhombaad on June 21, 2014, 07:42:52 PM
Great idea! I can't wait to listen to it at work on Monday.
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Tama on June 22, 2014, 12:32:08 AM
I wish I knew this was being made beforehand, I would have liked to join the discussion
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Walter on June 22, 2014, 12:34:19 AM
I've only had a chance to listen to the first 20 minutes or so, but I like it a lot! The name too (and the intro, Gobs). It's great to hear some fresh perspectives, and I'm glad you guys gals took the initiative to record your thoughts.

Really interested to hear what you guys gals tackle in terms of analyzing Berserk through a female lens, since as you note, Aaz, Griff and I are ill-equipped for that perspective. Also, I created Skull Kast because I listen to a lot of podcasts and wanted one that talked about my favorite series. Finding none, I started my own. So, you starting another Berserk podcast that I don't produce is the ultimate realization of that dream, for me.

Early on, you ask why there are so few females on the forum. Like Lith says afterward, I don't think there's anything special about SKnet in that regard. That's generally the trend on fan forums across the Internet--and really, the Internet in general unless you branch out into social media sites. And when you narrow that following down to a relatively manly manga series, it's no surprise that the ratio is 6:1 (those stats can be found here, btw) (http://www.skullknight.net/forum/index.php?action=stats).

As for the disparity between SKnet and the apparently rabid female Berserk fanbase on Tumblr, I think it's just because they're fundamentally different websites (even calling Tumblr a website is a bit of a misnomer, it's so different). Also, through tagging, you're seeing a flurry of activity because it's pulling from a larger pool of people sharing images and comments. But it's unlikely those are the same people who would be found engaging in lengthy debates about the nature of the series for months on end, which is pretty much all we're about. That's not for everyone, men or women alike. Different fans like to celebrate their series in different ways. For many Tumblr people, it's done by sharing text-overlayed screencaps of stuff they like (http://berserk-confessions.tumblr.com/). Which makes me feel really old.

I tried listening to a few of the SKULLCAST's but I found myself skipping around all over trying to get to different bits and in the end it didn't do it for me. I tend to want to be able to enter into the discussion when it's a topic I love and have a lot of knowledge of, so it can be frustrating.

It's Kast with a K, as in "S.K." Anyway, I don't understand what you're talking about here, but since I'm always trying to make the show better, I'll take this vague critique into consideration. (Note to self: Bring in more topics that particular people love and have a lot of knowledge of.)
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: NeaR on June 22, 2014, 02:34:45 AM
I'll definitely give it a listen, a female perspectives on certain things in the story could be interesting.

Gotta say though, I'm going to miss Aazealh's french accent during this podcast. Hope one of you guys is French!
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Gummyskull on June 22, 2014, 05:53:40 AM
Hurray! Thanks so much Grail and Gobs for editing this! And thanks for the feedback so far everyone.
Even if you skip around I believe you'll find at least one of the points we bring up to be interesting.  We frequently derailed from our discussion topics (not a bad thing at all), so by no means did we cover everything. I could go on for hours about Berserk from a feminist perspective. :iva:

But they always had a hint of being limited in their appeal to anyone other than men and boys. Berserk however, is so layered that I was sure it must've had female fans, but I had never met any. (except two of my female friends who I turned into Berserk-fans) In short, looking forward to listening to this!
 :ubik:

Thanks! Berserk is very different in comparison to a lot of the male targeted comics I've come across.  How it treats very difficult material sets it apart from other seinen series with similar content. Sun-Ken Rock was the example I mentioned that approached such topics in a very tasteless fashion. I recommend looking it up to really understand the contrast.
Also welcome to the forum!

Early on, you ask why there are so few females on the forum. Like Lith says afterward, I don't think there's anything special about SKnet in that regard. That's generally the trend on fan forums across the Internet--and really, the Internet in general unless you branch out into social media sites. And when you narrow that following down to a relatively manly manga series, it's no surprise that the ratio is 6:1 (those stats can be found here, btw) (http://www.skullknight.net/forum/index.php?action=stats).

Very true. I'm glad Lith brought it up.
Several years ago I used to post on a One Piece forum and the userbase was pretty clearly male dominated. Which seems odd in retrospect considering One Piece has a much larger fanbase, and attracts a lot more female fans from my experience.

I think much of the gender gap also has to do with not many women specifying their gender outside of social network websites, for obvious reasons. When your gender is used against you even in casual forum conversations it can be very discouraging.  Just by how tumblr works it's a lot easier to avoid that kind of drama because, as you mentioned, it basically is a free for all.

Quote
But it's unlikely those are the same people who would be found engaging in lengthy debates about the nature of the series for months on end, which is pretty much all we're about. That's not for everyone, men or women alike. Different fans like to celebrate their series in different ways.

Again, a very good point. A few users that frequent the tag actually do have pretty involved conversations. But it is both a rarity and a new trend. The movie series  brought about a slew of new and enthusiastic fans so the Berserk fandom on tumblr has been really active. It wasn't always that way. I briefly mentioned this in the podcast, but the fandom used to be pretty much nonexistent a few years ago and the tag was full of either complaining or pages of the manga that contained rape. It still is, but there is thankfully more variation. Unfortunately among that variation is tons of people reposting pages from illegal sources...
 
Quote
For many Tumblr people, it's done by sharing text-overlayed screencaps of stuff they like (http://berserk-confessions.tumblr.com/). Which makes me feel really old.

Confession blogs always seemed pointless. Why not just talk about that stuff in the open? Why does it need to be submitted anonymously to a blog? Seems like wasted opportunity for some interesting conversations to me.

I wish I knew this was being made beforehand, I would have liked to join the discussion

Well dang. :sad: I was actually wondering why you weren't joining us. You being a part of a discussion is one more reason another Floracast should happen!
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Grail on June 22, 2014, 03:56:53 PM
Wow, great to see the comments so far! I'm looking forward to seeing more of what people have to say once they've listened to the whole thing. Any feedback is appreciated, of course.

I wish I knew this was being made beforehand, I would have liked to join the discussion
Great to hear you're interested, Tama! I apologize if you (or anyone else) feels like they might have been left out, but speaking from a practical standpoint, I simply couldn't invite every regular female poster onto our first recording.

To give a little context, I realized that I had to go with a smaller group for this initial podcast based on my experience with the SkullKast - when you have more than three people on, it becomes exponentially harder to talk because there aren't any visual cues to show when next person will start speaking. Since this was our very first attempt (and really, it was a bit like an experiment) at our first podcast, I eventually decided to keep the group small while in the planning stages. That said, I would love to invite more women on if we decide to record again, since the first go went very well. :ubik:

And thanks for your response on the Skullknight/Tumblr issue, Walter! I think Gummy's responses sum things up pretty well, so I'll just say that looking back, I think I took the differences between the two fan communities for granted. It would be great to hear if anyone else has thoughts on this.

Anyway, I gotta run, but just wanted to thank everyone who's replied or been listening so far. If you have any questions that you'd like to see covered in a future podcast, please write them in bold so that I'll be able to take note. Would people even be interested in another? I sure hope so, because we still have lots to talk about! :ganishka:
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Jackolyn on June 22, 2014, 05:08:51 PM
I haven't yet listened to the podcast, but I will make a strong effort in the very near future.
I've told this story before, but it was initially my Boyfriend who turned me towards Berserk. I had very little-to-no experience with Anime or Manga and it was incredibly intimidating to dive head first into the world that is Berserk. It took him a lot of convincing to get me to finally watch the anime, but he watched it with me and showed me that it was much more than just a blood and guts, big guy with a giant sword story.
Immediately after the anime was finished, I read the manga 3 times over within the period of a month.

To this day, Berserk is my all time favourite story. I can't get enough of it.

What does this have to do with being a female Berserk fan?
Working at a comic book store allows me to share a very similar perspective.

I've been working there for almost 9 months now, and I've had plenty of time to observe the customers who walk into our store. To little surprise, they are 95% male. (Don't get me wrong, there are female regulars but they are outweighed  9:1 by our male customers).
It is the male audience that the pop-culture of comics and "geek-culture" in general has always been skewed towards. In the past few years there has been indeed a surge of female fans showing up at more conventions, engaging in conversation and buying comics -- not afraid to show off their pride of being a fan. But alongside that surge, the term "fake-geek-girl" has also risen. 9 times out of 10, female fans are constantly being questioned and tested on the validity of their "geek-status and knowledge". It's insulting to have to prove yourself when you wear a t-shirt with a comic book reference, or dress up as your favourite video game character and then have to proceed to answer a plethora of questions validating yourself.
In my experience working at a comic book store, I have noticed that a lot of our male customers have a harder time communicating with me about their favourite comics or shows, where as my male co-workers are, more often than not, approached first.
I'm almost always the one engaging the conversation to get them talking with me.

In fact, just the other day there was a customer asking me about the possibility of ordering in the third Berserk movie in, so naturally, I jumped into conversation about Berserk with him.
I answered his question and then proceeded to talk about the characters stories and the level of depth to which Miura crafts their personalities and arcs.
After about 5 minuets of talking he said, "Wow, a chick who knows Berserk!!"
I was slightly taken aback, because as I was talking, I never thought twice about my gender role in our conversation. I am just a fan who loves Berserk and who also just so happens to be a female. I never considered myself to be any different than the male fans of Berserk, (it turns out that I knew more about Berserk than he did), and the same can be applied to the general aspects of my job.

A lot of people are surprised to see me work at a comic book store, and are even more surprised when it turns out that I actually know my stuff. I got the job there for a reason, not just because I'm a pretty face.

I do feel a strong bias towards female fans of anything "geeky" in general. If we like comics they should be "girly" comics, as if we aren't allowed to know everything about Batman's rouges gallery, or the Marvel Universe.
Especially with something so masculine themed as Berserk, there's even more of a shock that females can truly appreciate it for every aspect and theme that it explores and not just the fans on Tumblr who "fan-girl" over Griffith and make text-overlay confessions. (Before Tumblr gets mad at me, I should mention that I spend almost every second of my free time on Tumblr, but I prefer lengthy discussions over petty arguments).

I know this is a long and jumbled rant, but I feel like I have a voice in this conversation given my every day work experience and living in the world of strong gendered bias almost every day. Having to constantly have to validate my knowledge and "prove" myself to the suspicious glares of the male customers.

I hope all of this makes sense, and if you've gotten this far, thank you for reading!!  :guts:
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Aazealh on June 22, 2014, 05:37:43 PM
I gave it a listen and I think it was nice! Great initiative!

I took some notes to share, so here they are below.

About the low female members count: aside from what's already been said, Berserk is about a guy with a big sword fighting monsters. So I don't find it too surprising that it tends to naturally attract more males than females. Although I like to think of Berserk as being above labels, the word "seinen" itself implies that its target demographic is men. Anyway, it's true that forums are antiquated now. Tumblr is a social network, so even aside from its popularity as the platform-of-the-moment, it's normal that it appeals more to young people. And it's centered on the self too. You're just tagging your thoughts on a "personal" microblog as opposed to submitting a contribution to a public community. Different mental process. That being said, using a forum allows us to be a bastion of wisdom and sanity. Lastly, the fact we're adamant about supporting the author also sets us apart.

It was interesting to hear that the first three volumes are your favorite, Grail. I was glad to learn that, seeing that so many people underestimate them. They're really quite underrated as far as I'm concerned.

Skipping around a bit: about Colette's death, let's not forget the monk who died with her. I think their deaths and how they occurred were really more about the place of innocents in that dark world and how they're not equipped to cope with it. Plus the strong symbolism of that sweet girl's corpse being possessed. Regarding the Slug Count and his wife, I think it's worth noting that he didn't kill her. Couldn't. So he tried to kill himself, but couldn't quite do that either. His despair, at that moment, activated the beherit and the rest was history. I don't think it's fair to him to say he just had the God Hand kill her, because it's more subtle than that. As for the orgy(ies), I'd say that it's a pretty sure thing that Slan's influence was involved. On the possibility of Theresia coming back: it would be funny (and I would greatly enjoy it), but it wouldn't really accomplish anything. Theresia, no matter how hard she could have trained, could never pose a serious threat to Guts. I think that last scene with her is there to show us how easy it is for humans to get embroiled into a quest of revenge, like Guts.

Guts' mom is named "シス" (SHI SU). It can't be pronounced as a Z. And there's a great deal of possible spellings: Sis, Shis, Sith, Sisu, Cis, etc. Anyway, the time skip is what I think robs her of background/development. She goes straight from mentally unsound to dying from a plague, so for example we never get to know if she got better in-between those events or not. But her death allows for Guts to have the traumatic, unloving childhood he needed for the sake of the story.

Concerning the scene where Casca stands above and apart from the rest of the Band of the Falcon, I had originally brought it up as a parallel between her behavior and Guts'. I think she's content to observe from afar in that instance, and I think that informs us about her personality. Beyond that, I believe she did celebrate with the others at times, although like it was said, her position would certainly set her apart from the lower ranks, which is natural.

Casca's character being in "stasis" is understanbly a big deal. I think that it has possibly been going on for longer than Miura might have wanted it to originally, but like with any story, at some point the author follows where it goes, you know? Getting her cured had to be something beyond just going to a herbalist. And more importantly, it's also used to advance Guts' character development beyond anything else ever done. Even though it might seem like Casca's been set aside, the truth is that Berserk is about Guts first and foremost, and her sidelining allowed for a lot of interesting things to happen to him. First off he made new friends, something that likely wouldn't have happened had he stayed with her. Second he embarked on a quest of protection that took him geographically AND mentally away from Griffith and from his revenge. And by the same token that allowed for the world to change while Guts was away. And lastly, well, he's really had a lot of internal development concerning Casca (and some not related to her but made possible by her absence), and now that she's finally about to get healed, the payoff for that long wait is just gonna be enormous. It can't be anything but enormous. Also the fact she's like that is painful reinforces the rest. The difficult parts are as important and as necessary as the vindicative ones. It's really a pretty unique situation in any story I believe, but isn't that what's great about Berserk? =)

Miura does not have a female assistant, no.

About the occurrences of sexual violence in the manga, I find it difficult to address that without addressing plain violence too. Berserk is a pretty violent story, and it takes place in a very violent world. We see a ton of people die, many of them in horrible ways. Given the world depicted, an absence of sexual violence would stand out as being odd. It's quite unfortunate but historically, in our world sexual violence was really quite commonplace in the past. Not that it's become rare nowadays, mind you... Anyway, I personally think it's important to portray it so that readers are shown how unglamorous it is, how sordid. And I think we can agree that Miura never depicts such things gratuitously. It always serves a purpose in the story. Lastly, I think it's important to remember that it's not just girls getting assaulted either: the first rape victim in Berserk is Guts as a boy.

On the topic of "male power fantasies". Well, about Guts, he does get fucked up a lot. And I don't think, if you take volume 1 as an example, that a man who gets captured, tortured, badly beaten up by his enemies, is shown to have nightmares, and who's generally haunted by his past is a very good example of a "power fantasy". Going a bit wider, we see him cry, we see him troubled by his choices, we see him refuse to take action (letting Vargas die) because of the risks involved... There are many other things to say, but in short, while Guts is utterly badass, I don't think he fits the mold of a "power fantasy". That's something I associate more with, say, Superman.

Regarding the community: unfortunately, many "fans" don't seem to get what Berserk is. In fact I always marvel at the fact they keep reading it, considering that most of the time these people don't seem to like the series. They complain about it, and if you get down to details, you can tell they'd have complained about pretty much any portion of it had they been reading it episodically when it came out. These people only like the blatantly incorrect and weirdly distorted view they have of Berserk. That explains why we sometimes get people who are so terribly confused about the series. Anyway, yes, the guy you girls mentioned was banned. And I remove the term "loli" when I see it in posts. I've only seen it a few times here, but I find it rather offensive considering its connotation.

Also, I think you girls don't do us justice at the end of your talk, in the sense that I believe we stand up for women. See my posts in that thread where Gummyskull argued with the guy. Generally speaking, I honestly don't think we can do much more than what we're doing now. I know I'm at the front lines when it comes to standing up for the female characters in Berserk (just as I am for the other characters).
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Oburi on June 23, 2014, 01:22:11 AM
I really enjoyed this! Refreshing and insightful. Really great initiative Grail  :ubik:

About the first three books, they are very underrated. I'm surprised they are your favorite, Grail. It's hard for me to pick a favorite Arc, but personally I enjoy the first three volumes as much as anything else. It's unique in so many different ways and a perfect opening for Berserk, effectively grabbing your attention and never letting go. It's like a roller coaster. I also love the older art style too. It makes me wonder how different the series could have looked had it been started much earlier in the 80's. 
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Grail on June 23, 2014, 02:29:46 AM
Thanks very much for your responses, guys! Let me see if I can reply to a few points here...

It is the male audience that the pop-culture of comics and "geek-culture" in general has always been skewed towards. ... It's insulting to have to prove yourself when you wear a t-shirt with a comic book reference, or dress up as your favourite video game character and then have to proceed to answer a plethora of questions validating yourself.
Yeah, that's something you hear a lot about across a lot of different fan groups. I'm glad to say that I haven't experienced that kind of thing since I was a kid, so it's frustrating when you hear about it happening more and more often nowadays. Would you say that kind of attitude is applied differently for female fans of Western comics or Eastern media? I've been a bit curious about that.

Especially with something so masculine themed as Berserk, there's even more of a shock that females can truly appreciate it for every aspect and theme that it explores and not just the fans on Tumblr who "fan-girl" over Griffith and make text-overlay confessions. (Before Tumblr gets mad at me, I should mention that I spend almost every second of my free time on Tumblr, but I prefer lengthy discussions over petty arguments).
No, I hear you on that. As a Tumblr user, you see a side of the Berserk fan community that's pretty vastly different, which is why I posed a question about it on the podcast. Like many of the responses on and off the podcast have mentioned, that's probably a natural aspect of the way the site's built. I am happy though that people on Tumblr have been introducing analysis and discussion rather than just posting pictures, so I wonder if the Berserk tag is beginning to change.

I gave it a listen and I think it was nice! Great initiative!
Much appreciated! I understand that listening to podcasts isn't really your thing, so thanks for making time for it.

It was interesting to hear that the first three volumes are your favorite, Grail. I was glad to learn that, seeing that so many people underestimate them. They're really quite underrated as far as I'm concerned.
Yeah, I always feel a bit unfashionable telling people that. :guts: I think that fans are generally hard on the art style from that part of the story, but I think Miura showed a lot of raw skill in his art and storytelling, which is what appeals to me most. Just thinking about his age at the time that these volumes (and the prototype) were released is kind of a trip. I know I couldn't produce anything like that at college age.

On the possibility of Theresia coming back: it would be funny (and I would greatly enjoy it), but it wouldn't really accomplish anything. Theresia, no matter how hard she could have trained, could never pose a serious threat to Guts. I think that last scene with her is there to show us how easy it is for humans to get embroiled into a quest of revenge, like Guts.
I think we can all agree that Guts has nothing to be worried about as far as how things go with Theresia. :ganishka: I personally didn't mean that I wanted Theresia to come back seriously seeking revenge, I just like to joke about it. That's not to say I wouldn't love to see her come back in whatever way, though I'm not getting my hopes up over that versus say, Jill's return. I take pride in being realistic about my unrealistic expectations. :azan:

Guts' mom is named "シス" (SHI SU). It can't be pronounced as a Z. And there's a great deal of possible spellings: Sis, Shis, Sith, Sisu, Cis, etc.
So you're saying that of all the various possible pronunciations you listed, I somehow managed to pick the wrong one. :judo: I'll be sure to mention that correction if we do another recording, to absolve myself of my great shame!

About the occurrences of sexual violence in the manga, I find it difficult to address that without addressing plain violence too. Berserk is a pretty violent story, and it takes place in a very violent world. We see a ton of people die, many of them in horrible ways. Given the world depicted, an absence of sexual violence would stand out as being odd. It's quite unfortunate but historically, in our world sexual violence was really quite commonplace in the past.
Yeah, this was a fact that I really wanted to talk about a bit more. I think we ended up veering more towards the depiction of sexual violence in seinen manga in general, but that'll be something to remember for next time.

Also, I think you girls don't do us justice at the end of your talk, in the sense that I believe we stand up for women. See my posts in that thread where Gummyskull argued with the guy. Generally speaking, I honestly don't think we can do much more than what we're doing now. I know I'm at the front lines when it comes to standing up for the female characters in Berserk (just as I am for the other characters).
Well, damn, I've got to say that I'm disappointed to hear you felt that way. I did mention that you guys work to support accurate characterizations in Berserk, regardless of gender - not sure if you got to that bit while you were listening, but either way, I'm sorry to put you in a position where you felt like you have to defend yourself. The main point that I wanted to discuss with Gummy was how widespread misogynistic conceptions of female characters are among self-described Berserk fans across the greater community (not specifically SK.net, but Tumblr and the other sites we talked about).

I cited the guy who got banned as an example of how, even in the context of serious Berserk discussion, these kinds of people introduce inappropriate language and unwarranted views of female characters because of what I believe is a wider, very disturbing attitude perpetuated among anime/seinen fans. Of course, nobody can be expected to be able to root these people out before they express those sorts of views. I was following the thread about Casca at the time, and I did see that you took action right away. Also, I didn't know that you edit out  terms like "loli," but I'm glad that you brought it up!

I just want to note that the discussion of any problematic language or characterizations on SK.net is not meant to reflect badly on the admins, only the people who express troubling views in the first place. For instance, Walter has recently made a few posts very aggressively addressing any misconceptions about the status of Casca's rape. What I want to talk about is the problem behind the fact that Walter has to make those corrections in the first place, not that Walter is failing in making them at all. Hope that clears things up a bit.

With that, I want to thank everyone who's provided feedback about the podcast so far! I realize that we're touching on sensitive topics here, and while the goal is to foster honest discussion, I don't want to spread any misinformation, so if you have a problem with something said in this podcast, please feel free to speak up. :serpico:
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Walter on June 23, 2014, 02:48:34 PM
Finished the show on the train to work today. Good stuff! For me, this's probably one of the most exciting things a member has done independent of the forum that I can recall.

I don't think I knew how long Lith had been reading Berserk. Lost Children-era predates me by a few years. I started reading around the time Vol 18 was published in Japan. Hearing everything in the show has made me curious about quality Tumblr posts. Could you guys link to a few memorable ones in this thread?

When Gummy was attacked in that thread, we took action immediately -- within minutes. That kind of negative verbiage against our members isn't tolerated, regardless of gender. Anyway, like Grail said, there's little we can do as admins to prevent people from posting ignorant shit. All we can do is retroactively moderate threads and in the bigger picture, make our stances on such notions clear so that it'll dissuade less tolerant or less knowledgable people from joining in to begin with. Over the years, I think we've done a pretty good job of cultivating the kind of atmosphere where only the best stuff survives. At this point our strict "no bullshit" filter has become pretty much infamous among Berserk fandom, which is fine with me.

Anyway, I do hope you guys continue as I think you are onto something by analyzing the series through a different lens. I was really excited to hear you guys tackle controversial things like the Eclipse and Volume 18's content, but I feel like you could go even deeper into Miura's depiction of women in the series, and his choices in their portrayal. Obviously this was your first outing, and it's tempting to jump around to different topics. Fighting against that tendency is what led me to start making copious notes before each show. It's a little bit like homework, but the coolest kind of homework. These have become essential for me during the re-reads (they're less important for the current ep discussion, which is more free-form). Obviously, do what you think is best. That's just advice from my experience keeping Berserk talk rolling through a few hours at a time.

Things I'd like to see more of next time? Schierke and Guts from a woman's perspective. Miura's inclusion of a woman among the God Hand. Farnese as the figurehead of the Holy See's military, and her role within the Vandimion family. Many many more topics come to mind.

I think you guys could really dig deep into each of the topics you discussed in the future.  Please keep going!
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Sammoniac on June 23, 2014, 08:10:50 PM
This is a tremendous podcast! Very enjoyable, especially for a first time.. so kudos to you girls!  :ubik: I know some of these subjects were brought up in the forums before, but I'd like to hear your opinion about them in future podcasts ;

- What do you think about the fact that most naked women in the manga have beautiful and sexy bodies?

- What do you think of the depiction of nude underage girls (as often nowadays as in older material)?

- Why do you think that men in the manga don't have nipples? I know its an artistic choice, but do you have an opinion on that?  :serpico:

Now I understand that Japan has a very particular culture and that some of these things are just more common there. I also understand that its a seinen manga, so the girls are often very beautiful in this medium (and in A LOT of other mediums). But since Miura puts so much effort into realistically depicting the world that he created, it seems strange to me that he sometimes adheres to such conventions (which is perfectly fine since Berserk is HIS creation, afterall). Of course Berserk is no exception, and it doesn't go too far with its sexuality. For example, I remember seeing stuff in Gantz that was just too much and I'm glad that I never had that impression about Berserk.

Thank you again for this podcast !!
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Delta Phi on June 24, 2014, 04:22:49 AM
I leave for a little over a week for vacation and I come back to not one, but TWO great podcasts?! I couldn't be happier with such a surprise on the board!

This was really refreshing and so great to hear a discussion about the women of Berserk, from women who read Berserk. It sounds like it was pretty difficult talking about the sexual violence, but I'm glad y'all were able to get into it and discuss the uncomfortable parts of the series. It gives me a new appreciation for the gravity of those sections.

A question that came to mind almost immediately after finishing the podcast was, Being the only female member of the God Hand, do you find it (in)appropriate that Slan is seemingly fixated on sensuality? I think a lot of discussion (maybe an entire episode, actually) for the FloraCast could be centered around Slan's character.

Once again, fine job, ladies! I can't wait to hear more from y'all!
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Grail on June 24, 2014, 07:12:15 AM
Thank you for the questions, guys. It looks like some pretty varied requests so far, so it doesn't look like we'll be running out of ground to cover just yet! :carcus:

Finished the show on the train to work today. Good stuff! For me, this's probably one of the most exciting things a member has done independent of the forum that I can recall.
Now that is high praise, wow! To tell you the truth, I was a little hesitant to try doing this in podcast format, though being on the SkullKast a few times gave me some exposure to the process, which was the boost I needed, I think. Even then, I wasn't sure if the subject matter would garner much interest, but after seeing so many encouraging reactions, I'm very glad we ended up going for it. Anyway, I appreciate you saying that, it means a lot.

Hearing everything in the show has made me curious about quality Tumblr posts. Could you guys link to a few memorable ones in this thread?
Sure. I'll have to dig around a bit, but generally speaking, I've enjoyed the discussions of O-Blessed-King-of-Longing (http://o-blessed-king-of-longing.tumblr.com/tagged/meta), who I mention in the podcast. The name is a mouthful, but I admire this person's desire to analyze aspects of the series that I haven't seen much of anywhere else. Here's  (http://o-blessed-king-of-longing.tumblr.com/post/89405166059)a random post I enjoyed in response to another user who focuses on analysis. There aren't many, unfortunately. I should add a disclaimer here saying that I don't always agree with everything that's said, but it can be interesting to see opinions that you don't always catch here on the forum. Different format, different thought processes I guess! I'd be curious if Gummy has any posts she'd like to share, since I'm sure I've missed some folks.

One other thing on Tumblr that I'm happy to see popping up is addressing translation inaccuracies/discrepancies Here are a few (http://o-blessed-king-of-longing.tumblr.com/post/89548611014/berserk-and-different-translations) examples (http://berserk-translations.tumblr.com/post/86461624162/jesuschristmarie-theyreminerals-nox-artemis), the latter of which I'm hoping to address in a podcast, because I honestly find that stuff pretty disturbing. And unfortunately, this is a screencap that you see people citing as a generic "badass Guts quote."

Anyway, I do hope you guys continue as I think you are onto something by analyzing the series through a different lens. I was really excited to hear you guys tackle controversial things like the Eclipse and Volume 18's content, but I feel like you could go even deeper into Miura's depiction of women in the series, and his choices in their portrayal. Obviously this was your first outing, and it's tempting to jump around to different topics.
Yeah, I was a bit conflicted about how exactly to influence the flow of discussion when I was first coming up with topics a few weeks before we all sat down together for our first run. At the time, I had no idea that Lith and Gummy would be so great at discussing without prompts, so once we started recording, I just decided to let it flow as a natural conversation. As a result, things got a little jumbled, but I think that it was a good format to get the engine running and get a sense for how the others think.

Fighting against that tendency is what led me to start making copious notes before each show. It's a little bit like homework, but the coolest kind of homework. These have become essential for me during the re-reads (they're less important for the current ep discussion, which is more free-form). Obviously, do what you think is best. That's just advice from my experience keeping Berserk talk rolling through a few hours at a time.
Yeah, one thing I was a bit frustrated about looking back was my slowness in remembering or accurately describing certain details. It can also be a bit tricky when you aren't that familiar with anything outside of the Dark Horse translations. For that reason, narrowing the focus will hopefully help the discussion bear a bit more fruit in the future. Free-form is fun, but it's got limitations, especially when you're more of a big-picture person like me. I always have to work a bit harder at appreciating the really fine details.

- What do you think about the fact that most naked women in the manga have beautiful and sexy bodies?
Oh, Sammy Sammy Sammy! You just want to hear me make saggy boob jokes on the podcast now, you can say it. :slan:

- What do you think of the depiction of nude underage girls (as often nowadays as in older material)?
I'll preface by saying that nudity in Berserk is a pretty widespread thing. The Moonlight Boy would be very offended to know that you ignored him, by the way! :judo:

- Why do you think that men in the manga don't have nipples? I know its an artistic choice, but do you have an opinion on that?  :serpico:
We should really collaborate on some comic material sometime. You're really good at joke prompts. Just giving you a hard time man, but seriously, keep it coming.

This was really refreshing and so great to hear a discussion about the women of Berserk, from women who read Berserk. It sounds like it was pretty difficult talking about the sexual violence, but I'm glad y'all were able to get into it and discuss the uncomfortable parts of the series. It gives me a new appreciation for the gravity of those sections.
Thank you Delta! I'm really appreciative to Lith and Gummy for giving so much insight on the whole topic of sexuality in Berserk overall. And don't worry, Slan will definitely be at the top of the list for characters to be covered next!
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Aazealh on June 24, 2014, 09:56:16 AM
Here's  (http://o-blessed-king-of-longing.tumblr.com/post/89405166059)a random post I enjoyed in response to another user who focuses on analysis. There aren't many, unfortunately. I should add a disclaimer here saying that I don't always agree with everything that's said, but it can be interesting to see opinions that you don't always catch here on the forum. Different format, different thought processes I guess!

Eh. If you want my opinion, I think people should be careful not to automatically equate long posts to quality analyses.

One other thing on Tumblr that I'm happy to see popping up is addressing translation inaccuracies/discrepancies Here are a few (http://o-blessed-king-of-longing.tumblr.com/post/89548611014/berserk-and-different-translations) examples (http://berserk-translations.tumblr.com/post/86461624162/jesuschristmarie-theyreminerals-nox-artemis), the latter of which I'm hoping to address in a podcast, because I honestly find that stuff pretty disturbing. And unfortunately, this is a screencap that you see people citing as a generic "badass Guts quote."

Forgive my bluntness, but people only have themselves to blame for fostering the production of these illegal, badly translated scans. As for translation mistakes in the official releases, well, our stuff is accurate. :slan:
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Doc on June 24, 2014, 10:57:31 AM
Hey Grail & co. Thanks a lot for taking the time to put that together. It's always interesting to hear a female perspective on the series, given you are part of a small minority.

For what it's worth, I don't agree with Grail's assessment that "if you believe in equal rights for men and women" that automatically makes you a feminist. That's like saying "If you believe in Jesus then you're a Christian", even though Christianity has many different denominations, each with their own traditions and creeds, some more radical than others. I also resent the term 'feminist' because it places emphasis on one sex over the other, thus undermining its own point. Surely, if we're looking for a better term, it would be germane to use something like 'equalist' instead?
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Oburi on June 24, 2014, 01:51:10 PM
Here's  (http://o-blessed-king-of-longing.tumblr.com/post/89405166059)a random post I enjoyed in response to another user who focuses on analysis.


This is horrible. There IS a callback when Casca fights Adonis for the second time.
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Tama on June 24, 2014, 03:53:24 PM
The podcast was amazing and I think this is a great idea to have!  :ubik: It's always nice to hear more opinions on the subject of Berserk and I always learn something new from other fans. It would be fun to join in sometime if there is a opportunity.

(also I apologize about my last post, I think it came off as kind of rude, I didn't mean it like that. Sometimes I'm bad with words, I didn't realize it until I read it back to myself).
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Walter on June 24, 2014, 04:16:57 PM
I also resent the term 'feminist' because it places emphasis on one sex over the other, thus undermining its own point. Surely, if we're looking for a better term, it would be germane to use something like 'equalist' instead?

This is pretty easily explained. Imagine a bar graph with two columns, one for male and one for female. The value is rights -- actual and implicit. In today's society, particularly worldwide, the female bar would be lower. Males are guaranteed rights, so theirs would naturally be higher. But over the past century, women have had to fight for each stage of their societal rights. Thus the side that is unequal is contending for equality with the rights of men, hence the name feminism. If the bar values were reversed, we'd be here talking about masculinism.
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Grail on June 24, 2014, 05:09:27 PM
Eh. If you want my opinion, I think people should be careful not to automatically equate long posts to quality analyses.
This is horrible. There IS a callback when Casca fights Adonis for the second time.
The argument isnít water-tight here, not going to bother denying that. I probably should have made a clearer note about this after quoting Walter on the matter of quality (sorry man, I hope I didnít crush your dreams :judo: ). As I mention on the podcast, Tumblr isnít the scholarly center that SK.net strives to be. But you are starting to see people who are investing in the series and taking a serious look at character relationships and important events, which is something Iím excited about. While scans are unfortunately rampant, I think that encouraging analysis will help to curb that, which is what I and some other users are trying to do. That said, Iím not going to sit here and defend somebody elseís words, but Iíd also entreat you to understand that Tumblr is playing catch-up with SK.net right now. Baby steps, baby steps. :griffnotevil:

Forgive my bluntness, but people only have themselves to blame for fostering the production of these illegal, badly translated scans.
I hear you on that, but when there's a chance to encourage people to support the official release, why not take it, you know? Sure, there are people who are content to wallow in their own ignorance and moral ineptitude, but there are also folks who simply need a push in the right direction. In these cases, it can help to say "the translation you know is not actually a translation, but the rough equivalent of smashing your keyboard with a watermelon and interpreting the resulting messages." Somehow, the idea seems to be catching on!

As for translation mistakes in the official releases, well, our stuff is accurate. :slan:
Amen to that, brother!

For what it's worth, I don't agree with Grail's assessment that "if you believe in equal rights for men and women" that automatically makes you a feminist. That's like saying "If you believe in Jesus then you're a Christian"
But, wait...  :???: Isn't that the exact definition of Christianity? Anyway, with regards to the rest of your post: I understand that some people feel frustrated by fringe groups that are militant to the point of alienating others with more moderate views about women's rights. Though to be honest, I'm a bit confused by how some men (and women) get stuck on this point. To address your comparison, it's like judging a kind-hearted Christian by the actions of the Westboro Baptists. Please, please, don't dismiss a fair-thinking majority based on the actions of a radical minority.

That said, thanks for listening and thanks for the feedback!

The podcast was amazing and I think this is a great idea to have!  :ubik: It's always nice to hear more opinions on the subject of Berserk and I always learn something new from other fans. It would be fun to join in sometime if there is a opportunity.

(also I apologize about my last post, I think it came off as kind of rude, I didn't mean it like that. Sometimes I'm bad with words, I didn't realize it until I read it back to myself).
Thanks for the feedback Tama! It's especially valuable to get responses from other women on the board, because that's who we're really hoping to accurately represent. And no worries, I understood what you were saying. Like I mentioned earlier in the thread, I'd like to hear the thoughts of as many Berserk-reading ladies as possible, so thank you for volunteering! :guts:

As always everyone, thanks for the helpful responses and discussion. I hope that I'm answering all of your questions and concerns satisfactorily. I've got to say, I feel like I've probably said more on this thread than I have in maybe the past year on the entire site!
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Aazealh on June 24, 2014, 07:31:54 PM
I hear you on that, but when there's a chance to encourage people to support the official release, why not take it, you know? Sure, there are people who are content to wallow in their own ignorance and moral ineptitude, but there are also folks who simply need a push in the right direction.

Sure thing. I'm just picturing those who are outraged but still rely on the very material they condemn. I have a hard time with that sort of hypocrisy.
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Gummyskull on June 25, 2014, 12:05:34 AM
I have a lot to say and not enough time to do it so I only responded to a few posts...


For what it's worth, I don't agree with Grail's assessment that "if you believe in equal rights for men and women" that automatically makes you a feminist. That's like saying "If you believe in Jesus then you're a Christian", even though Christianity has many different denominations, each with their own traditions and creeds, some more radical than others. I also resent the term 'feminist' because it places emphasis on one sex over the other, thus undermining its own point. Surely, if we're looking for a better term, it would be germane to use something like 'equalist' instead?
You're question is a pretty common one so I'll refer you to a few links (http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/04/12/faq-why-feminism-and-not-just-humanism-or-equalism-isnt-saying-youre-a-feminist-exclusionary/) first (http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/06/03/faq-arent-feminists-just-sexists-towards-men/).
Feminisist strive for the empowerment, equal treatment of women in an patriarchal society, and the dismantling of patriarchy as a whole. Because it is a movement concerned primarily about women the term is going to have a feminine slant.
Plus egalitarianism is it's own thing, and there is no reason you can't be both a feminist and an egalitarian.
There are a lot of problems with the feminism: it has a continued history of racism (Which is why womanism exists) and transphobia , it can be horribly Eurocentric, it has an awful habit of shaming women who are willingly involved in the sex industry, etc. But I don't think the term itself is one of them.

As I mention on the podcast, Tumblr isnít the scholarly center that SK.net strives to be. But you are starting to see people who are investing in the series and taking a serious look at character relationships and important events, which is something Iím excited about. While scans are unfortunately rampant, I think that encouraging analysis will help to curb that, which is what I and some other users are trying to do. That said, Iím not going to sit here and defend somebody elseís words, but Iíd also entreat you to understand that Tumblr is playing catch-up with SK.net right now. Baby steps, baby steps.

This is exactly how I feel. Tumblr isn't perfect, it certainly isn't a lost gem of deep Berserk analysis. But everyone keep in mind that not everyone there is as familiar with the series as we are and have not had as much time for their knowledge of the subject to evolve. I see the enthusiasm as very promising! Observing this slow change in the fanbase is also very refreshing, I love reading new perspectives even if I don't always agree with them.
 
But it still remains that for all the interesting (http://voyagetofantasia.tumblr.com/post/89804673060/slan-the-wise-berserk-confessions-i-guess) posts (http://alovelyburn.tumblr.com/tagged/ariel%20talks%20about%20berserk) I see, there are many more of this (http://voyagetofantasia.tumblr.com/post/86654007890/reading-berserk) quality. A big issue with the tumblr fandom I really want to see die off is the rampant hatred towards Griffith. If you posted about him in a tone that reflected anything other than hatred you get attacked.  Some users who wanted to post about him his character had to start using an entire different tag for their posts to avoid drama. I don't even think Guts shares this contempt.

Talking about this makes me feel ridiculous. Tumblr fandoms are ridiculous.

Anyway. I'll reply more later. I am really enjoying what everyone is saying and appreciate the varied feedback.  :casca:
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Lithrael on June 26, 2014, 03:13:55 PM
I finally got to listen!  Thanks, Grail and Gummy, for including me in the podcast.  Time absolutely flew by.

On the possibility of Theresia coming back: it would be funny (and I would greatly enjoy it), but it wouldn't really accomplish anything. Theresia, no matter how hard she could have trained, could never pose a serious threat to Guts. I think that last scene with her is there to show us how easy it is for humans to get embroiled into a quest of revenge, like Guts.

I agree about her purpose in the story.  But I never meant to suggest she'd come back like Inigo Montoya!  I always pictured something more like getting someone/thing else to go after Guts on her behalf. 

I don't think I knew how long Lith had been reading Berserk. Lost Children-era predates me by a few years. I started reading around the time Vol 18 was published in Japan.

Oh, you still have me beat by quite a bit.  I started reading regularly right before Slan showed up in the Qliphoth, so, early 2003.  Before that I just had the Lost Children arc volumes.  I'd bought them off the internet around '01 after watching the '97 anime and getting an enthusiastic manga rec from TheSkyTraveller.  We attended the same art school; she was already a dedicated fan of the Berserk manga and let me know how awesome it was. 

So my very first impression of the Berserk manga was cracking open volume 14 and being presented with the flat of Guts' sword covered with squished bee-fairies. 

For what it's worth, I don't agree with Grail's assessment that "if you believe in equal rights for men and women" that automatically makes you a feminist. That's like saying "If you believe in Jesus then you're a Christian", even though Christianity has many different denominations, each with their own traditions and creeds, some more radical than others.

Funny enough this analogy seems completely appropriate to me.  Believing in equal rights in a relatively patriarchal society makes you a feminist and there are 32 flavors of feminism, just as believing in Jesus makes you a Christian and there are 57 varieties of Christianity. 

There are weird man-hating old-maid angry-lesbian connotations that make people shy away from the term, but that is not the term's fault.  The extreme fringes are magnified, reinforced and occasionally kept alive outside of the scope of their own history by the same sort of media that drew suffragists as ugly women beating up men and failing to cook them dinner.  A webpage opening with the declaration that "feminism exists as a defender of the selfish sexual and reproductive interests of aging and/or unattractive women" is in the top ten google links for "history of feminism."

I notice the same sort of trends among science-haters, pointing out what tremendous and wrongheaded dicks many early scientists were, how lots of people thought eugenics might be a great idea there for a while, etc, as though any of that has fuck-all to do with the validity of the sort of modern science that gets GPS satellites in orbit.  They like to claim that anything useful is engineering and has nothing to do with science, a bit like the claim that any useful social movement is egalitarianism and has nothing to do with feminism - where in reality the two work so closely hand-in-hand that it's often difficult to tell them apart.

Quote from: Walter
Hearing everything in the show has made me curious about quality Tumblr posts. Could you guys link to a few memorable ones in this thread?

I'm a little curious about this too.  I enjoy Tumblr, but it's next to useless as a place to have a conversation with more than one other person.  Comment trees are built directly by adding comments to a reblog of a post, and any branches that occur along the way are effectively lost.  A popular post may have a cascade of twenty comments in the body of the post, and 10,000 notes with 500 other comments scattered throughout with no good way to find or get to any of them.  It's as if someone makes a speech in a crowded cafeteria, and friends at each table discuss it, but a latecomer only gets to see what the popular kids' table had to say about it.

Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: puella on June 30, 2014, 04:58:23 PM
It's very nice to hear you girls talk! :guts:

I remember Miura once said that it's hard for him to describe female characters' mentality.
I think it could be a good avenue for the Floracast to explore.
This is what we, the outnumbered female members, can do for the manga.

Also, as a woman, I've always thought that Casca is not ideal because she's too devoted!
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Grail on July 01, 2014, 03:33:12 AM
I'm a little curious about this too.  I enjoy Tumblr, but it's next to useless as a place to have a conversation with more than one other person.  Comment trees are built directly by adding comments to a reblog of a post, and any branches that occur along the way are effectively lost.  A popular post may have a cascade of twenty comments in the body of the post, and 10,000 notes with 500 other comments scattered throughout with no good way to find or get to any of them.  It's as if someone makes a speech in a crowded cafeteria, and friends at each table discuss it, but a latecomer only gets to see what the popular kids' table had to say about it.

Yeah, the medium doesn't lend itself very well to lengthy back-and-forths. It's interesting to see how people put up with it to interact with other fans, though. Like you guys mentioned on the podcast, it probably has to do with Tumblr being a one-stop-shop for just about anything you can enjoy, so why not pack Berserk discussion in there with the baby sloth gifs and food porn? :ganishka: I guess it has less to do with efficiency and more about convenience.

It's very nice to hear you girls talk! :guts:

I remember Miura once said that it's hard for him to describe female characters' mentality.
I think it could be a good avenue for the Floracast to explore.
This is what we, the outnumbered female members, can do for the manga.

Thanks very much Puella! I'm very pleased to hear you enjoyed the podcast. I would definitely like to do more to expand on the perspectives of women in the series and how they match up with those of female readers. I think it'll be especially fun to try when we get to Sonia and Schierke!

Also, as a woman, I've always thought that Casca is not ideal because she's too devoted!
I understand what you mean, and as much as I enjoyed Casca's story in the Golden Age arc, I'm looking forward to seeing her pursue personally-driven goals when she makes her glorious comeback. :daiba: That in itself might make for a very lengthy FloraCast, I would think.
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Nomad on July 08, 2014, 03:02:47 PM
Just finished listening and thank you and everyone involved in making this.  For the record, That intro had my drink coming out of my nose several times.  Well done good sir...Well done.  Couldn't have asked for a better one myself.

My one assumption regarding the Casca rape and comments read in the past, was the lack of observation between what was really going on VS. The thought of knowing Casca's deep feelings (not necessarily love) towards Griffith.  And turning a blind eye onto the moment itself with an appetizer of chopped questions that could relate towards those feelings in particular without giving any thought of her seeing herself being raped at the time?  I'm not one to get deep into this, and by any means I am trying to explain reasons for those comments in the past... Simply my one logical explanation towards the issue that went through my head.  Or it could just a the typical Bro response of "Yeah dude... She loved the D". Who knows... We can be pigs.

Favorite girl on girl interaction would be Flora and Schierke.  Short lived, but made me wonder what was life with those two. 

Again, thank you all 3 for the cast, and look forward to hear some more in a near future.
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Griffith on July 14, 2014, 02:48:22 AM
FINALLY got a chance to fire this up today and give it a dedicated listen and I was not disappointed. Loved the focus on female characters, perspectives and analysis, especially since a lot of those perspectives were new to me, eschewed the obvious, and gave me a new perspective on those subjects and the series in general. It's just great hearing such a grown up Berserk conversation, the more of it the better, and the focus on feminism and women's issues pertaining to the series certainly enhanced that feeling.

Like I said, it also made me see Berserk differently in general, such as the destruction of Guts as a figure of male power. While he's certainly still powerful, he's now suffering with the responsibility of a family in danger and a broken body and mind that both betray him. It made me understand why many younger male fans, and I once was one, can't or don't want to relate to that sort of male role model as much as the old Black Swordsman. BTW, loved you all calling out the guys that really relate to Guts' physical toughness, because who can't swing a 6' slab of metal around in their teeth? Though, I'm not happy you forced me to reexamine and appreciate Nina's crappily realistic humanity.

The discussion of sexual assault and the disparity of it between men and women also made me take stock of the depictions of it in the series and how that's changed, as well as making me appreciate again what Berserk does that so few other stories don't. Such as having a main male character that was the victim of rape, and is truly affected by it in their daily life as well as their sex life, such as his breakdown with Casca, his weakness, and her love and strength for him that he needed.

The part about Casca being taken away as a character was sobering, not because I wasn't aware of it, but because I kind of take her return for granted and am probably not as invested in it as a fan that can relate to Casca as a woman, or having lost that outlet. It really is unfair, particularly with her constantly dangling there in front of us, and although that presence has been replaced with a few great female characters, I only hope her revival comes sooner still (the rationale I came to is that it's better than her being dead like the rest of the Falcons).

Well, I think that's it for my initial impressions. When the recording stopped I sincerely wished there was more (I did wait for it to repeat Gobs theme again before stopping =), and I hope you do another before too long. Now I've got to catch up with all the, sometimes looong, posts in the thread... after Shovel Knight.
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Patou244 on July 15, 2014, 08:47:53 AM
I really appreciate seeing a podcast like this from a female perceptive.

Just a few quick comment/observations from listening to the pod cast. About Casca's desire to maintain a distance from her troops under her  in general I sort  of disagree with. I don't think it really fits her personality to do that. One of the things about Casca that I think made the hawks respect her was that she did not put on airs of superiority because of her position and was down to earth and showed them she can be capable like they can be. After the cave incident she is shown to be sitting among some of her own troops that I was under the impression her own men and she is relaxing and talking to them while drinking wine. So I definitely believe she mingled with her troops in a camaraderie manner. Though your over all the point you made that she would not allow her self to become inebriated  around her men  so as not and in a compromising position I think is her personality. I think Casca strived hard to make herself respectful around them.

Also I think in a future pod cast it should certainly be discussed how much the Hawks admired and respected her and how exactly she came to earn that respect. That in its self is a grand feat for her to have accomplished considering how gendered the roles are in the time Berserk takes place in. I have been curious about how she got to the point where she gained their respect and admiration. When you first see Casca as a peasant girl and Griffith allows her to be a falcon some of the hawk members already apart of the group show mild disdain for her. Corkus of course was the most vocal but I find it interesting how Casca went from being a peasant girl very much regarded as a possible burden and liability due to her sex, to earning her respect among them. By the time Guts joins the hawks Corkus and his posse are intimated by Casca and do not want to provoke her (hell Casca is almost a bully toward Corkus), and the other hawks admire her skill claiming her only second to Griffith. That's a accomplishment. Did Casca accomplish this all on her own? Was Griffith heavily responsible for the other members giving her a fair chance? Was Casca's early days as member filled with Girffith lecturing the other hawks to put up with her?

Also something that you touched on that I want to expand on is how her treatment by fans now that she is broken. I find outside of this site she gets very little sympathy and she is blamed a lot. All I hear is (oh poor Guts, the love of his life hates him...that ungrateful bitch!) Complaints of Casca being ungrateful and a bitch abound in the fan community mostly due to her affect on Guts who has sacrificed everything for her run rampant. My berserk haunts besides this place is youtube, and tumblr and some lesser known ones. Those places really seem to hate her and really seem to forget that Casca actually has a legitimate reason act the way she does around Guts. In one discussion I had on youtube, he expressed how annoying Casca is now that she hates Guts and he expressed she had no reason to act that way. When I reminded him that Guts assaulted her his reaction was "oh yeah...but still." Casca's ore deal is just not front and center with a lot of fans. They pardon Guts actions. This baffles me.

Another thing to bring up when it comes Miura's handling of women and men, I would like to point out Guts mature reaction to Casca having her period when he undressed her. I was impressed by how he wasn't really grossed out or derisive over her condition like I would expect a man to be in that situation. His first response was to be empathy and compassion. He does not even bring her condition to embarrass Casca the next day until she throws a punch at him and he gets mad. He even keeps her secrete the real reason she was sick when they got back to camp. I don't think any one was aware she was on her period when she fell ill. When she was apologizing to Griffith for her condition slowing everyone down I don't think any of them thought anything was wrong with her other than being feverish. I think that is an impressive angle Miura played with in regards to interactions between men and women in the manga.

I have much more to say but I'm going to bed now. LOL
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Grail on July 15, 2014, 07:31:27 PM
Thanks very much for the comments, everyone. It makes me happy to see all of the different things people have taken away from our talk. It's getting me pumped for round 2!

For the record, That intro had my drink coming out of my nose several times.  Well done good sir...Well done.  Couldn't have asked for a better one myself.
When the recording stopped I sincerely wished there was more (I did wait for it to repeat Gobs theme again before stopping =)
Let me say on Gobs's behalf that he's extremely flattered that people like his Tom Jones impression. I asked him if he wanted to upload the full song to the site, but he had said something about wrenching it from his cold, dead hands. Psh, artists! :troll:

Favorite girl on girl interaction would be Flora and Schierke.  Short lived, but made me wonder what was life with those two.
I've thought about that too, and this is going to be touched on in our next podcast. The FloraCast, after all, should talk about its titular character at some point. :ganishka:

The part about Casca being taken away as a character was sobering, not because I wasn't aware of it, but because I kind of take her return for granted and am probably not as invested in it as a fan that can relate to Casca as a woman, or having lost that outlet.
That's an interesting point! To tell you the truth, I think I took it for granted that other readers might take it for granted, if that makes any sense. That's actually one of the reasons why I enjoy the SkullKast so much. By going through and discussing each scene, it brings out a lot of subtleties that could otherwise be overlooked. with this podcast, it's a different focus, but I hope we're able to provide the same "wow, I hadn't thought about that!" feeling for people. :casca:

About Casca's desire to maintain a distance from her troops under her  in general I sort  of disagree with. I don't think it really fits her personality to do that. One of the things about Casca that I think made the hawks respect her was that she did not put on airs of superiority because of her position and was down to earth and showed them she can be capable like they can be. After the cave incident she is shown to be sitting among some of her own troops that I was under the impression her own men and she is relaxing and talking to them while drinking wine. So I definitely believe she mingled with her troops in a camaraderie manner. Though your over all the point you made that she would not allow her self to become inebriated  around her men  so as not and in a compromising position I think is her personality. I think Casca strived hard to make herself respectful around them.
Yeah, I had remembered that scene in volume 5 incorrectly, and I'm very glad that Lith and Gummy were able to help in setting things straight. The main issue I did want to touch on was how Casca's status as a woman might prompt her to act differently than say, Guts, who's shown to be pretty casual with his men. My question was, even though Casca is seen as sort of a big sister figure by the Falcons, does that mean she can ever really be "one of the guys?" Even in her unique situation, it's hard to escape that sort of gender-based thinking.

Also something that you touched on that I want to expand on is how her treatment by fans now that she is broken. I find outside of this site she gets very little sympathy and she is blamed a lot. All I hear is (oh poor Guts, the love of his life hates him...that ungrateful bitch!) Complaints of Casca being ungrateful and a bitch abound in the fan community mostly due to her affect on Guts who has sacrificed everything for her run rampant.
That sort of attitude is a pretty widespread problem, I agree. I think it's the symptom of a larger issue that I'd like to explore more in other forms of media like video games and maybe western comics, so we'll see what the other folks will have to say! :guts:

Also, for those who are wondering when the next podcast is coming up, I don't have a set date in mind just yet. I'm slowly collecting material for the next discussion, so if anyone has a subject that hasn't already been talked about in this thread that they'd like to see when we record, please say so!
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: fyuturistic on July 16, 2014, 06:23:00 AM
Hello everybody, I am a new forum member. Well, I have been lurking and listening to the podcasts for about 2 years but let's forget about that lol. Anyway, I wanted to say I loved the podcast and the way you tackled feminism and its role in the story.  It really gave me a different perspective on Berserk as a whole. Although I probably should have, I never took as in depth of a look into the story from a female perspective as you all did, and it was interesting seeing you do it :).

One of my requests for a future podcast would be discussing an element of a topic that has been touched on quite heavily. As you know, people have already theorized plenty as to how Casca will react to getting her memory back, but whenever I see people theorizing about this the topic it always turns to how she will feel toward Guts (in particular how she will feel about him almost losing himself to his hellhound and coming close to raping her)  and Griffith. However, I have rarely seen anybody  talking about how she will react to the idea of having had a child with Guts,  the thought of the child being corrupted by Griffith during the rape, and especially the notion of it still existing within Griffith's reincarnated body. I may be wrong but I doubt that before the eclipse she knew she was pregnant because I don't think enough time had passed from when they had sex for her to have noticed many changes in her body. It's been a while since I read that arc but I don't think it could have been too much of a time gap. Also, what kind of internal conflicts do you expect Casca to deal with when she reflects on these things? There obviously isn't anything she could have done to prevent the corruption of the baby, but do you think she will still feel partially responsible and ashamed for, at least in her mind, allowing the child to be corrupted? Will this affect her relationship with Guts in a major way. I don't believe that she is going to just stay at Elfhelm while Guts goes after Griffith, but maybe initially she will feel unworthy to travel with him as a result of such shame and they will have to overcome this obstacle for their own relationship and to make it grow stronger. And, also, will the idea of having her child within Griffith's new body make it initially hard to act against him out of maternal duty and motherly instincts?


I look forward to the next podcast and whatever you all decide to discuss. I'm sure the FloraCast will only get better in time. Walter, Aazealh, and Griffith better watch out because now the SkullKast has competition  :ganishka:
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Heavenly Maiden on July 17, 2014, 03:17:46 PM
oh boy do I have a lot to say here, and so little time to say it in. I noticed that you ladies a couple times brought up or referenced things that I have personally said in a couple of topics about Casca. Particularly concerning her rape.

When talking about her rape you referenced examples I had used such as "degree of enjoyment" she might have experienced and my references that during the rape Casca had what I perceived in one panel as having "pouty lips" and those little sparling spheres of light surrounding her body and face through out the rape scene that I had interpreted as enjoyment. I like to point out that I am a female and I had thought these things, but as I recall during your pod cast you attributed these comments (or at least the sentiments) to the general male berserk fan, and "not getting it" do to their maleness. Well let me say that I am a female fan and I do "get it" as far as female sexuality goes but there is a big difference between real life, how female sexuality is depicted in media as well as the social assumptions that go along with female sexuality morality, and how it is often depicted  in male targeted audiences. You even brought up a hentie where a female is saying no and is getting raped and she has hearts around her d=face and is blushing. Knowing what I know about how rape is depicted in these male targeted media it is not unwarranted that one might belive that Miura was going for an ambiguous depiction of the rape scene especially given Casca's past feelings for Griffith. You even mentioned in the movie thread that in the third movie Casca was shown to reciprocate Femto's kiss. Does that make you wonder wht the development team interpreted that scene? The rape scene was done in typical hentie style in the movies right down to the excited little noises Casca makes.


 
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Walter on July 17, 2014, 03:38:35 PM
it is not unwarranted that one might belive that Miura was going for an ambiguous depiction of the rape scene especially given Casca's past feelings for Griffith.

If that's what you think, then why do you even bother calling it a rape?

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I like to point out that I am a female and I had thought these things, but as I recall during your pod cast you attributed these comments (or at least the sentiments) to the general male berserk fan, and "not getting it" do to their maleness.

I noticed it as well, but then again, I don't think you've ever specified your gender. It's not in your profile either.

You even mentioned in the movie thread that in the third movie Casca was shown to reciprocate Femto's kiss. Does that make you wonder wht the development team interpreted that scene? The rape scene was done in typical hentie style in the movies right down to the excited little noises Casca makes.

Why should the interpretation of other people have bearing on the original work? The anime movie team consists of people who clearly didn't "get" a number of things about the series. Just because they failed to understand one of the most important scenes in the series, I fail to see how that's supposed to be a reflection of Miura's intent.
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Lithrael on July 18, 2014, 06:30:36 PM
Hello everybody, I am a new forum member. Well, I have been lurking and listening to the podcasts for about 2 years but let's forget about that lol.

Welcome!

Quote from: fyuturistic
I have rarely seen anybody  talking about how she will react to the idea of having had a child with Guts,  the thought of the child being corrupted by Griffith during the rape, and especially the notion of it still existing within Griffith's reincarnated body.

Some big issues that will certainly be fascinating to see when Miura tackles them.  The question of what exactly Casca & Guts' kid IS now, and what he will mean to them (and to Saviour Mode Griffith), has got to be the main driver of the overall plot in the story at this point.  Casca's got a lot to work through and a lot she could potentially misplace blame for...  But I personally figure, at the end of the day, Griffith just plain chose to dick them all over in the end rather than live as an invalid, and the blame lies with Fate and the God Hand's manipulation of it for getting everyone to that point and Griff for pushing the shiny red button.  Hopefully Casca will similarly find fault mainly outside of herself. 

I've never put much stock in the idea that Casca would oppose Guts' ambition for vengeance out of any lingering affection for Griffith.  But the idea that she'd oppose it if it turned out it'd kill her and Guts' kid too, well, that's the can of worms I fully expect to see play out in the story.   
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Lithrael on July 18, 2014, 07:07:40 PM
I like to point out that I am a female and I had thought these things, but as I recall during your pod cast you attributed these comments (or at least the sentiments) to the general male berserk fan, and "not getting it" do to their maleness. Well let me say that I am a female fan and I do "get it" as far as female sexuality goes but there is a big difference between real life, how female sexuality is depicted in media as well as the social assumptions that go along with female sexuality morality, and how it is often depicted  in male targeted audiences.

I was assuming anyone who would confuse arousal with enjoyment or who would publicly support the idea that showing arousal was probably intended to make the scene ambiguous would be a guy, or someone unfamiliar with the current state of understanding of female sexuality.   But you make a good point that even if the reader does have a solid grasp on female sexuality, that doesn't mean the reader assumes the author has one.  However, I think you are being uncharitable to Miura to assume that because it's a trope of hentai to depict any arousal a rape victim may experience as 'enjoying it,' that's what was intended in Berserk. 

I do think the sparkles etc were clearly intended to show a physical response but I do not think the physical response was intended to introduce any ambiguity into the situation.  If the movie's dev team or any other reader misinterprets physical response as ambiguity, even if it's just due to following whatever passes for expected social convention in manga, that is their problem.   

(As I said in the podcast, on second thought I would have figured guys would have a pretty good chance of knowing that physical arousal does not equal 'wanting it' or 'enjoying it', so I'm not sure who to blame for the misunderstanding on that particular issue, besides social convention.)
Title: Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
Post by: Vixen Comics on February 17, 2015, 05:03:23 PM
wow. let me just say that I very pleasantly surprised by having a podcast about Berserk characters that are from the point of view of the female fans analyzing the role of the female characters in it.  I think that it was a really nice thing for the administrators to allow considering how Berserk is primarily aimed at men, but certainly has it percentage of female fans as well. There have been times where I have been in a primarily male populated forum and have been ganged up on by the members for expressing my opinion.  :schierke: In a lot of places were there is an option to show whether you are male or female I leave it blank so I don't get crap for being a chick. Some predominately male targeted franchises have very territorial fans in them I am sorry to say.  :judo:  So I really appreciate the administrators doing this and  giving a platform for Berserk to be analyzed through a feminine lens. You have no idea how much, as a female fan, I appreciate that. I can't wait to see more of these podcasts.  :ubik:

I have not had a chance to listen to this all the way through, but I actually downloaded this onto my computer and hope have a chance to listen to it all the way through later. It seems this podcast talks about Casca a lot. I am glad. Since she has been regressed, I feel that she has been put off to the, both in the story and by fans on occasion. I think Litheral, Grail, and Gummyskull have made some really good points and observations so far, from what I have heard of this podcast.

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Casca's got a lot to work through and a lot she could potentially misplace blame for

Misplace blame? Are you saying she might blame herself or place blame on Guts for some reason?