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Berserk => Manga Mausoleum => Topic started by: fyuturistic on September 06, 2014, 04:40:57 PM

Title: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: fyuturistic on September 06, 2014, 04:40:57 PM
I know this has probably been answered before but I couldn't find the thread. Can someone explain to me why people say the Golden Age Arc is the pinnacle of Berserk's storyline? I've seen people even go as far as saying it starts to suck after it.  I thought the arc was amazing but I actually like the Mozgus arc better. Aside from just jumping on the bandwagon and letting other people's opinions influence their appreciation of the story, do they just not understand the purpose for certain changes in the dynamic of the story? I know a lot of people say it is too lighthearted now that schierke and isidro are on the team, but I think it's pretty inevitable that the story is going to become extremely dark again. Overall, I just don't understand these people's complaints...
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Mangetsu on September 06, 2014, 06:13:07 PM
I don't thinck so at all. Overall Miura improved in many aspects. Wether it being his massive improvement in Art, constructuring the plot or even his story telling. Many people who say that btw have pretty much have an bad understanding of the overall story. Miura always added something interesting to other characters wether it being the Beast of Darkness to Guts Character or the demon Child to Femto's. Besides that, we got an side cast which got well developed and greatly handled in many ways, such as with Farnese or Schierke.  The world buildung in volume 24, the great battles and plot, and the way everything was symbolized and written was what made the story just become better.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Aazealh on September 06, 2014, 06:21:55 PM
Can someone explain to me why people say the Golden Age Arc is the pinnacle of Berserk's storyline? [...] Aside from just jumping on the bandwagon and letting other people's opinions influence their appreciation of the story, do they just not understand the purpose for certain changes in the dynamic of the story?

Typically the kind of people who hold that sort of opinion just don't understand much (if anything at all) about Berserk. That's really all there is to say about it.

I thought the arc was amazing but I actually like the Mozgus arc better.

It's called the Conviction arc.

I know a lot of people say it is too lighthearted now that schierke and isidro are on the team, but I think it's pretty inevitable that the story is going to become extremely dark again.

I think you're conflating two different types of complaints here. I mean, the fact Guts has found new companions has actually brought back a warmth that he hadn't known since the "Golden Age" (and it's not limited to Isidro and especially not Schierke). That aside, I don't believe there's anything "inevitable" about the story "becoming extremely dark again". I don't think it's going to happen, and I don't think the series as a whole was ever as "extremely dark" as some would like to believe (or conversely that it's now all sunshine and rainbows).
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: IncantatioN on September 06, 2014, 06:58:44 PM
I can see why some people may consider the Golden Age highly over other arcs, as Mangetsu said it could be for nostalgia reasons from the anime's point of view. Fair enough. Barring that reason, the Golden Age sets the base of the story incredibly well (from a timeline perspective). In my opinion, even in subsequent arcs you witness politics, the danger from the supernatural side of the story, brute reality of the journey certain characters go through (which mind you, gets worse with bigger challenges as the story progresses) and so on. If one fell in love with the dynamics of relationships or friendships shown in the Golden Age, you get to see an interesting dynamic with Guts and his new group of allies and friends. Miura's written the manga masterfully in a way where each arc builds from strength to strength - be it art or depth of the story.

To say it went downhill after the Golden Age arc is absolute rubbish.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: fyuturistic on September 06, 2014, 07:12:29 PM
That aside, I don't believe there's anything "inevitable" about the story "becoming extremely dark again". I don't think it's going to happen, and I don't think the series as a whole was ever as "extremely dark" as some would like to believe.

You are right, I guess I was exaggerating a bit when I said it would be inevitable that the story would go back to being "extremely dark" at some point. Overall, the tone of the series has never changed to such a degree that I could make the claim that it would "go back" to a way that it used to be. And when I used the word "extremely" I more so meant relative to most other stories. Berserk is dark but extremely might be a bit of a dramatic thing to say when you are just evaluating the series itself.

Millenium Falcon Arc>>

But to answer your question
Berserk never went downhill after the golden Age, it got even Better
Art Wise, Writing Wise and Plot Wise
Miura improved throughout the Series in many Aspect's, nobody can deny that
The world Builduing was amazing after Guts Flashback ended, and Miura introduced many many new amazing Plot points in to the Series including Religion
We got amazing Scenes like the reincarnation of Griffith, Hill of Swords, the Berserker Armor and the list goes on

Most of the Berserk reader's love the golden age arc so much because most of them got into Berserk, because of the Original Anime
I thinck

Yeah, all of what you said makes sense.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Vaati on September 06, 2014, 09:37:35 PM
I don't agree with this statement, but I can maybe think of some reasons for why the story seems to go downhill after the Golden Age. For starters, the Golden Age is about 10 volumes long and the story progresses quickly (you get to see a ton of Guts' life) and so you can see a lot of character development take place. For Casca fans you get to see her in a normal state as opposed to her regressed state. Plus the Golden Age builds up to one of the biggest climaxes in the story (The Eclipse) and so it may be seen as a very well-thought story from start to finish and is full of interesting, exciting, and romantic moments.

On one last note, maybe some see the Golden Age as having less demon fights as a plus to the series. Zodd, Wyald, and the Eclipse are still some of my favorite encounters with apostles when compared to some of the later demon fights and there is a lot more demon-killing later on. Guts having to fight demons all the time may be too exhausting for the reader?
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Aazealh on September 06, 2014, 10:10:18 PM
For starters, the Golden Age is about 10 volumes long and the story progresses quickly (you get to see a ton of Guts' life) and so you can see a lot of character development take place.

Well it's a flashback, so it's bound to progress relatively quickly. And yet ten volumes isn't all that short. Besides, the Golden Age arc didn't feature more character development than the rest of the story.

Plus the Golden Age builds up to one of the biggest climaxes in the story (The Eclipse) and so it may be seen as a very well-thought story from start to finish and is full of interesting, exciting, and romantic moments.

As is the rest of the series.

On one last note, maybe some see the Golden Age as having less demon fights as a plus to the series. Zodd, Wyald, and the Eclipse are still some of my favorite encounters with apostles when compared to some of the later demon fights and there is a lot more demon-killing later on. Guts having to fight demons all the time may be too exhausting for the reader?

See what I said in my previous post about not understanding what Berserk is about. Resenting the presence of supernatural elements in a fantasy series seems quite foolish to me.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Vaati on September 07, 2014, 12:27:10 AM
Well it's a flashback, so it's bound to progress relatively quickly. And yet ten volumes isn't all that short. Besides, the Golden Age arc didn't feature more character development than the rest of the story.

Whether it's a flashback or not is irrelevant. The aspect of length is fairly subjective, but in terms of why the Golden Age may be seen as more enjoyable is possibly because of the pacing.

As is the rest of the series.

Haha I know, I know.

See what I said in my previous post about not understanding what Berserk is about. Resenting the presence of supernatural elements in a fantasy series seems quite foolish to me.

Foolish to you, but not to those who think the Golden Age is the best. From their perspective, they like the Golden Age more just by the fact that Guts wasn't branded till the ending of that arc. By being branded, it demanded for the story to have demons hunt Guts down for sacrifice. They may not understand what Berserk is truly about, but even if they do understand, they can still like one aspect of the story (where Guts is not yet branded) more than another aspect (Guts being branded).
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Ratty on September 07, 2014, 02:28:05 AM
"There's no accounting for taste."

I suspect a lot of people who started on the Golden Age Arc (particularly some of the people who started with the anime, or started the manga or anime after the Golden Age arc flashback had started) felt like the Eclipse was a bait-and-switch. I've heard people who only watched the show say the Eclipse "felt like it came out of nowhere". So "all of a sudden" this cool show about this band of medieval style mercenaries they were digging becomes a supernatural story. And I guess if you were totally unaware of the larger saga watching the anime and coming to the eclipse could have a kind of "Rocks fall, almost everyone dies." shock to it. :ganishka:

One could certainly argue that this is the wrong way to approach Berserk because it's not how the story was intended to flow, we meet Femto before Guts' flashback after all, but again there's no accounting for taste. The mostly mortal military stuff was what attracted some section of people to Berserk.  And some people are probably pissed their favorite characters died and were later "replaced" with ones they didn't like so much.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Aazealh on September 07, 2014, 09:03:19 AM
Whether it's a flashback or not is irrelevant. The aspect of length is fairly subjective, but in terms of why the Golden Age may be seen as more enjoyable is possibly because of the pacing.

It's not irrelevant since it's the reason for the pacing. And no, the "aspect of length" isn't subjective. It's objectively defined in terms of volumes and episodes (i.e. roughly 10 volumes, as you said yourself). The pacing however could be said to be more of a subjective thing, a matter of perception. And indeed, I could make a case that the pacing of the Golden Age arc, aside for the time skips (which are directly related to the fact it's a flashback), isn't too different from that of the rest of the series.

Foolish to you, but not to those who think the Golden Age is the best. From their perspective, they like the Golden Age more just by the fact that Guts wasn't branded till the ending of that arc. By being branded, it demanded for the story to have demons hunt Guts down for sacrifice. They may not understand what Berserk is truly about, but even if they do understand, they can still like one aspect of the story (where Guts is not yet branded) more than another aspect (Guts being branded).

It is foolish, period. Berserk is a fantasy story about a man who fights monsters. That is made clear right away, from page one of volume one. To pretend the story went "downhill" after the Golden Age arc because of the reason you invoke (that there are "too many demons") requires one to also pretend that the Black Swordsman arc didn't exist. And generally-speaking, that usually includes omitting some supernatural parts of the Golden Age arc as well (like Wyald's segment). It is an exercise in self-convincing where people try to make Berserk into something it never was, and that certainly is very foolish of them.

I suspect a lot of people who started on the Golden Age Arc (particularly some of the people who started with the anime, or started the manga or anime after the Golden Age arc flashback had started) felt like the Eclipse was a bait-and-switch. I've heard people who only watched the show say the Eclipse "felt like it came out of nowhere". So "all of a sudden" this cool show about this band of medieval style mercenaries they were digging becomes a supernatural story.

You say particularly the people who were introduced to Berserk with the TV series, but the truth is, it only makes sense for those people. You don't start reading a book series from the middle. That being said, even though the supernatural element was toned down in the TV series, it is still present in it, and that includes the very first episode, which features Guts as the Black Swordsman.

One could certainly argue that this is the wrong way to approach Berserk because it's not how the story was intended to flow, we meet Femto before Guts' flashback after all, but again there's no accounting for taste. The mostly mortal military stuff was what attracted some section of people to Berserk.

This is more a matter of criticizing how the team in charge of the TV series decided to adapt the manga's story. However, regarding the way the story's meant to flow, I don't see how taste plays any role beyond someone hypothetically liking the TV series but not the manga. The story was created a certain way, and outside of the differences induced by an adaptation that can't be changed.

As a thought experiment, I could see how someone who was introduced to Berserk by the TV series (released back in 1997, 17 years ago) might be disappointed by the fact the manga features more supernatural elements than the animated series. And that's cutting them some slack for forgetting about the first episode, about Zodd, about the beherit... And then disliking the Eclipse. This imaginary person certainly is very picky even at this point, and clearly only partially enjoyed the show. So anyway, maybe that person will then not like the manga, and that's that. They prefer the bastardized animated version. But then if they read the manga, well things are different. Even the Golden Age arc is a different experience, since many elements were omitted from the TV show. And at this point, the reader is expected to have read the Black Swordsman arc and to know what the series is about. Plus they already know what to expect with the Eclipse. Therefore there remains no justification for feeling that "it came out of nowhere".

And some people are probably pissed their favorite characters died and were later "replaced" with ones they didn't like so much.

That's a pretty stupid way to view things, and in order to even start being able to form that opinion you'd have to stick with the story for over 10 volumes after the Golden Age arc ended. It just doesn't make sense.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Delta Phi on September 07, 2014, 04:47:55 PM
I don't take anyone seriously that views things that way, and as Aaz said, typically those people have only watched the tv series (or the movies) and have somehow selectively forgotten about the Snake Baron and Zodd. Even if you want to say there was a lull between the Golden Age and Millennium Falcon (lol what?), I find it hard to believe any serious fan thinks the end of the Falconia chapter was subpar, or at the very least, less than the sum of the Golden Age. Maybe I'm just putting each latest episode on a well deserved pedestal.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: jackson_hurley on September 07, 2014, 04:52:02 PM
I was introduced to the series by the 97 animation and when I learned that it came form a manga I was more then glad to hear that cause I felt there was NOT enough supernatural stuff! I wanted to know more about the black swordsman.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Walter on September 08, 2014, 01:00:28 PM
Quote
Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Why are people ignorant?
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Johnstantine on September 08, 2014, 07:30:04 PM
The same people who say there's a dip in quality are probably the same people who despise waiting so long between episodes.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: jackson_hurley on September 08, 2014, 10:33:53 PM
The same people who say there's a dip in quality are probably the same people who despise waiting so long between episodes.

classified with those who think the pace is all wrong because we don't get to read them in a sitting. arg!
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Deci on September 09, 2014, 04:12:02 AM
I've never heard anyone say it got worse after the Golden Age, maybe after the Conviction Arc when the trolls showed up, I can even understand that perspective however much I disagree with it. After the Golden Age though? I've always felt like Lost Children Arc was possibly the most loved part of the series. I'd love to talk with someone who thinks it went downhill after the Golden Age because that's a new one to me.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Heavenly Maiden on September 12, 2014, 03:26:31 PM
I know this has probably been answered before but I couldn't find the thread. Can someone explain to me why people say the Golden Age Arc is the pinnacle of Berserk's storyline? I've seen people even go as far as saying it starts to suck after it.  I thought the arc was amazing but I actually like the Mozgus arc better. Aside from just jumping on the bandwagon and letting other people's opinions influence their appreciation of the story, do they just not understand the purpose for certain changes in the dynamic of the story? I know a lot of people say it is too lighthearted now that schierke and isidro are on the team, but I think it's pretty inevitable that the story is going to become extremely dark again. Overall, I just don't understand these people's complaints...

They probably only just saw the anime and never really gave the manga a chance...
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: The Ruffled Swordsman on March 02, 2015, 11:02:34 PM
I know this has probably been answered before but I couldn't find the thread. Can someone explain to me why people say the Golden Age Arc is the pinnacle of Berserk's storyline? I've seen people even go as far as saying it starts to suck after it.  I thought the arc was amazing but I actually like the Mozgus arc better. Aside from just jumping on the bandwagon and letting other people's opinions influence their appreciation of the story, do they just not understand the purpose for certain changes in the dynamic of the story? I know a lot of people say it is too lighthearted now that schierke and isidro are on the team, but I think it's pretty inevitable that the story is going to become extremely dark again. Overall, I just don't understand these people's complaints...

They probably miss the characters that died.  It's pretty devastating. Some people think that Breaking Bad didn't become good until season 3, and then some also say it wasn't good after season four.

I think that has to do with the epic saga that was contained within that time. When it ended, people didn't see how it could continue.

I've heard some opinions about how the fantastical elements don't fit, that Berserk is based in realism, even though there are fantastical elements throughout this part of the story.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: IronBerserk on March 05, 2015, 07:23:52 PM
I don't thinck so at all. Overall Miura improved in many aspects. Wether it being his massive improvement in Art or plot constructuring and story telling. Many people who say that have an bad Understanding of the overall story. Miura always added something interesting to other characters wether it being the Beast of Darkness to Guts Character or the demon Child to Femto's. Besides that we got an side cast which got well developed and greatly handled in many ways, such as with Farnese or Schierke.  The world buildung in volume 24, the great battles and plot, and the way everything was symbolized and written was what made the story just become better.

Amen to that!

They probably miss the characters that died.  It's pretty devastating. Some people think that Breaking Bad didn't become good until season 3, and then some also say it wasn't good after season four.

I think that has to do with the epic saga that was contained within that time. When it ended, people didn't see how it could continue.

I've heard some opinions about how the fantastical elements don't fit, that Berserk is based in realism, even though there are fantastical elements throughout this part of the story.

Opinions that make no sense considering the Blackswordsman arc, the introduction arc, showed that Berserk was a full on fantasy.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: The Ruffled Swordsman on March 06, 2015, 04:22:38 AM

Opinions that make no sense considering the Blackswordsman arc, the introduction arc, showed that Berserk was a full on fantasy.

hahaha true.  But Berserk was ahead of its time, before there was ever game of thrones or a live action adaptation of tolkien, there was Berserk.

Its fantasy realism makes the reader/viewer susceptible to view it as reality, and the shock of the explosion of fantasy is so powerful i think its confusing to them because its so effective in making you accept the reality of the world being broken in on by the fantasy, the same way the characters do.

Its crazy because they even warn you as you said, in the beginning what has happened.  And they even drop Griffith's name in the anime, and he sees Fempto when he's fighting the count.


What's crazy is its good enough to where the reader/viewer can forget, during the golden age arc/anime.

And i think this opinion comes from anime fans mostly, but even in the anime they set that up at the beginning.  Somehow you get lost in it, and its still a shock to the system.

My friends who introduced me to Berserk and everybody i know whose seen it, for some reason experience the eclipse and Griffith's turn as the most shocking turn of events, even though its so heavily foreshadowed.

Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: JMP on March 20, 2015, 03:14:28 PM
My first encounter with Berserk was through the anime TV series. I suppose everyone is entitled to their own opinion and maybe for some, the Golden Age was their favorite. Having now gotten into the manga, though, I can't see how anyone who has read past the Golden Age could say that the story went downhill in any way after that. There have been so many awesome moments and I'm loving the new characters, too. I haven't finished reading through all the volumes, but so far I have thoroughly enjoyed the story post Golden Age. I'm just starting on volume 27, right after Guts first receives the magical armor that Flora gave him. This is great stuff! I have to say that Berserk is my all time favorite manga!  :ubik: I would wonder if those who say the story went downhill have actually read past the Golden Age. The Eclipse was quite upsetting, as it was supposed to be, and after seeing it in the anime I will admit that I hesitated to read the manga. I'm so glad I did, though, because I would have missed out big time! The manga does everything better than the anime did and I enjoyed the Golden Age arc that was shown in the anime much more through the manga.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Vixen Comics on April 27, 2015, 06:04:04 PM
I loved everything about the Golden Age Arc. The original hawks, the down to earth atmosphere before the worlds merge...but  even I would not say it went down hill. The other arcs in the story are all unique and I love how they build on each other. I am most excited to see more of Falconia, I actually hope we get a couple more episodes of Rickert and the old midland courtiers and what they are doing before we get back to Guts and company.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Gonzo on July 15, 2015, 04:37:16 AM
One thing that really annoys me is when people say post-Golden Age arc it meandered a lot with the pseudo-elf apostles, the trolls and the Sea God storyline, because it wasn't relevant to the overarching Guts vs. Griffith thing.

I've noticed a general structure to each post-Golden Age arc in which it always starts off with Guts fighting a monster thats largely isolated from the larger plot of the arc, while setting up several core concepts and character development journeys that become integral to the arcs endgame.

I was fully prepared to hate the boat/Sea God stuff due to fan complaints, but as with the rest of the manga, it's actually really good, and I recognised several of the same structural elements in it that I did in the pseudo-elf and troll chapters in their role as the first chapter of the arc, just that this time I don't yet have the whole arc to see what its setting up.

I think one could only say it meanders and has bad pacing from the myopic perspective of someone reading the series release-to-release without any consideration for how the pacing is going to flow when the arc is finally complete.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Walter on July 15, 2015, 02:13:44 PM
Welcome to the forum! Not a bad way to start your membership here  :guts:

One thing that really annoys me is when people say post-Golden Age arc it meandered a lot with the pseudo-elf apostles, the trolls and the Sea God storyline, because it wasn't relevant to the overarching Guts vs. Griffith thing.

Well, for some readers, it seems that any scene where Guts isn't splitting Griffith's head open is filler. For that kind of sentiment, they aren't actually invested in the series, or care about the characters. They're just looking for an ending.

Quote
I've noticed a general structure to each post-Golden Age arc in which it always starts off with Guts fighting a monster thats largely isolated from the larger plot of the arc, while setting up several core concepts and character development journeys that become integral to the arcs endgame.

I'm not sure that's true. Maybe you mean Chapter? Because there are only three arcs after the Golden Age. Conviction starts with Rochine, so that's consistent with your notion; but trolls aren't introduced as enemies until Vol 24, 2 volumes into the Millennium Falcon Arc. Fantasia kicks off effectively where the sea god stuff begins, so that makes some sense, I suppose.

Quote
I was fully prepared to hate the boat/Sea God stuff due to fan complaints, but as with the rest of the manga, it's actually really good, and I recognised several of the same structural elements in it that I did in the pseudo-elf and troll chapters in their role as the first chapter of the arc, just that this time I don't yet have the whole arc to see what its setting up.

I think the Boss overstayed his welcome a bit, but all that waiting paid off for me with the sea god.

Quote
I think one could only say it meanders and has bad pacing from the myopic perspective of someone reading the series release-to-release without any consideration for how the pacing is going to flow when the arc is finally complete.

Indeed, and that's been a consistent problem among casual readers ever since there's been an online Berserk community. The slower pace of releases merely exacerbates that problem. But brighter days are ahead!  :ubik:
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: jackson_hurley on July 15, 2015, 05:08:02 PM

Indeed, and that's been a consistent problem among casual readers ever since there's been an online Berserk community. The slower pace of releases merely exacerbates that problem. But brighter days are ahead!  :ubik:

Yes Indeed! One more week. I've never understood why some people are nagging about the releases. I mean with every new episode I want to know more. They should be excited about the wait. It makes the new episodes even better. Like (for smokers) waiting to get off a plane to smoke a cigarette. The wait is long but the smoke is good once out.  :ganishka:

Anyways, I'm glad that I never considered the series to go downhill after the golden age.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Gonzo on July 16, 2015, 07:28:00 AM
Welcome to the forum! Not a bad way to start your membership here  :guts:

Thanks! Sorry about my annoying message, I'm just so eager to discuss this series with other fans.

Well, for some readers, it seems that any scene where Guts isn't splitting Griffith's head open is filler. For that kind of sentiment, they aren't actually invested in the series, or care about the characters. They're just looking for an ending.

Its just such a weird way to view the series, not helped by the fact that only the Golden Age arc has been adapted into anime (neither version I've seen yet). Its one of the best fantasy stories I've ever read, and while the Guts vs. Griffith stuff is clearly the overarching narrative thread, there's so much more to the series which makes it truly great.

I'm not sure that's true. Maybe you mean Chapter? Because there are only three arcs after the Golden Age. Conviction starts with Rochine, so that's consistent with your notion; but trolls aren't introduced as enemies until Vol 24, 2 volumes into the Millennium Falcon Arc. Fantasia kicks off effectively where the sea god stuff begins, so that makes some sense, I suppose.

Sorry, I'm getting my Arc/Chapter/Episode terminology mixed up. If I recall correctly, while the trolls only start two volumes into the Millenium Falcon arc, that's because the preceding episodes were more focused on Griffith and introducing Schierke.

I think maybe a better way to phrase it is that the first supernatural entity/entities that Guts battles in any given arc, while isolated from the main plot, sets up a lot of the character development and concepts of the overall arc, so I don't see these parts of the story as filler. I can't even think of a segment of the story that I could describe as 100% filler, every part contributes to either the plot, the world-building, the character development, the philosophical/ethical themes, etc.

I think the Boss overstayed his welcome a bit, but all that waiting paid off for me with the sea god.

The Boss whizzed by for me because I read all of Berserk at once, but I can see how he would've been annoying on a release-to-release pace, I found him a little tiresome too.

Indeed, and that's been a consistent problem among casual readers ever since there's been an online Berserk community. The slower pace of releases merely exacerbates that problem. But brighter days are ahead!  :ubik:

I'm really excited! A lot of my Berserk-reading friends were cautioning me to read slowly (in-between all the terrible ID@LMASTER jokes), because of the hiatus, but then this was announced just as I was around vol. 32-33. Such fortuitous timing!

I really hope it isn't like last time, where he only releases a few and then goes on another long hiatus. I don't think Miura would do that three times in a row though, and given he's such a workaholic (spending his first hiatus on that sci-fi manga), I think he's been spending his second hiatus plotting out the rest of the story and building up a substantial episode backlog.

Also its great to talk about Berserk with fans who aren't making really unfair complaints about the release schedule all the time. I haven't directly experienced the long wait, and I'm sure it has been excruciating, but it seems really unfair given how Miura has spent 20+ years of his life sinking all of his energies into Berserk, and its paid off so far. Like I just spent the last two years of my life putting together a Masters thesis, about a single topic, and it was extremely exhausting, so I can only imagine what 20+ years on a single manga must be like!

Yes Indeed! One more week. I've never understood why some people are nagging about the releases. I mean with every new episode I want to know more. They should be excited about the wait. It makes the new episodes even better. Like (for smokers) waiting to get off a plane to smoke a cigarette. The wait is long but the smoke is good once out.  :ganishka:

Anyways, I'm glad that I never considered the series to go downhill after the golden age.

As a smoker I know what you mean.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Aazealh on July 16, 2015, 09:51:16 AM
I think maybe a better way to phrase it is that the first supernatural entity/entities that Guts battles in any given arc, while isolated from the main plot

I think the big misconception is to believe Guts' fights are isolated from the "main plot". The main plot is Guts' adventures, that's what Berserk is all about. Obviously, the revenge against Griffith is at the core of the series, but his encounter with Jill and Rochine isn't less relevant to the story than his encounter with Femto in volume 3. If anything, one could rather argue that various sections of the story that focus on Griffith's side, like the confrontation between the Holy See alliance and Ganishka's forces, are farther away from the "main plot" than Guts rescuing Farnese and Casca from the trolls' den.

But it would still be incredibly myopic to dismiss them, right? Because they greatly participate in the establishment of world events, and beyond that, are just plain fucking cool. The bottom line is that it's futile to try and decompose arcs into a formula because the story evolves much more organically than that.

The Boss whizzed by for me because I read all of Berserk at once, but I can see how he would've been annoying on a release-to-release pace, I found him a little tiresome too.

As with basically every single thing in the story, some people complained to no end about that while it wasn't even remotely as bad as they made it out to be. His last appearance is a bit redundant with the second-to-last one, but the way the events unfold make it hard for me to see how that could have been done differently without sacrificing something else.

I really hope it isn't like last time, where he only releases a few and then goes on another long hiatus. I don't think Miura would do that three times in a row though, and given he's such a workaholic (spending his first hiatus on that sci-fi manga), I think he's been spending his second hiatus plotting out the rest of the story and building up a substantial episode backlog.

I think you're a bit misinformed about the hiatuses. The prepublication in Young Animal started becoming irregular in 2008, and before that there had been a slow decrease in the amount of episodes released per year that had started as early as 2004. Now I personally believe that many things factored into this, from side projects that required Miura's participation (PS2 game, Trading Card Game) to him progressively spending more time to do the artwork (which I believe is the main factor in the returning prepublication rate being monthly), to his health requiring a more reasonable work/personal life balance.

But obviously the biggest cause has to be story development. It's no secret that Miura writes the overarching story aside from his time working on the episodes proper, and I think it's clear when you look at where in the progression of the series things slowed down that he had to stop when he reached a certain point to plot the remaining course. Essentially, things are always fine in a series so long as you've got lots of time to give things closure. You can create new storylines that run parallel to each other, add new elements, etc. It's when things are coming to a close and time comes for you to wrap all of these things up, and to do so in a satisfactory and coherent way, that the shit tends to hit the fan. See all of the big stories that ended lamely (from The Dark Tower to the Wheel of Time to the Lost TV show and countless others) for examples of an author not properly anticipating his story's end.

So I've been convinced ever since the beginning that Miura's making sure that this doesn't happen to Berserk. That what transpires in Elfhelm (from Casca's return to the Elf King and what's next for not only Guts but his friends) and what we learn about Fantasia and Falconia (and the God Hand, and the Moonlight Boy, and the events from a thousand years ago, and... and...) all connect beautifully and make perfect sense, leaving no thread untied. All the while being badass. A tall order, wouldn't you agree? :slan: But one I think Miura's up to.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Gonzo on July 16, 2015, 11:09:46 AM
I think the big misconception is to believe Guts' fights are isolated from the "main plot". The main plot is Guts' adventures, that's what Berserk is all about. Obviously, the revenge against Griffith is at the core of the series, but his encounter with Jill and Rochine isn't less relevant to the story than his encounter with Femto in volume 3. If anything, one could rather argue that various sections of the story that focus on Griffith's side, like the confrontation between the Holy See alliance and Ganishka's forces, are farther away from the "main plot" than Guts rescuing Farnese and Casca from the trolls' den.

But it would still be incredibly myopic to dismiss them, right? Because they greatly participate in the establishment of world events, and beyond that, are just plain fucking cool. The bottom line is that it's futile to try and decompose arcs into a formula because the story evolves much more organically than that.

Okay I admit that my definition of the 'main plot' is a bit shaky and subjective. I think we're saying roughly the same things though!

What I'm trying to get at is that I think a lot of people vastly exaggerate Berserk being 'meandering' or Miura not knowing where he's going - every story (like Rochine, trolls attacking the village, etc), no matter how isolated it may first seem to the reader, have always helped to establish important concepts or plot points that become relevant to larger unfolding narrative. I think the same thing is going to be true of the Sea God stuff and the events that transpired there (like the moon child, merrows, Farnese developing her magic abilities, etc).

This suggests to me that Miura puts a lot of thought into the structure of his story. As someone whose read a few long-form series, I think Berserk has one of the most simultaneously tightly-written and intricate/complex stories I've read. I just don't understand what some people are on about when they complain about post-Golden Age Berserk.

I think you're a bit misinformed about the hiatuses. The prepublication in Young Animal started becoming irregular in 2008, and before that there had been a slow decrease in the amount of episodes released per year that had started as early as 2004. Now I personally believe that many things factored into this, from side projects that required Miura's participation (PS2 game, Trading Card Game) to him progressively spending more time to do the artwork (which I believe is the main factor in the returning prepublication rate being monthly), to his health requiring a more reasonable work/personal life balance.

Oh yeah, I knew it slowed down, but a 19 week hiatus just doesn't seem that long to me to count as a real hiatus, even if it was record-breaking. I think its because I'm an ASOIAF fan that such a break seems negligible, but I can see how it would've been really difficult for people who've been reading the series for a long time.

But obviously the biggest cause has to be story development. It's no secret that Miura writes the overarching story aside from his time working on the episodes proper, and I think it's clear when you look at where in the progression of the series things slowed down that he had to stop when he reached a certain point to plot the remaining course. Essentially, things are always fine in a series so long as you've got lots of time to give things closure. You can create new storylines that run parallel to each other, add new elements, etc. It's when things are coming to a close and time comes for you to wrap all of these things up, and to do so in a satisfactory and coherent way, that the shit tends to hit the fan. See all of the big stories that ended lamely (from The Dark Tower to the Wheel of Time to the Lost TV show and countless others) for examples of an author not properly anticipating his story's end.

So I've been convinced ever since the beginning that Miura's making sure that this doesn't happen to Berserk. That what transpires in Elfhelm (from Casca's return to the Elf King and what's next for not only Guts but his friends) and what we learn about Fantasia and Falconia (and the God Hand, and the Moonlight Boy, and the events from a thousand years ago, and... and...) all connect beautifully and make perfect sense, leaving no thread untied. All the while being badass. A tall order, wouldn't you agree? :slan: But one I think Miura's up to.

I think he's capable of that too!
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Aazealh on July 16, 2015, 11:18:52 AM
What I'm trying to get at is that I think a lot of people vastly exaggerate Berserk being 'meandering' or Miura not knowing where he's going

They don't just exaggerate, it's flatout wrong and anyone who seriously believes that is an idiot. But I don't think too many people actually do.

This suggests to me that Miura puts a lot of thought into the structure of his story. As someone whose read a few long-form series, I think Berserk has one of the most simultaneously tightly-written and intricate/complex stories I've read.

Agreed.

I just don't understand what some people are on about when they complain about post-Golden Age Berserk.

I know it's the easy way out, but a lot of people are just stupid. It doesn't really go much farther than that.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: buttonmasher on July 16, 2015, 01:25:19 PM
If someone has this opinion then chances are they were introduced to the series by way of the anime series.  My first introduction to Berserk was in 2003 when I bought it on a whim.  I loved it and started showing it to my friends.  I shared  it with my roommates and they were loving it but after the eclipse episodes they wanted to kill me. "What the hell? Why show me this? Everyone just dies?  this just came out of nowhere!!"  There really was not enough foreshadowing for the eclipse in the series.  At the time I thought the eclipse was great and I was impressed with the author for having the courage to swing the series into this weird supernatural direction.

The reality, as we all know, is that the manga didn't suddenly jump the shark but rather was preparing the reader for the eclipse From the start.  The anime watcher did not get this same experience and viewers are completely shocked and sometimes annoyed with the ending.  Chances are we were all shocked by the eclipse but it's a lot easier to accept it when you have Puck, SK, and Wyald in the story. While many people enjoyed the story of the Golden Age arc, they were disturbed by its ending and all this "magic bullshit".

I had to know The rest of the story  so I jumped into reading the manga and was so surprised by how BRUTAL the Black Swordsman arc was and I was also having a really hard time accepting Puck as anything other than annoying and "kiddy".  I'll be honest, for a few days I was really underwhelmed by the manga.  It didn't have the same flavor as the anime and I was getting annoyed that the tone wasn't the same.  It was like this Miura guy was screwing up my new favorite show!  As I continued reading I began to have a whole new appreciation for the series and that resulted in my love for it today.  My point is that the anime misrepresents the Golden Age  in both tone and scope and I think that results in people being put off by anything post Golden Age. 

The complaint being voiced by anyone who considers themselves a fan is ridiculous.  If you can enjoy the epic flashback that the author has meticulously crafted then how about putting a little faith into the actual meat of the story.  It all comes down to people wanting to see more of the sameand not really understanding Berserk at all.  Anyway, just wanted to share my experience as a reformed hater of all things not Golden Age. 
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Aazealh on July 16, 2015, 02:01:02 PM
The complaint being voiced by anyone who considers themselves a fan is ridiculous.  If you can enjoy the epic flashback that the author has meticulously crafted then how about putting a little faith into the actual meat of the story.  It all comes down to people wanting to see more of the sameand not really understanding Berserk at all.  Anyway, just wanted to share my experience as a reformed hater of all things not Golden Age.

Thanks for sharing your story buttonmasher. I think we all agree with each other here. Thing is though, the TV series was released almost 20 years ago (1997-1998), so you'd think whoever had misconceptions because of that would have either moved past it (like you did) or stopped caring long ago.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: jackson_hurley on July 16, 2015, 03:35:42 PM
Secretly in their heart they adore it. They just like to nag about something (when they should not)  :mozgus:
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Gonzo on July 18, 2015, 06:15:51 AM
Secretly in their heart they adore it. They just like to nag about something (when they should not)  :mozgus:

This is the only reasonable explanation I can find for someone reading 37 volumes of a manga that they claim stopped being good at 14.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Hensmon on August 05, 2015, 04:00:17 PM
To me, the Golden Age Arc was a masterpiece and the true pinnacle of the manga. It did not go downhill after this point (it is still amazing) but the rest of the arcs do not quite live up to the standard of this one.

I actually found one or two of the volumes in the series to be really bad. The script particularly became way too childish and literall. Everything had to be spelled out for the reader, and in doing so, lots of the rich character development and interaction in the script was taken up by it. Only Guts' script steered clear of this and remained interesting.

This childish approach you could also see in the way Miura handled the characters artwork later on in the series. When big scenes (like fighting an apostle) emmerged, Miura would draw every character standing next to each other so perfectly in one shot, making sure to fit alllll of them in. This is common practice in shogun anime... You have to make sure the characters of each market demograph have enough screen time. It's more of an business move than an artistic one. Even Puck (who I learned to love) became nothing more than a comic tool. 
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: JMP on August 05, 2015, 04:44:47 PM
I actually found one or two of the volumes in the series to be really bad. The script particularly became way too childish and literall. Everything had to be spelled out for the reader, and in doing so, lots of the rich character development and interaction in the script was taken up by it.
I didn't see it that way at all. The story is still laden with lots of great characters and storytelling throughout. I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say the script became childish. I didn't see a change in how Miura presents the reader with characters and developments, except maybe that he's become even better at it as he gains experience as an artist.

This childish approach you could also see in the way Miura handled the characters artwork later on in the series. When big scenes (like fighting an apostle) emmerged, Miura would draw every character standing next to each other so perfectly in one shot, making sure to fit alllll of them in.
To me this is Miura giving the reader a sense of perspective of where all the characters are currently located as some serious action is going down. I love how he does this as it helps me stay oriented during some potentially disorienting scenarios. Plus, how shoddy would it be if he didn't draw each character in that case? It would leave me wondering "Hey, where did so and so go?"

Even Puck (who I learned to love) became nothing more than a comic tool. 
Puck is mostly used for comic value now, but to me that's because we already know Puck. Miura showed us who this character is earlier in the story. Now he doesn't have to continually showcase Puck's personality, since we're already familiar with it, but can concentrate more on some of the newer characters that we don't know as well yet.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: IncantatioN on August 05, 2015, 04:50:27 PM
I actually found one or two of the volumes in the series to be really bad. The script particularly became way too childish and literall. Everything had to be spelled out for the reader, and in doing so, lots of the rich character development and interaction in the script was taken up by it. Only Guts' script steered clear of this and remained interesting.

This childish approach you could also see in the way Miura handled the characters artwork later on in the series. When big scenes (like fighting an apostle) emmerged, Miura would draw every character standing next to each other so perfectly in one shot, making sure to fit alllll of them in. This is common practice in shogun anime... You have to make sure the characters of each market demograph have enough screen time. It's more of an business move than an artistic one.

Can you be more specific and point out which volumes or fight scenes you're referring to?
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Walter on August 05, 2015, 05:07:52 PM
To me, the Golden Age Arc was a masterpiece and the true pinnacle of the manga. It did not go downhill after this point (it is still amazing) but the rest of the arcs do not quite live up to the standard of this one.

I think a lot of newer readers get that impression because of how contracted the Golden Age is. It's like a "greatest hits" of Guts and Griffith growing up. It's dense because it's written as a flashback (a REALLY long one), intended to tell character backstories. The structure inherently makes events pop off quickly and in rapid-fire succession. And it was indeed well done. But the series had to return to a normal pace eventually, or it would have felt quite weird.

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I actually found one or two of the volumes in the series to be really bad. The script particularly became way too childish and literall.

I'm not sure I know what a "literall" script is. As for "childish," I assume you're referring to jokes and comic relief. If so, well, there are jokes and comedic elements strewn throughout the entire series.

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Everything had to be spelled out for the reader, and in doing so, lots of the rich character development and interaction in the script was taken up by it. Only Guts' script steered clear of this and remained interesting.

Ah, so that' what "literall" meant. Well, if everything in the series is spelled out, then how have we collected 15 years worth of threads with people confused about various story elements? I think what you're describing is how Miura began dramatically expanding the scope of his world around the time of Vol 22.

And I believe that it's a misnomer to say everyone but Guts was put in a kind of stasis where no character development occurred because Miura was too busy writing about the world. Those things just happen more subtly and across more time. Take Farnese for example: There's no two-page spread instant character development, because hers occurs across 10-15 volumes. The characters with the least amount of development since that time are Casca (who has her own reasons for being on development hiatus) and Serpico, who I'll grant you has felt like he's been in stasis-mode for a long time. But I fail to see how that warrants throwing the entire cast under the bus considering all the cool shit that has occurred between Guts and Schierke, Schierke and Isidro, Farnese and Casca, Farnese and Schierke, Farnese and Guts, etc. etc.

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This childish approach you could also see in the way Miura handled the characters artwork later on in the series. When big scenes (like fighting an apostle) emmerged, Miura would draw every character standing next to each other so perfectly in one shot, making sure to fit alllll of them in.

That's a truly strange usage of the word childish. And there's only one scene that I can recall where Guts' group is fighting against apostles (at Flora's mansion), and indeed there are other characters around. But ... what exactly is the problem with this? It's an odd protestation, particularly since it's your one salient example of bad art across the whole series.

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This is common practice in shogun anime... You have to make sure the characters of each market demograph have enough screen time. It's more of an business move than an artistic one.

Shogun anime... Is that anime that chiefly appeals to warlords in ancient Japan?  :carcus:

Anyway, if you're protesting the cast being larger, Miura explained his reasons for adding more characters (http://www.skullknight.net/forum/index.php?topic=14556.msg235346#msg235346) to Guts' party more than 5 years before he did so, and it's not to make more money. Also, if making more money were even part of his intentions, he wouldn't be making a seinen manga. He'd be making a shounen one (maybe even a shogun spinoff series for good measure).

Miura showed us who this character is earlier in the story. Now he doesn't have to continually showcase Puck's personality, since we're already familiar with it, but can concentrate more on some of the newer characters that we don't know as well yet.

Well said! The only thing I'd add is that I think Puck's role changing is a result of his role in the group being displaced by others. For example, Schierke pretty much serves out the same role Puck once did. Instead, Puck hangs with Isidro, who honestly needs more help than Guts does at this point  :puck: :isidro: Anyway, I'm sure we'll get a lot more of "serious" puck in Elfhelm, which is just around the corner.


Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Hensmon on August 05, 2015, 07:37:33 PM
Haha knew it would be a little controversial, but I really did notice a decline in the script quality. Really I'm just talking about a few moments or episodes that feautred towards the of the end manga. 90% is great for me! Its almost expected and understandable, the guy's been writing this thing for years, its quite natural for decline in quality with these things. It's hard to make masterpieces everyday for 10+ years!

Just to clarify when I say literal/childish, it is not really the comic stuff and jokes that are annoying me at all, I enjoy these... It's hard, but maybe the best way of putting it is that I feel like im having everything spelled out for me. High percentage of script on the page can get devoted to it. Guts can often be the only one that grounds situations with a bit more realism.

Just to add, It's normal for the money to play a part in how these projects develop. Such a long and slow release over years will see number of readers drop. Publishing co. will pressure for more relatable characters and/or widden the target audience by loosening the niche. I think this is where a lot of the problems I find I have come from.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Aazealh on August 05, 2015, 07:49:32 PM
Haha new it would be a little controversial, but I really did notice a decline in the script quality. Really I'm just talking about a few moments or episodes that feautred towards the of the manga. 90% is great for me! Its almost expected and understandable, the guy's been writing this thing for years, its quite natural for decline in quality with these things. It's hard to make masterpieces everyday for 10+ years!

You still haven't specified exactly what scenes (or entire volumes, like you said) are concerned by this lower quality you're mentioning. Also, by saying the Golden Age arc is the pinnacle of the series, you're intrinsically asserting that quality has declined ever since then, meaning for over 15 years.

Just to clarify when I say literal/childish, it is not really the comic stuff and jokes that are annoying me at all, I enjoy these... It's hard, but maybe the best way of putting it is that I feel like im having everything spelled out for me. High percentage of script on the page can get devoted to it. Guts can often be the only one that grounds situations with a bit more realism.

I'm not surprised, you do strike me as a quick-witted individual.

Just to add, It's normal for the money to play a part in how these projects develop. Such a long and slow release over years will see number of readers drop. Publishing co. will pressure for more relatable characters and/or widden the target audience by loosening the niche. I think this is where a lot of the problems I find I have come from.

You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. And have apparently not bothered reading what Walter told you either.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Hensmon on August 05, 2015, 08:37:40 PM
You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. And have apparently not bothered reading what Walter told you either.

Wuhoo, just some observations on my part, no need to get fiesty now ;)

I read what Walter put. 'If Miura wanted to make money off the project he would go and create a shounen' (I got it right this time!). Thing is he already went a made a damn good seinen, BUT I think it's a fair comment that towards the end the material slowly - in parts!!! - opened up to be more shounen. As said, it's common place in all industry to widen you target audience as time goes on. Numbers fall it's inneviatble and this a result. You see it on almost all movie, tv, music and even in the art world too.

Edit - Manga/Anime is very different in the last 10 years, whats demanded by new generation is a lot more watered down and following tested formulas, it's easy for artists to get sucked in finacially or creatively influenced by the times they are in. Just how it is.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: jackson_hurley on August 05, 2015, 09:05:24 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong but when berserk goes on sale in young animal, aren't the number going up a lot for these issues? If so, in my opinion it's a sign that people still like it and that the quality didn't go down. I'm pretty sure if the breaks were annoying people that much the sales would not go up as much. might be totally off track with that comment. I just don't feel (never felt) that the quality dropped or that some parts were childish.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Hensmon on August 05, 2015, 09:15:05 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong but when berserk goes on sale in young animal, aren't the number going up a lot for these issues?

Absoloutly, you see this rise in numbers due to opening up the demographic and making content more relatable for them. Childish was maybe a poor use of wording on my part, it's just allowing some of the content to target younger audiences. This was dissapointing for me, which is why I believe that some bits of the manga were better than others.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: jackson_hurley on August 05, 2015, 09:56:26 PM
Absoloutly, you see this rise in numbers due to opening up the demographic and making content more relatable for them.

That's not really what I had in mind though. I don't think the content has been made to be more relatable for the readers. It's just a progression in the story, where some things were explained because ... well, we were at that point.

To me it's still as violent as before, even if they are a few kids hanging around Guts. I would still not show this manga to youngsters. And I never felt that introducing Isidro or Schierke or any of the younger ones was just to get a wider fan base. I think the numbers grew because it's a damned good manga and people started to talk about it more as a result.

I've introduced a lot of people to the series just by talking about it. I guess it's only a matter of opinion. Mine is that it neither went downhill nor the quality of the writing dropped. If anything, the newer episodes are of even better quality than before.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Walter on August 05, 2015, 10:54:02 PM
Haha knew it would be a little controversial

It's not much of a controversy. It's really just you talking at us, with everyone else kind of scratching our heads at your conclusions. 

Anyway, since you never replied to me on it, I may as well just repost what I already have regarding your claim that Miura is a sellout and added more characters for a chance at the BIG children's market bucks: Miura explained his reasons for adding more characters (http://www.skullknight.net/forum/index.php?topic=14556.msg235346#msg235346) to Guts' party more than 5 years before he did so, and it wasn't to make more money.

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it's easy for artists to get sucked in finacially or creatively influenced by the times they are in. Just how it is.

Maybe this statement applies to newer artists who have yet to break into the scene, but Miura doesn't need to establish himself as an artist, or pretend to be hip with what the cool kids are reading these days. He already has a vast audience developed over three decades (I'm guessing Berserk is older than you...). Also, he has enough clout with his publisher that he can take a full year off of publication. That doesn't speak of an artist that's clamoring for the latest manga trends in order to meet his readership quota for the month.

Absoloutly, you see this rise in numbers due to opening up the demographic and making content more relatable for them. Childish was maybe a poor use of wording on my part, it's just allowing some of the content to target younger audiences. This was dissapointing for me, which is why I believe that some bits of the manga were better than others.

Whew, this is getting kind of ridiculous, man... How exactly did you ascertain that the hypothetical rise in sales was a 1:1 correlation with "making content more relatable" ? Wouldn't it be more logical that the series has naturally gained an audience over time because it's of stellar quality? Follow-up question: How would adding a new secondary or tertiary character with a more wide appeal directly attract a wider readership if said characters are never featured in the marketing campaigns for the series? X-ray vision? Osmosis? Follow-up question: Based on your research, how did the lucrative children's market respond to the troll rape-impregnation and the explosive Daka birthing scene?

If you think the series declined in quality, fine. But you're taking an extra step in pretending to have an inside scoop of how the manga market works, and insinuating that Miura is a sellout. So it isn't just disingenuous, it's kind of embarrassing.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Cuthbert19 on August 06, 2015, 03:23:05 AM
Absoloutly, you see this rise in numbers due to opening up the demographic and making content more relatable for them. Childish was maybe a poor use of wording on my part, it's just allowing some of the content to target younger audiences. This was dissapointing for me, which is why I believe that some bits of the manga were better than others.

The way I look at it, the rise in popularity is probably due to the fact that this book has been published for 25 years and still going.  It's only natural that more and more people would be picking up the book every day while maintaining the original fan base that has been reading all along.  I started reading this manga ten years ago and I still see posts here and on redit and such by people who just started and never have I read someone say "Wow, I love this book! I really wasn't sure about checking it out until one of my friends told me there were mermaids and a young girl witch (or whatever it is that you are suggesting is new and childish, not sure)"

Fair enough that you like the Golden Age best, and you did say you still like the vast majority of the book which is great, I just don't feel the same about Miura pandering to demographics to cash in.  Clearly if he wanted to make bucks he would not be going about things the way he has with the ultra violence, rape scenes, and year long hiatus.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: DarkAdin on August 06, 2015, 12:30:00 PM
I don't know who says that and why, but for me, I see every arc as important as the Golden Age. Miura and therefore Berserk are getting better and better with time, like the wine. We're not only witnessing the development of the story, but also the development of the man's technique, of the author himself, because he's been improving it in every aspect. That is also a main factor to keep in mind. And as long as he does that and enjoys it, we fans won't have to worry about him taking the path other mangakas followed.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Hensmon on August 06, 2015, 04:18:32 PM
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Fair enough that you like the Golden Age best, and you did say you still like the vast majority of the book which is great, I just don't feel the same about Miura pandering to demographics to cash in.  Clearly if he wanted to make bucks he would not be going about things the way he has with the ultra violence, rape scenes, and year long hiatus.

Thank you for the calm response ;).

Guys some seem to be getting a little too defensive on this issue... Please don't take this personally, it is my opinion and actually a common and shared view by many who have read the Berserk series, so please keep an open mind. Walter just to clarify, I have read the thing about 3 times and must have been about 5 years old when it first came out. Interesting that you felt the need to make this a part of the discussion.

I don't think Miura is a big sell out. I think he made some minor changes and loosened up a few things to accomodate for the times. I have no issue with children characters or with the increase in a fantasy theme. There has been children throughout, but the way thier dialogue was handled is more mature/thought-provoking in earlier works. To answer your question Walter - You can also have extreme violence and teen orientated content sharing the same space, it happens all the time, so this is no indication otherwise. Teen audiences LOVE gore afterall (and sex).

If I'm honest I'm bit surprised that no one agrees with me (even just a little!). In my opinion the watering down of content, poor dialogue and off pacing at parts is so damn obvious that maybe some rose-tinted glasses are being worn. We all love Berserk, but to treat it as this 30 year saga that never ONCE dropped in quality is obsurd. No artistic project in the world has remained at a 10/10 level throughout. Even Da Vinci saw his bad days. It is not an insult to Miura, just human and artistic nature.

Regarding the money... It is a factor and IMO naive to think otherwise. One example I can think of is in one of the early episodes when Puck is being introduced. Puck makes a direct referance to himself, explaining his reasoning for being there; a comic tool to break up the dark stuff. Miura felt the need to explain himself, clearly taking up suggestions to make the story open to people who dont want darkness 100% of the time. He adapted to meet more needs. Is this un-common in the industry?
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Delta Phi on August 06, 2015, 05:11:23 PM
Guys some seem to be getting a little too defensive on this issue... Please don't take this personally, it is my opinion and actually a common and shared view by many who have read the Berserk series, so please keep an open mind.

Source? Just who are all these people? What's the demographic? How long have they been following the manga (certainly these aren't people who started with the movie triology)?
The standard consensus around these parts is that the Conviction arc is the best arc (or at the very least, the most favored) in Berserk. For me personally, its the Millenium Falcon arc.

If I'm honest I'm bit surprised that no one agrees with me (even just a little!).

Really?

In my opinion the watering down of content, poor dialogue and off pacing at parts is so damn obvious that maybe some rose-tinted glasses are being worn.

And yet you still haven't provided evidence of any of this despite being asked by everyone who has responded to you.

Puck makes a direct referance to himself, explaining his reasoning for being there; a comic tool to break up the dark stuff. Miura felt the need to explain himself, clearly taking up suggestions to make the story open to people who dont want darkness 100% of the time. He adapted to meet more needs. Is this un-common in the industry?

This might be a good point...if there weren't hundreds of years of history involving comedic relief characters within storytelling and the arts.
While these don't include characters, here are a couple examples I'm familiar with:
1. During heavy content in a stage performance, it was common for the orchestra to play lighthearted entr'actes during scene changes to relieve audiences of tension and depression that might have accrued from the story.
2. During the Baroque period is was considered bad form to end a piece of music on a minor chord because it would leave the listener in an undesirable state of melancholy.

I might add, I don't think it's helping your case by picking Puck, a character that's been in the manga longer than anyone other than Guts (he shows up within the first 10 pages of Black Swordsman), as an example of Miura changing his vision to draw in a larger audience. From the very beginning its obvious Puck is a vessel for comedy. He wasn't suddenly changed halfway through the manga.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: jackson_hurley on August 06, 2015, 05:36:08 PM
In my opinion the watering down of content, poor dialogue and off pacing at parts is so damn obvious that maybe some rose-tinted glasses are being worn.

Really?

And yet you still haven't provided evidence of any of this despite being asked by everyone who has responded to you.

Indeed, I am still waiting to see the obvious example that you are talking about since the beginning of your arguments.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Oburi on August 06, 2015, 05:43:05 PM
I don't think Miura is a big sell out. I think he made some minor changes and loosened up a few things to accomodate for the times. I have no issue with children characters or with the increase in a fantasy theme. There has been children throughout, but the way thier dialogue was handled is more mature/thought-provoking in earlier works.
If I'm honest I'm bit surprised that no one agrees with me (even just a little!). In my opinion the watering down of content, poor dialogue and off pacing at parts is so damn obvious that maybe some rose-tinted glasses are being worn

I think you may be the one wearing the glasses dude, no offense. As much as I love the first 14 volumes of the manga it's absurd to claim the dialogue was more mature/thought provoking back then, and that the content is watered down and the pacing is off now. Berserk is incredibly consistent both in terms of story structure, dialog, characterization, pacing, artwork... especially for something that had been in the works for as long as it has. That's what sets Berserk apart from everything else. That's why it's been able to continue successfully for so long. However, even considering how consistent it has been for so many years, there's still no doubt that Berserk has only grown stronger in almost every single aspect.

You should really give specific examples of what you think has been simplified or watered down or where and when you think the dialog is poor and the pacing is off.  It seems completely ridiculous to me that someone would make such claims in such a broad, generalized way. I'm honestly scratching head in bewilderment at these thoughts. Please elaborate on what you think has been watered down since the Millennium Falcon Arc started because I'm at a loss. 
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: JMP on August 06, 2015, 06:06:22 PM
Hensmon, you're just saying all the same stuff in a slightly different way. The fact remains that the people who have expressed their opinions here don't agree.

One example I can think of is in one of the early episodes when Puck is being introduced. Puck makes a direct referance to himself, explaining his reasoning for being there; a comic tool to break up the dark stuff. Miura felt the need to explain himself, clearly taking up suggestions to make the story open to people who dont want darkness 100% of the time.
I've heard this view of what Puck says before. People seem to think he's doing an outside quip to the reader referencing the actual story he is in, Berserk, but in my opinion he's not. In volume 1 when he's talking with Guts and Guts asks him what he's still doing hanging around Puck says "It's interesting! All this monster stuff. It's the kind of thing you only hear about in myths or epic poems, but you're it! The real deal!" So when Puck mentions "the story" I think he is referring to how he thinks of Guts' adventures as an unfolding myth or poem that he is now part of, not making direct reference to himself as a character in Berserk. Puck thinks Guts' life is too dark and in need of cheer and that is definitely the truth at that stage. I don't think Miura felt the need to explain himself.  :schierke:
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: jackson_hurley on August 06, 2015, 06:18:54 PM
Hensmon, you're just saying all the same stuff in a slightly different way. The fact remains that the people who have expressed their opinions here don't agree.
I've heard this view of what Puck says before. People seem to think he's doing an outside quip to the reader referencing the actual story he is in, Berserk, but in my opinion he's not. In volume 1 when he's talking with Guts and Guts asks him what he's still doing hanging around Puck says "It's interesting! All this monster stuff. It's the kind of thing you only hear about in myths or epic poems, but you're it! The real deal!" So when Puck mentions "the story" I think he is referring to how he thinks of Guts' adventures as an unfolding myth or poem that he is now part of, not making direct reference to himself as a character in Berserk. Puck thinks Guts' life is too dark and in need of cheer and that is definitely the truth at that stage. I don't think Miura felt the need to explain himself.  :schierke:

Hah that reminds me the part where Gaston is all messed up in the eclipse and says to Guts that it's like being in a story and that he guess he is just a secondary character. But I have to agree with you here that it's how I've interpreted that scene!
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Hensmon on August 06, 2015, 06:54:26 PM
Indeed, I am still waiting to see the obvious example that you are talking about since the beginning of your arguments.

Fair enough, it's just hard for me to remember off the top of my head, I am on holliday and dont have my books at hand!

I would say though that it's not really isolated incidences that got to me, more the general tone set throughout some parts. Since getting on that boat I would say contains the worst of it. Ghost pirates.... need I say more? The whole way these characters were handled had me shaking my wooden leg, Me'heartys!! Awful dialogue at parts, which added nothing to the story. Never at one point did I feel like they posed a threat or had anything of value to add. Also this theme has been done before in pop-culture.

Another example...I enjoy the magic element in the series - the relationship between Guts and Schierke becuase of it, as well as adding to Farny development - but having it explained so much, over and over, got too much for me. So many painfully obvious things explained repeatedly, there was lots that I would have liked left for me to piece together myself. No spelling things out for me!

And as far as people having similar views to me, all I can say is have a look out there. It's not hard to find, reviews, forums, etc.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Walter on August 06, 2015, 07:27:39 PM
I would say though that it's not really isolated incidences that got to me, more the general tone set throughout some parts. Since getting on that boat I would say contains the worst of it.

The boat stuff has been almost 100% character development. Even that single sortie out at sea was development for Roderick and his abilities. ... I thought that's the stuff you were looking for?

Quote
Ghost pirates.... need I say more?

At face value, I agree that it wasn't the most exciting development (they also weren't at the center of that story arc...). However, I think by the time they died, and we learn they were aggregate personalities created by the Sea God, it made their involvement a whole lot more interesting to me. As always, Miura manages to give things his special touch, even when it's not necessary.

Quote
The whole way these characters were handled had me shaking my wooden leg, Me'heartys!! Awful dialogue at parts, which added nothing to the story. Never at one point did I feel like they posed a threat or had anything of value to add.

Oh... So you're basing these bad dialogue impressions on scanlations, then? Evil_Genius went overboard with the pirate lingo. But that's not how those characters actually spoke in Japanese... Maybe you should check out our translations.

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Also this theme has been done before in pop-culture.

Right. Sea voyages are off limits! Johnny Depp sunk the entire genre! You got that, Japan?! This is ridiculous. What other genres are off limits because pop culture has already soiled it?

Quote
Another example...I enjoy the magic element in the series - the relationship between Guts and Schierke becuase of it, as well as adding to Farny development - but having it explained so much, over and over, got too much for me. So many painfully obvious things explained repeatedly, there was lots that I would have liked left for me to piece together myself. No spelling things out for me!

I guess you haven't been paying much attention, then. Miura's constantly been expanding the kind of astral entities we see and how they're used in combat.

Quote
And as far as people having similar views to me, all I can say is have a look out there. It's not hard to find, reviews, forums, etc.

Oh, I've been out there (http://i.imgur.com/pBt65wP.jpg). I'm actually the moderator for r/Berserk, so I see new impressions of the series every single day (9,600 members). But usually the kind of things you're complaining about come from people who read the series in a 3-day span, and didn't read the series very closely. So yeah, your opinion does kind of stick out a bit.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Death May Die on August 06, 2015, 08:06:43 PM
Even if there are characters and sections that I may not be entirely stoked about, I know all those chapters, and sections are well paced, drawn, and written. Making them more than worthy to move the story further. If someone would say that the Sea God and some others section are weak, or anything else for that matter, it still only represents a very small section of the overall story. Even in these so-called weak sections there is no lose in quality. Hell, if you never heard of Berserk, and just took the Sea God section out and some what made it into its own "short fantasy story" it would be a great stand alone story! I even think people would want to see more adventures of the short stories cast. Reality is... we have a entire series of that cast!
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: JMP on August 07, 2015, 05:23:31 PM
Hah that reminds me the part where Gaston is all messed up in the eclipse and says to Guts that it's like being in a story and that he guess he is just a secondary character.
Aw, yeah....poor Gaston.  :judo:

Oh, I've been out there (http://i.imgur.com/pBt65wP.jpg).
:ganishka:

Edit: I wanted to say that I didn't mean to imply that I think Puck's character is played out by any means in what I said earlier. I agree that he will almost definitely come back into the spotlight in Elfhelm and I think he'll end up playing a pivotal role. I'm looking forward to that because I really like Puck and I'm curious to see how things will go.  :puck: I just meant that for right now, some newer characters have taken a more pronounced place in the narrative and I think that's understandable.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: MrFlibble on August 17, 2015, 11:07:02 AM
I think most of the people who say that have an incorrect view of what Berserk is, because they come off of the anime they think Berserk was strictly historical until the last two episodes where the writers gave up and started making stuff up about God Hands and demons (people actually believe this). They don't realize the Golden Age Arc is a flashback to provide context for Berserk's Fantasy/horror setting and the motivations for Guts' quest of vengeance. Without the first 3 volumes it can seem like the fantasy elements like the God Hand, Apostles and Elves come out of nowhere rather than being foreshadowed.

Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Aazealh on August 17, 2015, 05:37:39 PM
I think most of the people who say that have an incorrect view of what Berserk is, because they come off of the anime they think Berserk was strictly historical until the last two episodes where the writers gave up and started making stuff up about God Hands and demons (people actually believe this). They don't realize the Golden Age Arc is a flashback to provide context for Berserk's Fantasy/horror setting and the motivations for Guts' quest of vengeance. Without the first 3 volumes it can seem like the fantasy elements like the God Hand, Apostles and Elves come out of nowhere rather than being foreshadowed.

I don't disagree with you, but it's worth pointing out that the TV series opens up with the Black Swordsman fighting the Snake Baron. And then episode 5 features Zodd. Between that, the beherit and Guts' giant sword, it's still hardly a "historical" story.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: metime00 on August 19, 2015, 04:08:42 PM
I think most of the people who say that have an incorrect view of what Berserk is, because they come off of the anime they think Berserk was strictly historical until the last two episodes where the writers gave up and started making stuff up about God Hands and demons (people actually believe this). They don't realize the Golden Age Arc is a flashback to provide context for Berserk's Fantasy/horror setting and the motivations for Guts' quest of vengeance. Without the first 3 volumes it can seem like the fantasy elements like the God Hand, Apostles and Elves come out of nowhere rather than being foreshadowed.

Plus there's the fact that it's also pretty heavily foreshadowed in the show, even without all the extra supernatural stuff the manga had. I think that the eclipse was so extreme that people chose to ignore the foreshadowing instead of accept that Griffith would get everyone killed.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Walter on August 19, 2015, 04:12:18 PM
Plus there's the fact that it's also pretty heavily foreshadowed in the show, even without all the extra supernatural stuff the manga had. I think that the eclipse was so extreme that people chose to ignore the foreshadowing instead of accept that Griffith would get everyone killed.

If you just watch anime, all you know about future events is that Guts isn't a big fan of Griffith. The Falcons could still be alive in that future, based merely on that vague foreshadowing. But from the events of Volume 3, you know explicitly the definition of a sacrifice. That knowledge fundamentally changes how manga readers perceive events during the Golden Age. As a result, the anime is a much more simple story, that I don't think does justice to what Miura created. There's no creeping dread during scenes like the Bonfire of Dreams, for example, during the anime. It's just a nice scene about how this group of friends is so devoted to Griffith  :griffnotevil: (and of course that scene doesn't even exist in the movies...)
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: NightCrawler on August 19, 2015, 05:08:24 PM
If you just watch anime, all you know about future events is that Guts isn't a big fan of Griffith. The Falcons could still be alive in that future, based merely on that vague foreshadowing. But from the events of Volume 3, you know explicitly the definition of a sacrifice. That knowledge fundamentally changes how manga readers perceive events during the Golden Age. As a result, the anime is a much more simple story, that I don't think does justice to what Miura created. There's no creeping dread during scenes like the Bonfire of Dreams, for example, during the anime. It's just a nice scene about how this group of friends is so devoted to Griffith  :griffnotevil: (and of course that scene doesn't even exist in the movies...)

I like how the anime and manga are so different, it's double the enjoyment for me. I don't see the simplicity of the anime as being a bad thing in the same way as i feel the complexity of the manga fits the medium better.
It's naive to say that the anime doesn't transmit dread just because you don't see what Griffith will become (you can even argue that it's non-existant in the manga for the same reason). What it adds to that is a feeling of hopefulness related to the Band that is all the more destroyed when the eclipse happens. In the manga the eclipse needs to be that long and that extreme, just prolonged, excruciating suffering. It's a way of Miura saying, you knew that it was coming, but not like this. But in the anime it's all about the disbelief and the shock, 40min and it's over, have fun thinking about it for the next couple of days.

The anime is never going to be popular among devoted purists, but they both have a place in the world of Berserk. Maybe if the anime was closer to the source material it wouldn't leave as much of an impact to make most of us go out and get the manga. I believe that in 25eps they did a pretty good job.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Aazealh on August 19, 2015, 08:02:53 PM
The anime is never going to be popular among devoted purists, but they both have a place in the world of Berserk. Maybe if the anime was closer to the source material it wouldn't leave as much of an impact to make most of us go out and get the manga. I believe that in 25eps they did a pretty good job.

I don't think anyone's saying the TV series has no place in the Berserk world. It did help popularize the manga back then (much more so than the movies did), and it did manage to do quite a bit with what I presume was a very low budget. You mentioned Silat being cut earlier, and well, one of the thoughts I've had over the years is that they might have skipped him simply because they couldn't afford to properly animate him. Unfortunately, another side effect of those budget constraints is that it isn't aging very well.

That being said, I think you should also admit that if the TV series existed in a vacuum, that shocker of an ending would likely be universally reviled. It did a great job of making people want to know more because there was a better, richer story it could refer people to. Without that it would have been pointless. I also think it's disingenuous for anyone to portray the anime's omissions and faults, which were due to various constraints (budget, time, level of violence suitable for TV...), as deliberate artistic choices intended to improve on the original. That's not how things went down and anyone thinking otherwise is deluded.

Now of course that doesn't mean the old series is without charm, or that we can't be nostalgic about it. Again, it is far from being without merit. It certainly did a much better job of telling a story than those wretched movies, and with so much less.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: Oburi on August 20, 2015, 03:35:04 AM
The anime is also missing one of my favorite scenes between Guts and Griffith in the entire Arc, when Guts dresses Griffith in his armor for the first time since the war. It's an incredibly touching moment that happens between all the action with Wyald.

(http://i.imgur.com/Y82M2Um.png)
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: MrFlibble on October 01, 2015, 09:46:51 AM
I like how the anime and manga are so different, it's double the enjoyment for me. I don't see the simplicity of the anime as being a bad thing in the same way as i feel the complexity of the manga fits the medium better.
It's naive to say that the anime doesn't transmit dread just because you don't see what Griffith will become (you can even argue that it's non-existant in the manga for the same reason). What it adds to that is a feeling of hopefulness related to the Band that is all the more destroyed when the eclipse happens. In the manga the eclipse needs to be that long and that extreme, just prolonged, excruciating suffering. It's a way of Miura saying, you knew that it was coming, but not like this. But in the anime it's all about the disbelief and the shock, 40min and it's over, have fun thinking about it for the next couple of days.

The anime is never going to be popular among devoted purists, but they both have a place in the world of Berserk. Maybe if the anime was closer to the source material it wouldn't leave as much of an impact to make most of us go out and get the manga. I believe that in 25eps they did a pretty good job.

I like the anime too, and I can't speak for its ability to draw in manga fans because I picked up the manga first. there is definitely a lot of effort put in to be loyal to the source matireal, and it's great to see iconic scenes animated, and accompanied by Hirasawas music. However when people say things like "I think the writers just gave up and went full evangelion in the last two episodes" I can see why they came to that conclusion.
Title: Re: Why do people say it went downhill after the Golden Age Arc?
Post by: VladimirPutin on September 20, 2016, 11:26:11 PM
Dunno, they probably like normal life like manga, less fantasy, more insight to relationships between characters. It was very good in Golden Age Arc, but Miura improved his art style and Fantasia is peak of that, he never dissapointed me in drawing aspects of relationships and depth of particular characters, especially with Farnese and Serpico and of the top of that - Guts, I like Guts more and more after Conviction Arc. In Falcon of the Millennium Empire he is just slowly becoming a good guy, because he wasn't one in Black Swordsman Arc and Conviction Arc, he was just ... an asshole. Talking about Fantasia we must to admit that it's just masterpiece in it's fantasy aspect - story of Berserk was moving to that point, personally I loved Lovecraft idea of Ancient Gods, whom once were worshipped, and they were wipe out by spreading of monotheistic like religion in the world of Berserk. After World Transformation ( which is great idea btw ) these ancient Gods, creatures, known before only from myths, dreams and human imagination, they've just became a reality. For me Falcon of the Millenium Empire Arc is just the best, but only Fantasia can surpass it, because it's fantasy to it's very core and it is taking from the best of this genre.