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Messages - Arvin

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Current Episodes / Re: Episode 346
« on: August 24, 2016, 04:17:39 PM »
Thanks a lot for the summary Aaz and Puela!

Absolutely fantastic episode.

The diversity of denizens from this Island and the richness of the deep folkloric overtones shown in this episode are a tremendous joy to see and feel.

I also enjoyed seeing Serpico "courted" and taken by the wind folk. In the same page there's this wide big panel of Farnese and Casca caught by the plethora of astral creatures in this sort of joyous march. I'm reminded of Miura's take on the Garden of Earthly Delights on episode 306, this time presenting what feels like a much more lighthearted and friendly march here. There's even an elf that resembles Irvine with the bycocket-esque hat and the musical instrument, some form of violin, so can't say she's missing a bow either!!  :ganishka:

Schierke's guess about the boy was based on very general information though, so it wasn't a specific indication of what kind of avatar the Elf ...Leader... can take. Especially since her assumption about the boy is mistaken.

Yup, it's just the contemplation of the idea simply being raised by Schierke, added to the concept brought up by Ivalera and being somewhat illustrated by Isma's case, even though Isma may not be a proper astral creature or elf, and had been at the time our only example (although Ivalera does say in a relatively including manner that elves, spirits and other kins have a true or secret name that governs their true form). The idea just felt plausible and appealing to me, both in-universe due to these related enough elements and based on fairy-folk tales across the world.

As I was reading yesterday in one encyclopedia, fairy tales are ridden by all sorts of elf-folk that come in the most diverse sizes and shapes, as well as often enough the capability to shapeshift.

I find it really crafty from Miura's part how he's able to keep firmly rooted to a lot of the source inspiration while not feeling necessarily limited by it. A lot of the fantasy content feels very close to a lot of folk-tale sources, yet in some ways it also feels like its own thing. My impression of course.

Relating to that, it's interesting to see Miura keeping the tradition of centaurs being male gendered (at least all the ones we have seen in this episode). Makes for an interesting counterpart to the, at least so far, all female merrows. It also makes me wonder how (if?) these folk are able to reproduce, or how some of these astral denizens come to be. I hope we can get some more hints about the nature of these beings in the next episode, or if not in future conversations there at Elfhelm.

Another curious folk from this episode to me are the horned and deer-faced folk, they remind me of the image of Cernnunos, thought to be a celtic "horned god", so it strikes close to home to a lot of these folk source inspiration. The antique imagery of this idol is depicted among wolves, deers and other animals too, so it's quite reminiscent.

Still entranced by all the imagery in this episode. What a celebration for this long awaited meeting.

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 346
« on: August 24, 2016, 01:33:18 AM »
When Danan was first introduced I wondered if she was an elf. Both her unique appearance/clothes and her name (which reminded me of the goddesa Danu/Dana and specifically the Tuatha Dé Danann) were what made me wonder. It's nice to see that confirmed. I can't wait to see the episode.

Was about to bring up how her name reminds me of the name of these legendary people. I just realized that a couple moments ago actually when seeing her true form, so you beat me to it.  :guts:

Anyway, I'm just glad that the concept of "true form"/"true name" or changing form has been brought again, Ivalera made a big deal when explaining that to Isma. It's also interesting to notice that Schierke suspected that the moonlight boy could have been related to the elf ruler, and he always appeared very human in form, just like a child, so I have recently been kinda expecting to see the elf king (whoever the ruler would be) or some kind of elves to show the ability to change to a more human form. Didn't expect to have already seen one since last episode though, so that's a very pleasant surprise.

Incidentally, I was reading about fairies for most of the day, kinda preparing for the next episode a few days from now, but I also didn't expect it to see these spoilers so soon, so I'm pretty delighted to see these images while my mind was filled of information about the fables. I wonder if the wolf faced kids are also centauric (the image seems to be cut in their waist), but they could be Wulvers, which is a benign folk-fairy critter part of the folklore of Shetland Islands. The tall and dark figures in the background that Walter mentions could be based on Leshy.

This will probably be one of my favorite episodes, so I can't wait to see everything in its full greatness.

Podcast / Re: Skullknight.NET Podcast: Episode 76
« on: July 22, 2016, 08:48:19 PM »
Always a pleasure listening to the podcast.
And oh, Aazealh, regarding Ged's design, the guy you were thinking about when mentioning Saint Seiya was the Libra gold saint (the master at the Rozan Five Peaks and Shiryu's master) Dohko. The one who fixes the armor/cloths is actually the Aries gold saint, Mu, but they are often related in the story (plus, it's the libra cloth that has a bunch of other armor/weapon pieces) so I could see where you might have mixed them.   :ganishka: :serpico:

This picture kind of embodies the design for me (the 2nd one from right being the SS guy Aaz was talking about):

Having also watched the old D&D animated series, I couldn't help but remember the Dungeon Master when seeing Ged (1st from the right). Needless to say, I also enjoyed the design choice and have so far been appreciating the character in our stay at the island. It feels very suiting to the character and place.

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 345
« on: July 22, 2016, 02:59:15 AM »
As usual thanks for the summary guys.

Maybe not a very welcoming type of remark lately, but I can't help but get some strong norse mythology vibes from this episode.

It seems like the World Tree was always a thing and that the spiritual trees were just keeping it contained and the astral world at bay. Witches like Flora were guardians, who also harnassed the strange properties of it into magic, like some type of nature magic based Scientists. Pretty cool actually, and it explains why magic users are so rare; they apparently can only be found near these trees, because the trees influence their power and knowledge of magic.

Your comment as well as the description of the guardian witches and magic users carrying research in the forests of spirit tree (that seem to have a parasitic relationship with the World Tree branches) reminded me a bit of Odin's episode to seek the knowledge and powers of the magical runes at the branches of Yggdrasil. The resemblance is more on an aesthetic-conceptual level (the purposes and of course the ordeal of the tale being quite different), but I find it interesting enough to be worth mentioning.

Also regarding that point, I was re-reading some parts of Volume 24 in the last few days after reading episode 344, and with the assumption (now confirmed) that Flora was one such guardian of one of those forests of spiritual trees, it striked me how she felt responsible for the ongoing events at that point (appearance of trolls into the corporeal world): case in point, even before addressing Guts party, she made sure to prioritise Morgan's story. She couldn't fix the issue by herself, so she had to delegate the task to Schierke as her student and even making a bargain with Guts (in exchange for the talismans) for them to help her. Given her illustrated role in this episode, I found that very consistent and interesting to put in perspective.

The other element in this episode that gave me a Norse mythos vibe, even though I might be reaching a bit more with this one, is the naming used to addresss this sort of phenomenom: "road of dragons" going by the summary. Surely it's looking more metaphorical than anything right now, but given some of the story connections being made with the World Tree and the vortex and/or abyss, and having in mind the parallel with Yggdrasil, the World Tree of nordic mythology, I can't help but remind of the dragon-serpent that lives gnawing at the bottom of its roots, Nidhogg. I'm sure this isn't particularly new either, but as it's a new (and very curious) term from this episode and given the vibes I was getting, I found it too interesting to leave unmentioned.

Relating to these new described phenomenoms in this episode, "road of dragons" and "road of elves", I'm reminded of another episode I happened to have covered in my selective re-read: episode 177 - "The Rent World" going by DH's edition. We see a situation that seems much similar, if not the phenomenom itself being illustrated when the kids notice how the forest they were so familiar with started to look or feel different/strange as of late. Although the scene didn't involve a night of moonlight (there seemed to still have broad daylight in the scene, covered by large dark clouds), I assume the corresponding trigger to its occurrence was Griffith/Femto's appearance and how that also affected the world, as he actually happened to just pass/fly by the kids in the forest at the back of Zodd. Actually that there was broad daylight to be seen probably reinforces the point of how much his coming to the corporeal world affected the balance. Later in that scene, we see what seems to be an elf folk in the tree opening, much like it's illustrated in this episode.

As for other impressions, I think it's nice and interesting to see what seems to be (or at least so far portrayed as) a young adult in Danan at the place, it's something I saw people thought about in the previous episode thread since all we saw were mostly kids in the island so far. And I love the way Morda has been just laying there in the sidelines, relaxed and just listening to all this important discussion with her face half covered by her hat. Looks pretty badass and reminds me a bit of the demeanor of young Guts in a way (mercenary/Band of the Falcon Guts, just feels like something he would do).

Well, right now I just can't wait to get a good read of a reliable translation for this episode. Reading these nice bits concerning the world building and letting them sink in, have my take on it and see how else they expand what else we know.

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 344
« on: July 21, 2016, 08:06:50 AM »
Have been out of the loop for a while, but was reading the thread and re-reading some episodes in the last two days.
Was pretty excited about this episode as I was reading it, and now psyched about the next one which should be coming out soon. Indeed some exciting times to be a Berserk fan. I feel I'm very late to the party, there was some interesting discussion and speculation I wished to reply to, but for now I will settle with what concerns Morda. I think she can be a great addition.

Maybe she develops a thing for Serpico, or you know, Guts scores another fangirl.

Yeah, that's also what I thought and would hope for if Morda is to join the party. Guts has more than enough "fangirls" as it stands right now. Morda also reminds me of old Farnese in the sense that she seems to have some rather deviant tendencies and maybe one could even say that Skellig, as wonderful as it looks, currently feels like Morda's birdcage as was the Vandimion mansion once to young Farnese.

Another funny thing about entertaining such a pairing is how uneasy Serpico seems to feel about the magic subject sometimes (or at least when it concerns Farnese's practice), classic example right in this episode, the face he makes after Farnese enthusiastically hops on his observation about the scholar or academic nature of the village. From Serpico's stance Morda may seem like a bit of a scary girl: a witch (and probably the epitome of witch imagery thus far), owning a bit of an assertive attitude (also a trait that reminds of old Farnese) and possibly some slight alignment to the fire element... or wind, if broomstick gliding/flying is a magic exercise that heavily involves the use of Sylphs, which should be plentiful in the island. So possibly both, which could make her look terrifying given Serpico's fear of fire, but also symphatizing looking at the elemental affinities.

Continuing on that tangent, Morda does seem talented, given the ease she not only glides in her broomstick but how she's able to maneuver upside down effortlessly, whereas the other apprentices have to climb a tree to get started and some even lose balance. I'm curious to see how Schierke fares at the broomstick too given the chance, whether she's able to get it going without much trouble or if she struggles. For her sake I hope she's able to get on smoothly, or we know someone who will have a field day otherwise haha.  :isidro:

Now, now, I don't think we should dismiss Molda entirely. I mean, sure Schierke has more worldly experience, has been in more terrifying situations, has had to use her magic to fight and kill, has been teaching another the ways of magic, and so on. But Molda's awesome power has our favorite witch beat in one particular area.

She can defy even the unstoppable force of gravity to keep her hat on!

Can Schierke keep her hat on? No! It takes only a slight breeze, a pesky elf, or an insolent monkey for her headware to start rolling away.

Anyway, if Molda is to join the crew, I wonder what effect that would have on Farnese, if any? I've always thought that her training to be a witch was so that she would continue to have a purpose in the team dynamic (and narrative) once Casca no longer required her babying, and learning magic has indeed been helping the girl feel better about herself. But would the presence of another witch (or two, or three) wreck her confidence again since she would possibly feel even more redundant than ever before? Farnese already has enough mixed feelings wherever Guts and Casca are concerned.

I can understand the concern here. But I'd probably trust Miura on that. I don't think Morda's addition would change much the path of progress Farnese has been and is still undergoing right now (as well as the presence of all witches and apprentices in the island). Like her reaction to Serpico's comments, she seemed to have embraced the place. And as far as Morda joining the party is concerned, I could actually see her introduction contributing further to Farnese's progress. Morda seems to be a quite contrasting character when put together with Schierke, so her presence could add a slightly different but complementing approach to her learning of magic. In addition, it could be just me, but as I was saying earlier, in some senses Morda reminds me abit the Farnese of old. The assertive, overconfident Farnese. I think regaining some of that confidence back could do her good, and maybe looking at Morda and having her presence influence her a bit could have a positive effect on her in that regard. Only this time said confidence would be much better founded and backed by something much more substantial (her magic knowledge) while also tempered by all the character lessons she already went through.

That said, it could be a very tough ordeal for Farnese.  Having to conciliate different approaches and advices could leave her even more confused in her lessons. But if she's able to take the best out of Schierke's methodic and conservative teachings, as well as some of Morda's own unique qualities that can help her grow, I think the result could be quite amazing.

It could also be a wealth of interesting and potentially humorous scenes/interactions. I could envision a scene with Schierke giving Farnese her daily lesson at some corner in the fields, telling her to mentalize things like this and that, only for some figure to suddenly butt in, popping again from some upside down diagonal angle and floating with her broomstick, seemingly out of nowhere and giving both a good scare, while saying "Oh, but you can also try in such and such". :slan: By the end of it, it would leave a very confused Farnese torn between one way or another.  :farnese:

Haha, anyway, all more speculation about how things could go, but the potential is there I believe. I hope Morda does indeed join for the rest of the journey and I can't wait to see more of her personality in the coming episodes. And again, here's hoping Serpico may have finally found his proper mistress.  :serpico:

Character Cove / Re: Ubik and the Garden of Earthly Delights
« on: September 07, 2015, 08:36:14 PM »
I think I may have found something that sheds additional light into Ubik's design and nature too, although perhaps not directly related to how it connects into this depiction of Ubik in the Bosch inspired page spread.
The other day, while surfing through various things I found myself in a youkai wikia. Among many of these curious creatures that figure in japanese folklore, there is this one called the Amanojaku.

When I read the desciption I became excited because the similarities in concept appear close if not obvious enough I'd say: the Amanojaku is an Oni, a demon-like creature, in this case often depicted having a small size or being small bodied; and as the various wikias tell, having the trait of provoking a person's 'darkest desire' in order to instigate them into perpetrating wicked deeds. This second trait in particular is uncannily similar to what seems to be Ubik's role in the occultation ceremonies we have seen, through his particular ability to peek into the 'reality within  one's consciousness'.

More than that, in some tales like the one in Urikohime (瓜子姫?, "melon princess" quoted from the wiki)  the Amanojaku is also told to impersonate other people, sometimes wearing their flayed skin. This also bears similarity to how Ubik disguised himself as the old lady in Griffith's 'conscious reality', while pointing to the castle of Griffith's dream and all the evil deeds necessary in order to reach that castle, like mounting a 'pathway of corpses' to it with the people who followed him.

Here's some pictures of stone statues of the Amanojaku:

Noma-taibo Amanojaku.

A link to another statue, this time from a garden in Okayama it seems (the pic was a bit too big).

Although not always being portrayed with the same appearance, it's interesting how some of these depictions point to a demon-like figure of diminutive stature and somewhat similar posture or mannerism, much like our Godhand Ubik.

There's also this portrait which I couldn't trace the origin so far (might be from another manga), which reminds me in particular of Ubik's and Conrad's disguise as the old lady in Griffith's vision during the Eclipse.

Also something I found quite interesting is that in buddhist statues and depictions the Amanojaku is also often shown being trampled or subdued by the Shitennō or Four Heavenly Kings. Well... we also do have our own version of the four kings in the 'Four Kings of the World' in the Berserk universe, namely the elemental kings summoned by Schierke and Farnese for protection. Could this perhaps point and illustrate to the fate or future of Ubik's demise, being subdued by the 'Four Kings of the World' to mirror the buddhist image?


If the Amanojaku is indeed one of the source inspirations to Ubik's design or concept (among with other sources like the clear Hellraiser's facial look), I think it could help us approach a bit more to Ubik's nature. I had a couple theories myself, but if the folklore and mythology cues are to be more reliable, I'd presently say that Ubik's affinity would lie in trickery, sin (or the sin that comes with tricking or being tricked) and the realization of self darkness after the sin is commited. Actually more than reaching to something new, it seems to reinforce what some probably already believed or observed from Ubik's actions in the story.

I think these premises seem to relate well with the religious themes of Hieronymus Bosch's painting, as Walter competently brings and points out in this topic. Now to try and make further connections, one thought that occurred to me is that like in the fairytale of the "Melon Princess" where the Amanojaku manages to enter the house of the girl who was being sheltered from the outside world (which could bear resemblance to the use of the house-egg for the people inside in Miura's use of Bosch's imagery), Ubik is similarly shown within, or rather, infiltrated in the egg-house among its residents.

One possible reading on the context of Fantasia and the flooding on episode 306 with this possible allegory, to complement what was already brought by Walter is that not only will the evil flood towards the world when Fantasia occurs, but nowhere will be safe from evil's reach.

I'm kinda being florished with theories and ideas right now, and I'm finding there might be other leads from stories relating to Amanojaku and its possible connection to Ubik. I will let these sink in too and hopefully post what else I find later.

Speculation Nation / Re: Falconia vs Elfhelm: Will it happen?
« on: April 11, 2014, 10:31:28 PM »
wouldn't the Godhand be unable to manifest admidst a Elf sanctuary? From my understanding of elves and pixies any place they take up residence acts as like a barrier that evil or negative entities can not tresspass on. It is like they leave a inprint on places they used to live. Used to live. Would an apostle or other evil being be able to step foot in an area with a high concentration of elves that are physically living be much stronger then a place they used to dwell? Or does this only apply to low level  evil spirits? Also I thought God Hand could only manefest in areas where they have a high level of negative influence, like Slan during the orgy scene during the conviction arc. I do not think there would be any influence in elfhelm for them to manefest there.

That's well observed and the reasoning of an even stronger warding effect in the places where they are actually settled makes a lot of sense. Though I think we could say a thing or two about apostles, at least before the complete merging. Although Flora is a witch, her place did have barriers or warding effects too, but the apostles sent to kill her were able to get through it. Saying that Flora was past her prime is a big understatement, as she mentions her spiritual power has grown weaker over the years. It's possible that she might have been able to ward them off in her best days. And the most curious, though I'm not sure if those were actually real elves at that point, was during the Lost Children chapter (or arc?), where in a close tree (or even the same) where Rochine was settled with her fake elves, Puc was able to see a group of what seemed to be the real deal passing by (piskies just like him). I'm not sure if they were real or what Puc was seeing was some kind of memory from the place when piskies used to inhabit that region. If they were, we could have an awkward but very ironic situation (perhaps that was the point) where Rochine as an apostle was completely oblivious to their presence, while playing elf queen. Or they could just be passing by and Puc was just a serendipituous little fella to see his friends at the right place at the right time. Compared to Puc those piskies had a very mystic aura around them. At the time Piskies or Elves in general really deserved their reputation as mere legends, much like most if not all the astral creatures we are seeing in Fantasia.

We see Puc so frequently that perhaps we take them for granted, but Puc is an aberrant case. He really tries hard to be caught by the human vision.

Now about the GH's levels of manifestation, I think what you mentioned is accurate. Aazealh would certainly be able to explain this better, but let me see if I can handle, the case you mentioned (and Conrad at some point when his image forms out of that mass of rats), was not only before the merging but also before Griffith/Femto's incarnation, which was I think the first event that set the merging of the physical and astral worlds. Slan's manifestation at the Qlipoth was another level of manifestation now that the worlds had began to merge. Seemingly still very spiritual in nature, she needed that host made out of trolls guts/intestines to manifest herself in a more palpable presence. But the level of interaction and influence at that level was much higher for a spiritual being of her nature by then. Slan in particular also had an affinity with the place which probably made the whole process and her ability to display her powers there easier.

Which brings to now. The world has gone through a much more abrupt and complete merging process with the spiritual worlds. Rules as we should expect will probably be a little different at the very least, and looking at the scaling of manifestations by the God Hands in the series, it would be fair to expect even more power and influence the next time they manifest in some way.

The idea/theory is that besides making the world a pandemonium after the merging, with all sorts of more superficial astral beings running around along with humans, if we take what Ganishka says at face value, that he has reached even the abyss and considering he was the catalyst for this abrupt and complete merging, perhaps there won't be a need of any affinity of sorts for the God Hand to manifest in some way at nearly anywhere they want. We saw the lightwave covering the whole planet. Whatever substance Ganishka was storing inside him in that towering form is all over the place at this point.

Besides making most of the humans flock to a convenient garden (governed by one of their own) in this new dangerous world, there's a fat chance that part of the master plan was to give more freedom to the other members so they can spread their influence even more. That would include more powerful manifestations. Brute forcing their way past barriers and protective wards could be possible now.

And as you touched, the kinds of spirits that used to torment Guts and were easily warded off by barriers, past elvish settlements and magic circles are universes apart from the kinds of powerful spiritual beings that the God Hand are.

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 334
« on: April 11, 2014, 03:06:17 AM »
Don't mean to be crude, but damn Miura is good a drawing tits. I am very interested to see what Griffiths grand plan is.

Haha, yes indeed, his are very realistic ones. Lawl, that sounds so wrong.  :ganishka:

I was also pleasantly surprised to see Luka and her group of (now assumed) ex-meretrice.
I won't lie, I also wish now to see cameos of Jill and, of course, Theresia as most of we do.  :slan:

Not telling them anything about it is already enough. Especially since they have a "safe haven" to which everyone flocks instead of learning to survive, adapt and rediscover the old ways (which includes siding with some benevolent beings to protect themselves against the dangerous pests like trolls). That's one big way in which Falconia can already seem dark as it is right now: people are utterly dependent on it. I'm curious to know how much freedom the citizens have... Do they live where they're told, do what they're told? Can someone refuse to work? Are there beggars? It'll be interesting to learn more about that seemingly idyllic society.


And all valid questions which I also hope to see adressed in the coming episodes. I actually haven't seen a translation of this episode so perhaps even some tidbits could have been mentioned at some panel. But given the abundance of crops, fields, fruits, vegetables and so on, it doesn't seem like beggars will have to beg much in order to have money for food. Actually I haven't noticed a single coin circulating from the people there gathering the available food. Makes you think if money has any meaning now and if so what kind of system will be or already is implanted.

If I had to venture a wild guess at this point, based on Griffith's earlier views of how rank and nobility shouldn't influence one's social status, the seeming absence of some kind of trade coin in this episode and also how Luka and her friends already have a suitable occupation and Rickert is on his way with the appointing letter; perhaps all that will show as a meritocracy close to Griffith's earlier ideals. But then there is the Holy See, the nobles, Foss... I guess you can't run from some kind of pre-installed hierarchy, although if that is the case I think they wouldn't be nearly as influent as they once were and they would have to prove their worth on a more consistent basis (Holy See aside). The nobles point of view would be a nice one to address all the socio-economic issues that Falconia could present.

Speculation Nation / Re: Falconia vs Elfhelm: Will it happen?
« on: April 11, 2014, 01:26:34 AM »
How many weeks do you think they can fly without resting, eating or drinking?

Yes, the distance would certainly be a factor and it's something I considered later on in the post.
It would be wise to stop by in some Islands along the way to rest and resupply. Apostles are much beyond human capability, but even they have limits. It seems like it would be quite the expedition anyway we cut it, which makes me think again if it would be worth the effort, unless there were more efficient ways to transport the attacking forces.

Could be, but there's no guarantee he can just send people somewhere through those means. Know who could possibly attack Elfhelm out of nowhere despite the protective wards though? A member of the God Hand. Now that's a threat Guts could be called upon to address, and what better place for him to fight an impossibly strong enemy than an island full of elves?

Yeah, the reasoning would be that if the moonlight child can travel great distances with seemingly great ease and the good chance that the child and Griffith are related or even share the same body, Femto as a God Hand perhaps could replicate it with even more power and control. But you're right, there's no guarantee, just a grounded theory I guess. It's also possible the ability we saw on episode 331 is actually exclusive to the moonlight child. Either that or the branches could only be used that way at certain phases of the moon. Some additional thoughts.

A member of the God Hand attacking Elfhelm would be awesome. Perhaps even more so than the kinds of battles we are imagining here. They appear very rarely in the story, that could be a good moment for one of them to show up. Regardless of their possible presence in the Island, I think we will hear some neat information about them there. But if one of them is to appear there, who do you think would it be? Void? Too soon perhaps. Slan has had her fair  share of appearances so far. Ubik could be so mind blowing that I think Miura would leave him for later too. Now Conrad... it's interesting because he's by far the less outspoken out of the group. Considering that Elfhelm will most likely be a very lively place, the contrasting pestilence that he seems to be associated with could bring a very interesting conflict.

And how would the Skullknight factor in this? I imagine he would certainly appear at some point, if he wasn't already there.

Depends on what you mean by temporarily. It's not like getting to Elfhelm has been particularly easy so far, and I don't actually expect Guts to return there once he leaves. Also, he's been journeying there for 15 volumes by now, so I can't believe it'll only be to dump Casca and leave, essentially repeating what he promised he'd never do again. It just doesn't make much sense scenaristically.

Yes, it's been an immense journey, though I think much more time has been elapsed for us than the characters in the story. By temporarily I mean until Casca is able to stand on her own and follow her own decisions, after being treated by the KoFS and spending enough time there to recover and reach that point. She would obviously leave to go after Guts soon enough. From there we could see some little adventures from herself, while re-gaining her fighting prowess, resourcefulness and other abilities she used to possess; and a more refined Farnese as a magic user; until she finally catches up with Guts and they can meet again, this time in a much more emotional and meaningfull way as that would be a first ever since Casca has become like she is now. Holding that moment when they are able to both interact in a lucid manner would build even more expectation (imagining that this time it's Casca who'd be reflectig about Guts along the way, when the later is absent this time around, on what he's done, where he could be now and how he would be).
I also imagine that for Guts to leave Casca again it will be for a very good reason. He did make that oath to never abandon her again, but it's possible he could re-evaluate his goals or what he will do next. I look forward to Elfhelm to see the thoughts that will be in Guts mind when they reach and settle there. I think it will be a moment of reflection.

Regardless of Guts staying with Casca or leaving her to do his own things, I think the story will reach a point where vengeance against Griffith won't be the only or even the biggest motivator for the inevitable conflict between them. I imagine that with story progression things will reach a point where, regardless of personal reasons, Griffith will need to be stopped and Guts will be the only one who could do that (with help along the way). Of course, that also implies we can't deny their history, but the vengeance motif will serve more as a cool backdrop for the story.

Well it ranks below Casca, that much we know.

Sure. I wonder how many times Guts thought about Griffith ever since he took Casca with her on his journey. Good excuse to re-read the series again.  :guts:

One thing worth mentioning is that a conflict between Falconia and a coalition of astral beings could happen without Elfhelm necessarily being at the center of it. For example it's much easier for me to picture the merrows taking part in a fight to defend their way of life (or their lives, period) than it is with piskies, who as you mention just aren't built for that kind of thing. In that hypothetical scenario, an alliance between various races could be formed over time to fight back against the God Hand's forces, and for all we know Guts' group could be the ones who'd have to set it up, travelling the world to do it.

Absolutely, I would like even more if we could see a conflict like that without Elfhelm's necessary involvement. That would happen later on in the story I guess. Elfhelm just seems closest we could see of such a scenario happening.

And I would like very much if the story followed the same or a path simillar to the one you mentioned. I have the least hurry to see the resolution between Guts/Griffith/Casca, as one of if not my favourite aspect of Berserk is about the journey. Though I do wish to see closure in the story at some point, in the far future. For that and many other reasons I wish Miura a very healthy life.

Speculation Nation / Re: Falconia vs Elfhelm: Will it happen?
« on: April 10, 2014, 06:02:33 PM »
I picked the "I want to see it happen" option. Whether it will happen or not it's hard to say, but there's good potential and a precedent in Flora's case.

Well, the way I think it could happen is by Falconia (or rather, Griffith) taking the initiative and making it something akin to the sortie/skirmish he tasked Zodd with in Vritannis. The scale of such conflict is hard to predict but I would already be very happy to see something about the same size as said sortie happening in the story. Taking the geography of the target into account, which is an Island of pretty hard access, that would initially limit the tasking force to that sizable ammount of flying apostles that Griffith has in his apostle army. I personally think a regular army of humans, whether from the old Midland army or the Kushan soldiers he's gathered wouldn't be involved, for many reasons aside from logistics.

First is the strong precedent. The other 3 most similar occasions I can think of Griffith handled it with apostles only, including the presence of one or more strong NeoHawk captain/generals and Zodd unanimously present in all those operations. Those 3 were the assault in Vritannis, the rescuing operation of princess Charllote in the Kushan conquered Midland and the assassination of Flora, the later which he took pretty seriously by sending Zodd and a good contingent of apostle soldiers (Grunbeld also asked to be included in the mission to show his service and loyalty to Griffith).

This is already tangential to another thought that occurred to me. Assuming that we will find magic users in a level close to Flora's in the Island or the Elf City, Griffith can't half-ass an attack like that and limit it to Zodd and his flying apostles. Zodd is an exceptionally powerful foe but we saw his limits against Ganishka in Vritannis. I imagine that one or many skilled magic users would be able to handle Zodd in a simillar manner and possibly even a good part of the flying apostles as well for the most part. It led me to a crazy theory in which Griffith could perhaps use his powers to transport a decent size of his land-bound forces through the Ganishka tree branches, much like the moonlight boy did on episode 331 but on a much bigger scale (assuming those branches belonged to the Ganishka tree). That would diversify more the forces at land and give Griffith a better foothold (no pun intended) in this conflict.

This might seem farfetched when considering this at this point (even I thought so), like, as unlikely as it is, why not simply putting his apostle forces on a boat and make the sea travel much like Guts is doing? Seems much more conventional and a simpler method without resorting to fartetched theories to imagine such conflict happening. But then I think that if or whenever this conflict happens, it probably won't catch the inhabitants of Elfhelm or Skellig by surprise. Going by the rumours and stories about the King of the Flower Storm, I'm confident that whatever is happening in this new world he must be pretty well aware of it. Actually I wouldn't be surprised if he knew or has the ability to know exactly when the attack was going to happen (very palpable when considering familiars, something Schierke has used to spy on Griffith for instance or the relatively simple capability for a being of his power to sense a great storm of "evil power" coming his way).

So I think it's quite likely there won't be major surprises. Going back to the boat scenario of transporting the apostles, having a very good idea of when the danger is coming could give room for the King of the Flower Storm and/or the denizens of Elfhelm/Skellig to take precautions. By that, besides being prepared for possible conflict, I imagine or wouldn't be surprised that such inhabitants would have the kinship or ability to summon or enlist strong sea familiars as allies like some of the gargantuous sea creatures we have seen on Guts voyage. That would pose a big threat to this approach, making Griffith's plans literally sink down the sea.

Another way that seems more feasible would be putting the non-flying apostles on the back of the flying ones for the ocean travel, much like we see with the humans of the regular army doing with the apostles in the epic scale war against the towering Ganishka and its derived sprouts, only that they were doing it with the land apostles. But now that I think about it such approach could also not be immune to some kind of precautionary interception along the way. Magic users or the King of Flower Storm himself tapping into elemental forces to summon a lightning storm along the way could undermine such planning to some extent. The travelling to Skellig, whether by sea or flying, seems like a very exhaustive logistic movement for a hyphotetical attack anyway, even for apostles (unlike the kinds of sorties or attacks we have seen where we can assume the battle campings aren't extremely distant).

Thinking this way makes the theory of Griffith using the all emcompassing Ganishka tree branches as an efficient means of logistics for his armies's assault even more alluring.

Going back to the other reasons that Griffith wouldn't include humans in such invasion from what I understand is involving them in a conflict where among astral beings, also other humans would be killed for a reason that is not convenient for them to know. This attitude would seem very contradicting specially when Griffith has shown a disposition for acceptance of people from other cultures and beliefs into his reign, in the form of the Kushan, with the aggravating that they were at the time their sworn enemies during their conflicts. Attacking another nation for apparent no reason from the perspective of the regular humans wouldn't look good for Griffith in this stage of the game. The other reason I can think of, also related to the previous, is the non-convenient nature that the knowledge of magic users have to most humans who don't have a better vision of the big picture or with whom they are siding with.
This has been touched upon already here and I also think there's a certain implied conflict between users of magic and the workings of the God Hands.

On the Guts factor of this question, the least I could say is that in such scenario he would be a very significant and welcome force to drive the invasors away, however they get there. At any rate, I personally find it harder to speculate on what kind of agreement Guts would make with the King of the Flower Storm though. It's hard to say what the KoFS will be able to do for Casca and how that will affect the group. I think it's possible that what he does won't outright make her come back to her senses but it could help her in a more subtle and long term way. Her recovery could be gradual. In such scenario I also find it hard to see Guts leaving her, he would notice even the smallest change in Casca and would likely want to oversee the process. It would be important for him to be there when Casca needs him while in a more lucid and emotional state.

With all that said, I wouldn't completely rule out the possibility of Guts temporarily parting ways with her to pursue other goals either. Casca is certainly at the top right now but I'm not sure how going after Griffith ranks in his priority list at the moment. This is a complex question because assuming that he does, other than Casca herself how much would that affect and break down the group? Would Farnese stay along with Casca and continue to safeguard her there? It would be interesting to see Farnese telling Casca what they have been through since together and how much Guts has been caring for her, if things go this way. That would of course later propel Casca to go after and meet Guts again. She will probably have an important role in the Guts-Griffith-Moonlight child conflict.
Other than taking care of Casca, Farnese's prolonged stay at Elfhelm could also bode very well in her studies of learning the ways of magic. And if Farnese stays, what about Serpico then? Would he be able to depart with Farnese too? This would be an equally dramatic development for both of them. Isidro and Schierke would very likely follow Guts if he decides to go.

Completely different scenario, but with very exciting possibilities if Miura decides to go this way.

I think I lost track again with all that scenario building, but again, with all things considered it's possible this conflict won't even happen, as interesting as it sounds. A direct assault to Elfhelm by Griffith might either not be worthy the effort for him or he may deem the threat of the isolationist inhabitants of the Island not significant for him (or in a crude and outside-universe way of explaining things, Miura simply won't go there for whatever reasons).

Besides expecting the initiative coming from Griffith if we have Falconia vs Elfhelm (it seems unlikely and unlike elves who are usually depicted as pacific creatures to take the initiative and go to arms), one last thing to consider is that although they seemingly wouldn't go for a preemptive attack in my conception, I wouldn't doubt their capacity to try to fight back if their home is directly threatened. Elves may seem like very flimsy creatures at first sight but who knows what kind of magic, strength or elemental forces they are capable to harness collectively in order to fight back.
I also hope and expect Skellig to be more than Elves and human magic users, that could include some exotic astral creatures (possibly or probably kindred with the inhabitants of Elfhelm) that would show combat prowess in such a situation.

Whew... I had a lot to say.  :isidro:
Now obligatory Puck to arms reference:

Credits for the coloring to Vaxillus from this same community.

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 334
« on: April 09, 2014, 10:39:24 PM »
Wow that came way earlier than I thought! I was expecting to get the episode by the end of the month (didn't mark exact dates, just knew it was this month and assumed it would come out later). What a pleasant surprise.  :ubik:

Although I'm happy to finally get to see the inner works of the city, I also had the impression that much of the scenery and architecture was more of the same that we have seen in that episode which gave us our first glimpse of Falconia, episode 307 I think which was also the city's namesake. It's amazing the level of detail that was put on that outside look, looking back, to the point it seemingly nailed down the look and vibe of each corner of this magnific city.

I guess I was also among the ones who was perhaps expecting a bit of something new when we get inside it, but it's not disappointing at all, and it's reasonable enough in the sense that something too mystique or otherwordly (even more than Falconia already is) could perhaps not be so much accepted or difficult to get used to initially by the population at large. Much of the world is already like that right now and what people would seemingly desire after the merging with the astral world, would be a place with enough familiarity to what they used to live and where they could get much of their routines back. Besides the safety this safe haven brings through Griffith's means, so that people wouldn't be devoured by the first thing they heard about in story tales.

It also brings back to the point that Griffith (and the large forces at work) could still be pulling the strings to make most humans still ignorant about the workings of the astral world, besides now being all over it, with all the rescuing and readapting of people process that we are seeing. Sure lots or most people would perish in this new world but perhaps some groups could learn interesting things with other spiritual or not so spiritual-now beings.

That aside, I still certainly expect some exquisite and mystic sceneries from Miura. Elfhelm is a sure-bet, or perhaps even some other unshown  parts of Falconia itself could bring a similar vibe, like the Throne room like some people are expecting or whatever is behind the doors of the big stairway. Perhaps Falconia as we know is merely a human facade. I like the idea of an apostle city after crossing the doors of said stairway.

Anyway, it's good to see that slowly but surely the gears of the plot are moving. Now Rickert has supposedly a indication letter and a meeting with Griffith. More than suspicion that he already had he's showing signs of being uneasy with the whole situation which he's more up to.

It's great to have Berserk back.

Speculation Nation / Re: The Theme of Berserk
« on: March 26, 2014, 08:08:50 PM »
Among the many themes already mentioned, one that I really liked when it was being alluded was the, kind of paraphrasing here, "finding your own place in the world" theme. It's also kinda related to, paraphrasing again, the "giving or finding a meaning to life" theme that usually comes along.
I always found these significant and precious themes in Berserk, given how dark and pessimistic the story could be sometimes. My memory of the early series is pretty foggy now but as far as I can recall it was first alluded in the episode "Sparks" when Guts was meditating about it in his stay at Godot's place (although in Guts case, the theme was probably being developed as far back as Guts leaving Griffith and the Band of the Falcons, or perhaps even earlier).

Another instance was again at Godot's place but later in the series, when Rickert was there as well. There is a particular scene where Guts finds himself impressed with Rickert, all the way he came from which goes as far back as the time of the eclipse to find his place there, become a skilled swordsmith and also find someone he would eventually take care of (Erica). It made me appreciate even more Rickert's character.

But it's also a theme that is often subverted by other strong elements in the story like causality and the plotline that greater forces have for mankind. The world is now literally a mess and other than going to Falconia, much like we are seeing with Rickert and Erica, people seemingly have little choice ever since the advent of Fantasia.

When Guts was also starting to give a more profound meaning to his life he was already dragged by the chain of events that would lead to the eclipse (going back to the BoF, rescuing Griffith and so on). After that his life had become pretty much a quest for revenge and taking care of Casca. Only the latter was part of his plans but not exactly as he thought it would be.

It's a combination of themes that don't have much place now in the current state of affairs, as people are just trying to survive in this crazy new world and cope with the situation. But I always enjoyed when Miura would bring it up.

Speculation Nation / Re: Increasing Odds
« on: March 26, 2014, 06:56:51 PM »
I think some kind of alliance between humans and creatures is inevitable, given how things have been portrayed so far. But I don't think it's going to be Guts leading the charge against Griffith and the apostles. I've always felt that showdown would happen amidst a bigger war.

It's a long way but that's exactly how I also imagine things going like and I also hope they do that way, as far as humans joining benevolent astral creatures and perhaps other magic users for a possible battle or final showdown against the apostle army.

Also agree on the front of (no pun intended) Guts not leading such an army in case that happens, or at least not mainly, or until the very end if at all. I would also expect Guts to try to pursue Griffith in such a confront of epic scale, going through anything on his way to reach him. Perhaps that could also be a suitable moment for a last showdown against his other rival, Zodd, before he reaches Griffith?

As for Femto, he does look and has been portrayed as pretty much invulnerable until now, but I think that is not to remain for the whole series. Femto's (and possibly the other God Hand's) "silver bullet" is yet to appear I think (something besides the foreshadowed Dragon Slayer of course, I'm thinking more of a type of device or strategy to bypass the powers that make them unreachable). Perhaps Elfhelm will give us insight on how to defeat the God Hand. Skullknight must be planning something new too.

Podcast / Re: Skullknight.NET Podcast: Episode 33
« on: May 02, 2013, 12:19:19 AM »
Great podcast guys, I enjoyed the Ganishka talk.

On the Ganishka potentially impregnating Charllote subject, it also begs the question of what kind of offspring all the women that either had sex or were raped by Wyald (if they weren't killed afterwards) would have. Perhaps a kid with a very deep astral connection?

Another piece of information that could also indicate that the captive Wyndham woman were likely impregnated by Kushan soldiers is the fact that, consistent with what happens when a normal apostle transformed using a beherit dies, after some time the Daka (as well as the Makara) also return to their original/normal forms (human for Daka and a normal whale for the Makara). Owen states that the dead and untransformed Daka looked like ordinary kushan soldiers in the aftermath of the first kushan invasion of Vrtannis.

Current Episodes / Re: Berserk Hiatus for 19+ Weeks—A New Record
« on: April 27, 2013, 03:27:10 AM »
If I remember it right, last year Miura did say something or the other about planning to do a story arc that would shed light on the God Hand  :schnoz:

This might be a bit speculative on my part, but one of my big expectations when we reach Elfhelm, besides the much needed resolution on Casca's mind state (which should be initially on the forefront of things to happen there), is that we'll finally get to know more about the skullknight. The elvish connection about skullknight has been subtly but certainly raised, and my gut feeling is that the Elf King knows the skullknight very well (and well, the opposite is most likely true, as it was by word of the skullknight which we came to know about the Elf King and his powers).

I can't think of a better moment to shed more light into his character, and perhaps finally answer what truly happened in the distant past, at Gaiseric's capital. Also belonging to such prospect, and likely related to the former question is the presence of the "wise man" on Gaiseric's tale, which many speculate as possibly being the God hand Void.

With Elfhelm pretty close on the horizon, along with many other things that will certainly happen there, not only the skullknight but we could learn important information about the God Hand too, who the Elf King is certainly aware of, perhaps also knowing their story intimately. That's what I optimistically expect, at least.  ;D

Now with all that said, I wouldn't mind if the God hand appear along with the unveiling of their plans in somewhere else, like Falconia, for instance, which we will probably see before Elfhelm still. I just hope that by soon, Miura meant to point at events inside our visible horizon, such as the arrival of Elfhelm.

Heh, honestly, no. But I'm pretty sure they will have some funny interactions together when we reach Elfhelm.
So far they have been solidly set to be the comical relief of that part of the story with their ongoing scheme.

Now to put another spin on this little subplot of theirs, I imagine this is an old age speculation, but does anyone think Puck might be connected to the Elf King or some Elf royalty? Say Puck the Elf prince?  :iva:

Hi Walter, thanks for the reply!

The way you're phrasing things is an oversimplification as well, because in this new world, we're not just seeing a variety of legendary creatures that humans may have dreamed up—dragons, trolls etc., but also things things living deep within the astral world that, in Flora's words, are beyond human comprehension.

About the new world, now that you mention, besides all these legendary beings, we've seen the Godhand manifesting in some form just after the merging of the worlds.

Another thought that occurred to me is whether the merging, aside from joining astral with corporeal world, also merged the layers within the astral world itself.

For instance, we see a herd of Unicorns running in the wild, which we would assume to have a certain od, but then we see a Hydra going after them, a creature with probably a very different od from the Unicorns. Since beings of similar od usually like to flock together in their own regions, like Schierke says, it stands to reason that they may inhabit different layers (or regions) of their stratum in the Astral world (hehe, that may sound confusing).

Or maybe they belong to the same "safari" so to speak, and what we saw wasn't different from a lion catching and devouring its prey in our real world (or Berserk's corporeal world, I'm pretty sure there are lions in the Berserk world).

Again, two possibilities that sound equally interesting. But I'm digressing here, now we are onto the specifics of the merging and the layers of a certain part of the Astral world.

The astral world is a big place, and was likely a big place even long before humans started closing their eyes to the rest of reality.

It sure is. I really like how it added elements of a high fantasy setting to Berserk's own dark fantasy storyline.

The term rift is a little inaccurate, and Hazama is just a transliteration of the Japanese word, but interstice is appropriate. The term refers to the border between the physical and astral worlds that Guts and Casca are a part of. They each have a foot in both worlds, you could say. Apostles also straddle this line. But what you're talking about in your post is the entire astral world, not just its surface layer.

Oh but it's mostly the surface I'm talking about, the relatively shallow place where according to Flora, we can start to see most of these mythical creatures (I'm not concerned about deeper places and the entities that inhabit these, like the Vortex or GodHands and the Elemental Kings). Of course, we're talking pre-merging.

Humans once interacted with these creatures long ago (Volume 24), so a bit of it was handed down from legend, and we're also told that they can cross over into dreams or nightmares.

I'm really interested in how that works. Not that it's the case with Berserk, but there are some cults or beliefs that tells us that we may release our spirits (or astral bodies) when we sleep, and many of the fantastical things we see in our dreams are part of this Astral world of sorts. Thought it was worth mentioning, I also believe that Miura researched quite a bit about OBE and astral projection, as it's an important feature in the story.

Admittedly the wording here seems more resolute than it should be, but I believe you're taking these lines at face value without considering their place in Schierke's full explanation. She's talking about what would happen if these creatures, who normally interact with humans only in dreams, suddenly began appearing in the physical world. That's the scope of the conversation she's having with the group, not explaining their universal origin.

Yeah, that interpretation really takes these words a bit too literally, even though they may not be the focus of what she's saying.

This is merely referring to creatures people dreamed of, or heard spoken of in legend, but didn't know truly existed until the worlds were merged and they could suddenly be seen by everyone.

Yes, this interpretation is more well grounded, and likely the right one.

Schierke would call that a closed-minded, human-centric view of the world—a result of the indoctrination of the Holy See  :guts:

Hehe, but wouldn't the Holy See abominate even the existence of such spiritual beings that belonged to other "pagan" world views? The priest that didn't acknowledge the river spirit at Enoch village comes to mind.

The Idea of Evil comes from the abyss, in the ideal world, a deeper realm than the astral world. And the process by which it was created was fueled by the human subconsciousness, which is a little different from the process you were describing above.

Sure, as far as the IoE goes.
Besides the difference in the thoughts or concepts that would arise to give birth to the IoE or the astral beings in this interpretation, the IoE would dwell in the abyss as you said (unlike the astral beings who would live in a more shallow stratum of the Astral world) and the IoE would be a much bigger, more powerful and influential entity than any astral being that we've seen so far.

But it matters little I guess, unless we're futurely told any information that may indicate that it might be the case (unlikely as it stands so far).

Although exceptionally so, there's one more place where I think we could see constructs related to the human mind:
Ubik's domain (or correct me if I'm wrong, sephir, if that can be called such) as we see a bit after the merging when the Godhands appear, in that reference to Hieronymus Bosch Garden of Earthly Delights. Of course this is speculation on my part, specially if that was just a tribute or reference to Hieronymus's work, but those were very oneiric, dreamlike critters that may relate to Ubik's powers.  :ubik:

This is what's supported in the text.
I'd say the creature came first, then the legend.


Character Cove / Re: POLL: Vote for Your 2 Favorite Characters
« on: April 15, 2013, 03:09:27 AM »
Picked Irvine and Sonia because they have made some nice interactions together.

Also because no one else voted on them...

Hope to see more of them together in Falconia.

I also didn't find an option for Mule... 
What do you guys have against poor Mule to be forgotten like this? :sad:

Speculation Nation / Re: Dragon Slayer breaking
« on: April 15, 2013, 02:57:11 AM »
I agree, I don't see the DS breaking anytime soon. But ever since it being last reforged by Godo, the DS has taken quite a lot of punishment, the fight with Grunbeld comes to mind. The DS took several direct hits from Grunbeld's war hammer, and since that fight Guts has put the Berserker armor, which would make him exert much more power and stress on the blade.

I think when they get to Elfhelm, it would be quite a good time for the DS to be repaired or reforged again by the skilled hands of someone or something. Perhaps Dwarves, the makers of the Berserker armor, if some of them inhabit Elfhelm.

... and by Fantasia I mean the inhabitants of the stratum that used to be called Rift (according to the translation in here, not sure if it's very accurate) or Hazama (interstice). Since now at this point in the story the realms have merged, these terms have fallen to a certain obsolescence, but to make sure we are on the same page, I mean basically the stratum (or region, or whatever term that suits best) where Unicorns, elves, trolls, dragons and most other creatures belonging to folklore and legends used to inhabit.

I'm particularly curious about their nature, how these beings came to be as well as how they reached the human psyche.
Of course, such a question is very speculative; there is currently no definitive answer to it in the manga as far as I'm aware. When I put some thought into it I reached a couple hypothesis, one in particular based on a few tidbits that I always found interesting for possibly hinting a different interpretation (even if more unlikely)

I will quote the parts I'm referring to elaborate further:

Episode 215 - Qlipoth

Schierke: "Trolls, Ogre, elves and kelpie...
The creatures in the spiritual world are taking form as if they had actually had a physical body...
They are originally in the world within our mind...
They are the ones who reside in our dreams at night or our imagination.

Episode 306 - Fantasia

Puella's translation:

"Those things that people thought might exist have been transmitted by words, and developped and refined (added, expanded, modified...) (from generation to generation).

That which people feared and long for desperately.

Another half of the world that only existed in people's imaginations and that has come down."

More than once, and one time coming from the narrator himself, there's been this concept that these creatures belonged, perhaps originally, to humans imagination.
It couldn't be stressed more in the case of episode 306. One idea that came to mind is what if these legendary beings were, originally and before anything else, constructs in the human collective subconscious that took a form of their own based on the amalgamation of ideas belonging to that being, and started to live independently and self-sufficiently in the astral world?
This whole process wouldn't be so foreign when we take into account the Idea of Evil (assuming the lost episode holds, it hasn't been contradicted so far), which was created in a process somewhat similar. It could set a very big precedent to the theory.

I found this current of thought to be very interesting, it would indicate that the legendary creatures first existed on the human psyche, and then they came to be (in the astral world). Their existence and appearance towards humans would then feed ever so more the concept of the creature on the human imagination, as the tales are passed down.

The other interpretation I had, which is far more simplistic and straightforward, likely the one most people have, is that these folklore creatures were always there, or at least as far as it can be conceived. Meaning that they first existed, and their elusive sightings would feed their concept in the human psyche which would then be propagated as the legends are passed by.
That wouldn't answer the original question per se, but one would imagine that much like the corporeal world, they would be the "wild life" that inhabit that region of the astral world. How they came to be would be a mystery that we may well never know, but the relevant part we would take from it, again, is that they existed before being part of humans imagination (and therefore wouldn't be a product of human mind).

We could perhaps summarize all this talk to a single question: Which came first, the idealized creature or the creature that would become legend?

Another interesting event that may relate to this topic, is how Slan, during volume 26, was seemingly able to create or spawn Ogres and trolls from the surroundings.
I can kind of see how that would work from both perspectives:
1) If trolls and ogres were beings originated from human subconscious, Slan, as a Godhand and having the source of her powers coming from an existance simmilarly created by the collective human consciousness, would then be able to manipulate creatures with a similar nature;
2) More simply, trolls and ogres have a certain Od, which would be similar to Slan's (her womb of darkness) or easily susceptible to her control as a higher spiritual being.

In both cases, she would be able to freely manipulate beings with a similar nature or origin.

Well, I think I rambled enough, now you guys can dissect everything I said.  :ganishka:
What do you guys think? Any other theories or interpretations I may not have covered?

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 332
« on: November 09, 2012, 08:59:43 PM »
Carefull here : Guts doesn't "have" the beast of darkness within  himself. The beast of darkness is part of Guts personality (if I can word it like that), an amalgamation of his dark and violent feelings. It's not like he has a beast inside of him if you get what I mean..

But I do agree a confrontation between the two of them could be interesting since like you said, they are not the same kind of fighters, so I'd be interested in seeing them go at it even though I'm not sure it'll happen between the two of them..

Sure, I think I was aware by reading here somewhere that the beast of darkness is actually part of Guts's personality but yeah, I might have worded a bit poorly there its relation to Guts.

And does Irvine really need to become a psychiatrist in order to see Guts as his prey anyway? He's branded and therefore is "prey" to all apostles by default.

LOL... Haha, well said, can't believe I actually forgot that Guts is branded and Irvine is well... an apostle. Maybe it's just that Irvine doesn't quite behave as your typical barbaric apostle. But that's a nice reminder.  :ganishka:

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 332
« on: November 09, 2012, 06:21:20 PM »
Some cool thoughts on Rickert here guys. Nice read.

Their necks are thicker than humans'.

That's well observed. They resemble a caveman in that their constitution is more robust than normal.

Still on Irvine's character I wonder what else the future holds for him, besides bringing some cool looks whenever he appears. I think it was Griffith in this thread who said that Irvine could be the future rival for Serpico... but lately I have been thinking that there might be some good potential for a confront between Guts and Irvine. After all, Irvine is a seasoned hunter and Guts not only has been portrayed as a mad or rabid dog during some parts of the story but he has the beast of darkness deep within himself.

It's interesting to consider the possibility of this "Hunter" vs "the Hunt" confrontation and what it could bring in terms of dynamics and characterization to both characters. In such exchange, for instance, I could see Irvine recognizing the beast that dwells within Guts and trying to acknowledge it as his prey like he did to the Cockatrice (which of course would make the hunter become the hunted).  :carcus:

The only thing I have trouble seeing is how they would engage with each other in a possible fight scene, as Guts is a master of close combat with the Dragonslayer, and Irvine is the epitome of the ranged fighter. They couldn't be any more different in that regard. Unless Irvine proves to be quite competent at cqc as well. We know he is quite deadly with both versions of his demonic bow, but he hasn't shown any close quarters ability so far, beside the moment he showed great agility to save Sonia from danger when they were fighting the Ganishka tower-apostle. Hopefully his wolf-like appearance on his apostle form is not just for show. It would be cool if Irvine could create spears or bladed weapons with his fur or the hair on his tail like he does to create his mortal arrows as well.

Just throwing some thoughts, sorry if this all sounds too outlandish or far-fetched. Maybe instead of thinking who he's going to fight against in Guts group maybe there could be a different path for his character... who knows what Irvine might have sacrificed to become an apostle, but curiously, besides being the most anti-social or lonely captain of the neo Band of the Hawk, he also strikes me as one of the most human of the apostles so far, seeing how he both empathized and even bonded with Sonia on episodes 298 to 301. I'd like to see Irvine becoming a more neutral character in the story at some point, but so far he seems too loyal to Griffith, like any apostle at this point.

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 331
« on: November 03, 2012, 01:20:11 PM »
Hi Arvin, welcome to the forum! Nice summary of what's been said in the thread.

Hi Azz, thanks for the welcome!

The kanji used by Schierke (大鷲) literally means a "large eagle", and usually refers to Steller's Sea Eagle, an Asian species that is one of the largest birds of prey in the world. They do sometimes nest at the top of large trees in the real world, so that is consistent with what Schierke says of it as well.

So the bird itself is a priori not mystical, but it was, at the time, a subtle indication that Guts et al. were getting closer to the coast.

Oh, I see, thanks for the correction. Pretty interesting stuff, I'm fammiliar with this species of bird of prey as well but had no idea Schierke could have been refering to it.

It's also an interesting thought that would never cross my mind that mentioning the Eagle would indicate that they were getting closer to the coast (which they actually were, following the story progression).

Podcast / Re: Skullknight.NET Podcast: Episode 22
« on: November 03, 2012, 02:34:10 AM »
First of all I would like to thank you guys for making this and many other podcasts. I have learned a lot by hearing your different perspectives and thoughts on the series.

It's nice that you guys mentioned the contradiction of Griffith's dialogue about friendship with Charlotte on the stairs back on the Golden Age arc. I was thinking along the same lines while re-reading that arc some time ago. It were those words that ignited lots of important developments in the story, which ultimately led to Griffith's downfall.

Well, I blame that mostly on the noble literature bullshit that he was reading back then. There was even a kama-sutra book that he showed to Guts there.  :ganishka:

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 332
« on: November 03, 2012, 02:24:20 AM »
That's a nice episode!!
It's good to see Rickert and Erika again, these two interest me a lot.
Pretty cool entrance from Irvine as well, the style of this guy knows no bounds.

Like most people here I was expecting that we would finally see something on Skellig from the ship but a change in perspective to show the now mostly chaotic world of Fantasia is a nice thing as well, plus we get doses of Rickert, Erika and the most stylish looking apostle so far. That's quite satisfying for me. AND a wild cockatrice appears!!  :daiba:

The only thing I missed from this episode was seeing some trolls getting decapitated by Irvine's shots, like he did in the Kushan wars. Maybe he was soft on them because there were human allies nearby?

Well, anyway, it seems like the time to open the bottles of champagne was delayed a bit but one thing is for sure, as each episode that we get from now on the closer we draw to finally arriving at Skellig. Can't wait!!

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