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Speculation Nation / Literary criticism of Berserk
« on: December 16, 2007, 04:38:55 PM »
Actually, Femto popped out of a fist. Griffith came back to the world with the Egg-Apostle hatching. I'm curious what you mean regarding Guts though, where do you see that rebirth experience you're speaking of?

Hahaha, not sure that's an adequate use of the word, but at least it made me laugh. :guts:

You mean to tell me you never noticed Guts' re-birth symbolism? It's very heavy and full of elements that hint at Gnostic beliefs in some ways. Not to mention that there are two major incidences of it.

The first example is the least complex and most subtle but also obviously the most pivotal: Femto's incarnation as Griffith is shared by Guts' seed in the form of The Demon Child. In the mythological and paternal sense, this counts as a re-birth   experience for Guts: He impregnates Casca, (This series of events illuminates her importance by the way) He and Casca's child is infused or perhaps even consecrated if you like, by Femto: Guts, Casca, Femto/Griffith . . . Can we call that a Holy Trinity?
As a result of this and other circumstances: Guts' very seed is brought into Godhood through Griffith's Incarnation, he has effectively become a self-made God on his own terms.   
The second example has more of the classic trappings of transformation and re-birth in Berserk and is much more convoluted: I suspect that Miura wrote it in in part to help illuminate and draw parallels too the previous example: We already know that Guts' encounter with Slann in the Qliphoth is highly sexual in nature; however, the metaphors run deep and the event leads to Guts' re-birth as The Beast Swordsman . . . or maybe it's better to state that it leads to the Incarnation of The Beast itself?
        Guts enters the "Womb" of the Goddess, uncertain of himself, it's driven home that it's an alien environment that he's never fought in before. Once Slann appears, the symbolic nature of the Qliphoth is fully realized: The Goddess awakens to torment and taunt our hero and Guts hangs there languishing in agony and uncertainty. He does not believe that he is capable of striking her, Slann knows exactly what's going on and everything about her serves to drive home the Sexual Metaphor. After receiving advice from an older, more experienced individual, Guts rams his sword home . . . Right through Slann's womb no less. Note her Sexually Charged reaction: The scene serves as a metaphor for the sexual fears and frustrations of Males, chiefly the fear that we will be unable to Sexually Satisfy or impregnate a Woman.
After escaping from the Qliphoth, Guts is changed, he has fulfilled his role as a man and has gained a dark sort of knowledge and an awareness of his own potency. However, it's come with a heavy price attached, plus, it's not so much that Guts has impregnated Slann: As much as it is that Guts has arguably impregnated himself through her. Back at Flora's, Guts disappears underground to acquire the Berserk's Armor: Miura works in some additional symbolism by having him be reborn from a Vagina-Dentata Apostle in a bloody affair, around this point, Zodd points out that he is on the road to becoming like Skull Knight. In context, this seems to indicate a wise and mature man who has confidence in his sexual prowess. Most likely, Zodd means more then this but it's important in that that is the mantle that The Skull Knight had assumed just previously in the Qliphoth.
          This leads itself to some speculation about the Nature of the Vagina-Dentata Apostle and Apostles themselves. Apostles are formed in part from the Vortex of Souls, much like The Idea and The God Hand, one can argue that they are conglomerations; Human Constructs formed from the dark side of Human Nature and Desires. Having Guts rip his way out of a Vagina-Dentata Apostle is a profound statement. Keep in mind that the Vagina-Dentata is also a Human Construct born from Man's fears and insecurities. Guts' incarnation as The Beast Swordsman is born from an Apostle Masquerading as a false Womb, a false God; and he obliterates that construct in the process of his appropriation of it. Guts' character repeatedly and consistently serves to illuminate Truth and to Destroy Falsehood on many levels. Both symbolic and literal.
Guts emerges from this Womb in a new form but something is happening: The Astral Wound Slann gave him serves as a womb through which The Beast is born or Incarnated into the World, taking The Berserk's Armor as its vessel.
Thus, Guts goes through multiple incarnations of himself, each with unique attributes and aspects. He has become The Warrior with a Thousand Faces, all in a World to himself.   

I was just browsing the forum today and started reading this thread:

I'd read aboutMount & Blade before in a list of top independent Videogames. Evidently, it's reputation is well deserved; not only is it hailed by the HEMA and WMA communities but everything is available on line, leading to an impressive and diverse list of mods: Featuring such exotic settings as Pirate Battles during the age of Sail, Mesoamerica and the Spanish Conquistadors and even a few fantasy settings to boot
                 So, being a fan-boy for our favorite Manga series, the potential for a Berserk mod was the first thing that popped into my head. I'm not sure how well Guts as the Fully Fledged, Back Swordsman would fit into the setting and Gameplay dynamics. I imagine it could be done but it would probably be the equivalent of playing as a Capcom/Street Fighter Boss . . . Unless of course . . . A mod for Zodd could also be created . . . That being noted, the potential for a Berserk mod set during the Golden Age Ark is evident. Considering the extensive use of Cavalry in both, this looks like an all but perfect Videogame engine for that setting and time in the Berserk Storyline.
                 I'm under the impression that a lot of you are talented in the fields that would make a Berserk Mod great and who better to create a Berserk mod then the people who would get everything right? I'm afraid I must admit that I can't be of much help in this endeavor. that is, if there is enough interest to make this a major, forum-wide project. But I thought that it would be well worth it to bring this to your attention.

Shootin' the Breeze / The Sergal: A furry version of The Beast?
« on: August 03, 2007, 03:46:46 PM »
I actually got whiplashed by this realization month's ago and I considered not even mentioning it: Mostly in the interest of keeping it buried but this is just too Crazy not to point out. Even if it sparks controversy and traumatizes us all . . . Be warned that this might make you hate Furries in ways that you never thought possible. However, it also brings up an interesting allegory.

Meet the Sergal:

 Created by Japanese Furry artist Trancy Mick and described in some detail here (Yes, this page has offensive content):

Note that Encyclopedia Dramatica was one of the few, non-furry places where I could find information on Sergals . . . Here's a fan-site for Extra, Eye-Gouging Fun (I'm serous about the Eye-Gouging)!

Do I even need to further rub your faces in the resemblance? (I'm sorry everybody) . . . Not only is it the streamlined appearance, the Muzzle that curves backwards at the nose; giving the impression of a Shark combined with the characteristics of a Wolf. It's also the fact that the creator designed the Sergal of Dark- sorry, Sergal; as being highly Feral and Aggressive. It's the penchant for Raping and eating prey animals and foes that settles it, beyond a Shadow of a doubt:

So what can we learn from this besides the obvious (Kill Furries with Fire)? Well, it presents an interesting allegory that can be drawn to Berserk in regards to Internet Sub-culture. If you view the Beast of Darkness as Guts' Furry Avatar, then you could by extension posit that Apostles represent normal individuals who have "Sacrificed" healthy interpersonal relationships and expressions of Human contact. In this scenario, Guts is cast as a Heroic figure who seeks to purge Furries. Having seen a dear Friend fall into the subculture and sever his real-world friendships as a result, all the while, fighting his inner impulse to give into his own dark-side and join the fandom (In the context of his showing up at a Fur-con in a Beast of Darkness Fursuit so he can beat Griffith senseless).
  On that note, I leave you with this:

Shootin' the Breeze / Immigrating.
« on: July 28, 2007, 05:27:46 PM »
Lets suppose, completely hypothetically, that I find myself unable to identify with American culture and that there is next to nothing here for me. So, for that, and various other sundry reasons that I'd rather not bore you all with. I'm seriously considering making a Hop-Skip-and-a-Jump over the pond. I'm considering England, since I actually know a few people there, France (Hi Aaz, you don't mind if I stay at your place for a little while while I get settled do you?) and possibly Finland. I am of course looking up information on my own like a good little Internet user but I also think that it's a good idea to ask the people who actually live there. What should I expect?

News & Not News / Hummer Owner Gets Angry Message
« on: July 21, 2007, 12:55:05 AM »
Some good news that also brings up some interesting ethical concerns.

Hummer Owner Gets Angry Message
Vandals Batter D.C. Man's SUV, Slash Its Tires and Scratch In an Eco Note

By Allison Klein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 18, 2007; Page B01

On a narrow, leafy street in Northwest Washington, where Prius hybrid cars and Volvos are the norm, one man bought a flashy gray Hummer that was too massive to fit in his garage.

So he parked the seven-foot-tall behemoth on the street in front of his house and smiled politely when his eco-friendly neighbors looked on in disapproval at his "dream car."

It lasted five days on the street before two masked men took a bat to every window, a knife to each 38-inch tire and scratched into the body: "FOR THE ENVIRON."

"The thought of somebody vandalizing it never crossed my mind," said Gareth Groves, 32, who lives with his mother in a three-story home in the 4300 block of Brandywine Street NW in American University Park. "I've kind of been in shock."

Now, as Groves ponders what to do with the remains of his $38,000 SUV, he has been the target of a number of people who have driven by the crime scene in his upscale neighborhood and glared at him in smug satisfaction.

"I'd say one in five people who come by have that 'you-got-what-you-deserve' look," said his friend Andy Sexton, 27, who is visiting from Arkansas and has been helping Groves deal with fallout from the crime.

Neighbor Lucille Liem, 37, who owns a Prius hybrid, said that a common sentiment in the neighborhood is that large vehicles are impractical and a strain on the Earth -- and Hummers in particular are a symbol of consumer excess.

"The neighborhood in general is very concerned with the environment," said Liem, whose Prius gets about 48 miles a gallon compared with the Hummer's 14 miles a gallon. "It's more liberal leaning. It's ridiculous to be driving a Hummer."

Liem added quickly that she does not condone violence.

Another neighbor, Lani Fremaux, 58, said she bought a T-shirt months ago with a picture of a Hummer and above it the word "Bummer." She wore the shirt proudly but said she is so upset with recent events on her street that she might retire it.

"They've got everything at their disposal in this city to make a statement in a legal way," Fremaux said of the bat-wielding men who struck out at the Hummer. "I consider this a hate crime."

Police said they see small acts of vandalism in the area from time to time, but they have not seen anything so severe, or with such a clear political message, in recent years.

"This seems to be an isolated event," Cmdr. Andy Solberg said.

Investigators said they are searching for the vandals but don't have many leads. Witnesses saw two men about six feet tall with bandanas or masks over their faces smash up the car about 3:30 a.m. Monday and then run off.

Groves's mother, Phyllis Groves, 70, said she is sad for her son because he has wanted a Hummer for a while. But even she did not exactly approve of the purchase.

"I teased him because of the gas mileage," she said. "But he wanted a Hummer. He didn't have other gas guzzlers in mind."

He bought the used 2005 vehicle a month ago from a dentist in Fairfax County and left it in a shop for several weeks so it could be outfitted to his specifications -- new, bigger tires and a "lift kit," meaning it would be higher off the ground.

Groves, who grew up in the District and works in marketing for a local radio station, said he wanted the car in part because he is starting a company, Washington Sports Marketing, that is "image-based."

He said he wants to get it towed and repaired but fears extremists might not be done making an example of him.

"I'm worried about what I do now," he said. "If I get it fixed, do I put it back in the same spot three weeks from now?"

Creation Station / Cavorting in My Domain.
« on: May 21, 2007, 02:18:19 PM »
The possibility of my posting some of my attempts at photography was brought up here:

  I'm finally taking the time to share some of my work. I usually post and have posted some of my work on another forum, I used to have a thread that showed a fair progression of my compositions spanning a few years. Before I had it closed not long after I learned about the importance of Water-Marking my images. Here is my current thread on that forum, featuring a few things that I haven't posted here (Now, do I post the same images at both forums? Or attempt to create individual content to cater to both . . . Hmm):

 All of my images are shot with a Fuji Finepics A210 and feature no editing, save for cropping and Water-Marking. Constructive Criticism is encouraged, as I still consider myself to be an amateur and receiving feed-back is half the reason I share things. Please enjoy.


Concrete Compass.
Note: This is a Rail-Road marker, I do a lot of photography along an old, largely dismantled Track-Bed that passes through my Neighborhood.

No Pulse.

The Ghosts Hide.

The Box.



Berserk Miscellaneous / Grober Krieg des Super Swordsmen.
« on: January 31, 2007, 10:41:13 PM »
I found this on Danbooru not too long ago, Original source: (there are at least two other fanarts of Guts up on that page as well) I don't recognize all of the characters but the one leading the Battle Charge looks a bit familiar and steals the show.

Speculation Nation / The Oz Factor and Berserk
« on: September 14, 2006, 07:58:09 AM »
Don't worry, I'm not about to try and draw links between Berserk and The Wizard of Oz. Although I suppose a parody featuring the characters of Berserk might have great comedic potential. I used the search function as thoroughly as possible which didn't turn up anything on the specific subject: Still, I apologize if I'm really retreading old-ground here. Must . . . avoid referrence to . . . Following the Yellow-Brick Road . . . Dammit!

 The Oz Factor that I am referring to is a descriptive term coined by British paranormal researcher Jenny Randles to describe sensations of disorientation and displacement of reality commonly reported by witnesses to paranormal phenomenon:

Randles defined the Oz Factor as "the sensation of being isolated, or transported from the real world into a different environmental framework...where reality is but slightly different, [as in] the fairytale land of Oz."

A much more thorough explanation is given here:

The wondrous experiences of Dorothy in the film The Wizard of Oz and Alice in her Wonderland, happened as a result of these two adventurous young ladies being whisked away into a magical realm from whence they eventually returned, unfortunately without a shred of evidence to support their experiences.  Prolific writer and researcher in the field of UFOs and related areas, Jenny Randles coined the term the 'Oz Factor', to describe the sensations experienced by those who entered this state.
In her 1988 book Abduction, Randles describes the mysterious Oz Factor as, "an induced form of sensory deprivation which seems to alter the state of consciousness of the percipient.  It can become visible as a sensation of time standing still, or interfered with, or it manifests as all sound vanishing, a very odd feeling of being isolated from our world into a magic world.  It is less easy to describe than recognise, since witnesses often refer to it without having any idea of its significance.  This underlines its importance." (Randles, p.57)

Ufologists have long been familiar with the reporting of such sensations as a prelude to UFO related experiences including witnesses to so-called abductions.  Participants tell of feelings of disassociation and timelessness.  The impression created for the individual concerned is one of having temporarily vacated the material world with its distracting sensory input and entered a timeless, silent, dreamlike, mental state, unlike any other previously experienced.  Obviously a type of altered state of consciousness.

Virtually the exact same sensation is repeatedly and consistently experienced by characters in the Berserk World who have had no consistent prior contact with other, "higher" Planes of Reality in the Berserk Universe: Granted,  any experience involving missing time in the Berserk World most likely means that you are about to; or have just died in a particularly unpleasant fashion. There is also the obvious difference that paranormal phenomenon in our World and in The World of Berserk; manifest themselves in very different ways. The Astral Realm seems to take a much more immediate and forceful form of manifestion in The World of Berserk's Physical Plane, in comparison to our experience with the highly speculative and ethereal nature of the paranormal. That being stated; The high degree of emphasis and impact of this sensation is greatly noticed by those caught up in the events that produce it in the Berserk World. Indicating that the "Oz Factor" experienced by characters of Virgin experience with paranormal events in Berserk is not merely the product of the often terrifying and fantastic events that they are witnessing; (The events surrounding The Tower of Retribution for example) But something inherent to the nature of Paranormal Phenomenon in Berserk: This is further borne out by the fact that the same effect is also generated by the comparatively mundane occurance of a person encountering an Apostle in Human form.

It would therefore appear that Berserk's Oz Factor (Od Factor?) is a sensation caused by a kind of "Overlap" of Astral energy from higher planes intruding into the Physical Plane. This can lead to some very interesting speculation surrounding the Reality of Berserk, it's differences and similarities between our own and the influence of conciousness in both.

 Researchers of paranormal phenomenon in our own World have come to a conclusion that percieved experiences of inexplicable phenomenon exist in a form that is both seperate and connected with our physical reality; the specifics of this . . . Theory are varied and often somewhat loosely defined but one of the main themes is that experiences of Paranormal Phenomenon serve to highlight the similarities (and differences) between individual perception and conciousness and what is reality. To put it another way, an admission that inexplicable experiences are not real in a physical sense but that they are very real in terms of personal perception. It exist but as a filtered and distorted view through a kind of inward reflection of a plane of reality or energy that cannot be percieved normally but only through the subconcious and our ability to sense energy . . . Now we are back in familiar territory in relation to the context of Berserk. Namely that our own reality has multiple levels and dimensions of existence. These other levels of reality are not so much bound with our physical plane as they are bound with the higher reaching force of our subconcious, our mind and will. What further research indicates (such as the study of quantum mechanics); Is that these higher planes of reality are highly susceptible to the power of our own will and collective conciousness: Consider that the form and interpretation of mystical experiences has been changing since man fist started describing them; From God and his Angels vying with Demons, to the Thunder of The Pagan Gods. When science outlawed those interpretations, People started witnessing Nuts-and-Bolts Flying Saucers and Contactees became the new middle-men of the Divine Will . . . You might be getting a little chill down your spine right now since it's fairly obvious where I am going with this. Specifically that the metaphysical concept of our own existence as consisting of multiple levels of reality and the Universe as a living construct formed in part from the Collective Conciousness of Humanity and our perceptions of it: Shows some very interesting correlations and/or similarities between Berserk's Universe and the Idea of Evil.

 Consider how pervasively beleif in the construct of Religion alone has shaped Human Existence; I find it rather frightening to wonder where the Constructs we've created to ferment our will end, and where we begin . . . If we put enough energy into them; can they eventually grow beyond our control and gain a conciousness and will from that energy that is all their own in some astral plane?

I hope not but if Zodd flies by my house tommorow, I'll be sure to let you all know . . .

Kentarou Miura mentions this in an interview and indicates that he is referring to specific, real-world events:

You talk about the universal law of Karma.

Well, how do I put this... When you're a cartoonist and working at home you sit at your desk pretty much all day. You get most of your information about the world from the news on TV. I think that's how most cartoonists spend their days. And then I start to see the whole picture of my point of view towards all the problems that are happening in the world. An average working man living in an average world would have a personal problem. He'd be worried about how his kids are doing in school. But I live in isolation, watching the world only on the news on TV so I start to see the bigger picture. I can look at the world from another angle. I'm not talking about one specific event. If I see news about war in another country of if there's a massacre somewhere in Japan I just look at the world objectively. Religious cults or acts of atrocity have been the topics of the news recently. When I hear those stories, not that I want to find some kind of answer, but it makes me want to visualize what's happening. I just want to see it in my world in my own way. The idea becomes clearer and polished in the process. I think I've said this in an interview before, but when I learned about Tsuchizoku and Futsuzoku, it did influence Berserk. I was writing Berserk watching the incident on the news. And a little while later I wrote about mass psychology in Berserk. I believe that incident made me want to write about it so I would understand it myself. In the beginning, about up to volume five, I was still writing stuff that I had thought of when I was in college. So my real life reflected a lot in the stories in the beginning. And after a while, I started to see the bigger picture.

I'm amazed that no one has asked about this before; I searched for it on here and got a link to a thrad on the interview with an excellent transcript of the interview by ZKK but nothing on what Miura is referring to. I was even more surprised by the fact that I could find nothing on these events outside of the forum on Google and Wikipedia. 

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