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Messages - Bleac

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Video Games / Re: Games to look forward to!
« on: Today at 09:41:22 AM »
I'm sure someone mentioned it already but I'm (still) waiting for Mount&Blade II: Bannerlord  :puck:

At this point it feels like everyone's been waiting for Bannerlord since the beginning of time.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: December 06, 2018, 12:49:04 PM »
Before I go any further, you should go grab The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Do not bother with the movie. Not saying I'm dropping spoilers here, just vouching for it as a solid book.

I've never played The Last of Us (only watched gameplay of it), so I don't have much to say, but I can definitely vouch for Cormac McCarthy's literary prowess. It comes as no surprise since he's a very popular and established author, but yeah, read The Road if you haven't already.

My most recent read from him was Blood Meridian, also highly recommended, especially for those of you who are liking Red Dead Redemption 2.

Honestly, it doesn't (nor shouldn't, I believe) matter if something isn't 100% accurate; in my life, I've found you can still absorb useful information from people even if they are mistaken about other things they mention, to form a truly grounded and well-rounded opinion on the subject at hand.

I've not 100% agreed with any of them (as it's not my own unique opinion), but I've gained something of value from each. Berserk is art, and like any other kind of art, it's open to interpretation and I don't feel forcibly correcting others or telling them how they should see it really adds anything to the community. :daiba:

I believe an analysis, especially one of this sort, should strive to be as accurate as possible. In order to bring forth a qualitative opinion I think it's important to be well informed on the topic, even if that happens to be art. I wouldn't have any problems with his interpretations and perspectives if he had preserved the integrity of the material. My main criticism of his analysis was the fact that he ommited a lot of details that matter in the context. I'm not sure if he just breezed through the manga and overlooked these things or he intentionally ommited them in order to enforce his interpretations and make his correlations to Jung seem more relevant, but I don't see much value that can be gained from this kind of approach to things either way.

I understand our standards are different. I admit that I'm often a bit too critical, despite my efforts to remain objective overall, but I still stand by what I said above.

I believe that the word "God" is used with a different meaning than what we would use it in the context of Berserk. I agree that Griffith is not a God, but he is a godlike being beyond human reach and reason. I believe that this is what he mean when referring to Griffith as a "God." That he is not a human, but some transcendental being capable of godlike deeds ...

Had he used a term like transcendental being or even "godlike" being, it would've given his point more veracity, at least in my eyes. (It's paying attention to nuances like this that makes the difference between a good and mediocre job, I believe). People unfamiliar with Berserk would've got the general notion while also staying true to the source. Why not do it if you can. One reason I can think of is that he himself doesn't understand the difference, which would be the worst case scenario considering he decided to psychoanalyze it for the public, or he just chose loose terminology in his attempt to make the video shorter. Whichever it is, I don't think he expressed himself properly.

... I don't think that his analysis is incorrect.

The only thing I consider to be incorrect from what he said is the Griffith becoming a God segment, the rest are just varying inaccuracies.

Remember when Guts was possessed by a specter while with Casca, we became immediately violent. Being possessed isn't the same as being controlled by the specter, but instead getting your hidden weaknesses and darkness exposed and manifested.

That is true, however that's not what he said. He said that Farnese was lead in a state of Neurosis (which is a mental disorder) by the things she had seen. That is a different thing from being possessed and induced into a similar state of mind. It's not the most inexcusable omission, but again, it reflects the amount of effort than went into this.

As for my explanations, I know they are not perfect, I would say far from it, but I always enjoy thinking about Berserk from different perspectives.

You are able to justify and interpret all of the things he said in a more accurate way because you're a fan of Berserk and understand it. How he expressed them in the video however is not at all obvious to someone unfamiliar with the story, and taken literally they come off as inacurate and misleading.

So if you're cool with people speaking authoritatively about things they aren't authoritative on, that's cool, but please don't try equating a groundless take with a well-reasoned take because of "artistic interpretation."

Highly agree.

It seems like something with more substance to it at first glance (at least compared to the numerous gormless Berserk videos you'll find on YouTube), but it becomes clear as you're watching, the guy analyzing it is no expert either, quite the contrary. While his summary of the story is kind of shallow, I can understand it in terms of keeping the video more compact, but he made certain statements such as "Griffith sacrificed Guts and his comrades to become a God" which are just false. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but from my understanding, a basic definition of the God Hand would be a collective of spiritual beings in possession of great evil power carrying out the will of God. The closest thing to God in the Berserk world is probably the Idea of Evil which I didn't even know was considered canon up until recently. I think that goes to show that calling Griffith a God is as huge of an error as it gets. (To his benefit, I will assume he could have done so for brevity purposes so he wouldn't have to explain all these concepts to viewers, but that's a sloppy way of doing an analysis, in my opinion, and still incorrect)

Another point he makes is about Guts strangling Casca during their intimate moment "because the first real touch of a woman shatters his persona of a self reliant and strong warrior". I think this is an obvious misinterpretation of that scene and makes it sound like the reason Guts reacted the way he did had to do with his pride or manliness rather than his traumatic experiences and vulnerability. While it's true to some extent that Guts had built a wall around himself and didn't reveal his weaknesses to anyone, until he bonded with Casca, the shattering of that wall is not what caused the reaction, the reasons why he had built that wall in the first place are, and the shattering comes as a result.

The final inacurate point he makes in this video is about Farnese's behaviour in episode 125, when she becomes possessed and acts on impulse. He attempts to associate that with Neurosis, which even though is similar, it's not exactly what happened to her during those moments. (Once again, in his favour, I will assume he perceived the possession as a trigger for a neurotic experience, but in that case he should have mentioned it instead of making it look like Farnese acted that way on her own, with no outside intervention)

I'm not sure if I'm interested in watching the other two videos at this point. Let me know if I'm being too critical of this, or if I got something wrong myself.

That's a good effort, but ultimately I don't think that much though went into it. For example, Corkus got branded right it the middle of the forehead. What would that suggest, that he was the brain, wisdom or the conscientiousness of the group? He was equally important as a character, so you can't really let him out if you want to associate like you did with the others. I doubt Miura would have cherry picked only some of the main characters, which leads to the conclusion that it's probably not the case. I suspect it's closer to being a matter of visual design. Miura simply chose conspicuous parts of the body and placed the Brand in a visually fitting way, in accordance to each character; so yeah, I believe it's likely that it has to do with visual and artistic design rather than a deeper meaning and symbolism.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 29, 2018, 07:24:23 PM »
But that's only a Dreamcast exclusive too, right? Hmm, if I can emulate it, I'll try.

Yes, it can be emulated. I played it on PC quite some time ago and as Aazealh said, it features some exclusive characters and story from Miura which give it more authenticity than the PS2 title. It's a pretty short game too, you can finish it in one sitting.

I know that one was officially released and is in English, but I hope you can transfer to Japanese for the dialogue. I seem to recall a twinge in my memory from Puck's English voice.

I believe there are some differences between the English and Japanese versions, so I'm not sure if it's as simple as finding an undub ISO, but you can try looking around. In any case, the English voices are not insufferable, at least in my opinion, so don't worry.

Think I'll just opt for a synopsis somewhere instead. Maybe even just the script.

I recommend trying it. The visual design enhances the experience quite a bit and after all, it's a game, it's meant to be played not read.

Berserk Miscellaneous / Re: Stuff that reminds you of BERSERK
« on: November 14, 2018, 07:03:54 PM »
Sorry but I see absolutely no relation there.

That's probably the case. I guess my mind just stretched it out of proportion because the terminology used vaguely resembles the themes of the eclipse.

I'll never understand the appeal behind this kind of "music."

These ones are particularly bad from what I've listened to, so that doesn't make it easier.

Berserk Miscellaneous / Re: Stuff that reminds you of BERSERK
« on: November 14, 2018, 04:26:46 AM »
Another band inspired by Berserk that call themselves - Brand of Sacrifice.

They had a new album come out in September called The Interstice with song titles like Casca, Conviction, Eclipse, Millenium (

Their merch for sale that kinda looks like Berserk fan-art ... there's also a Skull Knight shirt and Eclipse shirt.

Not a big fan of these groups who just copy paste designs and names.

Edit: While on the topic of music, Electric Wizard is a band I was introduced to a couple months ago and now I quite enjoy. They have a lot of Lovecraftian references and generally ritualistic stuff packed all over their music. Recently I've been listening to a song from them called "Wizard in Black" and noticed the lyrics are kinda reminiscent of the eclipse. I'm pretty sure the members are not Berserk fans but now that I've made this connection I can't help but look at the song that way. Here are the lyrics:

"A tower stands on the edge of time
Upon it stands the astral mind

The burning chaosphere seethes behind
Ours to see yet we are blind

The eyes of God look upon what he's done
And the eyes of Man look on and beyond
I am a god, I am the one
Into the chaos see my time has begun

The wizard in black reveals the sign
The chosen are ready, destiny realigns

Eye of ultra soul, together we join
Alone again, once again, into the void

The eyes of God [...]

Cosmic eye in the heart of the sun
Freedom rays awaken the chosen ones"

Let me know if the coincidences are as striking as they seem to me or not really.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 04, 2018, 01:54:57 AM »
In Red Dead Redemption II I've gone completely native and turned off all HUD and onscreen displays. I'm in it now! :ganishka:

It's great for inhabiting the world because you really learn the lay of the land instead of just following the tiny GPS or directions (and it turns off all on screen directions too). I have to know where I'm going or check my map, which can make the simplest errands an adventure, but that's kind of the point of this game so I'm embracing it. I mean, when you just follow that GPS it's like you're playing that and you don't even know the town you're riding through for the half dozenth time, so this is better (or I've gone crazy alone out on the plains =). The only drawback is sometimes you can't tell where a chance encounter is coming from (someone yelling for help, etc) or when you're about to walk into a bushwhacking horde of enemies. It's a pretty small price to pay though for the added immersion and beauty.

I used the same approach while playing the Witcher 3 and I definitely understand what you're saying. Paying more attention to the game world for a change, especially in cases where it's full of details and realism such as in RDR2 is a viable and exciting way to go about it. You start to notice all the clues and clever hints that were put in there for you to see but which can be easily overlooked due to the presence of HUD elements.

However, open worlds are a totally different breed from the style of world building that goes into Souls games and Salt and Sanctuary respectively. There are no maps so the world needs to be more reliably structured, so that you can remember where things are in accordance to one another and have landmarks, places that you know how to get to which lead to other places you're not fully accustomed to yet. I don't know if Salt and Sanctuary failed to do that or if it's just the 2D restriction that makes it seem so, but I don't think a Souls-like world design fits that game either way.

Sounds like a personal issue, because orienting myself was never a problem for me in the 2D format.

I'm sure a big part of the problem is my natural inclination towards 3D for orientation but I believe the game is also to blame to some extent (basically what I said to Griffith above)

It doesn't help that a lot of the levels feel very samey; the second half of "The Spirit Stone Slumbers" in particular was a major offender of this. Whoever thought it was a good idea to set a mission inside an underground tomb consisting entirely of rectangular rooms connected by square hallways filled to the brim with the same Sentry statues everywhere, and where everything is drab grey-green in color needs to be shot. The lack of landmarks in this sea of monotony means it's nigh impossible to tell if you're covering new ground or accidentally backtracking, and it's just boring as hell to look at.

I can actually think of a couple similar locations in Souls games such as the sewer portion of the Depths, the underground well in the Painted World and the Tomb of Giants in DkS 1, The Gutter (fuck that place man) and Shaded Woods in DkS 2 and the lower part of the Smouldering Lake in DkS 3. All of the aforementioned have more or less labyrinth like designs and I think the expectation is that the average player will die and go back and try a different path until they have it all figured out. If it's annoying and a hindrance that's how you know it serves its purpose I guess.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 03, 2018, 02:40:11 PM »
Doubt I'll replay this game as religiously as I did for the Soulsborne games (and Salt and Sanctuary)

It's interesting to see you liked Salt and Sanctuary more than Nioh. The art style is original and the combat is smooth but the level design feels inadequate to me. It attempts the Dark Souls interconnected world which so many people praise, but because it's a 2D game, it's fundamentally linear and this combination becomes confusing. If I took a break from it and came back after a couple of days I'd have no idea where I am and where I'm supposed to go. Maybe that's just my faulty orientation, but that never happened to me in any souls game, because once I had gone through an area I knew exactly where it was, what was around it and the general direction of things in a 3 dimensional space. In Salt and Sanctuary your field of vision is limited, and because of the 2D side scrolling camera I couldn't get a grasp of the world's dimension and location. I found myself spending more time back tracking and fixing my in game compass than actually progressing. Maybe that's how it was intended and you're supposed to go through the game many times in order to become familiar with the world, which is true in the case of the Souls games as well, but not nearly to this extent. To me it was just confusing and frustrating. I should go back and at least finish it, because it's not a bad game, and I enjoyed the combat aspects, but I don't see myself replaying it religiously.

Shootin' the Breeze / Re: Adventures in YouTube
« on: October 23, 2018, 07:30:23 PM »
That looks pretty dreamy. Makes me imagine an open world game set in the Berserk universe.

Manga Mausoleum / Re: Dark Horse Releases "Deluxe" Berserk Edition
« on: October 20, 2018, 04:58:12 PM »
I have no doubt you must know what you're talking about but are you sure? (I didn't read it yet.) In that case it's probaly not a mistake made by Dark Horse since it's exactly written "Blame!" on the japanese volumes. Or maybe that's what you meant? :???:

I knew it's supposed to be pronounced "BLAM" as well.

Berserk Miscellaneous / Re: Berserk PS2 Soundtrack Composers?
« on: October 19, 2018, 09:36:28 AM »
I bought the official MP3s back when they were available (2004 or so, I think)

You really do collect everything Berserk, huh Walter? I'd be curious to see what are some of the most bizarre or rare Berserk related products you own, if that's available anywhere.

Manga Mausoleum / Re: Berserk's Future Release Schedule Approximation
« on: October 16, 2018, 12:36:47 AM »
Miura is 52 year old.

It's pretty hilarious how we're treating Miura like a finite human resource. :miura:

Speculation Nation / Re: Death
« on: October 13, 2018, 08:22:14 PM »
his warrior genes from Guts and Casca

I'm not sure what you mean by that. One doesn't get born a warrior, they achieve this condition through training. Simply inheriting Guts' physical potential doesn't mean he'll automatically be a warrior as well. The only way I can make sense of this is assuming you meant he was born inherently talented, which would allow him to perfect martial arts more efficiently, but even so, he would still need to put in effort and interest towards achieving that goal.

Sorry if it came out too critical, something about "warrior genes" just sounded off to me.

Then I highly recommend you Sun-Ken Rock, a manhwa too, in the same style, but way better in all aspects in my opinion. :)

I had actually looked at it before but I found it to be excessively goofy for my taste. It might just be another misleading introduction though. I'm definitely willing to give it another chance, because Boichi's art style is amazing when he's serious.

I'm actually a pretty big manga enthusiast, so I'm tempted to list a plethora of titles, but I'll try to keep it concise.

First of all, even though I had discovered Berserk recently (around 3 years ago, which is a short time compared to how many years people in this community have been around for), I quickly realized this would be the best manga I would probably ever read. I expect it to stay as my number one for a very long time to come.

That being said, currently holding the second spot would have to be Kokou no Hito (The Climber), although the Japanese title actually translates to "a solitary man". I had read it also very recently, about half a year ago and it left a fresh impact that has yet to be surpassed by something else. The manga is based on a novel with the same name, which in turn is based on a real life person by the name of Katō Buntarō who shares certain similarities with the main character. Because of this it tackles more literary themes, such as man vs self, man vs nature, adversity, self sacrifice, much like Berserk.

The story follows the life of Mori Buntarou and his heroic journey to become an exceptional mountain climber. I have to admit, the first 32 chapters don't give the best first impression. They focus on Buntarou's high school years and initiation into climbing, and they suffer from quite a couple of cliches. The artwork in the beginning is also inferior compared to the rest of the series. However, despite the somewhat misleading first quarter, it picks up abruptly for the remainder of the story.

It's a complicated story with striking art and visual symbolism, which I think is what the mangaka went for. It's a coming of age story, but not the slice of life type, it has a rather realistic/pessimistic tone to it. Even thought it's categorized as a sports series, I find it to be more of a psychological manga, but it offers a lot of insight into mountains and the sport of climbing. It does a great job at evoking powerful feelings out of the reader. I consider it to be a work of art, in the truest sense of the word.

It's a shame that it has no English publication. It was officially translated only in Italian and Chinese. I would love to have the whole physical collection in English but as of right now scans are probably the only way to read it in English.

Aside from that, other titles that I'm fond of are The Breaker and The Breaker: New Waves, which is actually a Korean manhwa series. It's one of the best Karate Kid type formulas that I have encountered. Great artwork, drama, martial arts, the whole package.
I rooted for the evil main dude and felt bad that he arbitrarily lost at the end to some even more unconvincing, hastily introduced clone of the kid he'd already beat in what must have been the defining arc of the series before they squeezed out those extra few volumes.

I think his defeat was to be expected considering how bold and unrealistical his goal was. What happened at the end was a combined effort from both Mello and Near to take him down, which makes sense if you think about it simplistically, 2 great minds are better than 1. I'm a bit foggy on the details because it's been a while, but I enjoyed the ending. Light Yagami is still one of my favourite characters ever.

That's a cool, unique depiction of femto's "helmet." Is he falling apart? Or is the texture of Guts' cloak sort of being superimposed on him? Something else?

Seems to me like this is what sibir might have gone for

Edit: The manga panel, with the same kind of pronounced shading

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: September 30, 2018, 07:11:28 PM »
I picked up something on the recommendation of a friend: CrossCode.
Anyway, check out the trailer:

It has some great tunes.

Manga Mausoleum / Re: Volume 40 release
« on: September 28, 2018, 09:57:14 AM »
I've just seen this on Twitter a minute ago and came straight here, knew you guys had probably massacred it already. I must say, even with the heavy editing, it's embarrassingly bad. Do Japanese people really like this stuff?

Manga Mausoleum / Re: Dark Horse Releases "Deluxe" Berserk Edition
« on: September 26, 2018, 08:24:49 PM »
It looks more and more like there's going to be virtually no reason to buy this edition except for collecting purposes. I'm relatively new to this community, so I ask you guys, has there ever been a case when Dark Horse listened to the community, particularly the people over here regarding changes to the official releases? I know Aazealh mentioned once that 2 DH editors had accounts on the site, and you seem to be pretty familiar with their procedures. Is there any chance a petition or a collective letter or something of the sort, asking for at least a few of these crucial changes to be made would manage to persuade them? I know, pretty naive and wishful question, but since they're showing such lack of professionalism, might as well consider the possibility.

Manga Mausoleum / Re: Volume 40 release
« on: September 26, 2018, 07:55:00 PM »
The Casca piece has beautiful colors, and I especially like how well drawn her hands are. As Makoto Yukimura said once in an interview "Hands are the most expressive part of a character, after the face". It's a good painting, but one thing that feels a bit off to me is the pronounced digital influence; not that I have anything against digital, but in this case, I feel like there's a visible discrepancy between the pastel colors and theme the painting is trying to convey and the almost gaudy digital highlights. I think the other one does a slightly better job at incorporating the digital medium, but aside from that they both look amazing.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: September 25, 2018, 10:34:29 AM »
Sure, but a lot of those examples are general story elements or universal themes not only appealing to a young audience but to anyone,  and can be found in almost all fantasy, or fiction, from ancient mythology, Shakespeare, to LotR, Star Wars, Marvel, and even Berserk.

Yeah, those are some fundamental story telling devices, but in order to make a remarkable story that appeals to anyone, especially more mature audiences you need to expand on them considerably more than what your regular JRPG usually does. The fact that they kept these stories rather digestible and predictable is what makes them stop being enjoyable at a certain point, once you get over that age. This is what I understood from what you were saying, and it's where I partially disagree.

I'm talking more specifically when like Final Fantasy's character archetypes skew more towards some fucked up school-aged fashionista as opposed to a classical hero like Guts. So, it's about specific bubblegum elements meant to appeal to certain idea of hip or cool that's just hard for those outside that demo to identify with or find appealing unless it's really on point otherwise.

Yeah, Final Fantasy is its own species by this point. Square Enix JRPGs in general are iconic for those kinds of character archetypes. If you see an emo looking teen with some kind of unpractical weapon and spiky hair on the cover art of a game you can be sure it's made by Square without even looking at the tag. While those can be considered classic JRPGs, they fall into a specific category which doesn't age that well regardless.

It's a given that I'm too old to fully engage with most of those stories, but a well written adolescent story would still interest me.

Right, you'll probably never experience a story with the same impressionable mindset and passion as when you were younger, but as long as you're aware of when this stuff was made and who was primarily expected to engage in it you can appreciate it at any age. (this pretty much applies for old media entertainment in general)

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: September 25, 2018, 02:13:23 AM »
Countertheory: You are too old, but bad voice acting isn't the problem; on the contrary, no matter how well localized, and perhaps even because of it, the translation/dub is going to be an issue to us because most of those games are YA stories now, if they ever weren't, and no longer to our taste. It didn't always seem that way, and maybe it wasn't in simpler times when you basically had middle aged programmers writing their own games and the translations were literal at best (which imbued them with a kind of stilted, almost proverbial seriousness). Now, between exponentially improved sound, graphics and production values, it's impossible to escape the fact these games are largely about and for teenagers, which also wasn't so bad when WE were teenagers. =)

It's undeniable that the majority of JRPGs, especially the old ones tackle lighthearted themes with anime like designs and generic (at least by contemporary standards) high fantasy worlds, good vs evil narratives, the power of friendship and so on, which is why it's fair to assume they were targeted at a young demographic, but I don't think you necessarily have to be a teenager or a youngster to properly enjoy them. This brings about a whole separate argument, which is that adults who still play and enjoy video games in general have a persistent childish and melancholic side to them, which didn't disappear with adulthood and might never fully stop lingering. That might explain why a vast number of grown-ups are still passionate about JPRGs, old and new alike.

So I guess this is my counterargument to your countertheory to Walter's opinion about JRPGs  :???:

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