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Messages - Berserker Armor

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Character Cove / Re: The Beast & Dog/Wolf Themes in Berserk
« on: October 02, 2017, 10:46:40 PM »
The confirmation bias is on your part, when you look at something in an attempt to prove what you already believe. And no, not everything is open to personal interpretation in the story. In fact there are a lot of things in Berserk that are very clearly established.

The things that are clearly established are those that were written about (whether in the manga or outside the manga) or spoken about by Miura, himself. Nothing more, nothing less.

Miura does not say or explicitly spell out anywhere that the Beast is not a wolf.

You seem to be mistaken regarding where the burden of proof lies. The Beast of Darkness clearly does not anatomically represent a wolf. It is also not referred to as such in the story. The one who claims it is meant to represent a specific animal (you) is the one who has to demonstrate what he asserts.

The burden of proof lies just as much with you and your claim than it does with me and my claim.

Your claim is a positive one. You are saying with absolute certainty that the Beast is not a wolf despite the fact that there is simply nothing explicitly stated on the matter.

You are right that the Beast of Darkness is a beast. I, too, know that the Beast of Darkness is a beast. The point I'm making is that The Beast of Darkness has the potential to be a beast and a wolf (a wolf is nothing more than a type of beast). Just like it has the potential to be a beast and [definitely] not a wolf (your claim).

The bottom line is that we are both free to interpret Miura's imagery the way we see fit. That is the beauty of narrative analysis. Until Miura explicitly defines the beast as something it is (or is not) then it's pointless to try to prove each other right or wrong - burden of proof is irrelevant until it is spelled out for us by the creator as gospel of the narrative.

All we can do is support our hypotheses with evidence (evidence is distinct from proof)....aka give our own takes on the matter.  Literary devices are often left up to the reader to discover and interpret. Some may catch on, some may not. 

By the way, it's obviously not a wolf like the one you'd find in nature. I noted it looks like a monstrous, stylized, fantastical wolf. If it brings clarity to the discussion, I'll call it a lupine beast instead of a wolf.

I'm not quite sure where the difference lies or why it should matter. The point is it's not a straight-up wolf, which is what you were saying.

You insisted the Beast of Darkness is meant to specifically depict a wolf. Not a vaguely dog-like entity whose form changes at will, you insisted on a wolf. I merely pointed out to you that it's not the case. Whether you agree or disagree doesn't really matter.

I simply believe that the beast is a lupine animal.  I just went with "wolf' initially because I didnt think things would get position is that it is a lupine beast or a canine beast (feral dog of some sort) at the very least. I do not insist that it has been proven it was a wolf. I just look at the evidence in front of me and will interpret it as a wolf. I do acknowledge the fact that defining the beast any further than beast, including saying that it is not a wolf, is pure hypothesis. But hypotheses can differ in terms of supporting evidence and interpretation.

Dark Horse's translation is not word of law on anything. It's often inaccurate, sometimes spectacularly so.

It's literally the official translation though. It's virtually canon. The translation is obviously not inaccurate in this case, in any case. You, yourself, acknowledged that the original japanese words do translate to "howl" among other things. The fact that they, the translators and editors who meticulously work on the English Berserk, chose "howl" over "roar" or something else speaks volumes on the matter.

Because there is literally no evidence it is the case, and if the author meant for it to be connected, he would have made it clear. Because it doesn't make sense in the context of the story. Because to think a one time use of a derogatory figure of speech formed the basis for the positive depiction of the character in a way that is the total opposite of said figure of speech is ridiculous. And so on.

With all due respect, who are you to say that if Miura wanted something to be some way, he would have done it in the way you are claiming? Both you and I are just readers, and, like I said before, until Miura spells something out for us in an interview, letter to a fan, or the manga itself, there is no way to make absolute claims about his work without being able to read his mind or something.

See what I said about confirmation bias. That people used common insults or expressions featuring the word "dog" in them doesn't form a motif. Guts' ears and teeth are also not meant to represent a wolf either, and it's pretty funny you'd say so. As for the Berserk's armor, its helmet has taken on the form of the Beast of Darkness. Out of everything you list here, the actual solid dog references are the ones I mentioned to buttonmasher before you even posted in this thread.

This whole argument is curious because I don't think there is much disagreement here, but you're trying to make things more definite, more clear than they actually are, and you're using flimsy evidence to do so.

After I read this part of your response, we might be misunderstanding each other.

I, by no means, believe that it can be said that the Beast of Darkness is proven with absolute certainty to be a wolf/canine-beast. It is nothing more than my interpretation of the narrative...which I see as heavily implying such.

What I am contesting, though, is your claim that it can be said with certainty that the Beast is not a wolf/lupine beast. I am also contesting the idea that it can be said with certainty that there is no "dog" motif like I or buttonmasher described.

Basically - there are aspects of Berserk, just like in virtually all narratives from all kinds of mediums, that can be interpreted in different ways based on what is given to us.

Character Cove / Re: The Beast & Dog/Wolf Themes in Berserk
« on: October 02, 2017, 08:59:39 AM »
Yeah, I'm aware. What I meant is that you shouldn't interpret references through a confirmation bias.

There is no confirmation bias. Everything Miura has put in Berserk is open to personal interpretation unless he has spoken/written on the matter, himself.

And it doesn't have to, because it's not a wolf. It's a fictional beast. If it were a wolf, it'd be called "The Wolf of Darkness".

There is zero evidence suggesting that Miura wouldve called it the "Wolf of Darkness" if he wanted it to be a wolf. "Wolf" and "beast" are not mutually exclusive to each other. Something can be both a wolf and a beast at the same time.

I understand that it doesnt look like a realistic wolf, but rather a highly stylized, fantastical wolf. Same way Griffith doesnt look like the falcons you see in nature lol. Maybe I'll instead use "lupine" like the Berserk fan wiki does.

Which isn't to say it doesn't have some canine traits. It sure does.

To me this is a big understatement. To me its base is canine, rather than it merely importing some canine traits.

But it's not an actual dog or wolf or any other animal. And it's not meant to represent a specific animal either, it's meant to represent the darkness within Guts. That's why it's called the Beast of Darkness. My feelings about the Beast's design are mostly summed up by Griffith's post above, which I encourage you to read.

I read Griffith's post. But I still disagree with your opinion that the Beast of Darkness is not canine. I agree it represents the darkness within Guts. That, however, does not preclude it from looking like a monstrous wolf/feral dog.

As for the title of episode 290, it uses the word "咆哮", which can be translated as "yell; roar; howl". We translated it as "Roar from the Darkness" here. Either way, it's not the definitive proof you're looking for, especially since it occurs 17 volumes after the Beast's introduction.

I am almost certain that the Dark Horse translation translates it as "howl."  The Dark Horse translation is the official translation.

As for definitive proof - there is none to my knowledge. There is no proof at all on whether the Beast of Darkness is or isnt a dog/wolf.

The only thing we can do is speculate.

Based on the appearance, the namesake, and the official use of "howl" it's evident to me that the beast is a lupine beast.

don't see how this has anything to do with what I said, which is: the figure of speech Casca used in volume 5 did not inform the representation of Guts in her mind in volume 39.

Seeing how this topic was about dog themes in Berserk, I thought it was interesting.

Guts is specifically constructed as a dog in Casca's mind. Miura sat down at a blank piece of paper or whatever he draws on and and decided to meticulously draw Guts as a dog.

Casca has related Guts to a dog at least twice during the Golden Age arc. The first instance being the mad dog instance. The second being after they had sex and Casca told him to go die like a dog.

On what basis can you say with such certainty that the speech Casca used did not inform the representation of Guts in her mind?

At the very least, there does seem to be a motif of Guts and canines. Casca calls him a dog on at least two occasions, Gambino calls him lonely puppy and feral dog, the Beast of Darkness in Guts' mind is suggested to be a canine beast, the Berserker Armor has a lupine design when Guts loses his mind (there is even a volume cover showing Berserker Guts sitting like a wolf in front of a full moon), Guts has pointy ears and pronounced canine teeth, and ultimately Miura straight up decided to portray Guts as a dog in Casca's dream.

Character Cove / Re: The Beast & Dog/Wolf Themes in Berserk
« on: October 01, 2017, 08:06:30 PM »
I don't doubt this comes out of a good intention but I'm pretty sure everyone here is familiar with the concept of berserkers. That aside I find it odd that you bolded the quote about wolves and not the one about the bear, given that the word "berserk" is derived from "bear" and there is another word specific to wolf-related warriors: ˙lfhÚ­nar (which I believe is what your quote about "warriors like mad dogs or wolves" refers to).

I figured users here would know about the concept of berserkers. I just  did not want to assume and that's why I wrote a little about them as a preface for my premises. Wasn't trying to be condescending or anything.

"Berserk" is indeed probably derived from "bear" but that doesnt mean that berserkers of antiquity were limited to the "bear form"

"The earliest surviving reference to the term "berserker" is in HaraldskvŠ­i, a skaldic poem composed by Thˇrbi÷rn Hornklofi in the late 9th century in honor of King Harald Fairhair, as ulfhe­nar ("men clad in wolf skins"). This translation from the HaraldskvŠ­i saga describes Harald's berserkers:

    I'll ask of the berserks, you tasters of blood,

    Those intrepid heroes, how are they treated,
    Those who wade out into battle?
    Wolf-skinned they are called. In battle
    They bear bloody shields.
    Red with blood are their spears when they come to fight.
    They form a closed group.
    The prince in his wisdom puts trust in such men
    Who hack through enemy shields."


Much of the poetry and mythos of that time relate berserker to bear, wolf, beast, what have you.  The bottom line is that wolf was commonly associated with berserkergang. If the Beast of Darkness looked more like a bear I'd say it was the bear but it looks like the wolf.

I think that's completely far-fetched and I don't see how it relates to Berserk in any way. Also the God Hand does not fear Guts at all.

I never said that the God Hand fears Guts. I just said that Guts opposes the God Hand like Fenrir does.

Fair enough though. the whole Fenrir thing is more of a stretch anyway. That was just nothing more than my speculation on a potential inspiration to Miura. Something I found interesting.

It doesn't actually resemble a wolf, though. Even in the panels where it exhibits the most canine-like features it's more dog-like than wolf-like. Anyway, I repeat myself, but Miura chose to call it a beast and not something more specific for a reason. Dog, wolf, bear, boar, whatever. It's meant to be a fictional creature, not a specific real life animal. It shifts forms each time we see it in the manga (see Griff's post). Also, to say Miura drew inspiration from the concept of berserks when he called his manga Berserk feels beyond obvious, but I don't see how this relates to your wolf comment.

It looks like a fantastical monstrous wolf to me. Somewhere on the range of wolf to feral canine at the very least.

It's heavily implied that the beast is of canine origin. One of the chapters involving the beast of darkness is titled "The Howl from the Darkness"

In terms of animal noises, howling is pretty much exclusive to wolves and dogs. That, combined with the appearance of the beast, really suggests that it's some kind of wolf (or dog).

There is also nothing spiritual about the Beast of Darkness, as it is a personification of a part of Guts' psyche. It is not a spirit (and certainly not Guts' soul), merely a storytelling device created to depict the psychological conflict within Guts' mind.

That is, among other things, because those two events are unrelated. The figure of speech Casca used in volume 5 did not inform the representation of Guts in her mind in volume 39.

I agree with the part about the beast not being an actual distinct spirit, but part of Guts' psyche. I guess I wasn't clear about that.

About Casca's dream, Guts being a dog should have some significance. We can only speculate. However, like I said, I think the choice of Guts being what looks like some type of hound is interesting.

Shootin' the Breeze / Sup
« on: October 01, 2017, 06:49:47 PM »
I've been a Berserk nut since around 2009 when I watched the anime. Even then, before I had read the manga, I considered Berserk the greatest narrative of all time.

Being extremely content, and having poor experiences with manga (vs anime), I did not read the manga until years later, even though I knew it continued the story. Obviously when I finally read the manga, I was blown away even more. I still consider Berserk to be the greatest narrative of all.

A few days ago I happened upon this site and am hyped. I know I'm late to this party but looking forward to it.

Here is an incredible fan made piece dedicated to Guts
Born a Struggler - Guts' Theme -

Then there is the band, Battle Beast, that has actually produced songs about Berserk
Iron Hand -
The Black Swordsman -
The Band of the Hawk -
The Golden Age and Kingdom -
Fight, Kill, Die -
Out of Control -
Madness -
Kingdom -
Touch in the Night -
Unholy Savior -
The Eclipse -

Dream of Mirrors (Iron Maiden) -

Now We Are Free (Hans Zimmer) -

A Full of Metal in the Lungs (Hirasawa the GOAT) -
Island Door (Hirasawa the GOAT) -

Shook Ones (Mobb Deep) -

So Many Tears (Tupac) -

Then there are the game OSTs. Here are some of my favorites
Niko (Hirasawa himself)
Indra (Hirasawa)
Indra 2016 (Hirasawa)
Sign I (Hirasawa)
Sign II (Hirasawa)
Berserker Armor Theme -

Character Cove / Re: The Beast & Dog/Wolf Themes in Berserk
« on: October 01, 2017, 05:00:05 PM »
So, to try and gain some insight into the Beast of Darkness, I think it's worthwhile to examine the concept of the namesake of the actual story.


Berserks (or Berserkers) were old Nordic warriors who fought in a trance-like state of fury, unphased by anything in battle and killing anything in their paths.

"they went without coats of mail, and acted like mad dogs and wolves" (Snorri Sturluson. Heimskringla: History of the Kings of Norway. trans. Lee M. Hollander. Austin: Univ.of Texas Press. 1964. p.10)

"Men saw that a great bear went before King Hrolf's men, keeping always near the king. He slew more men with his forepaws than any five of the king's champions. Blades and weapons glanced off him, and he brought down both men and horses in King Hjorvard's forces, and everything which came in his path he crushed to death with his teeth, so that panic and terror swept through King Hjorvard's army..." (Gwyn Jones. Eirik the Red and Other Icelandic Sagas. NY: Oxford Univ. Press. 1961. p. 313).

" While this fury lasted they were afraid of nothing, but when it left them they were so powerless that they did not have half of their strength, and were as feeble as if they had just come out of bed from a sickness. This fury lasted about one day"

Sources also refer to this phenomenon as the hamingja ("spirit" or "soul") or fylgja ("spirit form") of the berserker, which may appear in animal form in dreams or in visions, as well as in reality.

Also possibly related to the Nordic influence of Berserk is the mythical beast, Fenrir, which was a monstrous wolf whom even the Norse gods feared (Sound familiar? Guts wishes to challenge the God Hand)

In the end, I consider the Beast of Darkness to be a wolf. If it resembles anything, it's a wolf, and it's safe to assume that Miura drew inspiration from at least one of these Nordic concepts.

As for Casca's dream - Dog Guts shouldnt be anything "spiritual" as it is nothing more than within the confines of Casca's mind. Casca has called Guts a mad dog before, but I found it interesting that Guts was depicted as a hound-like breed. Hounds are the quintessential hunting dog, relentless just like Guts.

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