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Messages - Doc

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Speculation Nation / Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« on: September 11, 2013, 11:32:23 AM »
Okay, guys, I'm going to try and simplify this as it appears wires are getting crossed. For one, Aaz, seems to think I'm suggesting that ordinary 'bad guys' in the Berserk world should theoretically be able to become apostles just because they're evil? Or something? I don't know. I'm not sure how you got that impression but apologies if I misled you.

What I'm essentially asking is what psychological effect the 'evil power/magic power/however you wish to describe it' has on those who are chosen by causality? What about it is considered 'evil' to corrupt the individual not only physically but psychologically? My point about Femto is that he didn't torture Guts & Casca just... because. He wasn't being evil for evil's sake, like Wyald would be for instance. There was a deliberate modus operandi to what he did at the Eclipse, in raping Casca and having Guts powerless to help. It was a vindictive act which, I am arguing, portrays Femto as the living embodiment of Griffith's ego. During his transformation sequence, the deaths of his comrades pierce through Griffith, but remarkably he doesn't feel a thing. That's because the 'evil power etc.' has begun the realization of Griffith's individual will into one that no longer cares how his actions affect others, it's now all about HIM and his desires. The apostle ceremony (gadzooks it doesn't have a name) presents the chosen one with the ultimate moral dilemma. In most cases, they have to choose between their own self-interest (be it their survival, or something more abstract such as ambition) at the cost of something they hold dear to their heart. It is only when the individual puts their EGO (ego literally meaning 'self') before that cherished someone or something, that they can make the cross over to demonhood, thus drawing a fine line between what constitutes man and demon. After all, the Idea of Evil itself is a human construct.

And while Femto does treat Guts with disdain during their reunion, he spends most of time looking down his nose on him. He could've squished Guts like a bug if he wanted to, but chose to mock him contemptuously instead. Guts was really beneath his notice at that point. Femto made his point at the Eclipse and Guts' survival was irrelevant to that end. Or who knows, perhaps in some perverse way, Griffith's twisted ego enjoys the thought of Guts struggling on with the scars of that day.

Speculation Nation / Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« on: September 06, 2013, 01:22:39 PM »
In episode 83, we see that power bestowed upon Griffith by the Idea of Evil using human souls. That's non-canon, but it's the best answer I can give you. Much like I can tell you that Schierke's magic comes from the elements of nature, but not much more. "The nature of magic" has been explained to us with some pretty good depth I'd say, but you still have to accept the premise that magic exists in Berserk's world without a scientific explanation for it.

Schierke's magic is granted by the Four Elementals, right? So her magic isn't linked to the 'evil power' that the God Hand work under, I presume? I have no problem with trying to define Schierke's magic, because as you say, the manga has already done an acceptable job of that for us whilst retaining its mysticism. However, there's a very clear distinction in the terminology the God Hand use when they describe what happens to Apostles, in that the person will lose part of their self when their heart is filled with 'evil'.

The problem is that you're taking shortcuts here. There are a lot of supremely immoral people in Berserk's world (rapists, murderers, etc.) who are made no stronger by it. Simply making someone immoral doesn't automatically give them supernatural powers.

I never implied it does? I think we're getting our wires crossed here, Aaz, and apologies for any ambiguity on my party. I'm not talking about the concept of 'evil' in the Berserk world, I'm talking strictly about the 'power' that defines the Apostles and what change is undertaken by it. 'Evil' is the term used by the God Hand, not me. Now some apostles were probably bad eggs to begin with, whereas others were more complex personalities. One constant in the equation is that they each had something to lose, something sacred that connected them to their humanity.  Sure, there are plenty of shady characters in the crapsack world of Berserk, however, we don't know their backstories. They could well have wives and daughters back home, like the Count did when he was off butchering pagans. They just don't happen to be anointed by causality, otherwise we could assume they also had to give up something precious to become a demon.

So morality matters but on the level of mankind in its entirety, not individually. And apostles are made "evil" when they're transformed, but you can't just reduce the process to a purely psychological change (which is what your theory amounts to).

I certainly believe there's a strong psychological basis to it and it would be hard to deny. Griffith could only become Femto by literally putting his ambition before the lives of his soldiers. Perhaps something that he always believed deep down but did not accept until the God Hand  laid it out bare on the table for him. Femto is a manifestation of that ego-driven decision.  The rape and torture of Guts & Casca wasn't simply for teh evulz, this was personal. Notice that the God Hand claim that the person loses their humanity during the process, and yet Femto still felt the need to christen his birth by punishing the people who destroyed his pride and dreams. Then we have to look at the deliberate way he chose to torture them, as well, manipulating both of Guts & Casca's anxieties in the worst way possible. Afterwards, Griffith/Femto has little interest in Guts & Casca. During their "reunion" in Volume 3, Femto looks down on Guts and only takes action to put Guts in his place when he has the audacity to challenge him. That's because his ego had been satiated at the Eclipse and now he merely regards Guts as some leftover sacrifice.

I take it you're using the wrong term here. The Incarnation ceremony was about Femto taking flesh and coming back to the material world as the God Hand's vanguard.

Yeah that was laziness on my part, sorry. Is their a technical name for the apostle rituals? The Invocation of Doom?

Speculation Nation / Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« on: September 05, 2013, 08:31:13 PM »
Nah. To begin with, you should know that the word that is most commonly used to refer to "evil" in Berserk, by the God Hand and such, doesn't just refer to the moral notion of good and bad. It means "evil power" and can even be translated as simply "magic" depending on the context. So when the God Hand imparts someone with power, it doesn't just make them immoral. Their ego, which in this context means their self, their consciousness, is altered as they are infused with this power, and this is what makes them monsters. That's why when they die, their physical body reverts to its prior human form. Because it's their soul that is altered.

But what is the nature of this 'evil power' or 'magic' that it causes the demonic change? If it's not a case of making them 'immoral' then how would you define the nature of it? That's what I'm trying to get at. I'm a little surprised (only a little, mind :slan:) that you dismissed my theory so offhandedly when the Incarnation Ceremony is essentially one big ego-trip. It is only when the person puts their self-preservation above everything else and makes the ultimate sacrifice that they can join the monster mash. 

Speculation Nation / What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« on: September 01, 2013, 01:24:36 PM »
We are taught that in BERSERK, 'evil' is not merely a social construct, it is actually a self-governing force of nature. When the Count is handed a lifeline in Volume 3, Conrad (or maybe Ubik?) explains that his soul will be cleft open and infused with 'evil'. How would you define this?

Is the 'evil' they speak of simply the ultimate ego? Humans are inherently selfish creatures, and apart from protecting mates and offspring, most are prepared to step over someone else to get ahead in life. It's survival of the fittest in a dog eat dog world. Fortunately, humanity happens to have the virtues of society to prevent them from being truly selfish to the point of sacrificing or harming others for their own well-being. In the Berserk universe, the Idea of Evil (via the God Hand) manipulate individuals in a state of nadir into becoming completely egoistic. The highest quality of the ego lies in self-preservation. That same self-preservation has to come at the cost of someone, or something, else that is held sacred by the individual, thus becoming an 'enlightened animal' as Nietzsche might put it. It is only when those bonds are broken that this person can join the ranks of demonkind. Obviously, not an exact science, because the Count & Rosine still held old attachments to their former lives, which culminated in the Count giving his own life up in lieu of his daughter's. But for the most part, is the 'evil' spoken of a heightened state of ego? You could even argue that the flesh-hungry apostles like the Snake Baron and Wyald are a literal depiction of this, in the way they gratuitously devour those around them without an ounce of remorse.

Okay, I'm just babbling now. Thoughts are appreciated, as always.

Speculation Nation / Re: Why did Zodd warn Guts?
« on: August 25, 2013, 01:48:26 PM »
Thanks for the replies, guys. That podcast segment was an interesting listen. I can certainly buy what Aaz says about Zodd's motives "being his own". Zodd knows the grand scheme of things (Griffith is the Fifth God Hand), and that Guts is intrinsically linked to that. He doesn't know the finer details. As someone mentioned on the podcast,  hypothetically Griffith was supposed to lose the Battle for Doldrey once Guts is killed by Boscogn, and that triggers his despair event horizon. Zodd doesn't know that wasn't the case. I'm not sure why I felt Zodd was acting as an agent of causality, at least consciously, anyway.

However, like Griffith & Walter, I beg to differ that Zodd happened upon Wyald & co. by chance. Hey, it's possible, but it feels way too convenient for my liking. I mean, he's obviously followed Guts with interest to observe the battle with Boscogn, why wouldn't he have tracked them down to this point? Similar to SK, they both have an interest in the order of play, although SK is obviously more informed than Zodd because he recognizes Guts as a 'struggler' whereas Zodd wasn't so much warning Guts than predicting his death. Why the need to kill Wyald, though? Walter(?) made the point that Zodd's usual modus operandi is to seek out worthy adversaries, and that to kill Wyald on a whim is strange. So he just happened to gatecrash the scene... because? Maybe that's where I got the impression that Zodd was 'playing his part' so to speak, as his motivation there seems dubious.

Speculation Nation / Why did Zodd warn Guts?
« on: August 24, 2013, 06:02:00 PM »
What was Zodd's purpose for warning Guts about his fate with Griffith?

Zodd knows that all is bound within the flow of causality and that Guts cannot escape his fate. He even intervenes during Guts' fight with Boscogn to ensure that Griffith's destiny is fulfilled. I've heard some people say that the foretelling was also Zodd's way of shaping fate, as those words influenced Guts into leaving the Hawks. I always thought it was Griffith's conversation with Charlotte that really swung it for Guts, preceded by the murder of Adonis.

Speculation Nation / Re: Does Zodd eat humans?
« on: August 21, 2013, 06:07:18 PM »
For the record, I wasn't insinuating that humans are some kind of dietary requirement for Apostles. It does seem something that's mainly hedonistic and ritualistic for most of them, though.

@Aaz - Thanks for the clarification (re: the gatekeeper).
I beg to differ on the circumstances surrounding Zodd & the Neo Hawks. Zodd was introduced in no uncertain terms, massacring the Hawks without mercy. He was Guts's first taste of the inhuman kind, and I'm sure if Miura had wanted to, he could've included a scene of Zodd chowing down part of his prey, but he deliberately overlooked that, and has continued to in his later appearances. So all evidence so far points to Zodd not being a anthropophagus.  The Neo Hawks, on the other hand, are a deliberate red herring from the start.  The people of Midland are suckered into believing these strange beings are here to save them from Ganishka, completely oblivious to their true nature. Portraying them as man-eaters would run counter to that, and they haven't had anywhere near the same sort of attention as Zodd so far to establish their darker traits.

Video Games / Re: FF 14
« on: August 18, 2013, 02:27:56 PM »
I was bored after about 10 mins, tbh. Think I'm just not cut out for MMORPGs. :/

Speculation Nation / Does Zodd eat humans?
« on: August 18, 2013, 02:23:35 PM »
To my recollection, Zodd has never been shown to have an appetite for human flesh. He'll leave behind bloodbaths and piles of corpses in his wake but there's no sign that he actually devours his prey. Quite ironic given his full name. Obviously, Miura is deliberately distinguishing Zodd from the more ravenous and hedonistic apostles such as the Eclipse participants, by showing that he predominantly cares about the thrill of battle, and now the ambitions of Griffith.  It's also interesting that Zodd appeared to be (self?)nominated as the gatekeeper of the Vortex. Was that partly because he had no interest in the mindless om nom nom of the Eclipse?

Of course, Zodd is by no means an exception to the rule, as so far the Neo Hawks (Grunbeld, Locus, Irvine) appear to follow suit. However, that is largely circumstantial, and furthermore they are fairly new to the party. There's every chance we'll see their darker sides once we explore Falconia, lest we forget these are the bad-guys.

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« on: August 16, 2013, 12:20:16 PM »
What do people make of this summary that I found whilst browsing TV Tropes:

The movie trilogy is also pragmatic, but acts much like a non-comical abridged version of the source material. Since there are only three movies that are only about an hour or so long (the third film is a bit longer) a lot more had to be cut or re-arranged and characterization is largely limited to that of the three main characters; some newcomers to the series might be unaware of some concepts and themes without being referred to the source material. Though some important scenes were cut or downplayed: naked water fight, Griffith's history with Gennon, and the campfire of dreams scene to name a few the creators did add other tidbits: Puck and Skull Knight not only made their animated debut finally, but Farnese and Serpico are seen at the ball scene! and made other scenes a lot more emotional having Guts and Casca dance together at the ball; Griffith's sex scene with Charlotte making these changes and additions all over worthwhile. Since these are theatrical releases, gore is played exactly how it was in the original manga (bloody battle sequences are featured primarily because newer animation techniques allowed for more graphic detail), and more disturbingly, sexual violence is played up in the movies. Some fans even go as far as saying that the third movie, which covers the infamous Eclipse event, is actually worse than the manga depiction.

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« on: August 09, 2013, 06:58:07 PM »
He's witnessing his own (presumably) birth. Note the shape around the frame there. It's from the perspective of a baby, with a woman's arms outstretched toward it.

Scariest midwife ever. No wonder Griffith joined the dark side.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: August 08, 2013, 06:30:04 PM »
Of course still playing Dark Souls just about every day for at least an hour. Instead of doing a third run with my main guy, I'm continuing along with a GUTS character build, focusing on strength and one-hit  kills. So far, pretty impressive build. Main weapon is the Manserpent Greatsword, upgraded to +15 with around 40 str at level 60. Thing does insane damage. And when two-handed + great magic weapon, with Power Within activated... Guts would be so proud.  :guts:

Yeah, I need to get back into Dark Souls at some point. I started over with a Mage-build but got sidetracked by other games, such as Demon's Souls, which I'm yet to complete. Only Old King Allant to go now! First time around he handed my ass to me on a silver plate, whilst draining my Soul Level for the hell of it, and I've been putting the rematch off ever since!

Creation Station / Re: Lithrael's revised Berserk Gallery 2013
« on: August 08, 2013, 06:13:02 PM »
Great stuff, Lith. I'll always be grateful for the help you gave me.  :slan:

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« on: August 08, 2013, 05:15:42 PM »
During Griffith's tripped out vision, I'd love to know what the hell that's supposed to be at 01:17:40? Just after the shot of Griffith's kingdom. We see a creepy looking individual reaching down to inspect something. Seriously, that's the only way I can describe it.  I can identify most of the stuff in that scene but that one eludes me. Maybe I'm missing something here. Throw us a bone if you've got one.

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« on: July 31, 2013, 01:40:49 PM »
You mean the scene where instead of Femto being born, Griffith sprouts back to life as if nothing happened?  :ganishka: Nope. No Skull Knight in that sequence. It ends with Guts screaming and then "Now Loading..."

For your review:

Ah, who could forget that travesty, especially Casca running away like a little girl instead of wanting to die sword in hand. For a game that was aimed at the Berserk audience, why did they feel the need to drop Femto? It wouldn't exactly be confusing for newbs to grasp that, for want of a better term, Griffith has a human form and a demon one. *shrug*

Surely the size of voids brain  :void:  is one of the lesser offences of this movie.

Maybe but it's still quite jarring. I agree with the guys on the podcast. The animators were told 'we need a guy with an exposed brain', and that's what we got. What's a few more inches?  :schierke:

Manga Mausoleum / Re: Penetration Station: Who REALLY Raped Casca?
« on: July 30, 2013, 07:15:58 PM »
I still think Exhibit A (Volume 23) gives some credence to the Apostles having their wicked way with Casca before Femto:

It's pretty damning. Casca's about to get raped and the next scene we see a PTSD flashback where she's surrounded by phallic-shaped monsters, crying out in pain with all kinds of tentacles and feelers reaching out towards her. And notice her privates are deliberately shadowed out, which doesn't rule out penetration. Her expression, if anything, more than suggests it.

Which is interesting because Miura uses the Femto parallel for Farnese when she's about to be attacked by rapehorse (correct me if I'm wrong), but doesn't pull it up here. In fact, it's not the first time he uses this same imagery of Casca with the Apostles. Purely speculating here, but perhaps his reason for originally omitting Casca's fate at the hands of the Apostles at the Eclipse is twofold. One, is the cutaway is a classic visual device, especially for horror scenes. The last we see of Casca is her being savagely groped and stripped by the Apostles, the rest lies with the darkest recesses of our imagination. Secondly, and more importantly, it would have taken away from her subsequent rape by Femto, not on an emotional level of course, but on a purely visceral one.

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« on: July 30, 2013, 07:07:27 PM »
I thought it was quite lame. The movie made SK appear prepared for the deflection. In the manga, he was caught off-guard, but reacted quickly by guarding against it. Much cooler.

Maybe it's something, for me, that would look better in motion. Did the PS2 game animate that scene?

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« on: July 29, 2013, 04:05:16 PM »
Having SK's attack on Void be deflected behind him instead of straight back at him was a nice touch. I always thought that looked a little 'off' in the original manga. Yes, obvious straw grasping is obvious. 

Griffith didn't acknowledge Guts as a friend even after he bested him in combat. By that time it seems he had stopped reasoning in such terms.

I see what you mean. Griffith's fall from grace is such a spectacular one that he didn't really have a chance to take stock of what Guts meant to him. By the time he did, he was a tortured husk and resented Guts for what he had become.

Podcast / Re: Skullknight.NET Podcast: Episode 36
« on: July 29, 2013, 10:02:05 AM »
This was the first podcast I've listened to and I enjoyed it. You guys have a wicked sense of humour. Aaz (Aaz is the French guy, correct?) cracked me up when someone was trying to get their head around one of the (many) betrayals and he's just like: "Ah, it's just some shit."

Speculation Nation / Will Rickert survive Berserk?
« on: July 28, 2013, 04:47:06 PM »
Miura was merciful enough to spare Rickert from the Eclipse and at one stage it looked like he might have gone on to live a fairly normal existence until the world was eventually turned upside down. With the land now swarming with mystical monsters, Rickert & Erica have taken refuge at Falconia and he will no doubt be our man on the ground there. There's every possibility that he'll stumble upon the hidden underbelly of Griffith's utopia and discover all is not what it seems. Will he live to tell the tale? How do you rate his chances of making it to the end?

On a side-note: Why did Griffith try to recruit Rickert at the Hill of Swords? I don't see what use little Rickert would have in Griffith's master plan now that the guy has an army of monsters at his disposal. And I think we can rule out 'for old time's sake'.

The irony is that Guts was a "friend" to Griffith, he just didn't know it until Guts bested him and left the Hawks. By then it was too late because it coincided in his ego falling apart and the comfort sex with Charlotte to make himself feel empowered again. And the rest, as they say, is history...

Manga Mausoleum / Re: Penetration Station: Who REALLY Raped Casca?
« on: July 28, 2013, 01:22:56 PM »
Also, what's your take exactly? You just posted that "Casca most likely wasn't raped by the apostles only brutally molested" in the anime thread. So which one is it? And she had been sacrificed already, by Griffith. The apostles don't sacrifice the people by eating them.

You'll note I also said it was difficult to know either way, as it all happens off-screen and by the time we return to Casca she's naked and about to be finished off. Just playing a little devil's advocate because in my opinion ApostleBob does have a valid point. 

That's hardly the same situation. Completely different context, and Wyald wasn't your run of the mill apostle either (see his attitude towards Griffith).

Explain how. Wyald's a Lovecraftian horror who gets the chance to rape a human chick and almost takes it. Now imagine a whole group of these monsters with the same prey at their mercy with no interruptions. Especially as these same nasties denude her and imply they have something planned before snacktime. I'm not sure what relevance Wyald's designs on Griffith have in this discussion.

Character Cove / Re: What exactly was SK's "plan"?
« on: July 28, 2013, 01:16:11 PM »
I have to apologize, Aaz. I remembered that SK mentioned Void to Zodd in their showdown but as I don't have that volume to hand, in my folly I consulted a (now obviously wanky) scanlation that reads: "I have sworn to strike down Void. This is still foretold by fate... Shall it be here?" So you can see how I got the impression that SK had a particular score to settle at the Eclipse.  :farnese:

Character Cove / Re: What exactly was SK's "plan"?
« on: July 27, 2013, 10:50:03 AM »
Why? Saving Guts mattered enough to him that he went out of his way to show himself at night a year before to warn him about what was to come. Why do that if it wasn't followed by an earnest attempt to save him? Since it's not like Guts could have survived without his intervention. And since then SK has come to help him numerous times, showing he has a clear interest in him.

I took it that SK's interest with Guts was incidental to his gatecrashing of the Eclipse. He was on his way to confront the God Hand and Guts happened to be caught up in the tide. Obviously after the events of the Eclipse, and SK realizing he'd blown his chance, he decided to regroup and take Guts under his wing (of sorts) to forge him into an ally against the God Hand. I'm still finding it difficult to grasp that SK had all this planned ahead of time. It's far too convenient for SK to appear exactly when Guts needed him, and Guts for not to have been physically or mentally broken by those events. More plausible if the whole thing happened organically.

Well that "seemingly being his arch-nemesis" is what I took exception to. He just mentions Void by name while talking to Zodd. I don't think that's indicative of a particular disposition. And he strikes at him on the way to Guts, so what?

He singles out Void outside of the Eclipse, he attacks Void during the Eclipse, that lingering shot between the two, but "so what?" That's a rather glib way of studying the artform. As an establishing scene for SK and his grudge with the GH, it suggests a lot. Miura could have easily swapped that line with"I have sworn to strike down the God Hand... etc." SK can still hold Void as an archenemy without compromising his war on the God Hand, they aren't mutually exclusive, especially as one is inherently connected to the other.   

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