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Messages - ApostleBob

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Podcast / Re: Skullknight.NET Podcast: Episode 1
« on: February 07, 2012, 03:39:28 PM »
Great Podcast guys.  I really enjoyed it.  I love your idea of exploring not only the Berserk story, but how Miura tells it.  It's nontraditional in many ways but still very effective.  Just the suggestion that we might not see what Falconia is like until Guts reaches it gave me shivers.

I'd love to hear the God Hand and the Eclipse discussed as well since they're such a unique element to a fantasy series.  Keep up the great work!

Thanks for the responses Walter.  Good food for thought.  We'll never really know how it went down, but as you say, while Griffith probably didn't fight exclusively for Midland, he might have taken precautions to avoid any ill will.  

I think you've really misjudged Carcus, which is pretty common. He stayed with the Hawks until the bitter end. He complains a lot, and talks big, but he's as loyal as any of them and truly believed in Griffith.   As for the way he treats Guts, in his own way he was just being protective of his comrades. He saw Guts as a threat to the integrity of everything he'd fought for (and rightly so, as it ended up).

Well when you  consider that I thought Bazuso was a Hawk and that Carcus was ready to backstab him for bragging rights, it tainted my impression of they guy from the start.  He has been steadfastly loyal to Griffith throughout, and he's always willing to speak the ugly truth that no one wants to hear.  I don't blame his distrust of Guts, but he's also quite dickish to Casca and Rickert which isn't a quality of a team player.  But I guess he often keeps everyone down to earth.  I think his talk with Guts in the tavern still rings very true.  

I don't think that's such an outlandish idea. Did Guts strike you as someone who was allied with one particular mercenary company in that scene? Bazuso could have been the same -- just another mercenary  on a job.

Nope this all makes sense.  We just don't see a lot of mixed mercenary companies together in the series.  Most are pretty unified or at least the Hawks and Gambino's organization has skewed my image of them.  I guess we can assume that the 100 man fight was made up of free-lance mercs versus a single group fighting for Adon.  

It's never explicitly stated, but as a mercenary band focused on raising funds, they had no reason to ally themselves with a kingdom's cause until Griffith seized the opportunity to impress the King of Midland.

Makes sense.  The Hawks stand out more if they make a few spectacular victories versus a long series of smaller ones.  It gives the Hawks a chance to build their army and resources, not to mention skill.

That being the case, it's possible that he removed The Hawks from any potential skirmishes against Midland forces.
Even the skirmishes of feudal lords are tied to the overall war. Nobles tend to ally themselves with a larger country.

But by this logic, if all the feudal lords are tied to the hundred year war and allied to one side or another, and we infer that Griffith would avoid siding against Midland for political reasons, couldn't we extend that logic to say he probably sided with Midland quite often?  Unless you're saying he wouldn't skirmish against Midland's "Official" forces like a regular army, as opposed to the mercenaries they might employ.

Nah, among other reasons this isn't true, remember that Carcus says he wanted to take out Bazuso himself, and felt jealous that Guts did it before him (really it's just big talk from Carcus, but...).

That makes sense, though Carcus was never known for fierce loyalty to other Hawks.  Just look at the insubordination he show'd Casca and the way he treats Guts.  But in that case, are you saying that the first battle had several Mercenary companies allied to defend the castle?  If so, why would Guts single out the Hawks for being responsible for it's exceptional defense?  I could see it going either way really.

Manga Mausoleum / The Hawks always fought for Midland, or just recently?
« on: February 06, 2012, 09:57:53 PM »
There's something I've always wondered about that I don't believe is ever explicitly stated in the Manga.  I've never seen it discussed so I figured it warranted a new topic.

The Band of the Hawk's battle against the Black Rams is the first battle where we see them specifically fighting on Midland's behalf in the 100 year war.  Prior to that we witness them engaged in several battles with no clearly defined sides.  I'm talking about the Bazūso battle, the battle where Guts is the rear guard, and the one just prior to the time skip.  My question is whether we can assume these prior battles were a part of the 100 year war between Midland and Tudor or if these are assumed to be random battle between individual feudal lords.   :???:

I realize we'll never get an official answer to this, but I'm just wondering how everyone else took it.  Now I know that the Hawks are mercenaries, not some nations personal army, but I'm sure the biggest and regular paydays would come from a national sponsorship versus private ones.  Plus it plays toward Griffith's dream to get national favor.  Personally I always assumed that Midland was a regular client of theirs and that their popularity and Griffith's Knighthood was a culmination of a long history of service to Midland as opposed to the Black Ram victory alone.  Am I off?

As a side question, in the Bazūso battle, I've always assumed the Hawks were the sole defenders of the castle.  This would make Bazūso a former member of the Hawks.  Perhaps even the former Raider Captain that Guts replaces (wild speculation, I know).   :slan:

Does this sound at all accurate?   Or is it more likely that their were several mercenary companies hired to defend that castle and that Bazūso was a member of another of them.  He does have a very non-Hawks emblem on his armor and battle ax.  

Before anyone says it, I know the answers to these questions have little bearing on the actual plot.  I'm only asking for a richer understanding of the Berserk universe, and I'm aware that any answers will rely on a lot of assumption and reading between the lines.

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 326
« on: February 06, 2012, 04:12:43 PM »
It's nothing new, but I love how Guts essentially wills himself past his injuries.  This used to be just the beast taking over (as I see it), but now I think he's actually in control.  I love it.   :guts:

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Saga Project News
« on: February 06, 2012, 03:39:35 PM »
Nah, the first thing that came to mind for me was the Rochine fight in volume 16. Remember when Guts gets his cheeks skewered by avoiding a blow to his face?

This sounds about right.  If it is, man am I excited about that battle.  One of the best from Guts's Black Swordsman era.  Probably pulled from the pilot, but probably a good indicator of what they intend to include with the series.

As to the issue of God Hand placement in the credits that Aaz pointed out,  hopefully this clip was just made for the intro credits.  The graphics looked pretty rough compared to the other stuff we've seen.  Especially the Eclipse shattering.  Maybe some animator rushed and didn't pay attention to placement.  At least I hope.

Any more reviews out there?  Anyone know if Guts's voice over make it into the film?  It would be a pretty big departure if they omitted it.  A lot of important content in his thoughts.

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Saga Project News
« on: February 04, 2012, 08:57:13 PM »
Oh my god!  So much news!  

Thanks for the review so far SaiyajinNoOuji.  It sounds like they are doing the series justice despite some alterations for run time.  I'm glad they aren't censoring too much and are even implying Guts child rape.  I was expecting quite a bit more censorship for an international release with this much money thrown at it, but I'm happy to be wrong.  I have little doubt that Fempto's rape will make the cut and hopefully Wyald will make it in some form.  

The opening ten minutes are amazing!  Altered from the manga, yes.  But we get a very clear sense of the world of Berserk and it's incredibly visual, without too much reliance on voice over or exposition.  The tone is set and it's brutal.  Perpetual war, not even by national armies but by hired mercenaries.  Death is abound and innocents are in the crosshairs.  It's the perfect stage for Griffith to take the spot light and bring victory and salvation to the despairing masses.  And I love the opening imagery.  A bird soaring high knocked down from it's ascent to be trampled.  Sound like a certain rising messiah figure?  Great foreshadowing.

And I love the introduction of Guts at the siege tower.  He leaps past his comrades, alone, and sprints past his enemy and even takes an arrow to dive into danger.  Isn't this who he is?  A stubborn, fearless warrior that seeks danger only to overcome it.  Same with the battle with Bazūso.  David vs. Goliath.  The hair on my neck bristled when he charged in and pounded him back.  Very nice direction.  The censored kill only makes me think we have some graphic deaths to look forward to.

Even the last 30 seconds after the credits.  Guts eyeing the orphaned baby.  It says so much, what it reminds him of.  It condenses a lot of story into these small moments, and lets audiences fill in the blanks.  I'm sure his backstory will be revealed over time, but I get a good sense what type of loner he is.  It makes me want to know more about him.

Decent interview video.  It makes me appreciate the struggle to get this film made and I now understand the need to do so much CGI work.  The huge armies and complex armor couldn't have been easy to hand draw.   Did anyone else get the sense that when Guts is beaten by Griffith and staring up at the sky that he sees an angel soaring, or is it just a Hawk?  It seems ambiguous enough for me.  Until I see a high-res version, it seems like an interesting foreshadow for Griffith.  

I can't wait to see the full length film, even in japanese.  Berserk has always held a special place in my heart as a complex human drama set on on a broad canvas of exciting action and deep universal ideas.  I hope they do it justice, even if it does take it's own liberties to bring it to the big screen.  So far, I'm onboard.    

My first questions would be if the film uses voice over from Guts at all, or if it's all dialogue and through action.  Also, how do they handle the transition from young Guts and Griffith to the three years later to the battle with the Black Rams?  Do we see the raid in the manga where Guts is the rear guard or is this all a montage?  Exciting stuff.          

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Saga Project News
« on: February 03, 2012, 05:01:32 PM »
No one's ever used anything close to Guts' sword historically.

I've only heard of one who's come close: the Magnificent Bastard, Pier Gerlofs Donia.  He was quite a warrior in his time.  :guts:

Here is his sword, and his Lieutenants' sword

Beyond that it also establishes the world, its rules and many core elements of the series (the Brand, beherits, apostles, sacrifices), the characters of Guts, Puck, the Demon Child and of course the God Hand (including Femto's past as Griffith and his relationship with Guts). These are what people shouldn't miss.

Agreed, but with the order they are telling it now, many of these elements will already have been established in a different way.  Perhaps not the best way...  My point is that I don't think the the black swordsman arc is expendable at all, and that they better include it if they go on to OVAs.  Too many core themes are established, it's the dark period that is largely responsible for the Beast of Darkness, and the encounter with the God Hand is essential.

In any case, no offense intended but I don't think you have any legitimacy in determining what is or isn't the way to build an audience. Those are choices that were made for reasons we ignore and likely based on more than one factor. They are what they are and don't need to be defended or justified by third parties with no intimate knowledge of the issue.

No offense taken, but I work in the american film industry as an indie producer.  I've helped developed several feature films for the studio system, so I have some idea about building an audience.  However, I cannot speak to the way Japanese studios make their decisions as far as content goes.  They are somewhat similar to the American system at the core, but their outward sensibilities are entirely different at times.  Plus this is animated, not live-action so that creates it's its own considerations.  So yeah, I'm guessing, but it's not entirely baseless.  

To be fair, I don't think taking cues from people on the Internet would be a good thing.

I don't think it's bad to take the overall pulse of a fan base when you're starting a franchise, but art by committee is never a good idea.

AI Beautiful Things (+ a Whole lot of "Brand" new and familiar Berserk Footage)

Looking nice.  Great animation and attention to detail.  Much more cinematic than the original anime, but I have a feeling the original will be the more faithful of the two.  Still, I'm excited.

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Saga Project News
« on: February 03, 2012, 05:39:15 AM »
Agreed.  What the hell.  This CGI is worse than the PS2 game and is way too bright.  From this 15 sec clip I prefer the original anime's 100 man fight.  And that's saying something.  I really hope this is a work in progress like the Zodd footage was.

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Saga Project News
« on: February 02, 2012, 09:41:28 PM »
Unless the leather is supple enough that he has enough leeway to take it out, like I told you earlier. Which was historically the case with scabbards in general and baldrics in particular.

Maybe.  I don't quite buy this because I can't find any historic examples of a Baldric used with a sword as long as Guts'.  Mainly because very few people carried swords as long and broad as even the Guts raider sword.  If you can, I'd be interested to see them.  Anyway, I don't think the pliability of the leather would be the issue here.  It could be elastic and that blade would still get stuck on the shoulder hoop.  His arms simply are not long enough.  :sad:

As for pulling it out in one swift motion, yeah that probably wouldn't be the case, but you'll notice that during the fight against Bazūso for example, his sword was already unsheathed even though he kept it at his back.

Sure, Miura's covered here.  We might assume that he'd been already been using the sword in the battle.  Makes sense.  But there are plenty of instances that imply a swift unsheathe.  Killing Dan for example.  Or challenging the Captain of the Black Rams.  Or at the beginning of the 100 man fight...

In any case, even putting those details or "in-between panels" rationalizations aside, simply tweaking the baldric's design wouldn't have been very hard.

Never said it was, just that I appreciated the attention to this minor detail that my OCD mind couldn't let go.  I'm certainly not trying to use this minor improvement to rationalize Guts childhood being omitted.  Just taking the good with the bad.  Even when it's incredibly obscure...  :farnese:

Regardless, I will say that the Black Swordsman arc is narratively very well put together, and while its overall tone is pretty dark it's clearly not just a succession of "tragedies" and action scenes. It's also a perfectly representative excerpt of what the series is about.

Agreed, I think the Black swordsman arc is essential.   The battle against the count and all his men makes me wince whenever I read it.  Guts takes a ton of punishment.  And it has a perfect climax as Guts finally faces the God Hand... and loses quite spectacularly.  But he never gives up.  It's the total embodiment of the impossible struggle Guts faces throught the remainder of the series.

But I get why they didn't lead with it.  From a marketing perspective, the Golden Age is the way to build an audience.  Not nearly so grim and hopeless.  Hopefully they'll continue on through the Eclipse to Guts' Apostle Hunting days.  But I'm keeping expectations in check.  If it's a single film, I could see them combining aspects of the Snake Baron, the Count, and Rosine into a single narrative.  But hey, that's pure speculation!  :slan:

They're cute. :iva:

Indeed they are cute.

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Saga Project News
« on: February 02, 2012, 05:16:34 AM »
There's also a previously present absent level of suspense by slowing the attack down and unnecessarily complicating it. If anything, there was more suspense-filled action in those stills and a lot more putting on helmets, glaring, and standing around here.

No offense, but suspense and action are not the same thing.  Suspense is about building anxiety and anticipation leading up to action, which I (personally) think this clip accomplishes.  I will however admit that Guts lazily putting on his helmet is the worst part of this.  But the cross cutting of Dan charging, with Guts readying his strike works great.  The same for the simultaneous charge, as they get closer and Guts sizes up the situation.  But I'm content to be in the minority on this.

Also, considering they're skipping the Black Swordsman arc, Guts' childhood, and Wyald's still a question mark, I wouldn't think they'd have the time to add that kind of cheap suspense.

I've come to terms with the Black Swordsman not being in this anime six months ago.  We still don't know how theyll proceed after the Eclipse, so it's a fair bet that some of it will survive before the Lost Children Arc begins.  Fingers crossed for Wyald.

If you appreciate the details you're really going to hate this adaptation. :iva:

I was only referring to the realistic portrayal of sword combat, nothing more.  I've mentioned many times that I fully expect this to be an adaptation that takes liberties, and that I'm perfectly fine with that as long as it's true to the spirit of Berserk and hits all the key story points. 

I'm going to enjoy it for what it is, Berserk sound and motion, but trying to compensate for it's limitations by cherry-picking "improvements" it makes is silly. Especially subjective stuff like this or Guts using a smaller sword and dressing like a ninja during the assassination. Even if it fixed a legitimate mistake, like making it so Casca's boots don't disappear/reappear during the attempted rape from volume 23, it's not not as if that would somehow validate the anime against the source material despite everything else cut or compromised along the way. Anyway, it's more likely they'd just cut that scene if they get there. :guts:

Eh, agree to disagree.  These things so far don't ruin it as Berserk for me.  The Band of the Hawk still has all the same characters.  Guts and Griffith seem to be portrayed accurately.  The conflict is the same.  The gray morality is still present.  The battles are the same but heightened at times.  Same character arcs that all seem to lead to the Eclipse.  Just imagine the gigantic changes this might have had, not withstanding a few omissions and combined scenes.  Imagine if they decided the Eclipse was too dark and went a different direction.  Or if Guts didn't kill Adonis.  Some artistic liberties are to be expected.

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Saga Project News
« on: February 01, 2012, 08:32:11 PM »
For the record I actually don't find it as intense as it is in the manga, specifically because there's such a delay between Dan and Earl's attacks.

I can see that point of view, since in the Manga the attacks are in quick succession.  It's a flurry of attacks, one after another.  However I think there's previously absent level of suspense built as Earl and Carcus charge Guts simultaneously from opposite sides.  In my opinion it works quite well from a cinematic perspective, as opposed to still images in a manga.

I also think Carcus' passivity in that scene was a good way to set up the tone for his character.

Sure it is.  He's always been a bit of a weasel.  :carcus: I don't this ruins that though.  There are many more instances of cowardice and back-stabbery as the story goes on.  Having him participate in the attack isn't sacrilegious for me.  He is a leader among the Hawks after all.

Really? It's a pretty straightforward holster... It's supple, like any leather scabbard, so that the sword can be taken out easily.

Perhaps I didn't explain myself well, enough as I thought this was self evident.  Apologies.   :farnese:

While I agree that the original design is appropriate in it's simplicity for the period (fictional as it may be), it has one glaring problem: it's functionality is awkward at best and impossible at worst.  Before you jump down my throat for criticizing Miura's early design,  :mozgus: take a step back and think about how unsheatheing the raider sword and young Guts sword would work.

For argument's sake, let's say the sword's blade is about a foot shorter than Guts is tall.   The manga's sheathe holds the blade at three points: the tip of the blade, a leather loop at his belt line, and another leather loop at his shoulder.  Now visualize this; If he has to pull this long sword over his shoulder, through these hoops, he runs into a problem.  His arms aren't long enough and he has half of his sword still caught in that shoulder loop.  Not ideal for action at a moments notice.  :sad:

He might be able to get it out with a second person helping, or by grabbing the blade hand over hand to pull the rest out, but obviously this is too awkward and clumsy for Guts fighting style.  It's depicted as coming out in one fluid motion, which can be cheated in manga form, as it's never required to be shown in motion.  With animation this logistic problem arises, and I think it's cleverly side stepped by altering the design to have a metal shoulder notch versus a leather hoop.  You now can see exactly how it works in the Carcus raid.

I know this is a ton of text for such a minor detail, but it has always been one of those minor things that bugged me about the manga.  I liked the look, but it would've never worked.  Kudos to the new design.

P.S. If the practicality of Guts' Raider sword sheathe has been discussed before, I haven't seen it, and a search produces nil.

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Saga Project News
« on: February 01, 2012, 03:26:32 PM »
Personally I'm pretty fine with the interpretation of Carcus's ambush.  It's pretty dynamic and intense and really shows the skill Guts has to hold his own against multiple opponents on horseback.  I never liked the way it was portrayed in the original anime, as it was slow and vague.  This portrayal hits all the key points from the manga (the way Dan and Earl are killed), but it fleshes it out in a cinematic way and altered the perspective at times. I wouldn't be surprised if this liberal interpretation is the way most of the action scenes will go.  I say let the animators do what they do best.  As long as it doesn't betray the tone of the series.

Can anyone really say that they don't like the idea of Guts fending off both Carcus and Earl at the same time?   I think it looks great.  

BTW, I really dig the update on how Guts' shoulder holster works.  I always had issues figuring out how he'd unsheathe his old sword without it getting stuck halfway.  The new design is simple and elegant. 

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Saga Project News
« on: January 31, 2012, 06:46:14 PM »
Did anyone notice the alternate poster on the merchandise page?  It's second from bottom here:

It looks an awful lot like the ruins of Gaeseric's capital with the Eclipse landscape in the background.  The characters look like they were inserted with a bad photoshop job, but it is on the official page.  Perhaps this is the look those environments will have.

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 326
« on: January 27, 2012, 06:54:39 AM »
This just made my day.  What a great death for the Sea God.  Looks like Guts has some swimming to do.  Hope he can dog paddle. :beast:

That was the sea god? Guts fought apostles tougher than that. Heheheheh  :ganishka: Very good episode. Thanks for providing again, this place is the best.  :serpico:

I hear you, but at the same time a strait up brawl with the Sea God would be ridiculous.  Guts is very aware of his human limitations and his enemies overestimation of their own abilities.  Guts has always been tricky like that.  I think he exploited the Sea God quite well and not without massive injuries.

On an even brighter note, we can also look forward to Elfhelm in the near future (after they rescue Guts and treat him of course.)

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Saga Project News
« on: January 26, 2012, 09:35:39 PM »
Anyone have any idea what's being said in these?  Even a basic translation.  I'm sure it's all simple promotional stuff, but it'd be interesting to hear the actor's take on their character.

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Saga Project News
« on: January 26, 2012, 08:58:43 PM »
Those lighting effects in the Corkus interview... look weird.  Same with the flash animation falling leaves.  I appreciate the effort at detail and realism but the scene would've almost been better with flat lighting.  Very distracting.

Speculation Nation / Re: The purpose of the Apostles
« on: January 25, 2012, 04:47:38 AM »
When you start trying to decipher the grand scheme behind the God Hand and the Idea of Evil, you're venturing into unknown territory. For that reason, it's not the best material for speculation because there's little grounds to further any potential theory.

I guess I was just trying to make the point that it seems like the IoE does have some end in mind to it's machinations.  What that is, whether it's Falconia, or something beyond, is yet to be seen.  But there does appear to be purpose to all the GHs manipulation and influence.  It's not just to keep a status quo.  I was just speculating as to what part the Apostles have in it.

Quite the opposite, actually. They appear to be stealthily manipulating events of national and possibly global importance from behind the scenes. The key scenes for that are Slan visible during the orgy in Vol 18, and Conrad being formed by rats outside Wyndham, spreading plague. And those are just the instances we were shown. Skull Knight tells Guts in vol 18 that they can be found just behind the veil in any place of "concentrated negative human emotion." Just because we don't see them hurling boulders at armies doesn't mean they aren't influencing people.

I think we're saying the same thing.  They can nudge and influence humanity, often with large results, but they cannot directly interfere with it's affairs except in extreme circumstances.  They are the man behind the curtain pulling the strings, but no one is aware.  For example, they would never appear out of thin air and strike down Ganishka for daring to oppose them.  They are more subtle, so much so that almost appears to an untrained eye that they don't exist.  Which is exactly what 99% of the Berserk world believe.

Apostles have a directive "do as you will," but their will has already been molded into a suitable form for the larger scheme. The apostle coda may as well be: "Do as you will (For all the good it will do you...)"

A great way to put it.  But other than Zodd, Wyald, Eggman and Ganishka, most of them seem to have little influence at all on world events.  They're either just assholes or exceptional soldiers.  But maybe that's enough.  :zodd:

Of course, humans aren't programmable like robots.  The count obviously goes against the role carved for him. But they can be placed in specific circumstances where the outcome is nearly inevitable. That's the method the IoE uses. For such a complex computation, I think apostles are probably useful as controlled variables.

Maybe it deserves a separate topic but I find it interesting that despite all the manipulation and precognition the IoE seems to have over the world, it makes it a big point that becoming an apostle (or a God Hand) is a choice.  A very coerced choice at their weakest state, to be sure, but still it is not forced.  A lot of emphasis is put on man having no control even over his own will, and that causality rules overall.   :void:

The implication is that free will is an illusion and that determinism is the rule of the day.  But why then does Miura offer choice at this critical stage?  He could have easily just had the sacrifice be automatic as Guts predicted in Vol 12.  And why show an exception like the Count early on in the story?  I have a suspicion that the strength of individual will can trump causality and collective desire.  Guts characteristic stubbornness in the face of impossibility and the dependence on apostle candidates to choose seem to point to this being Miura's end intention.  But hey that's me.   :slan:

As powerful beings granted near-immortality, they swing a heavier hammer of influence on the world than the average human. So it probably works favorably for the GH and the IoE that these same beings have their bodies bound to evil.

Agreed of course, but it's a little vague for my tastes.  I wonder if we'll ever get a more specific answer to this in the manga.  I doubt it.

Most people don't even acknowledge that apostles exist, so the atmosphere clearly isn't just from some apostles terrorizing humans.  

True, few even acknowledge the supernatural exists at all until recently.  But by climbing into these power positions, often through their apostle superiority (Koka, Count, Ganishka, Wyald), many of them have the ability to influence the population without revealing their true nature.  

Speculation Nation / The purpose of the Apostles
« on: January 25, 2012, 12:22:30 AM »
I've been a long time reader of Berserk, but something has always bugged me.  The IoE has spun causality for millennia in order to shape man's will for some grand design.   Perhaps it's Falconia.  But the IoE cannot interact with the world directly.  To guide the IoE's design, it creates the God Hand as middlemen, out of what I assume are exceptional human beings with incredibly strong will.  I assume this about them because Griffith was this way, and because the IoE is essentially fueled by and created by human will (not the strongest argument, but I think it fits thematically).  But even they are like shadows on the world, only able to influence small events, never to interfere (except after an incarnation such as Griffith).  With one exception:  They preside over the creation of apostles.  Only the apostles can exist on the material world up to now.  But to what end?

Everything the IoE seems to have done seems to be with the long term in mind, that much is pretty clear.  But the creation of powerful monsters as some sort of wish fulfillment program is perplexing.  Why are these humans granted great power and told to do what they want, instead of given a specific agenda.  Many, like Grunbeld, Locus, Rakshas, and Ganishka, were exceptional people before the transformation.  We can assume Zodd and Irving were as well.  But some, like the Count, Rosine, the Beheilit Apostle, and probably Wyald weren't exceptional at all.  Most of them are cruel and almost all of them are terrifying to normal people.

I have a couple theories but I wondered what the communities take on this is, as it's never explicitly stated in the manga.

My speculation:

Their purpose is dual in nature.

Their initial purpose is to create misery, suffering and uncertainty in the world.  They give into their own selfish desires and bully puny humans at their hearts content.  People pray for salvation.  After many generations this creates an environment in which the Hawk of Light is desired enough to manifest.  We can speculate that this was specifically the purpose of Ganishka: to create a grave enemy against humanity for Griffith to defeat, to solidify his status as a grand liberator.    

Their second purpose apparently is to become the army of the re-incarnated Griffith.  An invincible force that no army can stand before and who will be devoutly loyal to a God Hand member should he ever fall out of favor with the people.  This could have taken hundreds of years as the apostles appear to be unaffected by age, and we know at least Zodd is 300 years old.    

So what do you think?  Am I way off base?  Or are they just cool bad guys that Miura wanted to include  :iva:

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Saga Project News
« on: January 24, 2012, 09:57:26 PM »
Especially not some Super Mario jump.  *sigh*

I'm on board with some of the changes like the enhancement of the Buzuso battle, but this is hardly an "improvement."  The rest of the footage looks pretty great so far though...

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Saga Project News
« on: January 24, 2012, 08:46:25 PM »
The more I watch it, the more Griffith's jump onto Guts blade looks ridiculous.  I know he's supposed to be incredibly skilled, but it appears unrealistic and cartoony. 

I know it's absurd to reference realism in a work that has transforming demons, gods that spin man's fate, and a protagonist that wield's a sword the size of a bench, but Berserk has always towed the line to make you believe that these are very human characters with human limitations.  Injuries aren't shrugged off and people don't fight or fly through the air like Dragon Ball Z.  The supernatural in the world of Berserk is completely unexpected to it's inhabitants, and as a result, seems impossible to overcome.  Guts' feats of strength just seems that much more impressive because of this rooted realism.

Let's pray this example in the film is isolated and we don't have Guts and Griffith flying through the air, swinging swords so fast they catch fire, or Judeau throwing knives like a machine gun.  A realistic portrayal of combat with some slight dramatic embellishments is what I hope we get. 

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Saga Project News
« on: January 23, 2012, 08:38:17 PM »
Not to be a nitpicker Walter, but this has to be a little out of sequence or else someone's really messing with the timeline.

Check out the picture from row 2, column 5: a dark profile of Guts.  From what we've seen, this really looks like it's a part of the fountain scene with Griffith and Charlotte.  Odd that it's placed here.

Everything else seems to make sense.  It looks like their incorporating Griffith's back story of how he got the Beherit into a flashback after the Zodd battle.  I guess I'm okay with this as it seems natural for Guts to ask about it after it halted Zodd's attack.  Still though, are we watching the first half of the movie just wondering about his weird necklace?  An odd choice but I understand it.

Also a big omission is implied here.  Has anyone seen any indication of the first battle Guts participates in with the Hawks.  The night raid where he's the rear guard?  The lack of footage for it and the movement of the Beherit scene tells me it might be gone or combined with the Black Ram battle.  

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Saga Project News
« on: January 23, 2012, 08:02:05 PM »
Well, at least we can now say with a fair amount of certainty that some of the footage in the 15 second promos last year was either unfinished or a prototype for the CG models.  The Zodd's horns and his exit out of the castle are completely different. 

I wonder if the other scene's will be different as well.  Skull Knight, and Casca in the cave might not be accurate representations anymore.  From what I can glean, those scenes will be in the following films though, so we'll have to wait.  The snow duel has been pretty consistent in the promos though.

Shootin' the Breeze / Re: Happy Birthday Walter!
« on: November 13, 2011, 10:04:45 PM »
Happy belated Birthday Walter!

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk Saga Project News
« on: November 08, 2011, 01:51:35 AM »
I apologize for bring this back up but there's an aspect to this assassination topic that doesn't seem to have been addressed.

I can see both sides of the argument.  On the one hand Guts is an impulsive, often reckless warrior with a strong attachment to his personal sword, and is really in over his head with a stealthy assassination.  His only attempt to stay unseen is by wearing a hooded cloak without armor, and by traveling by roof top.  A character like Judeau might've been a better pick for the job as far as being discrete , though we all know Griffith wanted to hide his unsavory side from the rest of the Hawks, and so he chose Guts.  The method Guts chooses in the manga says a lot about his one track mind at the time, and is a springboard for his later character growth.  He even blows off the choice Griffith gives him and treats it like any other order.  So there are many good reasons to keep it the way it the way Miura wrote it at the time.

On the other hand, Guts isn't stupid.  He's specifically instructed by Griffith that he can't leave witnesses or be caught, and for good reason.  It would be disastrous for Griffith if Guts was identified, and it doesn't seem far fetched for Griffith to take measures to avoid being charged with high treason or regicide.  For example, instructing Guts to disguise himself.  To the argument that Guts wasn't famous yet, well I'm not so sure.  Guts and Griffith were the only known people to survive a massacre by Zodd, a legendary warrior.  This caused a lot of gossip and celebrity status for at least Griffith, if not Guts to some degree.  I think you can make a case that Guts or his rather unique giant sword might be recognized (especially after Guts nearly assaulted Julius on the steps when Griffith was slapped.  Bodyguards were present and probably took notice.) 

Is it therefore an unforgivable change to have Guts perform the assassination with something to cover his face, and a non-distinct long sword?  It's not as if he's wearing some elaborate assassin mask; it's just a bandanna to cover his face.  It doesn't alter the method he takes or the sequence of events, but rather makes Guts seem a little less oblivious as to the trouble he could cause for the entire Band of the Hawk by murdering the King's brother and nephew.  He's still stubborn and impulsive by using a big sword to carry it out, and as far as we can tell, he still kills Adonis.   

As far as the argument that Guts is so attached to his sword that he would never, ever use anything else...  Well, he's shown a willingness as the Black Swordsman to use a variety of weapons to deal with the task at hand, including throwing knives, crossbows, and cannons.  This however, could just be evidence of how Guts has grown as a warrior over time.

From my point of view, this is a change that can at least be rationalized quite well, unlike the fact that Guts duels Griffith with his Raider's sword, which implies huge changes with Doldrey.  A change like that undermines many bigger issues, such as the stakes of the battle with Boscogn, Zodd's intervention, plus the loss of symbolism when Guts's sword is severed on his last battle for the Hawks.  I can't judge it until I see how it's all handled, but this change should cause far more concern.

As others have said, I'm going to view the Saga project as an merely an interpretation of Berserk with it's own take on the story.  The same way that everything from The Count of Monte Cristo, Shakespeare, The Three Musketeers, to X-Men, Batman, and Conan have multiple versions.  Some of the changes might suck, some might be genuinely interesting.  I'm not giving it blind faith, but I won't condemn it from the offset either.

The biggest offense though, as Aaz has been sure to point out, is that the Saga was originally announced to be extremely faithful to the Manga.  I just don't consider that to be possible with the run time of three feature films, nor by what we've seen, so I'm just taking the film for what it is: an adaptation that's going to take creative liberties.  While that might not be what a lot of us want, in a way it'll allow some measure of surprise as we watch it versus a paint by numbers 1 to 1 copy of the manga.  No offense intended.   

In the end, I think the '97 anime is going to be the more faithful of the two, despite it's inferior animation quality.  At least it attempts to match most of the manga panels, and to me at least, the darker color palette fits the darker tone of the manga anyway.  My two cents.

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