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Author Topic: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]  (Read 99004 times)

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Offline Jaze1618

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #225 on: May 12, 2014, 08:03:42 PM »
Saw this movie with a friend last night. The good news is he wants to read the books again, after previously getting burned out on them around volume 9 about a year ago.

I'll preface with an admission that I don't know what a good animated adaptation of the eclipse would look like, but I didn't much care for what was shown in this movie. I didn't like the way the apostles moved or the weight they appeared to move with. In my mind when reading the manga, I imagined the action sequences with Guts vs. the Apostles to be lot more frantic and frenzied than what this movie portrayed.

As others have already said in this thread, the Femto Casca scene is very difficult to watch. I don't know that I would say that they embellished the scene and made it longer than it should have been, but seeing content like that animated, was extremely uncomfortable and for that reason alone I much prefer the manga version. I think depending on how you look at it, the animators did a good job here.

I agree with some of the comments mentioned in the scathing reviews, Guts took way too long to jump to Casca's defense, and Griffith's vindictive look at Guts when chanting "I sacrifice" is someone from the production team projecting their own stance on what was better left as an ambivalent moment in the Manga.

This might be my least favorite movie of the series, I felt that the eclipse came off as a little cheap or cheesy, and really doesn't pack the same wallop of intensity that I believe that event deserves.

Also, the escape from the Castle after rescuing Griffith felt lame in comparison to what is covered in the Manga. I feel that the inclusion of Wyald would have made this movie a lot better for me.

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Offline Delta Phi

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Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #227 on: May 14, 2014, 03:02:11 PM »
ANN's Review http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/berserk/the-golden-age-arc-iii/blu-ray-the-advent
So...he says the original anime was a masterpiece? (After the way the movies handled the material you might be able to make a case for that :troll:) That's a bit gratuitous.

And he concludes that there is no reason why the trilogy should exist, but then gives it a B-/C+? Am I reading that right? What??

Offline Walter

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Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #228 on: May 14, 2014, 03:19:42 PM »
It's not surprising to find the original anime basking in a newfound light, now that it's sitting next to a fresh pile of turds. But indeed, calling it a "masterpiece" is an indication of lost perspective.

he concludes that there is no reason why the trilogy should exist, but then gives it a B-/C+? Am I reading that right? What??

I'm guessing that's low for their norm. It's like game review sites, which use a 100 point scale, but rarely use more than 50% of it.
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline Doc

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #229 on: May 14, 2014, 04:03:18 PM »
he really exaggerated with his opinion about the original anime imo

While I'd draw the line at 'masterpiece', I think the '97 anime is a great entry point for new fans and stands on its own quite well. In a way, I'm glad they decided to downplay the supernatural elements of the manga and focus solely on the human drama, because it made the Eclipse a far more surreal and gut-punching plot twist.

Offline Walter

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Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #230 on: May 14, 2014, 04:34:48 PM »
In a way, I'm glad they decided to downplay the supernatural elements of the manga and focus solely on the human drama, because it made the Eclipse a far more surreal and gut-punching plot twist.

The anime handled the Eclipse better than the manga...?
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Offline Aazealh

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Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #231 on: May 14, 2014, 05:27:49 PM »
ANN's Review http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/berserk/the-golden-age-arc-iii/blu-ray-the-advent

Maybe it's because I'm so familiar with the work but I think the reviewer tends to exaggerate the importance of the Eclipse in the manga, which in my opinion betrays a lack of familiarity with it. And he's seriously deluded about the TV series too, attributing it merits ("rich, complex relations; cannily interwoven feelings; perfectly sculpted personalities; delicately spun character threads") that lie solely with the manga. But like the others said, when compared to those movies it certainly does shine bright. Anyway that doesn't really matter, the bottom-line is that this movie sucks, which is hardly new.

I think the '97 anime is a great entry point for new fans and stands on its own quite well. In a way, I'm glad they decided to downplay the supernatural elements of the manga and focus solely on the human drama, because it made the Eclipse a far more surreal and gut-punching plot twist.

A good entry point? Sure, though it might have gotten a bit old for the average viewer by now. However, those omissions you praise for making the Eclipse more confounding also result in making the story less coherent. A "surprise, they all die!" plot twist cheapens a storyline when it isn't rationally anchored in it, and I believe it's what the TV series' changes leaned towards. In the manga, the Eclipse is a slow inevitability that the reader dreads all the more because (s)he knows it's coming, even though (s)he doesn't know exactly what's going to happen. That foreknowledge doesn't diminish the gut-wrenching feeling of the event, and I think it even reinforces it in a way.

Offline Doc

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #232 on: May 14, 2014, 06:21:16 PM »
The anime handled the Eclipse better than the manga...?

Why does it have to be either-or?

I don't think the '97 anime lacks coherence. It's not like the concept of demons and occultism comes completely out of left-field in the anime, whereas in the manga we'd already seen Casca having a near-rape experience and the Falcons getting butchered at the hands of Wyald, let alone all the horror of the Black Swordsman arc before it. I don't think the anime version would have had quite the same psychological impact on me with prior knowledge of those events. That's just me, though.

My only gripe with the '97 anime is leaving out Guts childhood trauma, but I'm sure the censors probably had a hand in keeping the child-rape out of the show. Most of the character development remains intact. As for the 'King Griffith' BS, that's small potatoes when the series is almost entirely rooted in the Golden Age. 

Offline Walter

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Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #233 on: May 15, 2014, 01:13:06 AM »
I don't think the '97 anime lacks coherence.

Well, for one I think ending it the way they did was a bold, but ultimately detrimental decision. And it lacks coherence for anyone unfamiliar with the manga.

Quote
It's not like the concept of demons and occultism comes completely out of left-field in the anime, whereas in the manga we'd already seen Casca having a near-rape experience and the Falcons getting butchered at the hands of Wyald, let alone all the horror of the Black Swordsman arc before it.

The first part of your sentence doesn't agree with the rest (whereas...?) but I get your meaning. I think you're leaving a lot on the table in terms of the layers of suspense Miura cooked into the Golden Age. You should honestly go back and re-examine these early volumes through the eyes of a new reader, knowing everything we know from Volumes 1-3. It's something most people take for granted, since most of us discovered the series through the anime. Anyway, this is what we've been attempting to do in our podcast re-reads, in addition to giving broad analysis.

Miura does some clever, subtle things that I've only recently come to recognize through these re-reads. Consider just this small example: Griffith is first properly introduced in the Golden Age by only showing his helmet--the helmet that has an entirely different meaning to new readers. Of course, we already know his identity, but there's something sinister about these first few portrayals in the manga that's absent from the anime (apart from whatever anyone new could glean from Guts' otherwise inexplicable "GRIFFFIITTTHHHHHH" in episode 1).

Having the full knowledge of what a sacrifice is, how a Beherit works, that there's a grand design to everything, and what Griffith ultimately becomes -- all of these things instill a creeping dread into every major scene of the Golden Age. As high as they climb, you know where it's headed. Consider the implications of the Bonfire of Dreams, knowing how close Griffith is to each of those men, and how his dream supplanted theirs, again, knowing _exactly_ where it's headed. Consider them going back into Wyndham, down into the darkness of that jail cell to valiantly rescue their leader, knowing what's ahead, and how they'll soon be repaid. There are also some small things as well. Readers who spent more time with Guts in Volumes 1-3 probably assume that Casca died as a sacrifice, so her survival has added meaning when it's finally revealed. Another small side rumination during these volumes: exactly how Guts lost his arm/eye (Miura actually teases this one a few times, namely in Volume 8, with Carcus saying losing a limb would knock some sense into Guts). All these things, cast by the wayside in favor of the anime's method of pulling the rug from under the viewer in the final two episodes.

There's an entire layer of depth to these scenes told through subtext that the anime simply discards.

Also, you mention the "near-rape" of Casca, but the true terror of Wyald's intervention is that it quantifies just how desperate the Eclipse is, as soon as it begins. Taking down Wyald brought Guts near death. Think that was rough? Well here, chew on a few hundred of those guys.

Quote
I don't think the anime version would have had quite the same psychological impact on me with prior knowledge of those events. That's just me, though.

Again I think you're underselling how the tone of the Golden Age is altered with the foreknowledge of what's ahead. It's a far more layered experience. Anyway, "psychological impact"...? Were you comatose and drooling after watching the episodes? Did they give you night terrors?

Quote
My only gripe with the '97 anime is leaving out Guts childhood trauma, but I'm sure the censors probably had a hand in keeping the child-rape out of the show. Most of the character development remains intact. As for the 'King Griffith' BS, that's small potatoes when the series is almost entirely rooted in the Golden Age.

I think that's a pretty arbitrary rationalization -- nevermind the complete lack of a true ending -- but to each their own.
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline Jaze1618

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #234 on: May 15, 2014, 02:41:07 AM »
Well said. I agree with every point.

Offline Doc

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #235 on: May 16, 2014, 12:10:09 PM »
Walter, I don't want to turn this into an anime vs. manga debate, since that seems to be the way it's leaning. You won't find any argument from me that the manga is a much richer and layered experience than the anime. Of course it is. However, I have no regrets in having watched the anime first or the approach that its staff took. Berserk is an epic story, in the truest sense of the word. Some 200+ pages comprise an average tankobon. Therefore any adaptation is going to run into time and budget constraints when trying to portray the series as faithfully as possible. They're left with two choices: either adapt the whole thing and omit major scenes, or adapt half of it scene-for-scene. I felt the '97 anime did the latter. Not flawlessly, granted, but it was true to the characters. It preferred to focus on the humanity of the manga as a grounded war story told on the front lines, while at the same time not completely forgoing its fantasy elements. If you've read the manga first, then the anime loses its dramatic impact. While surely you have everything to gain vice-versa?

Also, what part about the Eclipse being a veritable mindfuck do you disagree with? Or do I just not get your sense of humour?

Offline Walter

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Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #236 on: May 16, 2014, 02:23:02 PM »
Walter, I don't want to turn this into an anime vs. manga debate, since that seems to be the way it's leaning. You won't find any argument from me that the manga is a much richer and layered experience than the anime. Of course it is.

My reply was aimed primarily at this line from you: "[the anime] made the Eclipse a far more surreal and gut-punching plot twist." Hence my long lecture about how I think the suspense built into the manga's depiction of it is more terrifying than the anime's. Which now you're apparently agreeing with?

Quote
Also, what part about the Eclipse being a veritable mindfuck do you disagree with? Or do I just not get your sense of humour?

I was merely making fun of your choice of hyperbolic wording. A near-death experience leaves a psychological impact. Watching an anime episode doesn't, unless you have some severe issues confusing reality with fantasy.
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline Hot Chic

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #237 on: May 16, 2014, 08:33:46 PM »
Hi I'm Hot Chic thankyou for allowing me to become a memeber of this community, this is very first post on this forum.

I really have got to say that I have only been aware of Berserk for about four or five months and I got my introduction to Berserk through these movies, I have since then started watching the anime and reading the manga. I am about half way through the manga at this point and I will say that both are almost gross misrepresentations of the source material (but I enjoyed them both for their own merits), however when I was still new to Berserk and the movies were my only exposure I liked it and it captured my attention. the things that the veteren fans on here say the movies screwed up I was able to picvk up on for the most part. It at least made me want to look into the anime. But I will say one thing in regards to this movie that I have seen alot of people complain about is the rape scene of Casca and how it was supposedly eroticized in the movie. Maybe it is because the movie's version of the rape was my only version I was given at the time but I did not get the impression she was enjoying it. May it is up for interpertation but I did not get "oh yeah, I am getting off over here!"

I found this rape scene to be distubing and violent then erotic... probably because I was watching the scene without any prior reading of the manga. You have to understand, I was going into these movies blind, without ANY prior experience. And let me tell you when I first witnessed this sceneI was horrified...never did "erotic" or Casca possiably enjoying it enter my mind

If you saw eroticism and enjoyment in what was happening, that's your perspective. But with the constant shots between Griffith and Guts staring at each other, I saw horror, betrayal, contempt, rage and anguish....and this was my first viewing of this scene as a complete newbie to Berserk...and that is my two cents.

Offline Lithrael

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Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #238 on: May 16, 2014, 10:40:16 PM »
Thanks for sharing your point of view.  It is, as always, tough for those of us who are crazy familiar with all of this, to correctly guess how it looks to fresh eyes.  And welcome to the forum!

Offline Patou244

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #239 on: May 17, 2014, 04:51:22 PM »
I think the 97 anime should have had it's own ending, it was already it's own self contained story by the end of it's run what with all the changes it made through out it's adaption. I think it would have worked better that way instead of being a glorified trailer for the manga.

ALso Hot Chic I am glad that as completely unbiased new viewer of these movies that you saw "rape" and not eroticism during that scene. Have read the manga version of the eclipse yet? How does it hold up to the manga?

Casca from Berserk. May 2014 be the year Casca fans get to see a return of her true self, the kickass warrior and leader of the Hawks/Falcons.

Offline Hot Chic

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #240 on: May 19, 2014, 10:43:02 PM »
I had a hard time reading the manga rape scene, it is not erotic but it is disturbing and graphic as hell. I could not beleive how involved it is in the manga, I did notice however that Casca does say "no" and "stop" and "don't look" more often in the manga through out the rape scene and she is clearly crying in it...why do people say she enjoyed it again?  Also...the anime movie made it seem like it happened quickly, the manga seems agonizingly slow about it. maybe it is the still pictures vs the moving frames in the movie but it seemed like it the movie was pretty quick about. Actually I have to question if it was really necessary for Miura to go into that much graphic detail.

I actually hid my volume with the eclipse episodes. I do not want anyone to come by them and thumb through them anbd see what is in there. The whole thing was like something out of a tentacle hentia manga.

Offline Jaze1618

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #241 on: May 19, 2014, 10:59:47 PM »
Also...the anime movie made it seem like it happened quickly, the manga seems agonizingly slow about it. maybe it is the still pictures vs the moving frames in the movie but it seemed like it the movie was pretty quick about. Actually I have to question if it was really necessary for Miura to go into that much graphic detail.

Wow, I find it really interesting that you thought it went more quickly in the Movie. I just watched the movie for the first time 2 weekends ago and I felt like it was much harder to watch then read, and that the scene in the movie felt 3x longer than what was in the manga.

Offline Walter

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Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #242 on: May 20, 2014, 01:15:28 AM »
I had a hard time reading the manga rape scene

I'd be concerned if you had an easy time with it.

Quote
I did notice however that Casca does say "no" and "stop" and "don't look" more often in the manga through out the rape scene and she is clearly crying in it...why do people say she enjoyed it again?

Because they're fucking idiots..? And who are these people, again?

Quote
Actually I have to question if it was really necessary for Miura to go into that much graphic detail. I actually hid my volume with the eclipse chapters. I do not want anyone to come by them and thumb through them anbd see what is in there. The whole thing was like something out of a tentacle hentia manga.

The difference, of course, being that the scene isn't meant to titillate. It's supposed to be an excruciating experience. Sounds like it had the intended effect?
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline Gummyskull

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #243 on: May 20, 2014, 02:05:50 AM »
The movie made the scene more similar to a hentai in my opinion. It was excrutiating to watch, for the wrong reasons. It actually makes me nauseous thinking about how she was made to reciprocate the kiss and how the voice acting was handled. I'd rather be made to re-read the manga part 10 times than watch the movie's adaptation once.

Because they're fucking idiots..? And who are these people, again?
The same people who think that Berserk has turned into a "loli filled shonen manga" and only care about the violence and sex, AKA: fucking idiots.

Offline Delta Phi

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Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #244 on: May 20, 2014, 02:23:10 AM »
I could not beleive how involved it is in the manga, I did notice however that Casca does say "no" and "stop" and "don't look" more often in the manga through out the rape scene and she is clearly crying in it...why do people say she enjoyed it again?

I don't believe anyone on this site has said Casca enjoyed the rape from the manga, however, as Gummyskull has pointed out, in movie 3:

. . .how she was made to reciprocate the kiss. . .

Her reciprocation of Femto's kiss gives the implication that on some level, subconscious or otherwise, she wanted to kiss him back, despite the atrocity that was befalling her in that moment. This doesn't happen in the manga, it's a betrayal to the source material and an all around confusing direction.

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #245 on: May 20, 2014, 11:25:45 AM »
I had a hard time reading the manga rape scene, it is not erotic but it is disturbing and graphic as hell. [...] Actually I have to question if it was really necessary for Miura to go into that much graphic detail.

It's supposed to be an ordeal, both for the readers and the characters. And really, nothing too graphic is shown. The focus is on the characters' suffering.

The whole thing was like something out of a tentacle hentia manga.

Hardly so.

Offline Heavenly Maiden

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #246 on: May 29, 2014, 05:03:57 PM »
Quote
why do people say she enjoyed it again?


I am one of the people that believed that she enjoyed from reading the manga but I always felt it was meant to be ambiguous on how she was reacting to it, I really thought that was Miura's intent with that scene and what he was going for. I'm sorry to say but that was my impression when I read this part. Though I kind of got rebuked for this on the last page, and admittedly Aaz and Walter gave some legitimate reasons why she did not  enjoy it. One reason I felt she enjoyed it was that Casca always loved Griffith and also because there were orbs of light surrounding her body and face through out the ore deal that I though indicated orgasm or some kind of emotional duality. There is ev en a panel toward the end of the scene where Casca looks up at Griffith and her lips look fuller and pouty.

I also wondered if these details where just guts perception of what was going on and that maybe deep down he thinks Casca reciprocated. The last thing Guts sees before blood covers his eye and he passes out is Griffith kissing Casca. I always wondered if Guts internalized this scene. I always thought it was unclear on purpose that Casca was kissing him back and that Guts perspective maybe he suspect she might have on a deep;y sub-conscience level. Then down the road Miura has Griffith confront Guts in the grave yard of swords and Guts takes note of how Casca reaches up to touch Griffith's face in volume 22. By the next volume Guts inner beast is starting to view Casca as an obstacle and resentment grows.




Offline Patou244

Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #247 on: May 31, 2014, 12:15:20 PM »
This is an argument that I hear alot of when people are trying to justify that she enjoyed and that she was kissing him Griffith back (not here mind you outside this community) and it is not taking Casca's mental and emotional state during these scenes into consideration. Something that some people always seem to miss is that Griffith forced Casca's mouth open and stuffed his tongue in her mouth.



See, he has his finger in her mouth and is prying it open. Casca is crying and looks like her face is forcibly being turned in Griffith's direction.



Here Griffith his has his tongue in Casca's mouth and she is clearly not kissing him back, her tongue is not even being shown here just Griffith's and again look into Casca's eyes here, see the pain and shock in them? It would have gone a long way in portraying the true nature of this scene if the movie adaptation had shown these details of Griffith forcing his fingers in her mouth. I have not seen the movie since the first time I saw it but I do believe that it looks like Casca is kissing him back.

Casca from Berserk. May 2014 be the year Casca fans get to see a return of her true self, the kickass warrior and leader of the Hawks/Falcons.

Offline Lithrael

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Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #248 on: May 31, 2014, 12:16:50 PM »
  and also because there were orbs of light surrounding her body and face through out the ore deal that I though indicated orgasm or some kind of emotional duality. There is ev en a panel toward the end of the scene where Casca looks up at Griffith and her lips look fuller and pouty.

I also wondered if these details where just guts perception of what was going on and that maybe deep down he thinks Casca reciprocated.

Not to belabor the point but I'll belabor the point anyways:  physical arousal sometimes takes place during rape.  These are the human body's autonomic reactions to stimuli.  Please do not confuse them with enjoyment.  Unless of course you want to run for office in the USA. 

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent [Review]
« Reply #249 on: May 31, 2014, 02:48:12 PM »
One reason I felt she enjoyed it was that Casca always loved Griffith

She certainly didn't love him in that way by the time the rape took place. The story makes that quite clear.

There is ev en a panel toward the end of the scene where Casca looks up at Griffith and her lips look fuller and pouty.

I'm pretty sure that's your imagination.

I always thought it was unclear on purpose that Casca was kissing him back

I believe it's pretty clear that she doesn't reciprocate, see the images Patou244 posted for proof.

Guts takes note of how Casca reaches up to touch Griffith's face in volume 22.

That's a separate thing altogether, with Guts mistaking Casca's reaction because he doesn't know that their son's body was hijacked by Femto.

By the next volume Guts inner beast is starting to view Casca as an obstacle and resentment grows.

That's not connected to Casca's reaction to Griffith on the Hill of Swords. The Beast of Darkness is just angry because taking care of Casca means not pursuing revenge. Don't confuse the issue.