Author Topic: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?  (Read 9108 times)

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Offline Doc

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.

Offline Aazealh

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Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2013, 01:47:41 PM »
But for the most part, is the 'evil' spoken of a heightened state of ego?

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.

Offline Doc

Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #2 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. 

Offline Aazealh

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Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2013, 09:17:45 PM »
But what is the nature of this 'evil power' or 'magic' that it causes the demonic change?

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.

If it's not a case of making them 'immoral' then how would you define the nature of it?

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. Morality does play a role but on a much, much larger scale, in that people who live immorally end up in "hell", and that "hell" is what seems to be used by the Idea of Evil as a source of power (see what I referenced above). 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).

the Incarnation Ceremony is essentially one big ego-trip.

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.

Offline Doc

Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #4 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?

Offline Walter

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Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2013, 04:03:05 PM »
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...
You're getting confused (and confusing me) by involving personalities, morals and behaviors in this discussion. That's really got very little to do with it, so let's just set that aside for now...

The answer to your original question is pretty simple, it's just not very detailed because the series has never gone to any length to explain it beyond the following: Evil is the power referred to by God Hand and apostles. It's something manifested in the Abyss, likely directly related to the Idea of Evil and the Vortex of Souls. We don't know the specifics of it.

Why's it called Evil, then? We can extrapolate that it is related to the power inherent to the Abyss, in combination with the Vortex of Souls—something human in nature (composed of human souls, swirling in anguish for thousand(s) of years). From that stew, there is a power. We see this manifest at the end of Episode 83, when Griffith shapes himself into Femto from what looks like the Vortex. The being he is then shaped into is then composed of, and you could say powered by, Evil.

I think that answers your question...?

As for the morality thing, are apostles bad guys? Yes. Does that make them Capital E Evil? Yes, but only in the terms of the above definition.

Quote
The rape and torture of Guts & Casca wasn't simply for teh evulz
Gross, dude...

Quote
Notice that the God Hand claim that the person loses their humanity during the process
Where do they say that?
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline Aazealh

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Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2013, 05:02:26 PM »
Schierke's magic is granted by the Four Elementals, right?

No, I wouldn't say that.

So her magic isn't linked to the 'evil power' that the God Hand work under, I presume?

Take a guess.

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.

Same thing with the power wielded by the God Hand and apostles. It's linked to the Vortex of Souls (and so, to the souls of dead humans).

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'.

I don't see what the problem is with that. And again, note that the word here means "evil power".

One constant in the equation is that they each had something to lose, something sacred that connected them to their humanity.

The most precious thing to them. "Something sacred", "something that connects them to their humanity" are needlessly romantic descriptions in this case. And as Walter pointed out, apostles are still very much human, as opposed to non-human monsters such as the Kelpie. They're human monsters created by human-based magic. The problem when using words like "humanity" in this context is that you have to specify which of its meanings you're aiming for.

Sure, there are plenty of shady characters in the crapsack world of Berserk, however, we don't know their backstories. [...] 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.

That's what I mean when I say you're taking shortcuts. Some people are picked by the Idea of Evil to become apostles (causality is a principle, it is not a conscious entity). But the sacrifice of what is most precious to them isn't the source of their power. It's merely a step in the process. Someone just killing their significant other wouldn't become an apostle, no matter how hard they wished for power. It's done through magic.

I certainly believe there's a strong psychological basis to it and it would be hard to deny.

Their power is not achieved purely through a psychological change, nor is it achieved mostly through one. It's achieved through magic. I don't see what's hard to get here. Like I already said, the moral implication of "Evil" and such is played on a much larger scale, and is pretty much a different topic.

Griffith could only become Femto by literally putting his ambition before the lives of his soldiers.

Yeah and also that little thing when the God Hand sent his astral self down to the Abyss, where the Idea of Evil, a self-titled God, infused him with immense magical power, changing the very core of his being according to a plan it had set in motion a long time before Griffith was even born.

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.

That's not really how it is, and actually I wouldn't say that Femto is completely neutral when it comes to Guts. He's cold, sure, but I would not qualify his behavior in volume 3 as one of complete disinterest. The way he smirks and the things he says are pretty clearly meant to humiliate and infuriate Guts (which they do).

Is their a technical name for the apostle rituals? The Invocation of Doom?

Nope.

Offline Hanma_Baki

Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2013, 07:46:51 PM »
^ "Nope" :ganishka: You´re such a tease.

Whats most commonly referred to as "The Eclipse", I believe you like to call the "Occulation ceremony", right? -Which I personally think sounds technically adequate, and could possibly even describe the second and the the "fake eclipse" too.

Offline Aazealh

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Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2013, 08:00:32 PM »
^ "Nope" :ganishka: You´re such a tease.

But there's no name for it, really!

Whats most commonly referred to as "The Eclipse", I believe you like to call the "Occulation ceremony", right? -Which I personally think sounds technically adequate

Yep.

and could possibly even describe the second and the the "fake eclipse" too.

We usually refer to that event as the Incarnation ceremony.

Offline Doc

Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #9 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.

Offline Aazealh

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Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2013, 08:09:14 PM »
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.

That's the meaning of what you wrote. Maybe you have trouble expressing your thoughts properly, I don't know. It's not for me to say. But that's what one takes away when (s)he reads your previous posts.

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?

Are you serious? What does it look like to you? Of course when people's souls are infused with "evil power" they become "evil" psychologically. They not only assume a monstrous physical form, but they become evil in the sense that they kill/rape/eat people without any care. I'm honestly quite surprised anyone would wonder about that.

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.

I'm sorry, are you saying what Femto did during the Occultation ceremony wasn't evil? No of course you're aren't. Then what's the problem here? Who ever said it had to be evil for evil's sake? That's never been the case. Some base apostles might indulge in such things, as Wyald did (and then again, he did it for fun, not for "evil's sake"), but it's not a rule or anything of the sort.

And seriously, you seem to have a problem understanding the meaning the word "ego" when used in this context. It's never used to refer to Griffith's "pride" in the manga, and Femto is definitely, definitely not the embodiment of that. That's really... I don't even know how you could think that. If anything really, Femto would have to be the embodiment of his ambition, but that's not how it works anyway and that's not what Femto is.

The apostle ceremony (gadzooks it doesn't have a name)

What's the problem with "apostle ceremony"? I mean it's not like "Incarnation ceremony" is an official name either...

It is only when the individual puts their EGO (ego literally meaning 'self') before that cherished someone or something

Yeah you really have a problem with that word. When you use the word "ego" to mean "self", its meaning is that of "one's consciousness of their own identity". When using it with that meaning it just doesn't make any sense at all in this sentence of yours. It's not "self" as in "himself". It seems that you'd like to conflate this meaning with the other one, that of "self-importance" or "conceit", but that's just not how it is.

Just say they put themselves and their own benefit/survival above the existence of what's most precious to them (essentially forsaking it, or, more fittingly, sacrificing it) and you'll be fine.

And while Femto does treat Guts with disdain during their reunion, he spends most of time looking down his nose on him.

So while he treats him with disdain, he spends most of his time treating him with disdain?

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.

If he had actually been beneath his notice, Femto would not have addressed him at all. That's what being "beneath one's notice" actually means. Not even noticing the thing in question.

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.

Well yeah, I think it's easy to see that letting Guts live as a branded man and treating him with utter contempt is an easy way to prolong his suffering. He can do little more than painfully survive while powerlessly bearing witness to Griffith's irresistible rise to glory. Sounds like a nightmare to me.

Offline Pheron

Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2013, 01:29:11 AM »
Heh. Sorry. Place marker for a less flippant post that I made the mistake of wiping.

I'd say "evil" is a bit of a red herring when it comes to classifying people in Berserk, but I'd say the same of "destiny." The presence of a greater, more archetypal model of Evil doesn't negate the routine small evils of mere mortals, ne? But defining precisely what small evil is -- specially in the case of, ahem, thought crimes -- is going to collapse into subjectivity and casuistry pdq.

If one chooses to take at face value that Idea and pals' statements (hence Miura's assertions in their voices) are the truth, Griffith has been cultivated to take the role of the fifth God Hand, both in a genetic sense and a developmental-psychological one. It can thus be uniquely claimed that the man is a victim of third-party supernatural agency...the parameters of his self have been precisely tuned according to someone else's plans. The tragedy of Griffith lies in the tension between the reader's sense of his inevitable fall and his own willing participation in the former. In the final analysis, Griffith assented to something terrible: the question that can only be answered in the individual reader's mind is whether a choice existed. I say yes, others would say no.

On a really simplistic level one can tie the "fall" of each Apostle to a flaw in their character -- one can even narrow it down to the Seven Deadlies of Biblical lore -- that made them choose the Beherit over the alternative. Griffith's activation of the Beherit is as much a moment of sublimely human weakness as it a grasp of the reins of power. Griffith does not rise to the God Hand as a general seeking greater things, but a broken man seeking to restore the shattered sense of inassailable superiority that has guided his life.


Griffith got a long way powered by pride: farther than most folk do, but then he has his unique, Svengali-like charisma. He states himself that the world is divided into those that flock to him and those that set themselves against him: this understanding of the world suggests a supreme egocentrism that his been reinforced by his unique qualities and situation. Griffith has never had to think of others because he has been the subject, the hub around which spokes revolve. And the product has been the sort of maladaptive understanding of uses of empathetic and mutual human relationships versus the instrumental, hierarchical dynamics that Griffith has with virtually everyone. Whether or not it is "true" within the factual universe, Griffith perceives himself [correctly, as it turns out] as the world around which minute human satellites orbit. Other people sacrifice their own dreams for him, other people are drawn in to his magnetic field. Very simply, Griffith doesn't get refusals.

The fascination of Guts is his resistance of the normal social dynamic Griffith experiences. Initially Guts is something like strong prey, a white hart to be captured only with great effort...which is a novelty relative to Griffith's worldview. Yet even though Guts is brought into the fold of the Hawks, he nevers falls into the pattern of worshipping, idolizing Griffith as superior demonstrated by so many other of the Hawks. Guts is quite possibly the only individual Griffith's has ever met who has resisted being his subordinate [yet not aligned himself aggressively opposite Griffith, which is just another social dynamic defined with Griffith as the locus].

On one level, Griffith finds this compelling -- it is the first "real" human relationship he's had -- yet at the same time his drive, born of prior experience, is to get Guts under his thumb...to make him a subordinate rather than an equal. This is a conflict we see in Griffith throughout the "Golden Age" arc. This process metastasizes as Guts gains his own following: the romantic and sexual relationship of Guts and Casca is a metonym for Guts's feasibility as a rival to Griffith...Guts achieves the impossible by siphoning away some of the adoration, affection, and focus that Griffith is accustomed to receiving. It is this much more insidious rivalry [than their martial one...though the two intertwine], that precedes Griffith's fall.

Along with the ubiquitous pride that always cometh before....

Heh. Must eat breakfast. More later.

I think this guy got a really good point about the "Evil" topic (too bad he isn't active anymore  :sad:). And I think it's maybe kinda what Doc means...

Offline Aazealh

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Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2013, 12:36:08 PM »
I think this guy got a really good point about the "Evil" topic (too bad he isn't active anymore  :sad:).

That post isn't bad, but it doesn't address the same issue at all. It discards the notion of Evil as presented specifically in Berserk in order to focus on the circumstances that brought Griffith to become Femto. It's mostly correct in what it says (essentially reminding people that Griffith was very heavily manipulated), but again it's not especially pertinent in regard to the present discussion.

And I think it's maybe kinda what Doc means...

No, that's not at all what he was saying in his opening post. The two are practically unrelated, actually.

Offline Wyrm

Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2013, 12:16:17 PM »
Hope I'm not derailing the discussion here but I do have a question.

Aazealh, you say that

Of course when people's souls are infused with "evil power" they become "evil" psychologically.


You mean that, for argument's sake, if Griffith would be granted Femto's power but without having become "evil psychological" we would have had a "what have i done" moment?



Offline Aazealh

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Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2013, 01:08:59 PM »
Aazealh, you say that

You mean that, for argument's sake, if Griffith would be granted Femto's power but without having become "evil psychological" we would have had a "what have i done" moment?

Well he was very confused at that point, he had already accepted to sacrifice and such. But yeah, if he had received power without being altered in any other way (which is completely impossible given how it works), he would be a different person from who Femto is in the manga.

Offline Wyrm

Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2013, 01:53:22 PM »
So in this case is Femto another being made from Griffith's soul (retaining only traces of it's former self) or is it still Griffith although greatly changed?

I ask because, from what I understand, apostles like The Count and Rosine seem to be just a evil (or more evil) version of their human selves but Femto seems to be much more different than what Griffith was.

Also when Femto meets Griffith after the Count activates his Beherit, Femto, as you said, taunts Guts even telling him that he is only good for Sacrifice (it's funny how that is meant to be derisive when in fact he's just stating how important Guts really is/was) but later on, after the Incarnation, he goes to see him to find if Guts could still move his heart (don't remember the exact words).

So how much does Femto and the Apostles retain from their former selves? In Femto's case does he retain less from his former self due to being a member of the God Hand and having been infused with much more Evil Power than the average apostle?

I'm sure you don't remember our small message exchange almost a year ago but I had a few doubts on the nature of sacrifices in great part due to the Count still loving his daughter although he spent the rest of his time torturing, killing and eating (or eating and killing) everyone he felt like it.

So the first time he endured the cerimony he sacrificed his wife. Then, as an apostle, his daughter became the most important thing to him? Does this mean apostles can still feel the entire range of human emotion? Including regret?

Sorry about the bombardment of questions...

Offline Aazealh

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Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2013, 06:17:06 PM »
So in this case is Femto another being made from Griffith's soul (retaining only traces of it's former self) or is it still Griffith although greatly changed?

Those two propositions are pretty much just the same thing. Femto is another being born from Griffith's soul, but he's clearly retained a lot more than just "traces" of his former self. And Femto can be said to still be Griffith, but greatly, fundamentally changed.

I ask because, from what I understand, apostles like The Count and Rosine seem to be just a evil (or more evil) version of their human selves but Femto seems to be much more different than what Griffith was.

I don't think Femto is so very different from what Griffith was as a human when compared to what Rochine or The Count had become as apostles. They were changed in each case. Also, keep in mind that Femto received a lot more power than they did, and was changed in a more radical way. They were mere apostles, he is part of the God Hand.

Also when Femto meets Griffith after the Count activates his Beherit

I take it you meant "when Femto meets Guts". In any case, there is no discrepancy between what happens in those two encounters.

So how much does Femto and the Apostles retain from their former selves? In Femto's case does he retain less from his former self due to being a member of the God Hand and having been infused with much more Evil Power than the average apostle?

It's hard to quantify or exactly determine such things. It might vary depending on the individual, and it most likely varies depending on the power they receive.

Does this mean apostles can still feel the entire range of human emotion? Including regret?

Sure, why couldn't they? Although obviously whatever good was in them is severely dulled when not completely gone. You have to bear a few things in mind here. First, there are no hard rules about this stuff. We know that apostles are transformed down to their very essence by evil power, that's how they become what they are. It twists their soul and in turn that twists their body. But they're still human in nature, even though they're monsters. Could some of them, through their personality, life story and who they originally were, retain somewhat discordant emotions despite their new state? Sure, why not. In fact, we've seen through the story that it has happened.

Offline Wyrm

Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2013, 09:29:18 PM »
I take it you meant "when Femto meets Guts". In any case, there is no discrepancy between what happens in those two encounters.

Well, in the first scene, the Count's Ceremony, Femto seems to feel hatred or at the very least contempt towards Guts. Do you think those were the feelings that, after the Incarnation, Griffith wanted to know if he still felt? If so, then yes there is no discrepancy but it's not what I take from the scene.

First, there are no hard rules about this stuff.
So either the God Hand have a lot of leeway on how to bestow the Evil Power or the nature of the sacrificial ceremony is basically what the plot needs at the moment.

Offline Hanma_Baki

Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2013, 11:45:31 PM »
Wasnt it the other half of the soul (Guts-Casca-baby) that made him confront Guts/Casca at the Hill of Swords (despite how he might´ve justified it - taking into accout his comprehension of his new, very recently incarnated self - whatever that comprehension might be /at that point)

Offline Walter

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Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2013, 11:58:41 PM »
Well, in the first scene, the Count's Ceremony, Femto seems to feel hatred or at the very least contempt towards Guts. Do you think those were the feelings that, after the Incarnation, Griffith wanted to know if he still felt? If so, then yes there is no discrepancy but it's not what I take from the scene.

Wasnt it the other half of the soul (Guts-Casca-baby) that made him confront Guts/Casca at the Hill of Swords (despite how he might´ve justified it - taking into accout his comprehension of his new, very recently incarnated self - whatever that comprehension might be /at that point)
No.

I feel like we've been over this same material just a month or so ago.

"His petty existence is beneath our notice" -- isn't too different from how Griffith treats Guts on the Hill of Swords, once he gets confirmation that his old weakness had vanished (when in fact, it had been replaced by another).
When Griffith sacrificed his men, one of the main reasons he chose to do so was because his feelings for Guts were perceived as a fundamental weakness to him--the one impediment that caused him to derail from his path. He transcended that body into one composed of spirit. Then, through a ONCE IN A THOUSAND YEARS ceremony, is funneled back into a physical shell.

If I were in Femto's boots, yeah I'd want to check to be sure my one perceived weakness was still gone after all that hocus pocus.
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline Aazealh

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Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2013, 08:15:55 AM »
Well, in the first scene, the Count's Ceremony, Femto seems to feel hatred or at the very least contempt towards Guts. Do you think those were the feelings that, after the Incarnation, Griffith wanted to know if he still felt? If so, then yes there is no discrepancy but it's not what I take from the scene.

Femto is pretty clearly taunting Guts in volume 3, but there is nothing that could lead us to believe that he feels anything like hatred for him. He seems in fact rather indifferent to his fate.

Wasnt it the other half of the soul (Guts-Casca-baby) that made him confront Guts/Casca at the Hill of Swords

That doesn't seem likely.

So either the God Hand have a lot of leeway on how to bestow the Evil Power or the nature of the sacrificial ceremony is basically what the plot needs at the moment.

No. It's just that, very simply, each individual case is different.

Offline Wyrm

Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2013, 09:05:51 AM »
If I were in Femto's boots, yeah I'd want to check to be sure my one perceived weakness was still gone after all that hocus pocus.

I'm pointing out that there is a difference in attitude between the two encounters.

In the first encounter he taunts and insults Guts and almost kills him but in the second he just wants to see if he still has "the weakness."

But what sort of weakness is he referring to? What I get from the manga on both scenes is:

1) Femto sees Guts and still feels the same hatred and spite that lead him to rape Casca in front of Guts. He treats him with contempt and almost kills him.

2) Incarnated Femto goes to see Guts to see if he could still be moved by him. It seems to me that he's looking to see if Guts could in any way still make him forget, or at least question, his dream.

So didn't he got that when he first saw Guts and almost killed him? Don't have my volume here, but isn't it Void that tells Femto to leave Guts as he isn't the reason they are there?

So, wasn't that first meeting enough for Femto to get rid of all doubts in relation to Guts? Or are you saying that Femto almost killing Guts is in fact a sign that he still cares in a weird and twisted way and later on, post Incarnation, is when he gets rid of any feelings, ill or otherwise, towards Guts?

Femto is pretty clearly taunting Guts in volume 3, but there is nothing that could lead us to believe that he feels anything like hatred for him. He seems in fact rather indifferent to his fate.

I do not have access to the volume here at work but it doesn't feel indifferent to me the way Femto acted with Guts. Taunted him, almost killing him and the "he's only good to sacrifice" leads me to think that is more than a mere taunt.

Maybe that is indeed a grain of self-doubt towards Guts that still persisted and, after the incarnation he wanted to know if it was still there... Well, either way, I'm good. Thanks for the answers!

Offline Aazealh

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Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2013, 09:46:22 AM »
I'm pointing out that there is a difference in attitude between the two encounters.

You are missing the point.

In the first encounter he taunts and insults Guts and almost kills him but in the second he just wants to see if he still has "the weakness."

But what sort of weakness is he referring to?

I have a hard time believing that anyone familiar with those two scenes could have trouble understanding them. First off, you're misrepresenting the scene in volume 3, so you should probably re-read it before you talk about what happens in it. Femto repulsed Guts' attack, nothing more, nothing less. He could have killed him had he wanted to, but he didn't (this talk of "almost killed" carries no weight at all since Femto just warded off an attack). That in itself is a proof that he didn't care all that much. As for taunting him, so what? It's cruel, but not out of place for a member of the God Hand.

As for the weakness he's referring to, it's again explained in the scene in volume 22. He wanted to know if his heart could be swayed, now that he had gained a new body of flesh. See, he was indifferent before, but he wanted to know whether being made of flesh versus being a pure spirit would change that. And it didn't. Which is why what you say is irrelevant.

Don't have my volume here, but isn't it Void that tells Femto to leave Guts as he isn't the reason they are there?

That's not how it happens, no. Femto just pushes Guts back. The others talk about it, and then Femto tells the Count that while it wasn't intended, he probably is pleased with what happened (to which the Count agrees). Void then gets the ceremony back on track. Throughout it all, Femto remains cold and expressionless.

So, wasn't that first meeting enough for Femto to get rid of all doubts in relation to Guts?

See above. You should have checked the scenes more carefully.

I do not have access to the volume here at work but it doesn't feel indifferent to me the way Femto acted with Guts.

Guess what? You should re-read the volume. Femto is hardly moved in the entire scene. He doesn't bat an eyelash at the whole thing.

Offline Wyrm

Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2013, 11:40:32 AM »
It's cruel, but not out of place for a member of the God Hand.

Then Femto must be really petty. Such a personal insult ("(...)only good to be sacrificed") to someone that he is totally indiferent to. Personally I don't even bother to insult someone who I'm indifferent to.

He wanted to know if his heart could be swayed, now that he had gained a new body of flesh. See, he was indifferent before, but he wanted to know whether being made of flesh versus being a pure spirit would change that. And it didn't. Which is why what you say is irrelevant.

This is from the translation linked on this website:

Page 10
Griffith: I came here to check... to stand before you in my new body... to see if my heart would waver upon seeing you

Page 11
Griffith: But it seems...
I am now...Free.

Unless in japanese the meaning is quite clear and there's a problem with the translation, it doesn't immediately follow that what he means is "due to having this body of flesh I want to see if I feel anything towards you." Unless Femto already knew that having made his body from Guts and Casca's son he might be partial to either one of them.

And when he says "I am now...Free" wasn't he aware that he was free when he met him during the Count's sacrificial ceremony? It seems a bit convoluted that he means "I am now free unlike I was before I became Femto"

Offline Aazealh

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Re: What is 'Evil' in the Berserk universe?
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2013, 12:17:16 PM »
Then Femto must be really petty. Such a personal insult ("(...)only good to be sacrificed") to someone that he is totally indiferent to. Personally I don't even bother to insult someone who I'm indifferent to.

Femto was petty enough to rape Guts' girlfriend in front of him.

Unless in japanese the meaning is quite clear and there's a problem with the translation, it doesn't immediately follow that what he means is "due to having this body of flesh I want to see if I feel anything towards you."

The meaning is quite clear in the manga. If you do not understand it, that is your problem and yours only. And as a rule of thumb, those old translations aren't to be taken as reference.

Unless Femto already knew that having made his body from Guts and Casca's son he might be partial to either one of them.

No.

And when he says "I am now...Free" wasn't he aware that he was free when he met him during the Count's sacrificial ceremony? It seems a bit convoluted that he means "I am now free unlike I was before I became Femto"

Do you have a problem comprehending what you read? Because it certainly seems to be the case here. Allow me to quote myself so that you can re-read what I have told you.

He wanted to know if his heart could be swayed, now that he had gained a new body of flesh. See, he was indifferent before, but he wanted to know whether being made of flesh versus being a pure spirit would change that.

Do not hesitate to re-read it as many times as necessary.