Author Topic: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory  (Read 18815 times)

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Offline RanShi

Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« on: April 12, 2014, 09:15:13 AM »
1.Introduction and Disclaimer

So I re-read the whole series for the first time, and just finished volume 37 in time for 334. Definitely going to re-read it again. Cause I discovered so many new things, learned to appreciate the series even more and just ended up being an even bigger fan of Miura and Berserk. What I'm going to present in this thread is sort of a "conspiracy theory" regarding the beast that I felt was obvious in some parts of the manga, but looking back at it, I'm questioning myself. I agree with those who think this theory is bullshit, and I also agree with those who think it has some kind of merit. I'm not married to the idea, and I guess that's why it fits here in speculation nation. Maybe you guys have more insight than me and can fill up some of the gaps when it comes to my knowledge of the series. To unveil the topic from mystery, the basic assumption is that the Beast is wholly or at least partly caused by the Godhand/IoE, and it is their intention to make it grow stronger in power.

2.The General View

The consensus on the beast, and probably the most logical explanation is that it's born from Guts' hatred, rage, wrath and need for revenge. It takes over when he loses control, and we see glimpses of it even before it truly emerges as an entity, for example during the Lost Children chapter when he goes nuts. Even after he kills the Snake Baron in Volume 1, there's a shot of Guts' with his one eye "shining", although not with the same design as in the Lost Children chapter, I think it can be assumed that it's part of the beast, or at least laying a foundation for it. He also goes nuts and tortures the Baron, but not the "Whore Apostle" or "Slan's Little Sister" (Corkus' Bane, seen in the first pages of Vol.1) who actually doesn't hurt him or put up a real fight. So it's safe to assume that more long-winded challenging apostle fights really bring out the sadist in him as the Black Swordsman.

One difference we can note when comparing the "old" Black Swordsman (Vol.1-3) and the "new" Black Swordsman (Lost Children Chapter) is that the "old" one trashtalks (or dirtytalks, haha) alot when he's in his "beastmode", which I really really liked, and that's kind of removed later on in the Lost Children chapter. When he goes "Berserk" or into "Beastmode" here, he doesn't say anything, he just becomes a killing machine. I actually like this contrast, as it portrays the early Black Swordsman as a frustrated disrespectful almost insane individual, which Guts was at the point, but at the same time shows that the beast perhaps has taken over him even more when fighting Rosine as he doesn't say a word when his eye is "shining".

Anyways, it can be said that the beast is not easily provoked unless Guts is physically threatened, or like later on in the series, unless the "beast" part of Guts' ambitions are threatened (for example by Casca). To sum up this part; the beast is the "dark part" of Guts, wants revenge and doesn't want anything else compromising it. But can we really be sure that's all there is to it?

3.Noteworthy events for questioning the general view

Below is a compilation of several events that could provoke questions regarding the nature of the beast.

3.1 The Beast intensifying over time as a result of supernatural/astral interaction
As far as I've noticed, the beast didn't really manifest visibly until after the eclipse, a supernatural/astral occurence. Even then (vol.1-3) is was fairly subtle, as Miura probably hadn't made up his mind on what he would do with it. It gets worse during the Lost Children chapter as Guts is no longer in a state to even do his "dirtytalking" (or maybe it's just maturation on his part, or character development? But it surely seems like the beasts control over him is more intense. Maybe it intensified even more as a result of interaction with apostles, just like the Dragonslayer got "astral" properties from killing otherworldly creatures). And later on the beast himself manifests, so it all becomes clear. Finally, the berserker armor is a supernatural/astral trigger aswell. The question this provokes is the following: is the beast merely a result of Guts' emotions, or has the interaction with the supernatural/astral also triggered/empowered it? In the case of the berserker armor, this is obvious. Taking it even further: Is it partly a result of him being branded?

3.2 The Beast being triggered by the ghosts that haunt Guts
This ties in with the preceding question, but is worth mentioning separately. We can notice that the ghosts can trigger the beast in Guts. For example in volume 23, when he's protecting Casca and some of the ghosts manage to possess him. The beast takes over and wants to hurt Casca. Later on we see what happens to Farnese when she gets possessed, and what we can conclude from that generally is that the possession awakens deeply disturbing and dark parts of any human being that is affected by it. In Guts' case it's the beast, in Farneses case it's her suppressed sexual and sadistic desires. But do these feelings actually exist within these individuals? Yes, but they are VERY LIMITED in strength, and the possession intensifies them disproportionately. Sure Farnese has some sexual and sadistic thoughts, but she would never want to be cleaved in half from her vagina and up if she was in her right "sadistic mind". Or maybe she didn't have those thoughts, and the possession tricked her to interpret her vague behaviour in a destructive manner? If we do the same with Guts, we can see that the Beast/possession is something that intensifies emotions to a degree of ridiculousness. As this can be triggered by the haunting astral creatures, can this be seen as a part of the Godhands/IoE will? It seems logical in a way that they would want Farnese to kill herself, as ambassadors of evil, but for Guts to get angry, stronger and wanting to kill Griffith? Is there something here we haven't noticed? Could it be that the Godhand/IoE has a plan for Guts to get stronger by ways of the Beast? Could you also takes it as far as the IoE/Godhand knowing that Farnese might turn into a powerful magic user in the future, trying to kill her off in advance?

3.3 The Beast being triggered by The Branded Casca's Blood
Another instance when the beast gets triggered is when Casca escapes from Guts, is almost raped by bandits and seconds later is almost raped and killed by "the Beast". This is a very powerful emotional part in the series, where Guts in desperation of the whole situation kisses her against her will.. fucking sad, I was almost brought to tears.. but then he somehow manages to taste her blood as she's wounded, and suddenly we're in beastmode.

The question here is: did the beast awaken beacuse of:
a) Blood?
b) Blood of a Branded One?
c) Blood of someone who compromises the Beasts interests?

This is probably hard to answer, unless there are other instances of the beast being awakened by blood, please do notify me if there are. But it's interesting as a part of the theory.

To take it even further: if the answer is b), is the beast working as and agent for the Godhand, wanting to kill off a branded one? And pushing Guts to fight Griffith as soon as possible so he'll also be killed as he is a branded one?

3.4 The Godhand supporting the Beast?
What's the deal with Griffith just not letting the apostles kill Guts and Casca during the ceremony? He could have seen to it so easily. Later on, when the Count is dying and the Godhand is summoned, they could EASILY have killed Guts. And didn't it say somewhere that a sacrifice isn't complete without all the branded ones dying? So it would be of benefit to Griffith.. to kill Guts?
Or would it be to their benefit to make him even more angry, feeding the beast? As long as he survives, the beast is fed..
Maybe it's part of causality for the Godhand, to help cultivate the Beast in Guts for some purpose later on.... but this might also lead to the Beast becoming a wild card during the "temporal junctions".

Later on in the Qliphoth it feels like Slan appreciates Guts' rage and encourages it. "You're the best". Yeah, it's her personality, she's a crazy bitch, but still. She loves seing him grow more powerful, hateful, angry and dangerous. As long as he's strong enough to survive her challenge and the beast is fed. Quoting Slan from the Qliphoth in volume 26:
"I've missed you boy. It's been so long. No.. I felt you at all times. In the cave, at the tower, throughout countless nights..
I felt all your passions. And as the path unfolded, I knew you'd come to my domain, Qliphoth. Now, let me feel it more. Your rage. Your anguish. Let it.. all loose."


4. Final Thoughts

So when I read through this I know I can't really believe in this theory 100%, but I think it's interesting and maybe worthwhile as a point of discussion. If you can "debunk" it in any way, please be my guest as I'd love to learn more about the Berserk universe. I hope you enjoyed this, as I wrote it all in a caffeinated frenzy just as I am about to go through a heavy lifting session. Looking forward to getting new perspectives on this, until then, have an awesome day and praise Miura.

To end with a little synchronicity,
quoted from Iron Maiden - Number of the Beast:

"I'm coming back
I will return
And I'll possess your body
and I'll make you burn
I have the fire
I have the force
I have the power
to make my evil take its course"

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2014, 12:44:05 PM »
Hey RanShi. Did someone call for a debunking? :iva:

The consensus on the beast, and probably the most logical explanation is that it's born from Guts' hatred, rage, wrath and need for revenge.

Actually it's more than that, it's all the negative emotions inside of him. That includes fear, sadness and so on. And that's not a guess, it's what we're told directly in the manga. We know what it is, because it's told Guts before. The Beast of Darkness is a part of himself, a personification of his dark side. It's a psychological manifestation of the trauma he's endured, and it has developed in accordance with that suffering.

It takes over when he loses control

It's not really accurate to say so. Guts loses control of himself while using the Berserk's armor, but that's a property of the armor itself, it's not something caused by the Beast of Darkness. Rather, the Beast of Darkness is the way in which the armor's power is expressed for Guts. As we can see when Guts receives it, for the previous owner it took the form of a skull. I've written long posts about it in the past, and it's an important distinction to make.

"beastmode"

Please don't do that.

shows that the beast perhaps has taken over him even more when fighting Rosine as he doesn't say a word when his eye is "shining".

That Guts' eye is shown as white is just a stylistic thing. It happens when he's just a kid too and it's not indicative of anything as specific as you make it out to be here. As mentioned above, the Beast of Darkness doesn't just "take over".

Anyways, it can be said that the beast is not easily provoked unless Guts is physically threatened

No, actually, that's incorrect. Before he received the Berserk's armor, the only time we see Guts act inconsiderately under that influence is when he bites Casca's breast in volume 23. And after that, the mere mention of Griffith is enough to get the armor to react (which is not the same thing as "the Beast taking over").

3.1 The Beast intensifying over time as a result of supernatural/astral interaction
As far as I've noticed, the beast didn't really manifest visibly until after the eclipse, a supernatural/astral occurence.

The Beast of Darkness first appears in the eponymous episode, #118, in volume 16. It has no presence in the manga before that point.

Even then (vol.1-3) is was fairly subtle, as Miura probably hadn't made up his mind on what he would do with it. It gets worse during the Lost Children chapter as Guts is no longer in a state to even do his "dirtytalking"

Really, I don't think that's got to do with anything. Guts has insulted his enemies in various ways throughout the series, and given the circumstances I don't think he was particularly nice to Rochine.

Finally, the berserker armor is a supernatural/astral trigger aswell.

See, that's what it comes down to. The Berserk's armor isn't a trigger, it's the other way around. The wearer of the armor is exposed to its Od, an Od that is like a never-extinguishing flame. It fuels the rage of the user and puts them in a frenzy, hence its name. That makes whoever dons it very dangerous in battle, but also very likely to die, for they fight without regard for their own life.

In Guts' case, the Beast of Darkness is an apt visual and psychological representation for the mindlessly enraged part of himself that's the result of the armor's influence, but it's making a mistake to believe it's specific to him. If any other person were to put it on, they'd end up the same way, whether they have a personified inner demon or not.

The question this provokes is the following: is the beast merely a result of Guts' emotions, or has the interaction with the supernatural/astral also triggered/empowered it?

Like I said at the beginning, the Beast of Darkness is psychological in nature. When it speaks, it's really just Guts speaking to himself, and that's reflected in the text.

This ties in with the preceding question, but is worth mentioning separately. We can notice that the ghosts can trigger the beast in Guts. For example in volume 23, when he's protecting Casca and some of the ghosts manage to possess him. The beast takes over and wants to hurt Casca. Later on we see what happens to Farnese when she gets possessed, and what we can conclude from that generally is that the possession awakens deeply disturbing and dark parts of any human being that is affected by it. In Guts' case it's the beast, in Farneses case it's her suppressed sexual and sadistic desires. But do these feelings actually exist within these individuals? Yes, but they are VERY LIMITED in strength, and the possession intensifies them disproportionately. Or maybe she didn't have those thoughts, and the possession tricked her to interpret her vague behaviour in a destructive manner? If we do the same with Guts, we can see that the Beast/possession is something that intensifies emotions to a degree of ridiculousness.

That's about right, yeah. Specters are generally weak and can't always fully control a human being, so you have varying degrees of influence depending on who's possessed, what is possessing them, etc. Generally speaking, we can't hold the victims responsible for their actions in such cases, and I don't think this can be grouped together with the Berserk's armor, since the processes involved aren't the same. That being said, in both cases the person is subjected to an outside influence that alters their consciousness, making them act in ways they wouldn't have otherwise.

As this can be triggered by the haunting astral creatures, can this be seen as a part of the Godhands/IoE will? It seems logical in a way that they would want Farnese to kill herself, as ambassadors of evil, but for Guts to get angry, stronger and wanting to kill Griffith? Is there something here we haven't noticed? Could it be that the Godhand/IoE has a plan for Guts to get stronger by ways of the Beast? Could you also takes it as far as the IoE/Godhand knowing that Farnese might turn into a powerful magic user in the future, trying to kill her off in advance?

That seems completely far-fetched. Simply put: nothing points in that direction in the story, and what's more, it'd be a really roundabout way of doing things. Lastly, the Beast of Darkness doesn't really make Guts stronger (and why in hell would the God Hand want that anyway?). The Berserk's armor does, but it takes quite a toll on him in the process, and it'd have killed him several times over had Schierke (and Casca) not been there, or had Flora not inscripted a talisman on the armor in the first place. The risk/reward ratio of it is actually not very good at all.

Another instance when the beast gets triggered is when Casca escapes from Guts, is almost raped by bandits and seconds later is almost raped and killed by "the Beast". This is a very powerful emotional part in the series, where Guts in desperation of the whole situation kisses her against her will.. fucking sad, I was almost brought to tears.. but then he somehow manages to taste her blood as she's wounded, and suddenly we're in beastmode.

That has absolutely nothing to do with blood. Guts is forcing himself on her, and as he does he's got these visions in his head, which end up with him biting her breast. Her scream wakes him up from his stupor and he jumps away, but the damage is done. That, like I mentioned ealier, is the one time we see the Beast of Darkness get the better of him, and that is why he accepts Farnese, Serpico and Isidro's request to travel with him.

This is probably hard to answer, unless there are other instances of the beast being awakened by blood, please do notify me if there are. But it's interesting as a part of the theory.

Blood has nothing to do with it. It's all about Guts' guilt for having left her alone, and the difficulty of protecting her in a hostile world just by himself, while wishing for a love she can't give him. It's a moment of weakness on his part.

To take it even further: if the answer is b), is the beast working as and agent for the Godhand, wanting to kill off a branded one? And pushing Guts to fight Griffith as soon as possible so he'll also be killed as he is a branded one?

I'm not sure you realize how ridiculous that sounds. From that one scene that's quite personal and deals with Guts' feelings (remember: the Beast is all about his feelings), to "the God Hand has a secret agent in Guts' mind to push him to go fight Griffith!" As they've made clear in the past, the God Hand don't really care about branded people. And why should they?

What's the deal with Griffith just not letting the apostles kill Guts and Casca during the ceremony?

Uh, have you forgotten about the part where the Skull Knight bursts in and rescues them? Without his intervention, they'd have surely died. They don't owe their life to Femto, I don't know where you got that from.

He could have seen to it so easily. Later on, when the Count is dying and the Godhand is summoned, they could EASILY have killed Guts.

But they didn't, because to them he's nothing.

And didn't it say somewhere that a sacrifice isn't complete without all the branded ones dying?

No. The sacrifice is consumed by the act of branding them. That they die or not changes nothing.

Or would it be to their benefit to make him even more angry, feeding the beast? As long as he survives, the beast is fed..

Is it really? Fed by what? Guts has been ignoring its desires and trying to muzzle it even in spite of his use of the Berserk's armor, which is incredible in and of itself. And what would they gain from all this anyway? What the Beast of Darkness embodies most of all is Guts' desire to kill Griffith.

Maybe it's part of causality for the Godhand, to help cultivate the Beast in Guts for some purpose later on...

That doesn't mean anything.

Later on in the Qliphoth it feels like Slan appreciates Guts' rage and encourages it. "You're the best". Yeah, it's her personality, she's a crazy bitch, but still.

Like you say, it's her personality. Her field of choice seems to be that of the human emotions, so it's no wonder Guts is a favorite of hers.

Offline Deci

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Re: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2014, 01:55:59 PM »
To be honest this theory never once crossed my mind in my many readings of the story. I've never seen the Beast of Darkness as anything but a manifestation of Guts' intense emotions, particularly toward Griffith (which is just about every emotion there is swirling around, mostly negative).

It's an interesting theory though, I guess. It just feels to me like it's taking away a bit of from Guts' development as a character to have the Beast be anything but a part of him, so I'm not sure I'd really appreciate it so much if it were true.

................

A random little bit of my own personal thoughts, perhaps somewhat related.. maybe not.  :serpico:  I've found it pretty cool to have the parallel between Griffith/Falcon and Guts/Dog. I suppose it ties to Femto in an aesthetic and narrative sense to have Griffith be granted wings with Femto and Guts his dog teeth (Beast of Darkness) with the Berserk armor. That's about the only tie I see though.

Offline RanShi

Re: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2014, 02:05:07 PM »
- About the scene when Guts forces himself on Casca in volume 23 (episode "Scattered Time"):
I might have to disagree with you on this one. Check it out if you haven't. He forces her on the ground, kisses her (still acceptable behavior for someone in his situation and fully understandable). Her breasts are bloody, especially the left one. He goes down with his head and you can't really see it but I assume he's kissing her down the neck and on the chest, and all of a sudden the beast focuses on the bloody breast and makes him bite it. Just like when he choked her earlier in the same volume, when the "ghosts" got to him and the beast took over, this time is was the blood that was the catalyst (Vol.23 episode "Winter Journey, part 1"). Check it out and tell me what you think about it! And argument against this would be that Guts has issues with sex anyways, as he flipped the fuck out with Donovan flashbacks after the first time he and Casca had sex and tried to choke her back then.

No. The sacrifice is consumed by the act of branding them. That they die or not changes nothing.

Are you sure that the sacrifice is consumed by the act of branding them?  :schnoz:
Why then have an apostle-party at all? I thought the point of apostles killing sacrifices and ghosts wanting to kill them was so that they could become just what they are "sacrifices".

I basically agree with you on almost everything else you wrote, so merci for a good response!  :guts:

To be honest this theory never once crossed my mind in my many readings of the story. I've never seen the Beast of Darkness as anything but a manifestation of Guts' intense emotions, particularly toward Griffith (which is just about every emotion there is swirling around, mostly negative).

It's an interesting theory though, I guess. It just feels to me like it's taking away a bit of from Guts' development as a character to have the Beast be anything but a part of him, so I'm not sure I'd really appreciate it so much if it were true.

................

A random little bit of my own personal thoughts, perhaps somewhat related.. maybe not.  :serpico:  I've found it pretty cool to have the parallel between Griffith/Falcon and Guts/Dog. I suppose it ties to Femto in an aesthetic and narrative sense to have Griffith be granted wings with Femto and Guts his dog teeth (Beast of Darkness) with the Berserk armor. That's about the only tie I see though.

That's true, I really wouldn't appreciate the Beast being anything but a part of him, so I kinda hope this theory isn't true. But it's still interesting to think about, and it crossed my mind several times during my re-read, so I guess I had to share it.

I love the fact that Griffith/Femto basically is a black falcon / and a white one in his "Griffith-form". Wondering if the final battle will be between Femto and the Beast of Darkness... STOP POSTING STUFF LIKE THIS IT MAKES ME EXCITED  :ubik: :zodd: :badbone:

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2014, 02:25:28 PM »
I've found it pretty cool to have the parallel between Griffith/Falcon and Guts/Dog.

It's not called the "Dog of Darkness".

- About the scene when Guts forces himself on Casca in volume 23 (episode "Scattered Time"):
I might have to disagree with you on this one. Check it out if you haven't.

I find it cute that you're telling me to check a scene. =)

He forces her on the ground, kisses her (still acceptable behavior for someone in his situation and fully understandable).

Uhh, not really no, that's definitely not acceptable behavior.

Her breasts are bloody, especially the left one. He goes down with his head and you can't really see it but I assume he's kissing her down the neck and on the chest, and all of a sudden the beast focuses on the bloody breast and makes him bite it.

He bites her breast, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the blood. I advise you to check the scene yourself, maybe more carefully, and to pay attention to the text too. Among other things, you'll find that Guts is in an altered state as soon as he starts kissing her (look at his pupil).

Just like when he choked her earlier in the same volume, when the "ghosts" got to him and the beast took over, this time is was the blood that was the catalyst (Vol.23 episode "Winter Journey, part 1"). Check it out and tell me what you think about it!

Blood had nothing to do with that scene either. Guts was possessed by specters and strangled Casca. That's all there is to it.

Are you sure that the sacrifice is consumed by the act of branding them?

Yes.

I thought the point of apostles killing sacrifices and ghosts wanting to kill them was so that they could become just what they are "sacrifices".

Well it's not the case. Apostles kill branded people because they enjoy it, and evil beings go after them because they are like "a beacon in the darkness", to quote the Skull Knight. Whereas the Brand is a curse that dooms a person to eternal torment in the Vortex of Souls. It's all explained in the manga.

Wondering if the final battle will be between Femto and the Beast of Darkness...

Unless it happens inside Guts' mind I don't see how that could be the case.

Offline RanShi

Re: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2014, 03:01:30 PM »
Unless it happens inside Guts' mind I don't see how that could be the case.

Okay, I see you have a tendency to either be nitpicking or interpreting everything literally to the extreme  :ganishka: obviously I meant Femto vs. Guts in his beast-dog-wolf-armor-form. I think it's legitimate to see the beast of darkness as either a dog or wolf, Guts is even called a dog by both Casca and the Pirate Captain (perhaps by someone else too?)

I find it cute that you're telling me to check a scene. =)

?

He bites her breast, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the blood. I advise you to check the scene yourself, maybe more carefully, and to pay attention to the text too. Among other things, you'll find that Guts is in an altered state as soon as he starts kissing her (look at his pupil).

Blood had nothing to do with that scene either. Guts was possessed by specters and strangled Casca. That's all there is to it.

I've had it in front of me as I've written the posts. It's really not as black and white as a fan would like it to be. Guts gets emotionally unstable, and the beast doesn't really come into the picture until he gets to the blood. Did he lick it, or was it the sight of it? Or was it just the situation, unrelated to blood? We don't know, but it feels weird to totally disregard any of the alternatives.

Earlier when Guts was possessed by specters and strangled Casca, the dog appears and commands him to kill her. So there is a connection there, I think  :???:

I'm gonna have to check out your statement about the brand making the sacrifice complete though, if it's true I must have missed something big time!

Offline Walter

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Re: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2014, 03:08:35 PM »
Okay, I see you have a tendency to either be nitpicking or interpreting everything literally to the extreme  :ganishka:

All of the admins value accuracy. Misinterpreted concepts have a tendency to spread and cause further misinformation. We know this because we've seen it happen over the 14 years this forum has been active. We don't really entertain false notions.

Quote
obviously I meant Femto vs. Guts in his beast-dog-wolf-armor-form. I think it's legitimate to see the beast of darkness as either a dog or wolf, Guts is even called a dog by both Casca and the Pirate Captain (perhaps by someone else too?)

The beast is so named because it's an amalgamation of different types of predators. At times it resembles a shark, at times a wolf, at times something wholly unique. Relegating it merely to one animalistic portrayal of many is limiting.

Quote
I'm gonna have to check out your statement about the brand making the sacrifice complete though, if it's true I must have missed something big time!

What you missed is: Those who are sacrificed are doomed to the vortex upon their death. That's the price paid for branded ones.
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2014, 03:11:47 PM »
Okay, I see you have a tendency to either be nitpicking or interpreting everything literally to the extreme  :ganishka: obviously I meant Femto vs. Guts in his beast-dog-wolf-armor-form.

That didn't seem very obvious when you said it, especially given the context of this thread. And no, I don't think I have any such tendency, I just do what it takes to underline things to people like you, who have a tendency to ignore elements that don't support their ideas.

I think it's legitimate to see the beast of darkness as either a dog or wolf, Guts is even called a dog by both Casca and the Pirate Captain (perhaps by someone else too?)

It's not called the "Dog of Darkness", that's all. That Casca called Guts a "mad dog", an expression that denotes rashness, over 10 volumes before the Beast of Darkness first appeared, is completely irrelevant to that fact.

I've had it in front of me as I've written the posts. It's really not as black and white as a fan would like it to be. Guts gets emotionally unstable, and the beast doesn't really come into the picture until he gets to the blood. Did he lick it, or was it the sight of it? Or was it just the situation, unrelated to blood? We don't know, but it feels weird to totally disregard any of the alternatives.

I'm sorry to tell you but it's pretty obvious that the blood is a side thing, a detail in the whole affair and not some specific trigger that could be repeated in a different context. It's the situation as a whole (Casca being nude, having killed bandits by herself then attacking him, etc.), and when Guts actually pinned Casca down and started kissing her against her will he was already over the line.

Earlier when Guts was possessed by specters and strangled Casca, the dog appears and commands him to kill her. So there is a connection there, I think  :???:

You were talking about blood being there as a catalyst, which is not the case.

I'm gonna have to check out your statement about the brand making the sacrifice complete though, if it's true I must have missed something big time!

I mean no offense, but given this "conspiracy theory" of yours I'd say there's more than one thing you've missed big time.

Offline RanShi

Re: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2014, 05:51:55 PM »
All of the admins value accuracy. Misinterpreted concepts have a tendency to spread and cause further misinformation. We know this because we've seen it happen over the 14 years this forum has been active. We don't really entertain false notions.

The beast is so named because it's an amalgamation of different types of predators. At times it resembles a shark, at times a wolf, at times something wholly unique. Relegating it merely to one animalistic portrayal of many is limiting.

What you missed is: Those who are sacrificed are doomed to the vortex upon their death. That's the price paid for branded ones.

That didn't seem very obvious when you said it, especially given the context of this thread. And no, I don't think I have any such tendency, I just do what it takes to underline things to people like you, who have a tendency to ignore elements that don't support their ideas.

It's not called the "Dog of Darkness", that's all. That Casca called Guts a "mad dog", an expression that denotes rashness, over 10 volumes before the Beast of Darkness first appeared, is completely irrelevant to that fact.

I'm sorry to tell you but it's pretty obvious that the blood is a side thing, a detail in the whole affair and not some specific trigger that could be repeated in a different context. It's the situation as a whole (Casca being nude, having killed bandits by herself then attacking him, etc.), and when Guts actually pinned Casca down and started kissing her against her will he was already over the line.

You were talking about blood being there as a catalyst, which is not the case.

I mean no offense, but given this "conspiracy theory" of yours I'd say there's more than one thing you've missed big time.

Alright, point taken, I'll be more precise in the future and appreciate your input.

I've gotta admit, although I think the theory is interesting to play around with, I've come to the conclusion that it's not as probable as I first thought it to be thanks to you, which is a good thing. Now I can finally stop thinking about the beast being an agent of the godhand as a serious thing  :beast:

Conclusion: Theory is admittedly pretty retarded and your input was good and factual. I've been a fan of the series since 2007 and never known anyone who cares to the series, so it's nice to get some response on thoughts I've had on it.

But more on what Walter said: the beast is almost always a wolf/dog? (I must have missed it becoming a shark or anything else..) And Guts' armor when he uses its full power, takes that form. So isn't it accurate to portray it as just that?

Aha! Now when you mentioned the Vortex it finally sunk in. By the way, speaking of the vortex, do you guys know why Vargas appears in it in Volume 3? At first I thought he might have used the Count's Beherit, but he stole it when he escaped, and later on gave it to Guts (before the scene where he probably got killed..) and he couldn't have been a sacrifice as the count had sacrificed his wife.. ? Could it just have been something Miura missed, or have I missed something here?    :azan:

Offline Walter

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Re: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2014, 06:20:40 PM »
But more on what Walter said: the beast is almost always a wolf/dog? (I must have missed it becoming a shark or anything else..) And Guts' armor when he uses its full power, takes that form. So isn't it accurate to portray it as just that?

If it were meant to be called a dog, it would have been called the 闇の犬 when it had an episode titled after it. It's specifically referred to as a "beast" because, like I've said before, it has a number of different predatory features, and yes, among those are canine-like features. But simply calling it a dog is a misnomer that doesn't fully encompass its various portrayals (also dog implies it's domesticated...). Would you call Zodd a tiger? Instead, it's a beast. But perhaps there's a breed of dog you have in mind that aligns with all of the beast's various representations? Look at its bizarre, triangular head. Look at its mouth. When's the last time you saw a dog with the mouth and teeth of a crocodile on steroids?

I'm not going to catalogue all the appearances of the beast and how it changes but here are just two examples where it's looked less like a dog and more like something purely predatory:


Bow wow! Ruff-ruff! :beast: This, the most monstrous form the beast has taken, resembles something more akin to a dragon.


Here's the time when it was "swimming" up Guts' cloak like a shark (happens again in volume 31).

Quote
By the way, speaking of the vortex, do you guys know why Vargas appears in it in Volume 3? At first I thought he might have used the Count's Beherit, but he stole it when he escaped, and later on gave it to Guts (before the scene where he probably got killed..) and he couldn't have been a sacrifice as the count had sacrificed his wife.. ? Could it just have been something Miura missed, or have I missed something here?    :azan:

Slan in Volume 3: That is the fate of those caught up in the affairs of demons (God Hand, Apostles). Obviously the ocean of souls comprising the vortex isn't merely populated by those who have been branded. It's the Berserk world's version of hell. I think there's a larger discussion to be had about the effects on humans mentally scarred by an apostle or the God Hand, and what that does to them.  Vargas was consumed with thoughts of revenge after his torture. The same for Guts after the Eclipse. I don't think it's too far of a guess to assume the same happened to The Skull Knight before he ceased being a human. In Berserk, there's a term for that kind of all-consuming wrath: Hellfire.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 06:55:53 PM by Walter »
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Offline RanShi

Re: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2014, 06:47:08 PM »
If it were meant to be called a dog, it would have been called the 闇の犬 when it had an episode titled after it. It's specifically referred to as a "beast" because, like I've said before, it has a number of different predatory features, and yes, among those are canine-like features. But calling it doglike doesn't fully encompass its various portrayals. But if you can find a dog that looks like it, please let me know. Look at its bizarre, triangular head. Look at its mouth. When's the last time you saw a dog with the mouth and teeth of a crocodile?

Slan in Volume 3: That is the fate of those caught up in the affairs of demons (God Hand, Apostles). Obviously the ocean of souls comprising the vortex isn't merely populated by those who have been branded. It's the Berserk world's version of hell. I think there's a larger discussion to be had about the effects on humans mentally scarred by an apostle or the God Hand, and what that does to them.  Vargas was consumed with thoughts of revenge after his torture. The same for Guts after the Eclipse. I don't think it's too far of a guess to assume the same happened to The Skull Knight before he ceased being a human. In Berserk, there's a term for that kind of all-consuming wrath: Hellfire.

I wouldn't say it takes the form of a shark when it goes up Guts' mantle, it's merely a way for the head to manifest itself in a way to reach up to his head and "possess" him.. it still seems to have the same characteristics of the "hellhound" (by the way, is that name used anywhere in the manga in japanese?). But would you interpret that as a shark? It's got two ears still. Speaking of hellhounds, there's a type of hellhound in european mythology called barghest, just google it and the depictions of it give an overall impression of it as a possible inspiration for the beast of darkness. They're also called beasts, so it's kinda funny now when I think about it. The concept of hellhounds was also used in the first Witcher game (great game!). So I think that's what might be behind the idea.

Yeah that sounds interesting, it was one of the most tragic moments.. even getting involved with an apostle.. I love volumes 1-3, there's alot of weird stuff in there, like the count using the Beherit more than once (I don't think that's happened with anyone else in the series yet?). Imagining Corkus, Judeau, Pippin and everyone else in the Vortex.. and maybe even Guts and Casca.. not fun  :magni:
 

Offline Walter

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Re: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2014, 06:53:25 PM »
At this point I am honestly perplexed why you are looking for ways around calling it by its given name.

But would you interpret that as a shark? It's got two ears still.

I didn't mean that it transformed into a shark... But that it exhibited traits of a shark. Look more closely at the ears. They resemble a shark's fins gliding above the water. It's quite different from how it normally looks. Anyway, the shape of its head often resembles a shark's as well.

"hellhound" (by the way, is that name used anywhere in the manga in japanese?).

No. But that's a perfect example of what I meant by misinformation spreading around...

Quote
Speaking of hellhounds, there's a type of hellhound in european mythology called barghest, just google it and the depictions of it give an overall impression of it as a possible inspiration for the beast of darkness. They're also called beasts, so it's kinda funny now when I think about it. The concept of hellhounds was also used in the first Witcher game (great game!). So I think that's what might be behind the idea.

Maybe, but I think you'll agree a barghest is no mere "dog" or "wolf." It's a big-ass monster canine. Likewise, Miura's creation is too monstrous to be called a dog.

I could never make it more than a few hours through the Witcher. Game is quite ambitious but seems poorly constructed to me.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 07:13:17 PM by Walter »
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Offline Aazealh

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Re: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2014, 08:17:22 PM »
I don't know why this conversation is even taking place. Again, the author deliberately chose to call it the "Beast of Darkness", that's the name it was given. Why use another one? Do some people call Griffith the "Bright Eagle" too? And "Hellhound", a word that comes from nowhere, is completely retarded because:

1) The Beast of Darkness is not a "hound" (a specific type of dog used for hunting, that typically has drooping ears)
2) It has no relation whatsoever with "hell" (the Vortex of Souls)

Furthermore, like Walter said, while the Beast of Darkness exhibits some canid features in certain panels, it doesn't actually look like a simple wolf or dog when you check it up close.

For reference, this is what a wolf looks like:



And this is what the Beast of Darkness looks like:



It's a monstrous, fictional creature. A beast of darkness, literally.

Offline RanShi

Re: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2014, 09:00:47 PM »
I guess what I'm basically trying to say is that a giant monster dog is the first thing that comes to mind when you see it. If Irish Wolfhounds came in black and had zorro-symbols for eyes, I think we'd be darn close.



Whoa, I hadn't noticed its left front leg looks like it's made outta metal like Guts'. Typical Berserk, noticing new things all the time.



Offline Aazealh

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Re: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2014, 09:11:08 PM »
If Irish Wolfhounds came in black and had zorro-symbols for eyes, I think we'd be darn close.

:ganishka: I'm going to take that as a joke.

Whoa, I hadn't noticed its left front leg looks like it's made outta metal like Guts'. Typical Berserk, noticing new things all the time.

It's only in that specific panel. The Beast is depicted in a Guts-like anthropomorphic manner.

Offline RanShi

Re: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2014, 10:19:34 PM »
Yeah now when I look through the volumes, the beast kinda looks like a mix between a rat (the nose in some images), coyote, dog/wolf, alligator/crocodile, venom from spiderman and an evil bunny (its ears at times). Guess I'm gonna start defining it as just "the Beast". It is what it is. Nothing more, nothing less.  :beast:

*even more impatient now for my Figma Berserker Armor Guts to drop into the mailbox...*

Offline Deci

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Re: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2014, 10:53:55 PM »
Well this is completely derailed.  :isidro:

Of course literally the Beast of Darkness is a part of Guts', a human, not any of the other animals we've mentioned. However, I've always felt it was most prominently conveyed to us as a canine, mainly because of Guts' relationship to Gambino, and Gambino and his dog? Something like that... I'm dangerously going into speculation territory I guess so I'll stop there, but I've always felt it safe to include the descriptor word dog, or canine I guess, when trying to explain how the Beast of Darkness'(usually say coyote or dog), and hence the Berserk armors' helmet (I usually say wolf), looks to us.

Offline Walter

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Re: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2014, 01:12:50 AM »
I've always felt it was most prominently conveyed to us as a canine, mainly because of Guts' relationship to Gambino, and Gambino and his dog? Something like that...

Oh boy, you might be onto something here, man!



Look at that... it's some kind of dog. Or maybe an astral creature.  It looks like it was trailing Gambino, and then perhaps entered his mind, like a ghost possession? Leaving us with that horrible, yet oh-so-familiar visage. And of course, he goes on to try to kill Guts in the scene immediately after. He's clearly possessed by some evil dog spirit here. But when his attempt fails, the evil spirit dog found  another host in Guts.



And how did that dog get there...? Was there any evidence of its origins? Let's just turn a few pages back...



Wait a minute, what's that? Right next to Gambino. Enhance!



Is that...?!



HOLY SHIT It relates to the original conspiracy theory! Doggie of Darkness was PLANTED by one of Conrad's rats during Guts' childhood as a secret agent of destruction!

Everything is within the flow of causality.  Everything!

... I'm dangerously going into speculation territory I guess so I'll stop there

Don't worry, I did the legwork for you.
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Re: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2014, 01:18:27 AM »
Yes. I can see it.  It's all starting to make sense now!  :ganishka:

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Nature of the Beast - A Berserk Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2014, 08:00:20 AM »
Of course literally the Beast of Darkness is a part of Guts', a human, not any of the other animals we've mentioned. However, I've always felt it was most prominently conveyed to us as a canine, mainly because of Guts' relationship to Gambino, and Gambino and his dog? Something like that...

:miura: Even when something's reached the bottom of inanity, one can always count on Deci to start digging deeper! I think we ought to close the thread on that high note, with the prophecy realized. Yes, Deci, Gambino's dog, of course. It's been the answer all along!