Author Topic: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion  (Read 15610 times)

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Offline Grail

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The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« on: June 21, 2014, 07:03:54 PM »

 :schnoz: At last!

This past weekend, Lithrael and Gummyskull sat down with me to record a discussion about our experiences with Berserk as female fans. In this podcast, we cover the Berserk fan community, as well take a broad look at Miura's unique treatment of women's stories within the series. I was really pleased to find that we all had a lot to say, and I think listeners will enjoy new perspectives and ideas that they may not have considered before.

Of course, I don't want us to end the discussion with this little podcast. I'd love to encourage other women users here to share their thoughts and experiences with Berserk and being a female member of this (or another) fan community. And of course, guys can say stuff too! :slan:

Special thanks to Walter, Griff and Aaz for inspiring me to do this podcast. I don't think I'm alone when I say that listening to the SkullKast has made me a better Berserk fan, so big props to you guys for taking the time to create such a fun and informative series. Thanks (again!) to Lith and Gummy for joining me. You made this podcast awesome, in my book. And last but certainly not least, thanks to Gobs for helping me to edit the podcast and recording the opening theme. :griffnotevil: Hope you enjoy.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2014, 07:18:08 PM by Grail »

Offline Deci

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2014, 07:11:23 PM »
My interest is piqued. I tried listening to a few of the SKULLCAST's but I found myself skipping around all over trying to get to different bits and in the end it didn't do it for me. I tend to want to be able to enter into the discussion when it's a topic I love and have a lot of knowledge of, so it can be frustrating. Female Berserk fans always have my attention, however.  :carcus: So I'll definitely give this a listen later tonight. We'll see if it turns out better for me.  :serpico:

Offline Shinjinobrave

Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2014, 07:17:39 PM »
You probably don't know me, because this is my second post in the history of ever, but I'd just like to say how great I think this is. I'm very interested in a female perspective on this kind of media. I've always been into a lot of comics and manga like berserk, though never one quite as amazing. (one came close though). But they always had a hint of being limited in their appeal to anyone other than men and boys. Berserk however, is so layered that I was sure it must've had female fans, but I had never met any. (except two of my female friends who I turned into Berserk-fans) In short, looking forward to listening to this!
 :ubik:

Offline Gobolatula

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2014, 07:40:53 PM »
Great podcast, guys. It was fun helping out!

Offline Rhombaad

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2014, 07:42:52 PM »
Great idea! I can't wait to listen to it at work on Monday.

Offline Tama

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2014, 12:32:08 AM »
I wish I knew this was being made beforehand, I would have liked to join the discussion

Online Walter

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2014, 12:34:19 AM »
I've only had a chance to listen to the first 20 minutes or so, but I like it a lot! The name too (and the intro, Gobs). It's great to hear some fresh perspectives, and I'm glad you guys gals took the initiative to record your thoughts.

Really interested to hear what you guys gals tackle in terms of analyzing Berserk through a female lens, since as you note, Aaz, Griff and I are ill-equipped for that perspective. Also, I created Skull Kast because I listen to a lot of podcasts and wanted one that talked about my favorite series. Finding none, I started my own. So, you starting another Berserk podcast that I don't produce is the ultimate realization of that dream, for me.

Early on, you ask why there are so few females on the forum. Like Lith says afterward, I don't think there's anything special about SKnet in that regard. That's generally the trend on fan forums across the Internet--and really, the Internet in general unless you branch out into social media sites. And when you narrow that following down to a relatively manly manga series, it's no surprise that the ratio is 6:1 (those stats can be found here, btw).

As for the disparity between SKnet and the apparently rabid female Berserk fanbase on Tumblr, I think it's just because they're fundamentally different websites (even calling Tumblr a website is a bit of a misnomer, it's so different). Also, through tagging, you're seeing a flurry of activity because it's pulling from a larger pool of people sharing images and comments. But it's unlikely those are the same people who would be found engaging in lengthy debates about the nature of the series for months on end, which is pretty much all we're about. That's not for everyone, men or women alike. Different fans like to celebrate their series in different ways. For many Tumblr people, it's done by sharing text-overlayed screencaps of stuff they like. Which makes me feel really old.

I tried listening to a few of the SKULLCAST's but I found myself skipping around all over trying to get to different bits and in the end it didn't do it for me. I tend to want to be able to enter into the discussion when it's a topic I love and have a lot of knowledge of, so it can be frustrating.

It's Kast with a K, as in "S.K." Anyway, I don't understand what you're talking about here, but since I'm always trying to make the show better, I'll take this vague critique into consideration. (Note to self: Bring in more topics that particular people love and have a lot of knowledge of.)
« Last Edit: June 22, 2014, 12:49:30 PM by Walter »
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline NeaR

Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2014, 02:34:45 AM »
I'll definitely give it a listen, a female perspectives on certain things in the story could be interesting.

Gotta say though, I'm going to miss Aazealh's french accent during this podcast. Hope one of you guys is French!
Think outside the box.

Offline Gummyskull

Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2014, 05:53:40 AM »
Hurray! Thanks so much Grail and Gobs for editing this! And thanks for the feedback so far everyone.
Even if you skip around I believe you'll find at least one of the points we bring up to be interesting.  We frequently derailed from our discussion topics (not a bad thing at all), so by no means did we cover everything. I could go on for hours about Berserk from a feminist perspective. :iva:

But they always had a hint of being limited in their appeal to anyone other than men and boys. Berserk however, is so layered that I was sure it must've had female fans, but I had never met any. (except two of my female friends who I turned into Berserk-fans) In short, looking forward to listening to this!
 :ubik:

Thanks! Berserk is very different in comparison to a lot of the male targeted comics I've come across.  How it treats very difficult material sets it apart from other seinen series with similar content. Sun-Ken Rock was the example I mentioned that approached such topics in a very tasteless fashion. I recommend looking it up to really understand the contrast.
Also welcome to the forum!

Early on, you ask why there are so few females on the forum. Like Lith says afterward, I don't think there's anything special about SKnet in that regard. That's generally the trend on fan forums across the Internet--and really, the Internet in general unless you branch out into social media sites. And when you narrow that following down to a relatively manly manga series, it's no surprise that the ratio is 6:1 (those stats can be found here, btw).

Very true. I'm glad Lith brought it up.
Several years ago I used to post on a One Piece forum and the userbase was pretty clearly male dominated. Which seems odd in retrospect considering One Piece has a much larger fanbase, and attracts a lot more female fans from my experience.

I think much of the gender gap also has to do with not many women specifying their gender outside of social network websites, for obvious reasons. When your gender is used against you even in casual forum conversations it can be very discouraging.  Just by how tumblr works it's a lot easier to avoid that kind of drama because, as you mentioned, it basically is a free for all.

Quote
But it's unlikely those are the same people who would be found engaging in lengthy debates about the nature of the series for months on end, which is pretty much all we're about. That's not for everyone, men or women alike. Different fans like to celebrate their series in different ways.

Again, a very good point. A few users that frequent the tag actually do have pretty involved conversations. But it is both a rarity and a new trend. The movie series  brought about a slew of new and enthusiastic fans so the Berserk fandom on tumblr has been really active. It wasn't always that way. I briefly mentioned this in the podcast, but the fandom used to be pretty much nonexistent a few years ago and the tag was full of either complaining or pages of the manga that contained rape. It still is, but there is thankfully more variation. Unfortunately among that variation is tons of people reposting pages from illegal sources...
 
Quote
For many Tumblr people, it's done by sharing text-overlayed screencaps of stuff they like. Which makes me feel really old.

Confession blogs always seemed pointless. Why not just talk about that stuff in the open? Why does it need to be submitted anonymously to a blog? Seems like wasted opportunity for some interesting conversations to me.

I wish I knew this was being made beforehand, I would have liked to join the discussion

Well dang. :sad: I was actually wondering why you weren't joining us. You being a part of a discussion is one more reason another Floracast should happen!

Offline Grail

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2014, 03:56:53 PM »
Wow, great to see the comments so far! I'm looking forward to seeing more of what people have to say once they've listened to the whole thing. Any feedback is appreciated, of course.

I wish I knew this was being made beforehand, I would have liked to join the discussion
Great to hear you're interested, Tama! I apologize if you (or anyone else) feels like they might have been left out, but speaking from a practical standpoint, I simply couldn't invite every regular female poster onto our first recording.

To give a little context, I realized that I had to go with a smaller group for this initial podcast based on my experience with the SkullKast - when you have more than three people on, it becomes exponentially harder to talk because there aren't any visual cues to show when next person will start speaking. Since this was our very first attempt (and really, it was a bit like an experiment) at our first podcast, I eventually decided to keep the group small while in the planning stages. That said, I would love to invite more women on if we decide to record again, since the first go went very well. :ubik:

And thanks for your response on the Skullknight/Tumblr issue, Walter! I think Gummy's responses sum things up pretty well, so I'll just say that looking back, I think I took the differences between the two fan communities for granted. It would be great to hear if anyone else has thoughts on this.

Anyway, I gotta run, but just wanted to thank everyone who's replied or been listening so far. If you have any questions that you'd like to see covered in a future podcast, please write them in bold so that I'll be able to take note. Would people even be interested in another? I sure hope so, because we still have lots to talk about! :ganishka:

Offline Jackolyn

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2014, 05:08:51 PM »
I haven't yet listened to the podcast, but I will make a strong effort in the very near future.
I've told this story before, but it was initially my Boyfriend who turned me towards Berserk. I had very little-to-no experience with Anime or Manga and it was incredibly intimidating to dive head first into the world that is Berserk. It took him a lot of convincing to get me to finally watch the anime, but he watched it with me and showed me that it was much more than just a blood and guts, big guy with a giant sword story.
Immediately after the anime was finished, I read the manga 3 times over within the period of a month.

To this day, Berserk is my all time favourite story. I can't get enough of it.

What does this have to do with being a female Berserk fan?
Working at a comic book store allows me to share a very similar perspective.

I've been working there for almost 9 months now, and I've had plenty of time to observe the customers who walk into our store. To little surprise, they are 95% male. (Don't get me wrong, there are female regulars but they are outweighed  9:1 by our male customers).
It is the male audience that the pop-culture of comics and "geek-culture" in general has always been skewed towards. In the past few years there has been indeed a surge of female fans showing up at more conventions, engaging in conversation and buying comics -- not afraid to show off their pride of being a fan. But alongside that surge, the term "fake-geek-girl" has also risen. 9 times out of 10, female fans are constantly being questioned and tested on the validity of their "geek-status and knowledge". It's insulting to have to prove yourself when you wear a t-shirt with a comic book reference, or dress up as your favourite video game character and then have to proceed to answer a plethora of questions validating yourself.
In my experience working at a comic book store, I have noticed that a lot of our male customers have a harder time communicating with me about their favourite comics or shows, where as my male co-workers are, more often than not, approached first.
I'm almost always the one engaging the conversation to get them talking with me.

In fact, just the other day there was a customer asking me about the possibility of ordering in the third Berserk movie in, so naturally, I jumped into conversation about Berserk with him.
I answered his question and then proceeded to talk about the characters stories and the level of depth to which Miura crafts their personalities and arcs.
After about 5 minuets of talking he said, "Wow, a chick who knows Berserk!!"
I was slightly taken aback, because as I was talking, I never thought twice about my gender role in our conversation. I am just a fan who loves Berserk and who also just so happens to be a female. I never considered myself to be any different than the male fans of Berserk, (it turns out that I knew more about Berserk than he did), and the same can be applied to the general aspects of my job.

A lot of people are surprised to see me work at a comic book store, and are even more surprised when it turns out that I actually know my stuff. I got the job there for a reason, not just because I'm a pretty face.

I do feel a strong bias towards female fans of anything "geeky" in general. If we like comics they should be "girly" comics, as if we aren't allowed to know everything about Batman's rouges gallery, or the Marvel Universe.
Especially with something so masculine themed as Berserk, there's even more of a shock that females can truly appreciate it for every aspect and theme that it explores and not just the fans on Tumblr who "fan-girl" over Griffith and make text-overlay confessions. (Before Tumblr gets mad at me, I should mention that I spend almost every second of my free time on Tumblr, but I prefer lengthy discussions over petty arguments).

I know this is a long and jumbled rant, but I feel like I have a voice in this conversation given my every day work experience and living in the world of strong gendered bias almost every day. Having to constantly have to validate my knowledge and "prove" myself to the suspicious glares of the male customers.

I hope all of this makes sense, and if you've gotten this far, thank you for reading!!  :guts:

Offline Aazealh

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2014, 05:37:43 PM »
I gave it a listen and I think it was nice! Great initiative!

I took some notes to share, so here they are below.

About the low female members count: aside from what's already been said, Berserk is about a guy with a big sword fighting monsters. So I don't find it too surprising that it tends to naturally attract more males than females. Although I like to think of Berserk as being above labels, the word "seinen" itself implies that its target demographic is men. Anyway, it's true that forums are antiquated now. Tumblr is a social network, so even aside from its popularity as the platform-of-the-moment, it's normal that it appeals more to young people. And it's centered on the self too. You're just tagging your thoughts on a "personal" microblog as opposed to submitting a contribution to a public community. Different mental process. That being said, using a forum allows us to be a bastion of wisdom and sanity. Lastly, the fact we're adamant about supporting the author also sets us apart.

It was interesting to hear that the first three volumes are your favorite, Grail. I was glad to learn that, seeing that so many people underestimate them. They're really quite underrated as far as I'm concerned.

Skipping around a bit: about Colette's death, let's not forget the monk who died with her. I think their deaths and how they occurred were really more about the place of innocents in that dark world and how they're not equipped to cope with it. Plus the strong symbolism of that sweet girl's corpse being possessed. Regarding the Slug Count and his wife, I think it's worth noting that he didn't kill her. Couldn't. So he tried to kill himself, but couldn't quite do that either. His despair, at that moment, activated the beherit and the rest was history. I don't think it's fair to him to say he just had the God Hand kill her, because it's more subtle than that. As for the orgy(ies), I'd say that it's a pretty sure thing that Slan's influence was involved. On the possibility of Theresia coming back: it would be funny (and I would greatly enjoy it), but it wouldn't really accomplish anything. Theresia, no matter how hard she could have trained, could never pose a serious threat to Guts. I think that last scene with her is there to show us how easy it is for humans to get embroiled into a quest of revenge, like Guts.

Guts' mom is named "シス" (SHI SU). It can't be pronounced as a Z. And there's a great deal of possible spellings: Sis, Shis, Sith, Sisu, Cis, etc. Anyway, the time skip is what I think robs her of background/development. She goes straight from mentally unsound to dying from a plague, so for example we never get to know if she got better in-between those events or not. But her death allows for Guts to have the traumatic, unloving childhood he needed for the sake of the story.

Concerning the scene where Casca stands above and apart from the rest of the Band of the Falcon, I had originally brought it up as a parallel between her behavior and Guts'. I think she's content to observe from afar in that instance, and I think that informs us about her personality. Beyond that, I believe she did celebrate with the others at times, although like it was said, her position would certainly set her apart from the lower ranks, which is natural.

Casca's character being in "stasis" is understanbly a big deal. I think that it has possibly been going on for longer than Miura might have wanted it to originally, but like with any story, at some point the author follows where it goes, you know? Getting her cured had to be something beyond just going to a herbalist. And more importantly, it's also used to advance Guts' character development beyond anything else ever done. Even though it might seem like Casca's been set aside, the truth is that Berserk is about Guts first and foremost, and her sidelining allowed for a lot of interesting things to happen to him. First off he made new friends, something that likely wouldn't have happened had he stayed with her. Second he embarked on a quest of protection that took him geographically AND mentally away from Griffith and from his revenge. And by the same token that allowed for the world to change while Guts was away. And lastly, well, he's really had a lot of internal development concerning Casca (and some not related to her but made possible by her absence), and now that she's finally about to get healed, the payoff for that long wait is just gonna be enormous. It can't be anything but enormous. Also the fact she's like that is painful reinforces the rest. The difficult parts are as important and as necessary as the vindicative ones. It's really a pretty unique situation in any story I believe, but isn't that what's great about Berserk? =)

Miura does not have a female assistant, no.

About the occurrences of sexual violence in the manga, I find it difficult to address that without addressing plain violence too. Berserk is a pretty violent story, and it takes place in a very violent world. We see a ton of people die, many of them in horrible ways. Given the world depicted, an absence of sexual violence would stand out as being odd. It's quite unfortunate but historically, in our world sexual violence was really quite commonplace in the past. Not that it's become rare nowadays, mind you... Anyway, I personally think it's important to portray it so that readers are shown how unglamorous it is, how sordid. And I think we can agree that Miura never depicts such things gratuitously. It always serves a purpose in the story. Lastly, I think it's important to remember that it's not just girls getting assaulted either: the first rape victim in Berserk is Guts as a boy.

On the topic of "male power fantasies". Well, about Guts, he does get fucked up a lot. And I don't think, if you take volume 1 as an example, that a man who gets captured, tortured, badly beaten up by his enemies, is shown to have nightmares, and who's generally haunted by his past is a very good example of a "power fantasy". Going a bit wider, we see him cry, we see him troubled by his choices, we see him refuse to take action (letting Vargas die) because of the risks involved... There are many other things to say, but in short, while Guts is utterly badass, I don't think he fits the mold of a "power fantasy". That's something I associate more with, say, Superman.

Regarding the community: unfortunately, many "fans" don't seem to get what Berserk is. In fact I always marvel at the fact they keep reading it, considering that most of the time these people don't seem to like the series. They complain about it, and if you get down to details, you can tell they'd have complained about pretty much any portion of it had they been reading it episodically when it came out. These people only like the blatantly incorrect and weirdly distorted view they have of Berserk. That explains why we sometimes get people who are so terribly confused about the series. Anyway, yes, the guy you girls mentioned was banned. And I remove the term "loli" when I see it in posts. I've only seen it a few times here, but I find it rather offensive considering its connotation.

Also, I think you girls don't do us justice at the end of your talk, in the sense that I believe we stand up for women. See my posts in that thread where Gummyskull argued with the guy. Generally speaking, I honestly don't think we can do much more than what we're doing now. I know I'm at the front lines when it comes to standing up for the female characters in Berserk (just as I am for the other characters).

Offline Oburi

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2014, 01:22:11 AM »
I really enjoyed this! Refreshing and insightful. Really great initiative Grail  :ubik:

About the first three books, they are very underrated. I'm surprised they are your favorite, Grail. It's hard for me to pick a favorite Arc, but personally I enjoy the first three volumes as much as anything else. It's unique in so many different ways and a perfect opening for Berserk, effectively grabbing your attention and never letting go. It's like a roller coaster. I also love the older art style too. It makes me wonder how different the series could have looked had it been started much earlier in the 80's. 

Offline Grail

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2014, 02:29:46 AM »
Thanks very much for your responses, guys! Let me see if I can reply to a few points here...

It is the male audience that the pop-culture of comics and "geek-culture" in general has always been skewed towards. ... It's insulting to have to prove yourself when you wear a t-shirt with a comic book reference, or dress up as your favourite video game character and then have to proceed to answer a plethora of questions validating yourself.
Yeah, that's something you hear a lot about across a lot of different fan groups. I'm glad to say that I haven't experienced that kind of thing since I was a kid, so it's frustrating when you hear about it happening more and more often nowadays. Would you say that kind of attitude is applied differently for female fans of Western comics or Eastern media? I've been a bit curious about that.

Especially with something so masculine themed as Berserk, there's even more of a shock that females can truly appreciate it for every aspect and theme that it explores and not just the fans on Tumblr who "fan-girl" over Griffith and make text-overlay confessions. (Before Tumblr gets mad at me, I should mention that I spend almost every second of my free time on Tumblr, but I prefer lengthy discussions over petty arguments).
No, I hear you on that. As a Tumblr user, you see a side of the Berserk fan community that's pretty vastly different, which is why I posed a question about it on the podcast. Like many of the responses on and off the podcast have mentioned, that's probably a natural aspect of the way the site's built. I am happy though that people on Tumblr have been introducing analysis and discussion rather than just posting pictures, so I wonder if the Berserk tag is beginning to change.

I gave it a listen and I think it was nice! Great initiative!
Much appreciated! I understand that listening to podcasts isn't really your thing, so thanks for making time for it.

It was interesting to hear that the first three volumes are your favorite, Grail. I was glad to learn that, seeing that so many people underestimate them. They're really quite underrated as far as I'm concerned.
Yeah, I always feel a bit unfashionable telling people that. :guts: I think that fans are generally hard on the art style from that part of the story, but I think Miura showed a lot of raw skill in his art and storytelling, which is what appeals to me most. Just thinking about his age at the time that these volumes (and the prototype) were released is kind of a trip. I know I couldn't produce anything like that at college age.

On the possibility of Theresia coming back: it would be funny (and I would greatly enjoy it), but it wouldn't really accomplish anything. Theresia, no matter how hard she could have trained, could never pose a serious threat to Guts. I think that last scene with her is there to show us how easy it is for humans to get embroiled into a quest of revenge, like Guts.
I think we can all agree that Guts has nothing to be worried about as far as how things go with Theresia. :ganishka: I personally didn't mean that I wanted Theresia to come back seriously seeking revenge, I just like to joke about it. That's not to say I wouldn't love to see her come back in whatever way, though I'm not getting my hopes up over that versus say, Jill's return. I take pride in being realistic about my unrealistic expectations. :azan:

Guts' mom is named "シス" (SHI SU). It can't be pronounced as a Z. And there's a great deal of possible spellings: Sis, Shis, Sith, Sisu, Cis, etc.
So you're saying that of all the various possible pronunciations you listed, I somehow managed to pick the wrong one. :judo: I'll be sure to mention that correction if we do another recording, to absolve myself of my great shame!

About the occurrences of sexual violence in the manga, I find it difficult to address that without addressing plain violence too. Berserk is a pretty violent story, and it takes place in a very violent world. We see a ton of people die, many of them in horrible ways. Given the world depicted, an absence of sexual violence would stand out as being odd. It's quite unfortunate but historically, in our world sexual violence was really quite commonplace in the past.
Yeah, this was a fact that I really wanted to talk about a bit more. I think we ended up veering more towards the depiction of sexual violence in seinen manga in general, but that'll be something to remember for next time.

Also, I think you girls don't do us justice at the end of your talk, in the sense that I believe we stand up for women. See my posts in that thread where Gummyskull argued with the guy. Generally speaking, I honestly don't think we can do much more than what we're doing now. I know I'm at the front lines when it comes to standing up for the female characters in Berserk (just as I am for the other characters).
Well, damn, I've got to say that I'm disappointed to hear you felt that way. I did mention that you guys work to support accurate characterizations in Berserk, regardless of gender - not sure if you got to that bit while you were listening, but either way, I'm sorry to put you in a position where you felt like you have to defend yourself. The main point that I wanted to discuss with Gummy was how widespread misogynistic conceptions of female characters are among self-described Berserk fans across the greater community (not specifically SK.net, but Tumblr and the other sites we talked about).

I cited the guy who got banned as an example of how, even in the context of serious Berserk discussion, these kinds of people introduce inappropriate language and unwarranted views of female characters because of what I believe is a wider, very disturbing attitude perpetuated among anime/seinen fans. Of course, nobody can be expected to be able to root these people out before they express those sorts of views. I was following the thread about Casca at the time, and I did see that you took action right away. Also, I didn't know that you edit out  terms like "loli," but I'm glad that you brought it up!

I just want to note that the discussion of any problematic language or characterizations on SK.net is not meant to reflect badly on the admins, only the people who express troubling views in the first place. For instance, Walter has recently made a few posts very aggressively addressing any misconceptions about the status of Casca's rape. What I want to talk about is the problem behind the fact that Walter has to make those corrections in the first place, not that Walter is failing in making them at all. Hope that clears things up a bit.

With that, I want to thank everyone who's provided feedback about the podcast so far! I realize that we're touching on sensitive topics here, and while the goal is to foster honest discussion, I don't want to spread any misinformation, so if you have a problem with something said in this podcast, please feel free to speak up. :serpico:

Online Walter

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2014, 02:48:34 PM »
Finished the show on the train to work today. Good stuff! For me, this's probably one of the most exciting things a member has done independent of the forum that I can recall.

I don't think I knew how long Lith had been reading Berserk. Lost Children-era predates me by a few years. I started reading around the time Vol 18 was published in Japan. Hearing everything in the show has made me curious about quality Tumblr posts. Could you guys link to a few memorable ones in this thread?

When Gummy was attacked in that thread, we took action immediately -- within minutes. That kind of negative verbiage against our members isn't tolerated, regardless of gender. Anyway, like Grail said, there's little we can do as admins to prevent people from posting ignorant shit. All we can do is retroactively moderate threads and in the bigger picture, make our stances on such notions clear so that it'll dissuade less tolerant or less knowledgable people from joining in to begin with. Over the years, I think we've done a pretty good job of cultivating the kind of atmosphere where only the best stuff survives. At this point our strict "no bullshit" filter has become pretty much infamous among Berserk fandom, which is fine with me.

Anyway, I do hope you guys continue as I think you are onto something by analyzing the series through a different lens. I was really excited to hear you guys tackle controversial things like the Eclipse and Volume 18's content, but I feel like you could go even deeper into Miura's depiction of women in the series, and his choices in their portrayal. Obviously this was your first outing, and it's tempting to jump around to different topics. Fighting against that tendency is what led me to start making copious notes before each show. It's a little bit like homework, but the coolest kind of homework. These have become essential for me during the re-reads (they're less important for the current ep discussion, which is more free-form). Obviously, do what you think is best. That's just advice from my experience keeping Berserk talk rolling through a few hours at a time.

Things I'd like to see more of next time? Schierke and Guts from a woman's perspective. Miura's inclusion of a woman among the God Hand. Farnese as the figurehead of the Holy See's military, and her role within the Vandimion family. Many many more topics come to mind.

I think you guys could really dig deep into each of the topics you discussed in the future.  Please keep going!
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 01:18:34 PM by Walter »
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline Sammoniac

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2014, 08:10:50 PM »
This is a tremendous podcast! Very enjoyable, especially for a first time.. so kudos to you girls!  :ubik: I know some of these subjects were brought up in the forums before, but I'd like to hear your opinion about them in future podcasts ;

- What do you think about the fact that most naked women in the manga have beautiful and sexy bodies?

- What do you think of the depiction of nude underage girls (as often nowadays as in older material)?

- Why do you think that men in the manga don't have nipples? I know its an artistic choice, but do you have an opinion on that?  :serpico:

Now I understand that Japan has a very particular culture and that some of these things are just more common there. I also understand that its a seinen manga, so the girls are often very beautiful in this medium (and in A LOT of other mediums). But since Miura puts so much effort into realistically depicting the world that he created, it seems strange to me that he sometimes adheres to such conventions (which is perfectly fine since Berserk is HIS creation, afterall). Of course Berserk is no exception, and it doesn't go too far with its sexuality. For example, I remember seeing stuff in Gantz that was just too much and I'm glad that I never had that impression about Berserk.

Thank you again for this podcast !!

Offline Delta Phi

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2014, 04:22:49 AM »
I leave for a little over a week for vacation and I come back to not one, but TWO great podcasts?! I couldn't be happier with such a surprise on the board!

This was really refreshing and so great to hear a discussion about the women of Berserk, from women who read Berserk. It sounds like it was pretty difficult talking about the sexual violence, but I'm glad y'all were able to get into it and discuss the uncomfortable parts of the series. It gives me a new appreciation for the gravity of those sections.

A question that came to mind almost immediately after finishing the podcast was, Being the only female member of the God Hand, do you find it (in)appropriate that Slan is seemingly fixated on sensuality? I think a lot of discussion (maybe an entire episode, actually) for the FloraCast could be centered around Slan's character.

Once again, fine job, ladies! I can't wait to hear more from y'all!

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2014, 07:12:15 AM »
Thank you for the questions, guys. It looks like some pretty varied requests so far, so it doesn't look like we'll be running out of ground to cover just yet! :carcus:

Finished the show on the train to work today. Good stuff! For me, this's probably one of the most exciting things a member has done independent of the forum that I can recall.
Now that is high praise, wow! To tell you the truth, I was a little hesitant to try doing this in podcast format, though being on the SkullKast a few times gave me some exposure to the process, which was the boost I needed, I think. Even then, I wasn't sure if the subject matter would garner much interest, but after seeing so many encouraging reactions, I'm very glad we ended up going for it. Anyway, I appreciate you saying that, it means a lot.

Hearing everything in the show has made me curious about quality Tumblr posts. Could you guys link to a few memorable ones in this thread?
Sure. I'll have to dig around a bit, but generally speaking, I've enjoyed the discussions of O-Blessed-King-of-Longing, who I mention in the podcast. The name is a mouthful, but I admire this person's desire to analyze aspects of the series that I haven't seen much of anywhere else. Here's a random post I enjoyed in response to another user who focuses on analysis. There aren't many, unfortunately. I should add a disclaimer here saying that I don't always agree with everything that's said, but it can be interesting to see opinions that you don't always catch here on the forum. Different format, different thought processes I guess! I'd be curious if Gummy has any posts she'd like to share, since I'm sure I've missed some folks.

One other thing on Tumblr that I'm happy to see popping up is addressing translation inaccuracies/discrepancies Here are a few examples, the latter of which I'm hoping to address in a podcast, because I honestly find that stuff pretty disturbing. And unfortunately, this is a screencap that you see people citing as a generic "badass Guts quote."

Anyway, I do hope you guys continue as I think you are onto something by analyzing the series through a different lens. I was really excited to hear you guys tackle controversial things like the Eclipse and Volume 18's content, but I feel like you could go even deeper into Miura's depiction of women in the series, and his choices in their portrayal. Obviously this was your first outing, and it's tempting to jump around to different topics.
Yeah, I was a bit conflicted about how exactly to influence the flow of discussion when I was first coming up with topics a few weeks before we all sat down together for our first run. At the time, I had no idea that Lith and Gummy would be so great at discussing without prompts, so once we started recording, I just decided to let it flow as a natural conversation. As a result, things got a little jumbled, but I think that it was a good format to get the engine running and get a sense for how the others think.

Fighting against that tendency is what led me to start making copious notes before each show. It's a little bit like homework, but the coolest kind of homework. These have become essential for me during the re-reads (they're less important for the current ep discussion, which is more free-form). Obviously, do what you think is best. That's just advice from my experience keeping Berserk talk rolling through a few hours at a time.
Yeah, one thing I was a bit frustrated about looking back was my slowness in remembering or accurately describing certain details. It can also be a bit tricky when you aren't that familiar with anything outside of the Dark Horse translations. For that reason, narrowing the focus will hopefully help the discussion bear a bit more fruit in the future. Free-form is fun, but it's got limitations, especially when you're more of a big-picture person like me. I always have to work a bit harder at appreciating the really fine details.

- What do you think about the fact that most naked women in the manga have beautiful and sexy bodies?
Oh, Sammy Sammy Sammy! You just want to hear me make saggy boob jokes on the podcast now, you can say it. :slan:

- What do you think of the depiction of nude underage girls (as often nowadays as in older material)?
I'll preface by saying that nudity in Berserk is a pretty widespread thing. The Moonlight Boy would be very offended to know that you ignored him, by the way! :judo:

- Why do you think that men in the manga don't have nipples? I know its an artistic choice, but do you have an opinion on that?  :serpico:
We should really collaborate on some comic material sometime. You're really good at joke prompts. Just giving you a hard time man, but seriously, keep it coming.

This was really refreshing and so great to hear a discussion about the women of Berserk, from women who read Berserk. It sounds like it was pretty difficult talking about the sexual violence, but I'm glad y'all were able to get into it and discuss the uncomfortable parts of the series. It gives me a new appreciation for the gravity of those sections.
Thank you Delta! I'm really appreciative to Lith and Gummy for giving so much insight on the whole topic of sexuality in Berserk overall. And don't worry, Slan will definitely be at the top of the list for characters to be covered next!

Offline Aazealh

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2014, 09:56:16 AM »
Here's a random post I enjoyed in response to another user who focuses on analysis. There aren't many, unfortunately. I should add a disclaimer here saying that I don't always agree with everything that's said, but it can be interesting to see opinions that you don't always catch here on the forum. Different format, different thought processes I guess!

Eh. If you want my opinion, I think people should be careful not to automatically equate long posts to quality analyses.

One other thing on Tumblr that I'm happy to see popping up is addressing translation inaccuracies/discrepancies Here are a few examples, the latter of which I'm hoping to address in a podcast, because I honestly find that stuff pretty disturbing. And unfortunately, this is a screencap that you see people citing as a generic "badass Guts quote."

Forgive my bluntness, but people only have themselves to blame for fostering the production of these illegal, badly translated scans. As for translation mistakes in the official releases, well, our stuff is accurate. :slan:

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2014, 10:57:31 AM »
Hey Grail & co. Thanks a lot for taking the time to put that together. It's always interesting to hear a female perspective on the series, given you are part of a small minority.

For what it's worth, I don't agree with Grail's assessment that "if you believe in equal rights for men and women" that automatically makes you a feminist. That's like saying "If you believe in Jesus then you're a Christian", even though Christianity has many different denominations, each with their own traditions and creeds, some more radical than others. I also resent the term 'feminist' because it places emphasis on one sex over the other, thus undermining its own point. Surely, if we're looking for a better term, it would be germane to use something like 'equalist' instead?

Offline Oburi

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2014, 01:51:10 PM »
Here's a random post I enjoyed in response to another user who focuses on analysis.


This is horrible. There IS a callback when Casca fights Adonis for the second time.

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2014, 03:53:24 PM »
The podcast was amazing and I think this is a great idea to have!  :ubik: It's always nice to hear more opinions on the subject of Berserk and I always learn something new from other fans. It would be fun to join in sometime if there is a opportunity.

(also I apologize about my last post, I think it came off as kind of rude, I didn't mean it like that. Sometimes I'm bad with words, I didn't realize it until I read it back to myself).

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2014, 04:16:57 PM »
I also resent the term 'feminist' because it places emphasis on one sex over the other, thus undermining its own point. Surely, if we're looking for a better term, it would be germane to use something like 'equalist' instead?

This is pretty easily explained. Imagine a bar graph with two columns, one for male and one for female. The value is rights -- actual and implicit. In today's society, particularly worldwide, the female bar would be lower. Males are guaranteed rights, so theirs would naturally be higher. But over the past century, women have had to fight for each stage of their societal rights. Thus the side that is unequal is contending for equality with the rights of men, hence the name feminism. If the bar values were reversed, we'd be here talking about masculinism.
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2014, 05:09:27 PM »
Eh. If you want my opinion, I think people should be careful not to automatically equate long posts to quality analyses.
This is horrible. There IS a callback when Casca fights Adonis for the second time.
The argument isnít water-tight here, not going to bother denying that. I probably should have made a clearer note about this after quoting Walter on the matter of quality (sorry man, I hope I didnít crush your dreams :judo: ). As I mention on the podcast, Tumblr isnít the scholarly center that SK.net strives to be. But you are starting to see people who are investing in the series and taking a serious look at character relationships and important events, which is something Iím excited about. While scans are unfortunately rampant, I think that encouraging analysis will help to curb that, which is what I and some other users are trying to do. That said, Iím not going to sit here and defend somebody elseís words, but Iíd also entreat you to understand that Tumblr is playing catch-up with SK.net right now. Baby steps, baby steps. :griffnotevil:

Forgive my bluntness, but people only have themselves to blame for fostering the production of these illegal, badly translated scans.
I hear you on that, but when there's a chance to encourage people to support the official release, why not take it, you know? Sure, there are people who are content to wallow in their own ignorance and moral ineptitude, but there are also folks who simply need a push in the right direction. In these cases, it can help to say "the translation you know is not actually a translation, but the rough equivalent of smashing your keyboard with a watermelon and interpreting the resulting messages." Somehow, the idea seems to be catching on!

As for translation mistakes in the official releases, well, our stuff is accurate. :slan:
Amen to that, brother!

For what it's worth, I don't agree with Grail's assessment that "if you believe in equal rights for men and women" that automatically makes you a feminist. That's like saying "If you believe in Jesus then you're a Christian"
But, wait...  :???: Isn't that the exact definition of Christianity? Anyway, with regards to the rest of your post: I understand that some people feel frustrated by fringe groups that are militant to the point of alienating others with more moderate views about women's rights. Though to be honest, I'm a bit confused by how some men (and women) get stuck on this point. To address your comparison, it's like judging a kind-hearted Christian by the actions of the Westboro Baptists. Please, please, don't dismiss a fair-thinking majority based on the actions of a radical minority.

That said, thanks for listening and thanks for the feedback!

The podcast was amazing and I think this is a great idea to have!  :ubik: It's always nice to hear more opinions on the subject of Berserk and I always learn something new from other fans. It would be fun to join in sometime if there is a opportunity.

(also I apologize about my last post, I think it came off as kind of rude, I didn't mean it like that. Sometimes I'm bad with words, I didn't realize it until I read it back to myself).
Thanks for the feedback Tama! It's especially valuable to get responses from other women on the board, because that's who we're really hoping to accurately represent. And no worries, I understood what you were saying. Like I mentioned earlier in the thread, I'd like to hear the thoughts of as many Berserk-reading ladies as possible, so thank you for volunteering! :guts:

As always everyone, thanks for the helpful responses and discussion. I hope that I'm answering all of your questions and concerns satisfactorily. I've got to say, I feel like I've probably said more on this thread than I have in maybe the past year on the entire site!
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 07:20:40 PM by Grail »

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Re: The FloraCast: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2014, 07:31:54 PM »
I hear you on that, but when there's a chance to encourage people to support the official release, why not take it, you know? Sure, there are people who are content to wallow in their own ignorance and moral ineptitude, but there are also folks who simply need a push in the right direction.

Sure thing. I'm just picturing those who are outraged but still rely on the very material they condemn. I have a hard time with that sort of hypocrisy.