Author Topic: FloraCast Episode 2: Women's Berserk discussion  (Read 6044 times)

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Offline Grail

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FloraCast Episode 2: Women's Berserk discussion
« on: February 05, 2015, 03:49:16 AM »

Hey everyone! It's been a while, hasn't it? :ganishka: Well, thanks to to all of the great feedback on the first FloraCast, Gummyskull, Lithrael and I got together to record another episode. In addition to our original lineup, we invited on Tumblr-based O-Blessed-King-of-Longing as a special guest, who I really enjoyed having on, and think you will too. Overall, I think I had even more fun recording this episode than the previous one, so I hope you'll enjoy listening as much as we did talking it up. :slan:

Here are the sections we covered this time around:
1. Flora (how appropriate!)
2. Slan
3. The virgin/whore dichotomy and how Miura addresses it
4. The theme of motherhood in Berserk
5. Listener questions (Schierke and Guts, the legacy of the saggy titty thread, and the mystery of men's nipples, among other subjects covered)

As with our last discussion, feedback is always awesome! If you have questions that you'd like to see answered in the next episode, please make sure that you bold them. Enjoy! :griffnotevil:

Offline Gobolatula

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Re: FloraCast Episode 2: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2015, 04:00:12 AM »
I loved this one and it was a pleasure being there to record you guys. There were so many hilarious moments and lots of great discussion! Do more!

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Re: FloraCast Episode 2: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2015, 11:48:16 AM »
I've got a long flight today so this is perfect timing  :daiba: Glad you guys were able to get together and record again!
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline Salem

Re: FloraCast Episode 2: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2015, 04:48:43 PM »
Really enjoyed this.  Great job,ladies.

Offline Delta Phi

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Re: FloraCast Episode 2: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2015, 02:51:08 PM »
Yes! My first podcast shout-out! I made an audible shout of excitement when I saw there was a new FloraCast yesterday. I just finished listening to the 2nd hour, and I really loved this episode, especially concerning Slan! Y'all covered some great topics.

I'm really glad y'all were able to bring in O-Blessed-King-of-Longing. She had some great insights that complemented the regular cast really well. It sounds like everyone was having a lot of fun. It's nice to see a bridge being extended between fan domains.

I have to say, I'm very thankful y'all are around and willing to do these podcasts. There's a lot of really interesting points y'all discuss (outside of my scope) that I would never consider without such a focused lens.

I'm very excited about the prospects of a Schierke-centric episode also!

Good job on another great FloraCast!

(Also, just for the record, I pronounce Phi with an "eye". From what I've been told (take with with a grain of salt) the masculine pronunciation is Ph'eye', and the feminine is Phee, but that comes from social fraternity/sorority culture, which isn't exactly an accurate representation of actual Greek language.)

Offline DraceYun

Re: FloraCast Episode 2: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2015, 03:42:55 PM »
I enjoyed the discussion ladies! That was an interesting comparison between Flora and Mozgus.

Hopefully BKOL joins skullknight.net (if she already hasn't) and joins in future chats.

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Re: FloraCast Episode 2: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2015, 08:06:58 PM »
Delightful as before, and you really brought the heavy stuff at the end. On that note it made me think about what you said about the story always being served even while certain conventions are arguably being observed, and the distinctive ways female nudity is used. Such as in the case of Slan, where despite her measurements she's by no mean's a sexual object to anyone within the story, and is in fact repulsive and kind of represents the repulsive nature of sex in general (the cannibal orgy scene, her abstract dimension of amorphous T & A).

Come to think of it, has sex ever not been horrible in Berserk? Guts and Casca apparently got a nice one in there, but that was after a traumatic false start involving childhood rape, father issues, and strangulation! Luca and Jerome seem like the most prominent example of characters actually just enjoying casual consensual sex without direct consequences. I think that sort of makes the bath scenes debate more interesting as well because these are scenes of women being naked but also casual, safe, and comfortable that way. If it's also pleasing to the eye, I think there's a legitimate case to be made for that in a story for adults without it being purely exploitative (like the classics, for better and worse). In general, I feel Berserk has matured into what I'd consider a more adult-themed series; it's always had nudity, violence, and at times a shocking mix of the two, but more recently I feel like there's also been more uneventful, casual nudity, such as the above mentioned bath scenes, that aren't leering but also aren't throwing any fig leaves out there. Combined with the maturity of the characters and the exploration of their relationships and family dynamic, like I said, I think it makes for a more adult-oriented series in general. Obviously, the series is also being written by a more mature Miura with evolving interests than when he was a young man, or maybe he's just been watching a lot of HBO. =)

So, are you going to do the Schierke pod next, or what? :schierke: She's always permeating the edges of the show. :guts:

Offline Grail

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Re: FloraCast Episode 2: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2015, 12:21:02 AM »
Thank you everyone for the replies so far. I'm really glad that folks have been enjoying it. :guts: And I forgot to do so in my earlier post, but I would like to take a quick minute to thank Lith, Gummy, and King, who took time out of their Sundays to record and made it an awesome discussion. And of course, thank you to Gobs, who did the actual recording!

I've got a long flight today so this is perfect timing :Daiba: Glad you guys were able to get together and record again!

Nice, I hope that it served as a suitable distraction from your in-flight meal. :carcus:

Yes! My first podcast shout-out! I made an audible shout of excitement when I saw there was a new FloraCast yesterday. I just finished listening to the 2nd hour, and I really loved this episode, especially concerning Slan! Y'all covered some great topics.

Right on! If we were able to get a verbal reaction from you before you even started listening, then I think that the job has already been done. :badbone:

I'm really glad y'all were able to bring in O-Blessed-King-of-Longing. She had some great insights that complemented the regular cast really well. It sounds like everyone was having a lot of fun. It's nice to see a bridge being extended between fan domains.

Yeah, I think that King's fan experience, being a bit newer to the game and spending her time on a different website, gave her a different kind of perspective that I continuously find interesting and thought-provoking. She's also got a cool accent, which is a huge bonus to a silly American like me!

I enjoyed the discussion ladies! That was an interesting comparison between Flora and Mozgus.

Thank you! I think that the Flora/Mozgus comparison might have been one of my favorite parts of this episode.

Hopefully BKOL joins skullknight.net (if she already hasn't) and joins in future chats.
That would be cool, though I think that like many of us, she's very fond of her Berserk-discussion-spot of choice, and it can be hard to break a habit. For instance, I do like to reblog Berserk fanart on Tumblr, but I rarely discuss the series there, where I don't know that many people.

Delightful as before, and you really brought the heavy stuff at the end. On that note it made me think about what you said about the story always being served even while certain conventions are arguably being observed, and the distinctive ways female nudity is used. Such as in the case of Slan, where despite her measurements she's by no mean's a sexual object to anyone within the story, and is in fact repulsive and kind of represents the repulsive nature of sex in general (the cannibal orgy scene, her abstract dimension of amorphous T & A).

Thanks, and yeah, Slan is actually a very funny case. Having her in the series seems to give Miura the chance to really mess with his readers. How do you think she smelled in the Qliphoth, anyway? :ganishka:

Come to think of it, has sex ever not been horrible in Berserk? Guts and Casca apparently got a nice one in there, but that was after a traumatic false start involving childhood rape, father issues, and strangulation! Luca and Jerome seem like the most prominent example of characters actually just enjoying casual consensual sex without direct consequences.

Well, on the bright side, maybe Luca and Jerome will be able to get together again someday... if Jerome ain't dead. :sad:

In general, I feel Berserk has matured into what I'd consider a more adult-themed series; it's always had nudity, violence, and at times a shocking mix of the two, but more recently I feel like there's also been more uneventful, casual nudity, such as the above mentioned bath scenes, that aren't leering but also aren't throwing any fig leaves out there. Combined with the maturity of the characters and the exploration of their relationships and family dynamic, like I said, I think it makes for a more adult-oriented series in general. Obviously, the series is also being written by a more mature Miura with evolving interests than when he was a young man, or maybe he's just been watching a lot of HBO. =)

That's a good point, and over time I think Miura's shift in focus is something I'd like to discuss more. Of course, we haven't seen anybody having sex for a long while, so maybe we'll be able to gauge things better once we hit Elfelm.

So, are you going to do the Schierke pod next, or what? :schierke: She's always permeating the edges of the show. :guts:

I'm very excited about the prospects of a Schierke-centric episode also!

The people have spoken! I think Schierke was more or less a shoo-in* for the next episode, anyway, but thank you for helping to cement the decision.

EDIT: * I had originally written "shoe-in", but Lith has since informed me of the correct spelling. Who knew that it had nothing to do with shoes!
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 05:03:14 AM by Grail »

Offline puella

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Re: FloraCast Episode 2: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2015, 06:03:33 PM »
I enjoyed you ladies' talk. And it was nice to hear a new voice (O-blessed-king-of-longing's) too.

I'd like to propose you to focus on the characters' mentality. This is one of women's specialty, isn't it?
I mean pychologically and from a woman's perspective. For example, Casca is considered to be a perfect woman to men. But for women, she might not be as ideal because she's just so devoted. Rather, an independent woman like Luca might be more appreciated. These kinds of things.

For me, the best woman in Berserk is Schierke. If she were 10 years older, I think she'd be a good alternate choice for Guts. :schierke:

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Re: FloraCast Episode 2: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2015, 05:40:06 PM »
I still haven't had a chance to listen to the full episode yet, but have enjoyed it so far (about an hour in).

Flora as a relic from the past that gives us insight into worldviews from hundreds of years ago versus the Holy See's worldview -- good point! Though I don't think Mozgus and Flora were meant to be contrasted in that way as individuals, as representatives of their religions, it's solid.

Another thing that's interesting about Flora beyond her obvious wisdom is how she seems to have risen above the cycle of malice that's evident in others who have opposed the God Hand and apostles. She's apparently without trauma, despite her presumably perilous journeys in the past accompanying the Skull Knight. I think this gets taken for granted as a personality trait, but she's pretty special in this regard. Guts, Casca, Vargas, SK and others were traumatized in some way as a result of these encounters. Yet Flora is downright zen-like, expressing no malice toward anything and anyone -- not driven by revenge or violent emotions, she's content to live a solitary existence in her forest. She's quite enigmatic, in that regard.

Also, from a female empowerment perspective, her departure in the form of a wall of flames that stopped Grunbeld's (manly!) transformed body was pretty significant. And to answer a question you guys asked, I don't think we've seen the last of Flora. She may be departed, but more than once it's hinted that she and Schierke will meet again, in some form. After all, there are no hard and fast rules for the other side of the afterlife. So perhaps she could take a form similar to how Obi-Wan appears to Luke after his death.

King of Longing brought some great analysis to the show, and I hope to hear more from her in the future. Amazing that she's only been reading for less than a year... Here's hoping she doesn't lose her interest in Berserk and wander off to another series.
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline Vixen Comics

Re: FloraCast Episode 2: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2015, 05:57:37 PM »
I'd like to propose you to focus on the characters' mentality. This is one of women's specialty, isn't it?
I mean pychologically and from a woman's perspective. For example, Casca is considered to be a perfect woman to men. But for women, she might not be as ideal because she's just so devoted. Rather, an independent woman like Luca might be more appreciated. These kinds of things.

In another thread on the Floracast you said the same thing about Casca:

Quote
Also, as a woman, I've always thought that Casca is not ideal because she's too devoted

Could I ask you to explain what you mean by this? Why is Casca not ideal because she is "too devoted" and why is that a negative trait? I am not saying that being devoted is bad but based on what you have said here you seem to be implying that it is not good. Like it would appeal to men but not women.

Casca seems to get a lot of scrutiny from fans for some how falling short of what "an empowered warrior woman" should be like. I guess some people have an issue that she does not have her own ambitions and has settled to either be Griffith's sword if she cannot be his woman or just be Guts woman. And even though I can see where some people can be turned off by that, particularly female fans, I do not see how Casca's biggest aspiration is to be loved by someone makes her an unappealing character to female fans. Casca is a mixture of fragility and strength, that is what makes her interesting to me. True I would love for her to have aspirations beyond just being someone's woman, but being particularly devoted to either Guts and Griffith does not make her less of a cool female character. This is where I kind of get off the feminist bus, because I notice some fans (and some feminist media analysts) tend to discredit female characters (even if they have independent traits) if they do not aspire to acquire some position of power or materialistic goal, and settle for being in love with someone. I've seem female fans on tumblr write Casca off for this. I am not necessarily saying you are puella (I don't mean to gang up on you  :sad:) but I guess could you explain what you mean?

And sorry for going off topic here.  :farnese:

I think to contribute to this thread I think Miura does a good job at swaying his readers to feel a certain way toward his characters. For example, with the exception of flora, Schierke and Luca, I disliked most of the major female characters in Berserk at first. I disliked Casca for many reasons that I will not into right now but mostly how she acted toward Guts in the beginning, and I thought charlotte was annoying, and Farnese I thought was just a pretentions hateful character. But I have eventually come to really like all of them. Miura does a good job of, even if the characters are not immediately likable (or completely unlikable) he gives them such genuine characteristics and motivations for their actions you can't help but appreciate them for what they are. He does this very well even with his female characters.


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Re: FloraCast Episode 2: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2015, 06:24:43 PM »
Why is Casca not ideal because she is "too devoted" and why is that a negative trait? I am not saying that being devoted is bad but based on what you have said here you seem to be implying that it is not good. Like it would appeal to men but not women.

I might be stating the obvious, in which case please ignore me, but I believe the implied stigma here is that Casca can be seen as being too dependent on others for her own happiness.
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline puella

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Re: FloraCast Episode 2: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2015, 07:23:19 PM »
Could I ask you to explain what you mean by this? Why is Casca not ideal because she is "too devoted" and why is that a negative trait? I am not saying that being devoted is bad but based on what you have said here you seem to be implying that it is not good. Like it would appeal to men but not women.

I think my post is self-explanatory. As a role model for women, or someone the female reader can identify with, she could be seen as lacking independence/ambition for herself.

Offline Vixen Comics

Re: FloraCast Episode 2: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2015, 07:36:07 PM »
I might be stating the obvious, in which case please ignore me, but I believe the implied stigma here is that Casca can be seen as being too dependent on others for her own happiness.

I think my post is self-explanatory. As a role model for women, or someone the female reader can identify with, she could be seen as lacking independence/ambition for herself.

fair enough. I just think her personal situation justifies how she is as a person.  Though I do not disagree with you. I want to see Casca have her own growth and revelations as a character separate from Guts. She has a lot of potential for growth and I will be disappointed if I do not see that. that has been my biggest issue with her being insane. At any rate I do not want you to think I was attacking you puella.  :sad:
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Offline Grail

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Re: FloraCast Episode 2: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2015, 07:49:16 AM »
I enjoyed you ladies' talk. And it was nice to hear a new voice (O-blessed-king-of-longing's) too.
Thanks! So glad that you enjoyed it. :guts:

I'd like to propose you to focus on the characters' mentality. This is one of women's specialty, isn't it?
I mean pychologically and from a woman's perspective. For example, Casca is considered to be a perfect woman to men. But for women, she might not be as ideal because she's just so devoted. Rather, an independent woman like Luca might be more appreciated. These kinds of things.
I think that what you're pointing out would make for a great discussion topic on the next podcast! I remember that you brought this up in the first episode's thread as well, so I'm sorry that we didn't have a chance to address it last time.

For me, the best woman in Berserk is Schierke. If she were 10 years older, I think she'd be a good alternate choice for Guts. :schierke:
Aww.  :serpico: But I see what you're saying here, and I think it brings up some interesting questions of what the "best woman" in Berserk could mean to different readers. Is it someone that you aspire to be like, or a character whose weaknesses reflect yours? Like you mentioned, I wonder if that definition would differ depending on the gender of the reader.

Flora as a relic from the past that gives us insight into worldviews from hundreds of years ago versus the Holy See's worldview -- good point! Though I don't think Mozgus and Flora were meant to be contrasted in that way as individuals, as representatives of their religions, it's solid.
Yeah, while I don't think that Miura's intention was necessarily to set the two up as foils to each other, it's still fun to draw the comparison!

And to answer a question you guys asked, I don't think we've seen the last of Flora. She may be departed, but more than once it's hinted that she and Schierke will meet again, in some form. After all, there are no hard and fast rules for the other side of the afterlife. So perhaps she could take a form similar to how Obi-Wan appears to Luke after his death.
I'm definitely down for force-ghost Flora.  :SK:

King of Longing brought some great analysis to the show, and I hope to hear more from her in the future. Amazing that she's only been reading for less than a year... Here's hoping she doesn't lose her interest in Berserk and wander off to another series.
She's pretty active on Tumblr, so I don't picture her moving on any time soon. But I'm certainly hoping to have her on another podcast soon, either way. I'm glad that people are enjoying her contributions to the show as much as I did!

I do not see how Casca's biggest aspiration is to be loved by someone makes her an unappealing character to female fans. Casca is a mixture of fragility and strength, that is what makes her interesting to me. True I would love for her to have aspirations beyond just being someone's woman, but being particularly devoted to either Guts and Griffith does not make her less of a cool female character.
I think that Miura's writing really shines when he has the opportunity to explore weakness. To me, Casca is a pretty unique combination of characteristics. Her mental strength is admirable to me, and like Luca, she's very devoted, but that quality manifests itself in some unhealthy ways throughout the story, which I think is Puella's point. Schierke (to continue Puella's example) has weaknesses and insecurities of her own, but I think Miura takes care to illustrate her independence and self-reliance as well.

I think to contribute to this thread I think Miura does a good job at swaying his readers to feel a certain way toward his characters. For example, with the exception of flora, Schierke and Luca, I disliked most of the major female characters in Berserk at first. I disliked Casca for many reasons that I will not into right now but mostly how she acted toward Guts in the beginning, and I thought charlotte was annoying, and Farnese I thought was just a pretentions hateful character. But I have eventually come to really like all of them. Miura does a good job of, even if the characters are not immediately likable (or completely unlikable) he gives them such genuine characteristics and motivations for their actions you can't help but appreciate them for what they are. He does this very well even with his female characters.
I think your observations are all in line with what we're talking about on the podcast! Initially, I think Miura likes to play with archetypes and defy expectations when it comes to characters. Though sometimes those expectations can reveal some interesting observations about ourselves. Like, why did you find Charlotte annoying at the start? In a lot of cases in Berserk, these characters are just normal people caught up in extraordinary circumstances, which I think makes them very relatable. :slan:

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Re: FloraCast Episode 2: Women's Berserk discussion
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2015, 02:45:57 PM »
There's so much text in this thread it's almost like getting another episode early :ubik:
:femto: :slan: :ubik: