Author Topic: The ''Skull Knight Flashback'' - What Do YOU Hope For?  (Read 2352 times)

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Offline Bobss

The ''Skull Knight Flashback'' - What Do YOU Hope For?
« on: April 02, 2015, 05:31:48 PM »
Quoted directly from my blunder in yesterday's April Fools’ thread.  Well done, guys! :slan:

As a long-time viewer I've always wondered, Walter: as a legendary Skull Knight fan around here, do you personally want to see Gaiseric's face and for all intents and purposes, his full resplendent human glory, when Miura serves us the banquet we've all been waiting for? It seems to me in volume 10 Miura specifically chose to leave Gaiseric's face in darkness twice - only showing us an eye on the panel you've posted above. I admit the darkness masking what appears to be Gaiseric’s face could be attributed to the presence of his helmet, but we’ve seen sufficient facial details beneath helmets in the past – enough to gauge a character’s full appearance by, I would say. Clearly not for the likes of Bazuso, and the situation for tortured Griffith was purposefully played with, but by and large!

Would viewing the Skull Knight this way detract from his character at all for you? Would it feel out of place – perhaps even uncomfortable, for a figure we’ve come to know and love as essentially a metallic skull visage? Do you believe Miura will purposefully continue to keep us in the dark when the inevitable history is recounted – or do you believe Miura will use a similar artistic tactic as he did with Ganishka’s origins? (Although the Skull Knight's past is much longer and likely much richer to boot)  :troll:

This is by no means an analogy, but I liken this situation and the reader’s impression to the unknown horror lurking beneath Griffith’s torture helmet also seen in volume 10. Something so vile and hideous it’s left to our imagination to brood on; something that, if drawn and openly illustrated, would lose its impact. I’ve always considered the Skull Knight to be a rather cold character, but with enough subtle nuances and moments to breathe life into his well-loved husk nonetheless. In other words, would showing Supreme King Gaiseric in his original human form provide a sort of human warmth that could be detracting to the bone-clad figure we see today? Or, perhaps, would Gaiseric be cold and terrifying enough as a mere man to make no significant difference?

I apologise if this is tangential, and I would’ve liked to have prepared a more detailed post/thread about this topic and the storytelling/artistic direction Miura may take (or rather - the one we readers would prefer!), but this seems like the best opportunity to ask within the last few years. Really, this question has only spawned from my musings about when we’ll be in Elfhelm (at a guess!) and the skeletons suddenly come tumbling out of Skully’s closet – to me, and perhaps me alone, suddenly seeing Gaiseric as this flesh-and-blood character charging on horseback, shouting, commanding, laughing and generally being… a mortal man. Well, thinking about it, it just feels… odd.  :schnoz:

I would like to state that this is not an attempt to second guess Miura’s future intentions or instruct him in how he should write his story, but merely my own curiosity of this well-known community’s thoughts on how the long-anticipated ''Skull Knight Flashback'' may be delivered. Throughout the story we’ve seen Miura employ a range of different methods of exploring character pasts – utilising storytelling and artistic methods far above the ordinary black panel surrounding used by many other manga. For example, do you believe the Skull Knight’s past could be written similar to Ganishka's with the blackened and almost anonymous faces? This would certainly tie into what feels like an attempt to conceal the Skull Knight’s more personal features as seen in volume 10. Or, perhaps, do you believe it could be delivered as occasional panel/page snippets scattered across the rest of the story in the years to come? (on some Souls game stuff :ganishka:) – and in complete contrast to the ''big knowledge bomb'' I’ve been referring to throughout this post. Personally, I’m hoping for an uninterrupted run of episodes as was the case for Casca in volumes 6 and 7 – an entire volume’s worth for Skully, even. Or, at a stretch, a much longer and much more detailed run of episodes as we saw for Guts' early years with and after Gambino.

Plus, as I’ve mentioned in the other thread: would revealing a more mortal side to Skully open up his character in a direction you have reservations for? Miura has given us absolutely no reason to doubt his storytelling capability, and like every facet of Berserk the results of any experimentation are always highly successful, but, simply put, once life has been invested into Gaiseric as the flesh-and-blood man he once was… there will be no going back to the entirely stern, cold and calculating badass we’ve loved since volume 9; there will, in effect, be a rich human side to the character, and while the Skull Knight has demonstrated plenty of human nuances and provided us with a wealth of interactions with others, there’s still plenty more meat to add to those bones!  :guts: I expect this would become a similar situation to re-reading Guts’ darkest days in the Black Swordsman arc where we’re constantly balancing or reviewing some of his questionable actions against our understanding of his situation gained from experiencing the Golden Age arc during prior read-throughs.

Tl;dr Version:
  • How do you believe, or rather, would like the Skull Knight’s rich past to be conveyed to the reader? Furthermore, do you believe Miura will resist showing Gaiseric’s face to, mainly, keep him as this ethereal superhuman figure?
  • Do you believe a full exploration of Gaiseric’s human side would transform his overall character away from what you’re happy with today – the avalanche of metallic skull-faced badass?
  • And lastly, what do you believe, or rather, what additional content would you like Miura to illustrate of the Skull Knight’s history outside of his rise and fall – his initial encounters with Zodd? Early relationship with Flora? Tried and failed assaults on the God Hand during previous ''temporal junction points'' in causality?

Despite my hesitation towards Skully’s ''unmasking,'' I feel exploring and developing his initial human struggles would add to my love of this character. To loosely quote from a SkullKast episode, one admin suggested that the Skull Knight may have underwent an actual mortal death and only through sheer willpower could he remain in the very shallowest areas of the astral world, whereupon he was bound into the suit of armour we see today fashioned by elves (I apologise if I misconstrued the details!  :troll:). Refusing to truly ''die'' even after physical death – that’s competition even for Guts in terms of sheer grit.  :puck:

Offline Cuthbert19

Re: The ''Skull Knight Flashback'' - What Do YOU Hope For?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2015, 03:09:14 AM »
I have to think that some of SK's past will be revealed when the group gets to the elf island.  We have been given plenty of clues that he has strong ties to elves (Puck mentions that SK smells like an elf, SK himself finds it interesting that Guts is traveling with Puck, SK says that he's sure the Elf King can restore Casca etc.) so I would imagine that when Guts and company finally meet the King he would recall at least a bit of his relationship with SK and what has transpired in the past.

As far as showing his face is concerned, since the skull we see is a mask, I wouldn't be surprised to see it at least cracked at some point showing a glimpse of what lies beneath.

Aside from that, personally, I'm happy with what we've got so far.  I do believe that there will be some additional info in the future but I like the fact that so much of this story is kind of left to inference and connecting the dots rather than having everything blatantly explained.  I'm a fan of having the mysterious characters remain so as much as the story will allow.

Offline Rupert Sinclair

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Re: The ''Skull Knight Flashback'' - What Do YOU Hope For?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2015, 04:44:10 AM »
As far as showing his face is concerned, since the skull we see is a mask, I wouldn't be surprised to see it at least cracked at some point showing a glimpse of what lies beneath.

I don't believe it is a mask.  It is implied that the Skull Knight is in fact hollow, essentially a soul inhabiting an empty armor.

Offline JMP

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Re: The ''Skull Knight Flashback'' - What Do YOU Hope For?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2015, 06:11:43 PM »
Skull Knight is pretty impressive as the enigmatic figure that he is, but I can't wait to learn more about his past. I think it'll be awesome. I want to see what he looked like before he turned into a skeletal astral being, or whatever he may be now. My bet is that Miura will show us SK's face because he seems to like to show the human side to even the inhuman characters that inhabit Berserk. I think it would be cool if SK's flashback tied in with the emergence of the city of Falconia somehow, since it seems like Falconia might resemble Gaiseric's capital that fell in the past. Either that or if it was related to Guts, his use of the Berserk armor, and the toll it's exacting from him to wear it. I'd like to know about the origins of the armor and what happened to SK when he was its user. I would also like to know more about SK and Flora's relationship. :casca: I'm hoping for a good long reveal of his life, not just a snippet, but even that would be nice!  :badbone:
« Last Edit: July 03, 2015, 06:24:57 PM by JMP »
A good sword, even if it rusts and dulls, has good steel that never rusts left over in the wick. That steel's the ultimate steel. Even if it cracks, if you return it to the fire, it's sure to be reborn. - Godot