Author Topic: Berserk Dads  (Read 2980 times)

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Offline JMP

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Berserk Dads
« on: June 18, 2015, 03:43:46 PM »
With Father's Day approaching, I thought I'd take the opportunity to mention the dads of Berserk. Once I started listing them all I was surprised by how many Berserk Dads there are.

Traveling priest – Collette's father – Seems like a decent and well-intentioned guy. I have doubts about his judgement, though. He insists on giving a shady looking stranger who claims he's being pursued by legions of evil spirits a ride in his wagon with his young daughter.

The Count – Sadistic, people-eating slug apostle though he may be, you certainly can't say he doesn't care about his child, Theresia. Faced with death and being dragged into hell, the Count is clearly terrified for himself, but his love for his daughter is stronger and he chooses not to sacrifice her to save himself.

Vargas – Formerly the Count's physician. He appears to feel a lot of guilt that when his wife and two sons were murdered his overriding emotion was fear. He seems like a pretty brave person to me, though. Even when being attacked by Zondark, who turns into a horrifying monster, Vargas is not frozen by fear, but protects Puck at the risk of his own safety.

Gambino – The leader of a mercenary band and Guts' father figure. Gambino's not all black, but I'd say a pretty dark shade of grey. He's good at being a mercenary, but definitely not at being an adopted father to Guts, not that he asked to be.

The King of Midland – He seems pretty cool....at first. He's a very progressive ruler who values results over status. I never had cause to think he harbored perverted desires for his daughter, Princess Charlotte, until Griffith opened that can of worms and the King attempted to rape her while she was asleep. I'm not saying that Griffith bringing it up caused this. The King must have had those desires already in order for him to be capable of doing that.

Julius – The King of Midland's younger brother, and second in line to the throne. He wants his son, Adonis, to be ready to take his position as a noble and leader of the White Dragon Knights when his time comes. However, Julius is overly rough and harsh with Adonis and it seems like his methods create more harm than they do progress.

Casca's father – A father of six children in a hardscrabble village plagued by border skirmishes, crippling taxes, and starvation. At least when a nobleman offered to take Casca off his hands her father was reluctant about it and didn't just boot her out the door as fast as he could.

Minister Foss – A cunning schemer in the King of Midland's court. When his daughter, Elise, is kidnapped Foss sacrifices his comrades in Griffith's assassination plot in order to secure her safe return. Foss is shown to be extremely shaken upon receiving the news of her kidnapping and when Elise is let go father and daughter run to embrace each other in a tearful and loving reunion.

Guts – Father of the moonlight boy. This father and son got off to a pretty awful start, to say the least. The child has shown interest in his father as well as a desire to protect him, although Guts doesn't know that the being that has manifested to help him when he's been in dire straights is his child. I'm hoping that some day this father and son can come to share a good relationship.

Godot – Brought up to be a blacksmith, he says that working steel was all he knew until he adopted Erika. Raising her gave humanity and warmth to his life that he'd never had before. Not only is he an adopted father to Erika, but becomes a mentor for Guts and Rickert.

Rosine's father – Is a bully who physically and mentally abuses his wife and daughter. He questions whether Rosine is his child because her mother was raped. As shown in a flashback Rosine remembers, the family must have had some happy times together, but overall it seems like a pretty dysfunctional situation.

Zepek – Jill's father. A cowardly, lazy, selfish drunkard and abusive negligent husband and father. Sheesh, can you tell I don't think much of this guy? Anyway, he only seems to want to complain, drink, and hang out reminiscing about the past with his old war buddies, one of whom makes attempts at molesting Jill.

Lord Vandimion – Giorgio, Poliziano, Magnifico, Serpico, and Farnese's father. Head of the extremely wealthy and influential Vandimion family. He is an iron-willed and calculating man of business who wants to have everything under his control, including his family.

Ganishka – The Kushan Emperor. Growing up in an environment filled with assassination plots and backstabbing, Ganishka trusts no one. An air of paranoia pervades his life and he fears his own father and son and is feared by them in return, with deadly consequences.

Isma's Pa – Fell in love with a merrow who swam off, leaving him their daughter Isma to raise. Because of his relationship with a merrow he and his daughter were shunned by the other villagers and lived apart by themselves. He passed away after a fishing accident, which left Isma alone. He must have done a good job teaching her how to fish and survive because she's able to make it on her own.

Dotard Daddy (from flashback with Chich) – A nobleman with some pretty questionable ethics who dotes excessively on his son. The boy seems to be quite a brute, but not in daddy's eyes.

Do you have a favorite or least favorite among the dads of Berserk? Any thoughts on them, favorite moments, or other good stuff like that?

Godot is my favorite, aside from Guts. Godot and Erika seem a lot alike to me, both have a plucky and outspoken way about them. Godot has a crusty exterior and a dry sense of humor, but underneath it all he cares deeply. He is very observant and philosophical in a practical, down to earth kind of way. I just like his personality!

One thing that interests me is the scene where Guts gives Gambino the first money he's ever earned as a mercenary. Gambino seems genuinely surprised. I guess he thought Guts would just keep his money. It's to Gambino's credit that he didn't think of exploiting Guts by making him give him his pay at least. Guts just does it on his own, very much a show of how much he looks up to Gambino and wants to earn his approval. Gambino just has such an “every man for himself” attitude that maybe it's not something that would have even crossed his mind for someone to willingly give their money to someone else out of loyalty or gratitude or whatever. Then I think it's really ironic that Gambino repays this respect Guts shows him with the ultimate disrespect and betrayal to Guts, selling him to Donovan for the night. It's like Gambino can't accept or doesn't want for Guts to look up to him and so he does that. Anybody have any thoughts on this? I think it's a really complex situation that Miura puts forward here and I'm not sure I'm completely grasping it, but it's definitely interesting. Once again I'm impressed with how he handles his characters and plots.

Wanted to give a shout out to Walter. I really enjoyed the character analysis in his thread about Gambino.http://www.skullknight.net/forum/index.php?topic=13493.0
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 12:31:15 AM 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

Offline Vixen Comics

Re: Berserk Dads
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2015, 09:53:45 PM »
Quote
With Father's Day approaching, I thought I'd take the opportunity to mention the dads of Berserk. Once I started listing them all I was surprised by how many Berserk Dads there are.

you beat me to the punch! I was thinking about doing this very topic!

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Traveling priest – Collette's father – Seems like a decent and well-intentioned guy. I have doubts about his judgement, though. He insists on giving a shady looking stranger who claims he's being pursued by legions of evil spirits a ride in his wagon with his young daughter.

I thought that was a tad odd as well considering how Guts comes across in this arc of the story, even in this small exchange Guts does not seem approachable. But I think this willingness to extend a kind gesture is what sets him apart from other fathers in Berserk. Like Jill's father who is violent and abusive. Jill displays a more guarded demeanor while Collette is more open and naive.

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The Count – Sadistic, people-eating slug apostle though he may be, you certainly can't say he doesn't care about his child, Theresia. Faced with death and being dragged into hell, the Count is clearly terrified for himself, but his love for his daughter is stronger and he chooses not to sacrifice her to save himself.

This surprised me greatly when I first read this. Here is this demonic filthy creature who in all other aspects has lost all his humanity except in the pureness of his love for Theresia. I really felt sorry for him when he was given the choice to sacrifice his daughter and save himself from being dragged into hell (which is is clearly scared out his mind to go) and condemning his daughter to the same fate. I also wonder if Miura is foreshadowing here. Griffith shares the same physical body with Guts and Casca's child, will Guts be presented with a similar situation as the count when the time comes?

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Gambino – The leader of a mercenary band and Guts' father figure. Gambino's not all black, but I'd say a pretty dark shade of grey. He's good at being a mercenary, but definitely not at being an adopted father to Guts, not that he asked to be.

boy oh boy I can go on for ages about Gambino. and I love JMP's analysis of him selling Guts after he offered his pay to Gambino. He was certainly sending Guts mixed and very confusing messages through his childhood. First he slashes his nose and then gives him ointment for his wound. He gives him helpful tips on how to survive on the battle field and seems to care about him not getting cut down. Guts wanted his approval so much and it is heart wrenching when he reveals that he sold him to Donovan.

Quote
The King of Midland – He seems pretty cool....at first. He's a very progressive ruler who values results over status. I never had cause to think he harbored perverted desires for his daughter, Princess Charlotte, until Griffith opened that can of worms and the King attempted to rape her while she was asleep. I'm not saying that Griffith bringing it up caused this. The King must have had those desires already in order for him to be capable of doing that.

this came out of left field for me. It totally surprised me that he secretly lusted after his own daughter. it was like something out of a Greek tragedy. He did not seem to be consciencely aware of these things until Griffith brought it up to him. I even managed to feel sorry for him when Charlotte treated him with contempt and disgust.

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Julius – The King of Midland's younger brother, and second in line to the throne. He wants his son, Adonis, to be ready to take his position as a noble and leader of the White Dragon Knights when his time comes. However, Julius is overly rough and harsh with Adonis and it seems like his methods create more harm than they do progress

Was this his typical treatment of him or just that isolated incident where he cuts him while sword playing when he is pissed that Griffith survived? According to the manservant Adonis always wanted his approval, but was he always harsh and abusive toward him or was he just cold and distant father for the most part?

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Guts – Father of the moonlight boy. This father and son got off to a pretty awful start, to say the least. The child has shown interest in his father as well as a desire to protect him, although Guts doesn't know that the being that has manifested to help him when he's been in dire straights is his child. I'm hoping that some day this father and son can come to share a good relationship.

for what its worth I really have trouble believing that Guts will ever try to harm his child even to kill Griffith. It would make him too much like Griffith if he did who sacrificed the original hawks to satisfy his own needs.
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Offline JMP

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Re: Berserk Dads
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2015, 09:09:54 PM »
Griffith shares the same physical body with Guts and Casca's child, will Guts be presented with a similar situation as the count when the time comes?
Interesting question. Seems pretty inevitable that it will be an issue.
No one is even aware that the moonlight boy is Guts' son at this point, (except for Casca, who seems to instinctively know he's hers) much less that he shares a body with Femto. I'm looking forward to seeing how Miura handles all this. It fits in well with the struggle he's shown Guts raging against himself between getting revenge and protecting those he cares about. The boy is the product of Guts and Casca's love and also the product of the eclipse and rebirth with Femto. The boy's current existence is due to all those things together, a compilation of the most intense love and hate in Guts' life.

Maybe a solution could be reached somehow where Guts is able to kill Femto while the boy is separated from him during the full moon. But who knows? Miura might take it in a totally different and unexpected direction.

and I love JMP's analysis of him selling Guts after he offered his pay to Gambino. He was certainly sending Guts mixed and very confusing messages through his childhood.
Thanks!  :serpico: I had a hard time thinking of what to say about Gambino.

The flashbacks that are presented in volume 37 are a good example of what you mentioned as far as mixed messages. The first one we see seems like Gambino is trying to get Guts killed, putting him in the front lines as a decoy for the enemy ambush. Then in the next flashback Gambino is going out of his way to explain to Guts about how to take down a heavily armored foe. It's hard to tell whether Gambino wanted Guts to live or to die. Gambino's behavior towards his dog is kind of like that, too. Being friendly to it one minute and kicking it the next. He just comes off as a pretty dysfunctional person who is unable to deal with his feelings in a constructive way, and is only able to express them through anger. But I think that fits his character perfectly.

Growing up with Gambino did force Guts to find depths of endurance within himself that most children would not have been pushed to discover. Guts made it despite all the odds against him and that gave him a belief in relying on himself and his skill with a sword, if nothing else. (Except of course for a hefty load of psychological baggage.)

I even managed to feel sorry for him when Charlotte treated him with contempt and disgust.
I felt sorry for him, too, especially later when he was dying. I think it's a testament to Miura's writting ability that even though some of the characters do horrible things the reader is not totally unable to feel sympathy for them because they are so well constructed and fleshed out.

Was this his typical treatment of him or just that isolated incident where he cuts him while sword playing when he is pissed that Griffith survived? According to the manservant Adonis always wanted his approval, but was he always harsh and abusive toward him or was he just cold and distant father for the most part?
Looking back at it, I think you're right in that the excessive roughness we see in the scene with Julius and Adonis practicing is probably an exception to the rule. Later when his servant, Hassan, confronts Julius about it he says "This fierce training these last few days has been somewhat off the mark.", implying that it's not a regular thing for Julius to be that brutal. I think, like you said, Julius is probably more distant and disapproving than full on abusive. Of course that is still hurtful to his son, something that Hassan laments over Adonis' body when he says "In the end, not once did this boy get to make his father smile..."  :judo:




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

Offline Vixen Comics

Re: Berserk Dads
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2015, 09:16:54 PM »
Quote
Dotard Daddy (from flashback with Chich) – A nobleman with some pretty questionable ethics who dotes excessively on his son. The boy seems to be quite a brute, but not in daddy's eyes.

I have not read this story in a while, but now I am thinking that I should go re-read it. From what I recall Dotard came across as mentally challenged, and was only such a brute because of being over indulged and spoiled. He was waaaaay more child like than would be appropriate (in spite of his indulgent upbringing) for his age. I do not know if he his father's doting was due to him being "special" or if Dotard's father was just one of those "holy fuck yeah! I finally have a son!" nobles who was just so grateful to have a son he pampered him to the point that it stunted his his mental and emotional growth. Dotard's dad even comes across as creepily fatherly toward Guts, like seeing that his wounds on his back got treated. I know he just wanted him hale so that he could be a living action figure for his son but he got more up close and personal toward Guts than was needed really.

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Offline puella

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Re: Berserk Dads
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2015, 01:49:20 PM »
Here's my addition: Ganishka's father. He showed up just a few times but it was enough to see his fear about his son. I think he knew Ganishka would harm him eventually. At that time, everybody could be a threat to kings.

Anyway, there aren't many good dads in Berserk. Godot is the best, and Foss is also a good father. The count and the viscount were evil but nice with their child at the same time. Gambino and Guts' relationship is the one that's always bothered me. But I decided to think Guts might not have been able to meet the Band of the Falcon if he had stayed with Gambino. Ironically, Gambino's harshness made Guts stronger, I guess.

Offline JMP

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Re: Berserk Dads
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2015, 09:36:57 PM »
I have not read this story in a while, but now I am thinking that I should go re-read it. From what I recall Dotard came across as mentally challenged, and was only such a brute because of being over indulged and spoiled. He was waaaaay more child like than would be appropriate (in spite of his indulgent upbringing) for his age.
I used "Dotard Daddy" for the nobleman father because that was what Guts called him in the story. The son does seem to be simple-minded, but that wasn't the reason I called him a brute. He liked to behead farm animals for fun and was trying to move on to killing human children.  :isidro:

Dotard's dad even comes across as creepily fatherly toward Guts, like seeing that his wounds on his back got treated. I know he just wanted him hale so that he could be a living action figure for his son but he got more up close and personal toward Guts than was needed really.
That was weird. It seemed to me like he was getting so involved because Guts and the dual was like some kind of bizarre present that he wanted to prepare for his son. As an analogy, it seemed almost like an excited parent wanting to put the finishing touches on the birthday cake themselves because they wanted to see to it personally and make sure everything was perfect.

Here's my addition: Ganishka's father. He showed up just a few times but it was enough to see his fear about his son. I think he knew Ganishka would harm him eventually. At that time, everybody could be a threat to kings.
Yeah, definitely seemed like a culture that bred paranoia because of all the backstabbing. It did seem like his father was afraid of him.

Gambino and Guts' relationship is the one that's always bothered me. But I decided to think Guts might not have been able to meet the Band of the Falcon if he had stayed with Gambino. Ironically, Gambino's harshness made Guts stronger, I guess.
It was a difficult relationship to witness, for sure. I feel like growing up with Gambino made Guts tough and definitely left him with no illusions about the harshness of reality, but I think the abusive aspect of their relationship caused Guts to be weak and fragile emotionally. It's taken Guts a lot to begin to grow and get stronger in that area after what he went through.
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