Author Topic: Berserk Guidebook  (Read 10063 times)

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Offline volatilecurry

Re: Berserk Guidebook
« Reply #25 on: October 01, 2016, 04:52:22 PM »
"Burkilaka" just sounds so wrong that it calls everything else into question for me. I'm assuming a lot of these names are simply translations of how they're pronounced phonetically, which puts us in the same boat as "Guts" -- which I guess they didn't use because they knew better.

Is Locks that far off though? How is his name supposed to be pronounced in Japanese? Is it like "Loksu" or like "lokusu" or does it even make a difference?

Likewise, what is the actual difference between Erika and Erica? Sure we can favor one over the other in English but the difference is completely arbitrary. Does Japanese have any way of distinguishing between the two or are you just preferringthe K spelling because it was already established?
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Offline Aazealh

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Re: Berserk Guidebook
« Reply #26 on: October 01, 2016, 07:35:35 PM »
I'm assuming a lot of these names are simply translations of how they're pronounced phonetically

They are transliterations, not translations. That means they are transcribed from one kind of writing (a Japanese syllabary) to another (the Latin alphabet). In the absence of a reliable spelling, many things must be taken into account in order for us to appreciate what they might be like. Among them, maybe the most important one is to determine whether the word might have been transliterated from another language to Japanese to begin with. In that case, we have to try and reverse engineer what that language could be. I feel that this kind of discussion falls outside the scope of this thread though.

Is Locks that far off though? How is his name supposed to be pronounced in Japanese? Is it like "Loksu" or like "lokusu" or does it even make a difference?

Likewise, what is the actual difference between Erika and Erica? Sure we can favor one over the other in English but the difference is completely arbitrary. Does Japanese have any way of distinguishing between the two or are you just preferringthe K spelling because it was already established?

In Japanese there is no difference, which is why Japanese people don't care in the first place. His name is "ロクス". That sounds like "ROKUSU". "Locks" is a possible transliteration for it, among others. It could also be "Rocks" or "Rocus" or "Lokus" and so on. "エリカ" could be "Erica" or "Erika" or more. It's the same for every name. There is no way of distinguishing (outside of smart guessing) besides being told about it.

As for why people care... I guess it comes from a desire to know the correct spellings and write names properly? I mean I personally wrote "Erica" with a 'c' for 15 years, but since it's been confirmed to be spelled with a 'k', I'm writing it like that. It's not a matter of preference, it's about getting it right. And I'm only pointing out the discrepancy in this case because it calls the reliability of the guidebook into question. By the way, you say "Burkilaka" sounds so wrong and all that, but it's no different from the rest. It's a possible transliteration for "バーキラカ".

Offline Pink-Dark-Boy

Re: Berserk Guidebook
« Reply #27 on: October 01, 2016, 10:03:13 PM »
Fucking hell this is abysmal. Schierke has the same mental strength as Guts? so if need be, Schierke could cut her arm off? And Serpico is more agile than Silat, the man who can catch arrows in mid flight and survived a fight with Guts is more agile than Serpico.

If memory serves me correctly, I think Serpico was able to intercept Ganishkas lightning bolt and was able to jump in the air to strike one of the steps (with the sylph sword) before it could cease to be. Which requires extremely quick reflexes I'd say.

Offline N7Paladin

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Re: Berserk Guidebook
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2016, 04:20:15 PM »
They are transliterations, not translations. That means they are transcribed from one kind of writing (a Japanese syllabary) to another (the Latin alphabet). In the absence of a reliable spelling, many things must be taken into account in order for us to appreciate what they might be like. Among them, maybe the most important one is to determine whether the word might have been transliterated from another language to Japanese to begin with. In that case, we have to try and reverse engineer what that language could be. I feel that this kind of discussion falls outside the scope of this thread though.

In Japanese there is no difference, which is why Japanese people don't care in the first place. His name is "ロクス". That sounds like "ROKUSU". "Locks" is a possible transliteration for it, among others. It could also be "Rocks" or "Rocus" or "Lokus" and so on. "エリカ" could be "Erica" or "Erika" or more. It's the same for every name. There is no way of distinguishing (outside of smart guessing) besides being told about it.

As for why people care... I guess it comes from a desire to know the correct spellings and write names properly? I mean I personally wrote "Erica" with a 'c' for 15 years, but since it's been confirmed to be spelled with a 'k', I'm writing it like that. It's not a matter of preference, it's about getting it right. And I'm only pointing out the discrepancy in this case because it calls the reliability of the guidebook into question. By the way, you say "Burkilaka" sounds so wrong and all that, but it's no different from the rest. It's a possible transliteration for "バーキラカ".


I had some questions similar to curry's so I appreciate your explanations of those, Aazealh. Thanks!

Offline Sancho

Re: Berserk Guidebook
« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2016, 08:45:13 PM »
My copy arrived today. Though i'm somewhat disappointed for the unrealiability of the informations i'm still happy for the purchase, there are some contents that make the guidebook worth to read it, like JMP mentioned.

That interview is like the best content of the guidebook. I'm envying japanese speakers so much right now.

About those names and ages, maybe there's something i still don't get, but why they didn't just ask Miura those informations? I'm sure he wouldn't have hesitated to provide them with more correct informations, since it was a guidebook about his own manga that was to be published. The fact that some of the names have a transliteration different from the official ones pretty much confirm they didn't even bother to ask him. It baffles me, really.

In the book i noticed there's a part dedicated to the God Hand. Any japanese expert knows if some precious informations are reported there? (though judging by the blunders on the characters stats i somewhat doubt it  :schierke:)

Offline Walter

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Re: Berserk Guidebook
« Reply #30 on: October 14, 2016, 01:17:32 AM »
About those names and ages, maybe there's something i still don't get, but why they didn't just ask Miura those informations? I'm sure he wouldn't have hesitated to provide them with more correct informations, since it was a guidebook about his own manga that was to be published. The fact that some of the names have a transliteration different from the official ones pretty much confirm they didn't even bother to ask him. It baffles me, really.

I think it's an indication of just how disorganized the process for creating this thing probably was. The trouble is, we don't know whether they asked for his input or not, or whether these numbers ARE his input. All we know is that it's not consistent.

Any japanese expert knows if some precious informations are reported there? (though judging by the blunders on the characters stats i somewhat doubt it  :schierke:)

You shouldn't expect any shocking information in the guidebook. It's just not the proper place to disclose revelations. Those are for the story itself. This is a recap of what we already know all wedged into one place. Anyway, I'm no expert, but a few weeks ago, out of curiosity, I did look at the God Hand pages and try my unskilled hand at a rough estimation of what's said. I focused on those big blocks of kanji, which as it turns out, describe the powers each God Hand have demonstrated. But it's uh... not very authoritative or complete. And please don't hold my feet to the fire on the exact wording here. I'm not a translator, just someone who can run kanji through some basic dictionaries.

Void: Bending time and space
Ubik: Peer through time and space
Conrad: Reshape the earth* (probably not the best word. It refers to him raising the altar, and growing from the faces at the Eclipse.)
Slan: Use wings as both offense and defense (fucking seriously, that's all they could come up with?)
Femto: They use four kanji that reference grabbing something from a distance, akin to telekinesis ... which isn't completely accurate for how his power works
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline jackson_hurley

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Re: Berserk Guidebook
« Reply #31 on: October 14, 2016, 01:24:17 PM »


Void: Bending time and space
Ubik: Peer through time and space
Conrad: Reshape the earth* (probably not the best word. It refers to him raising the altar, and growing from the faces at the Eclipse.)
Slan: Use wings as both offense and defense (fucking seriously, that's all they could come up with?)
Femto: They use four kanji that reference grabbing something from a distance, akin to telekinesis ... which isn't completely accurate for how his power works

haha I think we could have figured these "powers" ourself without the text. Thanx for trying your hand at that though. Talking about the God Hand, I can't wait to see more of them!  :femto:

Offline Natt_Himmel

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Re: Berserk Guidebook
« Reply #32 on: October 14, 2016, 05:42:42 PM »
Quote
Void: Bending time and space
Ubik: Peer through time and space
Conrad: Reshape the earth* (probably not the best word. It refers to him raising the altar, and growing from the faces at the Eclipse.)
Slan: Use wings as both offense and defense (fucking seriously, that's all they could come up with?)
Femto: They use four kanji that reference grabbing something from a distance, akin to telekinesis ... which isn't completely accurate for how his power works

Oh wow. The Slan just feels really lazy. Saying she has the power to reanimate herself would have been much more interesting in my opinion.  :rickert:

Offline Sancho

Re: Berserk Guidebook
« Reply #33 on: October 16, 2016, 12:35:56 PM »
Void: Bending time and space
Ubik: Peer through time and space
Conrad: Reshape the earth* (probably not the best word. It refers to him raising the altar, and growing from the faces at the Eclipse.)
Slan: Use wings as both offense and defense (fucking seriously, that's all they could come up with?)
Femto: They use four kanji that reference grabbing something from a distance, akin to telekinesis ... which isn't completely accurate for how his power works


Thanks for those translations!

That's ridiculous, instead of mentioning their powers it would have been far more interesting to summarize their individual actions, roles and personality. I guess that does tell us more about Miura's (lack of) involvement in creating this guidebook.

Offline Walter

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Re: Berserk Guidebook
« Reply #34 on: October 16, 2016, 01:55:35 PM »

Thanks for those translations!

That's ridiculous, instead of mentioning their powers it would have been far more interesting to summarize their individual actions, roles and personality. I guess that does tell us more about Miura's (lack of) involvement in creating this guidebook.

Well like I said, I just worked on one element of each page. There's more text that I didn't bother with.
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Berserk Guidebook
« Reply #35 on: October 16, 2016, 01:59:05 PM »
That's ridiculous, instead of mentioning their powers it would have been far more interesting to summarize their individual actions, roles and personality. I guess that does tell us more about Miura's (lack of) involvement in creating this guidebook.

There's no doubt to me that Miura had minimal involvement with this. Of note is that he provided a small commentary for each character profile (marked specifically as being from him). Those are obviously valuable, but it's about a single sentence each time and nothing really new for long time readers.

As for the rest... I think it shows in many ways that it's not directly from him, from simple inconsistencies to those descriptions that are more guesses than anything else. Then there's stuff like the "kawaii" section featuring Genon (or is it Guénon?)'s sex slaves, two of the women Wyald kills, Theresia's mom riding the Baphomet statue, Kushan children being take into slavery by the pirates in Vritannis, Hannah as troll spawns are about to burst out of her belly, Midland captives being lowered into the Daka machine... That's mixed in with Erika with a shoe on her head and Isidro stealing apples. Great job to whoever compiled that. :schierke:

It's weird because I appreciate the effort and care that went into this book, but too much of it feels sloppy or of little interest.

Offline MrFlibble

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Re: Berserk Guidebook
« Reply #36 on: October 16, 2016, 02:29:32 PM »
Void: Bending time and space
Ubik: Peer through time and space
Conrad: Reshape the earth* (probably not the best word. It refers to him raising the altar, and growing from the faces at the Eclipse.)
Slan: Use wings as both offense and defense (fucking seriously, that's all they could come up with?)
Femto: They use four kanji that reference grabbing something from a distance, akin to telekinesis ... which isn't completely accurate for how his power works

Kek, I always assumed that they all have the same powers, we only ever see the tip of the iceberg in terms of their full capabilities anyway, but they're writing about the powers we have seen each of the God Hand them use as if they're the signature ability of each character.

Offline Walter

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Re: Berserk Guidebook
« Reply #37 on: October 19, 2016, 06:03:36 PM »
As for the rest... I think it shows in many ways that it's not directly from him, from simple inconsistencies to those descriptions that are more guesses than anything else. Then there's stuff like the "kawaii" section featuring Genon (or is it Guénon?)'s sex slaves, two of the women Wyald kills, Theresia's mom riding the Baphomet statue, Kushan children being take into slavery by the pirates in Vritannis, Hannah as troll spawns are about to burst out of her belly, Midland captives being lowered into the Daka machine... That's mixed in with Erika with a shoe on her head and Isidro stealing apples. Great job to whoever compiled that. :schierke:

It's weird because I appreciate the effort and care that went into this book, but too much of it feels sloppy or of little interest.

Yeah, mine just arrived recently, and I have to say, I'm a little disappointed at the offering. So much of the content feels half-assed, or just plain bizarre (including the utterly tone-deaf selections in the aforementioned "kawaii" section).  The best material in it is the new interview, the 348 preview and the color illustrations. But really, all this guidebook did for me was whet my appetite for a true artbook.

Kek, I always assumed that they all have the same powers, we only ever see the tip of the iceberg in terms of their full capabilities anyway, but they're writing about the powers we have seen each of the God Hand them use as if they're the signature ability of each character.

We can't know for sure, but I think they have specialties. We've seen each of them use certain powers consistently (Void always delivers the brand, Ubik always is the one to "peer through time and space.")
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline DANGERDOOOOM

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Re: Berserk Guidebook
« Reply #38 on: December 01, 2016, 01:57:01 AM »
juka90 posted this translated interview from the Berserk Guidebook on the reddit berserk sub. Looks like there is more to come.


Offline Walter

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:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline ApostleBob

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Re: Berserk Guidebook
« Reply #40 on: December 01, 2016, 05:58:11 AM »
Very nice. It's interesting to hear his approach on building characters and the role of villains. I also like how he has a symmetry in mind with different relationship dynamics like the Egg Apostle being the lowest and birthing the highest.

This also confirms that the way Miura approaches storytelling is the gardener method. He doesn't do elaborate preplanning, he just goes where his characters take him. What's exceptional about it though is how consistent he is, and how well he'll do call backs to earlier themes and web his world together.

Offline Walter

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Re: Berserk Guidebook
« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2016, 05:31:13 PM »
The interview is truly incredible. There are so many nuggets of information, I could see us poring over this thing for weeks to come.

Some highlights:
  • Serpico's personality is based on Andre from Rose of Versailles
  • Miura came up with the concept for the Berserk Armor around the time the Beast of Darkness first appeared
  • Teases future of Falconia: "For some people, the world that Griffith is creating might be more in their favor. What will the new stage of Fantasia be like...? (laughs)"
  • Berserk's popularity actually waned at the time of the Eclipse's serialization (1995-1996)
  • Puck's character design was influenced by Disney, specifically a character like Jiminy Cricket.
  • Hints at  :schierke: and  :isidro: being a natural couple
  • Message to veteran readers: "I will be making Berserk as always, without wavering."

This also confirms that the way Miura approaches storytelling is the gardener method. He doesn't do elaborate preplanning, he just goes where his characters take him.

I know you qualified this by saying he doesn't do "elaborate" preplanning, but I think you're taking his words at face value a little too much. Miura says that he doesn't plan the specifics out for scenes, instead letting those play out when he draws them. But he does plan out the big story events well in advance, and offers a great example for how those kinds of things connect: He planned for the Berserk Armor (Volume 26) back when the Beast of Darkness first made an appearance (Volume 16). That's in keeping with many other long-alluded to things in the series, like the current shape of the world being teased by the Enoch Village assault.

Miura's an extremely modest guy about his abilities. So you'll never find him saying something like: "I plan everything in advance." Instead he just coyly talks about how he likes to leave it up to the moment. But clearly he does make some pretty concrete planning decisions well in advance, before fleshing out the panel by panel execution when he's at the drawing board.
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline ApostleBob

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Re: Berserk Guidebook
« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2016, 08:38:24 PM »
I know you qualified this by saying he doesn't do "elaborate" preplanning, but I think you're taking his words at face value a little too much. Miura says that he doesn't plan the specifics out for scenes, instead letting those play out when he draws them. But he does plan out the big story events well in advance, and offers a great example for how those kinds of things connect: He planned for the Berserk Armor (Volume 26) back when the Beast of Darkness first made an appearance (Volume 16). That's in keeping with many other long-alluded to things in the series, like the current shape of the world being teased by the Enoch Village assault.

Miura's an extremely modest guy about his abilities. So you'll never find him saying something like: "I plan everything in advance." Instead he just coyly talks about how he likes to leave it up to the moment. But clearly he does make some pretty concrete planning decisions well in advance, before fleshing out the panel by panel execution when he's at the drawing board.

I think we're mostly in agreement. Miura clearly has ideas of where he wants to take the story, though the way he explains it sounds like he allows the specifics to come to him when he gets there. He allows for flexibility based on how he's grown. Obviously some of this stuff is very planned out like his decision for the eclipse as soon as he created the Band of the Falcons, or his decision to keep Casca around as a survivor to ensure that Guts had a constant reminder of what was done to him and to fuel his vengeance. But he seems to indicate early on here that he didn't quite know about the specifics of the Eclipse in the early volumes, or even about Casca, but he was smart enough to leave things open for future ideas. He's excellent at this; just look at Flora's Tree mansion coming back to be incorporated with the World Spiral Tree a decade later.

The gardener method was an idea I heard from George R.R. Martin once: '“I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they're going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there's going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don't know how many branches it's going to have, they find out as it grows. And I'm much more a gardener than an architect.”

It makes me wonder if Miura knows how he wants to end the series, or if he allows his characters and the seeds he's planted take him there in an interesting route. That's not a critique at all, I just think it makes for a very original story that's very rarely cliche.

BTW I love his line about how if you want to make a story as good as Star Wars, don't watch Star Wars. Instead watch the things that George Lucas watched to get inspired.

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Berserk Guidebook
« Reply #43 on: December 01, 2016, 09:47:43 PM »
I think we're mostly in agreement. Miura clearly has ideas of where he wants to take the story, though the way he explains it sounds like he allows the specifics to come to him when he gets there. He allows for flexibility based on how he's grown. Obviously some of this stuff is very planned out like his decision for the eclipse as soon as he created the Band of the Falcons, or his decision to keep Casca around as a survivor to ensure that Guts had a constant reminder of what was done to him and to fuel his vengeance. But he seems to indicate early on here that he didn't quite know about the specifics of the Eclipse in the early volumes, or even about Casca, but he was smart enough to leave things open for future ideas. He's excellent at this; just look at Flora's Tree mansion coming back to be incorporated with the World Spiral Tree a decade later.

I don't mean to be rude but I don't think any of this is very complicated. Miura obviously doesn't plan every little detail in each episode decades in advance, that's just impossible to do. He has an overarching idea of what's going on, of where the story is going, and of milestones along the way, and all of that evolves as the story progresses. Then while drawing each issue he adjusts and refines and gets a better view of the stuff in the immediate future. That's common sense and frankly it's not even really new information since he'd talked about that process in the past.

It makes me wonder if Miura knows how he wants to end the series, or if he allows his characters and the seeds he's planted take him there in an interesting route.

At this point I think that he does. He's pretty clearly been laying down the foundations for it for a while (one could say it started with Femto's incarnation and the fact Guts & Casca's son was taken), so I would expect him to have a pretty good idea of the general path the story will follow from now on, all the way to the end. But as discussed, that doesn't mean the details of it are set in stone.

Offline Theozilla

Re: Berserk Guidebook
« Reply #44 on: December 01, 2016, 09:49:51 PM »
Great interview. I loved his description of how Farnese's character (initially) could essentially be described as an "office lady who joined a dangerous cult". Isma being something that Miura didn't initial was also another interesting factoid, same with Miura describing Isidro as being a "Shōwa" child.
Also even though Miura described his initial/primary reasoning for keeping Casca alive after the Eclipse as "cold, calculating move" (I'm also interested to see how Puella's eventual translation differs from this one, as a few lines did read slightly awkward), I feel like he affirmed what Walter and Aazealh (and others) have been saying for while that Casca dying (or being removed from the narrative in some other manner) would effectively end, or at least greatly diminish the story's flow/emotional motivation, which, in addition to Elfhelm being hailed as major milestone for the narrative, is further evidence that should effectively quell any anxieties people might still have that Casca's restoration won't happen.