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Topics - willowhugger

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Manga Mausoleum / Berserk the Manga Re-read Thread Vol. 3
« on: October 10, 2008, 02:30:50 AM »


Berserk Manga 3


You know the drill guys, share and discuss your thoughts.  Feel free to analyze or talk about specific issues.  Just remember that there's no spoilers allowed beyond the latest Dark Horse books.


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   It's the second week of the manga re-read project and we raised some very interesting points last week with the introduction of the Black Swordsman.  We'll be examining one volume each week until we've covered the whole of the Dark Horse release cycle.  While there's nothing preventing fans from using their Japanese translations or the originals if they speak the language, this is just an issue of courtesy for those who have been only following the release.  Please don't spoil beyond volume 25 in your discussions at this time.



   This week, we'll examine Berserk Manga Vol. 2.  Comments can be related to analyzing elements of the book and how they relate to the Berserk storyline as a whole or simply commenting about what you thought of it.

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Welcome to the first thread in the Berserk Manga re-read project.  The Berserk Manga re-read project is meant to basically spark discussion about the Berserk Manga. It's meant to allow fans of the series to discuss things that are foreshadowed along with gain a greater appreciation for what's come before.  We'll be handling one volume every week until we reach the limit of the American release of the series (and maybe we'll go on from there).



This week's subject is Berserk Manga Vol. 1.

Basically, the rules for this thread are simple.  Crank out your copy of the book and then read it from cover to cover again and write down your comments on it and how well it holds up.  This isn't a thread meant for causal fans and you are welcome to spoil anything up to the American release in terms of character development and so on.  Talk about what strikes you in retrospect and what you think is different.  Share how well you think the work holds up.

Feel free also to discuss the points brought up by other readers.

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Manga Mausoleum / So who would be up for a Berserk Re-Read Project?
« on: September 25, 2008, 11:28:10 AM »
In other words, every week we'd review a single copy of the manga (English translations only at this point) and create a new thread on it to discuss the subject in detail?

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Speculation Nation / Should Guts end up a King?
« on: March 30, 2006, 03:33:46 AM »
I think it might be an interesting Conan like ending there.

;-)

It would also be bitterly ironic that he ends up with everything Griffith murdered so many for.

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Shootin' the Breeze / I've had an extraordinarily good day thread
« on: March 30, 2006, 03:31:16 AM »
 :guts:

This is a thread to contribute your reasons why you are having an extraordinarily good day today and that, of course, you are in fact having an extraordinarily good day.

For me today, I am having a wonderful day because I have been told by my publishers that my sci-fi series' books are available at last.  Having tried and failed at being a professional author for so long, its good to know that I was accepted and they're being printed now.

(see Sigs for books)

My day has also continued to be good because I finally got the nerve to ask out the girl I've been quite unhappily watching date someone else for some time (and she recently broke up).

Plus, also, I got accepted into the graduate school of my choice.

What is your happy day about (and it can be sometime in the past rather than today since to be honest---my happy day happened this weekend but I only thought to post it now).

:-)

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Character Cove / Just how screwed up is Guts?
« on: January 31, 2006, 08:03:21 AM »
I tend to point to Guts as an anti-hero rather than a hero.  I don't like it when the author portrays Guts as a nice guy underneath all of his bluster and trauma. I find it refreshing when....well....when Guts is a bastard to be perfectly honest.

(no other word really expresses it)

My favorite scenes for Guts are the opening scene (where he kills the Apostle after luring it in with sex), his taunting of the Count's daughter and encouraging her to commit suicide, plus his dispassionate denunciation of humanity in the video game at the end.

Guts was never a particularly "good" man to begin with (assisting Griffith in his assassinations amongst other things) but while I don't think of him as an evil man, I certainly don't like it when the author tries to soften his character.  I never particularly bought his relationship with the Black Smith for instance.

How about you? What do you think?

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Character Cove / Is Griffith a Sociopath?
« on: October 23, 2005, 05:40:44 AM »
When I read these topics about Griffith  :griff: I tend to think that people are divided into two camps....

1. Griffith is a sociopath

Basically, by this, we mean that Griffith really has nothing resembling normal conscience.  He doesn't feel particularly guilt in the same way other people do and he feels it only in the general sense of an intellectual query.

Everyone is a means to an end and really there is no one that he cares about save Griffith in the end.  He's a being that merely looked beautiful and was so narcissistic that the only time he ever felt anything was when he realized he'd lost the affection of everyone else.

2. Griffith is a extremely driven man that nevertheless is capable of feeling all the normal levels of conscience and feeling that another person can.

In this respect, we take Griffith's words to Guts at face value and he genuinely was fond of the man along with Casca.  It's also entirely possible that he was moved by the devotion that Charlotte showed him.  His choice to kill the members of the Band of the Hawk was done perhaps in part because he wanted to rejoin Charlotte as well as for revenge and a restoration of his body/his ambitions.

Honestly, there's evidence both ways.  In both cases, Griffith is a very politically astute man whom knows a good deal about saying the right thing when it needs to be said.  Even at his 'best', he's a man capable of brutal assassinations and other acts of atrocity (kidnapping children) but on the other hand...Guts is merely brutal and violent but he helped in those very same acts. We rarely see in the mind of Griffith save when he's at his literal wits end in the dungeons of Midland.

Certainly, Godhand Griffith/Femto is a being incapable of good and utterly evil.  It's also difficult to say that even if Griffith were a sociopath in his original body that he wouldn't be not necessarily capable of love and affection in his new body (made from Casca and Guts).  This doesn't change I believe that Griffith is evil but he's an evil capable of good, which makes it all the darker.

I tend to fall on the idea that Griffith is/was actually not that evil by comparison to the majority of people in Berserk and he's not a sociopath.  The people of Berserk live a pretty much dog-eat-dog world.  Elves like Puck don't have much in the way of viewpoints that allow them to percieve just how dark humanity's lives are.

Griffith in my estimation considered the band with affection but kept his emotional distance for purely sensible reasons.  The Band of the Hawk was a mercenary group and everyone could get killed at more or less any given time.  I actually tend to think that Griffith's speech to Princess Charlotte at the ball was bull re: The whole equality business.  Guts :guts: may have been following Griff's dream but he was still the only person whom had a reasonable chance of surviving to the end.  I imagine his relationship with Casca was more 'I don't know what I lost until I failed to have it.'

It's in this context that I think Griffith genuinely feels an affection for Charlotte because she loves him unconditionally and practically worships him.  Griffith needs this devotion and it's something he's been searching for nearly his entire life. 

Cause, frankly, after his rebirth...he doesn't need her anymore yet apparently still seeks her.

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Speculation Nation / Is moving beyond the Apostles and Godhand a mistake?
« on: October 22, 2005, 10:07:07 PM »
Aside from Puck, there wasn't much in the way of the supernatural beyond the Apostles and the Godhand at the start of Berserk.  It makes sense since they basically seem to be God and his Angels except if they happened to be truly depraved beings.

I've heard tell of the Trolls, Elemental Lords, and other creatures and was curious if you guys had any opinions on whether this would reduce the impact of the mythology or not.

I think a good deal of Berserk's poignance is there because the world is Lovecraftian in nature.  There's nothing good beyond mankind and the gods are alien/evil.

What do you think?

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Discussion of "Sword of the Berserk"'s depiction of Berserk

   I was curious what people thought of the "Sword of the Berserk" in the context as part of the Berserk universe.  I know it's not "canon" per say but I was interested in people's opinions on whether or not it actually fit the nature of the storyline and universe as created by Miura.  Here's my opinion on the "Sword of the Berserk" entry and its elements...

The Main Casters

   Guts: My main complaint really is that Guts is honestly too nice to everyone around him.  There's a reason only Puck and Casca are with him. No one else in the world would stay with him.  The travelling actress girl he would have either belted or tossed to the Mandragora within the first five minutes I think.  On the other hand, they managed to keep a good deal of the tragedy of Guts intact.  The fact that when he slays the Mandragora that the villagers see all the dead people that were their families and friends is a fairly powerful moment.

   Puck: I'm not inclined to think too much on Puck because I hate Puck no matter what his circumstances are.  It's sad that I heard a voice similiar to the whiny little fairy (in the classical sense) from the start of reading the manga.  I think I recognized the voice actor too.  Did he ever do the old Legend of Zelda cartoons?  In any case, he came off a lot more proactive than the worthless sprite that he normally was depicted as.

   Casca: Crazy, not much else to say.  The whole moment where she rocked the dead baby/Mandragora was well done though.  I also thought that the moment of sanity was rather poignant.

   Nosferatu Zodd: I'm honestly divided about Nosferatu Zodd's appearence here.  Him fighting Guts to a standstill is something that isn't very easy to shrug off.  Nosferatu's depiction here is extremely well done though since his Balor like appearence makes it clear there's a huge world of difference between him and monsters like the Baron and Mandragora Boy. 

   Skull Knight: I'm not really sure whether or not Skull Knight following Guts rampages and cleaning up the occult behind him is something that fits his character but damn if it wasn't cool looking.

   Griffith: Weirdly, my biggest objection is that I don't think Griffith would ever consider using the Mandragora as troops.  They don't fit with his "beautiful on the outside, foul on the inside" like schemes.

The New Characters

   Rita: The character was just annoying as Hell and made the worst mistake of any Berserk volume by living and LIKING Guts at the end.  It seemed to be an extremely weak minded person whom would actually take the nun's advice seriously. On the other hand, she did serve as a reasonable outlet for the discovery humanity sucks in the context of the Berserk universe (the beating of the cured Mandrigora was weirdly satisfying to me).

   Balzac: Balzac was a well done Berserk villain honestly.  His speech about spilling blood may have been overly pompous but his comparison with Guts and Casca is actually rather well done.  The fact that he ultimately killed his wife to become an Apostle is something that was surprisingly effective in the context of the game.  It even left a feeling of foreshadowing.

   Annette: Clearly she didn't do anything important but the writers made a good choice to have her laugh at Balzac while he was dying.  That's a very good "berserk" moment.

   The Nun: One of the few characters that I think fits directly into the Berserk universe with no tweaking.  The mad nun Erisa is pretty much perfect within the context of the story as someone who can't deal with the horrors and instead has been driven totally insane by them.  Eriza's suicide is also an excellent end to the character.

   Niko: This kid is the biggest flaw to me honestly.  Eriza's obviously not the best judge of character to the boy's motivations but beherits don't work without a sacrifice (we know that even in the context of the game) so who the hell DID he sacrifice to become the Plant Apostle?  Also, if he died in the village then what the hell was that thing Guts killed in the castle before Balzac?

   The rest were pretty much ciphers in the story and unimportant.

Music

Forces II is a definite worthy addition to Berserk music even as there's no particular equivalent to Tell me why or the Ending theme.

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I'm curious if anyone has an accurate count of how much damage Guts has really been doing to the forces of the God Hand?  How many Apostles has he killed anyway?

Personally, I'm actually wondering if Guts is doing anything at all. The Idea of Evil, if not omnipotent, is so incredibly powerful that even his servants seem like mythological gods.  Griffith's power is one that also seems that he could make as many Apostles as he wants.  The whole sacrifice thing seems to be less about the power it produces than the person showing that they want to divorce themselves from their humanity.

I don't think Guts CAN harm the Godhand as well. At least, I've seen no real evidence other than Skull Knight and Guts being tossed back rather than passing through or something else like that.

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