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Messages - SleepersWake

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Interesting topic! I doubt that there's an in-universe significance to the location. Walter's point about Guts' brand being always visible is also important, but I think there might be slight symbolic significance for Casca, Pippin an Judeau in that the location of their brand sort of represents their role. Pippin was the muscle. His whole deal was being huge and hitting people hard with a mace. If you had to represent that role with a part of the body, I think the arm is a good option. Judeau's thing was his cleverness and dexterity. His role in the Band of the Hawk was characterized by what he did with his hands. Casca is sort of the emotional fulcrum of the story, whose vulnerability has driven the plot pretty much ever since volume 13. With Guts and Griffith being characters who typically have a great deal of difficulty expressing emotion, you might say she was the Band's heart - and she is branded above her left breast, over her heart, emphasizing her vulnerability and femininity.

In the grand scheme of things, it's probably not super important, but I think these are cool details

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 354
« on: October 15, 2018, 11:42:25 PM »
Nice catch, Aaz! Between the visual and narrative similarities, the inspiration is pretty obvious when you think about it. Now, all Berserk needs is one of these... :troll:

*long sigh*

Nice work! That's a cool, unique depiction of femto's "helmet." Is he falling apart? Or is the texture of Guts' cloak sort of being superimposed on him? Something else?

Podcast / Re: SkullKast: Episode 97
« on: August 30, 2018, 03:43:53 AM »
I wonder, Aazealh, did you learn the word "dolmen" the same way I did? Cuz I learned from reading Asterix  :serpico:

Manga Mausoleum / Re: Volume 40 release
« on: August 26, 2018, 08:28:01 PM »
That frame is actually something that has been added to all volumes (retroactively) starting with Volume 38. Here's our discussion of it back in 2016:

Well I feel really foolish now :farnese: I was wondering why nobody was discussing it. Thanks for linking the prior discussion. In the context that it's used on every volume, I get why people like it less than I initially did - I thought it was making a thematic statement pertinent to the particular volume.

Manga Mausoleum / Re: Volume 40 release
« on: August 25, 2018, 06:46:29 AM »
I really dig the frame with its strong imagery of duality. The dove-like bird in the centre of the top border presumably represents the Falcon of Light, soaring ascendant among the clouds. Looks like it's mirrored by a bat-like creature under the words at the bottom, possibly a representation of Femto. The top pillars are the crest of the new band of the Falcon (I think) and a Beherit, possibly representing the light facade in contrast to the dark truth of the neo-Falcons. The base of the right pillar obviously represents Skull Knight and the left could be the Godhand or maybe even Void specifically given his opposition to SK and his close association with the brand - or maybe just the curse of the brand. Not sure about that one. In any case, interesting and evocative.

Podcast / Re: FloraCast Episode 2: Women's Berserk discussion
« on: August 24, 2018, 05:46:26 AM »
Greetings all.

[truncated for ease of reading]

Ok, thanks for reading. I look forward to any future FloraCasts!

Thanks for stopping by to discuss - it may be a bit of a necro, but this is the kind of mature discussion that signed up for on these forums. Before I go on, I want to thank you for talking about where you're coming from. For one thing, I appreciate your candor, and I hope you get all the good hugs love and support you deserve these days. For another though, your perspective on these issues is really valuable and fascinating to me. As a cis straight man myself, I've often wondered how comfortable I should be with the types of sexuality displayed in Berserk, but my own life experience on its own isn't enough to really give enough context to grapple with this stuff. So, here are some of my thoughts, as prompted by your perspective.

Re: the idealized drawing of the "tortured maidens of Midland". To me, the contrast between the idealized female forms (which, frankly, in any other contexts, I might well get off to) with the perverse torture and horrific rape (possibly a tautology) they endure serves to make me even more uncomfortable. It's a horrible juxtaposition appealing on one hand to my primal, lizard brain and on the other hand revolting to my sense of empathy. It's kind of like being motionsick: one stimulus says one thing, another says the opposite, and my body and brain collectively decide their best recourse is to feel fucking sick to the stomach. You're right, though, that the depictions of Schierke are questionable. What's the payoff for Schierke's butt? Is it just so that we can laugh at Isidro being pervy, in a stock-gag kind of way? I don't know that that's worth it - and certainly a portion of the audience has embraced it in a disturbing way *cough*r/berserklejerkisliterallyhell*cough*

Re: the exclusively negative depiction of male homosexuality in the story. It's tempting to brush that off as part of the medieval setting, forcing everyone to be in the closet - but it's a fantasy, and if they can have a woman of colour in the Band of the Hawk, then why not a gay man? On the other hand, not every story *has* to represent everyone, and we don't know that, say, Pippin isn't gay - it's just not depicted. It's fair to say, in fact, that there are very few depictions of sexuality that are positive *at all* - pretty much just the one. That's just the story being told - People Mostly Being Awful To Each Other. (I think the Floracast talk about this but it's been a few months since I heard it. I definitely need to relisten!). Nevertheless, it would have been so refreshing to see just one passing thing, like, I dunno, Gaston kissing some dude at the ball in the background. Just as a nod to the audience to say "I know every other depiction of male homosexuality in this story is predators and pedophiles, but the world this story takes place in has good gay dudes in it - that just isn't important to this story." I dunno. Maybe that would have made his publishers mad or something. (side note, I have the actual magazine for Ch 355 sitting on my shelf, and I dread that someone will find it and judge me for having a magazine full of Japanese underwear models)

Re: Casca's recovery - the theme of people abusing power to get away with rape has always been relevant, and is arguably more so now than ever, but it hadn't occurred to me how terrifying it will be for Casca when she learns what Griffith has become, and how thoroughly immune to consequences he now is. What it must be like to see a man with so much power, and so beloved, let alone semi-divinity, and to secretly know that man as a rapist - it's pretty much beyond my imagining.

Anyway. Just some thoughts. Thanks for provoking them! And on that cheerful note - I want to finally concur that I hope to hear more from the Floracast some day. I'd particularly love to hear y'all's perspective on Casca's recovery sub-arc (or super-arc, if you take the long view).

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 357
« on: August 23, 2018, 07:46:08 PM »
This episode really does a lot to show the extent of Griffith's strategy moving forward. We've always known that he plans to literally rule the world - well an empire that large will take serious infrastructure to maintain. The Romans had their roads, Griffith plans to use the world-tree. You seldom see antagonists with such a practical approach to world-domination, and it's chilling and exciting. This kind of meticulous strategy is also so very like the Griffith we've always known. There's no way he's merely reading from the godhand's playbook - I reckon they've entrusted the practical facets of taking over the world to him because that's what he's good at, and what he's always wanted, what his destined role has always been.

Speculation Nation / Re: I wanna hear some meta theory discussion
« on: August 15, 2018, 12:19:46 AM »
Wow... I've half a mind to go in with a bottle of white-out and a pen and just copy all of puella's translations over top of the Dark Horse versions. Would look kind of ugly, and the sheer volume of whiteout might turn my room into a chemical hazard, but I'd know I had reasonable translations!

Speculation Nation / Re: Am I the only one who...
« on: August 15, 2018, 12:11:28 AM »
Maybe not in this thread, but I've written quite a bit about the little guy:

Thanks for linking that! For starters I had no idea that the Garden of Earthly Delights had a fourth panel, that's super neat.

As for the OP's question - as far as Berserk goes, any lore-drop is a good lore-drop. I don't think we *need* to know the answers to those questions, but if Miura takes the time to give us the info, it'll be cuz it's awesome.

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 355
« on: March 24, 2018, 09:07:49 PM »
That's my hope as well, and would mean we could actually see Guts helping and them reconciling immediately. I would understand the choice if Miura deemed it necessary and I'm sure it would be effective and all the more rewarding in the end, but I really dont require anymore extended estrangement between these two! [...] Best case scenario: they embrace into a crumpled puddle of tears on the floor together. :judo:
Best case scenario needs to happen at some point, and will be the greatest, most tearful catharsis of all time  :judo:
tbh, though, I feel like the most sensitive and mature thing Guts can do in this situation is to let Casca dictate the pace of their reunion herself. I think experience has taught Guts that rushing over to comfort her in his arms will probably backfire. A major part of his character growth in the past several volumes has been learning to accept that not all problems are best solved by rushing in and tackling things headlong by himself. I expect him to demonstrate that growth here, by staying back and waiting for Casca to approach him, possibly after the ladies have helped calm her down.

This is what makes Guts such a real, relateable, and beautiful character to me: He may be an indomitable badass in a fight, but he doesn't really know how to deal with real human emotions, be they his or anyone else's. We probably all know people like this in real life, who cope with every kind of problem by blindly assaulting it, expecting to triumph by sheer force of will. My favourite moments of the series are almost all about Guts maturing into his own emotional vulnerability, and I hope/expect the next chapter (or another soon after that) will be one of those moments.

(Sidenote: even if he tries to rush in, Danan will probably stop him. Who knows, maybe she already warned him to be careful in her telepathic summons)

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 355
« on: March 20, 2018, 05:56:04 PM »
Pretty straightforward, yet terribly effective episode. Love Casca's expressions, love her new dress courtesy of Danan, and love her new hairstyle! (Didn't I tell you guys? Braids!)
I hate to call out the grand-master of accuracy, but your actual prediction in SkullKast ep 93, at 1:24:10 was "She's gonna do [...] one big braid".  Technically not accurate (at least not yet!) :iva:

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 355
« on: March 20, 2018, 04:40:37 PM »
Because you don't travel across the world to restore the woman you love, and then when you're told that she's back, take time to change clothes and unequip things. You run to her.  :???:
*checks 349* You know I somehow forgot that he was wearing all that stuff during the party, and I didn't notice the Dragonslayer lying in the grass next to him. Thinking back, I'm not sure he even owns any clothes besides what he wears under the armor :P

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 355
« on: March 20, 2018, 04:17:36 PM »
So happy I preordered, so I can own a physical copy of this beautiful, painful episode. This took me on a ride. Special mention to the the cinematic effect, where Casca's eye transitions to the eclipse - her pupil becomes the black sun, her iris becomes the landscape of faces, and guts walks forward through both scenes. Seriously freaky.

Got a bone to pick with the main man here, though. Guts. Why in the name of all that is holy did you bring the Berserk Armour, the Dragonslayer, and all your weapons to meet Casca. YOU DIDN'T NEED THOSE. Even aside from the memories, that stuff makes you highly unhuggable.

EDIT:oh, and I laughed out loud when I saw Danan's magical, instant makeover, and how Casca reacted to it. Its beautiful, but also kinda silly to imagine in real time, especially knowing how un-Casca it is. Just *POOF*! Instant elvish prom-queen!

Anime Asylum / Re: Berserk 2017 English dub releases June 12, 2018
« on: March 20, 2018, 03:46:27 AM »
Once more, the Black Swordsman rides again!
Thank goodness, I thought he was going to have to walk everywhere. Glad he can ride again, once more, again :schierke:

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 355
« on: March 20, 2018, 02:22:13 AM »
It's not that deep. Miura has been using this art style, since pretty much Falconia now. Bigger eyes, smaller nose, wider face. It's much more modern anime-esque, which doesn't surprise me, as todays series that use that style probably have an influence on him. [...]
True - Miura does have a record of doing stuff because he just likes the way it looks, rather than for some crafty reason. But even if Miura was just doing it 'cuz he liked the style, the existence of the large-eyed anime style itself could partly be result of the Japanese emphasis on eyes when it comes to facial expression. (I remember hearing someone better educated on these matters make that connection before, but I don't have a source on-hand.) After all, if you are trying to create a style that plays up a character's expressiveness - which is what cartoons and animation do in general - you exaggerate their expressive features. In Japan, that's mostly the eyes.

Anyway, I don't want to go too far off-topic. Point is, Berserk's current art style with regard to faces is very expressive (in a particularly Japanese way) if you can get over the reduced realism.

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 355
« on: March 19, 2018, 11:43:33 PM »
Ack! I gave in - I'll click the spoiler. But only after reviewing the chapters immediately post-eclipse to open myself up to the full weight of what I might see. I want this to hit me like a truck.
*some time later*
Oh lord she remembers. The anticipation is only rising!

Also, I have some thoughts on the art itself:
The Berserk subreddit is full of people complaining about her eyes looking too big. I was honestly taken aback at first too, but upon reflection, it makes perfect sense to have them so large as a way of drawing attention to them. The more angular, almond-like shape the have here (compared to their rounder style from her days as Elaine) serves to demonstrate her lucidity. As westerners, it might look quite exaggerated, but it's totally deliberate. This brings to mind a psychology experiment from 2007 comparing Japanese and American facial expressions. They found that, compared to facial expression in America, facial expressions in Japan rely more on the eyes to convey information and less on the mouth. This might help explain why this stylistic choice is so jarring to some westerners. (NB: I am really not a psychologist.)

citation for the article I mentioned:
Yuki, M., Maddux, W. W., & Masuda, T. (2007). Are the windows to the soul the same in the East and West? Cultural differences in using the eyes and mouth as cues to recognize emotions in Japan and the United States. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43(2), 303-311.

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 355
« on: March 19, 2018, 06:48:54 PM »
All this tantalizing blacked-out text! How much is in this little leak? Is it like a random page from the middle with a bunch of panels of dialogue, or is it more like the episode's splash art or something along those lines? Depending on what all it gives away, I look now, or I may (try to) wait a few days longer.

Speculation Nation / Re: How much do we know about the World of Ideas?
« on: March 16, 2018, 07:59:31 AM »
It's a completely different word.
Hahaha duly noted, and duly edited. That's what I get for speaking about something I don't understand. I had a vague memory that I had heard something to this effect on the podcast but I realize now that I was totally muddled in my memory of it. I must have confused the "source of existence" stuff you mentioned upthread and in the water metaphors discussion with the fact that some other translations of episode 307 say "the idea of 'tree'" in order to get accross the concept of being an archetype. I probably could have avoided this confusion if I had been paying better attention when you pointed out the Greek usage of the word "Idea" in the case of IoE, and how it's different from English. Totally my bad.

EDIT: Oh and regarding this
however it doesn't tell us anything about the World of Ideas itself.
I'm on the same page as you there:
With that said, I'm not sure if we really learn anything about the World of Ideas from this.

Speculation Nation / Re: How much do we know about the World of Ideas?
« on: March 16, 2018, 05:56:08 AM »
I'm pretty sure I've seen someone mention it before, but I'm not sure where, and it seems pretty relevant here: in episode 307, the narrator talks about the World Spiral Tree, and in Puella's translations on the forum (really a wonderful resource!), it says "It is like an origin rooted deeply in mankind, the 'tree' itself." Her footnote on the word "origin" says this: "The furigana for this word says 'origin' in English, but the kanji can mean 'archetype' or 'model'". I believe this is the same language used for the Idea of Evil, but I basically know zero Japanese, so please correct me if I got that wrong [EDIT: I was totally wrong]. Either way, it seems like a pretty clear reference to the theory of forms, and by association, the World of Ideas.

With that said, I'm not sure if we really learn anything about the World of Ideas from this. We already had an explanation as to what the Tree really is (the whole Road of Dragons thing) and that explanation doesn't incorporate the World of Ideas explicitly. Regardless, if you're looking for hints, that has to be one of the biggest ones we get.

Speculation Nation / Re: Will Casca return to Griffith?
« on: March 06, 2018, 08:44:01 PM »
[...] What if it's Guts that ends up having doubts? He's been stricken with guilt for abandoning Casca and has tried his hardest to make things right. If Casca returns to normal, leaving all the crap behind and starting a new life with her at his side might start to sound tempting. Conversely, we don't know how fresh the Eclipse is in Casca's mind. Does she remember the time that's passed, or will it be like waking a day after? She might feel even more hatred that Guts for what happened.[...]
[emphasis added]

I think if there's one thing the past episode has made pretty clear, it's that there will be no "return to normal" - and I think that's in large part what SK's warning is about. Guts wants to get back the Casca he knew in the Golden age, but SK warns him that that's not how people work. Even without deep, psychological trauma, you cannot unlive your experiences, any more than you can un-ring a bell. To quote  the late great Sir Terry Pratchett, "anything that happens stays happened". This, to me, is the biggest reason to discredit theories about Casca "going back", be it to Griffith or Guts, or to being the commander of the Hawks. Her character is going to move forward, not back. It's much more exciting that way, too. After all this time, she deserves the chance to grow, rather than to regress.

(incidentally I don't mean to be overly nitpicky about your wording, I just drew attention to it to help make a point :) )

Speculation Nation / Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« on: February 26, 2018, 05:57:32 PM »
It's up to interpretation at this point. But the double helix design isn't exclusive to the abyss. It's been shown in a few different ways throughout the series (the brand, the IoE's appendages, the World Spiral Tree, the Falcon of Light insignia, etc.). [...]

Definitely, the spiral motif is in a lot of important places in Berserk, and absolutely this is all open to interpretation - this is the speculation nation after all :) But just to clarify, I was referring more specifically to the fact that the helix is composed of blurred-together, screaming faces. That's the aspect of it that evokes the abyss to me, and less the fact that it's a spiral. (although the prevalence of the spiral motif is interesting... foreshadowing a Gurren Lagann crossover? :troll: )

Welcome to the forum SleepersWake  :ubik:

I agree that articulating the feeling such imagery and connotations give off is pretty hard and as you say grasping at smoke but in all honesty I think you've said what I was thinking better than I could say it myself.
Thanks for the warm welcome, Lord Leith! I love the irony that I, going by "SleepersWake" should be welcomed by you, who go by a homophone for the soporific River Lethe (at least in an anglicized pronunciation, which I have just learned is completely wrong. Oh well.)

Speculation Nation / Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« on: February 25, 2018, 10:25:25 PM »
Hello all! Some thoughts from a new kid on the block:

I was also struck by the visual similarity between the Idea and Casca's heart-fragment (and it sent a chill down my veins). Looking again, though, there are some interesting differences. The most important one, I think, is that the helix and heart aren't shown together. The helix looks as though it's spiraling down from the vortex around them, and solidifying into the heart and the thorns. Once the heart is whole, the helix is gone - so as others have said, I don't think the IoE is directly involved per se.

That being said, I can't ignore the way the helix itself is depicted: as a spiraling stream of vague, screaming faces. That imagery has been used in relation to the Abyss a few too many times to dismiss. That could just be to convey the hellish nature of Casca's memories, and nothing more cosmic - but there *could* be more to it, especially since Berserk's lore makes little to no distinction between the psyche and the spirit.

I've always interpreted that the progressively deeper layers of the astral realms are related to progressively deeper layers of the human psyche. Given the sheer depth of Casca's trauma, could she somehow be connected to deeper astral layers? Thanks to her brand, she is tied to the interstice, the shallowest astral layer. I think it's possible that the equally indelible marks on her soul (the "hex/curse" on her "heart") connect her even more profoundly. I don't necessarily think she's going to awaken with magical Abyss-powers - Berserk's metaphysics rarely work in such direct, linear ways - but it could still be significant. I dunno. Trying to articulate this feels a bit like grasping at smoke, but I feel like there might be something to this concept. Thoughts?

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