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Topics - Walter

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Podcast / SkullKast: Episode 83 - Shadow of Idea [Vol 20 Review, Pt 2]
« on: January 02, 2017, 03:02:43 AM »

Episode 83: Shadow of Idea (Vol. 20-2) (1h 3min)

Hold up... Episode 83!? Download it while still you can!

Events coalesce as Albion's destruction continues, bringing Volume 20 to a swift end. Guts comes face to face with a branded land, and a vision of his enemies. We absorb one of the biggest spectacles in all of Berserk, as we round the corner on yet another.

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Podcast / SkullKast: Episode 82 - Spider's Thread [Vol 20 Review, Pt 1]
« on: December 04, 2016, 04:50:37 AM »

Episode 82: Spider's Thread (Vol. 20-1) (1h 38min)

We return to our re-read project to dive into Volume 20, as the fall of Albion begins, covering all the action high above and down below. But the star of the show is the Beherit Apostle.

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Podcast / SkullKast: Episode 81 - Iron Maiden [Vol 19 Review, Pt 2]
« on: November 14, 2016, 02:34:04 AM »

Episode 81: Iron Maiden (Vol. 19-2) (1h 36min)

We return to our re-read project to wrap up Volume 19, diving deep into the spark that ignites Albion's destruction the spectral ooze.

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Podcast / SkullKast: Episode 80 - Sovereign of the Flower Storm [347 Review]
« on: September 26, 2016, 02:12:06 AM »

Episode 80: Sovereign of the Flower Storm (Episode 347) (1h 33min)

We can't wait to talk all about the latest episode of Berserk, bringing us on the doorstep of a long awaited moment in the series, one that could transform it forever. We also provide a preview for the upcoming Berserk Official Guidebook, review the new Berserk-themed Hirasawa Susumu album, and thank our Patreon donors for their continued support.

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Podcast / Skullknight.NET Podcast: Episode 79
« on: September 19, 2016, 02:14:54 AM »

Episode 79: Berserk (2016 Anime) (1h)

In which we review the latest Berserk animation in its entirety. This might hurt.

00:00 Intro
03:55 Overall impressions
07:35 Translating Manga panels into Anime
10:14 Expanding merchandise
12:55 Show direction
16:56 Guts' Beherit origins unexplained and the bar scene
20:31 The Demon Tree (The Shit Tornado)
21:50 Sound design and music
24:57 Soundtrack (Hai yooooooooo)
27:40 Sound effects (CLANG!)
29:27 Character design (Guts' face)
32:00 Cloning effect
33:49 3D mass of spectres
36:01 Why Berserk(2016) kills Berserk soul?
39:07 People being introduced to Berserk by the Berserk(2016)
41:29 Blu-ray price and return their investment
43:30 Will a increase in the budget change the show?
45:34 Casca's skin colour
47:37 Guts' Beherit colour and Zodd
49:15 Animation movement
49:44 Bad scene focusing
51:42 Uncensored Blu-ray
52:16 Crunchyroll (Why Berserk got the shitty treatment?!)
53:58 2nd season speculation
57:55 Would you recommend Berserk (2016)?

Podcast / Skullknight.NET Podcast: Episode 78
« on: August 29, 2016, 02:20:23 AM »

Episode 78: Elfhelm (Ep. 346) (1h 14m)

We've finally made it to Elfhelm proper, where we meet a character we've been anticipating for more than a decade. Hear our thoughts on this grand reveal, and another huge revelation about the Berserk world. 

Timestamps via @Luizao

00:00 Introduction
01:16 Sovereign of the Flower Storm (Gender)
05:36 Character Design
08:45 Ivalera attitude
10:45 Inhabitants of Elfhelm
14:57 Elves and magic users relationship
19:00 Scale of the tree and the origin of elves
21:23 Sovereign vs God Hand
24:13 Chich
25:08 SFS influence on the Gurus
27:22 SFS implication on the current world
30:23 Rosine design resemblance to Sovereign
34:14 Sovereign coloring
36:02 Dark Horse and other mistranslations
40:10 Barytes discussion
50:52 Puck's brothers
54:31 Puck and Magnifico's coup attempt
1:00:56 Magnifico's future
1:05:44 The throne room
1:06:35 Sovereign and Guts' past
1:09:51 Current state of Berserk
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The landing page for Skullknight.NET is old. Very old. In fact, it's so old that it's entirely feasible there are members here who were born after it was coded by me in 2003.

I would love to give it a modern redesign, but my skills are very limited. I've done a mock-up in photoshop (which I won't share here, for fear of being mocked), but I would also love some input from anyone who is willing to share a few hours of their time in helping it look and feel great.

If you're interested, please send me a PM and we can chat! Thanks in advance.

Vagabond / Thoughts on Vagabond's Future
« on: August 13, 2016, 07:57:21 PM »
"What happened to Vagabond?" I asked myself this weekend.

It's been several years since I've followed the series episodically, because I prefer reading Inoue's stories at the consistent pace that a volume allows. I'm also comfortable with waiting for official releases. So, I check in every six months or so to see how much material I've missed, and when I can pick up the next Viz edition. As it turns out, I haven't missed much at all. The last Vagabond release was #327 in May 2015, about 5 chapters into what would be Volume 38. There's been no word since then.

So, I began re-reading a large chunk of it, starting from the point where I felt both Musashi and Inoue lost their momentum: Volume 28 (directly after the Yoshioka battle). How did I feel about the series after all this time? How did I feel about it being seemingly cast adrift, still several volumes from its conclusion?

I've fallen in and out of love with Vagabond over the past several years, and it stems from my feelings about Inoue and his dedication to the story. It's always been a series that sort of lives in my head. I admire not only the fantastic art and characters Inoue creates, but also the philosophical concepts that go beyond the page. Inoue has always nailed those three elements, making them feel larger than the medium itself. He does the same in his other works. But it's Vagabond's story that Inoue seems to have trouble with. The thing that ties those three elements together and pushes them along. And I would guess that the trouble is due in large part to it not necessarily being his story to tell. Musashi's exploits are legendary in Japan, and there have been numerous adaptations and incarnations of the character for more than a hundred years. Inoue has of course made changes along the way, particularly with the characterizations, which now feel entirely like Inoue's creations. But the core remains the same as Yoshikawa's great novel, and that's more true as we edge close to the ending.

That's one weight hanging on the shoulders of Inoue. The other was hinted at during his interview about The Last Story: His anxiousness about bringing a story about a man who's murdered more than a hundred people to a satisfying conclusion. What will Musashi's legacy be? It feels like wrapping up this story has become a burden to him more than a work of love and passion. That sense comes primarily from an implacable feeling after reading the recent volumes numerous times, but also due to Inoue appearing to indicate his intent to wrap things up (The Last Manga exhibition, the Ganryujima cameo, Matahachi talking about the story he's telling), and then expanding the story in a different, lengthy direction instead. There could be a logic here that will make sense when all is said and done, but in the moment, it's hard to judge favorably.

So, with all of those feelings swimming in my head, I read from 28 to 37 this weekend to see if my previous feelings still held up. Like Musashi, I'm capable of changing my opinions of things as I grow with time. So, was it just my impatience getting the better of me? Is Inoue actually a master storyteller who simply took on too many other projects simultaneously? Is the farming sequence really as long and drawn out as it felt before?

Well, I do think I have been a bit impatient. The slowed releases in recent years along with this "adrift" storyline for Musashi weren't a very encouraging pairing, even if there were some great scenes with the farmers (I previously had missed the parallel between Musashi and Shusaku. Shusaku initially refuses to share his higher quality seeds and farming knowledge with others. Musashi refuses to become an instructor, sharing his unique perspective of the sword with others). I do think Inoue can eventually bring the story to a satisfying conclusion, and I also think I now have a sense of what that direction will be. It's just that it's taken him a LOOOOOOOOOONG time (literally 10 volumes) to establish this interim period before Musashi arrives at Kokura, which began after the Yoshioka fight. He needed to demonstrate the pivot Musashi must make in his life, after being haunted by his murderous lifestyle, yet still dedicated to the sword.

The one big thing I feel like I've missed in previous readings are the scenes where Musashi is thinking about the way of the sword without killing someone, and what that might mean to people. He was asked about it in jail, it was alluded to by the sculptor, and Musashi thinks about it again when he's training the women. I believe Inoue is setting up his Musashi to be the man who fundamentally changes the culture around  "the way of the sword" from being about killing people to where it is in Japan's heritage today: the pursuit of perfection without being focused on death. That would be consistent with what he's learned over the years from his various masters. But will it be consistent with how his duel with Kojiro ends...? How will Inoue cross that bridge? If I knew, I'd probably be a lot less interested in reading it :)

So, that's where I landed. Hopeful, despite the extended hiatus. The series is in a promising place, and my re-read helped refresh my sense of Inoue's direction. But boy, it's been a rough few years, guys...

Podcast / Skullknight.NET Podcast: Episode 77
« on: July 25, 2016, 02:04:36 AM »

Episode 77: Great Gurus (Ep. 345) (1h 54m)
We sit down with a bunch of old people to talk about a bunch of old people in Elfhelm for our review of Episode 345, including the secrets of Berserk's ancient world and Guts' value to the future. We even make some time at the end of the show to talk about the new anime with a guest who hasn't yet been exposed to its particular brand of terrible.

Timestamps (thanks to Luizao):

00:00 Introduction

Episode 345

01:45 Initial impressions
04:58 The common room (+Cats & Chess in Berserk)
08:31 The Great Gurus
13:20 Flora compared with other wizards
15:09 Danan
17:46 Guts' impatience
19:58 Elf King and elves in Skellig
24:15 Food panel
27:16 Circular table preamble
31:20 Ged's explanation of the Giant Tree
36:37 Road of Elves/Road of Dragons
43:02 Puck's Beherit and its final purpose
48:14 Forest of Spiritual Trees and the ancient chaos
55:28 Ganishka's transformation
1:01:51 Guts and Griffith's relationship and the world transformation
1:07:16 Falconia and 1000 years ago world
1:12:18 Group reaction to Guts+Griffith connection
1:15:07 Next episode possible Guts' story
1:16:55 Griffith's will
1:20:18 Rickert's theory (Femto=Ideal Griffith)/Griffith's ambition
1:25:56 The God Hand in 346
1:28:09 The pace could lead us to unexpected events

1:32:42 Anime (Pure masochism)

The show's opening track, an "8-bit" remix of Inferno is from YouTube user Storm Blade.

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Berserk Miscellaneous / New Digital Art Techniques in Berserk
« on: July 23, 2016, 12:27:12 PM »
Miura's art style has been a hot topic since Berserk returned this year in Ep 344. And while I've seen discussion range in various places from "all digital" to "no digital," I'm actually finding it increasingly difficult to maintain the position that he's not using any digital techniques, even with his manga pages. Obviously he showed off his very digital paintings in Vol 38, but how much of that is translating into his pages? I'd say some but I would wager he's still using a traditional pen and ink as a base for these.

The most glaring thing to me was this 2-page spread in Ep 344. Does anything stick out to you in these images? It's those bushes. That's from the official YA scans, and here is the same page from my copy of Vol 38, there's a preview image at the end of Ep 344. No change. Those bushes still stick out from everything else on the page, and they look digitally manipulated to me. We also know that Miura's team of assistants has started using digital screentones to create textures. Traditional screentones have been used since the 90s on clothing, capes, backgrounds and whatnot. But now they're almost certainly digital. The textures on the witches' outfits is where the move to digital is the most prominent.

My assessment, as a non artist, is that those who say he's not using ANY digital techniques don't appear to be correct, but that we also can't say for sure he's using ONLY digital techniques. It looks to me more like he's taking advantage of some digital tools on top of his traditional pen and ink drawings to increase efficiency.

Either way, I'm interested in hearing the opinions of those who can actually recognize the smoking gun of an illustrator software being used, because I don't really see it in the line art itself.

Podcast / SPECIAL: Berserk (2016) Anime Impressions - Episode 3
« on: July 15, 2016, 06:42:47 PM »

SPECIAL: Berserk (2016) Anime Impressions - Episode 3 (43m)

We discuss the new scenario written by Miura and how it stacks up alongside all the other problems with this new adaptation.

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Podcast / SPECIAL: Berserk (2016) Anime Impressions - Episode2
« on: July 08, 2016, 09:33:38 PM »

SPECIAL: Berserk (2016) Anime Impressions - Episode 2 (34m)

Things go smoother in the second episode of Berserk's latest animated adaptation, but it also gets a bit weird. Hear Walter and Aazealh's impressions of the latest episode and the immediate future.

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Anime Asylum / Chat About the Berserk Anime on Discord
« on: July 07, 2016, 06:11:16 PM »
Because our old chat room is long defunct, and everyone wants to chat in real-time about the new anime, I've launched a Discord channel for Berserk discussion.

You can ask either me or Aazealh for an invite by PM and we'll hook you up.

Please register with your SKnet username so we can know who you are. If you already have a Discord account or want to use another name, please post in this thread to say what it is in order to cut down on confusion for everyone involved.

The other cool thing about Discord is that it allows for seamless group voice chat. If you have a mic hooked up, just click the title of the voice channel ("Berserk_Talk") and you'll immediately join, and be able to talk with whoever is in there. Otherwise, the main chat is just all Berserk talk.

Enjoy, and if you have any questions or issues, don't hesitate to ask. I'll be in and out of the room throughout the day, so please keep it civil, and  ave fun!  :void:

Judging by how playable characters have been arranged in previous Musou games (Hyrule Warriors has 28 playable characters), how do you see Berserk's roster being filled out?

Aaz and I (mostly him) came up with the list above, along with a few jokes. But who else do you think is likely to be playable?

Vote for as many people as you'd like!

Podcast / SPECIAL: Berserk (2016) Anime Impressions - Episode 1
« on: July 01, 2016, 09:43:05 PM »

SPECIAL: Berserk (2016) Anime Impressions - Episode 1 (19m)

Walter and Aaz share their takes on the new Berserk anime, the day that it aired.

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Anime Asylum / Berserk (2016) Premiere Poll
« on: July 01, 2016, 05:03:32 PM »
Now that we've experienced the first episode, weigh in on your thoughts in a poll.

Podcast / SPECIAL: Join our 2016 TV Series launch party
« on: June 29, 2016, 11:59:07 PM »
Friday @7:30 a.m. PST The new Berserk TV series will premiere on Crunchyroll to subscribers (free for 30 days if you use this coupon code).

If you'll be available to watch the premiere, you might want to gush or lament (could go either way) about how you felt. So to capture that energy, we'll be hosting a voice chat session on Skype immediately after the premiere (8 a.m. PST), which I'll record and will post as a special podcast for whoever couldn't make it. Will probably last for 30 min or so. If the series is good enough, we may continue doing these, but I definitely wanted to do something special for the premiere at the very least.

So, if you'd like to join us, PM me or reply in this thread with your Skype name. Also, let me know if the time works. I know it's at an utterly ridiculous time of the day, but I happen to be working from home that day. However if only a few people can make it, we miiiiight reschedule til later in the day/evening when we can get a decent sized crew. But I kinda like the idea of doing it directly after, so maybe you could find a closet at work, or something?  :iva: Large crew or no, I'll be on Skype for whoever wants to chat about it.

Podcast / Skullknight.NET Podcast: Episode 76
« on: June 27, 2016, 03:23:30 AM »

Episode 76: Witch Village (Ep. 344) (1h 48m)

We kick off this ep with a flood of Berserk news, from the anime to the new game and the release of Vol 38. But we spend most of our time diving into the revelations we got in 344, including the introduction of several new characters.

It takes us a while to get to the new episode talk, so if you'd like to skip around, here are some time stamps from Luizao that should help:   

  01:00 New Anime
  11:45 New Berserk Game (Berserk Musou)
  18:00 Volume 38 and Miura's new digital style
  31:00 Episode 344 discussion
  31:00 Spiritual Trees
  35:52 Elfhelm appearance
  41:20 Morda and Sub-witches
  46:36 Ged
  52:46 Ged prophecy and Puck
  54:40 Ged and the Elf King
  1:01:05 Ancient trees
  1:04:24 The purpose of the group
  1:05:55 Farnese's reaction
  1:10:24 The Blast of the Astral World/Spiritual Trees
  1:13:15 The Valley (+Hanafubuku King translation)
  1:19:02 Witch Village
  1:21:27 Schierke and her future
  1:24:10 Molda vs gravity
  1:26:00 Village demographics
  1:28:30 Ged's House
  1:30:20 Beherits in Elfhelm and SK potential
  1:35:50 How far is the group from meeting the Elf King?
  1:37:28 'Gallery of Dreams'
  1:41:07 Casca's recovery and the Beast of Darkness

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Manga Mausoleum / Old volumes, new covers
« on: June 15, 2016, 02:05:41 AM »
You can see on Amazon Japan how some of the older volumes are being reissued (digitally only, so far) using the new cover wrap elements.

I couldn't find any others that are doing this at the moment. It's a small detail, but the "reissue" version of these recent volumes aligns with where Hakusensha-E's digital editions had stopped. They've had 1-34 available digitally for about 2 years now, but hadn't done the newer ones. So, now Amazon is selling Kindle editions of these newer volumes, and I guess the publisher decided to throw on a new coat of paint?

Podcast / SPECIAL: Skullkast Berserk News Update (June 13, 2016)
« on: June 13, 2016, 03:34:42 PM »

There's never been more Berserk news. In lieu of an actual podcast, Walter talks through all the latest Berserk updates while stuck in traffic.

Podcast / SPECIAL: Live in Boston
« on: June 07, 2016, 02:19:55 AM »

Skullkast: Walter and Aazealh Live in Boston (21m)

Aazealh and Walter team up in person for a special, brief edition of the podcast. On tap: New Miura interviews, new anime news and our thoughts on the future. Baked beans!

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Podcast / Skullknight.NET Podcast: Episode 75
« on: May 16, 2016, 01:23:23 AM »

Episode 75: Reunion (Vol. 19-1) (1h 45m)

Grail joins Aaz and Walter as the group tears through the first half of Volume 19, a portion of the series that moves at breakneck speed.

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Podcast / SPECIAL: Coming to America Episode
« on: April 14, 2016, 03:26:34 PM »

SPECIAL: Coming to America Episode (24m)

Aazealh travels to America to visit forum members Gobolatula and Grail. Unfortunately, it was too far away for Walter and Griff to join in on the fun.

Berserk Vol 38 cover, the new anime trailer, food and San Francisco discussion ensues!

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Podcast / Skullknight.NET Podcast: Episode 74
« on: March 07, 2016, 03:42:59 AM »

Episode 74: Bowels of the Holy Land (Vol. 18-2) (1h 57m)

We dive deeper into Volume 18, exploring the heretical orgy, Isidro and Guts relationship, and of course one of the Skull Knight's most important talks with Guts. That's a wrap for Vol 18!

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Podcast / Skullknight.NET Podcast: Episode 73
« on: February 01, 2016, 04:25:01 AM »

Episode 73: Shadow of the Tower (Vol. 18-1) (1h 39m)

In the midst of a hiatus, we forge ahead with our re-read, which brings us to Vol. 18 an intriguing portion of the series. Bereft of most of our main cast, we're instead treated to a new environment, new characters (including: Mozgus, Isidro, Luca, Nina and Jerome) and the most graphic section of Berserk, as the cauldron cooks in Albion.

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