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Topics - Walter

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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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Podcast / Skullknight.NET Podcast: Episode 72
« on: December 24, 2015, 01:45:35 AM »

Episode 72: Flame Doll (Ep. 343) (1h 28m)

Early holiday release 12.23.15 GET!

A new podcast the same day an episode lands? It's a new record! We cover the big news about the new anime and review the latest episode, where our heroes vandalize a field of pumpkins and scarecrows. We talk about our first new Elfhelm character — a witch that could become a foil for Schierke — and a new creature from folklore which Miura lends his unique spin to.

Listen after the end of the show for a spoiler-filled Star Wars: Force Awakens talk with Aaz and Griff.

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Podcast / Skullknight.NET Podcast: Episode 71
« on: December 11, 2015, 03:27:16 AM »

Episode 71: A Crack in the Sword (Vol 17-2) (1h 8m)

Early release!

In the final half of our Volume 17 re-read, Zodd finds his purpose and Guts discovers his weakness, making a promise he's kept to this day.

We try something a little different with the re-read format: Switching narrators with each episode. I think it worked well! Unfortunately, we ran a little too close on time, and had to wrap up just before the end of the volume. So for our next re-read episode, we'll finish out 17 and work our way into Vol 18.

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Podcast / Skullknight.NET Podcast: Episode 70
« on: November 30, 2015, 02:17:35 AM »

Episode 70: Landing (Ep 342) (1h 24m)

At long last, we've reached the island of Skellig — the doorstep of Elfhelm! Hear our impressions on this momentous occasion for Berserk, along with thoughts on what's around the corner for the series now that Miura has turned the page on the future.

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Podcast / Skullknight.NET Podcast: Episode 69
« on: November 08, 2015, 02:56:11 AM »

Episode 69: Revelations (Vol 17-1) (58m)

We return to the re-read project with a deep dive into Volume 17, one of our favorites, which gives us a rare glimpse of the state of the world after the Eclipse. This volume also lays down the essentials regarding humans and their perception of the astral world and its inhabitants.

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Podcast / Skullknight.NET Podcast: Episode 68
« on: October 26, 2015, 01:35:57 AM »

Episode 68: Soaring Escape (Ep. 341) (1h 22m)

The thrilling conclusion to the recent Falconia section has landed. Hear all about how Rickert became an action hero, Garuda breeding habits, Rakshas' various cutlery, and Griffith gathering cobwebs on the palace patio -- all in the latest episode of the SkullKast. Stay tuned til the end for a brief Star Wars chat.

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Berserk Miscellaneous / 100+ 'Uncollected' Artworks from Miura
« on: October 19, 2015, 04:05:11 PM »
Some fans might not be aware that Berserk hasn't had a full-fledged art book since 1997. That art book, the Berserk Illustrations File, contains high-quality reproductions of volume covers (up to vol 14), unseen paintings, sketches, and an exclusive interview with Kentarou Miura that's about 4,000 words long, recently translated by Puella thanks to our member-supported Patreon.

When I start lamenting the lack of recent Berserk art books, I'm often asked: "How much material is there for another artbook?" Quite a bit, actually!

Since that book was released, there have been 23 new volume covers, 32 volume poster inserts, and an unknown number of other paintings and sketches Miura has released across the past 18 years. These include phone cards, new year's postcards, DVD/BR covers, promotional art, original art for the 2005 trading card game (TCG) and more. Many of these are only seen by hardcore collectors, leaving the rest of us to ogle them through low-resolution photos on Japanese auction sites — and those are only the ones that surface online.

Because of their obscure nature, it's likely there are many more we have never seen, or that Miura has never released. Some of these appear to be assets pulled from Miura's generous stack of unused paintings. Others were clearly created for an exclusive purpose. Some are simple character poses, while others show glimpses of scenarios with characters that we've never seen in the manga before. For fans, they're all pretty incredible and worth checking out.

So I started collecting images of them, even if the quality of the images sucks, to get a better understanding of what the potential for another Berserk artbook is. It is vast. In total, I gathered 118 pieces of art, excluding volume covers (from 15-37), and of course anything I missed. In reality, it's probably closer to 150 pieces. Which is more than enough for 3 art books, based on the size of the Illustrations File. It's not complete, and it's not really meant to be. It's meant to be a taste of what's out there, unbound, uncollected, unseen by the vast majority of fans of Berserk.

These deserve a better place to appreciate them. I can't provide that — only Miura and his publisher can. But until then... here's what I have assembled:

Rare/Uncollected Berserk Artwork:

Miura's original art for Konami's Berserk TCG (2005):

Volume poster inserts:

Podcast / Skullknight.NET Podcast: Episode 67
« on: September 27, 2015, 07:17:09 PM »

Episode 67: Combat in the Darkness (Ep. 340) (1h)

We explore Rakshas' new mask, and apostle form, as the Bakiraka manage to turn the tables on the shadowy assassin... for a few moments.

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Speculation Nation / Will We See Skellig in 2015?
« on: September 09, 2015, 02:10:47 PM »
It's been a long time in coming, but Skellig could be right around the corner.

When we last left Guts and co., they were heading toward Skellig (the island where Elfhelm is located), being guided by the merrows. That same episode neatly wrapped up the current character relationships with a hint at things to come.

Since then we've been discovering the inner workings of Griffith's long-promised kingdom and being reintroduced to Rickert. But his side of the story appears to be wrapping up, now that he's made the determination to leave Falconia and live with the Bakiraka. So that leaves just a few more eps with him before we presumably head back to Guts' perspective, and at the current monthly pace...

Do you think it's likely? It'd sure be a great way to end the year!

Podcast / Skullknight.NET Podcast: Episode 66
« on: August 31, 2015, 03:33:11 AM »

Episode 66: Capital City Under the Moonlight (Ep. 339) (1h 7m)

Silat, Rakshas and the Tapasa like we've never seen them before. We explore Ep 339 armed with a partial translation from Aazealh and Puella.

What's ahead for Rickert and the Bakiraka? Reeeeeeeeematch

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Character Cove / Ubik and the Garden of Earthly Delights
« on: August 16, 2015, 02:17:32 AM »
What do we know about Ubik?

As one of the five members of the God Hand, he's one of the most important characters in the series, and yet he remains quite a mystery. We even have more grounds to speak about Void and his abilities than Ubik.

If we had to nail him down to a particular characteristic, it would be the delight he exhibits in observing and dissecting human memories. After all, it’s Ubik who opens portals into human minds during ceremonies to show a human's “true self.” In Volume 12, Ubik calls these "windows into the reality within your conscious realm."

Beyond these clues, we haven’t been shown any explicit affinities. He seems to have a fascination with the human mind. I think that's probably his territory, among the God Hand. But I think recently, readers were given what could end up being a rather insightful look into Ubik's nature:

Of course, it's long been known that the enigmatic two-page spread in Episode 306 of Ubik's "arrival" following the birth of Fantasia was a reference to Hieronymus Bosch's surreal painting, "The Garden of Earthly Delights." Miura has professed to being a fan of Bosch's work, so it's no big surprise to see his most famous piece become an homage.

But recently, I began wondering about Miura's intentions with choosing such an striking painting, loaded with various symbology, as the setting for Ubik, a character we know next to nothing about.

So I looked into the painting a bit, and discovered some pretty cool stuff.

Bosch's painting is a triptych — a work of three panels. His intentions with the painting are not known, however as with many of his other works, the religious overtones are apparent. Among the popular interpretations is that it depicts a sequence of consequences of humanity indulging in sin, and the gradual separation of man from God and divinity.

When the panels are closed, there is an additional panel, that depicts what some believe to be the creation of the world (or the flooding of the world). Rather fitting for the timing of this reference by Miura.

When opened, the left panel depicts the Garden of Eden, and the introduction of Adam and Eve by God.

The middle and largest panel is where the painting's name is derived, depicting nude humans frolicking wildly with hybrid beasts and indulging in sensual pleasures.

Finally, the right and final panel depicts a fusion of aspects of hell and earth, repeating motifs from the first panels, but in a twisted setting. Men are being tortured by hybrid beasts, eaten and excreted, prodded driven and speared by musical instruments, having lost the freedom and pleasures of the previous panels. Unlike the other panels, this one is not in sunlight, but in darkness. The religious reading here is that this represents the ultimate consequence of man's transgressions into the sinful pleasures and opulence of the middle panel. That's quite a foreboding notion when you consider what Falconia represents.

But that's all merely the preface, because the portion referenced by Miura is largely the center of this third panel — the man with tree limbs for legs, with his broken eggshell ass housing people sitting at a table.

While Miura borrows the central elements here quite directly (note the figures circling the hat, almost perfectly represented), it's notable that it's not merely a carbon copy of the work, but a kind of animated interpretation of the scene being brought to his world. Contrasting the two, you can see the level of care and creativity he employed in unifying the scattered elements of Bosch's work, for his own purposes.

For example, he moves characters to the foreground that are elsewhere in Bosch's painting (creatures waving flags, blaring on horns and carrying weapons). And instead of the chaotic positioning of figures in the triptych, the creatures all move in unison toward the left, continuing the previous pages' visual narrative of the astral world's inhabitants coming into the physical world. The figures also don't retain the same expressions or articulations.

So in Miura's depiction, it is as if the creatures in Bosch's painting were suddenly brought to life and were urged in a direction.

Can we learn anything about this particular painting, when it comes to Ubik? I think so, because of the precedence established in other, similar scenes with the God Hand members and their surroundings.

The scenery where Conrad and Slan are depicted during this sequence complements their affinities. Slan is surrounded by a conglomeration of lustful bodies, in an almost vaginal cavern. Conrad’s face emerges from a multitude of rats, within which are skeletons, repeating the death and pestilence motif from his appearance in Volume 17. But what was so special about Episode 306 is that prior to then, Ubik had never received this kind of special spotlight in the series before.

While bereft of text, two passages in Volume 26 shed some light on these scenarios, and what we can learn from them.

Schierke: Qliphoth creatures gravitate to similar od

Slan: They're likely floating in their preferred sephira

This explains a bit of the creatures we see gathered in the scene Miura is depicting, and by reflection, a bit about Ubik himself.

Miura's panel shows surreal creatures marching — some solemn, some cheerful — carrying musical instruments, weapons, and tortured humans, which is of course largely the theme of the right panel of the triptych, the counterstroke to the indulgence of the middle panel. These creatures are hybrids of human faces and various animals, and their exaggerated shapes evoke a kind of madness.

So to me, Miura's interpretation of this historic painting serves a number of purposes. It connects Ubik with creatures from the human mind dedicated to torture, and it was a way for Miura to pay homage to Bosch — an artist he clearly respected and likely one of his chief inspirations for the hybrid concepts in Miura's prolific, bizarre, apostle and astral creature designs.

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