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Messages - Walter

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Vagabond / Re: Official Slam Dunk thread
« on: March 05, 2018, 05:28:46 PM »
I've been in the process of re-reading Slam Dunk volumes in backwards order for the past few months :ganishka:

This started because while I own the full series in Japanese (I have text translations, like for Berserk), I only ever owned the last 3 volumes of the English editions from Viz. So I've been filling in the gaps by buying 2-3 volumes each month, counting backwards from 31. The plan is to get them all through the course of 2 years or so.

It's still fantastic. I first read Slam Dunk probably 20 years ago at this point, but even now, reading those last 2-3 volumes, I'll still get chills looking at the pages. Even in some of the moments in vols 20-30, I've regularly laughed out loud, and in one instance that I don't think I've ever experienced while reading a comic laughed from pure joy. It's a pretty special series for me.

But by doing a very close reading this time, I've also realized that Inoue didn't seem to be going for a masterwork here. It's more of a workman's sports manga: Big when it counts, small when it doesn't. While he fucking nails scenes in critical moments for the story, many of the smaller scenes or character building moments between the big games clearly didn't get the same special attention, both in terms of writing and visuals, so they feel like afterthoughts. Comedy regularly drives such scenes, not drama (which is fine!), but the comedy is unevenly weighed toward rapid-fire one-off jokes instead of a 2-3 page buildup to a great punchline.

If I had to guess, I'd say these little quirks are a result of the pace of serialization (1 per week) in Shonen Jump magazine. He knew he had a deadline, and he knew he had a big vision for where he wanted to take the series, and sort of just shortcutted around the details. Part of me respects that he stuck to that pace and still delivered one of the best manga of all time, and another part of me wonders what would have happened if he took his time on it (don't remind me about Vagabond's current state) and really carved out space to make those small moments shine.

If anyone is interested, you can get Slam Dunk from RightStuf for about $7.50 per volume here:

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: March 05, 2018, 05:12:05 PM »
I was going to give Mass Effect: Andromeda a try since I love the trilogy and the price was right, but couldn't even get it to boot up! I made the refund deadline this time and feel more like I dodged a bullet than missed out.

Crash or no, that was never going to end well.  :ganishka: I didn't play it, but I heard a lot of utterly hilarious anecdotal things about it through coverage. Even without the launch bugs, the story is just a fucking mess. Combat is apparently good, but if you can't get invested in the story, then the gravitas of missions is utterly deflated.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: March 05, 2018, 04:55:42 PM »
Been playing Into The Breach since yesterday. Pretty neat game from the folks who did FTL.

Same! Beat it over the weekend, and I plan to play through it again with a few of the different unlockable squads.

It's a very well-designed tactics game, and it looks and sounds fantastic. Even with the FTL pedigree aside, don't skip out on this if you liked games like Front Mission and FF Tactics. There's a lot to love here, even if it's a pretty brief experience overall.

My one big regret is that I wish the whole experience felt more robust. It's not really a campaign like the aforementioned games. Instead it has replayability built into its core.

While it's certainly a much different kind of game from FTL, I find myself naturally comparing the two, and how much more HUGE and WILD FTL felt by comparison. Even surviving to the end of the campaign was an accomplishment. Whereas once you master the basic fundamentals in Breach, I've found that even if you can't punch your way to victory, you can always exploit the enemy positions and basically buy yourself time until the end of the round. I dunno, I just wasn't nearly as challenged as I was in FTL. And all the futuristic mech flavor of the game did was make me wish for a new Front Mission game.  :daiba:

Speculation Nation / Re: So i have this theory
« on: March 05, 2018, 04:46:52 PM »
I'm pretty sure branded people can't use Beherits,

This has come up a few times, so here's my previous response:

I don't think the series has ruled out a sacrifice using a Beherit. It's just unlikely to happen in the story, and wouldn't make a terrible amount of sense. For years I thought it strictly wasn't possible, because of Conrad's words in Vol 3. But then I noticed something about when God Hand talk are talking about Beherits and "being ordained by causality."

I think what Conrad said had less to do with Guts being a sacrifice, and more to do with his relationship with the Beherit. Conrad said Guts wasn't "ordained" to be among them as an apostle during the Count's ceremony. But shortly afterwards, Guts ends up with a Beherit, which he's carried around ever since. Now, let's recall Ubik's words to Griffith in Volume 12: "From the moment you took possession of that crimson Beherit, you had the qualities to become a demon ... No, perhaps I should say that because you had those qualities, it fell into your hands."

Though these two dialogues are separated by almost 10 volumes worth of material, the thrust of this argument is reinforced by the repeated urgings from Slan (Vol 3, 26) and the specters (Vol 16), for Guts to use it. That could all be merely dramatic tension or a true threat. But if he ever took the offer, it would be a dead-end in terms of the story.

Let's apply that potential outcome to the two most obvious scenarios:

Guts takes the deal, however unlikely that sounds. This effectively ends the series. Guts is no longer a human, and the God Hand have influence over him, just like what happened when Ganishka faced Griffith in Vritannis. Thus, the conflict at the heart of the series would come to a swift and unsatisfying end.

Casca takes the deal. There'd be no saving her from that. Whether he can bring himself to kill her or not, Guts would be demoralized, and his consistent savior to relinquish the Beast's hold on him would be gone.

So... yeah, it's not something I like spending too much time debating. I'm a pragmatic guy, and hypotheticals aren't really my thing. Instead, as we've said here for years, I can't help but think that Miura has bigger plans for it than merely another apostle ceremony.

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: Albums for Desert Island
« on: March 05, 2018, 04:42:30 PM »
Ordered only by how they came to mind:

Sigur Ros - ()
Shadow of the Colossus Soundtrack
Berserk OST (1997)
The Cure - Disintegration
Weezer - Pinkerton
Radiohead - OK Computer
Susumu Hirasawa - 救済の技法 / Kyūsai no Gihō
Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
Weeknd - Trilogy
FTL Soundtrack
Danger - 09/17/2007 or 16

I'd probably formulate a different list depending on when I'm being asked, and I'm probably leaving a few out by accident, but these are 10 albums that have generally stuck with me through the years.

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 354
« on: March 02, 2018, 07:49:51 PM »
Chiming in here from the peanut gallery. I just wanted to say that it's pretty amazing that we're having these conversations now, when it's no longer a distant hypothetical for when these issues will actually be addressed in the story. We really made it!  :ubik:

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 354
« on: March 02, 2018, 01:00:28 PM »
What kind of cover are offering for these release if I may ask? You got me curious.

It's shown on the link that Raffo posted. Instead of the regular bikini-clad woman, it shows Futari-H with a few other characters, including Guts.

Podcast / Re: SkullKast: Episode 93
« on: February 27, 2018, 06:16:46 PM »
That would be nice, but I almost think it isnt necessary. We already saw them cracking a bit from the fear and stress throughout the entire ordeal of the hunt for the memory fragments, yet they still managed to continue fighting on. This experience still tested them perhaps more than anything they have been through before, but I thought that it was very powerful how they were able to continue fighting on in spite of their apparent distress at the situation.

I'll be surprised if Farnese and Schierke walk away from the experience of the Eclipse as if it were only a bad dream, though I don't expect anything of that nature to be pivotal for their character development. Afterall they were there to help restore Casca primarily, and along the way, a large portion of Guts' tragic past was also conveyed to them. But as I said, I think there's an opportunity here for those images and experiences to haunt Farnese and Schierke as well, as the price of going to such lengths to help their friend.

Of course, if we had been recording Berserk podcasts back in 2010, you'd have heard me wishing for Ganishka, in his death throes, to be able to leave a scar on Griffith's face  :ganishka: :griffnotevil: (I still think that would have been cool, but it would have utterly neutered the power of Rickert's moment).

Shootin' the Breeze / Re: About Copyright?
« on: February 27, 2018, 02:18:36 PM »
It's nice that you're trying to adhere closely to the law, but "fair use" is pretty loose on sites like YouTube these days. I think it's enough if you give credit at the outset, and only use particular panels as visuals (not full pages), omitting the text from the pages as well. Your narration should be able to provide the detail and context necessary to make your points, with visuals serving as a reference point.

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 354
« on: February 27, 2018, 02:11:26 PM »
I wish I'd mentioned it on the podcast, but it seems to me that an immediate crisis for a restored Casca could be that she'll be suicidal. She might even be placed on a suicide watch kind of situation, with Danan and others trying to help her cope. And I  can only really imagine one cure for that scenario her child (presuming she doesn't remember it immediately). Whether his existence is revealed to her directly by SK or Danan (not a great option), or if like in the past, the child appears before her to stop her from serious injury to herself.

It's also possible that my mind is too hasty in leaping to the next likely story milestone, and not being open to the other possibilities of what will happen with Casca/the group in the interim.

Podcast / Re: SkullKast: Episode 93
« on: February 27, 2018, 11:57:08 AM »
Thanks for all the positive feedback folks!

Nearly a week in to having read the episode, I feel so much more comfortable with the focus of it being on Casca's breaking (and not the rape itself). I do think that Miura will show a counterstroke about this experience's impact on Farnese and Schierke. At least, if he doesn't, I think that'd be a missed opportunity to show that diving into such an intense memory cuts both ways.

Podcast / SkullKast: Episode 93
« on: February 25, 2018, 10:51:49 PM »

Episode 93: Awakening (Ep. 354) (1h)

We've reached a stage in the story of Berserk where nearly everything that had been prophesied has already occurred. So what's next?

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or by plugging this address
into your favorite podcast app:


Speculation Nation / Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« on: February 25, 2018, 10:34:35 PM »
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.

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.). So adding all of these up, I think the purpose of the double-helix being featured in this episode draws a line of connection between the nature of the curse on Casca's heart the Eclipse and the brand itself.

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 354
« on: February 25, 2018, 10:08:30 PM »
Forgot to say but thanks for the speedy summary! I was wondering if the Japanese text matches the quote above, or is it something along the lines of "We will surely meet again" or something else.

What you read was from the Korean source, and Aaz said it could contain errors as a result. We don't have access to the Japanese pages yet, but we will in a few days.

In other news, podcast is up:


Shootin' the Breeze / Re: New around here.
« on: February 25, 2018, 01:39:25 AM »
So if I understand this correctly, episodes are the immediate releases, collections of episodes comprise a chapter and collections of chapters comprise an arc, right?

Yep. In short form: Episodes < Chapters < Arcs.

Episodes are the ~20 pg sequences serialized in Young Animal magazine. A Chapter contains several episodes ("Chapter of Lost Children," (23 eps) "Chapter of the Binding Chain," (8 eps) "Chapter of the Birth Festival" (51 eps). Finally, an Arc encompasses several Chapters, and marks a definite period, or story arc in the manga.

Here's the full list of everything:

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 354
« on: February 24, 2018, 09:39:11 PM »
Oh boy, what a time to be alive. After all these long years of struggle, its finally happened. I never thought Id see this moment, and now that its finally here.... I dont know what to say.
It does put me in a reminiscent mood. Like many of you have said before me, Ive been on this wild ride for many years. My entire adult life, actually. How long has it been exactly? 18 years, I think, or close to.

Hey man, welcome back! Good to hear from you. Once you get "caught up" you should come on our podcast :guts:

and also because I just never thought theyd get off that fucking boat.

Oh no have "the boat people" infected you too? You've been away too long, and you've become irradiated. They weren't on a boat for very long. From the Sea Horse to the shoreline of Skellig lasted a few panels at most.  :griffnotevil:

Latest podcast should be up tonight or tomorrow, folks. It's a good, long one.

Shootin' the Breeze / Re: Hola
« on: February 24, 2018, 09:22:10 PM »
Welcome !

Also are there any rules/things we need to be aware of for using Discord guys ?

Same general rules as the forum. Please don't distribute scanlation links, and keep the discussion friendly.

Speculation Nation / Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« on: February 22, 2018, 10:15:01 PM »

Speculation Nation / Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« on: February 22, 2018, 09:04:52 PM »
It would be great if Miura were to eventually have another "big reveal" for the Idea of Evil or whatever form "God" takes in the series at that point. Then when the series is finally completed, newer readers can read the entire story from beginning to end and be gobsmacked by the reveal of the Idea of Evil before going back and noticing all the "hints and foreshadowing" of its existence.

 "Oh right, in Episode 82. I remember now!"
 "So this was what Flora was talking about then."
"It has the same helix shape as the World Spiral Tree!"
 "Oh wow, the Sea God looks similar as well!"
 "And Casca's heart as well? Wow, he really planned this out..."

So kind of like the inverse of what we do now, finding cool stuff that alludes or looks similar to content from Episode 83. :ganishka:

I can't imagine most fans have trouble realizing the significance of Ep 82's appearance, and not connecting it to what Flora said, and not noticing the world spiral tree's design with the brand, etc.

Speculation Nation / Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« on: February 22, 2018, 11:37:04 AM »
However there is a thematic connection here, a symbolical one, that is hard to ignore. I'm certain it is at least meant to evoke the Brand, which shares a common design with the Idea of Evil (not a coincidence). And it's only fitting for memories of the Eclipse.

Sure, I can get behind that. I can't imagine the double-helix spiral was included by accident, and it does evoke the brand, which in turn evokes the Idea of Evil. Overall, I think that moment in 354 and the thorns surrounding the heart are meant to be a visual cue that the trauma of the Eclipse is related to the brand, and it can't be erased by magical intervention.

So to tie it all back to this thread title, it's the Idea of Evil's way of saying from the abyss: Fuuuuuuuuuck you, you meddling kiiiiiiiiids!

Speculation Nation / Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« on: February 22, 2018, 03:52:20 AM »
So in canon, the design of the Idea of Evil is more or less ambiguous (Ep 82) and the lost episode's depiction should be viewed with a grain of salt since its not canon,

It could still be a heart-like thing. But the removal of Ep 83 means that it doesn't have to be one. Furthermore, Miura has kind of already recycled the heart with eyes design via the Sea God, which leads us to believe that he's probably scrapped that notion for IoE.

what is espoused by The God of the Abyss is still more or less canon despite the non canon design though right?

There are different schools of thought. I believe that so far, nothing it's said regarding causality and the nature of its existence has been contradicted in the story, so I tend to believe it. It's not incontrovertible, but it can be a useful lens for understanding what happens behind the scenes with Berserk's evil overlords.

I figured that while the episode was removed for revealing too much, what was revealed still held standing in universe.

That isn't why it was removed though. Like I said earlier, Ep 83 is not a spoiler as in, "you aren't supposed to know this yet"; but it limited how he presents the Berserk universe. Should high concepts such as determinism and causation be broached directly in conversation and grounded concretely, or be left ambiguous? A conversation with the god of Berserk detailing the methods of its manipulation arranges the scale and stakes for the story differently than when left a bit open. Miura took the flexible approach. And as others have said in the past, he could probably pull that off better if given more time for those ideas to stew a bit (STEW!)

Finally, if knowing about Ep 83 ruined the story, Miura would have probably re-engineered things so that it wasn't as damaging. Instead, things have (thus far) run along the same course. Flora's brief words alluding to it in Vol 24 are consistent with what we knew of it from Ep 83.

If you're still up for even more IoE talk, here's our podcast on it:  I haven't reviewed this thing in 5 years though, so like Miura I reserve the right to reject this ep from the SkullKast canon  :ganishka:

not just a god resembling a heart.

And the heart was always just a facet of its full existence.

Speculation Nation / Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« on: February 22, 2018, 03:21:00 AM »
I had no idea though that the visual design of The Idea of Evil was no longer canon, so the concept itself is canon but nothing visually of the episode is? Sorry if its a redundant question, I'm just genuinely confused now as to what is and isn't canon regarding the lost episode.

The part of the IoE that we can see in Episode 82 indeed appears heart-like, but it is shrouded in darkness. It certainly has organic valves, but I can tell you that before Ep 83 became widely distributed (around 2001), no one was calling it a giant heart. It didn't even have a name (other than God of the Abyss). Episode 83 shows us that being in full view, and it dispels any doubt about what it is shaped like :idea: a form that's ingrained in our brains, even though that's the depiction that isn't canon. So we shouldn't be limiting our perception of the IoE to that very distinct heart like shape any more.

even if there is no relation I feel like the lost episode is notable enough that he'd surely remember it and know the speculative reaction he'd get out of it.

That doesn't really sound like a technique Miura is known for pulling. And again, it wouldn't be a reference that would make any sense at all for Berserk's less avid readers, and I'm sure that Miura is cognizant of that. Finally, what would it signify in this scene? I don't know what the connection would establish here, and I think it would make things quite convoluted to explain if this already quite complicated scenario is further layered by direct intervention by the Idea of Evil.

Speculation Nation / Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« on: February 22, 2018, 01:31:26 AM »
Hey man, welcome to the forum!

You've got quite a speculative title here. I don't think there's going to be any connection between these two things. Miura has used valve/heart like imagery in the past (The most notable being the sea god and the artificial beherit chamber; extra points for Rochine's apostle form), and it's only signified that he finds it to be a striking visual. The only added layer this time is the inclusion of the double helix as the method for the heart to absorb the scene of the Eclipse. And it is indeed a cool, evocative visual, but I don't see anything here that suggests an actual connection to the Idea of Evil.

Furthermore, I think it's a mistake to limit our perception of the Idea of Evil to the heart. For one, that depiction was striken from the canon. Another, the Idea of Evil describes that region as only a part of its being (its "core"). So if Miura wanted to allude to a higher being at work here, he'd have to go the extra mile of re-establishing that kind of imagery again, which he hasn't done.

So with Episode 354 out, I'm sure plenty of you have noticed the similarity between Casca's heart covered in thorns and The Idea of Evil from the lost chapter

The individual releases are actually called episodes. Chapters are larger sections of the story (Chapter of Lost Children), and arcs are the largest (Conviction Arc, Millennium Falcon Arc, etc.). The full list for the series can be viewed here:

I recall Miura saying that the reason said chapter was redacted is because it revealed too much too soon, I would say the average assumption is that it revealed too much about Griffith and causality but what if there's actually a relation to Casca?

That would be part of the interview that he granted our community back in 2009. You can check that out here:

And it doesn't relate to spoilers, but scoping the Berserk universe. What he says is: "I wanted Berserk's world to be revealed just that far, not any more than that. The appearance of god in the manga conclusively determines its range. I thought that might limit the freedom of the story development."

but a part of me does figure it could simply be a case of reused/similar designs much like the thorns around Skull Knight's sword or those early illustrations of a cracked skull with a Beherit inside and a rose.

Yep, he's definitely used thorns in the past (remember the Serpent of Thorns weapon Farnese has used?). But this time it actually had me immediately thinking of this: but I don't have a theory for what the connection is at all. For Casca, this episode makes it pretty easy for us to unravel the symbology: The thorns represent a defense that Casca erected around that painful memory, and it's a crucial enough part of her experience that it represents the heart of her entire being. Whereas SK is a complete mystery, so it's hard to posit any kind of connection.

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 354
« on: February 21, 2018, 07:45:55 PM »
One panel that doesn't even dominate the page, like I said I would have liked to have seen more, even vol 17 has a better version of that scene.

I'm with Flibble on this. I was a bit thrown off by how quickly the rape itself was dealt with. Instead of making the physical rape the brutal, visceral experience I thought it would be, Miura emphasized the atmosphere of the Eclipse and the trauma of it. He was economical about it, and gave more weight to the new elements here (Casca's breaking, the heart, and the body's restoration). But looking over everything, I do think the act of the rape itself was de-emphasized as a result. I also think part of my reaction was based on expectation for what the Eclipse would do to Farnese and Schierke (nothing, really). Miura chose to focus on what mattered: The breaking and the reunification of Casca in the same episode.

The more I think about it, the more I love it  :casca:

Current Episodes / Re: Episode 354
« on: February 21, 2018, 06:12:28 PM »
Schierke: If she keeps her sanity while having memories of such a horrible experience
Schierke: It will bring her an enormous pain that we can't imagine.
Schierke: ...Precisely speaking, she rather broke down because she couldn't endure it.

Skull Knight: What you wish for may not be what she wishes for.
Schierke: ...I guess this is what he implied.

Thanks so much, Puella. Wow, I wasn't even thinking of this being addressed in this episode! The source of the trauma has been verbalized, we have an indication of Casca's condition upon waking, and we have a possible answer to SK's warning, all on one page. I wish we had a bit more on it, since it's such a huge part of Casca's internal conflict. But this is probably just opening the door to the conflict to come.

I've read through the ep 4 times now, and I can't get over how evocative and powerful the imagery of the heart is. The scene of the Eclipse being sucked into it, covered in thorns, and then thrust back into her chest, as the group hopes for the best upon waking up. Good luck, folks!  :sad:

Which makes Farnese's speech to the sprite, and by extension to Casca herself, that much more powerful. She may not have suffered to the extent that Casca has, but she understands how it feels to be so afraid that all you can do is cower and hide. And more than that, she also knows that's not the right course of action. Sooner or later, you have to come out of hiding and confront that which you fear.

More than that, it's setting up Farnese to be Casca's confidant, guide, and probably the bridge to rejoin her with Guts.

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