Berserk: The Motion Comic Episode 1 - The Black Swordsman (Part 1)

Pedro-kun

I sacrifice my ''Personal Text'' for eternal life.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5lLQza7Mew

PS. I'm not a part of this project I just found it and thought it was worth sharing.
 

ahf248

Don't forget your poison arrows.
I must say I'm impressed with the audio work and general production value, considering it's a fan made project, however I have two comments to make.

First of all, it would be good if they didn't cut out too many parts. I can understand that the first couple panels of the story are not exactly enchanting, but it's integral to keep everything if the purpose is to recreate an authentic experience, even the sensitive parts, especially the sensitive parts. Another thing is whoever voices Guts, it doesn't strike me as a representative voice for him, but at this point that's just my personal impression and I don't mean to insult anybody, I'm sure they tried to do a good job, I just don't feel the voice is all that suiting.

I'm curious how far they plan to go with it. I remember seeing a similar attempt at narrating the manga in video format on YouTube a while ago, but without motion and with inferior sound quality. I don't think it continued past episode 1 though. I regard the effort they put into this nonetheless, and who knows, it might even stir up some people's interest to actually read the manga.
 

Truder

"I frown at Griffith's nipples" -Aazealh
Wasnt expecting something with that much work put into it. I wonder how long they will be able to do this sort of project. in the past these sort of projects tend to fizzle out because its too much work. at the very least i hope they finish the black swords man arc. a decent adaption might finally be done after all these years.
 
Bleac said:
First of all, it would be good if they didn't cut out too many parts. I can understand that the first couple panels of the story are not exactly enchanting, but it's integral to keep everything if the purpose is to recreate an authentic experience, even the sensitive parts, especially the sensitive parts.
That scene wasn't cut because of it containing sensitive material. It was cut because it was deemed to be out of character for Guts and to not add much to the story anyway. They don't intend to censor any and all sensitive material in the story.
 

ahf248

Don't forget your poison arrows.
Archer1215 said:
That scene wasn't cut because of it containing sensitive material. It was cut because it was deemed to be out of character for Guts and to not add much to the story anyway.
Who deemed it out of character for Guts? The members involved in the production of this project or the community as a whole? I'm asking because it's the first time I've heard of it. I personally feel it's just as important a bit of Berserk as any other, and it plays its part in representing Guts' condition at the time. Even if you don't agree with that, it also serves the role of a shocking (for lack of a better word) introduction from a storytelling perspective, so it's not completely purposeless. I see no good reason why it should be left out.
 
Bleac said:
Who deemed it out of character for Guts? The members involved in the production of this project or the community as a whole?
Well, the former in the case of it being cut from the Motion Comic. Although it is one of the more polarizing events in the story for a large part of the community.

Bleac said:
I'm asking because it's the first time I've heard of it. I personally feel it's just as important a bit of Berserk as any other, and it plays its part in representing Guts' condition at the time. Even if you don't agree with that, it also serves the role of a shocking (for lack of a better word) introduction from a storytelling perspective, so it's not completely purposeless. I see no good reason why it should be left out.
I think that whatever part it may or may not play in examining Guts' mental state at the time comes at the expense of flying in the face of his characterization that is expounded upon later in the story. At the time, Miura didn't have Casca in mind so their relationship was a non-factor, and he may not have had Guts' rape by Donovan in mind or the impact that would have on Guts, namely his aversion to intimacy and of physical or sexual contact (even in the same episode he reacts angrily when Puck makes to touch him in the prison cell, although this could just as easily be attributed to his distrust of others after being betrayed by Griffith and losing his friends).

For that reason alone I think it is a fine decision for it to be cut from the adaptation. As it stands, its only purpose in the story to begin with is to shock the reader right off the bat and hook them into the story. It doesn't bother me too much in the manga since it's only a few pages in the beginning, but I don't think it is anything necessary to the story that would make an adaptation worse for excluding it.
 

ahf248

Don't forget your poison arrows.
Archer1215 said:
I think that whatever part it may or may not play in examining Guts' mental state at the time comes at the expense of flying in the face of his characterization that is expounded upon later in the story. At the time, Miura didn't have Casca in mind so their relationship was a non-factor, and he may not have had Guts' rape by Donovan in mind or the impact that would have on Guts, namely his aversion to intimacy and of physical or sexual contact (even in the same episode he reacts angrily when Puck makes to touch him in the prison cell, although this could just as easily be attributed to his distrust of others after being betrayed by Griffith and losing his friends).
I see your points about Miura not having every aspect of Guts' life planned out, but I still don't think that should be enough to invalidate the scene. After all, it's still part of the story, and it represents a different time of Berserk and Guts as a character; even if the contrast with his current self is not perfect on the details, I think saying that it flies in the face of his later characterization is a bit far-stretched.

As a sidenote, it sounds kind of odd to me in the first place, the more I think about it, for fans to deem a certain part of the story unfitting and exclude it, without the author himself specifically saying that he doesn't consider it to be representative anymore, or that he himself would exclude it.

Archer1215 said:
For that reason alone I think it is a fine decision for it to be cut from the adaptation. As it stands, its only purpose in the story to begin with is to shock the reader right off the bat and hook them into the story. It doesn't bother me too much in the manga since it's only a few pages in the beginning, but I don't think it is anything necessary to the story that would make an adaptation worse for excluding it.
The people behind the motion comic can do whatever they choose with their project, but in my opinion, another worthy reason, if not the only one that matters for why it should have been included, is to preserve integrity and authenticity. Compared to that, the main reason why you think it's better left out is because of possible inconsistencies in Guts' characterization and development (which are more or less inevitable hurdles in storytelling). I'll leave it up to each person to decide which one is more important.

That being said, I don't want to exaggerate the gravity of this. Now I see there is context behind the decision, so I understand their reasoning better. However far they plan to go with this it would be good if nothing else got cut out for similar reasons, because cut content is precisely one of the things that hurt the anime adaptations, which they are seemingly trying to compensate for with this project.
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
Bleac said:
I see your points about Miura not having every aspect of Guts' life planned out, but I still don't think that should be enough to invalidate the scene. After all, it's still part of the story, and it represents a different time of Berserk and Guts as a character; even if the contrast with his current self is not perfect on the details, I think saying that it flies in the face of his later characterization is a bit far-stretched.
It's worth reminding people that Miura deemed that scene relevant enough that he included a callback to it during the Eclipse, where the same apostle kills Carcus.

Bleac said:
As a sidenote, it sounds kind of odd to me in the first place, the more I think about it, for fans to deem a certain part of the story unfitting and exclude it, without the author himself specifically saying that he doesn't consider it to be representative anymore, or that he himself would exclude it.
Yeah the gall of people who think they can decide what's fitting or not never ceases to amaze me, especially when those same folks usually don't have the most solid understanding of the story to begin with. This isn't far from the people saying the manga should start with the Golden Age arc, which is one of the worst takes ever on Berserk.
 
Archer1215 said:
That scene wasn't cut because of it containing sensitive material. It was cut because it was deemed to be out of character for Guts and to not add much to the story anyway. They don't intend to censor any and all sensitive material in the story.
There's more to it than that. It's not like they were just trying to make a statement about the scene being out of character. The painted artwork on those pages are harder to cut apart, redraw, and animate than other pages normally are. There was doubt that they could do the scene without it looking/sounding silly, and it was going to be the scene that leaves the first impression for the entire motion comic so they couldn't really half ass it. It was ultimately going to take a lot of work in a project that was already taking some two years to come together, so skipping it made sense. The fact that some of the people working on it didn't like the scene anyway or thought it wasn't very important just made it that much easier to skip over.

For what it's worth, I like how they handled it. This scene gets argued about on /r/berserk and Discord all the time. I can't even begin to tell you how often I see people complaining about it giving a bad first impression or asking why Guts would do ever have sex with an apostle after what they've done to him, and blahh blahh blahh. The scene is divisive enough on its own without having some kids voice act over it while Guts is wiggling. The compromise they made was to allude to its existence without showing it in full. That would be acceptable to me in a full fledged anime with a studio and a budget, so I definitely don't mind that this unpaid fan adaptation did it.

Bleac said:
First of all, it would be good if they didn't cut out too many parts. I can understand that the first couple panels of the story are not exactly enchanting, but it's integral to keep everything if the purpose is to recreate an authentic experience,
That wasn't the intention. The intention was originally just to do voice acting over the manga pages. As they worked on it, they realized it would be boring unless they did more to it, and so they decided to start making it into a motion comic and the project grew. From there they had to make a lot of decisions about how they would proceed. None of the people who worked on episode 1 are professionals at all -- some aren't even in college yet. They were doing their best to figure out how to even make this thing happen at all, so being 100% authentic to the manga wasn't their biggest concern.

That scene aside, I like how this thing turned out. I was really impressed with how much work they did, especially considering the background of the project. A lot of love and care went into this and it was fun to watch. Future episodes are going to be increasing in production quality too, so I'm excited to see where this goes.
 
volatilecurry said:
There's more to it than that. It's not like they were just trying to make a statement about the scene being out of character. The painted artwork on those pages are harder to cut apart, redraw, and animate than other pages normally are. There was doubt that they could do the scene without it looking/sounding silly, and it was going to be the scene that leaves the first impression for the entire motion comic so they couldn't really half ass it. It was ultimately going to take a lot of work in a project that was already taking some two years to come together, so skipping it made sense. The fact that some of the people working on it didn't like the scene anyway or thought it wasn't very important just made it that much easier to skip over.
Ah, I wasn't aware that there were practical reasons on top of that and I didn't mean to imply that they were trying to make some sort of statement by cutting the scene. All good reasons for opting to cut it.

volatilecurry said:
For what it's worth, I like how they handled it. This scene gets argued about on /r/berserk and Discord all the time. I can't even begin to tell you how often I see people complaining about it giving a bad first impression or asking why Guts would do ever have sex with an apostle after what they've done to him, and blahh blahh blahh. The scene is divisive enough on its own without having some kids voice act over it while Guts is wiggling. The compromise they made was to allude to its existence without showing it in full. That would be acceptable to me in a full fledged anime with a studio and a budget, so I definitely don't mind that this unpaid fan adaptation did it.

That wasn't the intention. The intention was originally just to do voice acting over the manga pages. As they worked on it, they realized it would be boring unless they did more to it, and so they decided to start making it into a motion comic and the project grew. From there they had to make a lot of decisions about how they would proceed. None of the people who worked on episode 1 are professionals at all -- some aren't even in college yet. They were doing their best to figure out how to even make this thing happen at all, so being 100% authentic to the manga wasn't their biggest concern.

That scene aside, I like how this thing turned out. I was really impressed with how much work they did, especially considering the background of the project. A lot of love and care went into this and it was fun to watch. Future episodes are going to be increasing in production quality too, so I'm excited to see where this goes.
I agree completely. Studio Taka put a lot of hard work into this and they deserve all of the praise and attention their project is getting. Which is why it baffles me that the omission of a single scene is getting so much attention rather than the amount of care and hard work that have gone into the finished product. At the end of the day, these are good fans that love the story just as much as anyone else working on something for the rest of the community. And they're only going to get better as time goes on.
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
Archer1215 said:
it baffles me that the omission of a single scene is getting so much attention rather than the amount of care and hard work that have gone into the finished product.
Maybe it's because you're spouting garbage like this to justify the cuts they made for --perhaps -- other reasons:

Archer1215 said:
It was cut because it was deemed to be out of character for Guts and to not add much to the story anyway.
Cutting a scene? I don't particularly care. Didn't bother me when I saw it. Seemed like a stylistic choice for brevity. But trying to make an argument that you are better suited than Miura to decide what should or should not be in the story is quite another thing.

As for the project itself, it's certainly better than I thought it would be for a fan-submitted dubbing (Cobra apostle was over the top though...). And the layering effect of the animation often draws your eyes to environmental details that would normally go unnoticed due to the static lens of a manga panel, so that's neat. That being said, speaking as a weird guy who doesn't really see the value in most adaptations, I don't think it necessarily adds much to the experience of Berserk, and given that it's a very involved piece of fan work that would be insane to accomplish in full, I wonder if it would make more sense to ditch the sequential order of things and jump around to some of the other really memorable scenes throughout the series. It'd be a shame to see such a concerted effort be focused on order for order's sake, and not capitalize on the momentum that's clearly here with the people involved.
 
It's not as they entirely redacted the scene- they included a page which implied its presence, as Curry mentioned, and considering the fact that the vast majority of the people who will watch this are already Berserk fans I don't think much, if anything, is lost.

In any case, I was very impressed with the attention to detail, and the effort put into the opening and closing. Black Swordsman has always been one of the funniest parts of Berserk for me so I'm glad I was able to get a kick out of this as well.
 
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