Episode 358

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Nekra

Guest
I mean... it's not like he can't draw faces the same way he used to now that he is drawing digitally, this is just his new art style. And if I remember correctly he also talked about this change in a recent interview but I don't remember exactly what he said.
You mean the recent french interview? don't remember him talking about his artstyle there, but i'll check it out.
still really not a fan of everyone looking like kids, i don't understand the purpose of it.

Edit: skimmed the interview but couldn't find anything but him talking about chestnut puck.
 
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Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
You mean the recent french interview? don't remember him talking about his artstyle there, but i'll check it out.
still really not a fan of everyone looking like kids, i don't understand the purpose of it.
As you were just told, it's simply his current art style. It evolves over time. It's not a matter of using digital tools or not. Furthermore, style varies a little panel by panel, as it always has. Lastly, it's mostly Griffith's face that is rounder than it has been in the past. Foss or the other ministers don't "look like kids" to me.
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
Reddit is the worst.
We could spend an eternity commenting on every stupid or misinformed opinion out there, but I don't think it's a very good use of anyone's time. I'd prefer to hear what people think of the story developments that took place in this episode, where they think things might go in the future, and so on.
 
This is one of my favorite episodes of this arc. I love the political talk and the end is great. The art is better than ever and i can't wait for the next episode. It is great to see gaiseric again :badbone:,
 
N

Nekra

Guest
Foss or the other ministers don't "look like kids" to me.
absolutely true, in many ways his art style is the best it has ever been especially on the ministers.
i think the childlike features are very fitting on Griffith as he is turning into the moon child.
 
Man since digital everyone looks so young with the big eyes and everything, all the faces look more round and childlike too. not a big fan of it.
I thought it looked a bit better in this episode than the Casca awakening one, but still, i hope it's just a phase while miura gets used to digital
The art style in this episode doesn’t look much different than it did the last time the we saw Falconia. There’s one panel I think Griffith face looks a little goofy but otherwise it looks much better than the initial change in medium.
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
One of the biggest dilemmas for readers in this episode is how grand and benevolent Griffith's plans seem. How are readers to synthesize all this NON-evil stuff coming from the demon lord?

It didn't even strike me until our discussion on the podcast, but Griffith deftly seizes on Charlotte's kind gesture to establish an orphanage, and turns that one project into how they can effectively institutionalize his reign for the next generation. All of which of course is done under the guise of education and mending the infrastructural cracks that have already formed, but in the end, the state will have ownership of the lives of the children, from their belief system to their careers — all in a very imperialistic culture, and all authored by one mysteriously endowed angel-man.

Even as readers who are privy to a near-omniscient world perspective, it's very easy to empathize with the sheep and be swept off your feet when you look at what Griffith is doing, seeing every step as a positive movement for the citizenry. They'll have a method for upward mobility previously undreamed of in the previous regime, they'll have better education, a greater and more robust economy. But all of these steps merely bind them more closely to Griffith's will through the promise of prosperity. Along the way, he's developing a magnificent fighting force, powered by the will of the people, but he will always be the hand that guides that weapon, and in the future they'll be inescapably tied to him.

Because of course, all of these steps were only possible through Griffith. Even setting aside the creation of a Falcon Capital City, he's sustained their military force with the apostles (who obey only him), he's authored the plans for how the economy and education will progress in this new era, and as a miracle-worker himself, he's the bulwark against the chaotic co-mingling of cultural and religious perspectives living side-by-side in the capital. I feel like we're already several steps removed from the humans living in Falconia to even give a fuck if they were ever to learn the truth about their Führer's power. They cast their lot before the battle with Ganishka, and while it's hard to blame them given the circumstances, Silat and crew knew better.

So where does this cult of personality lead in the distant future when their great leader, the hero of the age, meets his end? I don't know, but I'm finding it harder and harder to believe that simply seeing him as Femto would disturb their loyalties.
 
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Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
One of the biggest dilemmas for readers in this episode is how grand and benevolent Griffith's plans seem. How are readers to synthesize all this NON-evil stuff coming from the demon lord?
Yeah, like I said on the podcast, while Griffith is convincing the ministers that a more modern society will allow Falconia to prosper, I feel like Miura's also trying to pull a fast one on the readers by presenting them a vision that seems very progressive at first glance. But quite a few people have commented about how fascistic it sounds in this thread, so I guess it's not working all that well. :guts:

Still, Griffith's (and his kindred's) ultimate goal is the biggest mystery left to solve in Berserk right now. We know they're up to no good, but in what way? I'm preparing a post where I speculate about Griffith's plans, I'll try to find time to write it by the end of the week.

So where does this cult of personality lead in the distant future when their great leader, the hero of the age, meets his end? I don't know, but I'm finding it harder and harder to believe that simply seeing him as Femto would disturb their loyalties.
Haha, that's looking really quite far ahead! Will a large amount of people stay "blind sheep" to the end? Probably, yeah. That being said, I don't think it's going to be a perfect society with no dissent. We've yet to see the ugly side of it (i.e. where people are fed to apostles) but it's coming sooner or later. Although I guess we did see what happens when you slap Griffith. Anyway, when Falconia was established, we very quickly speculated that eventually a resistance of sorts would emerge, formed by people who've seen the truth (Luka and her girls among them). I still think that will happen.
 
Yeah, like I said on the podcast, while Griffith is convincing the ministers that a more modern society will allow Falconia to prosper, I feel like Miura's also trying to pull a fast one on the readers by presenting them a vision that seems very progressive at first glance. But quite a few people have commented about how fascistic it sounds in this thread, so I guess it's not working all that well. :guts:
Heh, plenty of readers in other parts of the web are falling for it. I have to admit, it is amusing to see who's willing to throw their lot in with Griffith due to all the apparent good he's accomplishing while conveniently ignoring, forgetting, or outright rationalizing every despicable atrocity he committed to reach this point. "Blind white sheep" just might apply to the readers as much as it does to the characters.
 
Minister Foss is going to find out about everything Griffith did and respond with "Griffith did nothing wrong." :troll:

I was thinking back to what Guts said when he was asked what Griffith's goal was and Guts said it was to soar higher and higher, I wonder if the whole purpose of Fantasia is to give Griffith a world to conquer. He has his kingdom, now he has to strive for a new goal beyond that. Midland isn't enough. A constant process of war and political maneuvering until he has it all. He's a creature of pure ambition, now without any kind of human limits that would have stopped Griffith.

Also, the nobles mentioning that the world outside of Midland is in chaos and also that war would help pay for all of the programs that Griffith proposed, universal public education is actually a justification for never ending war. :carcus:
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
I was thinking back to what Guts said when he was asked what Griffith's goal was and Guts said it was to soar higher and higher, I wonder if the whole purpose of Fantasia is to give Griffith a world to conquer.
That's not the whole purpose of it, no. It does fulfill Griffith's desire, but conquering the world is presumably just part of the plan. I'm surprised by how often people seem to forget Griffith is part of a quintet. He's the vanguard of the group, and therefore the most visible, but it's not all about him. They're all part of a bigger design, orchestrated by a higher player.
 
I wonder though, how much of Griffith's decision to support Charlotte's desire for a state-run orphanage also stems from his own brutal childhood? Assuming he still has some semblance of conscience left, perhaps years of living as an orphan himself has instilled into Griffith some empathy for small children who have lost their parents. Yeah he wants to turn those kids into his personal cannon fodder when they grow up and his push for an orphanage is far from an act of altruism. And yet I still think a small part of him can't bear the thought of leaving all these kids out in the streets.
 

BiQ_

" ... "
I'm on the fence of starting to actually wonder whether Griffith actually has no sinister endgames aside for wanting to be the "ultimate, revered king-emperor-savior-jesus loved and worshipped from one coast to another", which in itself is somewhat creepy, and his methodology may be straight outta fascist dictator playbooks, but maybe he isn't the one making plans for empire-wide sacrifices in the end? Maybe he is that ignorant of being a cog in grander evil schemes?
 
maybe he isn't the one making plans for empire-wide sacrifices in the end? Maybe he is that ignorant of being a cog in grander evil schemes?
Griffith has already demonstrated that he doesn't have much empathy left in him, save when the former Demon Child now Moonlight Boy (or however that transition has actually worked) takes over. If the plan is empire-wide sacrifice, it would be super confusing to me for him to not be an active collaborator, though I would accept some last minute intervention from the Moonlight Boy in complicating how well he gets to play out evil intentions. That said, just doing "the Eclipse but bigger" doesn't feel like a very impressive direction for the story to go. I like the idea of the Godhand's plan being one that adds (even) more moral grayness to the Guts revenge or protect narrative, as in if the human world largely becomes fine with what's going on Brave New World style and Guts has to break everything wide open and make humans struggle again to fulfill his moral vision and destroy Griffith and the Godhand. I also like the other direction (not necessarily mutually exclusive) that the folks on the Skullcast were talking about this week, where the plan doesn't have anything immediately to do with intentionally destroying further human life but perhaps instead has to do with coming down on astral creatures, which feels like a more natural as well as developed direction for the story to go in since we've come to know more about them gradually since after Conviction and especially with the Fantasia Arc and the arrival in Elfhelm.
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
I wonder though, how much of Griffith's decision to support Charlotte's desire for a state-run orphanage also stems from his own brutal childhood? Assuming he still has some semblance of conscience left [...] I still think a small part of him can't bear the thought of leaving all these kids out in the streets.
Haha, it's cute of you to wonder but no, Griffith is just playing a role here. In fact, Griffith isn't his real name anymore. It's Femto. :femto:

I'm on the fence of starting to actually wonder whether Griffith actually has no sinister endgames aside for wanting to be the "ultimate, revered king-emperor-savior-jesus loved and worshipped from one coast to another", which in itself is somewhat creepy, and his methodology may be straight outta fascist dictator playbooks, but maybe he isn't the one making plans for empire-wide sacrifices in the end? Maybe he is that ignorant of being a cog in grander evil schemes?
You're almost there but not quite. Griffith's personal goal, as far as we know it, is conquest. It's like Guts tells the gurus in Elfhelm: "To win a country is just a step on the way. Setting a high goal, then soaring higher and higher and surpassing the goal. That is what the Falcon is. What Griffith is." So even if he conquered the whole continent, it's likely the rest of the planet would follow. Beyond that, there is definitely a bigger scheme, and Femto is indeed not its instigator. So he's a cog, a really big one, but also a fully conscious and willing one. Femto is part of a group, the God Hand, that serves a master. They serve it through furthering their own ambitions, but their goals are set in such a way that they achieve its designs. Femto is not at all ignorant of the part he plays. Lastly, I don't think the endgoal is "an empire-wide sacrifice". I imagine it more being about absolute control over mankind.
 
Femto is part of a group, the God Hand, that serves a master. They serve it through furthering their own ambitions, but their goals are set in such a way that they achieve its designs.
This is what I grew more and more curious about: the goals of the other members of the god hand and the goals of their master. I was re-reading a couple of parts these days, namely the eclipse, the visit at Floras mansion, the aftermath of the whole Ganishka/Femto/Skullknight incident and the conversation with the three elders in Elfhelm.

From the eclipse:
- The master of the God Hand is "the god made by men" (too bad the IoEs conversation with Griffith isn't canon at this point)
- Void proclaims that now, that Femto is born, the "flow" has begun and that the upcoming age would be known as "age of darkness"

From Flora we learned:
- The world is "deep", consisting of at least three realms, which themselves are contain multiple layers of depth, strata
- In the shallow startas of the astral realm we can find the spirits of dead people, as well as creatures of legend
- In more deep strata we can find giant astral bodies and beings like angels, demons and gods
- The God Hand live in a particularly deep strata where apparently not even mages can go using their astral bodies
- Their god is implied to be even deeper still

When Ganishka opened up:
- Spirits, Fairies, Trolls, Dragons etc. showed up next to Humans
- Beings like the four elemental kings (or any beings one could describe as angels, gods or demons) where not shown at all
- The God Hand where shown, but in bizzare surroundings, specifically -not- next to humans

From the Elders at Elfhelm we learned:
- The world spiral tree is a dragon’s road that connects all the layers of every realm
- The spirit woods used to siphon its power to the point where the world where (almost) completely separated
- This was not always the case, and they call this time the "chaos of ancient times"
- Femto has burned down most of the spirit Woods (like when they attacked Floras mansion), thus returning the tree to its full power and merging the layers together

From all this and this recent episode, my guess is that the merging of the worlds is not yet complete. There are still some Spirit Woods left, preventing the deepest of layers to merge into the corporeal world (maybe Elfhelm itself is among the last such Woods?). By conquering the world, Femto has the chance to reach these possibly very remote remaining Woods and burn them down as well, thus further merging the layers and finally enabling the other God Hand members to leave their individual stratas to pursue their own goals. If thought through, this could eventually lead to a complete merge, where the God created by man and the abyssal depths of the realm of Idea itself intertwine with the realm of humans (again, maybe after Elfhelm falls?).

Now about the individual goals of the God Hand:
We know little, but:
- It is implied that Void has a history with Gaiseric and Void is the one who proclaimed the age of darkness
- Conrad has been seen spreading disease
- Slan is all about pursuing primal instincts
- Ubik... I have absolutely no idea.

Let's imagine what would happen if they were able to do their thing like Femto does his thing. Maybe Slann would be among the first to go around and cause all of the newly established order (that this episode set up) to crumble as she encourages people to give in to their primitive instincts (which, as this episode also points out, could threaten the new society).
If Conrad keeps doing what he did in the past, he might inflict the whole of humanity with illness and diseases. The term "age of darkness" suddenly becomes a much more appropriate description to the situation.
At this point I cannot imagine what Ubik and Void would do, there is simply nothing in the story so far (that I have noticed), that gives me a lead here.
I would speculate though that all of the God Hand would be needed to deal with the more powerful astral beings (like the Elemental Kings) that should emerge about the same time they do.

But if all actually does go to shit, what would Humanity do? I cannot help but call out to Episode 83: Humans desire reasons for their suffering. Their collective subconciousness created a God that provided these reasons and at this point, it looks like it has done a good job. Now this God may appear before their very eyes, but what then what does it want?
Does it simply want to be whorshipped directly, like any "ordinary" god?

Two more thoughts arising from all of this:
- to me it looks like the individual goals of the members of the God Hand could be at odds with one another: Femto constantly expanding his Reign over new territories (aiming for ever greater heights), Others trying to plunge society into chaos and death. Will there be tension among the five, or will this neatly create mutual benefits: Femto will always have some place to act like a hero, while the other will always have a society to corrupt.

- At which point in this setup are Guts and Casca (and the rest of our crew) going to interfere? Say they actually manage to Kill Femto / separate the Boy from the God Hand / Imprison him in Elfhelm or anything of that sorts. What is that going to achieve in the grand scheme of things?
 
That's not the whole purpose of it, no. It does fulfill Griffith's desire, but conquering the world is presumably just part of the plan. I'm surprised by how often people seem to forget Griffith is part of a quintet. He's the vanguard of the group, and therefore the most visible, but it's not all about him. They're all part of a bigger design, orchestrated by a higher player.
I mean, I have theories about this, but I think it's beyond the scope of an episode discussion thread.
 
I was wondering, if God, the source of evil, is an entity made of humanity's energy and desire of having a reason or explanation to all the horrors of their mortal lives... Could this sudden prosperity change enough minds/souls to start generating a new idea of what God is and, therefore, change the nature of God?

If the premise of God's existence in Berserk is the thoughts of human kind, could this entity change by those thoughts as well? Or is it immovable?

This is my first time commenting on the site, sorry if I mess up!
I'm very happy to have found this community, Berserk is my favorite manga. ❤ (also, English is not my main lenguage so my apologies if I sound a bit weird).
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
I was wondering, if God, the source of evil, is an entity made of humanity's energy and desire of having a reason or explanation to all the horrors of their mortal lives... Could this sudden prosperity change enough minds/souls to start generating a new idea of what God is and, therefore, change the nature of God? If the premise of God's existence in Berserk is the thoughts of human kind, could this entity change by those thoughts as well? Or is it immovable?
You're mistaken about the meaning of "Idea" in the name "Idea of Evil". I don't blame you because it's easily confusing, but it's actually a Greek word (not an English one!) Miura uses in reference to Plato's theory of the same name. The meaning of the word is meant to be "source/origin", as in "Source of Evil". Our understanding of how that being was created is mostly informed by a part of the story that isn't cannon anymore, so it's hard to be fully autoritative about it, but in short, no it wouldn't be enough for people to think good thoughts or be happy for it to change.

If you're interested, you can find the dialog between the Idea of Evil and Griffith (from episode 83, that was removed from the story) here.

Furthermore, our undestanding is that Griffith is currently executing a plan that was conceived by the Idea of Evil, so it would make no sense for that plan to be detrimental to it.

This is my first time commenting on the site, sorry if I mess up!
I'm very happy to have found this community, Berserk is my favorite manga. ❤ (also, English is not my main lenguage so my apologies if I sound a bit weird).
Welcome to our community, we're glad to have you with us!
 
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