Episode 359

There's a symbol on the sword Casca uses that caught my eye:



Now where have I seen that before...?

Now, I'm not going try and convince anyone that Gaiseric and/or his people were vikings. Nevertheless, the symbol isn't just a throwaway detail. We've seen it numerous times, and a mutated version of it is on the walls of Falconia as well. What's the significance of it? I think it simply dates the weapon from "that time."


Some quick reflections on the episode itself, I'm loving the Isidro/Casca dynamic. I think it was Aaz who said it on a podcast in the past, but Isidro truly can learn more from Casca than from Guts. Also the idea of Casca training a kid who aspires to be like Guts is a pretty cute image.

Speaking of images... the full-page horror show one of Guts and the apostles, I'm having a tough time with it. I can't really rationalize it very well in a way that's suitable for me. Obviously, Casca can talk to Guts, but his body is a living reminder of that hellish moment, so seeing his body is what triggers the memories of the Eclipse. But it's not just that. She has fused the two things in her mind. He's something that terrifies her. And I'm certain we're going to dig deeper into that association as we progress through her coping with the trauma, but to be honest it's already rougher than I expected it would be. After all Guts has done, first to be thought of as a dog on a futile quest, and then to be lumped in with those fuckers, come on... give this man a fucking break!

I don't think it's that she has Guts confused for being an apostle in the back of her mind. I just think that the last conscious image that she saw of Guts was jarring; in fact the mere mention of anyone associated with the eclipse is enough to trigger at least a minor episode like Judeau . We saw in her dream that she understands that Guts has been protecting her fiercely and we saw that she is aware of all that has happened since the Eclipse consciously, but it seems to me part of her mind is still in denial about what happened so subconsciously she rejects anything or anyone associated with the Eclipse.



What would "normal" be for Femto? And why would she feel any obligation to do anything for him at this point?


You've got no basis to be sure of such a thing. And Zodd hasn't been seen around the boy since Vol 28. The boy hasn't needed him as transportation since then.

Yes, another thing we've talked a lot about since April when it became clear that the boy was headed to meet his parents again. I don't think we need to guess how Guts and Casca would feel. The question for me is really how far SK would go in such a scenario, or if he would even recognize it as a dilemma. After all, Flora wondered about her old friend's remaining humanity after all this time. Now, realistically, is he going to skewer the kid? Of course not. There are bigger possibilities for the child than to become moonlight-infused shish kebab. But if SK actually approaches the child with murderous intent, and Guts has to cross swords with him, it'd inevitably change their relationship a bit, I think. Or at the very least, lead to a VERY cool moment for readers o==||===> .


The group is not all together or happy.
I don't know where Miura is going with the Gaiseric lore at all; I've heard that the timing is off for SK and Void to have anything to do with the First Eclipse and Gaiseric but I'm just not sure. What I will say is SK reminds readers of Gaiseric and SK reminds Puck of a fairy. SK is on Elfhelm and so are some old vikings that may or may not have some relevance to Gaiseric. Femto/Griffith/Moon Boy will be on the island soon as well and so all of these pieces might come together very soon.

The Godhand have displayed a kind of omniscience on several occasions for one. Secondly, the Child and Griffith are both aware of each other's presence. The child has apparently been able to command Zodd and interfere with Griffith (though only once on the Hill of Swords).

I'm not sure that SK won't legitimately try to skewer the kid and I'm not sure that he won't eventually succeed. I do think it's unlikely, but his advice was to kill the child to begin with and he also said it would bring woe upon them both. I have a sneaking suspicion that neither SK nor the Child have good motivations for their seemingly good actions.

And the group is altogether and the relative mood since they've all come together has been hopeful; . We've had seeds of jealousy and animosity but none have really borne fruit yet so I think a much darker time is due. Relative to the overall tone of the series both our group of protagonists and antagonists have been too comfortable.



Side note: I apologize for any overlap in previous conversations, but I thought I should put where my thinking is for those points.
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
I've heard that the timing is off for SK and Void to have anything to do with the First Eclipse and Gaiseric but I'm just not sure.
Let's not go into that now (we've addressed it a gazillion times in various threads). All you need to know is that we don't have enough solid information at the moment to prove any theory. That's never mattered very much in the past, and it matters even less now given that we might learn about it from a first hand account very soon.

I'm not sure that SK won't legitimately try to skewer the kid and I'm not sure that he won't eventually succeed.
He will absolutely not kill the boy, there's no chance of that happening. As for even trying, I don't know. I speculated for fun when episode 358 came out that he might try but would be stopped by Guts, providing the occasion for a delightful skirmish between the two. Just imagine: as SK approaches and unsheathes his sword menacingly, he suddenly lifts his shield to block a huge side blow that pushes him backwards... Guts has appeared, and he bars the way. Awesome, right? But not the likeliest scenario. I guess my point is there's really a myriad possibilities for how the next 10 episodes will go.

Here's another one: SK could just tell Guts about what happened on top of Ganishka and what Griffith is doing to the world. Says "there's one more thing... your child... he was fused with his body. The boy that visits you might be the chance to strike. But will you be able to make that choice?" Then Guts somberly goes to do the deed with clenched teeth, but finds Casca and the boy together. And even though he wants to, or maybe even tries to, he can't bring himself to do it. Cherry on top: the boy is able to show Guts in a certain light to Casca, in a way that makes her be able to stand to see him. Like he could help Guts see through the armor's veil, maybe he can in some way help her see through her trauma. Maybe they then can communicate with the boy. Danan could help. Either way, they resolve to find a way to save their son... and the world.

This is also just one possibility amongst a ton more. It's not at all guaranteed that there will be an attempt on the boy's life. The Skull Knight might instead very well say "It is fortuitous that your son's life did not cease at that time. Causality works in mysterious ways. [shot of the egg apostle] The boy now provides the only hope for the survival of mankind. But it might prove impossible to save the world and to also save him. You must be prepared for that eventuality." Putting all that aside, Keep in mind that the kid is coming to help his mom, like he always has since he was born. Only this time, she'll be herself. In and of itself, this will be an extremely powerful moment.

I have a sneaking suspicion that neither SK nor the Child have good motivations for their seemingly good actions.
There's not really any doubt about their motivations... In his own words, the Skull Knight is the enemy of the God Hand. As for the boy, he loves his parents and wants to be with them. Pretty straightforward in both cases.
 
I don't know where Miura is going with the Gaiseric lore at all; I've heard that the timing is off for SK and Void to have anything to do with the First Eclipse and Gaiseric but I'm just not sure.
According to Miura's interviews, he did intend for the God Hand incarnation period to be a millennia long, so it's likely a common mistake on his part.
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
According to Miura's interviews, he did intend for the God Hand incarnation period to be a millennia long, so it's likely a common mistake on his part.
This doesn't ring any bells for me, would you mind pasting the actual text instead of paraphrasing? It also doesn't make any sense, in relation to what you replied to. What's the mistake...? He's never commented on the overall age of the God Hand as a group, so I'm curious what you mean.
 
Here's another one: SK could just tell Guts about what happened on top of Ganishka and what Griffith is doing to the world. Says "there's one more thing... your child... he was fused with his body. The boy that visits you might be the chance to strike. But will you be able to make that choice?" Then Guts somberly goes to do the deed with clenched teeth, but finds Casca and the boy together. And even though he wants to, or maybe even tries to, he can't bring himself to do it. Cherry on top: the boy is able to show Guts in a certain light to Casca, in a way that makes her be able to stand to see him. Like he could help Guts see through the armor's veil, maybe he can in some way help her see through her trauma. Maybe they then can communicate with the boy. Danan could help. Either way, they resolve to find a way to save their son... and the world.

This is also just one possibility amongst a ton more. It's not at all guaranteed that there will be an attempt on the boy's life. The Skull Knight might instead very well say "It is fortuitous that your son's life did not cease at that time. Causality works in mysterious ways. [shot of the egg apostle] The boy now provides the only hope for the survival of mankind. But it might prove impossible to save the world and to also save him. You must be prepared for that eventuality." Putting all that aside, Keep in mind that the kid is coming to help his mom, like he always has since he was born. Only this time, she'll be herself. In and of itself, this will be an extremely powerful moment.
God Dammit Aazealh. I hope you are right. That would add so much depth and conflict to the situation. Making the child more than just a symbol but a literal object of healing between them. And the opportunity to go into the meeting both self conscious of who and what he is. Much more drama than one expects with a fantasy adventure comic, but that's what's always made Berserk special.

Probably gonna be some of the most exciting parts of the series runs for the next couple years.
 
This is also just one possibility amongst a ton more. It's not at all guaranteed that there will be an attempt on the boy's life. The Skull Knight might instead very well say "It is fortuitous that your son's life did not cease at that time. Causality works in mysterious ways. [shot of the egg apostle] The boy now provides the only hope for the survival of mankind. But it might prove impossible to save the world and to also save him. You must be prepared for that eventuality." Putting all that aside, Keep in mind that the kid is coming to help his mom, like he always has since he was born. Only this time, she'll be herself. In and of itself, this will be an extremely powerful moment.
Hahaha You're so funny! You speak exactly as SK would say.
 
It's no problem. I don't know if I find them all that similar to be honest. They both have about the same dimensions I guess, but Skull Knight's sword has got the whole thorn theme going for it, and it's overall a much more extreme and unique fantasy design.



Well, going back to what I said about the blade geometry, real life viking swords were pretty hefty choppers, so if you applied the same laws of physics for Casca's sword blade I guess it's less nimbler than her old one, that's for sure. The length is on the short side of a longsword I would say, basically a bastard sword. It should be possible to use effectively with both two hands and one hand, but maybe not for Casca. This was only her first display of sowrdsmanship since recovering though, and the sword might take a little getting used to. There are still fight scenes ahead I would expect, so we'll eventually get to see more ways in which she uses it hopefully. (if she gets to keep it)

Not sure where you're going with the Skull Knight interventions, maybe you could clarify a bit more. Are you suggesting that because it seems like it would fit his stature and build perfectly there is a chance it was Gaiseric's sword at some point, or am I missing something?



I guess so. They both have real-life Viking sword inspired features, but in the context of the story they are pretty different. I will give it up.
I 've been intrigued by the sword my self because the moment I saw it one sword came to my mind, The Ulfberht sword, a mix between Viking swords and the traditional European Arming Sword. The parts that really have as guessing is the curved crossguard and the crescent like pommel. But check the Ulfberht swords and you will see the similarities.
 
I'm loving the Isidro/Casca dynamic. I think it was Aaz who said it on a podcast in the past, but Isidro truly can learn more from Casca than from Guts. Also the idea of Casca training a kid who aspires to be like Guts is a pretty cute image.

Oh yeah, and there's a symbol on the sword Casca uses that caught my eye:



Now where have I seen that before...? I'm not going try and convince anyone that Gaiseric and/or his people were vikings. Nevertheless, the symbol isn't just a throwaway detail. We've seen it numerous times, and a mutated version of it is on the walls of Falconia as well. What's the significance of it? I think it simply dates the weapon from "that time."
Good catch! I noticed a few things about the blade and the guard.

The blade with it's deep, wide fuller is very clearly Viking inspired though other Europeans used similar blades too during this period. Also worth noting is Gut's Raider sword had a very similar geometry (though massively scaled up).

The guard could be inspired by the Apa type bronze age sword. We do see a few depictions of this style sword during the Golden Age though I'm too lazy to search for examples right now. I'm pretty sure the thick studded guard of the Raider Sword was also inspired by this too though clearly it takes different design elements.

So yeah Casca's sword probably IS a Viking weapon and although it is very different to the Raider Sword I think it draws inspiration from the same place which I don't think is a coincidence. Presumably Miura is making a further connection between Guts and Casca while also drawing on Golden age nostalgia.
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
So yeah Casca's sword probably IS a Viking weapon and although it is very different to the Raider Sword I think it draws inspiration from the same place which I don't think is a coincidence. Presumably Miura is making a further connection between Guts and Casca while also drawing on Golden age nostalgia.
Far from me the idea of stifling speculation, especially from the numerous sword historians in this thread, but I'm pretty sure Miura mostly cared about designing a cool sword. It's true there are similarities between that sword and the ones Guts used during the Golden Age arc, but I don't think it's meant to establish a parallel or connection between the two characters. They don't really need it.
 
Far from me the idea of stifling speculation, especially from the numerous sword historians in this thread, but I'm pretty sure Miura mostly cared about designing a cool sword. It's true there are similarities between that sword and the ones Guts used during the Golden Age arc, but I don't think it's meant to establish a parallel or connection between the two characters. They don't really need it.
Sure having cool designs comes first but if I'm correct about his inspiration I can't imagine Miura would have missed the connection. I agree they don't NEED this parallel but it would still be a nice hidden detail.

After looking at Celtic sword designs though I'm now leaning more towards Victor's idea of the hilt being Celtic inspired.
 

Victor

"Don't forget your poison arrows"
I 've been intrigued by the sword my self because the moment I saw it one sword came to my mind, The Ulfberht sword, a mix between Viking swords and the traditional European Arming Sword. The parts that really have as guessing is the curved crossguard and the crescent like pommel. But check the Ulfberht swords and you will see the similarities.
Honestly, I don't see that many similarities. Ulfberht swords had a pretty standard contruction, the majority didn't have curvature in either guard nor pommel from what examples I've seen. There are many possible sources Miura could have taken the upswept pommel design from, most of them dating way before the Middle Ages, so I don't think any particular Ulfberht was necessarily it.

So yeah Casca's sword probably IS a Viking weapon and although it is very different to the Raider Sword I think it draws inspiration from the same place which I don't think is a coincidence. Presumably Miura is making a further connection between Guts and Casca while also drawing on Golden age nostalgia.
We've already come to more or less of a conclusion that Viking weapons as presented in the latest episode don't necessarily follow the exact same characteristics as real life ones. The design of the arms and armor used by those golems takes inspiration from more than one source, as Miura usually does. Based on that, I wouldn't clasify Casca's new sword as Viking (in the context of the story) purely because of the blade. All of the swords Guts used during the Golden Age arc and even some used by common soldiers throughout the series had the same kind of wide and deep fuller and I'm pretty sure none of them have any connection to the Vikings. I guess Miura is simply rather fond of that specific design, and as Aazealh said, his main goal is probably to make something that looks cool and interesting more than to keep it historically relevant. I also belive the connection idea is kind of forced, but be my guest.

EDIT: While we're on this topic again, here's a LARP sword I found while looking at reference images online a while ago. It looks oddly similar to the manga version.



We've probably talked enough about the sword in this thread, I can't help but notice it might've become a bit tiresome for some people. I don't think there's much else to be said until we have more information on it, so on this note, let's change gears to something else.
 
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The episode is a testament to how much care Miura puts into writing Berserk despite any complications he might have. I particularly liked the way he avoided reducing Casca to a love interest by negating the romance many fans were expecting. Maintaining the suspense of what happened at their first reunion, dropping hints with Guts' positioning just after a moment of respite with the group and then finally showing what the state of things is. Subverting expectations without any gimmicks. I'll just avoid overthinking about the details and hope the next one doesn't take as long!
 
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This doesn't ring any bells for me, would you mind pasting the actual text instead of paraphrasing? It also doesn't make any sense, in relation to what you replied to. What's the mistake...? He's never commented on the overall age of the God Hand as a group, so I'm curious what you mean.



I see. I have a few more questions on Berserk’s mysteries, now. What was the “216 years” thing for the Eclipse about?

Miura: Ah, that’s just when solar eclipses happen at the same place.

–Oh, so that’s what it means.

Miura: Yeah, and if you divide it by a thousand years you get exactly five people. Just happened to work out
What Miura hasn't factored in is that it only takes 800 years to create five beings, since the cycle starts at year zero not 216.
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
https://mangabrog.wordpress.com/2015/12/14/berserk-artist-kentaro-miura-interview-i-actually-dont-think-i-could-let-such-a-long-grim-story-end-with-a-grim-ending/

What Miura hasn't factored in is that it only takes 800 years to create five beings, since the cycle starts at year zero not 216.
There's a problem with this. You see, I actually own the magazine in which this interview was published. And surprisingly, it does not contain this part... Instead the interview ends with the previous question, about whether or not we'd see a happy ending.



I've also checked the other pages and I can't see it either. And my issue isn't missing pages. Now I don't know what's going on, whether this person added some parts for some reason or whether they used another, different source. What I can tell you is that I've checked and I can't find that part about the Eclipse. I don't want to throw accusations lightly, but I wouldn't consider that website to be reliable if I were you.

EDIT: @il capitano, who translated that interview, has privately reached out to me and explained that he based it on a book that collects some of Yukari Fujimoto's most prestigious interviews. It contains longer versions of said interviews and was published at a later date, which explains the discrepancy.
 
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I am so giddy over this episode, the build up to this point is astonishing.

There's a really nice video on YouTube that raises some interesting questions and ideas about this episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F794zCZLi-c

I thought I would mention the video because I didn't want to claim one of the ideas in it that I thought was interesting as my own, and that is the possibility of Casca's persona as "Elaine" resurfacing occasionally in a not-so-dissimilar fashion as the Beast of Darkness does for Guts.
 
I mean... Casca is Guts' love interest, and there is going to be romance. But anyone who expected either of those to manifest in the first few eps was deluding themselves.
Sorry, worded that poorly. I was just thinking of how the long wait for her recovery has made it easier for some less attentive fans to reduce her character to just that, but now we're seeing irrefutable proof that the situation is more complex. I know it sounds strange but.. you'd be surprised at how off-base some comments are in spanish speaking groups where most people have read translations that are even worse than those old infamous scanlations. Trust me you don't wanna know the details :ganishka:.
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
Sorry, worded that poorly. I was just thinking of how the long wait for her recovery has made it easier for some less attentive fans to reduce her character to just that, but now we're seeing irrefutable proof that the situation is more complex. I know it sounds strange but.. you'd be surprised at how off-base some comments are in spanish speaking groups where most people have read translations that are even worse than those old infamous scanlations. Trust me you don't wanna know the details :ganishka:.
I think I know what you mean, and it's not just Spanish "fans". There's a non-trivial amount of readers online who have really nonsensical, even delusional takes on the story, characters and so on. So I get why you'd be glad that their dumb misconceptions would get pulverized.
 

jackson_hurley

even the horses are cut in half!
I think I know what you mean, and it's not just Spanish "fans". There's a non-trivial amount of readers online who have really nonsensical, even delusional takes on the story, characters and so on. So I get why you'd be glad that their dumb misconceptions would get pulverized.
The Facebook page has some of the best worst commentary.

Back on topic, I'm really glad to have seen some Casca/Isidro sparring. It was close enough to what I wished to see. Btw great podcast once again. I only have a few minutes left to listen to though, but it was really enjoyable as always!
 
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Just to add my two cents to the design of the sword, it's definitely supposed to evoke a celtic design, but kinda hybridized with a longsword to look more elegant, and to fit what we've seen of Casca's fighting style. As is common in fantasy, she fights with a single sword and no shield. If she isn't going to have a shield (which is fair enough, you gotta show off her gymnastic, dance-like style), ya might as well give her a handle that can accomodate two hands, so she can do all those cool-looking two-handed moves.

The little cirlce-in-crescent design that Walter pointed out seems like an elaborate, engraved version of a common Celtic motif seen on the Battersea Shield, and other Celtic art. It makes sense, given Elfhelm's Celtic aesthetic (no big news there - it's called Skellig after all). Beyond demonstrating Miura's dedication to research and visual detail, I don't think there's anything else that can be read into it.

As for the actual content of the episode, I absolutely loved it. I'm so excited to see how Casca evolves through her trauma now that she's finally a character with genuine agency, capable of genuine growth. I also really like what Farnese did. Danan essentially takes the stance of "let her deal with it on her own," but Farnese ignored her, and decided to give Casca a little nudge. Even if she was partly driven by guilt, it shows that Farnese has a lot more confidence in herself as a caregiver now. Danan may be the mystical ruler of elves, but she doesn't know Casca. Plus, by telling her that Guts was hiding behind the tree, Farnese gave Casca more agency in how to approach her trauma, where Danan's hands-off approach actually would have given her less. I really dig that. Farny rules.
 
After listening to you guys, i don't really feel better about Guts but i found very interesting that after years of expectations, Casca's reaction stripped away the ''coolness'',''badass'' statut of the Black swordman persona and we can only see it for what it really is. I almost feel like the same way as when Femto was incarnated as a new Griffith.
 
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Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
Casca's reaction stripped away the ''coolness'',''badass'' statut of the Black swordman persona and we can only see it for what it really is.
Yeah, or at least it's a reminder to us (and him) that it's not quite normal. I think much like with his artificial arm after he sunk in the sea when saving Casca, this will give him an occasion to reflect on what he's done and what he's become. It makes sense too, because mentally he's in a very different place now than he was after the Eclipse, at the beginning of volume 1.

And to reiterate some of my earlier points, I think it's by seeing him in a vulnerable position, as a mere man and not as the image he projects, that Casca will be able to go forward. I really want to see her save him or protect him as a nod to all he did for her in the past, and I want to see her turn the tables on her fears too.
 
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