SkullKast 111: Flying Monkey (Ep 363)

Oburi

All praise Grail
Haven't finished it yet but I'm glad the "show not tell" angle was brought up because that's what I was thinking with this episode. Not only is this a visual medium but it's something Miura is a master at. He never takes the easy way out. He always opts for the longer, more challenging, but also better satisfying and effective methods of doling out information.
 
Yay, the podcast! Thank you guys, as always!

I have to admit that the most striking point for me was the possibility of the Skull Knight eventually... leaving the story. I had never considered it before. I mean, sure, when we're at the climax and he's fighting Void maybe, but self-sacrificing earlier than that point so that Guts ends up the one having to carry the torch is quite an interesting (albeit sad) possibility.
 

Oburi

All praise Grail
Yay, the podcast! Thank you guys, as always!

I have to admit that the most striking point for me was the possibility of the Skull Knight eventually... leaving the story. I had never considered it before. I mean, sure, when we're at the climax and he's fighting Void maybe, but self-sacrificing earlier than that point so that Guts ends up the one having to carry the torch is quite an interesting (albeit sad) possibility.
Yea I don't know about that. It's a little too Obi Wan Kenobi-ish. I know Miura is a fan and all but that could be a little too on the nose.
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
Great podcast, guys! As always, I enjoyed the discussion. I'm happy to hear that my audible laughing didn't pick up on Grail's mic when she made the "Weesa free!" joke.

It's better than my disgusting snorts and sniffles in the morning, which I forgot to remove even though I timestamped them. Sorry, Wally! :schnoz:

Yea I don't know about that. It's a little too Obi Wan Kenobi-ish. I know Miura is a fan and all but that could be a little too on the nose.

I'm not sure either just because keeping Skully around for the climatic final fight is still a very juicy prospect, but now that you mention the Star Wars angle... Miura did just spread Star Wars references across half a dozen pages in this episode alone. :shrug:
 

Oburi

All praise Grail
I was actually thinking about how the ending would be and I can't shake off the idea that it'll be something like Jedi. Several climaxing story lines intricately connected happening at the same time, each with their own important objectives. The Luke/Vader/Emperor moment would of course be the Guts/Griffith confrontation. Say what you will about how ROTJ was altered for the worse (what with the Han Solo/Ewok shit) but everything with Emperor was well done and appropriately dreadful. I would imagine the magic users and kids having their own engagements and Casca doing her part in battle.
 

Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
I was actually thinking about how the ending would be and I can't shake off the idea that it'll be something like Jedi. Several climaxing story lines intricately connected happening at the same time, each with their own important objectives. The Luke/Vader/Emperor moment would of course be the Guts/Griffith confrontation. Say what you will about how ROTJ was altered for the worse (what with the Han Solo/Ewok shit) but everything with Emperor was well done and appropriately dreadful. I would imagine the magic users and kids having their own engagements and Casca doing her part in battle.

Alright look. I know there was a Star Wars joke in this episode with the elves, but this doesn't mean Miura will somehow follow that franchise's story structure for the ending of Berserk. I think you need to step back a little bit here. Also, the idea that SK would die while killing Void and leave it up to Guts to take care of Femto isn't particularly similar to Kenobi dying in the first movie. At their core these are pretty archetypical storytelling elements (the original Star Wars has an extremely basic story).

And yeah, Berserk's ending is sure to have a lot of intricately woven things coming together and happening at the same time, but again that's not something that's specific to Star Wars at all. In fact I don't think the comparison is very helpful... Sorry, I'm not trying to come down on you or anything, but I think you're getting a little carried away. :ganishka:
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
Alright look. I know there was a Star Wars joke in this episode with the elves, but this doesn't mean Miura will somehow follow that franchise's story structure

Boy, you're really not going to like the Berserk prequel trilogy novels with young pissant Gaiseric, "Melady, Counselor Void was telling me all this crazy stuff about causality, fate, and the sands of time, and it really made me think... I hate sand!" :SK:

:miura:
 

Oburi

All praise Grail
In my defense I was only making a loose comparison as a way to give Berserk's possible ending some visual foundation. Since Star Wars was brought up already (I guess by me?), I went with Jedi. But this was all entirely separate from the silly Jar Jar reference in the episode. Unless I subconsciously made the Kenobi comment because of the reference in the episode :shrug: The timing was impeccable. It should go without saying that Miura isn't following Star Wars story beats and that those beats are indeed archetypes anyway.

I still don't think Skullknight will perish anytime soon and come back in some other guiding form. That would be too similar to Obi Wan Flora.
 

guuuuuuuuts

Excited for the next chapter!
The podcast got me wondering... what is the most likely order of events for the "first" eclipse and the taboo?

- Gaiseric teams up with Flora, Hanarr, and others.
- Hanarr crafts the Berserker armor for Gaiseric
- Flora's disciple becomes Gaiseric's lover.
- Gaiseric conquers and unites everyone under his empire, based out of Midland.
- A sage (Void) is locked in the Tower of Conviction until the Godhand descends for his eclipse.
- The empire itself is sacrificed, which includes Gaiseric and his lover.
- The former empire's remains are buried under the Tower of Rebirth.
- Gaiseric survives the eclipse and swears vengeance.
- Flora reincarnates the dead lover's spirit as an elf on Skellig.
- Gaiseric is eventually consumed by the Berserker armor / dies in battle.
- Flora and Hanarr tether Gaiseric's soul to the Skull Knight armor.
- Flora is banished from Skellig and takes the Berserker armor.

Does this sound accurate? My understanding is this taboo should have followed the eclipse, somewhere between the skullknight armor and the possible reincarnation of the sacrificed disciple of Flora.
 

Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
I still don't think Skullknight will perish anytime soon and come back in some other guiding form. That would be too similar to Obi Wan Flora.

Yeah that was absolutely a Star Wars joke when we talked about it on the podcast. I blame Griff. :iva:

Does this sound accurate?

Not to me. There's many things we still don't know but my understanding is that Gaiseric died shortly after the ceremony we saw in episode 362.

Flora's disciple becomes Gaiseric's lover.

It's the other way around. Flora was an assistant to Gaiseric's lover.
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
The podcast got me wondering... what is the most likely order of events for the "first" eclipse and the taboo?

We absolutely can't know the order of these things yet, or even if some of these happened in this way, but here's my best guess using yours as a basis:

- Lady Medium of the Cherry Blossom becomes Gaiseric's lover
- Hanarr crafts the Berserk armor for Gaiseric
- Gaiseric conquers and unites the continent under one empire—Midland
- A sage (Void) is locked in the Tower of Conviction until the God Hand descends for his eclipse
- The empire’s capital is sacrificed, which includes Gaiseric and the Lady Medium
- Gaiseric dies, along with the Lady Medium
- The Lady Medium's soul is interred in a place that becomes the cherry blossom tree we know today. She is reborn, but changed
- Flora and Hanarr tether Gaiseric's soul to the Skull Knight armor
- Flora is banished from Skellig and takes the Berserk armor with her
 
Adding to the timeline aspect: I’m wondering how much time could’ve elapsed after Gaiseric’s death until Flora bound his soul to the armor?
With the count we see the vortex is already present close to him just before his death and what is left of him is even still able to speak while being dragged away. Wyald’s body transformed back a while after he was dead but maybe because it took time for the vortex to “travel” through the layers.
Femto shows the soldier’s souls to their widows and kids comparatively long after they died but the god hand was shown in volume 3 to be able to control the vortex somewhat and I don’t think Flora had a similar ability.
A possibility could’ve of course been that the ceremony was “over” before all sacrificed people were dead and Flora managed to bring him (and his lover) to his current armor (or the armor to him) and then perform whatever she did. Which begs a second question: why didn’t she just bind him to the berserker armor he was already wearing? Maybe it wasn’t as easy because of how Hanarr made it but that’s just a guess from me
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
Adding to the timeline aspect: I’m wondering how much time could’ve elapsed after Gaiseric’s death until Flora bound his soul to the armor?
Perhaps she was able to etch a seal onto the armor, not unlike what she did for Guts on his journey. Or perhaps she didn't have to do anything at all. Maybe she had just intended on bringing the body back to Elfhelm, but upon inspection, realized that Gaiseric's soul had refused to move on. That's my preference :SK:

With the count we see the vortex is already present close to him just before his death and what is left of him is even still able to speak while being dragged away. Wyald’s body transformed back a while after he was dead but maybe because it took time for the vortex to “travel” through the layers.
I don't think there's any indication the Vortex rises to the surface to claim branded souls in the same way it claims apostle souls. Branding just means the soul is bound to the Vortex. Apostle souls have been infused with evil power, which alters them in the process, so the Vortex comes to claim that.

why didn’t she just bind him to the berserker armor he was already wearing? Maybe it wasn’t as easy because of how Hanarr made it but that’s just a guess from me

Probably because the armor's od wouldn't be a safe harbor for a soul. :chomp:
 

Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
I think at this point we're still missing key elements and as a result it's not too useful to try and establish a detailed timeline of events.

why didn’t she just bind him to the berserker armor he was already wearing? Maybe it wasn’t as easy because of how Hanarr made it but that’s just a guess from me

You're assuming Flora could have encased Gaiseric's soul in any object, whereas it's more likely Hanarr had to craft a specific armor for that purpose. In fact it's what both Hanarr and the Skull Knight allude to in episode 361.
 
Not to be THAT person but I personally felt like this episode (the manga chapter, not the podcast) was a small piece of neck bones. Little chunks of meat at the ends but barely anything in the middle (I'm looking at you, Isidrunk) Like yeah, the parts with Skullknight & Dannan, Moonlight Boy showing up, and ISMA TAMING A KELPHIE, WHAT?? all of that was good, but this chapter didn't fill me up like the last one did. I dunno, maybe the frustration is getting to me?
 

Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
Not to be THAT person

I've got bad news.

I personally felt like this episode (the manga chapter, not the podcast) was a small piece of neck bones. Little chunks of meat at the ends but barely anything in the middle (I'm looking at you, Isidrunk) Like yeah, the parts with Skullknight & Dannan, Moonlight Boy showing up, and ISMA TAMING A KELPHIE, WHAT?? all of that was good, but this chapter didn't fill me up like the last one did. I dunno, maybe the frustration is getting to me?

Individual issues of Berserk are called episodes. Also, the "little chunks" you mention actually make up the majority of episode 363. But really, beyond that, the segment between Isidro and the witches was great.

It serves several purposes, like we mentioned on the podcast. The action and comedy are stellar in and of themselves, and they provide a little bit of relief between heavy, dramatic scenes. But Isidro’s quick mastery of the low gravity environment is also a reminder that, for all his goofiness, he’s not to be underestimated. And make no mistake, this is something that will have a pay off at some point in the future. There will be a crisis on the island, and in that forest, Isidro will be able to take on an enemy he never could have otherwise. And I mean yes, maybe even an apostle. The same goes for Isma with her Kelpie of course, but it's odd you don't recognize Isidro's potential here.

It also further develops a bunch of characters, starting with Schierke and Isidro themselves. Their "rivalry" was introduced all the way back in volume 24 (in which he trips on a root and grabs her breasts while falling forward) and has been going ever since then. It's led to a lot of development for them both so far (with Isidro feeling inadequate, etc.), and will lead to more in the future. And I say for both of them because it also shows the limits of Schierke's magic, where Isidro moves too fast here for her to be able to do anything. That fact may not have been lost on her, and it might help her better face a similar threat in the future.

But it's not just them. It helps flesh out background characters too and further establishes what the island is usually like (i.e. eventless), as well as the disruption that these visitors represent. In fact this scene is a direct continuation of the one in episode 344 (even the creepy girl focusing on his crotch is back at it). That’s why Molda is so delighted by these shenanigans. It reinforces our impression of these magic students as disciplined but lacking in real-world experience compared to our crew. Which is also something that might come into play later on. If the island actually gets attacked, these kids would no doubt be powerless to react... unless someone were to rise up and take command. Then they could, all together, show what they can do and fight back.

Lastly, it stopped Schierke from asking more questions about Flora, meaning Miura wants to keep that reveal for later and wants us curious about it, and it provided an opportunity for Guts & Gedflynn's one on one talk about the Skull Knight and the dangers of the Berserk’s armor. And, of course, it participates in establishing that this would be a perfect place for Schierke to stay in permanently, because she's among her peers, and they've bonded through fighting a common enemy. This will make her decision not to stay much more meaningful when the time comes.

By the way, you really shouldn't overlook Isidro and Schierke's relationship. There may come a day when things get serious and he puts himself in harm's way to buy her time, and you'll find it more poignant than you thought. And that will be because all these little scenes throughout the series paved the way for it.
 
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