Author Topic: Astral Guts  (Read 2750 times)

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Offline QUeeN typhonblue

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Astral Guts
« on: April 05, 2003, 03:46:52 AM »
I've been thinking about the future of Guts character arc and the plot of Berserk. Berserk, while a unique series, is following a number of classic myth conventions. One of which is the life stages of the hero:

1. Orphan
2. Wanderer
3. Warrior
4. Wizard
5. Transcendant

Joseph Campbell said the mythic hero cycles through these stages throughout the story, going from the last stage back to the first but at a higher level.

Guts seems to be stuck in Orphan-Wanderer-Warrior mode. Each time he seems to be advancing past warrior, something happens to pitch him back into orphanhood. Fer example, post-Gambino: Guts starts out a wanderer, becomes a warrior when he decides to swing his sword for Griffith, then retreats back into being a wanderer when he gets hurt. (Wanderer is his safe place, apparently.) Griffith does the whole "I will never forgive you" eclipse thing, Guts is back to being an orphan: No Hawks, no Griffith and no Casca, really. So he retreats again into being a wanderer. When he saves Casca from the Inquisition, he advances to being a warrior. I don't think he's going back to wanderer, since he's seemed to have clued in and is finally taking care of Casca *before* trying to fight Griffith. I think he's going forward to Wizard.

And by Wizard I don't mean purple robes and wands Wizard, I mean a man in charge of his own energies. Guts is an almost super-human fighter but he still isn't in full control of himself, as evidenced by the Beast taking control. The Wizard stage is about reconciling with the Beast. Learning to use all aspects of oneself to further one's goals...

Which leads me to my speculation. I imagine the beast is both ID and intuition. The repressed aspects of Guts unconscious self. In learning to accept and work with his dark half he will gain the abilities of his dark half, the abilities of the unconscious.  

There are already some hints of other worldly abilities: The Benhilit responded to Guts by opening it's eyes (how often does that happen?), Guts was able to sense both Zoddo and Skull Knight, Skull Knight *before* he appeared, Skull Knight explains that Guts is _not_ like Casca so he is able to withstand an astral attack. But *how* is he unlike her? They both have courage and guts, Casca even is cool-headed in a crisis, both are branded, both are warriors. Schierke shows that size and physical strength mean nothing in the Astral plane. So what's the reason?

I imagine Schierke will be an invaluable tool during this time. And that from her Guts will learn mastery of the astral realm. If it aids him in his quest, he'll use it, no doubt.

I see Guts' non-physical abilities explored more in the Wizard phase. Perhaps he'll learn to replace his eye and arm with astral equivalents (humans can manifest on the astral plane easily. It's one of the abilities of the projected double that sends most negative astral wildlife packing.) Plus all this jazz will lead up to his Transcendant stage, when he'll truly be able to kick some God Hand ass. :D

And further on the discussion about Guts' dream... Some of the best stories are ones in which the what of a hero's dream stays the same, but the *why* changes immeasurably. :)

Looking forward to the "pansy-assed wizard" comments!



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Offline Majin Tenshi

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Re:Astral Guts
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2003, 04:05:41 AM »
I can see guts getting as far as remanifesting his arm and eye by sheer will, but there isn't much point.  He can still swing with the fake, HELL he can swing 1 handed to a degree.  You MIGHT even say he IS manifesting his left arm, cause he seams to have pretty good control over that prostetic hand.  
Guts hasn't shown any great need for depth perseption.  

I doubt guts will achive any kind of spell like abilities.  He will stick with his superlong sword.  


Guts isn't going trancendant.  Trancendant is the: " I'm above you and clearheaded" fighter.  Guts fights on rage.  Its called BERSERK for a reason.  Berserkers and Trancendants don't work well together.  You might say, though, that going BERSERK is Guts' equivilent of trancendance.  

Guts desire for revenge and his need to protect Casca prevent him from reaching "Transcendant."  But without those, there isn't much of a plot.  
Ok, so I leave and come back....

Offline QUeeN typhonblue

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Re:Astral Guts
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2003, 05:33:58 AM »
Art of Berserk -

"Paradoxically, while a novice stripped of armor would be instantly slain, an adept becomes impervious to steel. The berserk ceases to be a target by becoming as if devoid of gross substance. The Ynglinga Saga describes the Berserks when inspired by Odin, "They cut down the enemy, while neither fire nor iron could make an impression on them." That which offers no resistance cannot be cut. That which is flexible cannot be broken.

"The secret of the berserk's invulnerability is the ability to let the True Will flow unimpeded. This requires the warrior to be totally calm and centered while at the same time unleashing the destructive forces of the Will. This is a form of meditation infinitely more difficult than being calm and centered in a quiet room (something most people find almost impossible anyway)."

http://www.mackaos.com.au/Articles/Berserk.html

(Food for thought)

Miura, in the guise of Flora, has said that it's Guts rage and hatred that weakens his sword. It may support him, but it also limits him. Godo alluded to the same when he said Guts is a broken sword, fatally flawed. And Skull Knight said it again when he explained Guts would have to choose between revenge and saving someone.

Only bad (or postmodern) writers allude over and over to a flaw in their main character and don't make it some fundemental part of their story's climax and resolution. This flaw is gonna be either Guts salvation or his damnation, and the story's leaning waaaay towards salvation at this point.


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Offline roberto999

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Re:Astral Guts
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2003, 03:46:04 PM »
what was written in the article you quoted can be right or wrong, but I don't think Miura inspired his work to those principles(there is not proof that Miura has even read it). I think he inspired himself to the classic berserk image that is the warrior possessed by the battle rage (in fact some account tell about the berserk that they did bite theirs shields before going in battle, so apparently they were not so calm and self centered nor so defendless-also other accounts tell that they did die of exautation after the battle, again this suggest more a frenzied action than a calm and collected one. Also they were not really invunerable, they simply ignored pain, a state of mind that can be obtained by drugs or when the person is insane -temporally or permanently). Like I said it is a very interesting article by itself, but it don't apply to berserk, that is work of fantasy aimed to entertain. No I don't think Guts will "trascend" ever.

Quote
Only bad (or postmodern) writers allude over and over to a flaw in their main character and don't make it some fundemental part of their story's climax and resolution.This flaw is gonna be either Guts salvation or his damnation, and the story's leaning waaaay towards salvation at this point.
Have you ever read the manga "Great Mazinger" of Go Nagai ( that Miura admited in a interview was an author that had much influenced him) in the version of Ota? The "fatal flaw" of Tsurugi Tetsuya ( the pilot of the Mazinger) was the thing that led him to the destruction of his mentor and at his last suicide attack, where he destroyed himself and his enemies.And the tone of the manga was more light-hearted than berserk before that finale: In fact it surprised anyone.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2003, 03:51:43 PM by roberto999 »
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Offline krunkster

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Re:Astral Guts
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2003, 04:19:40 PM »
1. Orphan
2. Wanderer
3. Warrior
4. Wizard
5. Transcendant
I think it's interesting to trace Griffith trhough these stages as well....

1) Born alone with only a dream and a knight doll.
2) Leaves to achieve his dream, obtains Beherit.
3) Forms the band of the Hawk and becomes a leader.
4) Was ever at this stage truly? He was close but Guts left and all went to hell...
1) Alone again in the dungeon, rescued but decides to kill himself.
5) Jump to the eclipse, Femto is born... All is within his grasp but he is removed...
4) Griffith is reborn at full capacity to achive his dream.

Hmm, that's just a rough sketch but it makes for an interesting juxtapositioning.
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Re:Astral Guts
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2003, 06:43:18 PM »
Krunkts, yer sig is mesmorizing me ;D------

Offline *Gyom*

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Re:Astral Guts
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2003, 08:26:04 PM »
Didn't realized ... the movements of her breasts are hypnotizing !! That's amazing ! ( Breasts ! Breasts ! Breasts ! as would say Jeffrey in the english TV serie Coupling ^^ )
ps : my two brothers found your sig was the most interessant thing in the screen... it's a really great theory you've made  ;D

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Re:Astral Guts
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2003, 11:22:54 PM »
Didn't realized ... the movements of her breasts are hypnotizing !! That's amazing ! ( Breasts ! Breasts ! Breasts ! as would say Jeffrey in the english TV serie Coupling ^^ )
ps : my two brothers found your sig was the most interessant thing in the screen... it's a really great theory you've made  ;D

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Offline ZKK

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Re:Astral Guts
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2003, 11:20:49 AM »
I think Guts is most comfortable whilst in the "Wanderer" phase of things. Like in one of the recent chapter summaries which I'm sure you've all read, Guts almost revels in the fact that he gets a chance to just swing his sword against his opponents - without anything or anyone hindering him. He'd been having a real hard time of it up until then, dealing with and being a "Warrior" for Casca in her current state.

As far as ascending to the level of "Wizard", while I admit with Guts living in-between worlds so to speak via the brand there are bound to be some repercussions or benefits from living like that in terms of abilities Guts can acquire - I think it was another speculation that living so, is gradually making Guts stronger and might have helped his survival thus far. Correct me if Iím wrong, I have a little trouble getting my head around all the different worlds and spiritual planes.

But I doubt Guts will welcome it with open arms - I'd say he'd be very indifferent to any astral or magical abilities, preferring of course to let his sword do the work. But then again, the Dragon Slayer itself has been alluded to as having some presence about it, no?

As far as the hints of other worldly abilities you mentioned typhonblue, I think in volume 9, during Guts' and Skull Knight's first meeting, Skull Knight made a point of the fact that Guts was born from a corpse, and death. Could that have any significance to the things you mentioned do you think? Its one of the things that sets Guts apart from Casca and other characters in Berserk.

I don't think Guts will transcend either, as Majin Tenshi and roberto999 have already said... and I don't think I want him to either, at least not to a level were he can dish out punishment to the God Hand likes its nothing. I'm not sure why, I just think as an 'Aussie', we love to support and see the under dog, the struggler win against the odds. Though I'd love to see the Hell he could raise if he manages to harness the power of his Beast, for his own ends.
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Offline Boonki

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Re:Astral Guts
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2003, 01:48:04 PM »
If we're going to use Campbell and the "Hero of a Thousand Faces" stuff...

Campbell talks about heroes going though another cycle... like a seasonal cycle (forgive me, its been like 4 years since I took this class on symbolism in mythology)... ooh... found something good that sums it up better than I just tried...

Monomyth - The Hero's Adventure - Campbell
STAGES
1. Separation- The hero is singled out and separated from ordinary people by being called, thrust, or enticed into a quest.

2. Threshold- The hero comes to the point of no return where the real journey begins.

3. Trials- The hero must undergo trials that test his character with the purpose of transformation of consciousness.

4. Mentor or Guide- Hero meets a helper who guides and gives the hero psychological commitment.

5. Final confrontation- The hero must overcome the most daunting obstacle before he/she can be internally transformed.

6. Victory-The hero always wins and gains new knowledge

7. Return- The hero always shares the knowledge by returning his/her origins or place of new beginning.

Finally... a diet Guts that tastes like the original!

Offline QUeeN typhonblue

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Re:Astral Guts
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2003, 03:08:21 AM »
Quote
I think Guts is most comfortable whilst in the "Wanderer" phase of things.

This doesn't mean he'll stay there.

Quote
As far as ascending to the level of "Wizard", while I admit with Guts living in-between worlds so to speak via the brand there are bound to be some repercussions or benefits from living like that in terms of abilities Guts can acquire - I think it was another speculation that living so, is gradually making Guts stronger and might have helped his survival thus far. Correct me if Iím wrong, I have a little trouble getting my head around all the different worlds and spiritual planes.

Miura has anchored his world in a number of metaphysical theories. It seems to be a mosaic of asian philosophy (layers of karma), Jewish mysticism (Kabalah) and occult science (Schierke's various spells). When I start hearing words like "Qliphoth" I can't help but get suspicious. The Qliphoth are the negative aspects of the Sephiroth. The Sephiroth form the tree of life and progression through the Sephiroth is the path to God (transcendance). I think Miura mentioning the Qliphoth is not a red-herring. I think he's setting some major plot elements up.

And I also find the juxtaposition between Guts and Griffith interesting. Griffith achieved "transcendance" through sacrificing a part of himself (his love for Guts). That Miura selected this method for the apostles to achieve their unholy gifts is *really* provocative because it echos a lot of wisdom given to students of the spiritual path. To become one with God you have to be one with yourself.
 
Guts however has been repeatedly told that he can't "fight and save someone" at the same time. If the main character is ever told "you can't" in a story, you damn well know he *will*. Guts is going to find the impossible third option, and the only way to do that is to sacrifice nothing of himself or his goals. Niether revenge nor salvation.

Quote
But I doubt Guts will welcome it with open arms - I'd say he'd be very indifferent to any astral or magical abilities, preferring of course to let his sword do the work.

I rather think he's shown that he is practical when it comes to his goals. Guts will do whatever gets the job done.

Quote
As far as the hints of other worldly abilities you mentioned typhonblue, I think in volume 9, during Guts' and Skull Knight's first meeting, Skull Knight made a point of the fact that Guts was born from a corpse, and death. Could that have any significance to the things you mentioned do you think?

Maybe being born from a corpse has given him otherworldly abilities? I guess that could be it...

Quote
I don't think Guts will transcend either, as Majin Tenshi and roberto999 have already said... and I don't think I want him to either, at least not to a level were he can dish out punishment to the God Hand likes its nothing. I'm not sure why, I just think as an 'Aussie', we love to support and see the under dog, the struggler win against the odds. Though I'd love to see the Hell he could raise if he manages to harness the power of his Beast, for his own ends.

I think we may have different ideas of what transcendance is. Transcendance is being yourself. If berserker fury is Guts' self, then that will be part of his transcendance. (There's only one rule: Do what you want. Of course it's a catch-22.)

To conclude: I think his little altrecation with Slan will have some facinating fall out. At least in terms of how Guts frames his (one-sided) battle with the God Hand. :D  

 


Blink, and you almost miss the yaoi in Berserk!

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