Berserk

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Re: Berserk

Post by bomaye on Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:28 pm

Enail wrote:
Spoiler:


Enail wrote:-I'm with Casca here. Really, Guts, you don't think it had anything to do with you?  Side-eye
If he let himself believe that Griffith couldn't withstand his leaving, he'd never have been able to do it :/

And I guess "I destroyed the whole campfire by taking my tiny newborn dream-spark and leaving" is too heavy a thing for anybody to come to terms with quickly, so I can forgive him a little cognitive dissonance and/or denial on that front.

Yeah, that's fair, I'll give him this one. And nicely put!

Spoiler:

He doesn't think Griffith thinks of him as a friend, only sword to wield. He's a pretty straightforward guy, so it would never occur to him that Griffith is saying things that to play a part that he may not actually mean if you looked inside his kokoro. "Why would a military commander fall apart when he loses one soldier, he loses soldiers in campaigns all the time?"
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Re: Berserk

Post by Enail on Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:44 pm

bomaye wrote:
Spoiler:

He doesn't think Griffith thinks of him as a friend, only sword to wield. He's a pretty straightforward guy, so it would never occur to him that Griffith is saying things that to play a part that he may not actually mean if you looked inside his kokoro. "Why would a military commander fall apart when he loses one soldier, he loses soldiers in campaigns all the time?"

Spoiler:
That seems like how he thought earlier on, for sure, but given how he's so strongly pursuing what he thinks it takes to make him truly a friend/equal, it seems like he must have gained the awareness that he is important to him as a person, enough so that he's close enough to be worth trying to achieve it. But I do think it's reasonable that he wouldn't have thought Griffith'd fall apart from it, I wouldn't have either for sure, and it seems like he kind of assumed it would be no big deal if he comes and goes sometimes, that they'd know he was going to come back eventually (which is presumably what he intended if he's doing all that for Griffith's friendship/approval). And he does seem to generally underestimate his importance to others.
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Re: Berserk

Post by Prajnaparamita on Mon Jun 27, 2016 1:44 pm

Ahhhh sorry for the totally rant-y run on nature of this, I had a lot of feels...

Ch. 9 (finally!):

-The way Guts is sitting, it looks like he’s about to stick his sword in the fire and restore his estus, lol!
-Okay, also in terms of narrative decisions that didn’t really make any sense to me, Griffith sleeping with the princess? It’s just… So totally not like him, at all. There’s no gain for doing this—she’s already hella crushing on him, so it’s not like sleeping with her increases his marriage chances with her at all—left to her own devices she’d totally go for a marriage to him. He’s on the up and up in the court, all his major opponents are dead or out of the way, so there’s not like there’s a ton of traditionalists objecting, and he’s only just started his charm offensive on the king. In fact, what he knows of the king’s overprotectiveness/incestuousness he’s aware of how totally self destructive this is. Is it just meant to be purely self destructive then, because losing Guts made him go totally mad? Seems odd too, that he would destroy himself for this and not something far more valuable—I mean hell, he doesn’t even look like he’s enjoying himself at all! He has his dead eyes the entire time, and the way that he holds himself in the darkness afterwards makes me wonder if he’s experiencing flashbacks of selling himself to pedo noble or something. I saw bomaye's suggestion that the reason he did it is Guts leaving made him feel powerless, so he felt the need to rape Charolette to get back that feeling of power (and on that note, I’m not quite sure whether or not to call it rape—I think when Charolette was saying “no” it was more like "this is a bad idea, we’ll get in trouble” not “I don’t want this”, but that being said, even if she hadn’t wanted it I think he would have forced himself on her anyway, so yeah it was definitely rape-y) but the thing is, if he just needed the feeling of power and control over another person, he could have forced any random peasant girl and nobody would ever know and there would be no repercussions. I guess I’m just super confused and it seems totally inconsistent for his character in every way
-The way Casca holds that broken sword like a child hugging a teddy bear…
-“Oh no, whatever will I do about the damming blood on the sheets?!” idk girl, say you got your period early or you’ve been having some random spotting as of late? One of the things about being a woman is randomly bleeding at times from your vagina, as Miura does not hesitate to remind us
-Why is Griffith knowingly rubbing in the whole “I know you have incestuous desires for your daughter” thing with the king? wtf is the endgame with this? If he just wanted to die/destroy himself, there are so many easier ways to do it, right now he seems to be actively seeking out ways to make his life even more painful and horrible. idk Griffith’s actions in this volume really makes no sense to me
-I just gotta say it, Charolette’s nipples are HUGE!!! And this is with her unaroused too—honestly they’re freaking me out a little, lol
-Also I’m kinda impressed by her physical strength, just shoving the king around like that! I mean damn, think how much his robes alone must weigh!
-Welp, there goes the Behilt! And with that goes G-dawg’s magic destiny?
-On the topic of middle eastern guy from the jousting competition—I think there’s this tension in Berserk between wanting to be a gritty, dark, realistic (or at least internally consistent) medieval universe, and the tropes and characterization of the shounen manga background that it comes out of. Take for example how most enemy characters feel the need to go into detail calling out their attacks, bragging about how said technique has been passed down in the family for generations blah blah blah—minus context, it sounds like something out of Naruto, and just makes no sense given that the rest of the time, the battlefield is shown as a place where you can’t make the slightest hesitation or pause lest you want a sword through your face. Sure Guts will lampshade him by pointing out how ridiculous it is to be announcing your attacks like that, calling him a street performer and a carnival barker, which would be a funny parody of how absurd it is when that happens in shonen manga if it wasn’t the case that the brothers from the Holy Purple Rhino Fuckboys were doing the exact same thing and nobody really commented on it at all and just sorta let it happen
-Haha good point Guts, tracking the motion of erratic flying discs *is* a lot like catching flies! Man, you’d be so much fun at a picnic, bro
-HE SPENT THE FUCKING YEAR SWINGING HIS SWORD IN THE MOUNTAINS?!
-SERIOUSLY?!
-AND THAT’S WHAT HE FINDS MEANINGFUL?!?!
-Okay, I have a thought experiment for you—imagine you have a tight group of friends, all bonded around the shared love of vanilla ice cream. That’s what you do, you all eat vanilla ice cream together. Then one day you leave, saying you can’t just be content with vanilla ice cream, you need to know about what else is out there for ice cream flavors. You leaving totally destroys your vanilla ice cream loving friends. A year later you come back, and you’re like “okay, I know now. I really love vanilla ice cream best of all” and they’re like “great, so what did you do for the year?!” and you were like “Oh, I just sat around eating nothing but vanilla ice cream…”
-YEAH YOU’RE RIGHT CORKUS, FUCK YOU GUTS!!!
-Aaaand then Casca became the team captain for the Midland division of professional cliff diving!
-Oh my god those six panels, the shock/hestitation/surprise as he’s about to kiss Casca… Honestly sometimes this manga does romance better than most shoujo...
-Okay, so as a unrepentant slut, I have to say the sex scene between Casca and Guts really bothered me, and I couldn’t tell why until I realized that from my experience with outdoor sex I (and really anyone reasonable) know better than to take off all my clothes and just lie naked on the ground. SERIOUSLY YOU’LL GET PINE NEEDLES AND TWIGS STUCK UP WHERE THE SUN DON’T SHINE IF YOU DO THAT, IDIOTS!!! You either do that really hot half-clothed sex thing, with just enough access to get Tab A into Slot B, or you lay down a blanket or anything you have (hell, even your clothes if you absolutely have to take them all off) and do it on top of that
-Wow, Miura has a really weird obsession with the female characters having to bleed unrealistically during their first time having sex…
-Okay, so for all the ways that Berserk is hella problematic at times, that was an incredibly powerful and accurate depiction of flashbacks and disassociation from PTSD—the inability to remember where you are and what’s happening, the reverting back to a previous age, talking in a way as if the other person isn’t even there, the sudden flinching—it, well… I have fortunately never experienced something like that, but I have witnessed friends of mine have flashbacks and disassociate episodes and this did a pretty accurate job of capturing at least what it looks like to those on the outside
-So I've come across some people who accuse Guts of being a Male Power Fantasy, and I have to say I totally disagree with that, and I think the final chapter of this volume really shows why. Sure, other forms of media that do have invincible super burly man dude beat up shit might add in PTSD because you gotta make the character more relatable, but it’s always a side note, and a result of his super burly man buddies in the past getting blown up by aliens or something and it’s hardly plot relevant. But in this… After sex with a beautiful woman, which normally would be a moment of triumph and super burly man dude chest thumping time, Guts is reduced to being curled up in a ball on the ground sobbing, struggling with feelings of powerlessness and being violated
-And on that note, while rape is common in the Berserk universe, but it’s not “cheap”. (Like, say, in the GoT tv show) Time and time it’s shown the psychological cost it has on it’s survivors, from the dead eyes of the children held captive by pedo noble to the normally stoic Guts reduced to tears, sobbing over childhood memories. Powerful stuff
-Casca are you using your saliva for lube? Smart thinking girl, that should make it *much* nicer

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Re: Berserk

Post by Enail on Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:05 pm

Prajnaparamita wrote:
Ch. 9 (finally!):

-Okay, also in terms of narrative decisions that didn’t really make any sense to me, Griffith sleeping with the princess? It’s just… So totally not like him, at all. There’s no gain for doing this—she’s already hella crushing on him, so it’s not like sleeping with her increases his marriage chances with her at all—left to her own devices she’d totally go for a marriage to him. He’s on the up and up in the court, all his major opponents are dead or out of the way, so there’s not like there’s a ton of traditionalists objecting, and he’s only just started his charm offensive on the king. In fact, what he knows of the king’s overprotectiveness/incestuousness he’s aware of how totally self destructive this is. Is it just meant to be purely self destructive then, because losing Guts made him go totally mad? Seems odd too, that he would destroy himself for this and not something far more valuable—I mean hell, he doesn’t even look like he’s enjoying himself at all! He has his dead eyes the entire time, and the way that he holds himself in the darkness afterwards makes me wonder if he’s experiencing flashbacks of selling himself to pedo noble or something. I saw bomaye's suggestion that the reason he did it is Guts leaving made him feel powerless, so he felt the need to rape Charolette to get back that feeling of power (and on that note, I’m not quite sure whether or not to call it rape—I think when Charolette was saying “no” it was more like "this is a bad idea, we’ll get in trouble” not “I don’t want this”, but that being said, even if she hadn’t wanted it I think he would have forced himself on her anyway, so yeah it was definitely rape-y) but the thing is, if he just needed the feeling of power and control over another person, he could have forced any random peasant girl and nobody would ever know and there would be no repercussions. I guess I’m just super confused and it seems totally inconsistent for his character in every way

Spoiler:

It rang true to me as a combination of trying to feel power over someone, in a way that he can tell himself is just part of the plan because he can't admit how much this has fucked him up(which is why Charlotte), and also needing to reassure himself he hasn't just lost his sway over people (again, she's a good reassurance because she's another person he thought he had) but too self-destructive and desperate and just not thinking right to actually stick to the plan or do things the right way.

Spoiler:

-HE SPENT THE FUCKING YEAR SWINGING HIS SWORD IN THE MOUNTAINS?!
-SERIOUSLY?!
-AND THAT’S WHAT HE FINDS MEANINGFUL?!?!
-Okay, I have a thought experiment for you—imagine you have a tight group of friends, all bonded around the shared love of vanilla ice cream. That’s what you do, you all eat vanilla ice cream together. Then one day you leave, saying you can’t just be content with vanilla ice cream, you need to know about what else is out there for ice cream flavors. You leaving totally destroys your vanilla ice cream loving friends. A year later you come back, and you’re like “okay, I know now. I really love vanilla ice cream best of all” and they’re like “great, so what did you do for the year?!” and you were like “Oh, I just sat around eating nothing but vanilla ice cream…”
-YEAH YOU’RE RIGHT CORKUS, FUCK YOU GUTS!!!

rofl

Spoiler:


-So I've come across some people who accuse Guts of being a Male Power Fantasy, and I have to say I totally disagree with that, and I think the final chapter of this volume really shows why. Sure, other forms of media that do have invincible super burly man dude beat up shit might add in PTSD because you gotta make the character more relatable, but it’s always a side note, and a result of his super burly man buddies in the past getting blown up by aliens or something and it’s hardly plot relevant. But in this… After sex with a beautiful woman, which normally would be a moment of triumph and super burly man dude chest thumping time, Guts is reduced to being curled up in a ball on the ground sobbing, struggling with feelings of powerlessness and being violated
-And on that note, while rape is common in the Berserk universe, but it’s not “cheap”. (Like, say, in the GoT tv show) Time and time it’s shown the psychological cost it has on it’s survivors, from the dead eyes of the children held captive by pedo noble to the normally stoic Guts reduced to tears, sobbing over childhood memories. Powerful stuff

Totally agree. It's taking the conventions of super-powerful muscle guys who can do anything, and it's showing that every fucking one of them, no matter how powerful, is ultimately a fragile human being who can be harmed and who has experienced trauma in ways that stay with them. And it's never just for the edginess factor and angst, because the the costs affect the characters and the plot deeply and in multiple, complex ways rather than just NOW I SHALL ANGST.


Last edited by Enail on Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Berserk

Post by bomaye on Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:33 pm

Prajnaparamita wrote:
Ch. 9 (finally!):

-HE SPENT THE FUCKING YEAR SWINGING HIS SWORD IN THE MOUNTAINS?!
-SERIOUSLY?!
-AND THAT’S WHAT HE FINDS MEANINGFUL?!?!
-Okay, I have a thought experiment for you—imagine you have a tight group of friends, all bonded around the shared love of vanilla ice cream. That’s what you do, you all eat vanilla ice cream together. Then one day you leave, saying you can’t just be content with vanilla ice cream, you need to know about what else is out there for ice cream flavors. You leaving totally destroys your vanilla ice cream loving friends. A year later you come back, and you’re like “okay, I know now. I really love vanilla ice cream best of all” and they’re like “great, so what did you do for the year?!” and you were like “Oh, I just sat around eating nothing but vanilla ice cream…”

Spoiler:

There's a line somewhere about how he has a problem with not realizing what he has until it's gone, and couple that with how he just wasn't going to live a life as a Noble and be a tool instead of a person to Griffith, and that the only thing he's any good at is swinging his sword, it kind of makes sense that even if he knows he wants a dream, he doesn't really know how to find one.
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Re: Berserk

Post by Werel on Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:58 pm

manga 9:

Prajnaparamita wrote:-Okay, also in terms of narrative decisions that didn’t really make any sense to me, Griffith sleeping with the princess? It’s just… So totally not like him, at all. There’s no gain for doing this—she’s already hella crushing on him, so it’s not like sleeping with her increases his marriage chances with her at all—left to her own devices she’d totally go for a marriage to him. He’s on the up and up in the court, all his major opponents are dead or out of the way, so there’s not like there’s a ton of traditionalists objecting, and he’s only just started his charm offensive on the king. In fact, what he knows of the king’s overprotectiveness/incestuousness he’s aware of how totally self destructive this is. Is it just meant to be purely self destructive then, because losing Guts made him go totally mad? Seems odd too, that he would destroy himself for this and not something far more valuable—I mean hell, he doesn’t even look like he’s enjoying himself at all! He has his dead eyes the entire time, and the way that he holds himself in the darkness afterwards makes me wonder if he’s experiencing flashbacks of selling himself to pedo noble or something. I saw bomaye's suggestion that the reason he did it is Guts leaving made him feel powerless, so he felt the need to rape Charolette to get back that feeling of power (and on that note, I’m not quite sure whether or not to call it rape—I think when Charolette was saying “no” it was more like "this is a bad idea, we’ll get in trouble” not “I don’t want this”, but that being said, even if she hadn’t wanted it I think he would have forced himself on her anyway, so yeah it was definitely rape-y) but the thing is, if he just needed the feeling of power and control over another person, he could have forced any random peasant girl and nobody would ever know and there would be no repercussions. I guess I’m just super confused and it seems totally inconsistent for his character in every way
I also saw it as a knowingly self-destructive act born of emotional upheaval and desperation (and TBH I read a lot of that emotional upheaval as not only the shock of losing Guts, but the realization "oh fuuuuuck I'm still emotionally susceptible to humans?!? This is a dangerous weakness and I'm terrified"), but only halfway; the rest of it sort of felt like... pushing his limits. Like, he was pretty sure that he could not be beat in combat, but got slapped down in one second. Was pretty sure he could bend anyone to his will, but failed to do so at the most important moment of his life. Was pretty sure Guts' loyalty was unshakeable, but it wasn't. So at that point, Griffith might just be like "WELP WHAT ELSE AM I WRONG ABOUT" and ready to see just how far his luck won't take him. The princess move is the most pushing-his-luck thing he could possibly have done, and whoops, his luck had indeed run out, and now he was free to resign himself to that fact and laugh (Behelit floating away and all).

His perception of his own destiny/luck in this chapter might tie back in to when he was so pleased that they'd seen Zodd--"there's something greater than man"--and a kind of perverse pleasure in subverting Destiny or God or whatever the Behelit symbolizes to him at that point. "Egg of the King? Yeah right fuck you it didn't even let me keep Guts, I'm going to push this thing's supposed power and protection as far as it'll go in a desperate, petulant attempt to prove that the world is meaningless and my dream is a lie."

Or, like, he just made a really bad choice cause he was upset and I'm thinking about it too much Uh-oh

ETA: also my gut says it's possible that some small part of him was actually just seeking some kind of human comfort, because SADDEST MAN IN THE WORLD

Prajnaparamita wrote:-Okay, I have a thought experiment for you—imagine you have a tight group of friends, all bonded around the shared love of vanilla ice cream. That’s what you do, you all eat vanilla ice cream together. Then one day you leave, saying you can’t just be content with vanilla ice cream, you need to know about what else is out there for ice cream flavors. You leaving totally destroys your vanilla ice cream loving friends. A year later you come back, and you’re like “okay, I know now. I really love vanilla ice cream best of all” and they’re like “great, so what did you do for the year?!” and you were like “Oh, I just sat around eating nothing but vanilla ice cream…”
rofl

(Though yeah, I agree that a year is a short time to find his own dream, and he wouldn't really know where to find one other than... swinging his sword. But I accept sword practice as Guts' personal form of meditation, so that year is like his Eat Pray Love sequence Laughing)

Prajnaparamita wrote:So I've come across some people who accuse Guts of being a Male Power Fantasy, and I have to say I totally disagree with that, and I think the final chapter of this volume really shows why.
YES. And about rape not being "cheap," either. I'm still pretty impressed with this series for doing grimdark for the sake of exploring the consequences of darkness, rather than grimdark for its own sake, glad y'all are finding it to be the same.  
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Re: Berserk

Post by bomaye on Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:57 pm

@ Gatsoo and the male power fantasy

Spoiler:

I think of male power fantasies as reveling in it. Like the burly space marines grunting about how awesome they are at killing the shit out of a horde of aliens, oo-rah.

Even without the grimdark, half the time Guts is just kind of melancholy because his great skill in life is the ability is to kill 100 dudes by himself and all it really helps him do is clears his mind so he doesn't have to think about everything else he's missing or been denied by having such a sad life.
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Re: Berserk

Post by Enail on Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:08 pm

Vol 10:

-What a sweet scene. These two are getting positively sappy!
-He's chilling with the blacksmith? It's the Taran Wanderer segment!  Shiny/thrilled
-He's found his dream and it's basically to not follow anyone else's dream? Well, it's sort of a dream, I guess?  Shrug
-Uh-oh, you know things aren't good when you're thinking "I hope he has gone crazy and is hallucinating this".  Uh-oh
-This page  rofl
-Charlotte has more chutzpah than I gave her credit for, way to go, Princess!
-Guts' "she mistook her for a woman because it's so dark in here"  Laughing  Guts' and Casca are really becoming an old married couple the way they're teasing each other. Not to mention all the hand-holding and looks.
-Casca going through that realization that 'the other girl' is a decent human being. This whole bit really captures that ol' internalized misogyny/jealousy/insecurity stew.  And then her face when Charlotte says Griffith gave her the power to do what she's doing.
-Judeau suggesting using the princess as a hostage!  Shocked I didn't know he had that ruthless streak!
-Charlotte agreeing to Casca's stipulation and then thinking "I'll just scream again"  Laughing
-Judeau's got some impressive assassination skills there, too!  Shiny/thrilled
-Oh no, the Hawks! Demons!! No RUN, RICKERT!!!
-Piles of flaming corpses with that rune on their foreheads, that's a good sign, right, guys?  Uh-oh
-Fuuuuuuuuuuck, Griffith Sad  And Guts' face while he's cradling him
-Casca keeping it together and taking charge while Guts just desperately slaughters everyone. I need an 'furious, insane laughter while tears stream down my face' smiley.
-Wowww, the king has not aged well in a year.  Suspect
-This bit Happy tears
-Things are kind of weird whenever they bring in fighters from 'exotic lands.'
-Princess takes a poison dart for Griffith! She's pretty good for someone raised in the lap of luxury!
-Judeau just keeps getting more and more badass this volume!
-That whole escape scene was pretty awesome. Everyone did their bit impressively, we're getting more into the realm of magic and demons, things we know they can't so easily win against, and with the question of what remains of Griffith hanging over the whole thing, it was super-tense.
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Re: Berserk

Post by Enail on Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:53 pm

Bomaye, your Ep 21 commentary had me rolling in the aisles rofl
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Re: Berserk

Post by Prajnaparamita on Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:46 am

I totally was going to respond to you guys and your really interesting analyses and then go to bed early but Enail beat me to the next volume so I had to stay up and binge that instead, yay sleep deprivation!

Vol. 10!:
-Put some clothes on ya’ll, OR PINE NEEDLES UP WHERE THE SUN DON’T SHINE!!!
-“After you first saved my life” you mean, “after Griffith forced you to be a boobie blanket?”
-“Why are you a blacksmith?” “BECAUSE FIRE!!!” Yep, that’s some reasoning I can get behind, alright
-Casca: “Nice job on that monologue Guts, but needed more staring off into the middle distance and dead fish eyes. Still, B+ for effort!”
-Damn gurl, how are you shaving that thing? You have a nicer bikini line than me, and I have both Nair and razors!
-TACTICAL BOOB TOUCH FTW
-Ahhhhhh I think we saw our very first penis in Berserk! And if that’s him flaccid, well, I think his sword isn’t the only oversized thing he’s swinging! (Poor Casca, that thing went in rough with no lube? Ouch!)
-SHOUUUUUTAAAA GRIFFITH YOUUUUU SOOOOO PURDY!!!
-Ohhh, ummm, errrr, okayyy, that’s, ummm… That’s not gay Griffith, nope not gay at all to have been thinking about Guts non-stop for an entire year
-“Junk grows dull?” More like “JUNK GROWS HARD, LMAO RIGHT?!” Thanks folks, I’ll be here all week!
-Wow, I know it’s a throwaway detail but the graves in Windham are really beautiful looking, and make me curious about the religion(s) of the Midlands (given how many of the figures seem to have halos)
-Oh hi Charolette, your return was kinda spoiled already by the opening chapter splash pages, but it’s nice to see you escaping incest dad!
-“I knew at a glance this time though!” YOU’RE NOT MAKING IT BETTER!!! Seriously though, Charolette, for how vapid everyone says she is, has a shockingly good memory
-Lol between Charolette swooning over Griffith and the will they/won’t they of Casca and Guts holding hands, then the fucking love pentagon of Casca/Guts/Griffith/Charolette this is almost resembling a shoujo romance!
-Aaaaaand then we remember just why it isn’t! The fudge is that thing?!
-So, uhhh… Are butterfly fairies good, and moth fairies evil then?
-Sigh… I suppose we did need an exposition character around after all
-Oh shit it’s that symbol!!!
-HOLY. FUCKING. SHIT. That was legit horrific to look at
-Well Guts, if you would look at the time, I can’t believe it’s already… TIME FOR YOU TO MURDER ANOTHER COUPLE THOUSAND PEOPLE
-Sooo, ummm, if you always had these super powered “Bakiraka” at your disposal, why didn’t you use them for the war with Chuder or any other time before in this hundred year war?
-Uhhhh… I don’t think you can heal from your tongue being cut out. I mean, that’s beautiful and all, but I’m fairly sure THAT’S PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO RECOVER FROM
-Awww I liked having Charolette around! I know a lot of people complain that she’s annoying, but I like her. Honestly, that’s probably how I’d be if I was tossed in the Berserk universe, and I admire how much she is willing to push herself, given how different her background is from all the other characters
-I would just like to point out that Barikara lady had HIGHLY TOXIC, FLAMMABLE EXPLOSIVE MATERIALS resting directly against her bare skin. Yeah. If she hadn't gotten a sword to the gut I honestly can't imagine her surviving very long anyway...

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Re: Berserk

Post by Guest on Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:26 pm

*pokes head in*

Ahhhh, you noobs haven't had your baptism yet Shiny/thrilled.



Werel wrote:
HermitTheToad wrote:
Yes, well put. Just wait till you get to....heh, you'll see.

You talking about
manga volume 26+:
the berserker armor? Yeah, talk about finally developing a use for that two-sided stoicism/intense emotion coin... "You say you're good at trauma-induced dissociation? Well now you gotta do it ON COMMAND, in the heat of battle, or you'll destroy everything you fight to protect, have fun! Oh also the armor is probably a demon too good luck"

(Do you read the berserker armor as sentient? ALSO... you thinking what I'm thinking on why its helm looks like Skull Knight?)
?
@Werel:
Spoiler:
Mmm, I was referring to the advent actually.

As for the berserker armour I...don't think it has a sentience on the level of a human. I prefer to think that it does possess an 'instinct' that is only expressed once it has a host. In that sense, maybe the armour is more parasitic?? For some reason I'm thinking of the Cordyceps fungus that hijacks the nervous system of ants. Relative to us humans, a fungus doesn't have a high-tier sentience, and yet it is able to use ants to propagate itself in a very devious fashion. Maybe the armour works in a similar sense?

And since the armour operates primarily on instinct, it adopts the host's will as a sort of 'brain' and thereby re-shapes itself to reflect the nature of it's host's bloodlust (which is why the helm is shaped like a wolf when worn by Guts and why it looks like a skull when worn by King Gaiseric.)

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Re: Berserk

Post by Werel on Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:44 pm

HermitTheToad wrote:Ahhhh, you noobs haven't had your baptism yet Shiny/thrilled.
I think bomaye has, but he seems to still be alive, so I'm hoping everybody else'll survive the baptismal font Laughing

manga 26+:

HermitTheToad wrote:As for the berserker armour I...don't think it has a sentience on the level of a human. I prefer to think that it does possess an 'instinct' that is only expressed once it has a host. In that sense, maybe the armour is more parasitic?? For some reason I'm thinking of the Cordyceps fungus that hijacks the nervous system of ants. Relative to us humans, a fungus doesn't have a high-tier sentience, and yet it is able to use ants to propagate itself in a very devious fashion. Maybe the armour works in a similar sense?
Yeahhhh, that's a great comparison. Roughly how I imagine it working too; it seems to want to be used, and wants to do all that nasty bone-setting and flesh-suturing, and is happy to adapt itself to whatever form is most likely to make its host go get its bones broken and flesh torn. Dwarves sound like jerks, to make a thing like that. Laughing

I wonder, though, whether it was one of Flora's predecessors who originally got it from Skull Knight, or whether it was Flora herself as a much younger lady (she lived to like 300, right?), given how well she seems to know him. ALSO why the hell did Skull Knight give it up, assuming he actually is Emperor Gaiseric? Did he know Guts would need it in the future, or he didn't need it anymore once he became Skull Knight, or Run in circles flail Love them needlessly obscure Berserk mysteries.

manga vol 10:

God I'd forgotten the tactical boob touch Laughing

Enail wrote:-Fuuuuuuuuuuck, Griffith Sad  And Guts' face while he's cradling him
Scuse me, I think I've got something in my eye Sad

Enail wrote:
-Casca going through that realization that 'the other girl' is a decent human being. This whole bit really captures that ol' internalized misogyny/jealousy/insecurity stew.  And then her face when Charlotte says Griffith gave her the power to do what she's doing.
Yeah. I'm so so glad that Charlotte got her little moment of initiative and heroism (even if it's interspersed with being a little bratty baby IWANNAGOIWANNAGOIWANNAGO, she can't help it Laughing), and that Casca had to slurp down that big bowl o' stew in the context of being grateful to her.

Enail wrote:-Things are kind of weird whenever they bring in fighters from 'exotic lands.'
Glad they left them out of the anime. The Bakiraka are not my favorite. Sloppy orientalism ho!  Disapproving

ETA: Wait. If it's a Japanese guy writing a European story featuring Indian stereotypes... is it... occidentalism? Orientalism-via-occidentalism? Transorientoccidentalism? Loopy

Prajnaparamita wrote:-“Junk grows dull?” More like “JUNK GROWS HARD, LMAO RIGHT?!” Thanks folks, I’ll be here all week!


Prajnaparamita wrote:Wow, I know it’s a throwaway detail
OR IS IT Wink wink nudge nudg

Prajnaparamita wrote:but the graves in Windham are really beautiful looking, and make me curious about the religion(s) of the Midlands (given how many of the figures seem to have halos)
Well then you're gonna enjoy volumes 14-38/the new anime Shiny/thrilled

Prajnaparamita wrote:-So, uhhh… Are butterfly fairies good, and moth fairies evil then?
Short answer: yeah, basically, good eye!
Boring answer: manga volumes 14-15 (my least favorite plot arc)

I love volume 10. Such a good build to 13. Heart
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Re: Berserk

Post by Prajnaparamita on Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:49 pm

So I heard from an authority (i.e. rich boy) that volume 11 is cringe-y, filler nonsense that I can skip as it doesn't really have any bearing on the larger plot, but that I should read anyway because it will make excellent shitposting material.

But then after that, I should read all of volumes 12-14 in one sitting, for best appreciation (on this point he was quite adamant), which sounds like quite the undertaking given that's some 600 pages of manga basically there. Given that would like take me a day, I would need to refrain from shitposting/livebloging the thing as I go through, as the simultaneous reading and writing adds like an hour or so to my read time. Werel, you're the expert here, should I continue doing one volume at a time with write ups, or dive in and binge 12-14 and check in again after I'm done?

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Re: Berserk

Post by Student on Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:45 pm

Prajnaparamita wrote:So I heard from an authority (i.e. rich boy) that volume 11 is cringe-y, filler nonsense that I can skip as it doesn't really have any bearing on the larger plot, but that I should read anyway because it will make excellent shitposting material.

But then after that, I should read all of volumes 12-14 in one sitting, for best appreciation (on this point he was quite adamant), which sounds like quite the undertaking given that's some 600 pages of manga basically there. Given that would like take me a day, I would need to refrain from shitposting/livebloging the thing as I go through, as the simultaneous reading and writing adds like an hour or so to my read time. Werel, you're the expert here, should I continue doing one volume at a time with write ups, or dive in and binge 12-14 and check in again after I'm done?  

While volume 11 hardly is one of the high points of the series it isn't bad. It also adds to the impact of another scene in one of the later episodes.

You do not, as far as I remember, need to "binge read" any parts of Berserk. If volumes 12-14 are what I remember them to be, you should read them at the pace you feel comfortable. It's pointless, imo, to decide to binge reads parts when there's no real need to do it.

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Re: Berserk

Post by Werel on Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:58 pm

Iiiiii don't actually remember much about 11, maybe just skim it? Uh-oh If it's actually all that bad, yeah, let us at least chuckle at your hatred!

ETA: And I imagine you're not going to want to put down 12-13 before you're done, unless maybe you want to read it a few pages at a time with long breaks in between, i.e. the opposite. Depends on how your stomach and heart do with it Shudder
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Re: Berserk

Post by Enail on Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:19 am

Vol 11:

-That little panel of Griffith, silent in his helm, looking at the flowers in his lap, stabbed me right in the heart.
-Casca gripping Griffith's shoulder, Guts looking away.
-I see it's 'murder and rape kindly peasants' o'clock again  Neutral
-Oh, wait, no, it's 'murder and rape kindly peasants and then ride with their dismembered, beheaded torsos impaled on your spears held aloft' o'clock, my mistake. So, these guys are medieval Reavers, then. Glad we've got that nice and clear.
-"If I'm in danger, I'll run away"  Shocked That's something I never thought I'd see Guts say. (He still didn't do it, though Disapproving )
-Their little band is really getting to show their strategic thinking and teamwork to good effect in this whole rescue storyline. Apparently they weren't just leaning on Griffith's smarts all their battles!
-Whew, I'm happy to see Corkus! I'd forgotten he was sent out with another team (at least I think they must have said that earlier), I was worried he'd died in the demon attack on the camp. I wish we'd find out what's happening with Rickert, still, though.  nailbiting panic
-Poor Corkus  Laughing
-They've been doing a good job of gradually easing you back into the demonic elements bit by bit the last few volumes. Otherwise, it would feel sort of out of the blue since it's been so long they were mostly dealing with regular people.
-Oh ffs, demon trying to tentacle-rape Casca!? Nope. Just nope. This chapter is disqualified.
-The panels showing Griffith's reactions throughout the fight are good, though, just the barest hint of what he's thinking, almost totally obscure.
-Guts putting Griffith's armour on him  Crying
-"It will definitely return to your hands"  Shudder / Shiny/thrilled   It's amazing how much at this point it's got you wanting Griffith to gain his demonic power, even though you know that's the worst possible thing, just seeing someone so powerful, so incredible, so completely broken and stripped of power, he just has to get it back.
-Otherwise, a pretty pointless episode, all the important stuff could have been wrapped into something else, the anime was right to skip it.

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Re: Berserk

Post by Werel on Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:34 am

Enail's summary of that volume w/links to the few good pages > actually reading that volume Shiny/thrilled

ETA:
manga vol 13/episode 25:

Enail wrote:-Oh ffs, demon trying to tentacle-rape Casca!? Nope. Just nope. This chapter is disqualified.
....Uh-oh  Uh-oh rofl  Uh-oh  Uh-oh
 
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Re: Berserk

Post by Enail on Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:47 pm

Manga Vol 12:

-Their reactions Sad
-Oh jeez, this scene. This author really knows how to wring every fucking drop of emotion out of something.
-"If you're Griffith's friend, you must go." Casca, so selfless  Crying
-Melancholy, happy dream-Casca and Griffith and their kid  Shocked (and is naming your kid after your ex really a good idea?! Also, is Pippin okay with having a dog named after him?? Dream people have bad judgement Uh-oh )
-Oh shit... (great image, though  Uh-oh )
-So all this talk about fate is probably g-good news for Rickert, right? Right?  Sad
-Oh look, it's Puck, long time no see! Things are coming round to the beginning now.
-You can really see how much Casca's improved as a leader, she's fast to see that Corkus is starting to crack under the freaky eclipse and to get them focused on something they can handle, way more aware and ready to take charge than she was when the Midland troops turned on them a year ago.
-Hey, I think it's cape-with-butt-window demon lady! This is a rare case where nudity is not only a real fashion improvement but also actually looks less indecent! Laughing
-I think Corkus is gonna crack in spite of Casca's leadership  :/
-Oh no, a precious sacrifice to become a demon kind, I can see where this is going...  No
-The vision of Griffith's road to the castle was pretty hauntingly done, watching him come to his decision, what it means.
-His face as he says it
-No, Rickert, don't go there!!! Run away!!!

Vol. 13:

-Judeau and Pippin conspiring to try to save Casca  Crying
-Corkus  Crying
-Judeau and Casca dragging each other on and then...Crying
-And then we go with a 'stripped naked and demon rape' scene for Casca and I'm dropped right out of it. Ugh. I KNOW SHE'S GOING TO DIE, JUST KILL HER PROPERLY AND LET ME SOB MY HEAD OFF ALREADY, FUCK YOU.
-This was rather beautiful. So still amidst all the fighting and blood and misery.
-Brrr  Shudder
-This is an unusually detailed idea of what destiny means in a world.
-Gaston's face exploding into a demon. Pippin. The demon with Corkus' head in its maw. I-is that Judeau? No It's precisely captured the exact feel of the worst sort of nightmare, that weight, the endless, sickening horror, that dread.
-Shit. Casca. This didn't need to be sexualized, it just takes it beyond the total, nightmarish awfulness and into... not ridiculousness, because it's still crushingly awful, but it feels like an unpleasant decision by a creator rather than like someone opened a vein and let the pure essence of nightmare burst out. I should be sobbing my head off, but it's muted under vague disgust as she arches sexily in panel after panel of ass shots and detailed rape.
-Femto is not a sufficiently impressive name for the cause of all this horror and despair.  Neutral
- Surprised  They're alive?? B-both of them???  Surprised HOLY SHIT RICKERT THAT'S WHY YOU'RE HERE SAVE THEM PLEASE SAVE THEM WHATEVER HORRIBLE THING IS STILL COMING FOR CASCA, DON'T LET IT HAPPEN
-This page  Crying
-That scene where Guts is running, seeing memories of the dead Hawks in ordinary times  Crying
-Oh fuck, Casca, I knew it had to be coming, but... Do I have to read the next volume?  No
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Re: Berserk

Post by Werel on Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:25 pm

Hi Enail how you feeling? You feeling happy? Feeling good? Totally into being alive rn?   Party

manga 12-13:

Enail wrote:-Hey, I think it's cape-with-butt-window demon lady! This is a rare case where nudity is not only a real fashion improvement but also actually looks less indecent! Laughing
DAMMIT, DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH AT ANYTHING ABOUT THIS TRAGIC VOLUME  Crying

-Griffith falling on Casca KILLS ME, her hand on his back KILLS ME
-Dream of quiet country life KILLS ME (I think Pippin would be okay with being a dog's namesake... not that he gets to choose anything anymore...)
-Casca rallying everyone to fight something they don't even understand well enough to know that it can't be fought KILLS ME
-Griffith's face when he says it KILLS ME
-The line is different in the manga, I think, but I always think of Corkus in the anime pressing his face into those demon boobs and saying "Shit... why am I such a sucker..." and it KILLS ME
-Judeau's last moment KILLS ME
-Casca. Was wondering how you'd react to that.
-Shit. Casca. This didn't need to be sexualized, it just takes it beyond the total, nightmarish awfulness and into... not ridiculousness, because it's still crushingly awful, but it feels like an unpleasant decision by a creator rather than like someone opened a vein and let the pure essence of nightmare burst out. I should be sobbing my head off, but it's muted under vague disgust as she arches sexily in panel after panel of ass shots and detailed rape.
The way it's executed: yes. Terrible. It feels severely tasteless, given that the rest is pure cold carnage, to bow to stupid titillating fanservice or whatever he was thinking. Every panel that reads remotely sexy instead of brutal and repulsive is the WRONG call, and totally jolts the reader out of the moment, like you said. In the anime, too, every boob bounce and ass shot was like "nope, this is clearly some animation that got lost in the mail on the way to some bullshit Ninja Scroll knockoff, how did they accidentally put it in Berserk?" And it is really disconcerting to be bouncing between sobs at everything else, and sneers at how mostly puerile and tone-deaf the rape bit felt.

BUT... but. Something about the fact that Casca got special treatment gets to me. Everyone else was just unceremoniously made into meat, except Guts, but that's because we know he holds an unparalleled place in Griffith's heart. It's no surprise that he would be allowed to survive a while, be toyed with, and get as close as he did to stopping Griffith, because he's the only person on earth who for sure has power over/meaning to him. For Casca, it's always an open question as to whether Griffith gives a single shit about her, or if she's just extremely useful to him, and that uncertainty was used to pretty good emotional effect throughout her arc. The fact that Femto's first act is to rape her just complicates that question even further: is it an attainment of something Griffith wanted in life? Is it a message to Casca (not that she'll know now :/)? Is it nothing but the most effective way to hurt Guts, and would Griffith even have known to hurt him that way if he hadn't seen Guts and Casca's moments of tenderness after rescuing him? And the moment she opens her eyes and seems to recognize who he is and what he's doing... what unimaginable mix of emotions is that? It gets to me for reasons beyond the sheer horror and grotesqueness of demon + rape.

(There is another pretty big plot consequence of that rape that comes up later in the manga, and I assume Miura had that plot point in mind well before writing the Eclipse, so I've always assumed that's why he chose to have it happen; but I totally agree, it's not done well at all, and in fact is done astonishingly badly in comparison to the rest of the story up to that point.)

Enail wrote:-Oh fuck, Casca, I knew it had to be coming, but... Do I have to read the next volume? No
No, but nothing else at any point in the series is going to break your heart as much as it's already broken, sooooo the damage is done. Sad
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Re: Berserk

Post by Enail on Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:49 pm

Fine, vol. 14 even though I kind of don't wanna:

-They had a demon baby?  Suspect
-Not crazy about this whole 'Casca is insane, helpless and locked away for her own good, and usually topless' thing. It kind of feels like a cheap way to wring a little extra angst from things while keeping her around either for more cheap angst or (pleasepleaseplease) for her to come back to herself some day. And Guts is really bad at behaving in ways that won't freak out someone traumatized by demon-rape.
-Dayum.
-I wonder what the deal is with the skull-knight. It almost seem like a supernatural version of Guts, or at least some parallels both in grumpy taciturn stubborn fighting-ness and in that he seems to have some kind of personal connection to the demons or wantedness by them. Maybe it's future-Guts after even more awful things happen  Uh-oh

Well, I think that's the end of the arc. This last bit was a bit of a letdown after the big horror, but at least there's still some hope for Casca. :/  And I'm glad Rickert's still okay. :/

I'm going to finish off this volume of the manga rather than stop mid-volume.

-Prajna, looks like you're getting your wish, we're gonna get some religion!
-Oh no, the lake, a-are those limbs and entrails from our Hawks? *sob*
-So we're getting another female character with an active role now that Casca's out of commission, huh? Gotta have one, I guess Wink
-Creeeeepy moth-elves
-Boy, is Puck making silly faces jarring, and even Guts joking, after all the misery
-But I still LOL'd at this <_<

Without the sense of looming tragedy and the personal relationships deeply entwined, this all feels a bit flat and low-stakes now. I hope there's a plan for things to get back soon into more important, lasting character-based storylines and for dealing with Griffith (and for that to be in more meaningful ways than just Griffith being evil and powerful and Guts trying to stab him with his large hunk of elemental nerd sword. Just monster-of-the-day stories about a wandering, embittered swordsman seems like a waste.

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Re: Berserk

Post by Prajnaparamita on Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:55 pm

Hey guys, I'm out. I can't do it anymore with this fucking series. 15 pages of
Vol 13 spoilers:
Casca getting raped in a super sexualized, glorified way, like the reader is supposed to get off on it, with extra focus being put on her jiggling tits and her firm ass and her moans
is the point where I feel like my good will as a reader has been taken too far, what with
Vol 11 spoilers:
Casca getting almost tentacle raped twice recently


It's too much for me, I'm sorry. I feel like Berserk did a really good job of handling rape when it comes to the male characters, where it's shown as psychologically damaging and something out of the ordinary, but this is the
Spoiler:
FIFTH time Casca has either been raped or nearly raped,, and it's presented in a way like we're supposed to be jacking off to it. Like when it happens to Guts, it's brief, what happened is only ever so slightly shown and mostly implied, and then everything is just memories of that one little scene, LIKE MAYBE, YOU KNOW, THE AUTHOR FINDS IT TOO PROBLEMATIC TO GO IN DEPTH DRAWING A FUCKING RAPE SCENE

...And certainly he doesn't make it look like porn. Seriously, all the fucking boob jiggles. I just can't.

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Re: Berserk

Post by Enail on Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:05 am

Werel wrote:Hi Enail how you feeling? You feeling happy? Feeling good? Totally into being alive rn?   Party  

Feeling *sob* great,  Crying thumbs  Crying  up Crying,  Heart  Sun :whydon'twehaveasmileyforlyingonthefloorandwishingyouweredead:*sob*

manga 12-13:


-The line is different in the manga, I think, but I always think of Corkus in the anime pressing his face into those demon boobs and saying "Shit... why am I such a sucker..." and it KILLS ME

Cut that out, if I start to laugh, it might get me crying and I might not ever stop.


BUT... but. Something about the fact that Casca got special treatment gets to me. Everyone else was just unceremoniously made into meat, except Guts, but that's because we know he holds an unparalleled place in Griffith's heart. It's no surprise that he would be allowed to survive a while, be toyed with, and get as close as he did to stopping Griffith, because he's the only person on earth who for sure has power over/meaning to him. For Casca, it's always an open question as to whether Griffith gives a single shit about her, or if she's just extremely useful to him, and that uncertainty was used to pretty good emotional effect throughout her arc. The fact that Femto's first act is to rape her just complicates that question even further: is it an attainment of something Griffith wanted in life? Is it a message to Casca (not that she'll know now :/)? Is it nothing but the most effective way to hurt Guts, and would Griffith even have known to hurt him that way if he hadn't seen Guts and Casca's moments of tenderness after rescuing him? And the moment she opens her eyes and seems to recognize who he is and what he's doing... what unimaginable mix of emotions is that? It gets to me for reasons beyond the sheer horror and grotesqueness of demon + rape.

I read it as most likely reasserting power over both Guts and Casca, a more demonic and outright rape-filled version of the way he went straight for Princess Charlotte after Guts left before.

Based on his reactions seeing Casca and Guts together after his rescue and before the eclipse, it seemed to me like he did have an element of emotional attachment to Casca, as well as some general power-loss upsetedness that she was no longer just his to control, and a lot of envy/resentment of Guts.

But yeah, there were elements of real, interesting/awful character horror in there that weren't destroyed by the demon-rape edginess, but it certainly muted their impact for me.


(There is another pretty big plot consequence of that rape that comes up later in the manga, and I assume Miura had that plot point in mind well before writing the Eclipse, so I've always assumed that's why he chose to have it happen; but I totally agree, it's not done well at all, and in fact is done astonishingly badly in comparison to the rest of the story up to that point.)

Is that the demon baby? Which is another element that seems rather weird, cliched and likely to land up creating some weird gendered angst. But I'm sure it'll all manage to properly rip out my heart, too.  :/
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Re: Berserk

Post by Enail on Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:06 am

I hear you, Prajna :/
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Re: Berserk

Post by Prajnaparamita on Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:34 am

Yeah, I think I might have to tap out here, just because of
Spoiler:
the combo of peasant girl getting raped and then Casca getting raped in such rapid succession the good feels I had about "oh wow what a powerful and effective use of rape in a grimdark story to actually show something about these characters and the world they live in" are now kinda all used up. What makes it worse is that it's rape to motivate a male character and add to his angst, while rendering the female character helpless and totally without any agency, just a passive vessel for men to have feels at/stick their dick in

Ugh. I might return at some point, but honestly I feel like the author really used up my good faith and investment and I'm not interested in continuing


Last edited by Werel on Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:23 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Mod edit to add spoiler tags)

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Re: Berserk

Post by Werel on Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:01 am

Totally understood, and sorry for any distress that wasn't balanced out by payoff! 12-13 is easily the biggest reason I hesitate before recommending this series to anybody, it's way beyond Problematic with a capital P.

12-13:

Enail wrote:Is that the demon baby? Which is another element that seems rather weird, cliched and likely to land up creating some weird gendered angst. But I'm sure it'll all manage to properly rip out my heart, too.  :/
Yeah, and definitely does all the things you anticipate, from innocent "lame trope" to Crying "why am I being so affected by this lame trope".

14:

-Not crazy about this whole 'Casca is insane, helpless and locked away for her own good, and usually topless' thing. It kind of feels like a cheap way to wring a little extra angst from things while keeping her around either for more cheap angst or (pleasepleaseplease) for her to come back to herself some day. And Guts is really bad at behaving in ways that won't freak out someone traumatized by demon-rape.
What Casca becomes in the following 20ish volumes is mostly a plot point/mute sidekick/emotional impact and that was rough for me too, but... no big spoilers... the last 8 or so (excruuuuuciatingly slow) volumes have been about progress towards restoring her sanity. That's part of what's kept me on the hook, but I'm also just a sucker for punishment Uh-oh

Enail wrote:-I wonder what the deal is with the skull-knight. It almost seem like a supernatural version of Guts, or at least some parallels both in grumpy taciturn stubborn fighting-ness and in that he seems to have some kind of personal connection to the demons or wantedness by them. Maybe it's future-Guts after even more awful things happen Uh-oh
Grin Skull Knight is still full of mysteries, even to me.

Enail wrote:-So we're getting another female character with an active role now that Casca's out of commission, huh? Gotta have one, I guess Wink
YEPPPPP. Laughing Farnese is a little Far-cheese at times (and has some DUMB DUMB DUMB moments that also severely blemish Miura's "p decently written women" record), but I ended up really liking her for the ideas/systems she brings to the party.

Enail wrote:Without the sense of looming tragedy and the personal relationships deeply entwined, this all feels a bit flat and low-stakes now. I hope there's a plan for things to get back soon into more important, lasting character-based storylines and for dealing with Griffith (and for that to be in more meaningful ways than just Griffith being evil and powerful and Guts trying to stab him with his large hunk of elemental nerd sword. Just monster-of-the-day stories about a wandering, embittered swordsman seems like a waste.
Yeah, agreed. It's impossible to follow that up with anything that won't feel mostly pointless (i.e. your whole week IRL after finishing the Eclipse). The series struggles to find its feet for a couple volumes after this (the moth-demon arc is boooooring and duuuuumb), and if I hadn't already been pretty invested in it/wanting to catch up with friends I might've bounced then, but I enjoy some of the places it ends up going. It becomes much less about personal relationships and human-scale ambitions than large-scale metaphysical world-building, though.

That said... I will admit that nothing ever replicates the sheer emotional impact and cohesiveness and character development of the Golden Age arc. If you wanna bounce at this point, you've gotten 90% of the good stuff out of the series (and fulfilled my dream of being able to employ metaphors like "I'm not piling up corpses to get to THAT castle" Razz), and I'm just completely tickled at having gotten to talk about the most important part of the story with you people Shiny/thrilled

ETA: Prajna, I'm going to put your thing in spoiler tags, in case any masochists reading this still want to make it through 12-13 without knowing what's coming. Wink
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