Berserk

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Postby Reichu » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:58 pm

Why would you read the manga and THEN watch the original anime? Shouldn't that be the other way 'round?

Last week's episode (#04) seems to again demonstrate that this anime is at its most competent when it's following the manga closely. Pity all sorts of terrible adaptational choices had to precede Guts' talk with Godo and the reveal of the Beast.

Mozgus is a disappointment so far. I thought the CG might actually work with him, but, nope, can't even get a guy whose face looks chiseled from stone right. The voice acting was also not the hammy bombast I'd been hoping for. Wakamoto would have killed this role.
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Postby Tankred » Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:32 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:Why would you read the manga and THEN watch the original anime? Shouldn't that be the other way 'round?


Why would you watch the original anime and THEN read the manga? If you already know about the source material, you might as well stop beating around the bush and see the creators work first hand. Golden Age isn't everything, but eh, it's peoples personal choice.

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Postby Reichu » Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:36 pm

Responding to a question with a reversal of that question doesn't really help, you know...

I can understand the logic for just going straight to the source, but that's not what you said. You said "manga, THEN anime". Why? I can at least understand why someone would want to watch moving pictures before making a commitment to read. There's a reason book sales go up when a new film or TV adaptation comes out.
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Postby Tankred » Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:35 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:I can understand the logic for just going straight to the source, but that's not what you said. You said "manga, THEN anime".


Because it's the most straightforward way of getting into Berserk and getting up to speed with everything, I'm recommending it in that order, that's all. To me personally it makes little sense to recommend watching the anime and then going to the manga and reading 13 volumes of almost everything you've just watched in the anime, verses getting up to date with the manga and then watching it when the golden age arc has dulled slightly in ones memory, but I guess you could do vice versa, though that would be a pain if you were keen on getting into Berserk, that's why I recommended that anyway.

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Postby pwhodges » Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:06 am

I was catching up with this thread when I had a package delivered from Wordery (the manga of Orange as it happens). As usual Wordery had included a bookmark with each volume; one of them had printed on it: "The book is always better".
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Postby Ray » Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:36 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hv_jybdJDJo

Brihard, the guy who talked about Fire Emblem Fates Localization issues talks about why the CGI in the Berserk TV show is soooooooooo bad.
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Postby Javik » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:13 am

I saw the anime some time ago but read the manga recently and I must say, in some sense it was amazing in another it was a terrible dissapointment.

The amazing part is the manga's Golden Age Arc. I mean holy shit, the character dynamic between Guts, Casca and Griffith is some of the best I've seen in anime and manga. Not only it's an interesting and just well handled story it tackles the themes of finding personal meaning and being crushed by how those who you admire can often make you feel weak and insecure. These were just ideal characters to handle that it all felt natural and really emotional. On top of that the whole fantasy element adds this feeling that something dark and on a more grand scale will happend and when it does, it just crashes you with a force of a thousand tons. You saw Skullknight and you saw Wyald, these two kept you on edge but you when it didn't happend there was no way for you to be prepared. Those two aspects combined into one of the most impactful climaxes I've seen. It ravaged my heart and soul but in the best way fiction can possible can (in that way Eclipse really reminds me of EoE).

Yet then it turns out that's just 1/3 of the story we got so far, and how does the rest hold up? Well, not exactly as well. None of the characters nor the relationships they form are as interesting. It all just feels a lot more bland and because of the comedic relief characters a lot more cheesy. The art is interesting and the fantasy elements are cool but they don't carry the same weight they did in the Golden Age arc. It's as if Miura outdid himself and never really knew how to go back to that level he achieved earlier on. I mean sure, the spells Schierke casts are cool, the scene of Transformation after SkullNight strikes the Kushan emperor was beatiful. But still those are just moments in comparison with that whole amazing 13 or so volumes at the beginning.

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Postby Rosenakahara » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:17 am

Pfft sure that's your opinion and all but all of Berserk is fucking amazing, Conviction especially.
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Postby Shamsiel-kun » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:25 pm

View Original PostJavik wrote:The art is interesting and the fantasy elements are cool but they don't carry the same weight they did in the Golden Age arc. It's as if Miura outdid himself and never really knew how to go back to that level he achieved earlier on. I mean sure, the spells Schierke casts are cool, the scene of Transformation after SkullNight strikes the Kushan emperor was beatiful. But still those are just moments in comparison with that whole amazing 13 or so volumes at the beginning.


The point of Berserk is not "the descent of a unlucky man into something akin to hell", where "hell" is the destruction of everything and everyone he knew, leading to him plunging into the depths of despair and self-destruction depicted through mindless violence and excessive gorn, all for the sadistic pleasures of the reader. The world of Berserk may be a violent, awful hellhole (especially now that
SPOILER: Show
the astral plane has merged with the physical world
), but that is not the main subject. You should not read Berserk for its violence, but because it's an epic fantasy story with gorgeous art. It's more about an exploration of friendship, revenge and redemption, and their interactions.
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Postby Reichu » Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:14 pm

Javik: It must be kept in mind that the Golden Age is merely setting the stage for everything else. It's the manga's very long and detailed backstory. The Black Swordsman is actually where Miura's concept of Guts begins, and pretty much all that existed when he started drawing the manga. The Golden Age happened because Miura wanted to justify his character -- who was he, and what made him this way? The result was a story arc of exceptional quality, and indeed for many people (particularly those who haven't read the manga) it represents what Berserk "is". Does this mean that Miura failed to make Black Swordsman Guts and Berserker Guts as interesting as Mercenary Guts? The fact that the Golden Age is self-contained (more or less) probably contributes to the favoritism it receives. It knows what it wants to achieve and does it with great efficiency. The rest of the story, thus far, is a sprawling fantasy epic with an unclear endgame, a very different sort of beast. The Golden Age was the past, and the rest is the journey that Guts (and us) are currently on. Without knowing the end, and with the road so long and laborious, it's much harder to know what to make of things.

This perhaps goes without saying, but I encourage you to keep an open mind. And as with many of the best, richest works, more than one pass may be necessary.
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Postby Javik » Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:13 pm

This perhaps goes without saying, but I encourage you to keep an open mind. And as with many of the best, richest works, more than one pass may be necessary.
Well, I do keep up with it. Just read the newest chapter recently actually. I can still enjoy it to some degree, but it is kind of on a different level. I also find the goofiness of Puck, Isidro and Flora very anti-immersive. I know some people say that without comic relief it would be hard to read but for me it's the opposite. Golden Age sinked in amazingly but every time Puck goes all cheeby and makes some anachronistic reference I get pulled out of the experience.

In general I felt like at first I got fantasy on the level of "high" literature like something by Tolkien, Wolfe or Le Guin. With the chapters after that it's more like some of the pop fantasy novels I read as a good set in d&d settings. I could enjoy them as well and even there you'd sometimes find some interesting and unique ideas. But if I read Book of the New Sun and found out there were still eight more books and they were akin to those d&d novels I'd be rather dissapointed.

Not saying that this is some objective evaluation on my part, but that's just how it comes off to me personally.

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Postby Shamsiel-kun » Thu Sep 01, 2016 2:26 am

^ With Berserk I find that I sometimes need to read the whole thing again to get a better understanding of what is happening. It is not a manga that you can "get" by reading it once and not going back at a certain point, especially because Miura tends to drop hints towards later events that are not immediately obvious on first reading (I think he has the whole story written out in quite a lot of detail already, it's just that drawing it takes so much time).

Puck and the other elves being all cheery has been mentioned by other people as being disruptive, but his antics serve as a sort of counterweight to the darkness. Furthermore, his home is an integral part of the story. Even though Puck describes it in a highly idealistic manner, it is unlikely that it is without any dark sides (at a certain point Ivarela makes a comment about the Berserk armor that is...worrying :um: ), especially considering the manga has repeatedly demonstrated that elves are somewhat limited in their ability to consider and pay attention to evil machinations and other complicated things.
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Postby norival1992 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:24 am

Chap 346:
Multiple chestnuts, my god.

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Postby Reichu » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:25 am

Well, first cour of the new anime has ended. A second cour is on its way. Repent, sinners, for the end is nigh!

Eh, just kidding. The anime was thoroughly underwhelming, mostly by virtue of its terrible direction. (I mean, seriously, if the direction had been competent, so many flaws would have been easily forgiven.) I don't hate it, as it was far too mediocre to warrant such strong feelings (from me). As a way to spend some time sharing my love with Berserk with my boyfriend, it did okay. It got us cuddling in front of the TV enjoying Kuri-Puck's silly antics (one of the few things that worked in the anime, oddly enough...). Stone Angel Mozgus was pretty cool. We'll show up for the next bunch of episodes in spring. I'm not going to hope they're going to be significantly better, just that they'll be ... uh... something?

But, wait. The trolls show up for this arc, don't they? Ffffffff....!!!!

The biggest positive, IMO, is that the anime reminded me of how awesome the manga is and that I had yet to secure all of the volumes available in English. So I went ahead and got as many of the ones I was still missing as I could, and it feels great! Now, to procure a tall, skinny shelving unit so I can actually store all of them in our cramped apartment. (The new manga arrivals basically have nowhere to go at the moment, heh.)
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Postby norival1992 » Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:42 am

I feel as though with the Rebirth scene, pure silence would have been best. Also, when Guts saw Griffith and began to yell, it sounded reslly halfhearted.

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Postby Ray » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:08 pm

View Original Postnorival1992 wrote: Also, when Guts saw Griffith and began to yell, it sounded reslly halfhearted.


maybe it's for the best if you wait for the dub.
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Postby Reichu » Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:11 pm

View Original PostRay wrote:maybe it's for the best if you wait for the dub.

He already watched the entirety of Berserk 2016's first cour, so how do you reckon he would now "wait for the dub" instead? :p

That aside: the sound design of the new anime is so atrocious that it completely undermined the efforts of the Japanese cast*, so I have little doubt it will have the same effect on other language casts unless localizers take it upon themselves to fix the sound design issue. I can't think of any anime aside from series completely repackaged for being aired on international television that has had that kind of effort (or, if one prefers, "effort", since the motive is typically not related to there being anything wrong with the original sound design, but the localizers not wanting to pay for the rights to the original score or something) put into them. I guess there is the slight possibility that some of the issues will be corrected for the BD release, which the English dub is (hopefully) going to use as its base -- but I'm not going to count on it, either.

* Not to imply that the Japanese dub is an especially good example of the art form, but any good that is there gets buried and shafted by the poor decisions saturating the rest of the audio track... which is on top of the already bad storyboarding, pacing, and so forth. The standouts, to me, were probably:

Isidro - I'd been hoping for a female VA, but the guy they got turned out to be perfect, so, shows what I know!
Puck - Sounds just the way a child-like, androgynous nature spirit "should" sound (while also, importantly, not being ear cancer). The actress absolutely nailed the role, deftly balancing both the silly and serious sides of Puck's character. Her work played a big role, IMO, in making Puck one of the very few Berserk elements this adaptation actually handled well.
Skull Knight - Akio Otsuka is a veteran who knows his stuff, and his sonorous tones and calm, dignified delivery are "Skull Knight" through and through.
The Egg of the New World - The VA's vocal quality was suitably and delightfully unusual (whether intrinsically, through some subtle digital manipulation, or a combination of both). The line delivery was on-point, with the right balance of menace and pathos. The CG for the apostle's big monologue being among the best in the show surely helped (doze lips!), but without the voice I don't think the character would have accomplished anywhere near as much with the limited screen time he had.

norival1992 wrote:I feel as though with the Rebirth scene, pure silence would have been best.

I think I started laughing as soon as the electric guitar started up. Far from the glorious debut a new Hirasawa Berserk song deserves, innit?
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Postby norival1992 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:42 pm

View Original PostRay wrote:maybe it's for the best if you wait for the dub.

I will wait for the dub. ^_^

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Postby Ray » Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:11 pm

Manga Therapy Talks About Berserk, and It's Commentary on religion.

http://www.mangatherapy.com/post/150921 ... free-range
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Postby Squigsquasher » Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:01 am

I need to get back into reading the manga- haven't touched it since I reset my PC. IIRC the last chapter I read was...
SPOILER: Show
The one where Guts finally managed to kill Rosine or whatever the moth apostle was called. I think he was just captured by the Holy Iron Chain Knights.

But yeah, Berserk is awesome. As I mentioned in the Hauls thread, I just picked up the anime boxset, so I'll hopefully get round to watching that soon.
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