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What you miss is the excellent back story that leads up to the main story. Those ominous leaps into fantasy were tidbits of things to come. Of course, the story would eventually become more fantasy oriented. How else could Miura explain Griffith's transformation into Femto? Or how Guts' will defeat him? Supernatural foes must be defeated supernaturally. It was proven in volume 3 that simply swinging a huge sword at a godhand is useless.
Although, I do agree that the rate of releases are painful. I can only hope that Miura will stop milking his magnum opus and just finish it.
Last edited by Roflkopt3r; May 26, 2011 at 01:40 PM.
Loss of dark atmosphere and focused plot aside, if the Golden Age is simply the back story, I would've hoped that the main story would be just as, if not more, emotionally engaging. I really don't feel as emotionally involved as I did with the earlier characters and stories. Some less likable, others less realistic, overall less suspense.
Remember in the beginning when Guts met up with a little girl and her father? Not a night goes by and the girl's tragically killed and possessed. That was the dark world that was established. Now I really don't get why they decided to add kids to the group. I could understand someone around Rickert's age, but Isidro's what? Ten? Realistically he should've died or gotten possessed a long time ago. Terrible and unnecessary comic relief aside, he has no connection to the story.
Shierke's likeable enough, but I don't really like how her magic impacted the series. Armies have lost their significance when she can just nuke them, no one has to fully rely on their own skill with all their magical augments, and most injuries have little to no threat anymore. And again, what was the purpose of making her so young? Bringing her into a story that's been prominent with murder and rape, you think more children joining the group fits the theme? And her crush on Guts? It's like they're trying to make it out to be a serious love triangle nowadays. lol
Puck hasn't acted like an actual or likable character in years, so moving on.
Serpico and Farnese were the only new members I really liked joining in the beginning. I thought the whole Holy Knights questioning their place, and dark aristocratic background was well done. Though I thought Farnese developed a little too quickly. She went from sadistic masochist to doting babysitter within a few chapters. And I really liked seeing the tactics Serpico employed, but that's lost when he sticks with his new magic garb.
And of course Casca, loss of a good strong willed character, and loss of well done romantic aspects. May be years away from seeing her recover, but of course we're not above playing her mental state as comic relief every now and then. >>
As for the supernatural bits, I can understand supernatural things happening, but I preferred when people still saw them as otherworldly. It used to be a more carefully handled aspect of the story, knowing not to really overdo it so to speak. And I liked it when demons were shown more as subtle manipulators of human history. With things like the spreading of the plague, or apostles seizing their own power, all following the idea that we're puppets of causality. Heh, now apostles are little more than cannon-fodder, and apparently on Griffith's order, vegetarians.
Last edited by York; June 25, 2011 at 02:47 PM.
As far as your points with the transformation of the series from the Golden Age until now.....I can't say an opinion is wrong, but the world in Berserk itself has undergone a transformation. Maybe that's a cop-out *shrugs*
Also, I'd caution against characterizing events like the change in Farnese as happening in a chapter or two. Reading the series in one go, and actually following it in real-time can foul up the sense of pacing. It goes both ways actually, as it seems like Guts and Company have been out to sea for years now
So, I should blame the breaking down of the interstice for the overuse of cartoony art, and misdirection of story? (Sorry if I'm sounding hostile, not my intent)Quote:
Sadly I feel they're actually aiming for a younger demographic at this point. Thus the degenerating shonen tendencies.
Middle of the Conviction arc, she's pleasuring herself to the thought of torture, after having found satisfaction burning people alive her whole life. Within a few chapters of joining Guts, (a week or two later?) she's risking her life to care for Casca. I can understand changing her, but there wasn't much transition, or time for developing a complete change of character.Quote:
Again, those are your opinions. Cartoony art is mostly limited to Puck and Isidro. The art has never been better. You can't expect a decently long series, much less one that has ran for 20+ years to maintain an art style. Every series goes through these changes. Misdirection of the plot?.......I'm not sure how to respond to that. The one who only knows the true direction of the plot is Miura, and as readers, we are allowed to critique it afterwards. I'm not sure what subplot you think he's wasting time on.
I can't disagree about what demo they're aiming for. The group that surrounds Guts now has done a lot to take away some of the dark atmosphere from the story for sure, but that could be by design. Only Miura knows. Remember, the series is still in a Seinen publication. "Shonen tendencies" is sort of a broad term, so not sure what you mean by it. People mistake comedic relief and goofy art for "shounen" sometimes, which couldn't be more wrong. Nothing about Berserk screams shounen to me.
IIRC there was a timeskip involved during Farnese's pursuit of Guts and then joining him thereafter. I don't know, I don't remember specifics.
Fighting hordes of Demons? Guts and Serpico are fighting to the death? Better throw in Yoda jokes. Not like I should be taking these moments seriously.
Afterwards? I can't critique a plot twenty years into the story?Quote:
As for what subplots, there's been several. The elf village, the troll village, this whole pirate deal on this new island. Parts were too drawn out for what they needed to establish. If there's several chapters of fighting when it's obvious no main character's in danger, along with little or no story progression, it can be considered filler.
For reference, the Conviction arc was something I liked. An established direction, several well written characters and plot points that would impact the main story. Also several really well done villains. (but why Mozgus started shouting attack names like a Naruto villain is beyond me)
I tend to associate unrealistic reactions and unnecessary over-the-top humor with generic shonens.Quote:
And the feel of battle has changed. Less realism, more flash in exchange for less substance. Overpowered magic. Everyone standing on the sideline cause Guts is the only one who can fight with his new power. Makes me think of something out of Dbz. (maybe not that bad, but still..)
Also, lost romance aspects for a few random crushes. People have fricking shipped Guts and Schierke. lol
Doesn't really help to say that there was development and transition, but it was offscreen.Quote:
Last edited by York; May 29, 2011 at 03:29 AM.
Now really what is my point is not necessarily the fact whether or not the story is prolongued or whatever. It's just the direction all of this is taking... It became too soft, too shounenlike, too uninspired.
The first arc where i really had the feeling of "this is more a filler than anything else" was the "fairy land" arc, the connector of Black Swordsman Arc in Volume 14. The enemy and "allies" were kinda arbitrary, unrelated to the main story, the story does not really progress anywhere.
Yet it was so different from the current Fantasia arc. It was all about Gattsu, it was dark (won't ever forget how Gattsu throws himself into the fire and extinguishes it with blood and corpses...), there was no magic involved exept some fairy dust. There were painful moments for everyone and Gattsu did not know what to do and where to go. He was chasing this elf girl who was such a tragic character. Tragedy all over, no way to "win" this.
It was just GAR and pain.
It felt approximately 999²³x cooler than Fantasia arc.
No, not every part of the series has to be bad for Gattsu, but the current one is just too good. There is no conflict, no developement for Gattsu, just showing off embarrassingly designed Batman Gattsu slashing at random monsters and uninteresting spear carriers getting screentime beeing Shounen.
It became dull and boring and overdone
What I loved so much about Berserk, was how human it was. Searching for a purpose, and even when finding one it is lost so easily. Tragedy at every corner. Gattsu beeing so unlike those perfect Shounen protagonists, beeing swayed by his moods, making mistakes, beeing cruel, suffering so much.
That's all gone...
One of my most favorite scenes ever: When Gattsu assassinates General Julius at the castle after Griffith told him so, and Gattsu accidentially kills Julius' son. The way Gattsu has this nightmare afterwards and stands there, beaten both physically and mentally: http://i39.mangareader.net/berserk/6/berserk-24968.jpg
Last edited by Roflkopt3r; July 14, 2011 at 09:13 AM.
Then: Great. Griffith's rise to power and fall is interesting.
Now: Good and then going down hill into lameness. I hate Schierke. This current arc with the Mermaids is REALLY boring. I don't even care about Guts anymore and everyone else just seems to be there. Then these fish monsters they are fighting. Hurry up and die already so Guts
can travel to the magical elf land and get rid of Caska who Then had the potential to be an interesting character and NOW is only really good
for being a hot naked retard.
I liked the arc with the moth children people
I liked the "Let's Shit on the Roman Catholic Church" arc. Mozgus was cool and had epic expressions.
I liked the Hawk of the Millenium Arc and the Kushuan Empire and all that jazz and the new Band of the Hawk is cool.
I liked Farnese having to go get a boat from her rich parents and then thinking that she'll have to leave the group.
Made me actually start to give a crap about her again when before Schierke was making her into her lame fangroup. Ugh.
I like Farnese's fiance. I expected him to be a jerk but he's cool. However it's only too bad he got introduced in this lame sauce arc.
Fantasia Arc is absolute suckage. The only thing remotely interesting of it is the pirate dude looking like a pirate.
^^ It is based on that, but Miura can not use the same names and stuff, another story with the Holy See in Berserk would really be good, just to remind of some of the old days, I can not say if those were better, since this arc is going slow with the breaks, back then I read the church arc in one go, because it was a complete story and it was epic.
Berserk is easily the most well-composed story I've ever read whether it be manga, comic, or novel. In every aspect of itself it is a model of excellence. The characters, the art, the tone, and the storytelling are all unmatched. The Golden Age was such a perfect follow-up to the prologue that introduced Guts, and it masterfully crafted his history and the character dynamics. Establishing both him and Griffith as my two favorite characters. The sentimentality Guts and Griffith expressed was always so thoughtful and moving, and I think having so much of that aspect so concentrated in that part of the story is why it is the best part so far. It's not to say that the later parts aren't amazing. They have been perfect to follow-up all that has happened and I love every step they've taken. Berserk has taken my breath away at so many points. I could never say I prefer any of the major arcs over another, but that they are all dependent on each other to be as great as they have been.
The criticisms about what combat has become and the lack of focus on Guts are ones that I can't really agree with. In The Golden Age Guts was becoming a man, but after the events of the Eclipse his priorities have been forced to focus on such serious matters perpetually that his growth has slowed down dramatically. It's still there, and he still has some huge choices to face. I believe we're in the third act of the five act play, and it isn't a surprise things could feel slower here. I don't mind though. All the things being setup are fascinating and represent so much to come for the story. The combat's evolution alongside the development of the supernatural aspects has been totally great, and we've had a logical growth in ability since then. Guts Berserk Armor being a big part. Someone said Apostles have become canon-fodder, but I don't see how they could think that when we've hardly seen Guts fight any since The Golden Age arc. Almost all they've fought since were spawns of some sort of an Apostle. He's only had two one-on-one fights with Apostles since The Golden Age arc. The moth-like apostle and Grunbeld. He also fought Ganishka, but all he really did was help Zodd make one attack that didn't even kill him.
Isidro is basically Yahiko from Kenshin, but I think he could play a surprising role in relation to Guts, and I can appreciate that. Puck has become a very silly character, but I think of it as him aclimatizing to what surrounds their lives. I think Farnesse represents a big theme in the story and I've found her interesting. Serpico's detachment from the group can be bothersome, but otherwise I love him. I feel like Casca's current state has always been a constant reminder of what's happened to them, and how it still continues. I think its provided a great presence to the tone of the plot, but then again I genuinely feel sad with every scene she's in since she became this way.
Last edited by Avid; February 17, 2013 at 08:38 PM.
Maybe it is the current exceptionally slow rate of release, but it just seems a lot less focused and not as interesting. I still enjoy it immensely, but it doesn't move me like it used to.
As someone who just Berserk in one go without any long breaks I have to say that I feel there is a difference in quality.
Everything up until the Eclipse was great. Very tight storytelling and characters that wrote themselves. Miura didn't have to do anything. It feels like it was all there and he just needed to draw it. No, more like, he didn't need to think of what to draw, because the characters did the thinking. It was all to perfect. The eclipse was a finale that couldn't have been done better.
After that I was still invested in the characters. Obviously! My heart was crushed, so I followed Guts' adventure. In the beginning it all felt just as natural as before. His character unfolded before my eyes and the story developed well. The fairy children part was too long, but still worked well with the series for me. Then came the Rebirth Arc and it didn't really click with me. I get that it was an imitation of the Eclipse, but to me it was as much as that: a copy. Especially because the climax wasn't as intense. Actually I had the feeling it wasn't even there really. But maybe that's just me. After that, there were some parts I liked, some not so much. I enjoyed Farnese's character development (until her LSD-magic trips) and Schiercke works well with Guts, I think. Not much comes to mind, but that could be because I'm tired. Anyhow, in general things didn't feel as sharp to me. Plots and fights that dragged on for no good reason. At last we have the Mermaid Arc, which was horrible.
Griffith's journey is a little more interesting in the last volumes, simply because it's straight to the point and doesn't have any annoying stupid dumb ass jokes from Puck. Jesus Christ most of what is said by Puck and Isodro is so unnecessary, I just skip it. Guts is still Guts, but other characters take too much of his spotlight.
Summa summarum, I used to enjoy Berserk more. Not only because of the change in tone (just personal taste), but also because the writing used to be more precise and tight and the pace was better.
(Sorry, I don't have the power to proofread this post.)