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Berserk 1997 Last Episode: A Metaphore for mental collapse (2900 words)

Publié le par Kevin

Berserk 1997 Last Episode: A Metaphore for mental collapse (2900 words)

As I was watching Berserk (the 1997 anime) and although I enjoyed it quite a lot, a few things confused me a bit:

 

First, Griffith was clearly a morbid, dangerous and negative person from the start in my eyes* and I didn’t know how I was supposed to look at his relationship with Guts, Casca and the Band of the Falcon. *(The first episode also hints at this)

Second, the fights are presented more like endless slaughters than actual fights. I know the story told is the one of a war and necessarily there will be violence, blood and deaths. Also, it is understandable that the Band of the Falcon should be a bit ruthless as they always find themselves outnumbered. They’re always the underdogs. The problem is that, at some point watching Guts, Judeau, Casca, Griffith and Pippin slash their way through hundreds of powerless enemies becomes embarrassing. Are we supposed to root for them simply because they’re the strongest ? Or the main characters ? Moreover, they always win. Witnessing the Band of the Falcon slaughtering hundreds of soldiers knowing that they will ultimately prevail makes the combats resemble predators swooping down on preys or kids torturing insects. They even become called “Grim Reapers of the Battlefield” after a few victories.

Another thing that “bothered” me is the fact that Griffith and his guys should be, essentially, mercenaries while the soldiers are soldiers, they protect their families and the order of the country they live in. The Band of the Falcon have no cause and take part to a fight that isn’t theirs and bring victory to a side without taking one minute to reflect upon who they are fighting for. There’s nothing ideological in what they are doing. Actually, Griffith will end up killing the Queen once he’s won the war for her.

Because of all this, it was a bit hard for me to root for the Band of the Falcon during the fights. Their victories are impressive hollow stunts. Griffith is bold, smart and efficient but at no point is it obvious that it is a good thing that he should win.

The fact that Guts should quickly grow tired of pursuing his leader’s dream is also an early indicator that there’s something morbid behind the logic of the Band of the Falcon.

This was my first point: I was intrigued by a lot of element and didn’t know what to think, but I was happy to see that the ending of the story, and other elements, are critical of the Band of the Falcon and of Griffith.

To be fair with Griffith, I believe that he's a broken man from the start, that he's been through worse than Guts or Casca or any of the members of the band of the Falcon. The godlike Griffith is a constructed image whereas the emaciated, incapacitated one is the one he truly is inside: an atrophied, crippled individuality, wearing the mask of a Falcon.

To be fair with Griffith, I believe that he's a broken man from the start, that he's been through worse than Guts or Casca or any of the members of the band of the Falcon. The godlike Griffith is a constructed image whereas the emaciated, incapacitated one is the one he truly is inside: an atrophied, crippled individuality, wearing the mask of a Falcon.

Truly, the band resembles a sect more than a group of mercenaries. Its members do not obey Griffith’s orders because they want to “serve and protect” someone or something or to do good, they’re just fascinated by the man and convinced that serving him is the best they can do for themselves. They’re entirely devoted and entirely selfish. It’s not an ideological relationship but an ego centered one. They feel gratified, honoured and proud to be part of the Band of the Falcon, and they believe in Griffith’s dream exactly as much as the man fascinates them. We’re in front of a Guru and his blind followers. Every victory is a proof to them that they are right to follow him, they never question the end of all this.

Griffith brings meaning to the lives of those who follow him, all the more so as he recruits them amongst orphans, pariahs and victims.

 

His story with Casca is quite revealing of how he can proceed. He helped her when she was assaulted by her employer, not by flatly intervening no, but by throwing a weapon at her feet so that she can kill her aggressor. At first, I didn’t know what to think of this, and thought that maybe he just wanted to make her feel like she saved herself so that she wouldn’t feel too indebted to him.

The problem is that when he drives his sword into the ground, Griffith doesn’t truly exclusively help Casca.

Berserk 1997 Last Episode: A Metaphore for mental collapse (2900 words)

If her aggressor had grabbed the weapon first, he very probably would have killed her that which is worse than rape. Moreover it’s not even clear that Casca preferred killing a man over getting raped by him. She doesn’t utter anything like “die you worthless scum” after having stabbed him but “Did I stab him with the sword or did he accidentally impaled himself ? Either way, I had killed a man.” She doesn’t even try to put the blame on bad luck, she immediately takes it and perceives herself as a murderer. We're given to see her trembling hands soaked with blood.

Griffith could have totally prevented this. He is an amazing fighter and could have scared the malevolent man away without any effort. Choosing to put Casca through such a traumatic experience is his choice and it is comparably as cruel as what the other guy was about to do to her. Plus, the man who was about to rape her, was also going to give her a roof, a job, a life that she loses by killing him. Griffith saves her from a rape she had accepted and puts her in an even worse situation.

Casca describes Griffith’s attitude as “extending a true helping hand” as for example, he can now leave and be sure that next time, she’ll know how to defend herself. The problem is that he acts as if after such an intervention Casca was just going to let them leave. He hides the fact that he’s actually recruiting her.

Plus, the problem wasn't that Casca couldn't defend herself physically, she wasn't trying to avoid the rape, she simply had no choice but to accept to let her owner satisfy himself with her. It was a matter of social status and the sword didn't change anything to this.

Berserk 1997 Last Episode: A Metaphore for mental collapse (2900 words)

What convinces me of the manipulation is that Griffith leaves her side without a word. Exactly like Oliver’s “Later” in Call me by your Name, Griffith is purposely impolite and indifferent in order to trigger a reaction. He doesn’t tell her “take care” “be careful” “try not to stay on your own” “don’t ever let any man scare you”, he could even have asked her if she wanted them to ensure her protection until the next village. Instead, he leaves her a prey to the very understandable fear of remaining alone after what happened to her and obtains exactly what he wants: she asks him if she can be part of the band. His answer, “I told you, do whatever you like”, is a perfect net. Telling someone “do what you want” when you’ve brought them exactly where you wanted them to be is the final victory.

What Griffith does is inflict Casca a trauma that is going to bring her to obey him entirely, it’s exactly the contrary from preventing her from feeling indebted.

He deprived her from the possibility to perceive herself as a victim that which she entirely was.

Berserk 1997 Last Episode: A Metaphore for mental collapse (2900 words)

And because she was a powerless victim he could have saved her without asking much in return. Griffith’s behaviour (throwing a sword to a girl who’s most probably never used one) suggests that if she hadn’t been ready to kill her aggressor to avoid getting raped, then she wanted to be raped or deserved to be. He forces her into his own morbid logic: one cannot ask for peace or a happy life, if you want something, then you have to ruthlessly fight for it. And the more you ask the more ruthless you’ll have to be.

If Griffith had been a more common white knight he would have scared the aggressor off, the young girl would have been moved and would have offered herself out of gratitude or would have fallen in love with her saviour who would have refused because he didn’t want to take advantage of her misfortune and become some sort of extension of her aggressor.  

What’s important in this idealistic scenario is the reality of the “you saved my sexual integrity therefore you can take me whenever you want” logic. If Casca had offered herself to Griffith and he had accepted, she would actually have recovered her independence from him. What happens here is that Griffith pretends not to be interested and not to be her saviour when Casca would obviously have been raped if he hadn’t intervened. And thus he captures her.

 

Casca is a captain and a good warrior, still, she’ll remain the woman of the band. She’s there to be admired and desired by Griffith’s soldiers while being absolutely inaccessible. She’s a tool to emasculate Griffith’s men… or a tool to call them back to life with her naked body like she’s asked to do for Guts.

At the end of the story, Griffith will rape her, thus eventually proving that his intervention wasn’t sympathy but a trick to put her under his control. Once she’s not useful anymore, he rapes her, claiming his due and at the same time proving that he never cared about sparing her the experience in the first place.

Berserk 1997 Last Episode: A Metaphore for mental collapse (2900 words)

Guts suffers a similar treatment. Griffith recruits him through a duel when the young man is wounded and weak and simply states “now, you are mine.” Not “You’re now a member of the band of the Falcon.” Years later, Guts will have to duel again against Griffith to “be allowed” to leave the band.

 

And that’s the case for all of its members, they belong to Griffith, they've surrendered their lives to him. They follow him blindly, they admire him, they put their life at risk for him, they’re fascinated by him. They do not need a tangible goal, they just believe in his dream and that, once realised, this dream will be as beautiful and impressive and good for them as Griffith is. Again, dynamics found with a Guru in a sect.

Another important recurrent dynamics that I need to point at is this constant need to put one’s life on the line in order to accomplish something. I was talking above about the fact that The Band of the Falcon is always outnumbered during the fights and expected to lose. The way Griffith always transform this into a victory is by taking enormous risks that could cost them all their lives, risks that a regular army wouldn’t take. It’s a common trick in stories that a character who is perceived as smarter or more skilled than others is truly only less balanced psychologically or has motivations different from his adversaries. (I believe Griffith is addicted to risking others lives as well as his, just like one can be to playing poker and betting money. The higher the stakes the more exhilarating the bet).

Berserk 1997 Last Episode: A Metaphore for mental collapse (2900 words)

Griffith uses Casca and Guts as symbols. His men admire and identify with him to a certain extent. Their perception of themselves is linked to their perception of Griffith. Just like with a football team and its supporters. If Casca is Griffith’s woman, then Casca is kind of the woman of every member of the band. Not that they’d try anything, all these dynamics work on the level of their egos. Guts incarnates this “putting one’s life on the line in order to prevail” psychology. He is a living argument supporting Griffith’s approach. The members of the band of the Falcon are thus led by the perfect man and the perfect woman in their eyes, both blindly obeying Griffith. That’s a working psychological trap.

I’m not saying it is equally efficient with all the men but that the characters who are developed, are developed in a way that shows how Griffith tricks them. Corkus is not impressed by Guts, but he limitlessly admires Griffith’s strong leadership and buys into the dream. Pippin is most probably just happy to have friends and see his main quality, his strength, be of importance. Judeau is not as stupid or naïve as the others, but he is attracted to Casca and feels that he is “all mouth" and feels the need to follow a leader as he is good at everything but excels in nothing (as he says).

 

And so, all these guys follow Griffith and act according to his will and to reach his goal. That’s very important because it’s a perfect trick to bring people to perform horrible things. They’re all convinced that Griffith is wonderful and that his dream is worth anything he asks, plus he takes responsibility for everything they do, and they win, and they’re respected and feared, and they play a bigger and bigger role in the history of the country. This dynamic can easily be truly intoxicating for the minds of poor forgotten losers who had no hope of achieving anything in their lifetime, that kind of intoxication can give soldiers the strength to slash through hundreds of opponents, this without any hesitation; this strong conviction that you’re the ones accomplishing something.

Also, allowing someone to have that kind of influence over yourself means that you allow someone's psychology to pervade your perception of reality entirely. It might sound vague or exaggerated but I really weight my words here. It is very easy to let someone take control of yourself and shape your perception of reality (Parents, friends, lovers).

Berserk 1997 Last Episode: A Metaphore for mental collapse (2900 words)

At the end of the journey, when Guts and Casca free a completely destroyed Griffith from his torture cell, the happy ending should have been that Griffith admits that he is no longer capable of fighting and that the dream that he’s pursued for so long is now out of reach for him but not for the band if Casca and Guts accept to assume the role of leaders. Everything has been put into place narratively for this to happen. The men welcome Guts back and he realizes that they are his family, he undergoes a psychological evolution in one of the last episodes in which he understands that he wants something from life more than killing and fighting. He wants Casca and a Family. They made love, too, Casca managed to turn towards another man.

Berserk 1997 Last Episode: A Metaphore for mental collapse (2900 words)

Everything is ready and the sole thing that needs happening is Griffith acknowledging all this. The problem is that he was a fraud since the beginning, everything was about his alienated ego. He is a man addicted to the power he has over others. Over one life, over two lives, over soldiers, over a sublime woman, over a perfect fighter, over a kingdom etc… Griffith toys and manipulates because he doesn’t dare be.

And so, instead of handing over his men to Guts and Casca, he flees them all (after reminding Casca that she’s his). Fleeing is rejecting.

When Guts finds him in his cell, Griffith starts by trying to choke his friend. I wonder whether it wouldn’t be because Griffith knows exactly how all this is going to end and wishes his friends would have given up looking for him.

When Guts finds him in his cell, Griffith starts by trying to choke his friend. I wonder whether it wouldn’t be because Griffith knows exactly how all this is going to end and wishes his friends would have given up looking for him.

That’s where I can finally talk about a metaphore.

The eclipse is the vanishing of Griffith in the minds of the members of the band of the Falcon. He was the divine father and suddenly, he’s not there anymore (Just like the sun disappears in The Force Awakens when Han Solo dies). Guts will qualify the nightmarish place as "godforsaken."

Berserk 1997 Last Episode: A Metaphore for mental collapse (2900 words)

He rejects his men and so the dream wasn’t worth it, nothing will be attained, everything was done for nothing and every heinous act that was performed in order to reach it becomes unforgivable.

We’re exactly in a situation where an entire group of people could experience a mental collapse and collective hallucinations. I’m not saying the demons are literally hallucinations in the story, but that on a metaphorical level they represent how the members of the band of the Falcon completely collapse as individuals.

Their “Selves”, their pride, their internal coherence, were built upon Griffith’s quest for his dream and suddenly nothing is there to maintain their structure anymore.

Just like in a film of zombie or a slasher, getting eaten by demons is a metaphore for becoming them.

Berserk 1997 Last Episode: A Metaphore for mental collapse (2900 words)

These demons have numerous legs, mouths, eyes and arms, they’re just starving bodies, tools to eat flesh, to crush and feed on others.

Also, there’s a strong religious aspect to the story (even if I didn’t talk about it). Griffith challenges the religious order of society. He is perceived as a god, the problem is that as soon as his aura fades, what they thought was sacred is now perceived as evil by his followers. He was a godlike figure and what he did was sacred, once he’s proved not to be a god, they all become evil and demonic figures.  

Berserk 1997 Last Episode: A Metaphore for mental collapse (2900 words)

That’s how the members of the band of the Falcon suddenly perceive themselves. Because there never was a real dream** and a goal to all this, then they only were crazy murderers manipulated by a maniac all this time. All the people they had to kill become this ocean of crying souls.

Berserk 1997 Last Episode: A Metaphore for mental collapse (2900 words)
Berserk 1997 Last Episode: A Metaphore for mental collapse (2900 words)

**There is a real dream, but it revolves around Griffith’s perception of himself. The dream is immaterial and would never benefit any of the members of the band.

 

Judeau could have survived the nightmare in two different ways. His two weaknesses are an incapacity to perceive himself as eligible on a sexual level and a fear of taking his own decisions. So, he could have escaped the band of the Falcon if Casca had acknowledged him as a man before Griffith or if she had accepted to be a leader worth the sacrifice of all the soldiers. Sadly she fails at both things as they’re running away from the demons.

Judeau first gets his arm torn = his lack of agency made him a monster = Casca fails at replacing Griffith as a leader because she fails to accept that her soldiers should die in combat to protect her and thus "accepts" their death as a sacrifice for Griffith.

Then Judeau is impaled by a demon = he is killed by his lack of manliness = Casca, who symbolizes womanhood for all the men of the Falcon, fails at acknowledging him as a man.

Berserk 1997 Last Episode: A Metaphore for mental collapse (2900 words)

HOWEVER, Casca's behaviour, if it doesn't save him from his tragic fate, proves Judeau wrong and it’s going to be a chore to explain.

Judeau is disappointed that Casca doesn’t want to be a replacement leader and thinks that she is scared or inferior (I suppose), but the truth is that Griffith isn’t a good leader as he alienates the people who follow him, whereas Casca is a balanced person (on that level). It’s the same thing as her incapacity to acknowledge Judeau as a man. Griffith made a “whore” out of Casca. He treats her as if she should have sex with all the guys of the band but didn’t because she was only attracted to him because he is so godlike. By helping Judeau, Casca proves him that she’s ready to oppose Griffith’s will when she wants to. It is made very clear that their sacrifice is Griffith’s desire. By helping Judeau run away, Casca acknowledges Judeau’s worth in her eyes, his life is worth opposing Griffith. She doesn’t want to be the new leader and become an extension of Griffith, but she’s ready to oppose his will when it comes to saving her friends’ lives.

Berserk 1997 Last Episode: A Metaphore for mental collapse (2900 words)

At this point Judeau mentally states that he missed an opportunity. He realizes that things weren’t the way he thought they were, that he under-estimated Casca and flatly, that he loved her.

Instead of stating his love though, and possibly saving them both from the nightmare they’re in, he utters a deprecating “you sure do cry a lot don’t you.” Because he appreciates her tears but feels that saying “thank you for your tears/love” would trigger an answer that would humiliate him (that she would cry for any member of the band of the Falcon and not that there's something specific to him in them).

Judeau is not eaten and therefore does not become a demon and does not indirectly rape Casca.

Berserk 1997 Last Episode: A Metaphore for mental collapse (2900 words)

And finally, Guts cannot be killed by the demons because he vanquished Griffith on every level. He didn’t believe in the dream. He’s not fascinated by Griffith. He is stronger than him in a fight. Casca made love to him. The men of the band love him as well.

Griffith is powerless against Guts and thus uses his wild card: Casca cannot say "no" to sexual advances from him..

How is Guts’ different from Judeau’s fate ? Casca is attracted to Guts but cannot say no to Griffith, whereas she’d probably have sex with Griffith rather than with Judeau. And so Judeau dies while Guts is symbolically emasculated: he has to cut his own arm.

Also, Casca isn’t eaten by the demons but raped by them: If Griffith was a fraud, then the respect that they showed for Casca as Griffith’s lady meant nothing either and the men cannot restrain themselves anymore from acting upon their huge desire for her. They cannot kill her either though because Casca’s truth is the one of having been a sex fantasy for a group of men and a demon for years, not a mindless monstrous killing machine, like they were.

Berserk 1997 Last Episode: A Metaphore for mental collapse (2900 words)

And so, the gruesome final episode of Berserk can be seen as a very interesting metaphore for what’s happening to everybody on a psychological level.

 

Commenter cet article

Bjorn 23/07/2020 07:43

You have interesting point Brian Amadi,the problem is modern SJW critics of Movies including Anime, Manga,Comics and Independent creators are censoring,ban,bully others on the internet for not following there views or their tasted of Arts,Culture or means of Entertainment, example recent classic "Gone with the Wind movie !",ban for depicting Slave system in the USA, I never have a problem with the Movie, I am of Afro Caribbean slave descend, just like all people in this world having in-debtor servants or Slaves in their ancestry Feudal system was common in every nations of this World Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East, North and South America native people. Who are these people tell me what to watch, listen or see, I am my own person adult not a child, it just proved this people are against Freedom of Thought, Liberate and Choice, there against free mind thinking and development of the human races. sorry for the late replied I do not knew if it was directed to me or the moderator of this site I hope you find my points interesting ..

Kevin 25/07/2020 00:52

I like how you worded your point here, the nuances you feel are relevant to underline. Adult, not a child. destroying freedom of thought and therefore preventing the development of the human races.
I wish more people simply realized how much all these "progressive fights", through their very specifically violent and insidious approach, actually target our minds more than anything.
Anyway, hi Bjorn. :)

Brian Amadi 03/02/2020 01:51

Sorry I wrote you a whole illiterate article but I really hope you respond

Bjorn Smith 26/07/2020 08:15

Thank for your replied the whole SJW cultural destruction just show how ignorant or foolish these people are yet their violent and hateful,to the true,the past, present the history of this World, sad me to see what they are destroying now,here truth fact I like to point to SJW,about slavery its hurt all people one of my ancestor was indenture servant German Jewish male and his family on contract on the island after slavery treated badly has a slave another Sephardi Jewess who family owned Slaves and Plantation married a Black man, the family disapproved,yet they still live on the plantation with family members post slavery, if the past was offense learn form its history, don't eraser or censor it, the same type of people the SJW criticized for there behavior, is the same behavior they adopted.

Brian Amadi 03/02/2020 01:50

Mindless monstrous killing machines with no real goals of their own other than their perceived personal feelings of failure and inferiority ultimately turning it into mindless projected idealisms and dreams and visions of a perfect world where they truly belong for the first time in their miserable lives killing to survive Replacing the hierarchy of needs are the fundamental attributes of human nature put on a magnifying glass of violence, love, irrationality and survival. Visions of white hawks and falcons soaring the skies of the ever darkening world around them, freely; seemingly untouched by the violent brutal uncaring nature of the world; seeking the light. Echoing deep insights of passion and loyalty ultimately turning self deprecating self defeating inferred visions of perfection from the deepest realms of the imagination and a light at the end of the tunnel seemingly dimming with every marching step towards that dream. Ouch that hurts But not as much as it does to be a fan of the Berserk anime.

If anything I can’t see this story ever having that forced happy because Berserk; at least the 97 version seemed like it was trying to tell a short and very human story about the death of morality and the invisibility of subtle dehumanization along with the death of the human heart and spirit. And if I’m being honest nothing has shown me more that the manga has failed at what it trying to accomplish when telling a story about the natural inclination towards evil in human hearts more than this review of the last episode of an anime adaptation made by the same studio who makes 100 Pokémon episodes every year.
Yeah we’re never gonna see another Berserk anime again unfortunately, and the talent back then doesn’t exist anymore either, I just got the latest Blu ray release of the show and honestly it’s beautiful looking at this lost art form in its uncompressed format, some legends in the industry who have passed away worked in making the anime what it was, the best representation of Berserk. The manga has become so contrived it’s unbelievable that this anime could ever turn into the massive disappointment the manga became, the only time it ever comes close to matching the Tv show in atmosphere let alone writing is when it’s using its medieval setting to tell a story about religion and the inevitable torture corruption and bloodshed and violence associated bastardized version of a monotheistic religion used to control poor whites and brown people. It’s hard to believe that I’m even looking at the same story from the anime sometimes when we went from fighting bastardized and corrupted versions of human beings with motivations to their disgusting evolutions to witches fairy’s trolls goblins and dragons.

Yikes if this is the route we’re going at this point in the world . It’s just sad because the anime ending was one of the most impactful things I’ve seen coming out of any medium not just animation , leaving so much questions yet answering none. Guts now a watered down version of the man he once was leaves to seek his revenge against the world that and entity that wronged him, ending the story on a sadder but ultimately more fulfilling to Berserks themes retrospectively never betraying itself . What’s even stranger is the original mangaka wanted the anime to end that way as he himself was the reason most of the fantasy elements were removed from the anime adaptation. It’s like a lot of people lost their minds after the 90s, I don’t know what to conclude. But I gotta give the mangaka a bit more credit for turning the anime into a separate story completely as he was directly behind most of the decisions that went into making it the superior version. In the 90s a lot of mangaka directly helped with the direction of their anime adaptations, it was a really great time back then to see filler that was actually well written unlike everything nowadays made on the budget of usually nothing. There’s apart of me that doesn't even want to look at the manga unless it’s being adapted again the same exact way it was made in 97 in all its painted cel animated HD glory removing the unfortunate fantasy elements in favor of more ambiguity for the audience to contemplate on forever , ultimately creating and developing the manga into the more human personal story it was supposed to become when it dragged itself into the 2000s and decided that an ending that mattered didn’t matter anymore to end the story of a mass murderer turned Anti God and a man shaped by the harsh world around him needed to go on for more than 20 years. And fans of the series wonder why people who only prefer to watch a berserk anime want to have nothing to do them anymore after the word loli witch and goblins is uttered in anything other than in a negative light.

Brian Amadi 03/02/2020 00:29

This is one of the best analysis of the 1997 Berserk anime on the internet (Which is the only version worth checking out imo) I’ve never seen anyone rightfully criticize the characters and their admiration and loyalty towards Griffith the way you did. It’s sad but I think the writers and directors of the Anime surpassed the manga specifically because of how they focused less on the demons and monsters until the very end, Using the eclipse as a metaphor for the endless nihilistic reality of the Bloodshed and violence left in the wake of our protagonists pursuit of a broken mans dream. Ultimately leaving them nothing but hollow monsters of their former selves due to their own incompetence Endlessly paying for the blood they spilled with the blood they spill in the Eclipse sacrifice in a kingdom of hell far from anything they would deem righteous or holy . Darkness usually overshadows the light in Bersek. Incompetence / lack of agency turns men ultimately into monsters themselves, just like the fanbase.Gotta also commend you for not going the usual common route of Rape apologism, Griffith apologism. Berserk fanbase is full of some really disgusting people unsurprisingly. I don’t think there’s much more to get out of a story like this unfortunately, I’ve lost hope that the manga isn’t gonna end the way it should've like at the end of the 90s. Such a shame because I would’ve really liked to see your thoughts on the anime as they are some of the best and nuanced on the internet . Don’t be surprised that people will come to this article after watching the show and completing the manga to defend Griffiths actions or to verbally masturbate about his “positive attributes” because the average person doesn't have a mind outside what their favorite YouTuber told them. The creators of the anime and manga knew Griffiths crimes against humanity were gonna be justified for decades to come, that’s why the most popular and pathetic videos about the series are about how pretty he is and defending his actions Along with “the Band of the Falcon did nothing wrong” . Do you think Griffith loves guts or is he really incapable of nothing but abusive narcissistic attachment? It’s always confused me how to see the love triangle if their even ever was one

Bjorn Smith 11/12/2019 05:47

So true with your analysis of the Berserks Golden age main characters Griffith, Guts, Casca and others in the story arc, I would also like to deviant to the manga chapter’s (readberserk.com has link) pre and post eclipse to you, if you do not mine that for characters evaluation. Griffith pre Golden age was a sociopath leader using is charm and promise to better his men and child (Rickert) soldier lives, their illiterate poor orphans, thieves, hungry class that is look down by the Ruling Priest class and Nobilities Bloodlines literate class. Griffith was treated badly by the King Brother’s Julius, Queen and the majority nobles because, he a commoner class, tried to kill him, retaliate with Guts in killing them, Griffith is dream everyone has a meal and right to education under his ruler ship this is hint in chapter 09 and chapter 358 using sex as weapon with the Princess to get political points, but at a cost.
The cost to Golden age Griffith was is men lives; he is a good politician, strategist and self award man who show a spirit drive behind him in his life, I am religion person, but I am aware of cult following which are Griffith’s followers, who he told them about his dream without listening to their dreams, can be interpreted with real world leaders, post eclipse Psychopath Griffith is God to the people of that world, but Guts knew is dark side Satan God in him, chapter32 and 178. The sacrifices by Griffith of his soldiers was because they choose Guts as the new leader which is seen as a betrayal by him the vision of his future with Casca and his Son never visit by Guts and fellow soldiers bless what Judeau give them, he said he want to start a band of thieve give his share to Griffith, but Guts most take Casca from Griffith which was his death sentence, this lead to the eclipse fest chapter 70 ,71, 72, Guts is soldier who care about his men lives risk his neck for them ahead of the battlefield, listen to their needs and care chapter 1 and 22, a better combat leader but reckless, he compassion change people that why Casca open herself to him which Judeau note this chapter 35. The Branding of his fellow mercenary was Griffith admiration for his followers Guts stick his neck out, Casca heart of love, Corkus head of fellowing, Judeau and Pippin hand of sharing.
Casca rape or so called to me, she was enjoying with Griffith/Femto chapter 86-87 was fuel by the Blood of his followers rebirth him their desires, yes indirect rape/ sexual assault touching by the demons then using Griffith’s penis on Casca which shatter her mind and leads to pregnancy by Griffith chapter 92, fans say it Guts child, I just leave them to their believes with their views. Many vision device hints in the manga about the boy Father chapter 351, 354, 355, your right Casca was just a weapon by Griffith recruited to trained by him to motive is men, that he like/love used was jealously of Guts closes to her, chapter 56, Griffiths eyes show this, I have a feeling because her child body is fused with Griffith body, she will protect him bring back her in his service when she recovered chapter 170- 180 hint this.
Your right a demons and spirits represent Griffith’s pre falcons members there hints of this in the manga show Guts demons tormentor and the demon dog chapter 118 and infamous Rape horse chapter 122 -125 attempted rape on Farnese, the horse look like Corkus, I had feeling Casca is the most protect women in Berserk’s world form sexual violent the Demons never attack her, they attack Guts, the Humans males whom attack her are killed by the demons or by her combine spirit demon body the eyes show it chapter 140 and 189. Happy Christmas and New Year hope to see more of your work in the coming years.

Kevin 13/12/2019 12:13

Hello Bjorn and Merry Christmas in a few weeks,

Thanks for all the very specific details about the Berserk Manga, I’m quite impressed by how well you could remember the chapters. I was a bit surprised at how abruptly the show ends. Griffith abuses Casca, Guts shouts, it’s over. It feels as if they had intended to make a second season, even more so when the first episode looks like the beginning of a new story.

I used the word “rape” because there aren’t many words that can describe the complexity of sexual intercourses. And the situation is really complicated at the end of the story. I’m ready to believe that if Casca said “no” Griffith/Femto would stop because she would prevent him from making his point, that is “see Guts, after all that I’ve done and even though she loves you, Casca is still incapable of rejecting me.” Casca’s implied consent is a big part of the aggression. Still, she is undressed against her will, she’s tied and captured, all her friends have just been slaughtered, she’s most certainly convinced that she’s about to get killed… I don’t think having sex with a monstrous demi-god is exactly what’s on her mind at that point. So they’re not making love, and it’s not exactly a rape either. It’s just more complex.

Anyway. The point of my article was really to focus on the final metaphore, the rest was just an introduction because the relationship between the characters and the characters themselves are really subtle and complex and I couldn’t feel “solid” about what I would say.

I described Griffith as an evil manipulator mainly in order to explain how his men could be brought to do things that they find repelling afterwards and be disgusted at themselves… this in order to introduce the analysis of the metaphore.
You say that in the Manga, Griffith’s dream and promise to his men is more explicit (to better their lives, food, learning how to read and write). In the show we mainly only see them all talk about Griffith’s dream in a very vague manner so the leader appears a bit more like a manipulator. But I think that the show is subtle enough for us to consider that truly, at some point Griffith’s initiative is entirely honest and self-effaced/sacrificial. I think that his encounter with Casca, that I described as manipulation, could also perfectly describe the trap into which he himself fell.

Spontaneously, I have the feeling that he was sexually abused as a kid. And if he wasn’t, he experienced something similar that destroyed his integrity as an individual and left him no choice but to rebel. The problem is that, and it’s a very very subtle one, the problem is that he rebels against an authority because this authority hurt him not because he disagrees with its logic.
It’s just like a kid who rebels against his parents because they are violent. It doesn’t mean that deep down he disagrees with the fact that he is worthless and deserves to be hit. When the Noblem an attempts to rape Casca, she has accepted it. She doesn’t want it to happen, she is disgusted by it, but she doesn’t question his right to do so.

Griffith is stuck in a similar logic, he rebels against society’s order because it is too unfair and painful, but truly he has nothing else to offer and thus spontaneously, he is going to recreate it. By challenging the order of society, based on the idea that god’s will is behind its hierarchy, Griffith automatically takes the place of God. That’s exactly how Casca perceives him when he appears. She was accepting to be raped by the nobleman because she considered his desires as God’s will, if Griffith dares intervene, he challenges God’s authority and is thus a God himself.

By trying to free people from this society, Griffith puts himself in the place of a God. It works with the fact that his dream is described as a Kingdom.

So, on the one hand, I believe that Griffith’s initiative isn’t entirely selfish or dishonest but that it’s just too much for him. And the way all his followers are going to abandon their agency to him is also a fault of theirs.

While on the other hand, I believe that his Kingdom is also his former self. He is trying to recover from something. The love of his men and their trust and at the end of the day, their sacrifice for him, are also an attempt at feeling worthy. When you’ve lost a sense of worth, it’s not the love of people that supports you but what people are ready to inflict themselves for you that makes you feel worthy. Of course it’s a dead end that never solves anything but it’s still a common dynamic. Griffith becomes addicted to the way all these people put their lives at risk for him.

Anyway, thanks for your comment and all the references and for telling me about Berserk, I was really surprised by the quality and depth of this show. See you later.