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Berserk: Why Griffith is the Perfect Villain


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Velshtein



Joined: 27 Oct 2015
Posts: 49
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:19 am Reply with quote
I think the melodramatic response of some posters in this thread is unwarranted. The article's original title was funny. Nothing wrong with memes and dark humor. The internet is not intended to be anybody's personal "safe space".
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Wyvern



Joined: 01 Sep 2004
Posts: 888
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:57 am Reply with quote
Massive props to ANN for handling the article title controversy in an excellent manner. A lot of news sites would have just changed it without issuing an explanation, or simply deleted the complaint posts. It takes a lot of integrity for a site to admit a mistake like this.

And also thanks for not letting yourself fall into the trap of cheap clickbaity writing in general. Any hack can take a tired meme and write an article around it. People can complain that "oh, it's just a joke," but memes aren't even jokes. They're just repetition. It takes no effort and offers nothing new. Frankly I'm glad ANN won't be giving articles with titles like "TOP 50 ANIME CHARACTERS WHO CAN HAZ CHEEZEBURGER!" anytime soon.
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psycho_slut



Joined: 20 Apr 2017
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:12 pm Reply with quote
Disappointing for ANN to give in to the unfunny snowflakes and social justice warriors. The original meme title was better. I sometimes wonder how these snowflakes go through life if they can't handle a joke or an "offensive" opinion.

Anyone who disagrees, don't bother quoting me. I won't be checking this thread again.
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Velshtein



Joined: 27 Oct 2015
Posts: 49
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:13 am Reply with quote
This is a good point that you raise. There's a jarring hypocrisy in someone who works in the hentai industry of all things (a media form that is notorious for depicting rape in a frivolous and sexually exhilarating manner) passionately condemning tongue in cheek jokes about the rape of a fictional woman from manga. That's some profound cognitive dissonance right there.
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JacobC
ANN Assistant Editor


Joined: 15 Jan 2008
Posts: 3505
Location: SoCal
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:12 am Reply with quote
Alright, this side of the debate has become basically unrelated to the article's content and now it's getting too ugly and personal. Putting the kibosh on discussion of rape or rape culture (which isn't mentioned in the article for good reason) in this thread.
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 2803
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:58 pm Reply with quote
This is actually a really interesting analysis and did make me pause and consider Griffith in a more human light...but Christ if I still don't want to punch the ever-loving **** out of that face of his.
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writerpatrick



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 550
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:16 pm Reply with quote
I think there should be a distinction between the pre-eclipse Griffith and the Daemon Griffith. The pre-eclipse Griffith did little wrong. He appeared to be tricked into sacrificing his men and by then was so physically damaged that he had no ability to stop it. Any wrongs he did seemed to come after his conversion into Daemon Griffith. He was so set on reaching his goal that he never considered what the cost was.
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Nagsura



Joined: 28 Aug 2016
Posts: 38
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:56 pm Reply with quote
writerpatrick wrote:
I think there should be a distinction between the pre-eclipse Griffith and the Daemon Griffith. The pre-eclipse Griffith did little wrong. He appeared to be tricked into sacrificing his men and by then was so physically damaged that he had no ability to stop it. Any wrongs he did seemed to come after his conversion into Daemon Griffith. He was so set on reaching his goal that he never considered what the cost was.

It's part of what the author of the article debates: that he had a choice to make during the events of the Eclipse; that he wasn't tricked or coerced into doing it but he also put in some effort to make it happen.

I disagree, though, for causality in Berserk is a ridiculously strong thing, and the amount of choice that Griffith was presented was, apparently, miniscule or inexistent during the Eclipse. God (if you can even refer to that ugly heart-thing as such) told him so, and therefore he was destined to become Femto.

As for the Count, he was destined to become an apostle; however, he wasn't destined to make a second sacrifice, and I'm sure it was so because his Behelit became Guts's, who still has it even after the longest boat ride in history, and it's bound to become someone else's with Guts just serving as the courier - that or maybe he'll be its chosen one and defy causality.
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Souther



Joined: 22 Feb 2015
Posts: 551
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:07 am Reply with quote
^
When the Count couldn't bring himself to sacrifice his daughter, Void says something like the thread of fate/causality had been severed, so he was supposed to make a second sacrifice. But it doesn't mean the forces shaping events are inflexible, like you said, Guts is carrying around a Behelit, and we have no idea what's going to happen to it, but Guts making the sacrifice wouldn't mean he'd be defying causality (quite the opposite). Nor would becoming an Apostle do him any favours, for a number of reasons.
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Nagsura



Joined: 28 Aug 2016
Posts: 38
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:12 pm Reply with quote
Souther wrote:
^
When the Count couldn't bring himself to sacrifice his daughter, Void says something like the thread of fate/causality had been severed, so he was supposed to make a second sacrifice. But it doesn't mean the forces shaping events are inflexible, like you said, Guts is carrying around a Behelit, and we have no idea what's going to happen to it, but Guts making the sacrifice wouldn't mean he'd be defying causality (quite the opposite). Nor would becoming an Apostle do him any favours, for a number of reasons.

Forgot Void saying that, but I stand corrected. As for my comment regarding Guts 'defying causality', I meant him not choosing to sacrifice whoever is with him at the time. And yes, becoming an Apostle would most likely not help his cause, but from here until then (supposing it even happens, that is), things may change.
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Polarnj



Joined: 22 Apr 2017
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:44 pm Reply with quote
What an excellent article! I've read so much analysis of Berserk since I'm a huge philosophy fan and Berserk captures some of the most vexing themes so well. I also found this article incredible clear of thought and focused on the dramatic and thematic instead of the knee jerk reaction so many people have towards Griffith, defining him, Casca and the entire franchise by Griffith's, umm, radically less than PC actions towards Casca, at the end of the Eclipse.

I've always thought it cheapened this brilliant work by reducing it to an act that is clearly one of the most relevant, layered and profound elements of tragic chatacter development in contemporary fiction, with so much meaning for all three involved as well as causality vs. choice and the other major themes of the work from complex human relationships to human fragility and the bitterness and outright hatred expressed towards someone you truly love when you feel left behind and written off. Griffith loved Guts. He cared for Casca, but she was still a soldier and another tool compared to Guts in his mind. While Guts loved Casca romantically and as a comrade as well as Griffith who he only wanted to be worthy of unbeknownst to Griffith. Griffith's fate made him reasonably ego driven and to feel such dependancy on Guts who now had the love of Casca who was his fangirl as long as he remembered and the fact that Guts had only pity for him in this ruined state was so much for a man like Griffith to process; a man who always won, who was always at the top of the social hierarchy, who was never second to ANYONE in any way. He felt a rejection of his entire being in those circumstances and what he did was lash out! Not because he went mad, but because he was human as the author emphasized. If you really put yourself in Griffiths shoes or can relate to him at all, you can see how gaining his demonic powers after feeling like his whole world was betrayed would lead a normal, weak human, to lash out with so much spite and hatred, that what he did was EXACTLY what Griffith would do in that situation. He wanted to show HIMSELF that he owned the fate of the Hawks, that Casca was HIS toy, that Guts was so far below him that he could just take his "toy" back as he pleased and do what he wanted without consequence. He was Griffith, and he didn't need Guts or anyone. That's what it all meant and that's exactly what his actions were trying to communicate. It wasn't about sex or violence it was about Griffith's ego showing himself that he was the God among men and he had no need to impress these pebbles, he was so beyond them that he could do what he did and not shed a tear or feel a drop of guilt because it was even his right to do such a thing. This is something that no other actions would have communicated so well to the reader. It was incredibley profound in its display of human weakness and ugliness and wether it was his choice in a free sense, or it was the inevitable way that someone who lived as Griffith, leader of the Hawks, and then went through his trials would surely behave, given his psychology. I can't say if it was inevitable or not but I don't think free will factored into it, even though he wanted to believe it was a dramatic display of control himself. He was actually...being predictable. I know that sounds awful of me to say, but he reacted exactly as would be expected and the chains of causality were there every step of the way. He probably didn't even know he was creating a needed component for the ceremony at the tower of Conviction by spoiling the fruit of G and C's love.

So many people will criticize Berserk for this one scene when it wouldn't be Berserk without it! It was NOT gratuitous or unnecessary, it was Oedipus killing his father and then some! It was everything to this amazing story with its disturbingly honest and candid look into the human heart, if only put into the right conditions. To be upset about this as misogyny however is a strange and childish reaction I've so often come across which totally misses the entire point of this work. Hell yes it was misogyny! And while it's sickeningly monstrous is it somehow worse then what he did just moments before when he intentionally sacrificed dozens of other comrades to be eaten alive by monsters and torn to pieces? How is Casca's fate any worse? I couldn't say if it was a fate worse then death but at least she lived to fight another day! And the author himself is being anything BUT misogynistic! Miuri is using that depravity to emphasize the way Griffith decides to communicate his decision to discard his humanity to Guts and really to himself. He does look at Guts the whole time actually to drive this home. I found it interesting that the author of this post didn't fixate on the Casca element of the Eclipse and also quite refreshing since it was just one of multiple acts that declared what he wanted to communicate after his transition and how he was a tragic character and a deeply human one at that, since only human beings can act so inhumanely. Cruelty is non-existent outside of the affairs of our species and "inhuman" is a bit of an ironic term. But this cruelty was not done without a bizarre and desperate pathos for Griffith who had recently lost everything he had ever had or been, and given the chance to have it all back, and to prove he isn't going to be destroyed by his dependancy and love for Guts, he makes the choice. There are people in our world who would do worse things to get rid of wrinkles or to have their glory days return or to have a indifferent spouse worship them again...Griffith is not the most evil man in fiction, he's the most human, because he cruel which is only because he is weak. So Griffith certainly did do something! Lol but I don't think for a moment that he would be in the minority if all humans had to take a turn living as Griffith from birth to the Eclipse. And that's why we despise him so much. Because we can't be sure if we are any less spiteful or any less weak and hateful given the right conditions. We hate what we fear we might be at our worst and I have never seen a fictional character capture that concept better than Griffith of Berserk.
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