Berserk Vol. 16 Excerpt. MASSIVE SPOILERS. Please, Please don’t look at this unless you’ve read all of berserk already, and are up to date.
The Birth of Jill as an apostle.
One thing I like about the behelit, or this system miura devised, is that there’s a point where all the despair and bloodshed and tears and whatnot that a behelit gets activated, and a person gets the option to become and apostle.
It’s not just as simple as getting a paper cut and whining about it while you accidentally bleed onto a weird green egg you were holding in your other hand for some cosmic coincidence, you have to be absolutely despondent. But what makes this particularly interesting, I think, is that it works across the board, despite what kind of person you are.
Jill was a little girl from an abusive household in a bad village, who was speculated to be (though never really confirmed) the product of a rape, rather than love. She activated the behelit when her father started beating her after she lost her hope of an escapist fantasy land (which hilariously turns out to be a real place later in the series). The Count, instead, was put in a position where he had to kill his wife for the sake of his religion. He was about to commit suicide when the behelit activated. And then, naturally, there’s Griffith, who only saw the behelit activated when he didn’t have any options left for achieving his dream of being a king. Not to mention his body being rendered useless and his friends talking about abandoning him.
The behelit, I think, unifies these different hopeless states in a way that says they’re in just as much pain as each other. But how is this? Are these despairs equal to each other? Take Griffith, for example. We see him seriously hurting himself when he’s standing in the pond bathing himself, focusing on how badly he wants his dream to come true, remembering the night before in which he slept with the governor for money. Why didn’t all that break him? Why didn’t that summon the god hand?
The answer, near as I can tell, (and its a little obvious if you pay attention to any of the themes in berserk) is dreams. The count wanted a happy family, and he had that torn from him. Jill wanted the same thing, except she was more intent to land herself in a happy-go-lucky land of elves. Griffith wanted a kingdom to rule. I’m sure we could go on, with the other apostles. I can only imagine what made Zodd into a demon.
One question to consider, then: Guts has been running around with a behelit, trying to figure out how it works. Maybe it’s going to slip from his fingers and apostle-ify someone in his party. Maybe it’s going to actually apostle-ify him. The point is, nobody knows not to let themselves fall into a state of hopelessness. So how do they get into that state of hopelessness?
The question isn’t “Who gets the demon treatment,” So much as it is “Whats it going to take?” Whats going to finally break Guts? Losing Casca, that last irreplaceable thing he loves, that sent him on this journey to begin with? Maybe having his arms ripped off, so he can’t swing his sword around anymore? What?
Does that Berserker Armor play a role?
Man do I love me some speculation.
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