Berserk: I Want Wings Scene Analysis (Lost Chapter)

Video Version:

 

Our scene starts halfway through chapter 82 of Berserk as we take a brief break from the horrors of the Eclipse and join Griffith as he sinks into the abyss. In the physical realm, Griffith is being metamorphosed into Femto, so everything occurring in this scene is metaphorical and happening in Griffith’s mind. Through his internal monologue he describes himself getting further and further form the light, sinking into the darkness, this is a very literal symbolic visual representation of Griffith fall from grace. Griffith is self-aware about his current lack of form and wonders where his body is and what exactly is going on. Progressively throughout this scene his new body will slowly come to form.

He continues to reiterate that he’s sinking, that’s a motif of this scene, Miura wants to portray this sinking feeling in Griffith, that’s why the repetition is necessary. Griffith is then confronted with the horrors of the Eclipse that is likely going on congruently to his transformation. There is an incredible full page spread that depicts the deaths piercing through him, the illustration here makes it pretty blatant that their deaths or sacrifices are physically feeding into his rebirth. He then is honest reflecting on this horror concluding that this is what he wished to happen, all this despair is because of his selfish desire. He goes on to further say that he feels nothing regarding their deaths, which is a sentiment he will later repeat at the Hill of Swords. He then continues to reiterate that he is sinking.

We are introduced to the Idea of Evil as a narrator. He shows Griffith the visualisation of the crystallisation of his last shed tear and explains that his suffering became so immense that his heart has been subsequently frozen. This is also an allegory for the activation of the Behilits, which as we will learn in the coming pages are derived from the Idea of Evil. A human must be broken in order to activate a Behilit, their emotions and empathy for humanity are squashed because of their suffering, therefore their last tear is derived from the last moment before they activate the Behilit. Griffith then notices the thousands of tear-like Behilit’s rising above him heading for the physical world, letting us know that the Idea of Evil is the origin of the Behilit’s. As he continues to sink he begins to see the physical embodiment of the Idea of Evil and once he gets a good enough look at it, he questions if it is literally God. This ends chapter 82 and the conical section of this scene.

Berserk chapter 83, also known to the wider internet as the lost chapter continues our scene while also concluding it. Griffith reiterates, questioning if the entity in front of him is God, the Idea of Evil then welcomes him and specifically refers to him as a human, implying that the Idea of Evil is in no way human or ever was like all being that use the Behilit as a tool to gain their supernatural abilities. Griffith asks again is this is God, and the Idea of Evil responds saying that he is the idea, the idea of evil the desired God. Griffith confused questions if this lump of flesh is really a God, but the Idea of Evil explains that this is only his core and that the vortex around him is the Godly part. The Idea of Evil is notably similar in shape to a heart, and as it is a God of feelings, particularly negative feelings, it fits. The Idea of Evil is the unconscious black heart of humanity.

The Idea of Evil then goes on to explain that the vortex surrounding him is an ocean of feelings intrinsic to all humans deep in their souls, he’s a collective consciousness that brings humanity together in solidarity. It was cultivated by the seemingly mindless despair of the nihilistic nature of the world in Berserk. It explains that these emotions birthed him into existence. Griffith acts as an audience surrogate here and an expositional tool, the Idea of Evil just subtly alluded to being birthed from human emotion, so now Griffith reiterates for the audience by asking if that means humans created God? He also asks if this terrifying hell-scape is humanities deepest desire. The Idea of Evil corroborates this and explains further that this is only one of multiple layers of the whole collective unconscious and that this is the layer of violence, loneliness and negative emotion. The Idea of Evil posits that this is the defining will of human nature, it even has a line on the previous page explaining that this place as horrific as it may seem, seems terribly human. Griffith then corroborates the humanity of this place as he menacingly looks down the camera with an open palm explaining that he can feel it, in an undeniably awesome panel. This panel also shows Griffith body progressing to materialise, he now has a hand and part of a face.

It is notable that when the Idea of Evil explains that this is merely one layer of the collective human unconscious. That means there are likely alternative layers that house different emotions. Therefore, it is equally possible that positive layers of Gods born of positive human emotions. If there is the Idea of Evil their must in turn be an Idea of Good, right? Even in Berserk people experience happiness or the idea of joy. This is only the layer Griffith personally called out for through the Behilit. Maybe in the story in the future we will see a character call out to a different deity of emotions.

Griffith then asks why the Idea of Evil was born and why humanity would give birth to this will called God. It’s interesting that Griffith described the Idea of Evil as a ‘Will called God.’ The Idea of Evil responds explaining that people desired an explanation for all the atrocities in their lives, all the atrocities they were exposed to by the world. Reasons for rain, reasons for sadness, reason for life itself as well as death. What could possibly explain the absurdity of life? The excuse they came up with was God, and so God came to them. The Idea of Evil explains that he controls destiny and the absurdity of life, because that is what he was willed into existence for. Not to end suffering or pain but to explain it. The Idea of Evil is omnipotent but obey the will of the essence of human kind, he cannot create a better reality, even if he desired to, because he is beholden to humanity and the world.

Griffith makes this about himself again by arrogantly asking if the Idea of Evil controls destiny than does that include his destiny, did he arrange for Griffith to suffer and be tortured. Not only does the Idea of Evil corroborate this but explains that all of the events relevant in Griffith’s life were predetermined in the distant past. He further explains that he manipulated lower-level humans into taking certain actions and merged certain bloodlines and created the specific set of circumstances so that Griffith would be born and live the life he did. It is interesting that Griffith’s linage is brought up here since we never see his parents, or anybody related to him in the story. Stonehenge interestingly feature as a fixture in the background of the page where the Idea of Evil explains his manipulation of the world. Stonehenge features throughout Berserk, when the demon baby warns Guts of Casca apparent danger, forcing him out of his Black Swordsmen behaviour and in the most recent chapter as of this videos release, where Griffith and his army are using it as a form of fast travel. It seems to have some symbolic meaning to the narrative, but I can’t entirely decipher it.

Another interesting detail here is the irony that Kentaru Miura literally is the real life equivalent of the Idea of Evil. In the story the Idea of Evil controls destiny, but in a more literal sense Kentaru Miura controls the destiny of the Idea of Evil, so much so that he cut him from canon, so ultimately, the author of the story controls the destiny of the characters. Is this black heart of humanity an allegory for Kentaru Miura himself, is he trying to make some meta-commentary on the nature of stories and characters and how they relate to destiny and the author. In the manga version of the Eclipse Gaston literally leans on the fourth wall when he explains to Guts before his horrific death that he was only a minor character in a grander narrative. If this is in any way true, this scene is almost like Griffith talking to his own author.

 

Griffith now understanding the monumentality of this encounter forgoes his self-importance and asks God what it wants from him. The Idea of Evil simply responds telling him to be as he will. This is something Wyald claimed previously, he said he was ordered only to do as he will. It seems the God Hand, hand this message of doing anything you will down to the mere apostles as well if Wyald somehow got this message, I don’t think he ever meant the Idea of Evil. The Idea of Evil goes onto explain that he dwells deep in Griffiths heart and that he is part of Griffith. Their desires are mutual, whatever Griffith desires will be the desire of the Idea of Evil as well. He explains to Griffith that his actions will reflect the truth want of mankind, it may cause pain or salvation to mankind. He finalises this speech in the full-page spread saying, “Do as you will, chosen one.” The Idea of Evil basically grants Griffith free will in this scene, Griffith ultimately uses this acquired free will to rape Casca in an attempt to humiliate Guts, and if you’ve seen my Hill of Swords scene analysis you’ll understand just how grandly Griffith fucked up in this entire situation.

Now after learning the complexities of the undercurrent of the entire universe, learning the truth about humanities collective consciousness and meeting God himself; Griffith concludes that if so: he wants wings. This viscerally human response after learning the complexities of the universe displays Griffith aforementioned arrogance and its absolutely captivating. The juxtaposition here works so unbelievably well creating both disgust and understanding, something about this request is relatable while simultaneously making you angry. This moment to me is only aptly described as, ‘incredibly Griffith.’ There’s something indescribably palpable about this moment and some of the credit must be given to the art, the progressive materialisation of Griffith throughout the scene is finalised here, Griffith is whole again, and his first line is, “I Want Wings.” The look of determination and assuredness here depicts what Griffith would become in the following chapters perfectly.

After his request the vortex all negative human emotion and feeling surround him and complete his transformation into Femto, including the wings he just asked for. The Idea of Evil closes the scene and the chapter by monologing that Griffith can mould his shape into anything he sees suitable for his desired task, whatever that may be. Our scene ends with a silhouette of the jet-black wings of Femto soring back up the abyss we stated this scene sinking down, to seemingly achieve whatever task he desired.

 

 

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