II. I did some catching up on Berserk today--reread volume 30 and finally read volume 31 and a few chapters of volume 32.
The best part: Casca being all clingy to and possessive of Farnese. She so tops. Which is why Casca/Farnese is acceptable: it's not non-retard/retard, it's retard/non-retard! Although I still want Casca healed so they can have hot sex, dammit.
I also love Serpico's issues, as detailed in the beginning of volume 30, so much. His dumb fangirls are all "ZOMG SERPICO IS SO COOL AND AWESOME!", but his pretense of unaffected cool is actually his damage. His defense mechanism to prevent himself from getting hurt again after his shitty childhood is acting aloof and only allowing himself to be affected by Farnese. But now that he's admitted to himself how much hanging out with the Scooby Gang and particularly Guts has affected him, he can begin to heal. Which means hot Casca/Serpico interaction, please! (I notice that Serpico is the only adult male that Casca does not get all "grrr" at. There was even a cute moment after Guts knocked the arch down on Serpico where he's holding his head in pain, and she curiously imitates him by holding a hand to her head. Aww. Please to be giving us more new!OT3, Miura.)
The weirdest part: after volume 31, I am now seriously shipping Guts/Schierke. Not as a sexual thing, but...it's no longer platonic. It's like Casca was Guts's chance to experience a companionate sexual romance as a good thing, and Schierke is his chance to experience a more spiritual romance as a good thing.
Damn you, Miura, for making me ship loli. DAAAAMN YOU. al;fjds;lkfds.
Also, one little thing in volume 30: I love the foreshadowing of Farnese fending off a monster with a candlestick. Sure, in a practical sense, the she did that because it was silver. But the symbolism of her taking an object associated with fire and using it as a weapon? ...Please let that be foreshadowing, Miura. She really, really needs to develop FIAH POWAHZ. And find a healthy way to let out her inner dominatrix, because I know it's still there and I kind of miss it.
I've read up through chapter 279 now. I started to download 280+ from Stoptazmo, but it crashed my browser, so...I think that's a sign that I should wait until tomorrow.
III. Was too busy reading Berserk to watch Romeo x Juliet today, so that will wait for tomorrow (er...later today). Ditto on icon-making, especially since I saved a bunch of cute panels from the Berserk bits I read in order to icon them. I think I'm too lazy to fully color those panels, but I'll color them a bit and add a bunch of effects and that should be enough.
Tomorrow will be icon day, I think. And maybe time to make some secrets for fandomsecrets. I've been putting off opening Photoshop for weeks, but now that I've rebooted, I don't have an excuse anymore.
IV. While considering the old Berserk OT3 (that is, Guts/Griffith/Casca, duh), I began to formulate some thoughts on a key theme that runs through the relationships in Berserk: namely, betrayal.
It seems like the bad things that happen in Berserk are prompted, on an interpersonal level, by some form of betrayal. It's rarely the same level of betrayal, but it's always there.
Guts betrays Griffith by walking away from him without explanation when he's at a vulnerable time.
Casca betrays Griffith by seeming to choose Guts over him (told you not all betrayals were of equal level, heh).
Griffith betrays Guts and Casca by completely fucking over them and the Hawks.
Guts betrays Casca by abandoning her, then treating her like an animal and nearly raping and killing her.
The only thing that hasn't happened yet is Casca betraying Guts, which leads me to suspect that she will do something of the sort to him after she's healed--possibly, as ew_younerd suggests, involving Griffith, since he is technically her baby now. Heh.
But I also think that the descent back into darkness after these relatively light and happy arcs (heh) will start when betrayal begins to hit the new group. I think the pain will initially hit Isidro the hardest, eventually crushing his dreams and pushing him to use the Behelit, at which point he'll sacrifice Schierke--
--and from there on in Guts will flip his shit.
After that I dunno! Miura, make it hurt good.
V. The requests for het_challenge are in! I'm pretty excited about some of mine. Of the lot I got, I chose one D.Gray-man, one FF, and one Berserk. Since this is a public post I'm leaving it at that for now, but since I don't think any of the requesters are on my friendslist, I may talk about the ideas more later. Probably filtered, though.
VI. Character analysis, mostly for my benefit, since so far I have only properly semed dragonsquee into watching the Wire. (I will be fixing this soon when I burn DVDs this week for joiedecombat, infinitepryde, and ew_younerd. Damned torrents.)
I joined the Television Without Pity forums, finally, solely so I could post about the Wire. Specifically, solely so I could post in the Omar thread. I'm so predictable.
Coming in here late, but:
It seems to me that, as a character, Omar's always just on the verge of realising the hypocrisy/moral emptiness of his "code".
As a character, Omar always struck me as Bubs' opposite - Bubs realises how crap his life is, but lacked the will to change until now. Omar could change in a heartbeat if he wanted to - but seems to either be in denial, or unable to work out how hard he really has it.
Agreed on (almost) all counts, although I hadn't fully articulated in my head the way Bubbles and Omar are two different sides of a coin.
I don't think Omar's "code" is entirely hypocritical and empty--no matter how you spin it, it counts for something that he sets cold hard moral limits on his behavior and follows them. (In fact, you could argue that one of the things the show illustrates being wrong with society is that it doesn't stick to such a code as a whole.) Rather, I think it's both his greatest strength and his greatest flaw. On the one hand, having a set of moral rules that he'll never abandon allows him to retain his humanity in the face of an environment where it's entirely too easy to lose it. Thus it makes him capable of redemption. On the other, the code itself stems from his pride, and I'd say it's no mystery what's keeping him from leaving the game--it's his pride.
Omar doesn't want to clean up not because he's in denial, but because in order to be a good law-abiding citizen who doesn't, you know, run around shooting people and preying on a trade full of despair and human misery, he'd have to give up his total freedom. He'd have to pledge himself to institutions. His devotion to his own freedom is both (part of) what makes him so enormously appealing as a character and his greatest moral flaw.
However--and this is why I think (I hope, I hope, I hope!) he doesn't die in the final season--his character arc has been leading in subtle ways up to him realizing that there are things more important than his own personal freedom. The scene where Bunk bitches him out in season three, and he sits there pretending it didn't affect him, is a perfect example.
(Here is where I confess that I have not finished the series so far; I've been watching it on DVD and am up through 03x09. So for all I know the last episode of S3 and the entirety of S4 totally contradict what I've surmised about Omar's character. ...I doubt it, though.)
So I would like to think that instead of seeing him die in S5, we'll see him show some willingness to sacrifice his sense of freedom and pride for the sake of the community and the people of it. I'd even be all right with seeing him die if he managed to resolve those issues beforehand, although obviously I would prefer he walk off into the sunset.