Clocked

Iconic ‘Berserk’ manga will continue despite creator Kentaro Miura’s death

Berserk creator Kentaro Miura passed away in May 2021, leaving his influential manga unfinished. It has now been announced his studio and friends will continue it.

Berserk, the long-running manga from Kentaro Miura, has left in indelible mark on comics, graphic novels, video games, and Japanese culture in general. You know the sad boy with a big sword stereotype? That all started with Guts, the main character of Berserk.

Similarly, the popular Dark Souls games, along with recent superhit Elden Ring, draw heavily on the lore and visual motifs of Miura’s work. The manga is honestly kind of like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon; its influence is vast, even if its being filtered through a second-hand source.

berserk snake monster
Image: Berserk / Young Animal

When Kentaro Miura passed away, Berserk was in the middle of narrative arc, and showing no real signs of nearing completion. Miura had up until that point worked almost exclusively on Berserk since 1989. He wrote, illustrated and lettered every volume; it was his life’s work in the truest sense.

Because so few other individuals were involved in the creation of Berserk it didn’t seem plausible for anyone to pick up where Miura left off. However, close friend and Holyland creator, Mori Kouji has stated that Miura spoke to him about how the series ends:

“Nearly 30 years ago, Miura called me and said, “I need to talk to you about drawing a rough draft.” I went to his workplace just to talk as we always do, but Miura looked more serious than usual. “I need to draw the Eclipse,” he said. I sensed it would be hard work, but couldn’t believe it when I was trapped indoors for a week… In that very moment, the storyline for Berserk was completed, until the very last chapter…

I think people with good intuition would realise by now that I know the story for Berserk up to the very end. Still, I cannot say that I can draw it because I know it. That is because only the genius Kentaro Miura can write a masterpiece like Berserk.”

elden ring tree
Image: Elden Ring / FromSoftware

This information has come out through a series of media announcements and social media posts from Kouji, Young Animal Comics (Berserk‘s imprint) and Miura’s Studio Gaga.

In these posts it has been stated that Studio Gaga will finish the latest Berserk narrative arc, and then continue creating the series under the guidance of Mori Kouji.

The final instalment of Berserk, that was finished by Miura, was released December 2021, although it hasn’t been translated into English yet. Currently, there is release date for future Berserk volumes.