Berserk Manga Will Continue Without Creator Kentaro Miura
After the tragic and sudden death of Berserk creator Kentaro Miura last year at the age of 54, fans were wondering if the series would, or even be able to continue without him. After more than a year of waiting, now they have their answer.
Beserk will continue with six chapters of the current story to be published, before the team moves on to a “new arc”. These new entries will be credited as “Original Works by Kentaro Miura, Manga by Studio Gaga, Supervised by Kouji Mori”, and their numbering will continue in the same order as the older chapters.
In a series of statements posted on their company website (and social media accounts), the manga’s production team stated, “We will continue to publish serial Berserk“Use the comments and sketches Miura made before her death as a starting point. “We believe this policy, while imperfect, is the best way to deliver Berserk Miura envisioned with people as honestly as possible,” they said.
The first statement, signed by the Young Animals Editorial Board, reads:
To our readers
We will continue to publish more episodes of Berserk.
Please accept our apologies for the long wait before we can make this announcement.
We have read as much of your comments as possible for “Dai Berserk-ten (Great Berserk Exhibition)”, “Young Animal Memorial Issue (Young Animal 2021 No.18)” and “Berserk volume 41”. We are extremely grateful for your every word and the messages you have sent to us via social media. We are truly touched by the love you all have for Berserk and the effect it has had on your life. It’s really sad that Kentaro Miura himself isn’t here to read your comments with us.
Before his death, Kentaro Miura talked to his close friend Kouji Mori about the stories and episodes he liked with Berserk. He also had similar conversations with his studio staff and editor. He wondered, would people be surprised if I drew something like this? How about a character like this? Will this plot be interesting? The talk wasn’t his last, but part of his normal days as a manga artist.
Such ordinary days continued for more than a quarter of a century. Our minds and hearts are still filled with the thoughts that Mr. Miura shared with us during that time. We also found memos about the ideas he wrote and designed for the characters he drew and left behind.
We were reluctant to end his story without sharing these with his fans.
Our hope is that everyone will read the last episode we made together, right down to the very last frame.
After resuming the series, our production team decided on a basic policy.
“Mr. Miura said so.” This is something the production team always kept in mind.
Since he did not leave rough drafts, we were unable to produce a manuscript exactly the way he intended. However, we will write the manga so as not to deviate from Mr. Miura’s own words. We want to take “Kentaro Miura” that we have come to love so much through our conversations and works and convey this to all of you sincerely.
We believe this policy, while imperfect, is the best way to convey the Berserk Mr. Miura envisioned to people as honestly as possible.
From the next issue, we will first publish six chapters until the end of “Fantasia Arc / Elf Island Chapter”. Then we’ll start a new arc.
Credits after resumption will be “Original Works by Kentaro Miura, Manga by Studio Gaga, Supervised by Kouji Mori,” and manga book numbering will continue in order.
Looking back, the first volume of Berserk was published in 1990 with 28,000 copies issued for the first edition. It was not an instant hit and only a small group of people knew about it. However, it still attracts die-hard fans and is able to keep their interest as people can sense Mr. Miura’s desire to hone his craft. After a while, Berserk became a huge hit thanks to Mr. Miura’s extraordinary efforts and a bit of luck. Today, the first volume has been read by 2 million people around the world. We believe Berserk has touched the hearts of so many fans, and Mr. Miura will be pleased to know that his thoughts have had a huge impact on people’s lives and work. I hope that everyone will continue to have such a connection with Berserk in the coming chapters.
Thank you to all the fans who sent us messages.
We are also grateful to the fans who have quietly supported the manga through their thoughts.
Each of you will be our source of energy as we move forward.
We are really grateful to all of you.
Young animal editing room
A second statement, signed by Miura’s close friend and Sanctuary creator Kouji Mori and went into more detail about the path the manga’s future plot will take, saying:
Almost 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 usual, but Miura looked more serious than usual. “I need to draw the Eclipse,” he said. I felt it would be hard work, but couldn’t believe it when I was stuck in the house for a week… At that moment, Berserk’s plot was complete, all the way to the final chapter.
Oddly enough, Berserk’s story played out exactly as we discussed at the time, with almost no change. I continued to talk to Miura regularly, whenever there was a big episode. We’ve been doing this since we were students, consulting each other when making manga.
I think those with good intuition will realize that I knew the story for Berserk until the very end. However, I cannot say that I can draw it because I know it. That’s because only genius Kentaro Miura could write a masterpiece like Berserk.
However, a great responsibility fell on me.
While still alive, Miura said, “I haven’t told anyone but you, Mori, about the whole story.” And it’s true. That is too big of a responsibility. I thought, should I talk to the fans about that through an interview? Or should I publish an article with some illustrations? But that wouldn’t convey the scenes Miura described to me, or the lines of Guts and Griffith…
Just as I was trying to decide what to do, I got a message.
“The staff who are saying they will finish the last chapter are left behind, so can you take a look?”
The last few pages of the chapter are unfinished. Some don’t even have characters drawn on them.
I went through the manuscript, not expecting much.
Desperation can motivate people to create miracles – Here it is, the finished manuscript for Berserk.
“Mr. Mori, will you let us do that?”
Miura’s apprentices, whom Miura was very proud of while alive, asked me directly.
Company director Shimada, who mentors me and Miura, also said, “If you do that, the company will give you full support.”
I thought, if I ran away now, Miura would say:
“I told you about it a lot, but you didn’t do it!!”
OK. I will do it right.
I have a message and promise to everyone. I will recall the details as much as possible and tell the story.
Also, I will only write the episodes where Miura talked to me. I won’t butcher it. I won’t write passages that I don’t remember well. I will just write the lines and stories that Miura described to me. Of course, it won’t be perfect. However, I think I can almost tell the story Miura wants to tell.
The talent of Miura’s apprentices is real!
They are brilliant artists.
Many of you may not be completely satisfied with Berserk written without Miura, but we hope everyone’s thoughts will be with us.
We ask for your continued support.