It’s a sad day for manga fans the world over as I regret to inform you that Kentaro Miura, the creator of the dark fantasy epic Berserk, passed away on May 6 from an acute aortic dissection at the age of 54. An acute aortic dissection is a heart complication.
The announcement of his passing was delayed to give his family time to grieve and hold a private funeral. Fans and publications from around the world took to social media to mourn the loss of such a great author.
For those unfamiliar, Berserk is a manga that has been running since 1989 and is about the Black Swordsman, Guts, who traverses a brutal dark fantasy landscape in search of a group of demons known as the God Hand. It’s an epic story that has inspired countless stories, video games, and manga.
2021年5月20日 株式会社白泉社 ヤングアニマル編集部 pic.twitter.com/baBBo4J2kL
— ベルセルク公式ツイッター (@berserk_project) May 20, 2021
You have the Dark Souls series, Bloodborne, Final Fantasy (the Buster Sword from Final Fantasy VII is taken straight from the manga), Castlevania, and Demon Slayer, to name a few.
After hearing the news, fans paid tribute to Miura online. Berserk has seen its fair share of adaptations from the animated series in 1997 to a film series, and multiple video games.
Paying Tribute to Miura
Tons of people took to social media to pay tribute. Dark Horse Comics, the company that published Miura’s manga in the United States, tweeted, “Miura-sensei was a master artist and storyteller and we had the great privilege of publishing several of his finest works…”
Fans tweeted out favorite panels and talked about their favorite chapters and volume. Many share the opinion that his works are one of the best in the industry.
Here's a better quality recording showing the full line of Dark Knights on Final Fantasy XIV's Balmung server paying tribute to Miura-san.
The turnout is amazing.
For those unfamiliar with FFXIV, the Dark Knight job and Guts share a lot of similarities. pic.twitter.com/ToMO0LM07X
— Josh (@EliteFourJosh) May 20, 2021
Players of the MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV took it one step further by having large groups of Dark Knights, a tank class heavily based on Guts, pay tribute alongside a candlelight vigil.
Future of Berserk
The future of Berserk remains to be seen. Berserk was still ongoing at the time of Miura’s passing. In an interview with Japanese magazine, Comic Natalie, Miura reveals that Berserk was “approaching its back half” and that his assistants over at production company, Studio Gaga, did most of the work on Berserk.
Miura was only doing storyboards and rough drafts for Berserk then so that he could focus on his new manga, Duranki. You can find the translated interview here.
Since he spent much of his time on Duranki, I believe it’s safe to assume that it will be canceled, but there is a possibility that Miura’s assistants could take up the task and finish the rest of Berserk. However, there was no such confirmation.
One of the more touching tributes came from the Japanese magazine, Young Animals, which published Berserk. Its editorial department wrote (according to a rough translation by Entertainment Weekly), “We have never seen Mr. Miura’s angry face. He was like a boy who always seemed to have fun.”
Rest in Peace, Kentaro Miura. And thank you for your valuable contributions to manga.
⚠️⚠️⚠️Kentaro Miura died in the past May 6th due to a Acute aortic dissection. I'm devastated. This is no time to speculate on Berserk's future, we must show respect to the master and his family. Thank you Master. ⚠️⚠️⚠️ https://t.co/scHOuA5dEu pic.twitter.com/spvvJWJ8VD
— Rage Of Berserk #thankyoumiura (@RageOfBerserk) May 20, 2021