Publisher Hakusensha announced on Thursday that Berserk manga creator Kentaro Miura passed away on May 6 due to acute aortic dissection at age 54. His family held a private service.
Many artists, writers, and other creators around the world have offered their condolences and reactions to the passing of Berserk manga creator Miura.
Hajime no Ippo creator George Morikawa shared a tweet featuring one of Miura’s illustrations as tribute to him, he also worked with Morikawa as an assistant.
Miura’s written message that accompanied the gifted illustration reads: “Back in college, I worked with you as a short-term assistant, and I was worried my lack of skill would hold you back. I learned many things, and this is both an apology and a thank you!”
Morikawa added a comment on Miura’s passing, sharing how “I’m going to be a bit emotional, but let me reminisce a little bit. When I started my first weekly serialization without even a single assistant, he came to help me. He was 18 and I was 19. We were at some art college, and he came up after a lecture with sketchbook in hand. I didn’t know how extensive his drawing skills were, so I showed him some of my work and told him to get as close to this as he could. What he showed me was astounding, and definitely belied his age.”
Morikawa continued by recalling how “after he drew more, I had already become deeply interested in him, and we only stopped drawing to talk about manga. When I asked him to show me some of his drawings in his sketchbook, and it stopped my heart and gave me goosebumps. Within were drawings of fairies, a certain brand, a swordsman wielding a huge sword; the beginnings of what would later be Puck and Guts, all drawn in thick lines. It was too much. “What is all this?” I asked him. “They’re what’s inside my head,” he answered. “I want to get better, so I thought I should draw them.” How long had he been saving this up in his head?, I wondered. Berserk was already there, in those drawings.
Morikawa praised the late manga artist, and confessed how he was confident Berserk would be a hit in its early stages. Morikawa concluded by outlining how “we only worked in that short time, but it was my pride and honor to have met him. Forgive me for speaking so much, Kentarou-kun. One day, I’ll go and read that last chapter of yours,” he shared.
Susumu Hirasawa, who composed the music for the 1997 television anime adaptation of Berserk, wrote on his website how “Miura no longer exists in a physical space. From now on, we won’t be able to talk with each other about unresolved matters. He will always occupy a part of my mind regardless of time or space. Miura. Once again, I hope that we can get along earnestly.”
Dark Horse Comics, the publisher of Berserk and some of Miura’s other works in North America, also shared a tweet honoring the manga artist.
Kentaro Miura passed away on May 6, 2021 from acute aortic dissection. He was 54. Miura-sensei was a master artist and storyteller and we had the great privilege of publishing several of his finest works, including his masterpiece, Berserk. 1/— Dark Horse Comics (@DarkHorseComics) May 20, 2021
Many fellow manga artists took to their social media accounts to offer praise, and recall the artist’s legacy including Japanese manga author Hiro Mashima who wrote: “Berserk is what allowed my youth to remain with me. Even at my age, I’d still get excited at each new volume that came out. Now I am stunned in grief. May Miura-sensei rest in peace.”
Author Rei Hiroe and Vinland Saga manga creator Makoto Yukimura also posted Tweets commenting on the manga artist’s passing and achievements.
Fire Force and Soul Eater creator Atsushi Ohkubo also shared a heartfelt message, stating how “you left us too soon!”
Miura was born on July 11, 1966 in Chiba prefecture. He made his professional manga debut in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine in 1985.
Miura then published the one-shot version of the Berserk manga in Hakusensha’s Monthly Comicomi magazine in 1988. He launched the full Berserk manga series in Hakusensha’s Monthly Animal House magazine in 1989, and the series continued in Hakusensha’s Young Animal magazine to the present. It has over 40 million copies in circulation.
The Berserk manga follows Guts, a superhuman warrior who wields a large sword as he wanders a dark medieval world filled with demons, as well as corrupt and decadent nobles. Every night, he is attacked by demons, attracted to the curse branded on him after a traumatic event. He makes his way through the world on a quest for revenge after a former friend turned demon took everything away from him.
Hakusensha published the manga’s 40th volume in Japan on September 28, 2018. Dark Horse Comics published the same volume in North America in October 8, 2019.
The manga inspired a television anime series in 1997, as well as an anime film trilogy from 2012 to 2013. Another television anime series premiered in Japan in July 2016, and the second half of the new series premiered on April 2017.
【三浦建太郎先生 ご逝去の報】— ベルセルク公式ツイッター (@berserk_project) May 20, 2021
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
Miura drew the King of Wolves (Oh-Roh) manga with famed Fist of the North Star writer Buronson in 1989. The story continued with Oh-Roh Den (Legend of the King of Wolves) in 1990. Miura and Buronson collaborated again on the Japan manga in 1992. Miura launched the Giganto Maxia mini-series in Young Animal in 2013.
More recently, he created and produced the Duranki manga with his Studio Gaga in the inaugural issue of Hakusensha’s Young Animal Zero magazine in September 2019.