Kentaro Miura, creator of the manga Berserk, has sadly passed away at the age of 54. Miura died on May 6 as a result of acute aortic dissection, with news of his death only being made public a few hours ago. If you’re familiar with Miura’s work, then you know just how monumentally influential Berserk became in the years that it was published.
Beginning serialization all the way back in 1989, Berserk had two things going for it. For starters, it became an epic story of revenge in a dark fantasy world, as the swordsman Guts embarked on a quest to kill a former ally who had become a god. Berserk’s world was nothing short of brutal, a violent hellscape filled with all manner of monsters and bastards, with Guts himself having a tragic origin story.
The second big plus is that Berserk looked like a million bucks. Miura’s art was incredibly detailed, rich and heavy with intricate inks on every single page that just grew more gorgeous with each new chapter that was printed. That heavy load of work eventually took a toll on Miura’s output, with Berserk releases slowing down to a trickle over the years, but each new chapter was structured in a way that it felt like a mini-event when it was released.
As of writing, 357 manga chapters have been published and collected within 40 graphic novel or tankobon volumes.
Berserk was also adapted into anime several times, with the results featuring mixed quality. The first anime series that ran from 1997-1998 across 25 episodes was suitably violent but only touched on some of Berserk’s saga. The Golden Age Arc from 2012-2013 was a more accurate retelling of Berserk but was slammed for shoddy CGI animation, and a new season of Berserk began airing from 2016-2017.
It’s the end of an era, but Berserk’s influence can be seen in numerous other works of fantasy spread across film, TV, and video games. Miura’s grand saga of revenge and redemption may live on in an incomplete state, but it’ll be an unfinished masterpiece for the ages.
Last Updated: May 20, 2021