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Creator of the Bestselling Manga Series Berserk, Dr. Kentaro Miura, Has Passed Away at 54

image of guts from berserk killing some monster like a boss

Kentaro Miura, creator of the dark fantasy manga Berserk, has died at the age of 54.

The information was shared in a Tweet from Berserk Project that translated to: “Dr. Kentaro Miura, the author of ‘Berserk,’ passed away on May 6, 2021 due to acute aortic dissection. We would like to express our utmost respect and gratitude to Dr. Miura’s painting work and pray for his soul.”

The creator had been writing manga since he was ten, publishing stories for his classmates. That artistic drive followed him for the rest of his life, causing him to grow into the amazing artist who is responsible for Berserk.

Miura, who wrote and drew himself, first launched the series in 1989 and has been running ever since. Set in a fantasy medieval Europe, it follows the story of the mercenary Guts and Griffith, leader of the mercenary Band of the Hawk. Guts has the “Brand of Sacrifice” on the back of his neck, which attracts ghosts and demons hungry to devour him. However, he has a big, impossible sword and a power level of over 9000, so it’s not really an easy fight for them.

The series is known for its beautiful art, violence, dark tone interspersed with humor, optimism, and love. According to its Japanese publisher Hakusensha, its 40 volumes had “35m copies sold worldwide.”

According to The Guardian, Chris Warner, Berserk’s editor at Dark Horse, described the series as “a harrowing dark fantasy of monumental depth, complexity and audacity” that had an “astonishing visual tapestry is like nothing else in graphic fiction … While the horror and violence are at times disturbing and unquestionably adult, Miura still manages to produce genuine emotion and plenty of humor.”

I was introduced to the series by my older sister and other anime/manga nerds in my life. The villain of the series, Griffith, was always on everyone’s top list of ultimate baddies, and Guts himself was a captivating character. On a personal note, the thing that pulled me into the series the most was the character of Casca. While she is “ambiguously Brown,” I always saw her as a potentially Black woman, and it meant a lot to me to see a series, that was this popular, have a character who was visibly Brown in the series.

She was a complex female character who wasn’t overshadowed completely by the more powerful men in the narrative, and I will always be thankful for that.

Berserk may be unfinished, but I think rather than seeing it as incomplete, it is best to see what we have as the living legacy of a man who spent his entire life growing as an artist and a writer.

Miura was buried in a private ceremony with his family.

(via The Guardian, image: Dark Horse)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.