Kentaro Miura, the author behind the Berserk manga has died at the age of 54.
The news of the author’s death came after a released statement from Young Animal Comics’s editorial department on Twitter which revealed Miura’s cause of death and when he passed away.
“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,” Young Animal Comics’s editorial department said in a statement on Twitter.
Berserk was Miura’s best-known work, which was an acclaimed dark fantasy manga set in a brutal medieval-inspired universe that began serialization back in 1989. Berserk told the story of the main protagonist, Guts, a lone mercenary who joins a mercenary group called the Band of the Hawk after facing defeat by the group’s leader Griffith. Early on in his story Guts quickly rises as Griffith’s best warrior which would later lead to Griffith’s betrayal. Guts would later find himself mixed up in a savage world of endless battles and magic.
Guts is well known for wielding a ridiculously large sword that measures roughly 60 inches long. Berserk arguably started a trend of characters wielding giant swords like Ichigo Kurosaki from Bleach, Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII, Dante from Devil May Cry and really so many more. Berserk‘s influence isn’t just limited to just giant swords but the manga’s dark fantasy themes as well in video games like Dragon’s Dogma, Castlevania, Bloodborne and Dark Souls.
Miura’s path to writing and drawing manga started at the age of 10, where he created his early work for his classmates. At 18 he would pursue manga as an actual career when he first started working as an assistant to George Morikawa, the creator of boxing manga Hajime no Ippo. Throughout his 36-year career in the manga industry, Miura renowned for unwavering and Brutal visual storytelling that complimented one of the most beautiful detailed artwork in the manga.
The fallout from the author’s death has led to fans paying tribute to Miura’s legacy through tweeting out his eye-catching manga pages or in the world of Final Fantasy XIV. Players in the MMO have switched to the dark knight class which is heavily inspired by Berserk, many of them can be seen lined up and posing with their swords in the ground in honour of Miura’s passing in the city of Ul’dah. The tribute isn’t exclusive to one server but participation is happening across multiple servers like Balmung, Cactuar, Leviathan, and Midgardsormr. So many users are lined up in Balmung that the server can’t even load everybody at once.
Berserk‘s popularity led to a 25-episode anime in 1997, multiple movie adaptations covering the manga’s early arcs from 2012 to 2013 and an anime continuation from the 1997 series that ran for two seasons from 2016 to 2017. Berserk also had many video games released like 2017’s Berserk and The Band of the Hawk. The second saddest thing about Miura’s passing – the first being his death – is that the Berserk manga will be an unfinished story.