After the tragic and sudden passing of Berserk creator Kentaro Miura last year at the age of 54, fans had been wondering whether the series would, or even could, continue without him. After over a year of waiting, they now have their answer.
Berserk will be resuming with six chapters of the current story to be published, before the team moves onto a “new arc.” These new entries will be credited, “Original work by Kentaro Miura, Manga by Studio Gaga, Supervised by Kouji Mori”, and their numbering will continue in the same order as older chapters.
In a series of statements posted on their company site (and social media accounts), the manga’s production team have said, “We will resume the serialization of Berserk” using comments and sketches Miura made before his death as a starting point. “We believe that this policy, although imperfect, is the best way to deliver the Berserk that Mr. Miura envisioned to everyone as faithfully as possible,” they say.
The first statement, signed by the Young Animal Editing Department, reads:
To our readers
We will resume the serialization of Berserk.
Please accept our apologizes for the long wait before we could make this announcement.
We have read as many of your comments as possible for the “Dai Berserk-ten (The Great Berserk Exhibition)”, “Young Animal Memorial Issue (Young Animal 2021 No.18)”, and “Berserk Volume 41”. We are extremely grateful for each and every one of your words and for your messages sent to us through social media. We are truly touched by the love you all have for Berserk and the influence it has had on your lives. It is truly sad that Kentaro Miura himself is not here to read your comments with us.
Before his passing, Kentaro Miura spoke to his close friend Kouji Mori about the stories and episodes he had in mind for Berserk. He also had similar talks with his studio staff and editor. He wondered, would everyone be surprised if I drew something like this? How about a character like this? Would this storyline be interesting? The talks were not meant as his last words, but were a part of his ordinary days as a manga artist.
Such ordinary days continued for more than a quarter of a century. Our minds and hearts are still filled with the thoughts Mr. Miura shared with us during that time. We have also found memos of ideas he wrote and designs for characters that he drew and left behind.
We were reluctant to end his story without sharing these with his fans.
Our hope is for everyone to read the last episode that we have put together, until the very last frame.
Upon resuming the series, our production team decided on a basic policy.
“Mr. Miura said so.” This is what the production team kept in mind.
Since he did not leave behind rough drafts, it is impossible for us to create a manuscript exactly in the way he would have intended. However, we will write the manga so as not to deviate from Mr. Miura’s own words. We would like to take the “Kentaro Miura” that we knew so fondly through our conversations and work and convey this to all of you in a sincere manner.
We believe that this policy, although imperfect, is the best way to deliver the Berserk that Mr. Miura envisioned to everyone as faithfully as possible.
From the next issue, we will first publish six chapters until the end of “Fantasia Arc/Elf Island Chapter”. After this, we will start a new arc.
Credits after the resumption will be “Original work by Kentaro Miura, Manga by Studio Gaga, Supervised by Kouji Mori,” and the numbering of the manga books will continue in order.
Looking back, the first volume of Berserk was published in 1990 with 28,000 copies released for the first edition. It was not an immediate hit and only a small group of people knew about it. Still, it drew avid fans and was able to hold their interest because people could feel Mr. Miura’s desire to refine his craft. After a while, Berserk became a huge hit through Mr. Miura’s extraordinary efforts and some good luck. Today, the first volume has been read by 2 million people around the world. We believe that Berserk has touched the hearts of many fans, and Mr. Miura would be happy to know that his thoughts have had a great influence on people’s lives and work. We hope that everyone will continue to have the same connection with Berserk in the chapters to come.
Thank you to all the fans who sent us messages.
We are also grateful to the many fans who quietly supported the manga through their thoughts.
Every one of you will be the source of our energy as we move forward.
We are truly grateful to you all.
Young Animal Editing Department
A second statement, signed by Miura’s close friend and Holyland creator Kouji Mori, going into more detail about the path the manga’s future storylines will take, says:
Nearly 30 years ago, Miura called me and said, “I need to talk to you about drawing a rough draft.” I went to his workplace just to talk as we always do, but Miura looked more serious than usual. “I need to draw the Eclipse,” he said. I sensed it would be hard work, but couldn’t believe it when I was trapped indoors for a week… In that very moment, the storyline for Berserk was completed, until the very last chapter.
Strangely, the story for Berserk went on exactly as we discussed at the time, with almost no changes. I continued to talk to Miura often, whenever there was a big episode. We did so ever since we were students, consulting each other while working on manga.
I think people with good intuition would realize by now that I know the story for Berserk up to the very end. Still, I cannot say that I can draw it because I know it. That is because only the genius Kentaro Miura can write a masterpiece like Berserk.
However, a great responsibility has fallen on me.
While he was alive, Miura said, “I haven’t told anyone other than you, Mori, about the story in its entirety.” And that was the truth. It is too big a responsibility. I thought, should I talk to fans about it through an interview? Or should I publish an article with some illustrations? But that wouldn’t convey the scenes that Miura described to me, or the lines of Guts and Griffith…
Just when I was trying to decide what to do, I received a message.
“The staff are saying they will finish the last chapter that was left behind, so can you take a look?”
The last few pages of the chapter were incomplete. Some did not even have the characters drawn on them.
I took a look at the manuscript, without expecting much.
Desperation can push people to create miracles — There it was, the completed manuscript for Berserk.
“Mr. Mori, will you let us do it?”
Miura’s apprentices, who Miura had been so proud of while he was alive, asked me straight.
Company Director Shimada, a mentor for me and Miura, also said, “If you do it, the company will give our full support.”
I thought, if I run away now, Miura would say:
“I talked to you about it so much, but you didn’t do it!!”
Alright. I’ll do it properly.
I have a message and promise to everyone. I will recall the details as much as possible and tell the story.
Also, I will only write the episodes that Miura talked to me about. I will not flesh it out. I will not write episodes that I don’t remember clearly. I will only write the lines and stories that Miura described to me. Of course, it will not be perfect. Still, I think I can almost tell the story that Miura wanted to tell.
The talent Miura’s apprentices have are real!
They are brilliant artists.
Many of you may not be fully satisfied with the Berserk written without Miura, but we hope everyone’s thoughts will be with us.
We ask you for your continued support.