Kentaro Miura, the creator of the extra-dark fantasy manga series Berserk, has died at the age of 54. His death on May 6th of an acute aortic dissection was announced on the official Berserk Twitter account by the editorial team of Young Animal who have serialized the manga since its inception in 1989.
Berserk is one of the most popular mangas in the world, and one especially successful in the West too where it was well-received for its more realist art style, laborious illustrations and no-holds-barred storytelling. Berserk follows its main character, Guts, a haunted mercenary as he travels through a grimdark medieval universe replete with horrific, otherworldly monstrosities in search of vengeance, drawing heavily from European history.
Ripples were sent throughout the world and the internet.
Final Fantasy XIV players spontaneously held a massive memorial for Kentaro Miura online, paying tribute to the manga-ka whose influence can be felt across genres and generations, Final Fantasy included. During the memorial, players donned black garbs and wielded massive swords to emulated Guts, the Black Swordsman, and his iconic look.
Berserk appreciation post in honor of Kentaro Miura pic.twitter.com/3aBlePsFME— #ThankYouMiura (@1Kurdi3) May 20, 2021
Rest in peace Kentaro Miura, thank you for Berserk pic.twitter.com/YxLzkWOthE— n8-bit (@moist_pixels) May 20, 2021
Rest in peace Kentaro Miura.— Chun Lo (@belgeist) May 20, 2021
A true inspiration. pic.twitter.com/rHW3MXN5Ai
The loss of Miura brings to an end the 32-year journey of Berserk and leaves it, in many ways, incomplete. Fans of the series have become accustomed to long hiatuses by Kentaro Miura, sometimes releasing as few as 2 or 3 chapters a year at times. This led many to speculate about Miura’s health or theorize potential competing distractions.
A tale of revenge, many fans will lament the fact that the story seems to end without closure -- despite being older than many of its readers. But Miura nonetheless leaves in his wake an arduous, gripping tale of brutality and true grit, composed of tens of thousands of masterfully crafted panels and a unique, mature art style nobody can fully replicate.
In light of Miura’s passing, Berserk, complete or incomplete, stands as the embodiment of the phrase, “life is about the journey, not the destination.”