The Berserk manga will be returning. Despite the untimely death of original series author and creator Kentaro Miura, the dark fantasy series will continue under the direction of Miura’s former production studio, Studio Gaga, and close friend Kouji Mori, according to publisher Hakusensha.
Berserk will continue with six chapters to conclude the current Fantasia Arc/Elf Island Chapter and then the series will begin a new arc. The series will continue to be credited to Kentaro Miura as the original author but the manga will now say “Original work by Kentaro Miura, Manga by Studio Gaga, Supervised by Kouji Mori”.
In a post on their website and on social media, Hakusensha said,
“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.”
The continuation of the series will hew as closely as possible to the ideas for the series that Miura would discuss with friends and colleagues, as Miura did not leave behind any formal outlines or written drafts to work from:
“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.”
Kouji Mori manga author of Holyland and Destroy and Revolution, gave a statement:
“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.”
On being brought on board to produce the rest of the Berserk story alongside Miura’s apprentices at Studio Gaga:
“I have a message and promise to everyone. I will recall the details as much as possible and tell the story.”
“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.”
Kentaro Miura died unexpectedly from an aortic dissection in May 2021 leaving fans and the manga world stunned – with tributes pouring out in the worlds of comics and gaming.
Berserk is an international bestselling manga with over 50 million copies in circulation. The final chapter of the series by Miura, chapter 364, was released posthumously and collected in tankōbon format as volume 41 in December 2021. The English translation will release later this year from Dark Horse Comics.