The series will be continued by the manga staff of Studio Gaga, with the supervision of Miura's friend and fellow manga author Kouji Mori (Holyland, Jisatsutou).
By: Nicole S. Castro on June 07, 2022 at 14:37 PHT
Berserk, the critically acclaimed dark fantasy manga by the late author Kentaro Miura, is making its return on publisher Hakusensha's semimonthly magazine Young Animal on June 24, 2022.
Below is a summary of the announcement in Japanese, but a full English translation is provided on Hakusensha's official website (which begins with "To our readers...").
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 volumes will continue in the original order.
Berserk (Japanese: ベルセルク) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by the late author Kentaro Miura, who passed away on May 6, 2021 due to acute aortic dissection.
The story is set in a medieval Europe-inspired dark fantasy world. The plot centers on the characters of Guts, a lone mercenary, and Griffith, the leader of a mercenary band called the "Band of the Hawk". The series began serialization in a prototype form in 1988 on Hakusensha's now-defunct magazine Monthly Animal House. It was then transferred to the semimonthly magazine Young Animal in 1992, where Berserk has continued its publication intermittently.
Following Miura's death in May 2021, the final chapter that he wrote and illustrated was published posthumously.
Now with this new announcement, Hakusensha has made it clear that Miura had spoken with close friend and fellow manga author Kouji Mori (Holyland, Jisatsutou) about ideas for Berserk prior to Miura's death. Though this was not because Miura knew of his passing ahead of time. Fortunately, the casual conversations with friends and staff allowed him to impart ideas for the future of the series.
Note: Quotes below are excerpts from the official announcement.
To our readers, We will resume the serialization of Berserk. Please accept our apologizes for the long wait before we could make this announcement. 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.
Like many of the loyal Berserk fans, the Hakusensha/Young Animal staff did not want the series to meet an abrupt end. Below, they share how they made the decision to continue:
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.
However, since Miura was unable to leave behind rough drafts, the staff admit they will have to rely on past material as well as memories of their final conversations with Miura to continue the story:
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. Our hope is for everyone to read the last episode that we have put together, until the very last frame.
The official announcement also contains their plans to move the series forward:
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.
As of May 2021, the Berserk manga had over 50 million copies in circulation, including digital versions, making it one of the best-selling manga series of all time. It received the Award for Excellence at the 6th installment of the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2002.
NICOLE S. CASTRO
Nicole is based in the Philippines and works as a freelance Japanese Translator/Interpreter and copywriter (English). She is a JLPT N2 passer who watches anime to "study" for N1. She has a long career history on LinkedIn (with primary focus on media and translation), but her anime watchlist is much, much longer.