Kentaro Miura, the world-renowned manga artist, died in 2021 at age 54 and left his ongoing series, Berserk, unfinished.
Now, Young Animal -- the comic book publisher that serialized Berserk -- has announced that Berserk will continue under the supervision of Kouki Mori, a close friend of Miura and a manga artist in his own right.
According to Mori, through discussions prior to Miura's death, he's aware of how Miura intended to end the Berserk story and plans to bring the series to its natural conclusion alongside many of Miura's assistants.
Berserk, a dark fantasy manga set in a brutal medieval-inspired universe, is Miura's most famous work. It began serialization back in 1989 and influenced multiple works of fiction across a wide spectrum. Video games such as Dark Souls, Bloodborne and Final Fantasy, alongside manga and anime like Demon Slayer, Castlevania and Vagabond, all bear the mark of Miura's influence.
"I think people with good intuitions would realize by now that I know the story for Berserk up to the very end," Mori said in a statement.
"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," Mori contin"However, a great responsibility has fallen on me."
According to Mori, Miura's former assistants reached out to him, claiming they hoped to finish the final chapters left behind by Miura. Mori agreed to help. After reaching out to Young Animal, Mori secured the support and approval needed to continue the story to its completion.
"I have a message and promise to everyone," Mori said. "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."
In a statement, Young Animal said it believed that this solution, "although imperfect," is the "best way" to bring the Berserk that Miura had envisioned to life. The plan is to complete the current running Fantasia Arc/Elf Island Chapter and then subsequently start a new arc. Presumably, that arc will bring Berserk to a close.
"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," said Young Animal. "We hope that everyone will continue to have the same connection with Berserk in the chapters to come."
Berserk will resume on June 24, in an upcoming issue of Young Animal.