Kentaro Miura, the world-famous creator of the manga Berserk, has passed away at the age of 54. According to a statement by the editorial department of Young Animal Comics, where Berserk is serialized in Japan, he died on May 6 as a result of acute aortic dissection.
"The news of Miura's sudden passing has blanketed the Young Animal editorial department in deep sadness," the publication said.
Dark Horse Comics, which published Miura's work in the US, also released a statement.
"Miura-sensei was a master artist and storyteller and we had the great privilege of publishing several of his finest works, including his masterpiece, Berserk.
"He will be greatly missed."
Berserk, Miura's most famous work, began serialization back in 1989. A dark fantasy manga set in a brutal medieval-inspired universe, Berserk had an impact that can be seen in multiple works of fiction. Video games like Dark Souls, Bloodborne and Final Fantasy, alongside manga and anime such as Demon Slayer, Castlevania and Vagabond, all bear the mark of Miura's influence.
Kentaro Miura began drawing at the age of 10, creating manga for his classmates, but quickly graduated to the real thing, working as an assistant to George Morikawa, the creator of boxing manga Hajime No Ippo, aged 18.
Berserk told the story of "Guts." A mercenary swordsman mixed up in a savage world of endless battles and magic, he's on a quest for revenge against his former master Griffith, who ascended to become a demon god. It was renowned for its unflinching, often brutal visual storytelling, mixed with some of the most dazzling and detailed art ever seen in manga.
Fans paid tribute to Miura online.
As a result of Berserk's popularity, an anime was produced in 1997. A film series, covering early story arcs from the manga, was produced in 2012, with an additional series released in 2016. Multiple video games based on Berserk were also published.
Berserk's serialization was ongoing and, with Miura's passing, his manga will most likely remain unfinished.