Kentaro Miura, creator of ‘Berserk’, dies at 54: NPR

Miura was known for his intricate linework.

© 2021 Kentaro Miura All rights reserved


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© 2021 Kentaro Miura All rights reserved

Manga creators and the fans around the world, took to social media to mourn the famous Japanese manga Kentaro Miura, whose aesthetic and commercial impact on the genre was substantial. His decisive series, the saga of 30 years and 40 volumes Berserk, is known both for her sophisticated artwork and for a story that permeates swordfights and supernatural encounters with poignant emotions, thorny moral dilemmas and intricate themes.

Miura’s English-speaking editor Dark Horse reports that he died on May 6 from an acute aortic dissection. He was 54 years old.

“I went to open a copy of Berserk just now, and I imagined for a moment that each page was blank, to remind myself that this is how each Berserkthousands and thousands of pages have started, ” Dark Horse manga editor Carl Horn wrote in a recollection posted by the publisher last week.

“Miura … fill in[ed] these pages with an epic of daring, elegance, horror, adventure, love, redemption, perseverance, friendship, humor – an epic of contradictions: beautiful, grotesque, whimsical, cosmic. “

As CBR.com noted in 2019, BerserkGeorge RR Martin’s gritty tone is more reminiscent of George RR Martin A song of ice and fire than that of JRR Tolkien The Lord of the Rings. Although his protagonist, Guts, is a tall guy with an even bigger sword – an all too common sight in manga aimed at male readers – he’s not just a jock. “Guts is a survivor of a horrific sexual assault, [which] defines its first characterization more than anything else, ” points out Patrick Marlborough from Kotaku.

Guts, the tormented hero of Berserk

© 2021 Kentaro Miura All rights reserved


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© 2021 Kentaro Miura All rights reserved

Berserk Also stands out for the quality of Miura’s pen and ink artwork, which is much more intricate and detailed than is typical of its genre. Manga is typically created through an assembly line process, with a multitude of helpers filling in the backgrounds and putting other finishing touches on the head. Mangakadrawings of. Although Miura employed several assistants in his production company, Studio Gaga, he drew most of the Berserk himself. His style was distinguished by an almost obsessive use of tiny hatching and other textural details. His various sources of inspiration included the Guin saga, a successful Japanese fantasy series in continuous publication since 1979, as well as several Western influences: MC Escher, Gustave Doré, Hieronymus Bosch, and the films of Disney and Paul Verhoeven.

Born on July 11, 1966 to artistic parents, Miura began drawing at the age of 10. While still a teenager, he won a New Artist Award from top manga magazine. Weekly Shonen. He attended Nihon University Art School in Tokyo and saw the first installment of Berserk appeared in print shortly after graduating in 1989. He designed thousands of pages in the series during his career.

Miura’s style was influenced by the Japanese Guin Saga series and Western artists like Hieronymus Bosch.

© 2021 Kentaro Miura All rights reserved


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© 2021 Kentaro Miura All rights reserved

At the time of her death, Miura enjoyed both best-seller status and considerable critical reputation. Sale of more than 50 million copies worldwide, Berserk inspired two television series, a film trilogy and two video games. It also contributed to the manga’s growing popularity in the United States – Black Horse reported in 2918 that Berserk was the best-selling series in the publisher’s history, with nearly two million copies sold.

Miura has also worked on a number of other projects throughout her career. His most recent creation, the 2019s Duranki, features a genderless protagonist exploring a world inspired by ancient mythology. In 2019 he told Jacob Parker-Dalton from Otaquest.com that “he had … always been fascinated by the aesthetics of the myths of ancient Greece and Mesopotamia … especially with regard to sex and body image.” (As Parker-Dalton notes, Berserk also features a genderless character: Guts Puck’s elf companion.) Greek myth also served as the inspiration for Miura’s miniseries in 2013 Giganto Maxia. Early in her career, Miura collaborated on several occasions with Buronson, creator of the hit 1980s martial arts series. Fist of the North Star. Contemporary Mangaka who cite Miura as an influence include The attack of the Titans‘s Hajime Isayama and Black butlerIt’s Yana Toboso. His style is evident in video games such as Dark Souls and Final Fantasy XIV and in TV shows like Netflix. Castlevania. He received an Osamu Tezuka Cultural Award in 2002.

Miura’s death leaves Berserk unfinished, adding to the anguish of fans who have followed the series for decades. Still, Dark Horse’s Horn concluded its memorial on a resilient note that was welcome following a year of COVID deaths. “By the millions he’s touched lives, inspired lives – bringing life to people, sometimes when we really needed it,” Horn writes. “You who are her fans already knew that; part of Miura-sensei’s life is within you now. You are already moving the story forward.”

Etelka Lehoczky wrote on books for The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Book Review and The New York Times. She tweets to @EtelkaL.




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