June 2, 2021
On May 6, the manga world lost one of its most influential mangakas (creators of manga), Kentaro Miura. Although his body of work was relatively small, his manga Berserk left a lasting influence that echoed across not just the medium, but also movies, games, and beyond.
First published in August of 1989, Berserk immediately took the manga world by storm with its intricate artwork and dark fantasy. It explored subjects many manga weren’t willing to touch at the time, including the psychological effects of the continual conflict the series protagonist, Guts, was subjected to. Every battle took its toll, and after seeing Guts in a pre-demonic corruption world, you knew just how much his previous psyche had eroded. To aid this, Miura’s art heavily relied on intricate thatching techniques to give his already detailed illustrations a worn and well-used look. Even if his excellent storytelling didn’t always jibe with the reader, his art would often leave that same audience speechless due to the sheer amount of detail packed into every single panel.
Berserk’s unique styling, although definitely influenced by its contemporaries, struck a chord with audiences across the world. Various media owe their creation to Berserk, including the video game series Dark Souls and more recently, manga series like Attack on Titan. This is just the tip of the influence-iceberg.
As of right now, Berserk remains unfinished. Miura’s assistants intend to complete his work using the various notes that they had received before his death. Even so, the manga world has lost one of its greatest creators, and this loss will be felt for quite a long time.
Woodneath Library Center
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