Berserk is back! Good news for late Kentaro Miura’s Berserk manga fans: the manga is coming back beginning with the 13th issue of Hakusensha’s Young Animal magazine on June 24, 2022!
According to a major Hakusensha’s announcement (see below), Miura’s assistant, mangaka Kouji Mori, is in charge. With the credits of “original work by Kentaro Miura, by Studio Gaga, supervised by Kouji Mori,” Berserk will conclude the “Fantasia Arc/Elf Island Chapter” with six additional chapters first.
A new chapter story arc will begin afterward, with the numbering of the manga books continuing in order.
Kouji Mori’s Berserk continuing the story “up to the very end”
Studio Gaga is Miura’s studio that worked on Berserk (ベルセルク) while he was alive. In addition to Kouji Mori, it also includes other assistants who will resume work on the legendary manga.
Kouji Mori is a childhood friend of Miura’s and knows the whole concept of Berserk.
“I think people with good intuition would realize by now that I know the story for Berserk up to the very end,” says Mori. “Nearly 30 years ago, Miura called me and said: ‘I need to talk to you about drawing a rough draft.’ I went to his workplace just to talk as we always do, but Miura looked more serious than usual. ‘I need to draw the Eclipse,’ he said. I sensed it would be hard work but couldn’t believe it when I was trapped indoors for a week… In that very moment, the storyline for Berserk was completed, until the very last chapter.”
Berserk hiatus ends, has fans excited worldwide
Berserk has been around since 1989 and has attained a sizeable cult following worldwide. In May 2021, the fandom was shocked to learn of Miura’s death. Consequentially, the manga went on hiatus, with speculations about its future running rampant ever since.
In September 2021, the 18th issue of Young Animal magazine published a special one-shot manga by Kouji Mori (“Mori-chan Ken-chan”) that tells a short but sweet story of Mori’s and Miura’s lifetime friendship. Mori also went on to draw an image of Guts (Berserk protagonist) and Miura, which was exhibited at the “Dai Berserk Ten” exhibition in Tokyo (September 10 to 23, 2021).
The last Berserk tankōbon to have been published was the posthumous 41st volume (December 2021; Dark Horse Comics is scheduled to publish the volume in English in November 2022).
At the time, Hakusensha stated that the future of the manga was “currently undecided.” While it had been speculated ever since that Miura’s assistants might continue work on Berserk, nothing definite had been confirmed — until today.
Kouji Mori means business, too. He has pledged to remain loyal to the original work:
“I have a message and promise to everyone. 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.”
Excitement is palpable, and no wonder. Berserk is one of the best-selling manga series of all time, with over 50 million copies in circulation as of May 2021 (digital versions included). It has been translated into multiple languages and published in 15 countries and regions. In 2002, the manga received the Award for Excellence at the 6th installment of the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize.
Berserk TV anime series
Berserk was adapted into a 25-episode TV anime series by OLM (aired from 1997 to 1998). A trilogy of theatrical films followed years later, with the first two premiering in 2012 and the third — in 2013. A second 24-episode TV anime series (two seasons) aired in 2016 and 2017.
Whether we’ll see the third season remains to be seen. For the time being, we’ll have to be content that the Berserk manga will continue.