Kentaro Miura’s death was 1 year ago: Berserk ending released by manga fans in lieu of Young Animal’s silence

Young Animal 2021 No. 18 Berserk Memorial Issue.
Young Animal 2021 No. 18 Berserk Memorial Issue. Pic credit: @kaii278/Twitter

Today on the first anniversary of Kentaro Miura’s death fans are remembering and honoring the loss of one of the greatest mangaka in history – the creator of our beloved dark fantasy epic manga series Berserk. The questions on everyone’s mind today, are once again: “Will the official Berserk manga continue?” “Will Guts finally get his happy ending?” “Will Guts finally kick Griffith’s butt in an epic showdown?”

An entire year has passed and Hakusensha’s Young Animal Magazine, the magazine that serialized Berserk, has yet to make an official statement about having Berserk cancelled or finished by another mangaka. Although that’s no confirmation, it gives fans hope that the series could have a revival eventually.

Miura was the writer, illustrator, and draftsman for Berserk, but he did have a team of talented assistants at his in-house Studio Gaga. Now, after his untimely passing, these pupils of the late master mangaka may be given the chance to prove their mettle in finishing the legendary series.

Berserk became a global pop culture phenomenon

Berserk began its publication in 1989 in Monthly Animal House, which was later renamed Young Animal, and was one of the longest continually-running manga. Berserk’s harrowing story of one man’s fight to rid the world of demons and often-controversial subject matter made it become a global pop culture phenomenon. Throughout his career Miura set the bar high not only for himself but for the entire world of manga with his display of unrivaled skill in the pages of his manga, using extremely time-consuming artist skills like pointillism, stippling, and crosshatching.

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Hakusensha Editorial released a letter to its fans in the Young Animal Magazine issue, which showcased the final chapter Miura produced #364, “We are deeply sorry to inform you that there is no information to share about the future of the Berserk series at this time. One thing we can promise you is that as Young Animal, the publisher that has worked with Kentaro Miura on Berserk, our first priority will always be placed on him – what he would think if he were still with us.”

Chica Umino's tribute illustration for Berserk.
Tribute illustration to Berserk from Chica Umino, Pic credit: Young Animal, Issue 18.

Perhaps, in order to honor Miura’s dedication to Berserk it would be best to allow the series to reach its conclusion under his trusted protégé. Miura’s love for his character Guts was obvious throughout his work and it seems only logical that Miura would want Guts to eventually have his “happy ending”.

There are speculations about how many notes and outlines Miura has left behind. Does his protégé and Studio Gaga know how Berserk is supposed to end?

Shizuya Wazarai's tribute illustration for Berserk.
Tribute illustration to Berserk from Shizuya Wazarai. Pic credit: Young Animal, Issue 18

Miura’s assistants are up to the task if given the opportunity

If there was zero chance of the manga’s revival then an official cancellation statement probably would have been made by now. Studio Gaga member Akio Miyaji tweeted on May 21, 2021 that he “would do [his] best” to work on a possible posthumous continuation along with the other members of Studio Gaga – Yoshimitsu Kurosaki, Shinshu Hirai, and Arihide Nagashima. These assistants were trained (specifically on the Duranki manga) and trusted by Miura, so if they are given the opportunity to continue his legacy I believe it would be in good hands.

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Tribute illustration by Ena Moriyama for Berserk.
Tribute illustration by Ena Moriyama. Pic credit: Young Animal, Issue 18

Chapter 364 was most likely completed primarily by Miura himself and any continuation beyond this chapter would have to be done solely by Studio Gaga. There is a rumor Miura’s crew is currently working on a Berserk Chapter 365 that would serve as their official audition to gain the right to continue their teacher’s epic story under Young Animal, but only time will tell if Berserk has a future.

Must-read fan comic continues the story of Berserk after Chapter 364

Chapter 364 ended on a massive cliffhanger that changed everything and left fans clamoring for a conclusion. One fan rose up to take on that daunting challenge. Artist @theophiasco has been posting their version of Berserk’s ending on his Twitter account. The fan-made manga follows right after the dramatic ending of Chapter 364 and starts out being told in Casca’s POV.

Fan-made Berserk manga page.
Fan-made Berserk manga page 1. Pic credit: @theophiasco/Twitter
Fan-made Berserk manga page.
Fan-made Berserk manga page 2. Pic credit: @theophiasco/Twitter

The art style is different when compared to Miura’s, but amazing in its own right. The comic has a very professional feel and you can tell a lot of thought went into making it. Theo’s “cinematography” seems to be on point with some cool angles and dramatic panels. The manga isn’t finished yet, but is still a must-read for any die-hard Berserk fan that is curious to see how the manga would have progressed beyond Chapter 364.

Fan-made Berserk manga page.
Fan-made Berserk manga page 9. Pic credit: @theophiasco/Twitter

You can read the rest of the fan-made manga in this Twitter thread:

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