Manga fans around the world were stunned when Berserk creator Kentaro Miura died unexpectedly in 2021, at only 54-years-old, leaving his popular series unfinished. His friend, Koji Mori, another mangaka, was in such shock when he heard the news that his memory is fuzzy. But now Mori is helping Berserk get finished.
The two men’s friendship began when they were in high school. “We spent more time with each other than with our family members,” Mori remarked. Then, decades ago, Miura reached out to Mori to talk about his ideas for Berserk. Unlike fans, Mori knows how Miura planned to end the series.
At first Mori thought there was no way he could help end Miura’s series because of Miura’s unique skills. “Miura was a manga genius bursting with talent. He had an eagerness to see things through to the end as well as an outstanding ability to paint, conceive stories and employ narrative devices effectively.”
However, after meeting with Miura’s assistants and watching them finish the episode pages Miura had been working on before his death, Mori decided maybe it could be done.
At the time, Mori mused, “It might be possible. The thought that Miura would be mad at me doing nothing motivated me to reach a decision.”
And so Mori was requested to help revive Berserk so it can be finished. He has some mixed feelings. While he thinks Miura might have been mad if he did nothing, at the same time, he wonders, “It may be unforgivable for me to do it, now that Miura is no longer here.”
But he’s made it clear that if he is going to work on this, he will not change Miura’s vision. “I will never add my own twist. I will simply remember and convey what Miura told me.”
Source: The Asahi Shimbun
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.