Hailed as a trailblazer in the dark fantasy genre, Berserk is a Japanese manga series. It is best described as a universe of its own adorned with ghouls, gore, guns and gushing emotions. Though it is listed as one of the best-selling mangas of all time, Berserk is a pioneer that redefines the dark fantasy genre. It explores multiple other story elements including warfare, magic and psychology. The webcomic features a compelling plot and gripping characters, sprinkling a few ounces of blood and emotions to keep the readers enthralled. The epic saga isn’t only drenched in blood, it is also soaked in idiosyncrasy and an ominous tone that renders fanatics dumbfounded and yearning for more simultaneously.
However, readers are now speechless due to a contradicting reason; the fate of the manga. If you, too, are concerned about the same and are left to wonder whether the Berserk manga is finished, dive in!
Is Berserk Manga Finished?
Berserk isn’t only a best-selling manga but it is also one of the longest-running titles. It was initially serialized by Kentaro Miura in 1989, who uplifted the manga into a franchise spanning billions of fans. However, the author, Miura, then 54, passed away due to an acute aortic dissection on May 6 2021, and fanatics literally went berserk over it. Though the manga has gone on a hiatus nearly a dozen times, Miura’s unfortunate demise obstructed the release of a new chapter initially.
However, the team behind Berserk went on to release the forty-first volume in December 2021 which was already helmed by Miura before his decease. The publisher, Hakusensha, and Miura’s team relented to the incessantly rising demands and announced that the manga would not be terminated. Even though the author, Miura, is no longer alive, Berserk hasn’t been abandoned yet. It is currently serialized by Studio Gaga under Kouji Mori’s supervision, who has helped Kentaro streamline the manga for decades.
Does The Berserk Manga Have a New Author?
Even though Berserk has been adopted by Mori officially, he doesn’t identify himself as the supposed new author yet. He has continued serializing the manga by modifying the credits as “Original work by Kentaro Miura, art by Studio Gaga, supervised by Kouji Mori.” He only decided to continue illustrating the manga because of his unwavering loyalty towards his deceased best friend. “The thought that Miura would be mad at me for doing nothing motivated me to reach a decision”, Mori claimed in an interview after expressing that he didn’t want to continue the manga but relented nonetheless.
Moreover, Kouji is the only person who is aware of Miura’s plans regarding the webcomic. He doesn’t want to alter the storyline or add any twist of his own, he simply wants to “convey what Miura told me”. He promised to “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. And I will only write the lines and stories that Miura described to me.”
Currently, Berserk has 42 volumes to its name and is suspiciously nearing its end. Since Kouji and his team have declared that their priority would be “always be placed on him [Miura]—what he would think if he were still with us”, the chances of a prolonged serialization period aren’t charting high. For now, the team have introduced a new story arc in September 2023 and is focused on continuing Miura’s legacy.
The Inspiration Behind the Berserk Manga
Miura started kindling the idea of the manga while he was working with the Japanese author, George Morikawa. However, he didn’t flesh out his concept for years. In an interview, Kentaro mentioned that the thought of creating a dark fantasy universe was never his initial plan. Instead, he was influenced by Western fantasy films like The Lord of the Rings and eventually he “naturally turned to dark fantasy.”
Similar to the plot, Miura was initially sceptical of the title as well which was diffuse at the time of creation. He then decided to base the title of the series on the protagonist, Guts’ personality which is heavily influenced by his best friend, Kouji Mori. Moreover, Kentaro accepted that the character and the title are impelled by Mad Max’s Max Rockatansky. He mentioned that, “In short, starting from a world with a dark hero who is burning for revenge, prompts you to imagine a rabid character. When guided by his anger, he will pour out this rage on overpowered enemies, we must insist on his fanaticism if we want to stay consistent. That’s why I thought ‘Berserk’ would make a perfect title to represent my universe.”
Since Miura is an avid reader and entertainment geek, he has been constantly delving into the murky waters of storytelling. Due to the same, he drew inspiration from several popular works such as Fist of the North Star, Dororo and The Rose of Versailles for his manga. Berserk could be easily described as a mishmash of genres with an emphasis on vengeance and dark fantasy tropes. Kentaro’s creative imagination has propelled the manga to greater heights but it is eventually, his focus on character development that has led Berserk to becoming one of the longest and most popular manhwas.
Berserk Manga Overview
Berserk wanders into several unchartered territories and tries to portray an immersive tale of Guts, “a lone warrior who was born from a hanged corpse and raised as a mercenary”. Guts has had to endure a tough childhood due to his abusive father, Gambino. Eventually, he becomes resilient and rebellious, having grown accustomed to Gambino’s torture. In a fit of rage and as a sole method of survival, Guts ends up murdering Gambino and begins working as a “sellsword”. He then develops a fearsome reputation as a mercenary and indulges in several battles to keep himself afloat.
Even though, Guts establishes himself as a deadly warrior, he loses a battle to Griffith, the covetous leader of the Hawks. He joins Griffith’s team as a soldier and begins developing feelings for a fellow team member, Casca. Meanwhile, Griffith begins expanding his scope to establish his own empire and encounters a “quartet of archdemons known as the ‘Godhand’”. He transforms from a mere fighter to the Godhand Femto with abundant strength. However, he can only attain the remaining powers after abusing Casca.
Guts begins thrashing around, losing his left arm and right eye in his feat. Though he manages to protect Casca, he is unable to save Griffith from transcending humanity and emerging as a karmic deity. Guts then swears vengeance and embarks on a journey to demolish Griffith and salvage Casca’s deteriorating mental health. He weaves through emotional hurdles, mystical creatures and Griffith’s comrades to channel his “inner darkness” and achieve his mission.
Berserk Manga Character Ensemble
Berserk is led by Guts, a callous warrior who has had to endure a tumultuous relationship with his abusive father, Gambino. His actions are heavily influenced by his tormented childhood, especially Gambino’s death which has left a dark imprint on his life. He has developed a stern approach towards life and believes physical combat is a prominent weapon. Due to this mindset, Guts begins training himself extensively for battles, earning a plethora of scars in the process.
Unlike Guts, his archnemesis, Griffith, is a sophisticated and charismatic head of the Band of the Hawk. He is fueled by an unrelenting need for power and aspires to own his empire, regardless of the approach and the sense of morality. Later on, as Griffth attains abundant prowess through the ‘Godhand’ and transforms himself into Femto, he develops an uncanny ability of manipulation.
Another comrade and the only female swordsman in the Hawks, Casca is the only person who is able to break through Guts’ steel armour. She is initially sold out to a nobleman and is saved by Guts, who reluctantly begins reciprocating her feelings. The duo eventually manage to overcome Griffith’s intrusion but is unable to fully resurrect her mental state. They are accompanied by several mystical creatures from elves to angels, who help them continue hustling against Griffith.
Is Berserk Manga Finished–FAQs
It is a dark fantastical manga centred around a mercenary, Guts, who swears vengeance against his fellow comrade Griffith.
The manga was originally penned and illustrated by Kentaro Miura.
No, the Berserk manga isn’t finished yet.
After the author, Miura’s demise, his best friend, Kouji Mori is handling the reigns.
Yes, it is available in the English language.
You can read the Berserk manga online on Hakusensha’s website.