Kentaro Miura’s magnum opus, Berserk, is undoubtedly one of the manga industry’s most influential works. Fans of Berserk were devastated by Miura’s unexpected death at the age of 54, leaving behind a legacy and an influence on the fantasy genre that expands way beyond the realm of manga.

Berserk redefined the genre of dark fantasy and spread its wings far beyond the domain of seinen storytelling. According to Crunchyroll, Berserk is about the Black Swordsman Guts who continues on a seemingly endless quest for revenge.

Berserk manga
A manga panel from Berserk | Dark Horse Digital

Berserk was Miura’s life work, who was devoted to his art like no other mangaka. An interview between Kentaro Miura and Yukari Fujimoto, a writer/professor of gender studies and shojo manga, originally published in September 2000 resurfaced.

Kentaro Miura Considered Himself The “Yellow Ranger” Of The Group

Pippin from Berserk | Crunchyroll

In the interview, Miura revealed that he was in a group of people who said they wanted to be manga artists but were too busy chasing girls and getting into fights, so according to Miura they weren’t really otakus. He continued:

So I was basically the biggest manga nerd out of the bunch. It was a group of five, and I was pretty much the yellow ranger of the group: lagging behind in terms of emotional growth, but way ahead of the others in terms of drawing ability. I wasn’t capable of making a story that would really make anyone feel much of anything, though.

Thus, the information that the other members loved to get into trouble and fights was new to Miura. He also mentioned the fact that the people who went into fine arts often had big egos with something to brag about.

Hence, with the other guys showing off what they were good at made Miura want to find what he could do. He decided that drawing was his only option and the only way he could keep on equal footing with those guys was to make his mark as a manga artist.

Kentaro Miura’s Friends Were The Base Model For Berserk‘s Characters

Guts from Berserk
Guts from Berserk | Crunchyroll

When the interviewer, Yukari Fujimoto asked Miura if he had a vision in his mind while drawing or if he just made it up, Miura disclosed that he was actually making up the story as he went. All he had decided was that there would be five characters and they would be similar to his five friends.

When Fujimoto questioned whether those five friends were the models for his characters, Miura revealed that they indeed were like models for his characters, with the only difference being that there were no Griffiths or Guts in the group. He said:

There really was a guy similar to Judeau. We had a Corkus too, and a Rickert. There’s no Casca, though, since it was a group of guys. And then Pippin is me, in terms of physical appearance.

Miura repeated that he was pretty sure he played the role of the yellow ranger, although on the inside he idealized Guts and Griffiths and would often have thoughts that reflected their characters. He further reflected that manga was a funny thing for him since he could  break the base models up and rearrange “different parts into all sorts of strange things.”

You can stream and watch Berserk on Crunchyroll.

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