It’s a sad day for dark fantasy, as word of Berserk creator Kentaro Miura’s passing at age 54 has been made public. For those who don’t know, Berserk is one of the most successful manga properties of all time, and has been in publication since 1989.
Its influence on popular culture — especially video games — has been significant. The likes of Dark Souls and Dragon’s Dogma simply wouldn’t exist as we know them without Berserk, and the same can be said for countless other dark fantasy creations across all kinds of media.
Berserk’s intensely dark fiction has been a rich source of inspiration for over three decades. Its depiction of one man’s endless, violent struggle against nightmarish monsters has provided a creative cornerstone for games like Dark Souls, which draw heavily from both its visual style and grim sensibilities. Berserk also helped popularise the concept of fictional characters wielding ridiculously large swords — something that we’ve seen in video games a lot over the years.
Of course, Berserk itself was adapted into video game form more than a few times — the most recent example being Berserk and the Band of the Hawk for the PlayStation 4. It wasn’t perfect, but the hack and slasher did a solid job of capturing the source material’s trademark, blood-soaked action.
Miura has left behind a colossal legacy. He’ll be remembered as an outstanding storyteller and absurdly talented artist, and his influence will no doubt be felt throughout video games and beyond for years to come.
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