Berserk artist Kentaro Miura interview: “I actually don’t think I could let such a long grim story end with a grim ending”

zoddThis one’s a Kentaro Miura interview by Yukari Fujimoto, a writer/professor of gender studies and shojo manga. It’s a pretty old conversation — originally published in September 2000, which in Berserk terms is just before volume 20 came out. Lots of good stuff in it though: he talks about the friend who was the inspiration behind Griffith, how little of the story he had planned out originally, and why the Berserk world is, at its core, Japan.

This isn’t the full interview — just what I thought were the more interesting chunks of it. It was really long and a true bitch to translate into intelligible English, so I just don’t have the energy/interest to do the thing in full, at least not right now.

–When I first started reading Berserk, I was like, hey, this is Violence Jack! And then I was like hey, this is Guin Saga! And then when I got to the part where the demons swarm around Guts and tell him he belongs to them I was like, hey, this is Dororo! That’s just what it reminded me of personally, though, so I’d like to start by asking whether you actually did have any works like that in mind when making Berserk.

Miura: I was a manga reader. There are things that I’ve consciously borrowed from, but there are also things that have sunk to the bottom of my consciousness and pop up out of nowhere later. They’ve become part of me. Violence Jack and Guin Saga are things I was obviously really into, and I do think that Guin Saga was the biggest source for this fantasy universe. That atmosphere it has just stuck with me and now I think of it as the standard to measure things against, so I suppose you’re right.

–I see. How about the sword, then? It’s one of Guts’s main features. Did it not come from Violence Jack?

Miura: That comes from Shinji Wada’s Pygmalio. Continue reading