Volume 41 Release Summer 2022, New York Times Ad

Earlier this year, in May, the manga community was shocked by the news that Berserk mangaka Kentaro Miura had died at age 54. Since it first debuted in 1989, the dark fantasy manga has been incredibly popular and influential, became one of the best-selling mangas of all time, spawning multiple anime, games, and merchandise.

Dark Horse has been publishing English translations of the manga since 2003, and they have announced that the English version of Volume 41 will be released in the summer of 2022. (In Japan, where it was published by Hakusensha, the volume was released just on Christmas Eve.) Featuring Hakusensha and the French publishing house Glénat of the manga, Volume 41 is also intended to commemorate the occasion with illustrations in the major newspapers for each country : the Japanese Asahi Shimbun, the New York Times for America and the French Le Monde.

When discussing the artwork in a translation of Asahi, an unnamed advertising executive at Hakuhensha’s believed that the reason Berserk in general has remained so popular over the decades is, of course, due to Miura’s award-winning artwork. He described the late manga artist’s skill as “transcending language to attract fans around the world…Each panel is drawn with the same level of meticulous detail as a work of art.” He went on to believe that Miura managed to treat Berserk as something for everyone, not just manga fans in Japan. “From the very beginning of the serialization to the very end, Miura was always conscious of creating something that would be entertaining for readers in any country… I think it would be more accurate to think of it as accessible to readers about the whole world. world because the content was primarily aimed at a global readership.”

All three of Berserk’s artworks are intended to be released simultaneously, and the decision to release them in newspapers rather than digitally was to allow for “the appeal” of Miura’s artworks, provoking stronger emotions. While each artwork is different, and that of France is in color where the other two are black and white, the overall aim was to let the artwork speak for itself. Several ideas for ad copy were created, the manager said, but in the end they decided “no words were needed to convey the appeal of Miura’s illustrations.”

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As important as it was for the newspaper ads to thank fans for their support after the passing of their beloved creator, it was also done to follow Miura’s ambition that his story be something for everyone to pick up and appreciate. If the ad does its job, hopefully it will reach and interest people who may not have heard of the series. “Newspapers reach a lot of people on the same day, so we were able to immediately accelerate the pace at which Berserk became a hot topic,” the manager noted. “If this leads to further spreading of the Berserk fan community, I will be very happy not only as an advertising manager at Hakusensha, but also as a Berserk fan.”

With Volume 41 coming out this summer, fans are still wondering if the series will continue after Miura’s passing. After the release of Chapter 364 in September, his last work and finished by his assistants, the Young Animal Comics manga imprint didn’t really answer. In their open letter at the end of the Chapter, they stated that their “first priority will always be placed on him – what he would think if he were still with us.” They’ve been understandably quiet on the matter since then, and it looks like they will remain that way until Volume 41 is almost in everyone’s hands.

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