HEARTBROKEN colleagues of Kentaro Miura have hailed him as a "cheerful" Manga artist who was "always having fun" following his death.
The creator of the Berserk series died at the age of 54 on May 6 after suffering from heart problems, his publisher Hakusensha confirmed today.
Miura was best known for illustrating the 1989 Japanese dark fantasy manga series Berserk.
His devastated co-workers at Young Animal – a publishing house of seinen manga -have said they are "lost for words" and shocked by his death.
"We always remember his smile when he cheerfully talked about his favorite manga, anime and movies," they said in a statement.
"We have never seen Mr Miura angry. He was like a guy who always seemed to have fun.
"We hope that all the fans, all the people interested in Mr Miura will have a happy smile on their faces and pray silently for his soul with the editors of Young Animal."
Miura's passion for illustration reportedly started when he used to draw manga cartoons for his classmates aged 10.
He then worked as an assistant to Japanese author Jyoji Morikawa, who is best known for creating the Anime series Hajime no Ippo.
In 1988, Miura published a draft chapter of Berserk in the comic magazine Gekkan ComiComi. It was published in the magazine Animal House a year later.
The manga series Berserk focuses on the character Guts, who is found by mercenaries.
After being defeated in battle, he is forced to join the group "Band of the Hawk" led by Griffith.
Guts quickly rises through the ranks and becomes Griffith's best warrior.
The manga was adapted into a 25 episode anime TV series that aired between October 1997 and 1998.
It was also adapted into a film trilogy as Berserk: The Golden Age Arc was released in February 2012.
It’s thought that there are around 40million copies of Berserk in circulation, making it one of the most successful manga series of all time.
Miura's death means that it's likely that the manga series will remain unfinished.
The artist died of a condition known as acute aortic dissection – a rare, but serious heart problem that frequently occurs in people in their 50s and 60s.
Fans took to social media to pay tribute to the late artist, applauding his "unforgettable" work.
One wrote: “Miura left behind one of the greatest written works put to paper. One I will cherish forever. God bless the man and may he forever rest in peace.”
While another posted: “Thanks for creating an unforgettable, timeless, one-of-a-kind manga, Miura. Rest in Peace.”
A third social media user added: "Been following the adventures of Guts for more than 20 years and I was really looking forward to see him finally get some rest and peace." (sic).
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