Manga artists and fans pay tribute to Kentaro Miura
(Author of Hajime no Ippo, who also employed Miura as an assistant)
“This is an image of Takamura, which Kentaro Miura drew for me.
It's now making me feel quite sentimental.
Let me tell you a memory I have of Kentaro.
When I was creating my first weekly series, I was in trouble because I had no staff. That's when Kentaro kindly came to help me.
He was just 18 years old and I was only 19.
He was just a student from the art department of a certain university, coming to me when just a sketchbook under his arm.
I didn't know how good he was at drawing, so I showed him a drawing I had done and asked him to copy it.
I was astonished at the result.
His talent far outweighed his age.
After just a handful of sketches, I was already drawn to him.
We were still quite young, so we paused to discuss manga.
I asked him to show me his sketchbook, which I had been deeply curious about. When I peered inside, I was even more astonished. I felt goosebumps.
There was a fairy, an insignia, and a warrior with a huge sword. Those drawings later became Puck and Guts.
I was overwhelmed by the drawing done in a thick pencil.
"What is this!?" I exclaimed!
He responded "It's just something I have in my head. I'd like to draw it after I get a bit more skill."
I wondered how long he had been working on it.
Berserk was already there.
Months passed, and Hajime no Ippo started serialization.
Around the same time, Berserk had started.
I had heard some stories about the difficulties Kentaro had faced.
But I was convinced...
I was sure that a hugely popular manga had begun.
This was the series that Kentaro had judged himself to have gained enough skill to draw and had launched it with full confidence.
I was sure that the world would be as astonished as I was.
And it was.
He used every bit of his being to express his otherworldly drawing skills in every panel.
I have nothing but respect for the energy that went into every chapter.
This is the end of the story.
That was the only time I really got to know him, but I heard that he cared about me.
I am proud to have the honor of his company.
I'm sorry Kentaro-kun, I talked without permission.
Someday, I'll be there to read the final chapter."