Berserk creator Kentarou Miura spoke to aspiring manga creators at the “Hakusensha Sokujitsu Debut Manga Shou” event and shared a secret about his famous series. “The story of the Band of the Hawk is based on a high school friend relationship I had.”
If you haven’t read Berserk, the Band of the Hawk is a mercenary crew led by Griffith and is plays a pivotal role in Guts’ life. The Golden Age Arc is dedicated to the doings of the crew until Griffith’s lust for a kingdom corrupts him, which leads to one of the most heartwrenching moments in manga history.
Miura told the audience that he credits The Golden Age Arc for bringing in fans to Berserk. He said, “projecting your own personal relationships into a work is important. Because something that really happened is strong, it has persuasive power.”
Miura continued with discussing extreme personality traits, which can help a character stand out. Berserk antagonist Mozgus was used as an example. He wanted to create a rigid character, which is what lead to Mozgus taking form as a religious fanatic with no flexibility.
The last piece of advice he shared with the audience is that rookie creators should try to use “molds” instead of chasing pure originality. “There’s something called a ‘mold’ in the world of manga. What’s excellent is recycled over and over.”
Miura cited Girls und Panzer and Saki as examples. Both series use a mold that centers around a talented person joining a pitiful club that is on the verge of disbandment. Fans get attached to these stories as the characters grow and develop from dealing with personal trauma through club activities. These blueprints can help aspiring creators to become familiar with the storytelling process and improve their skills before branching out.
However, Miura left all us with a lingering question…who the hell was the Griffith in his high school life?