Writing Miura

Walter said:
Potentially good news everyone. I got a note on my door today that a "large package from Tokyo" arrived for me. However, since no one was home and it was from a foreign country, the idiotic postman decided to bring it back to the post office. It's currently in transit, so I cant access it until 3 hours from now. However, by then we will know whether it's
a) an actual response from Miura :isidro:
b) a rejection letter from Hakusensha
c) an "address could not be reached" from the Tokyo Mail Service
d) a new Berserk artbook hand drawn by Miura, signed "For my #1 fans at SKnet."

I'm hoping for either a or d personally. Ill update with a double post here if necessary in t-minus 2.5 hours.

PS: No this is not an April Fool's joke.

Awesome! I can't wait to find out what it is. :serpico:
The letter is apparently not directly from Miura, but it appears whoever wrote the letter (an associate of his at Hakusensha by the look of it) went through Miura to answer nearly all if not ALL of our questions.

(click for full res scans, ~400kb each)

For those trying to read along, the full original letter w/questions can be read in the first post of the thread.

It will take time to translate it, and will require the work of our members here. But on first glance, there are many numbers and letters that I can tell indicate the following:

-the series is estimated to be 60-70 percent complete
-3-4 years have passed since the end of the Golden Age, (which makes Guts 22-23; 1-2 years older than we previously knew)
-and it has always been FALCON, not Hawk.

I can't believe we got a real response. The odds for this were incalculably low. Im honored beyond words that someone at Hakusensha took time out of their busy schedule and Miura's to answer these questions for us.

I must say it is unfortunate that this breakthrough and historic moment in SKnet's history comes to us the day after April Fool's day and our prank here. I'm sure this information will give many of our members here, who have been fooled by our little pranks in the past, some pause. However, in all of our previous April Fool's gags and even our Aolsier jokes, we have never promised that they were real. We just went along with the jokes.

But this is not something I would joke about. This is real. I swear on all the years of my life and on my title as administrator of SkullKnight.net that this is real. The following are full-resolution pictures of the letter and package I received, along with my desk. Run tests on them if you'd like to attempt to disprove their legitimacy. They are unaltered except that I blurred out my home address.

proof 1
proof 2
proof 3
proof 4
I'm totally blown away, this is awesome, and I can't wait to see what other new information comes to light.
It was sent by Akira Shimada, Berserk's editor at Hakusensha. Among other things, it specifically states that Miura very rarely replies to letters and that this response was sent as a special service to foreign fans. Anyway, great stuff all around. I'm usually not the type to brag, but... SK.net, #1 Berserk fan site now and forever.
Aazealh said:
Among other things, it specifically states that Miura very rarely replies to letters and that this response was sent as a special service to foreign fans.
Out of everything, this is what means the most to me -- Miura acknowledging us as some of his biggest fans :judo:
I am emailing some of the shorter replies to my wife. Do we want to include the translations somewhere? PM someone with them? Just post them in here then consolidate them later?
SaiyajinNoOuji said:
Just post them in here then consolidate them later?
A la carte sounds good to me. I'll take what I can get at this point, and we can later turn it into something cohesive.

Thanks for the effort man.
OK, Walter called me to tell me about this one. This is incredible. It makes me want to dust off the old japanese tomes!

Edit: Motherfucker I am translating shit tonight, I haven't done this in years!

Easy #10 - Another anime is a possibility. :void:
Absolutely amazing. Huge kudos to you guys for putting so much work into this project. Can't wait to see the translation(s)! :carcus:
This is so exciting for berserk fans everywhere. I want to issue a huge congratulations to all of the admins and everyone else who had a hand in making this happen. Your hard work definitely paid off. I really want to thank all of you for having the gusto to put see the whole thing through to the end even when there was no guarantee that your hard work would be rewarded. Bravo!
This is unbelievably cool. Words can't even express how awesome this is, but so far everyone has done a good job. Thanks to everyone who worked on this and a HUGE thanks to Miura for taking time out of his insane schedule to answer these questions for us. I can't wait to read the translations.
Very nice indeed. As everybody else. I can't wait for the translations.

What will be of the actual letter? Is it going to be displayed on somebody's wall? Is it going to a safe in a bank? I'm just curious.
This is the biggest thing ever since this site was created. :guts: Shouldn't we all have a drink to celebrate it?
This is absolutely incredible, Walter! Congratulations on getting a reply. I'll admit. When the idea of sending Miura questions first came up, I was a bit reserved. But Fortune really does favor the bold, eh? This is so cool!

SK.net has been and always will be #1!
puella said:
This is the biggest thing ever since this site was created. :guts:
I thought the same as soon as I ripped open the package and saw 60-70% [complete] written there in front of me. It was at that moment I knew this was real. Miura has acknowledged we exist  :serpico:

As for drinking, all I did tonight was stay up to fix my scanner and have a preliminary translation and Japanese text ready to go for the translators, so I'm exhausted (4 hours until work too). But TONIGHT I will drink heavily from our several remaining wine bottles and think of you guys.

Cheers, to SKnet. We did this together.
El Gaucho Rojo said:
This is absolutely incredible, Walter! Congratulations on getting a reply. I'll admit. When the idea of sending Miura questions first came up, I was a bit reserved. But Fortune really does favor the bold, eh? This is so cool!

SK.net has been and always will be #1!

I agree 100% - Fantastic!
I drank heavy amounts of Tequila tonight, not really to celebrate as I drink heavily every night, but hey! You gave me an excuse!

Thank you to all who contributed to the letter and thank you Kentarou Miura and staff for gracing us with a response! I humbly praise you all for your efforts..... /bow
Holy shit, this just made a good week into a better week. Thanks Walter for everything.  :badbone:

Edit: I forgot to mention. I really have to admire Miura's work ethic, this really helped get a better understanding of the man.
just incredible! dont remember any fanpage that took so much effort!
Translation of the answers, with the questions added for clarity:

Dear Frank Smith,

Thank you for your support of Berserk.

I’m transferring you Miura Kentarou's answers to your questions.

This letter is written in the easiest possible form of Japanese, but I’m worried that it might not be understood well.

I should let you know that all the answers are based on the recent episodes published in Young Animal.

Q1: To the readers, Guts as a character has grown tremendously in the past few years, but how much time has elapsed in the Berserk world since the end of the Golden Age arc in Volume 14? (i.e. Lost Children - Millennium Falcon)

I’d say it’s been 3-4 years, though it’s not been clearly decided.

Q2: Regarding the kanji "Taka," do you intend that to be Falcon or Hawk? Was there ever a conscious change in its usage, such as after Griffith's reincarnation, or has it always been "falcon" to you?

“Falcon” or “Hawk”, both mean [鷹] in Japanese. In some dictionaries, “Falcon ” is translated as [隼(はやぶさ)] but there’s almost no difference. I used "Falcon" from the great name of the “Millennium Falcon" ship in Star Wars.

Q3: Just before the launch of the Millennium Falcon arc, you were quoted as saying now you felt you were truly on the starting line of the series. Is that accurate? If that is the case, how far along are we in the story at this point?

I think we are at about 60-70%. However, I myself don’t know anything for sure when it comes to the future.

Q4: It's been years since the last art book release. There may now be enough content for 2-3 additional books. Do you plan to release any more based on your sketches and paintings?

No, I don’t.

Q5: What portion of the story was the most difficult in terms of making hard decisions about where to take the direction of the series? Any regrets?

No specific part was especially difficult or regrettable to me.

Q6: You've talked of post-Berserk projects in the past. Do you still expect to do it, or will you be enjoying retirement after having spent so long working on Berserk?

I don’t remember when I talked about my future plans after Berserk, but there's no doubt I’ll work on something else once it's over.

Q7: Do you feel a sense of achievement at what you've accomplished over all those years? Was it worth the sacrifices to your life and health it has required?

Yes, I feel a sense of achievement, since my work has been appreciated more and more over time in society.

Besides, I can’t think of living any other life.

Q8: Could you describe an average day in your studio? How many hours each day do you work?

I start working at 2:00 PM and I finish at 7:00 AM. Of course, the time I spend eating is included. I work 15-16 hours everyday, without holidays.

Q9: Can we have some more details on why Episode 83 was left out of the collected volume? Do you consider the events in the episode to be canon? Can we expect to see or hear from the Idea of Evil again before the end of the series?

It’s because I wanted Berserk's world to be revealed just that far, not any more than that. The appearance of god in the manga conclusively determines its range. I thought that might limit the freedom of the story development.

I myself don’t know if the Idea of Evil will show up again in the manga or not.

Q10: Rumors of a second season, or new animation of Berserk have been persistent since the first animation's conclusion. These have all been proven false, in time. But to be perfectly sure, are there plans for a continuation of the animation?

It’s possible.

I’ve forwaded all his answers to you, though it took a little time.

It’s very rare for Miura to answer this kind of questions. It would be good if you could think of it as his service for foreign fans like you. And also please keep in mind we can’t tell you things for sure about future developments that haven’t been scripted yet.

We’ll keep doing our best to meet your expectations for Berserk.

Thank you for your devotion to the manga. I wish you happiness and health.

Shimada Akira, editing department, Young Animal
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