Acclaimed manga artist Kentaro Miura announced last week that he would soon be ending the iDOLM@STER hiatus he began this summer. Both the production team and fans of the rhythm video game series and raising simulation—in which young girls are raised to become underpaid and overworked singers in a cruel, uncaring entertainment industry—voiced their excitement over Miura’s return to the franchise.
“Miura-san has been an important part of the iDOLM@STER team for years,” Akahiro Ishihara, director of several iDOLM@STER games, told Anime Maru. “We were all very disappointed when he announced his hiatus, but we’ve been patiently awaiting his return and look forward to working with him once again.” According to Ishihara, Miura has historically worked for the iDOLM@STER franchise in many different capacities including, art advisor, playtester, team mascot, and professional fanboy. “Whenever we need someone to test a new game, bounce ideas off of, or just bring coffee by the office, Miura-san is there to help. Whenever we ask him if it’s any trouble, he says that it’s not like there’s anything better he could be doing.”
Miura announced in July that he would be taking a hiatus from his extensive iDOLM@STER duties to work on his award-winning manga Berserk. Berserk—which Miura has been drawing since 1989—is a dark fantasy in which a young boy is raised to become an underpaid and overworked mercenary in a cruel, uncaring medieval society. Miura has frequently referred to Berserk as “a side project” and “just a little hobby I use to let off some steam.” Berserk was published on an irregular schedule from 2006 to 2015 with only a handful of chapters written every year until Miura excited fans by using the time he usually spends playing iDOLM@STER to begin a monthly release schedule. It will now return to its usual schedule of releasing new chapters whenever the hell Miura feels like it.
Berserk readers reacted to the news that the manga would return to its usual stagnancy with stoic acceptance. “It’s not like we didn’t expect this would happen,” longtime fan Otsu Watanabe said from his hospital bed, where he is awaiting a heart transplant. “I’ve long since resigned myself to the fact that I’ll never see it end.” The elderly man was interrupted by a fit of coughing. “At least I got to see Guts get off the boat before I died.”
Miura himself could not be reached for comment, having already begun a 24-hour binge of the latest iDOLM@STER release, Must Songs.