Kentaro Miura, 'Berserk' manga creator, dies aged 54

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(CNN) — Kentaro Miura, creator of the famous manga comic series "Berserk," has died at the age of 54, his publisher said Thursday.

Miura died of acute aortic dissection, a heart condition, according to a statement from his publisher Hakusensha.

"We would like to express our utmost respect and gratitude Miura Sensei's art work, we give our deepest sympathies," said Hakusensha. "The farewell ceremony was held by the family."

Manga -- a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels -- has become a cultural phenomenon and attracted fans around the world.

The term manga means "casual drawing." The earliest examples date back to the 7th century, but it became very popular in the post-war period in Japan.

Miura wrote many manga comics for the publisher, including "Berserk," which is one of the best selling manga of all time.

"We would like to express our sincere gratitude to our readers for their patronage of Miura Sensei's work, and we extend our sincere condolence," reads Hakusensha's statement.

Miura also worked with Young Animal comics, which released a statement expressing deep sadness at his passing.

"We are not able to find any words. What we remember is his smile, he always cheerfully talked about favorite manga, anime, and movies, when he saw our editorial team," reads the statement from Young Animal. "We have never seen his angry face. He had pure heart like a little boy."

Dark Horse Comics, Miura's US publisher, posted a statement on Twitter.

"Miura-sensei was a master artist and storyteller and we had the great privilege of publishing several of his finest works, including his masterpiece, Berserk," it said.

"He will be greatly missed. Our condolences go out to his family and loved ones." 

This story was first published on CNN.com Kentaro Miura, 'Berserk' manga creator, dies aged 54