Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama dies at 68, manga world pays tribute

Dragon Ball Creator Akira Toriyama left us. Thursday March 7, a press release published on the official website Dragon Ball website announced that Toriyama died on March 1 due to acute subdural hematoma. He was 68 years old.

Toriyama was an acclaimed manga artist and character designer who first gained mainstream recognition in Japan through his science fiction manga. Dr Slumppublished in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1980 to 1984. In 1984, Toriyama began publishing Dragon Balla martial arts adventure manga starring a young boy named Son Goku, which would become his most famous work to date and one of the best-selling manga of all time.

The impact of Dragon BallThe legacy of not only Japanese manga and anime, not to mention global pop culture, is incalculable. The long-running animated adaptation of Dragon Ball produced by Toei Animation introduced the medium to an entire generation of audiences, transforming Goku into a globally recognized pop cultural figure and generational icon among anime fans.

The manga and anime have been championed as foundational works in the Shonen adventure storytelling subgenre and have been cited as a source of inspiration for contemporaries including Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto and One piece creator Eiichiro Oda. Both mangaka released public statements mourning Toriyama's passing, as well as My Hero Academia creator Kōhei Horikoshi, Yu Yu Hakusho And Hunter X Hunter creator Yoshihiro Togashi and Bleach creator Tite Kubo, among others.

nine serious anime characters standing side by side in formation.

Image: Toei Animation/Crunchyroll

“With respect and gratitude for the creative world he left behind. I pray that he rests in peace,” Oda wrote in a statement. published on the Shōnen Jump website. “May heaven be the joyous world he envisioned.”

“Toriyama-san taught me what it means to be a ‘professional’ and what ‘work’ is,” Sakaguchi wrote in a statement. published on X (formerly Twitter). “I respected him deeply from the bottom of my heart. I sincerely pray that his soul rests in peace.

In addition to his work on Dragon BallToriyama also worked as a character designer and artist alongside Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii and Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi on the long-running RPG series Dragon Quest, the sci-fi fantasy RPG from 1995. the trigger of a stopwatchand 2006 Blue Dragon. A new Toriyama video game project will arrive this year; Sand landbased on its 2000 manga, has been adapted into both an anime and a game scheduled for release in April.

In 2021, it was revealed during a panel at San Diego Comic-Con that Toriyama oversaw the story and development of the 2022 film. Dragon Ball Super: Super Heroes alongside his son Sasuke Toriyama, who is presumed to be overseeing his father's estate – and the Dragon Ball franchise going forward – following Toriyama's death. Before his death, Toriyama had worked alongside his artistic protégé Toyotarou to publish the manga adaptation of Dragon Ball Super.

Dragon Ball Daimathe first Dragon Ball anime produced after Toriyama's death, and the last to feature his direct involvement, is expected to be released later this fall.

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