Sunday, April 21, 2024

Akira Toriyama, Creator of Dragon Ball, Dies at 68

Akira Toriyama, the author of Dragon Ball, one of the best-selling mangas of all time, has died.

According to his production company, Toriyama, who was 68, died from a subdural hematoma, or a blood clot in the brain, on March 1. A funeral service will be held with a few close family members.

The Japanese manga artist is best known for creating Dragon Ball, a popular shounen manga series, which was later adapted into an anime that spanned over 150 episodes. The series also spawned several films and video games.

dragonball anime

The manga series, which was originally released in 1984, told the story of Son Goku, a boy who’s on a mission to collect mystical dragon balls to protect the planet from Saiyans, a group of alien humanoids.

According to his studio, the manga has sold more than 260 million copies across the world.

Before his death, he had been working on several projects including Sand Man, a TV adaptation of his manga of the same name. The story, which takes place in a desert, was originally released in 2000 and had been adapted into an animated film in 2023, which is scheduled to be released this spring on Disney+.

He was also working on an upcoming Dragon Ball anime titled Dragon Ball Daima, one that features the series’ characters in a chibi art style.

dragonball daima

The series was first announced last year during the Dragon Ball Panel at New York Comic Con and has been scheduled to be released in fall 2024.

Toriyama’s work also inspired many other manga artists including Eiichiro Oda, the author of ‘One Piece’, and Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of ‘Naruto’.

Since his passing, many fans have paid tribute to him on social media. Yoshimasa Hayashi, the Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan, also stated in a news briefing that he was ‘deeply saddened by the news’.

sabat
Christopher Sabat, the voice actor for Piccolo and Vegeta in the Dragon Ball series, posted a tribute to the late manga artist on social media

Popular Japanese voice actors Toshio Furukawa and Yuki Kaji, the latter of whom voiced Piccolo in the Dragon Ball franchise, also conveyed their condolences and gratitude on X (formerly Twitter).

Akira Toriyama’s Rise to Fame

Born in 1955 in Aichi prefecture, Toriyama made his debut as a manga artist with the comic, ‘Wonder Island’. in 1978. However, it wasn’t until 1980, that he rose to fame with the release of his shounen title, ‘Dr. Slump’.

Despite being a celebrity, Toriyama actively avoided the spotlight, saying he ‘just wanted to continue writing manga.’

Aside from ‘Dr. Slump’, and ‘Dragon Ball’, also worked as a character designer for the popular video game series Dragon Quest. For his work, he received numerous accolades including the Shogakukan Manga Award and the Tokyo Anime Lifetime Achievement Award.

Brooke Carter
Brooke Carter
Freelance writer who loves dogs and anything related to Japanese culture.
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