‘Dragon Ball’ creator Akira Toriyama dead at 68

‘Dragon Ball’ creator Akira Toriyama dead at 68
via YouTube, Fuji TV
Bryan Ke
March 8, 2024
Legendary manga artist Akira Toriyama, best known for the “Dragon Ball” franchise, has died at the age of 68.
What happened: Toriyama died from acute subdural hematoma on March 1, the official “Dragon Ball” website announced on Friday. The condition involves bleeding near the brain after a head injury.
His legacy: Toriyama remained actively engaged in numerous projects until his death. Born on April 5, 1955, in Nagoya, he entered the manga industry through a Weekly Shonen Jump competition for aspiring writers. He made his debut in 1978 with “Wonder Island.” He then created “Dr. Slump” and “Dragon Ball” for Weekly Shonen Jump in 1980 and 1984, respectively.
“Dragon Ball” follows the story of the young protagonist Son Goku as he collects the seven Dragon Balls with the friends he meets along his adventure, including Bulma and Krillin. “Dragon Ball Z,” the sequel to the 1984 series, became the most popular installment in the franchise.
The franchise subsequently expanded with “Dragon Ball GT,” “Dragon Ball Kai,” and “Dragon Ball Super.” The manga was also adapted into an anime series by Toei Animation, which began airing on Fuji TV from Feb. 26, 1986, until April 19, 1989. This was followed by “Dragon Ball Z,” which aired from April 1989 to Jan. 31, 1996.
What people are saying: Toriyama’s influence has touched many, including fellow manga creators Masashi Kishimoto (“Naruto“) and Eiichiro Oda (“One Piece“) who expressed their sorrow after the heartbreaking news. “I still don’t know how to deal with this hole in my heart,” wrote Kishimoto, who saw Toriyama as an inspiration.
“The void left behind is too immense,” wrote Oda, who admired Toriyama since his childhood. “Not just manga artists, but creators in every industry from our generation are surely influenced by the excitement and inspiration of ‘Dragon Ball’s’ serialization.”
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning also expressed condolences, acknowledging Toriyama as a renowned manga artist and recognizing the popularity of his work in China.
Meanwhile, fan tributes poured in on social media. One X user noted, “If only (or maybe he did) Akira Toriyama knew on how much he TRULY impacted the world and millions upon millions of us within it through his legendary work, would he only then understand on how much this hurts … thanking him simply doesn’t feel like it’s enough.”
Family members reportedly held a private funeral service following his passing. Plans for a public commemorative gathering are yet to be announced.
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