Akira Toriyama, Renowned Creator of the “Dragon Ball” Series and Other Beloved Anime, Passes Away at Age 68

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By Md Afraz Alam

His studio revealed on Friday that the famous manga artist Akira Toriyama had died. Toriyama was known for creating the Dragon Ball series and having an impact on Japanese comics. 

Toriyama, who is 68 years old, leaves behind a huge legacy with his Dragon Ball manga, which first came out in 1984 and has since gained millions of fans around the world through movies, TV shows, and video games. 

In a sad statement, Bird Studio said that Toriyama died on March 1 from a blood clot in his brain. 

The company was sad about his untimely death and pointed out how much he loved his job and how many projects he was working on at the time. 

The BBC claimed that, according to information from the Dragon Ball website, only close family members and a few close friends attended his funeral, despite how important he was.

“Despite the many accomplishments he could have achieved, Akira Toriyama’s studio expressed. “He has left behind numerous manga titles and pieces of art that will continue to enrich the world.” 

They expressed hope that Toriyama’s distinct creative universe will endure and be cherished by audiences for generations to come.

A new television adaptation of Toriyama’s “Sand Land,” an adventure set in the desert that debuted in 2000 and was later adapted into a 2023 anime movie, is set to premiere on Disney+ in the spring.

Social media platforms were flooded with messages of condolences and sorrow from both fellow creators and fans. Eiichiro Oda, the creator of the immensely popular manga “One Piece,” likened Toriyama’s influence to that of a towering tree for younger artists. 

Oda remarked in a statement that Toriyama showcased the boundless possibilities of manga, inspiring dreams of venturing into other worlds. With Toriyama’s passing, Oda lamented the loss of an irreplaceable figure in the industry, leaving behind a void too vast to be filled.

Bird Studio expressed gratitude to fans for their unwavering support over the span of more than 40 years. “We hope that Akira Toriyama’s distinct creative universe will continue to be embraced and cherished by audiences for many years to come.”

Born in Aichi prefecture, central Japan, in 1955, Toriyama made his manga debut in 1978 with the adventure comic “Wonder Island,” published in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. His breakthrough came with the success of the “Dr. Slump” series, which commenced in 1980.”

Despite attaining celebrity status, Toriyama shied away from the limelight. In a 1982 interview with Japanese public broadcaster NHK, he expressed his simple desire: “I just want to keep writing manga.”

According to the studio, Dragon Ball, the saga of Son Goku’s adventures in pursuit of the seven magical Dragon Balls, has collectively sold 260 million copies.

Beyond manga, Toriyama’s talents extended to character design for the popular video game series Dragon Quest. His contributions earned him accolades not only within the manga industry but also internationally, including France’s Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters award.

“Dragon Ball” success provided acceptance

Toriyama had already garnered a following among comic enthusiasts in the early 1980s with “Dr. Slump,” but it was the global phenomenon and Japanese cultural icon “Dragon Ball” that cemented his legacy.

In a rare interview in 2013, Toriyama reflected on the impact of “Dragon Ball,” describing it as a personal triumph: ” ‘Dragon Ball’ is like a miracle, given how it helped someone like me, who has a twisted, difficult personality, do a decent job and get accepted by society.”

Despite his immense success, Toriyama admitted to being averse to socializing, revealing, “I don’t like socializing, so much so that I have more animals than friends.”

Toriyama attributed his remarkable productivity to a single principle: meeting deadlines. In an interview with Japan’s Asahi Shimbun daily, he explained, “This is because I had previously worked as a designer in a small advertising agency and had seen and experienced first-hand how much trouble people can get into if deadlines are missed, even slightly.”

However, he acknowledged the challenges of his craft, admitting, “Manga requires me to draw a lot of the same images. I tend to get bored easily, so this was fun but mostly tough. I wished many times it would end sooner.”

Above all, Toriyama expressed his desire for readers to enjoy his creations, stating, “I just hope that readers will have a fun time reading my works.”

Reflecting on his journey, Toriyama admitted to being surprised by the scale of his success, noting, “When I was drawing the series, all I ever wanted to achieve was to please boys in Japan.”

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