Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball Creator, Passes Away at 68

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.08 - 2024 9:50 AM CET

Photo: Stefano Chiacchiarini '74 / Shutterstock.com
Photo: Stefano Chiacchiarini '74 / Shutterstock.com
Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama has passed away.

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Akira Toriyama, the celebrated creator of the iconic manga and anime series Dragon Ball, has passed away at the age of 68, his production studio announced Friday.

The artist, renowned for bringing Japanese manga to global prominence, died on March 1 due to an acute subdural hematoma, as stated in the press release.

Debuting in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 1984, Dragon Ball chronicles the adventures of Son Goku as he trains in martial arts and searches for the seven dragon balls to summon a dragon capable of granting wishes.

The franchise, published by Shueisha Inc., has become a cornerstone of Japanese media, selling over 260 million copies worldwide. It has inspired numerous anime adaptations, video games, and even a Hollywood live-action film.

Over a succesful career spanning 45 years, Toriyama also created other significant works, including Dr. Slump, Sand Land, and designed characters for the Dragon Quest video games.

The news of Toriyama's death has led to an outpouring of tributes from fans and fellow creators alike, who were deeply influenced by his work.

Toriyama proved to a disbelieving audience that “manga can be fun for both children and adults,” stated One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda. “He showed that manga could travel the world.”

Masashi Kishimoto, creator of Naruto, reflected on how Toriyama's stories, which he followed from grade school through college, inspired him to pursue a career in manga. "I wanted to make manga like yours! I wanted to be like you!"

“He was so funny. He was naughty, cute, sharp-tongued and humble,” wrote Masakazu Katsura, creator of Tiger & Bunny. “I miss our long phone calls where we just talked about dumb things.”

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