Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama dies at 68
Akira Toriyama, the influential creator of the “Dragon Ball” manga and anime franchise, has died at age 68, it was announced on Friday, Japan Times reports.
Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama dies at 68
Culture and Innovation

Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama dies at 68

Akira Toriyama in 1982 (Photo: AFP/ JIJI Press/STR)
Eurasia 08/03/2024 21:35

Akira Toriyama, the influential creator of the “Dragon Ball” manga and anime franchise, has died at age 68, it was announced on Friday, Japan Times reports.

The franchise’s official website said Toriyama died on March 1 due to a blood clot in his brain, the newspaper adds. A funeral service was held with members of Toriyama’s immediate family. Dates for official farewell events have not yet been announced.

The post on the Dragon Ball website expressed sadness and regret at Toriyama’s sudden death, saying that he was “passionately working on many projects” and that “there was so much more that he wanted to accomplish.” The post also expressed gratitude to Toriyama’s fans.

“He was supported by so many people from around the world who allowed him to be able to continue his creative endeavors for over 45 years,”

it said.

“We sincerely hope that the world of Akira Toriyama's unique works will continue to be loved by everyone for a long time to come. Please accept our deepest gratitude for your kindness and friendship during his lifetime,” it added.

A statue of Son Goku, a protagonist of Dragon Ball  is displayed in front of Bandai Co. in Tokyo (Photo: AFP/The Yomiuri Shimbun/Miho Takahashi)

Toriyama’s first foray into the manga industry came when he entered a competition for up-and-coming writers in the Weekly Shonen Jump comic magazine, Japan Times recalls, adding that while his submissions did not win, they attracted the attention of Kazuhiko Torishima, who worked at the manga giant, and would later become Toriyama’s editor, according to IT media.

This led to Toriyama making his debut in 1978 with "Wonder Island.” Following his debut, he produced many popular works, such as "Dr. Slump" and "Dragon Ball" for Weekly Shonen Jump.

In particular, “Dragon Ball,” which began serialization in 1984, became an international phenomenon and one of the best-selling and highest-grossing manga series of all time, with over 260 million copies sold worldwide in over 20 countries, Japan Times points out.

The anime adaptations of “Dragon Ball,” including "Dragon Ball Z" and "Dragon Ball Super," became wildly popular overseas and have been broadcast in over 40 countries. The series spawned a vast array of merchandise, including action figures, trading cards, clothing and video games, making it a mega-franchise. Video game titles based on the franchise also reached widespread popularity.

Creators who worked on the shonen franchise have expressed their grief online, with Masako Nozawa sharing a touching tribute to Toriyama in a new statement, Comicbook.com writes. Throughout Dragon Ball's long history, Masako Nozawa has been the one to bring Goku, Gohan, Goten, and other characters in the series to life, the website recalls.

In an official statement, voice actor Masako Nozawa shared her mourning of Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama, "I don't want to believe it. My head is empty because I don't want to think about it. Even so, every time I see Goku, I remember what Toriyama Sensei said to me, 'You will take care of Goku, won't you?' I cherish that moment. It makes me think: 'I will stay by Goku's side until my strength runs out completely'. Sensei, please watch over us from the heavens. We hope you depart in peace."

A bookstore sets a memorial corner for Akira Toriyama in Fukuoka City (Photo: AFP/The Yomiuri Shimbun/Tosei Kisanuki)

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