Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball Creator, Dead at 68

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Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball Creator, Dead at 68

On March 8, 2024, it was sadly announced that Akira Toriyama had passed away at the age of 68. Toriyama, most famous for creating Dragon Ball, died on March 1 of acute subdural hematoma, which is pressure from bleeding in the brain. His official website released a statement confirming this.

The Japanese author and Manga creator had lived an eclectic life in the entertainment industry. During this time, he worked cross many mediums including comic books, animated series, movies, and video games. So, in honour of his life and achievements, let’s take a look into the extraordinary career of this multi-talented man.

The Early Days of Akira Toriyama

Akira Toriyama

Akira Toriyama’s passion for creating art began at a young age, sparked by access to a manga collection owned by the older brother of a friend during his elementary school years. It was there that he discovered the science fiction series Astro Boy, which would serve as inspiration for his future works. However, it wasn’t until Toriyama attended a high school that focused on teaching creative design that his artistic abilities started to flourish.

Initially drawing pictures of animals and vehicles as a hobby, Toriyama made his first attempt to break into the manga industry in the 1970s with a story that parodied the popular film Star Wars. Despite its rejection, he was encouraged to persevere and continued to submit his work to industry executives. Eventually, Toriyama found success by merging his love for manga and kung-fu movies, paving the way for his iconic career in the world of Japanese comics and animation.

Breaking Down This Legendary Artist’s Finest Works

Akira Toriyama’s pivotal breakthrough in the manga industry came in 1983 with his creation of the two-part story Dragon Boy. The narrative followed a young martial artist who embarks on a journey to escort a princess back to her homeland. The project was met with a warm reception, showcasing Toriyama’s storytelling and artistic prowess. This success served as a stepping stone to his mainstream breakthrough with the popular series Dr. Slump, solidifying his position as a prominent figure in the world of manga and catapulting him to even greater heights of success and recognition.

Akira Toriyama’s iconic creation, Dr. Slump, served as the precursor to the immensely popular series Dragon Ball. Lasting for 11 years, Toriyama produced 519 chapters of the manga which were compiled into 42 volumes. While he eventually departed from the series, his legacy continued with the creation of Dragon Ball Z, a massively successful franchise for which he is credited. Toriyama’s influence extended beyond the manga and anime realms, as he also worked on projects like the live-action film Dragonball Evolution and served as the main screenwriter for the animated film Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F in 2015. Despite his active involvement in the industry, Toriyama led a relatively quiet life away from the public eye, shying away from press engagements and interviews. His dedication to his craft and enduring impact on popular culture solidify his place as a legendary figure in the world of manga.

Tributes Pour in For Akira Toriyama

Jackie Chan and Akira Toriyama

On March 8, 2024, the official Dragon Ball X page released a heartfelt statement about the passing of Akira Toriyama. It read: “It’s our deep regret that he still had several works in the middle of creation with great enthusiasm. Also, he would have many more things to achieve. However, he has left many manga titles and works of art to this world. “Thanks to the support of so many people around the world, he has been able to continue his creative activities for over 45 years.”

As well as this, X has been alight with thousands of tributes from devoted fans of Toriyama, with many declaring him the “GOAT” of manga. One devoted fan wrote: “Wow. This man was a legend, true one of a kind talent that influenced so many lives. Shocked and sad, but his legacy will live on for thousands of years to come I’m sure.”

As his family have asked for privacy at the time, Toriyama’s official website released a statement regarding the funeral, saying: “Funeral service was held with his family and very few relatives. Following his wishes for tranquillity, we respectfully inform you that we would not accept flowers, condolences gifts, visiting, offerings and others.” However, a commemorative gathering is currently being planned.

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