Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama dies at 68

Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama dies at 68

Toriyama died on March 1 because of an 'acute subdural haematoma' — a blood clot in the brain.
08 Mar, 2024

The creator of Japan’s hugely popular and influential Dragon Ball comics and anime cartoons, Akira Toriyama, has died aged 68, his production team said Friday. First serialised in 1984, Dragon Ball is one of the best-selling manga franchises of all time and has spawned countless anime series, films and video games.

Toriyama died on March 1 because of an “acute subdural haematoma” — a blood clot in the brain — a statement posted to the official Dragon Ball account on X, formerly Twitter, read. “It’s our deep regret that he still had several works in the middle of creation,” said the statement attributed to Toriyama’s Bird Studio, which praised the artist’s “great enthusiasm”.

“He would have many more things to achieve. However, he has left many manga titles and works of art to this world,” the statement added. “We hope that Akira Toriyama’s unique world of creation continues to be loved by everyone for a long time to come.”

Dragon Ball features a boy named Son Goku who collects magical balls containing dragons to help him and his allies in a fight to protect the Earth from evil enemies. Toriyama was already famous for his comedy manga Dr Slump in the early 1980s when he created Dragon Ball, which he said was inspired by Chinese-style kung fu movies.

The 1990s saw the beloved cartoon Dragon Ball Z, and Toriyama was also part of the design team for the huge Dragon Quest games. Not all spinoffs have been a success, however, with the live-action movie Dragonball Evolution (2009) flopping at the box office and attracting withering reviews.

Publishing house Shueisha, whose Shonen Jump magazine serialised the Dragon Ball comics, said in a statement it was “greatly saddened by the sudden news of his death”. Eiichiro Oda, creator of Japan’s major One Piece manga franchise, said in a statement that Toriyama’s death was “too soon” and left “too big shoes to fill”. “To think I’ll never see him again… I’m overwhelmed by sadness,” Oda said.

In an interview with Japan’s Asahi newspaper in 2013, Toriyama said his comics were “dedicated to entertainment”. “I just hope that readers will have a fun time reading my works. There’s nothing else I want them to achieve,” he said, adding that he had “never been preoccupied with getting a message across through my manga.”

Toriyama described himself as a “difficult” person in the interview. He added, “’Dragon Ball is like a miracle, given how it helped someone like me who has twisted, difficult personalities do a decent job and get accepted by society.”

He also said he had “no idea” why Dragon Ball had become such a huge hit worldwide. “When I was drawing the series, all I ever wanted to achieve was to please boys in Japan,” he told the Asahi.


RIP Toriyama Mar 08, 2024 04:10pm
Its truly sad to hear this, he had more work in the pipeline. He will be remembered as a legend that introduced Japans animation media to the whole world His work was known by both who watch Japanese animation and also those who dont watch it
Syed Hasni Mar 08, 2024 04:45pm
The Dragon Ball series began as a simple Japanese comic and has since evolved into one of the biggest multimedia properties of all time. Arguably, its popularity grew to exponential proportions mainly due to the success of the Dragon Ball Z anime series. This was the late '80s and early '90s... Internet wasn't a thing. Get real. RIP!
Hamza Mar 08, 2024 05:58pm
Definitely end of an era. Toriyama played a central role in the shaping the modern manga world. His work inspired great contemporary artists like Eiichiro Oda, and Masashi Kishimoto. It is certainly true that he left too early but the legacy that he left behind in the form of his works and students is a beacon of inspiration for many new artists (and readers) to come. RIP Legend.
BILAWAL Mar 08, 2024 06:19pm
So, sad to hear about him. Such a great Era. I was used to watched this one with my elder brother.
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Mar 08, 2024 07:36pm
Inna Lilla Hay Waa Inna Illehey Rajayoon.