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Legendary Manga Artist Akira Toriyama Passes Away

Legendary Manga Artist Akira Toriyama Passes Away

Akira Toriyama, legendary manga artist and character designer passed away on March 1st at the age of 68 due to an acute subdural hematoma. 

Born in Kiyosu, Japan, Toriyama started to draw at an early age, citing Astro Boy and One Hundred and One Dalmatians as some of his early influences. 

Toriyama would create manga throughout the 70s, but his first big success came with the creation of Dr. Slump in 1980. 

Dr. Slump is a comedy manga, following the adventures of Arale Norimaki, a humanoid robot girl. Dr. Slump was a big hit and was adapted into an anime very soon after its release. 

His next series, however, would be a global success and would change the landscape of fiction forever. 

Dragon Ball is a comedy/adventure manga inspired by the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West, following a young boy named Son Goku and his friends searching for magical Dragon Balls that can grant anybody one wish. In his journey, Son Goku makes many friends as well as enemies who also seek the Dragon Balls. After fighting the evil Demon King Piccolo, Son Goku leaves with his future wife Chi-Chi.

Dragon Ball Z is a continuation of the Dragon Ball story, picking up 5 years later and having a bigger focus on sci-fi and fighting. Dragon Ball Z would introduce the alien race of the Saiyans, which surprisingly includes Son Goku, now fathering a son named Gohan. Other Saiyans Raditz, Nappa, and Vegeta come to try and destroy Earth but get bested by Son Goku (or killed by Vegeta in Nappa’s case). The series expands on the lore of the Dragon Ball universe, as well as showcases more epic fight scenes. More iconic villains like Frieza, the Androids, Cell, and Buu would be introduced, trying to destroy the planet that Goku calls home. 

The Dragon Ball franchise would continue, becoming one of the most successful manga as well as anime series, with the Dragon Ball Z anime being a massive hit in several other countries. 

Toriyama would also go on to create other stories and design characters for video games such as Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger, and Blue Dragon. 

Akira Toriyama’s influence on pop culture is beyond words, and his creations have inspired millions around the world. Toriyama’s final work Dragon Ball: Daima is set to release in the Fall of this year, and fans around the world will be tuning in to honor Toriyama-san.

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