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“Dragon Ball Z” Creator, Akira Toriyama, Passes Away At 68, But Leaves A Wonderful Legacy

Updated: Mar 22

As reported by CBS News, the world of animation and manga has lost a true legend with the passing of Akira Toriyama, the brilliant creator behind the global phenomenon Dragon Ball Z. Toriyama passed away on March 1st at the age of 68 due to a blood clot in his brain, according to a statement from Bird Studio. He left an indelible mark on the world of Japanese comics and beyond.

Born in Aichi prefecture, central Japan, in 1955, Toriyama's artistic talents were apparent from an early age. He made his manga debut in 1978 with the adventure comic "Wonder Island," published in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. However, it was his 1980 series "Dr. Slump" that first brought him widespread recognition. The quirky and hilarious series cemented Toriyama's status as a rising star in the manga world.

But it was with the creation of Dragon Ball Z in 1984 that Toriyama truly made his mark. The story of a boy named Son Goku and his quest for seven magical balls that can grant wishes, Dragon Ball Z has sold an astonishing 260 million copies worldwide.

The series was adapted into numerous animated TV shows, films, and video games, becoming a cultural phenomenon that transcended borders.

Toriyama's unique storytelling and art style captured the imagination of millions. His characters, with their exaggerated expressions and dynamic action scenes, brought a fresh energy to the world of manga. And his ability to create compelling narratives filled with humor, heart, and high-stakes adventures resonated with readers of all ages.

In a rare 2013 interview, Toriyama stated, “Dragon Ball Z' is like a miracle, given how it helped someone like me who has a twisted, difficult personality do a decent job and get accepted by society."

“I don't like socializing, so much so that I have more animals than friends.”

In the 2013 interview with Japan's Asahi Shimbun daily, Toriyama highlighted one key discipline that was the driving force for his remarkable output: meeting deadlines.

"This is because I had previously worked as a designer in a small advertising agency and had seen and experienced first-hand how much trouble people can get into if deadlines are missed, even slightly," he said.

He added that it was hard: "Manga requires me to draw a lot of the same images. I tend to get bored easily, so this was fun but mostly tough. I wished many times it would end sooner."

"I just hope that readers will have a fun time reading my works," he said.

Toriyama stated that the size of his success had taken him by surprise.

"When I was drawing the series, all I ever wanted to achieve was to please boys in Japan."

In a statement, Bird Studio, the company behind Dragon Ball Z, described Toriyama as an artist who was still enthusiastically working on new projects at the time of his passing. "He would have many more things to achieve," the studio said. "However, he has left many manga titles and works of art to this world. We hope that Akira Toriyama's unique world of creation continues to be loved by everyone for a long time to come."

Toriyama's influence extends far beyond his own creations. Eiichiro Oda, the acclaimed creator of the manga series One Piece, spoke of Toriyama's impact on a new generation of artists. "He showed us all these things manga can do, a dream of going to another world," Oda said. "His death leaves a hole too big to fill."

Fellow creators and fans have taken to social media to express their condolences and share their memories of Toriyama. The outpouring of love and respect reflects the profound impact he had on the manga community and beyond.

While Toriyama may be gone, his legacy will endure. Through his unique storytelling and timeless characters, he has left an indelible mark on the world of animation and manga. And his passion for creating worlds that bring joy and inspiration to others will continue to inspire artists for generations to come.

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