Akira Toriyama: Japanese creator of iconic Dragon Ball manga comics dies aged 68

Toriyama ‘still had several works in the middle of creation’, his studio says

Shweta Sharma
Friday 08 March 2024 07:44 GMT
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Japanese artist Akira Toriyama, known for the hugely popular Dragon Ball comics, has died at the age of 68.

Toriyama died on 1 March after suffering acute subdural hematoma, a type of bleeding near the brain, his studio said on Friday.

"We are deeply saddened to inform you that Manga creator Akira Toriyama passed away on 1 March due to acute subdural hematoma," said a statement shared on the official X account of the Dragon Ball franchise.

"It’s our deep regret that he still had several works in the middle of creation with great enthusiasm," Toriyama’s Bird Studio said.

"We hope that Akira Toriyama’s unique world of creation continues to be loved by everyone for a long time to come."

Dragon Ball was first released in 1984 in the weekly Shonen Jump magazine and became one of the most iconic franchises in the history of manga and anime. It was translated into many different languages and published globally, loved by fans for its action-packed battles, colourful characters, and elements of humour and adventure.

Its legacy includes numerous anime spin-off series, films and video games. Its latest franchise, a new anime called "Dragon Ball Daima" is set to be released this fall after it was announced in October 2023.

A picture of Akira Toriyama taken in May 1982 (JIJI Press/AFP via Getty Images)

Fans and friends from across the world reacted to the news with shock and sorrow, describing how his iconic work was part of their childhood.

A general view of atmosphere during the Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' San Diego Comic Con opening night VIP party held at Whiskey Girl in 2015 (Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for FUNimation Entertainment)

Masashi Kishimoto, author of another manga series Naruto, said, "I grew up with your manga, which became a part of my life. On bad days, the weekly Dragon Ball [series] would help me forget [my troubles]. As a country boy with not much else, it saved me.

"... I just received the news of your passing. I’m hit with a tremendous sense of loss, even greater than when Dragon Ball ended. ... I still don’t know how I am going to deal with this [sudden] hole in my heart,” it added.

Eiichiro Oda, the One Piece manga artist, wrote, "[Toriyama] was one of the founders of an era where both adults and children could read and enjoy manga, from a time when reading manga was considered not good for education. He let us dream of the extent of things manga can achieve and showed [creators] that we can even expand our field to the world.

"To think I’ll never see him again... I’m overwhelmed by sadness," Mr Oda said.

Another fan wrote: “Akira Toriyama gave us some of the most timeless anime moments of all time.”

“Heartbreaking that Toriyama passed before Dragon Ball Daima releases, which he was clearly so passionate about. If it’s the last project he worked on, I’ll treasure it even more,” said another.

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