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Akira Toriyama, Creator of Dragon Ball, Passes Away at 68

The creator of Dragon Ball, one of the most influential and best-selling Japanese comics globally, has passed away at the age of 68.

Akira Toriyama suffered from an acute subdural hematoma, a form of bleeding near the brain, as confirmed by his studio on Friday.

Dragon Ball enjoys immense popularity worldwide, and the comic series has expanded into animated and film adaptations.

Fans have expressed their condolences to Mr. Toriyama, recognizing his role in crafting characters that have become integral to their childhoods.

Debuting in 1984, the Dragon Ball comic series narrates the story of a boy named Son Goku on his quest to gather magical dragon balls to protect Earth from alien humanoids known as Saiyans.

At the time of his passing, Mr. Toriyama left behind unfinished projects.

He passed away on March 1, and his funeral was attended by only his close family and a select few friends, as per the Dragon Ball website statement.

Despite his untimely departure, his studio expressed that he had many more accomplishments ahead. They acknowledged his numerous manga titles and artistic contributions to the world, expressing a hope that Akira Toriyama’s distinctive creative world continues to be cherished by audiences for an extended period.

Getty Images Akira Toriyama
Akira Toriyama in a photo taken in 1984


Condolences poured in from fans on social media platforms.

“Your manga defined my youth. May you rest in peace, and thank you for your dedication,” expressed a post on X, garnering 500 likes instantly.

“Too soon, too heartbreaking,” shared another Japanese X user.

“His influence will endure indefinitely. Thank you, Akira, for crafting the most iconic anime character of all time,” expressed another user.

Born in Nagoya, Japan, in 1955, Mr. Toriyama entered the world of comic books in the early 1980s with Dr. Slump, narrating the tale of a little girl robot named Arale and her inventor scientist.

However, Dragon Ball stood out as his most renowned creation. For many fans, Son Goku’s evolution from a novice martial artist to a powerful hero capable of unleashing bolts of energy mirrored their own struggles with self-doubt as they navigated through adulthood.

Dragon Ball served as a wellspring of inspiration for fan fiction writers and cosplayers, influencing hairstyles characterized by sharp and pointed locks resembling the characters’.

The animated version has been translated into numerous languages, and Dragon Ball action figures have become a mainstay in toy stores across Japan, China, and Southeast Asia.

In a 2013 interview with the Japanese newspaper Asahi, Mr. Toriyama expressed his bewilderment at Dragon Ball’s global popularity, stating that he had “no idea” how it achieved such widespread acclaim. He referred to the series as a miracle, acknowledging how it assisted someone with his “twisted, difficult personalities” in doing a commendable job and gaining acceptance in society.

“When I was creating the series, my sole objective was to bring joy to boys in Japan,” he stated.

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