Akira Toriyama, the creator of the famous animated manga series “Dragon Ball”, has died at the age of 68

Akira Toriyama

the creator of the famous Dragon Ball manga, one of the most influential and best-selling Japanese comics of all time, has passed away at the age of 68.

Akira Toriyama, creator of Dragon Ball PHOTO Profimedia

According to his studio, Toriyama suffered an acute subdural hematoma, a form of bleeding near the brain, last Friday.

Dragon Ball, writes the BBC, enjoyed immense popularity worldwide, and the comic book series also spawned animated and film versions. Fans paid tribute to Toriyama for the characters he created, which became an important part of their childhood.

The Dragon Ball comic series debuted in 1984 and follows the story of a boy named Son Goku on his journey to collect magical Dragon Balls to defend Earth against humanoid aliens called Saiyans.

At the time of his death, Akira Toriyama had unfinished works. He died on March 1, and only his family and very few friends attended the funeral, according to a statement on the Dragon Ball website.

He would have had much more to accomplish. However, he left numerous manga titles and works of art in this world“, his studio stated.

We hope that Akira Toriyama's unique creative universe will continue to be loved by everyone for a long time to come“, they added.

On social media, fans expressed their sympathies for the Japanese cartoonist. “Thank you for creating a manga that represents my youth. Rest in peace, thank you for your hard work,” wrote one fan on X, the post which instantly received 500 likes. “It's too soon, it's too sad” another Japanese user wrote on X.

You leave behind an eternal legacy. Thank you for creating the most iconic anime character of all time, Akira“, another user wrote.

Dragon Ball, popular all over the world

Born in Nagoya, Japan in 1955, Toriyama first stepped into the world of comics in the early 1980s with Dr. Slump, a story about a robot girl named Arale and her scientific creator.

However, Dragon Ball was his most famous work. For many fans, Son Goku's journey from a child who stumbles through his martial arts training to a hero who can emit electric shocks from his hands mirrors their own struggles with self-doubt as they mature.

Dragon Ball has inspired fiction writers as well as people who style their hair like the characters. The animated version has been dubbed into numerous languages, and Dragon Ball figures are a constant presence in toy stores from Japan to China and Southeast Asia.

In a 2013 interview with the Japanese newspaper Asahi, Toriyama stated that he has no “no idea” how Dragon Ball became so popular around the world. He described the series as a miracle, “given that it helped someone like me with distorted and difficult personalities to do a decent job and be accepted by society“.

When I was drawing the series, all I wanted was to make the boys in Japan happy“, he said, according to the AFP news agency.