Akira Toriyama, Creator of ‘Dragon Ball,’ Dies at the Age of 68

Akira Toriyama, Creator of 'Dragon Ball,' Dies at the Age of 68

Sad news arrives from Japan: legendary mangaka and anime creator Akira Toriyama passed away on March 1, 2024. The creator of Dragon Ball, one of the most popular and important manga and anime series in history, died from an acute subdural hematoma after reportedly having had a scheduled brain tumor surgery in February 2024, according to Sports Nihon.

Akira Toriyama was a major figure in the history of manga and anime. He created the Dragon Ball franchise, which soon became one of the most popular animanga franchises in the world. The anime adaptation of Toriyama’s manga, as well as its sequel – Dragon Ball Z – helped make anime popular around the globe and paved the way for the “Big Three” anime series (Bleach, Naruto, and One Piece) in the early 2000s. In fact, it is not uncommon to see Dragon Ball grouped together with them as the “Big Four.”

The news of Toriyama’s death was announced a week after his death and many public figures paid their tributes to the legendary author, including One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda, Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto, Video Girl Ai creator Masakazu Katsura, and video game designer Yuji Horii, who had worked with Toriyama on the games Dragon Quest and Chrono Trigger. Fans in Tokyo also paid tribute to Toriyama, as did fans and dignitaries from around the world.

The news of Toriyama’s death becomes even sadder when considering that he was scheduled to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2024 Tokyo Anime Awards Festival, which was held in early March 2024. On top of that, he was looking forward to the new Dragon Ball DAIMA anime series, for which he wrote the story, but will sadly never see the series’ air this fall. During his lifetime, Toriyama received numerous awards and recognition for his work, as well as the cultural influence his work had on a global scale.

Toriyama had a private funeral with only his family in attendance. Thank you, Toriyama-sensei, and may you rest in peace now with all your creations while your legacy lives on.

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