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Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Celebrating the life and career of Akira Toriyama

Akira Toriyama pictured with the main character of Dragon Ball, Goku.

On Thursday, March 7th, Bird Studio announced the passing of Akira Toriyama, a manga artist who created series such as Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump, as well as a variety of other short stories and games. He died on March 1st from an acute subdural hematoma, which is a blood clot in the brain, typically caused by head injury. 

Considered the father of modern anime and manga to many, Toriyama’s most famous work, Dragon Ball, has sold millions of copies globally, along with being adapted into a very successful anime, as well as many video games. He is cited as an inspiration for many manga artists, notably the creators of Naruto and One Piece; Eiichiro Oda and Masashi Kishimoto respectively. 

Born in the Aichi prefecture of Japan in 1955, he made his debut in 1978 with “Wonder Island,” published in the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. His first big hit, Dr. Slump, started in 1980, and rose him to celebrity status due to its popularity. It wouldn’t be until 1983 when he founded his own studio, Bird Studio, and 1984 for him to start publishing his most famous work, Dragon Ball.

Inspired by the novel Journey to the West, Dragon Ball started off as an adaptation of it, but with humor and martial arts added in. Quickly, the manga grew in popularity and the plot developed to focus more on the martial arts aspect of it. The original manga was adapted into an anime in 1986, continuing for a decade alongside the manga, which spanned 42 volumes and ended in June 1995. Altogether, the manga has sold over 260 million copies worldwide, as well as led to a continuation of the series in 2015 in Dragon Ball Super, which is currently ongoing under the helm of manga artist Toyotarou. However, the anime has been on hiatus since 2018, with a new series, Dragon Ball Daima, being worked on prior to Toriyama’s death.

Despite his involvement in Dragon Ball, Toriyama worked on many other side projects. He wrote short stories such as Sand Land, worked on character designs for the Dragon Quest series of games, and worked on the game “Chrono Trigger”. 

A few of Toriyama’s friends have since written tributes to the artist on Dragon Ball’s publisher Shueisha’s website. Eiichiro Oda, the creator of One Piece, said “I have admired him so much since I was a child, so I remember the day he called me by name for the first time. On the way home from the day you used the word “friend” for me and Kishimoto, I remember being overjoyed with Kishimoto… With respect and gratitude for the creative world he has left behind. I pray for his soulful rest in peace. May heaven be the joyous world he envisioned.” In addition to him, Toriyama heavily inspired Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto, who wrote, “Thank you, Akira Toriyama, for all of your enjoyable works over the past 45 years.”

Toriyama is regarded as one of the most influential manga artists in the history of manga, and few can claim the status that he gained through his career. He still had several works in the middle of being created before his passing, which his studio, Bird Studio, announced in their public statement regarding his passing. His legacy spans generations of fans, as well as in many other works. As he said in his last volume of Dragon Ball, “Tackle life with as much energy as Goku! I’ll try to do the same,” a saying that has been reflected through his works both past and present. 


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About the Contributor
Noah Gallo
Noah Gallo, Staff Writer
Hi! I'm Noah Gallo, a senior at Danbury High School. I am a staff writer for the Hatters Herald, the school paper. This is my first year writing for the school paper as I wanted to try my hand at journalism and writing. I enjoy writing and I want to inform others of events going on in the school because as an underclassman, it felt like I never knew what was going on around me. Aside from writing, I am interested in photography, photo and video editing, coding, cybersecurity, and music.

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