DRAGON BALL Creator Akira Toriyama Dies at 68

Even those who are not intense anime and manga fans will likely know the name Dragon Ball. The hugely influential franchise helped bring anime to new audiences in the United States and beyond and united many people in their love for its characters and world. And so, the news that Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama died at a relatively young age and amidst new projects was incredibly sad for fans across the world.

The official Dragon Ball channels shared the news of Toriyama’s passing. The creator died at the age of 68 in early March. The release, clearly drenched in emotion, shares, “It’s our deep regret that he still had several works in the middle of creation with great enthusiasm. Also, he would have many more things to achieve.”

But it also looks back at Toriyama’s great impact before his death, noting, “He has left many manga titles and works of art to this world. Thanks to the support of so many people around the world, he has been able to continue his creative activities for over 45 years… We hope that the world of Akira Toriyama’s unique works will continue to be loved by everyone for a long time to come.”

Goku says goodbye Dragon Ball GT, created by Akira Toriyama
Toei Company

We cannot overstate Dragon Ball‘s impact. Its manga was first serialized in 1984, nearly 40 years ago, and it was created, written, and illustrated by Akira Toriyama. Of course, Toei Animation also adapted the manga into an immensely popular anime by Toei Animation and the world of Dragon Ball continues to generate new content into the present time. The original Dragon Ball manga has created spinoffs, movies, merchandise, and more, and reached all corners of the globe. The power, impact, and longevity of the franchise are really unparalleled.

As the news rolled through social channels, fans’ devastation was clear. Stories of how Dragon Ball touched lives were everywhere, and a great deal of praise and love for Akira Toriyama was expressed. It takes a great creator, indeed, to have engendered all of that.

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