‘Dragon Ball’ Creator Akira Toriyama Dead at 68


Influential manga artist and Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama died earlier this month at age 68 from acute subdural hematoma, his company announced this week.

Toriyama first achieved mainstream success for creating the popular manga series Dr. Slump before conceiving Dragon Ball, his most notable work, in 1984. Throughout his career, he also provided character designer for video games such as the Dragon Quest series, Chrono Trigger, and Blue Dragon, among his other works.

Bird Studio, which Toriyama founded in 1983, broke the news of his passing in a machine-translated statement on Thursday.

“We are deeply saddened to inform you that manga creator Akira Toriyama passed away on March 1 due to acute subdural hematoma,” the statement read, noting that he was 68 at the time of his death. “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.”

“He has left many manga titles and works of art to this world,” the statement continued. “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 Akira Toriyama’s unique world of creation continues to be loved by everyone for a long time to come.”

The statement added that funeral services had been held privately with a small number of family and relatives, and that plans for a public memorial would be revealed once confirmed.

American audiences were first introduced to the Dragon Ball Z animated series in 1996 through Cartoon Network’s “Toonami” programming block. The manga series, which was written and illustrated by Toriyama, is regarded as one of the most popular and successful manga in the world, having sold 260 million copies worldwide.

As the Washington Post notes, to this day Dragon Ball influences can be found all throughout pop culture, from Marvel action sequences to hip-hop lyrics.

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