Goodbye, Master Akira Toriyama

March 8, 2024

Our community is in mourning.

Both the world of manga and anime are in mourning. The news is already everywhere, and almost every known news outlet, not just those related to manga or anime, have already spread the sad news: Master Toriyama, our beloved Akira Toriyama, has left us…

This sad event was initially spread through the official X (Twitter) account of Dragon Ball. Our dear creator of legends as great and important to all of us as Goku and his entire universe, has passed away at the age of 68. On March 1st, the Master left us, due to an acute subdural hematoma, according to the account of Dragon Ball X. The post says that a small funeral was held with Toriyama‘s immediate family, and just a few hours ago the news was spread to the world.

The contributions of Akira Toriyama to the world of manga and anime are literally monumental, even inspiring artists like Eiichiro Oda (One Piece creator), who ventured into manga because he wished to be praised by Toriyama-sensei, thus giving us another of the great universes that the world of manga and anime has received.

His narrative full of long and complex arcs, which allowed for deeper character development, and his unique artistic style, have been key both in his art and in the current definitions of the “look” that anime enjoys today. In addition to that, Dragon Ball has played a vital role in the popularization and globalization of anime in the West, as its international success opened the doors that allowed the spread of anime to other continents, allowing other authors, series, and stories in general, to reach other audiences.

My personal note…:

I remember many years ago, when I was not very familiar with the world of anime. A friend came to my house and told me something like this: “I’m watching a story about some super powerful guys, who fight using martial arts, and it’s great! When the full moonlight hits them, they transform into giant gorillas, it’s all very epic!” … My first response was that it sounded very good, but surely such a production would cost a lot of money (it was the 2000s). Then he told me “no, no, no, it’s not with actors, it’s an anime!” and I was like … “What!?”

It didn’t take long for me to start to understand how wrong I was… I had prejudged, without even knowing what I was talking about.

Perhaps unlike the vast majority of the community, which is currently between their 20s and 30s, I got to know Dragon Ball as an adult. Specifically, Dragon Ball Z was the first thing I saw, both from Toriyama and from anime in general. The anime did not accompany me during my childhood or adolescence, which would have been fantastic, but to be honest, the vast majority of the current otaku community has grown up being accompanied by Masters like the giant Akira Toriyama, walking hand in hand with legends like Goku, Gohan, Mr. Piccolo, and the proud Saiyan Prince Vegeta.

There is so much I would like to tell you, dear Toriyama, that I wouldn’t know where to start…

I hope you lived your life knowing, being aware of how much you have given me, and the whole community, in your long career!… I can’t think of a recognition that could be up to the task, to express how grateful we all are for your gigantic legacy. Personally, you opened the doors for me to a huge world, with thousands of possibilities, thousands of stories to be told, thousands of battles, won and lost, and why not, thousands of teachings to be transmitted…

Those who had the joy of growing up with you, had their personal guardian angels taking care of them in a very special way. How could they not feel safe going to school with Goku by their side!? You have taught them, among many other things, that the greatest power, the most valuable, comes from the heart, from what you feel deep inside, from your true essence… The Dragon Ball saga has never been just about power, but about overcoming adversity no matter what, about not giving up, and always keep fighting! That’s what you have taught us, dear Master


The community can no longer feel your Ki…

Don’t worry, one day we will catch up with you on the Snake Way. In the meantime, train hard with King Kai!

See you soon, Akira Toriyama, and THANK YOU, for introducing me to ANIME.

Javier (Ange77us)

Images Source: Everywhere