Dragon Ball: Japan manga creator Akira Toriyama has passed away

image source, Good pictures

image caption,

Dragon Ball is a part of many Japanese anime fans' childhood

The creator of Dragon Ball, one of the most influential and best-selling Japanese comics of all time, has died aged 68.

Akira Toriyama suffered a serious subdural hematoma, a type of bleeding near the brain, his studio said Friday.

Dragon Ball is very popular around the world and the comic series has also spawned cartoon and movie versions.

Fans have paid tribute to Mr Toriyama for creating characters that became part of their childhood.

The Dragon Ball comic series debuted in 1984. Sun follows a boy named Goku on his quest to collect magical dragon balls to defend the Earth against alien beings called Saiyans.

At the time of Mr. Toriyama's death there was unfinished business.

He died on March 1, and his funeral was attended by only his family and very few friends, according to a report on the Dragon Ball website.

“He will have many more things to achieve. However, he has left many manga titles and works of art to this world,” his studio said.

“We believe that Akira Toriyama's unique creative world will be loved by all for a long time,” it added.

image source, Good pictures

image caption,

Akira Toriyama in a photo taken in 1984

Fans have been expressing their condolences on social media.

“Thank you for creating a manga that reflects my youth. Rest in peace, thank you for all your hard work,” read one post on X, which instantly garnered 500 likes.

“It's too soon, it's so sad,” wrote another Japanese X user.

“His legacy will live on forever. Thanks for making Akira the best anime character ever,” wrote another user.

Born in Nagoya, Japan, in 1955, Mr. Toriyama entered the comic book world in the early 1980s with Dr. Slump, which tells the story of a little female robot Arele and her scientist creator.

But Dragon Ball is his most famous creation. For many fans, Son Goku's journey from a child who stumbles through his martial arts training to a high-flying hero who shoots electricity from his arms mirrors their own struggles with self-doubt as they enter adulthood.

Dragon Ball has inspired fan fiction writers and cosplayers who style their hair to resemble the characters' sharp and spiky locks.

The cartoon version has been dubbed into several languages ​​and Dragon Ball action figures are a staple in toy stores from Japan to China and Southeast Asia.

In a 2013 interview with the Japanese newspaper Asahi, Mr Toriyama said he had “no idea” how Dragon Ball became so popular around the world.

He described the series as a miracle, “how it helped twisted, tough personalities like me to do a decent job and be accepted by society”.

“When I drew the series, I always wanted to make it fun for the boys in Japan,” he said, according to AFP news agency.

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