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Remembering Akira Toriyama A Legacy Beyond Words

How Did Akira Toriyama Shape the World of Manga?

Remembering Akira Toriyama A Legacy Beyond Words cape flats

Akira Toriyama, a legendary figure whose creativity redefined manga, sadly passed away, confirmed by his studio this Friday.

At the age of 68, Toriyama left this world on March 1 due to a blood clot in his brain, shared Bird Studio, his production house, through a release on Friday. His funeral was a private affair, attended solely by close family and relatives.

A Pioneer in Manga Creation

Toriyama is globally celebrated for birthing the “Dragon Ball” manga series, an epic saga that captured the imaginations of fans worldwide, leading to an iconic anime series, numerous video games, and films.

“Dragon Ball” made its first appearance in 1984, chronicling the adventures of Son Goku, a young boy on an epic quest for magical orbs known as dragon balls, aiming to save Earth from the menace of alien beings known as Saiyans.

The tale’s adaptation into anime in 1989 catapulted it into a global phenomenon, marking it as a cornerstone of Japanese pop culture. According to Bird Studio, the series has enjoyed a monumental success, selling 260 million copies in total.

Despite dedicating 45 years to his craft, Toriyama had projects left unfinished at his passing.

“It’s our deep regret that he still had several works in the middle of creation with great enthusiasm,” the statement from his studio expressed. “He would have had many more things to achieve. However, he has left many manga titles and works of art to this world.”

His imaginative prowess inspired countless renowned manga artists, including Masashi Kishimoto of “Naruto” fame and Eiichiro Oda, the mind behind “One Piece,” one of the most enduring anime series.

His studio hopes, “Akira Toriyama’s unique world of creation continues to be loved by everyone for a long time to come.”

Tributes Pour In

The news of Toriyama’s demise resonated deeply within Japan and across the globe.

Yoshimasa Hayashi, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, during a press briefing, shared the government’s profound sorrow and extended heartfelt sympathies to Toriyama’s family.

Toriyama’s creations have significantly contributed to the global appreciation of Japanese content, bolstering international tourism and showcasing Japan’s cultural influence.

Notable Japanese personalities, actors Yuki Kaji and Toshio Furukawa, shared their appreciation and thanks through posts on X.

Moreover, Toriyama’s passing ignited a wave of tributes on China’s Weibo platform, amassing 40 million views and sparking thousands of discussions. His work, particularly “Dragon Ball,” drew inspiration from the Chinese classic “Journey to the West,” endearing him to numerous fans in China.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, through spokeswoman Mao Ning, expressed, “our deep condolences over the death of Mr. Akira Toriyama and our sincere sympathy to his family.” Highlighting Toriyama’s influence in China, Mao Ning voiced hopes for continued cultural exchange and friendship between Japan and China, underscoring the lasting impact of Toriyama’s work on Sino-Japanese relations.

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Written by Layla Hadid

Layla Hadid is a passionate freelance journalist hailing from Midrand, known for her insightful coverage and compelling storytelling. With a keen eye for uncovering the stories that matter, Layla has made a name for herself in the journalism landscape of South Africa. Her work spans a variety of topics, from local community issues to broader, socially impactful stories that resonate with a diverse audience. Layla's dedication to truth and transparency has earned her respect and admiration among peers and readers alike.

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