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Akira Toriyama is the creator of the popular Dragon Ball

Akira Toriyama is most probably the most famous manga and anime name among the fans of the Japanese cartoon genre. Through his work he achieved worldwide fame. His most famous Dragon Ball, is still part of TV channels around the world. It has raised generations of kids and has been a favorite among many grown ups too.

Although Toriyama met incredible fame throughout his career, his mission was only to entertain his readers. “The role of my manga,” he said in 2013 Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun “is to be a work of entertainment through and through.”

Mr Toriyama was born on April 5, 1955 in Kiyosu, Japan. He later on studied design at the technology and engineering high school in Aichi Prefecture. Upon graduating, he worked as a designer for an advertising company in Nagoya.

He worked there for a few years and gained experience. The artist started drawing manga at 23. He published his first manga, called Wonder Island in 1978. His name however became popular after his manga Dr. Slump became a series from 1980 to 1984. The series was about an android girl which had a childlike personality, but superhuman strength.

His concept of caricature and his fresh approach to the art of manga, created a wave of excitement in Japan. Moreover, in 1982 he married the manga artist Mainichi Shimbun. Reports say he is survived by his children and wife.

When he first published Dragon Ball in 1984, it became an immediate hit. Soon after it became one of the best-selling manga series of all time. It sold more than 260 million copies worldwide, according to Toei Animation, the studio that produced the anime adaptation.

First issue of Dragon Ball in English

Dragon Ball in the beginning was published as part of the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. It continued like this until 1995, when the editors decided to remove the anime from their pages. The results were catastrophic as the magazine lost one million of its six million readers. Toriyama continued to publish the manga separately and became one of the best selling mangas of all time. He also participated in the creation of various Dragon Ball video games and merchandise.

Although his success, Mr. Toriyama was not necessarily the craziest fan of the genre as a reader. “I have always had a hard time reading manga, including my own work,” he said in a 2018 interview with Kiyosu City Public Library. Akira Toriyama sadly passed away on March 1st at the age of 68. He left behind a huge heritage for Japanese culture and was one of the main reasons that manga and anime became so popular around the world.

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