Dragon Ball: Japanese author Akira Toriyama dies aged 68

Steph Deschamps / March 8, 2024
 
Manga artist Akira Toriyama, creator of the world-famous Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump series, has died at the age of 68 from a subdural hematoma, his publisher and studio announced on Friday March 8. "We are sincerely saddened to inform you that manga creator Akira Toriyama died on March 1 of an acute subdural hematoma. He was 68," said Bird Studio, an entity the mangaka founded, in a statement posted on social networks. "At Shueisha and within the editorial department, we are deeply saddened by the sudden news of his death," read a statement from the publisher. "We would like to pay tribute to his great achievements, express our gratitude and offer our sincere condolences. »
  
Born in Nagoya (central Japan) in 1955, Akira Toriyama was best known for the manga Dragon Ball, created in 1984 and loosely based on a 16th-century Chinese novel, which follows the life and adventures of martial arts prodigy Son Goku from childhood. The manga has sold at least 260 million copies worldwide, according to the specialist website Mangazenkan, and has spawned numerous adaptations for TV, film and video games, as well as sequels such as Dragon Ball Z and, more recently, Dragon Ball Super.
Before the cult saga, Akira Toriyama created the Dr Slump series in 1980, his first big success in Japan, published in France in the late 1990s. Its unbridled, absurdist humor won over millions of young Japanese readers. It features the scientist Sembei Norimaki, who designs a Herculean-strength robot resembling a little girl, which triggers a whole series of disasters, each more zany than the last.
 
In 2013, the Angoulême International Comics Festival awarded Akira Toriyama a special prize for his body of work.
 
Eiichiro Oda, creator of the One Piece manga, lamented in a statement the "too early" death of Akira Toriyama, which leaves "a great void". "To think I'll never see him again... I'm overwhelmed with sadness", added Eiichiro Oda.
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