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Toriyama's reach goes beyond Dragon Ball and Dragon Quest, and his works were beloved across mediums and the world at large.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

March 8, 2024

2 Min Read
Vegeta in Dragon Ball Z.
Image via Toei Animation.

Akira Toriyama, a longtime manga creator and artist across mulitple mediums, has died at 68 years old. Per production company Bird Studio, he passed in early March from an acute subdermal hematoma.

"We inform you this sad news, with gratefulness and kindness during his lifetime," wrote Bird.

Bird went on to request that no one send flowers or condolence gifts, or even visit the Toriyama family at this moment. A public gathering for the late artist has yet to be decided.

Born April 5, 1955, Toriyama's most well-known work is the Dragon Ball series. The manga, which started in 1984, spawned numerous sequels and a multimedia franchise that included video games, some of which he was involved in the development of.

Even before that point, Toriyama was recruited by his editor Kazuhiko Torishima as a character designer on Square Enix's Dragon Quest. He'd become a fixture of the franchise, and also designed characters for other Square RPGs such as Chrono Trigger and Blue Dragon.

Beyond Dragon Ball, other Toriyama works such as Dr. Slump and Sand Land have become multimedia franchises in their own right. A Sand Land video game is releasing in April.

Toriyama's global reach was such that his influence can be found in almost all modern entertainment. There's a little bit of Dragon Ball in all shonen manga and anime, to say nothing of it in non-DB games like Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown.

"The history of Dragon Quest goes hand-in-hand with Toriyama's designs," wrote series creator Yuji Horii. "He and [composer] Koichi Sugiyama were companions who worked on Dragon Quest with me for a long time."

"I don't know what more to say. This is truly, truly unfortunate."

Toriyama's final works include the Sand Land game and this year's Dragon Ball Z Daima anime. He's survived by his wife Yoshimi Katō, daughter Kikka, and son Sasuke.

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About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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