Tell Us Your Akira Toriyama Memories

Goku in Dragon Ball Z Daima.

Image: Toei Animation

The world was shocked to learn on Thursday night to learn that Akira Toriyama, creator of the eternally longlasting Dragon Ball franchise, had passed away at the age of 68.

Whether you were born in the 80s or in the 2000s, you couldn’t not know what Dragon Ball was on some level. In a lot of ways, he’s why anime is the juggernaut as we know it today. The shonen series rose to prominence alongside Toonami in the mid-90s, in turn becoming one of the biggest properties ever thanks to its anime and countless movies and games. To say that it’s inside of folks’ hearts will always be kind of an understatement: it continues to have a grip on Black people to this day, and Latin American audiences love them some Dragon Ball, to the point where large crowds in Mexico watched Dragon Ball Super’s finale like it was a big wrestling match.

Toriyama had more than Dragon Ball under his belt, and it (and his larger output) would go to inspire countless creators over the decades. From the shonen that followed in its wake (like Naruto or Bleach) to video games like Sonic the Hedgehog or Western media like Star Wars, you could reasonably trace their influences to Toriyama to some extent. And even outside the creative space, his work was just deeply inspirational. How many people got turned on to Blue Dragon because they recognized the art style? How many decided to exercise or just model their life after a particular Dragon Ball character? This could be true of any media, but again, his output touched hearts and minds around the world in ways that can’t be feel like an understatement. The man loved what he did, and the world kept that same energy and then some.

With the entire world mourning him right now—El Salvador held a nationwide mourning for the late creator, and fans across the world have all memorialized him in their own way—we wanted to know some of your favorite moments from Toriyama’s works. Whether it’s Dragon Ball, Dr. Slump, or anything else he touched, we want to hear about it in the comments below.

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