The World Mourns Dragon Ball Creator Akira Toriyama

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Image: Shonen Jump

Overnight, the world was shocked with the news that Akira Toriyama—the creator of Dragon Ball and Dr Slump among countless other manga, the character designer on legendary video games like Dragon Quest and Chrono Trigger, and one of the most influential artists of our time—passed away. Now, fans and creators across the world are mourning his loss.

There are not many ways to truly articulate just how influential Toriyama’s work was to legions of people—across mediums, across series, across forms and styles and across multiple generations, there are few contemporary artists who it’s possible to say didn’t just touch the lives of billions of fans, but fundamentally reshaped the industries he operated in. It’s impossible to quantify just what manga’s reach across the world, and the shape of its most popular trends and series, would be without Dragon Ball’s influence and inspirations—and the same can be said for its anime adaptations, and not just how it shaped the industry at home but proliferated the form across the entire planet.

In further example of this continued miraculous reach, Toriyama’s design work on Dragon Quest undeniably reshaped the Japanese roleplaying genre fundamentally, a legacy that burned his design work into the minds of generations of gamers and creatives alike with his continued work in the field on the likes of Chrono Trigger, Blue Dragon, and many more. Few artists are blessed to have created a singular piece of design of character work so renowned and iconic it is practically a universally recognized global symbol: and yet Toriyama’s legacy is filled with them, from Goku, to Chrono, to the Slime, to countless, immeasurable others.

There will unlikely be another artist in any of our lifetimes to so fundamentally alter the landscape of our world like Akira Toriyama did—and whenever there is, in some ways they likely themselves are following in footsteps of inspirations his work left.

Click through to see tributes from across the worlds of anime and manga and beyond, from just a handful of creatives whos lives were changed by Toriyama and his work.