//The Legacy of Akira Toriyama

The Legacy of Akira Toriyama

Japanese mangaka Akira Toriyama, born in 1955 in Nagoya, passed away on March 1, 2024, at the age of 68, flooding the world with the deep sorrow of a generation that grew up with the teachings of Dragon Ball, his most recognized and acclaimed work. The news was announced on the evening of March 7 and became viral on March 8. It is known that the family mentioned they held a very intimate farewell ceremony and did not want gifts from fans, so they did not announce the news until after the ceremony.

BY: Sanleera Vexadan

Image retrieved from: Youtube

The Dragon Ball franchise commented through X as follows: “We are deeply saddened to inform that mangaka Akira Toriyama passed away on March 1 due to an acute subdural hematoma” (accumulation of blood between the skull and the surface of the brain).

Some of Toriyama’s most representative works are:

Dragon Quest (1986-2024): RPG video game whose characters were designed by Toriyama

Chrono Trigger (1995): Classic video game released for the Super NES, with darker monsters than those of Dragon Quest.

Neko Majin (1999-2005): Parody of Dragon Ball where Goku even appears (If you ask me: Toriyama had a sense of humor).

Dr. Slump (1980-1984): Comic work that was adapted from manga to anime where the protagonist, Arale Norimaki, (a robot that looks like a girl and runs like Naruto would years later) torments the villagers of Penguin Village.

Sand Land (2024): Anime that will arrive this month on Disney+ and that was completed.


As part of the Millennial generation, I grew up watching Dragon Ball. I began following the adventure from when Goku was a child until he became a grandfather, cried, moved by the ending of Dragon Ball GT, which even though it wasn’t canon, left a deep mark with Goku’s departure. In more recent years, Dragon Ball returned in anime and movies that made me deeply happy although it was difficult for me to keep up with them. Over time, I had to admit that Dragon Ball Super was for the new generations more than for the old guard and although I didn’t follow it with the excitement with which I watched the series on open television at the age of 10, I was glad to know that the Z warriors were still there to defend the illusion of the new generations, to introduce them to the world of Japanese animation as they did since 1984 when it began to be published and went viral.

Telling Goku’s story seems nonsensical to me because it is inconceivable to me that someone is reading this entry without knowing the basics of Dragon Ball, however; just in case there was a lost soul, the summary is as follows: The initial protagonist is Son Goku, a Saiyan who lands on Earth aboard a spaceship and is raised by an old man he calls “Grandpa Gohan.” During the initial series, we see Goku cope with the loss of that father figure and gradually get to know the world until he meets the architect of the entire adventure: Bulma.

Bulma is the one who first tells Goku about the existence and purpose of the Dragon Balls, convinces Goku to give her the ball left by his grandfather as the only memory of the time they lived together and accompany her on her adventure. Thus, they embark on the quest for the 7 magical spheres capable of granting almost any wish.

Throughout the journey, Goku and Bulma meet other friends and form an alliance with them, some even initially start as their enemies, are defeated in battle, and gradually join the Z warriors who save the world time and time again from formidable enemies.

But Dragon Ball is more than animation based on punches, epic fights, fan service, ecchi scenes, comedy, and a lot, but a lot of food. It is also a symbol of friendship, a work that aims to teach important things to its audience, such as the value of effort and giving each thing its special place. As an example, Master Roshi has a phrase that personally, I find so relevant that I consider it a gem of modern education:

“You have to work, you have to learn, you have to eat, you have to rest, and you also have to play. Those are the basics of Master Roshi’s training for good condition.”

And just like the previous phrase, there are many other things that I find important to highlight from the work, for example: The responsibility Piccolo takes on with Gohan, the fact that Gohan prefers to study rather than fight, the way Bulma is approached as an intelligent, scientific woman indispensable to the work in a context where women did not take as much relevance to society, the changes that were taking place in Vegeta throughout the series that gave him an incredible character development, the strength of its female characters, addressing topics such as death, illness, and loss, themes like hope, religion, work, collaboration, and the insatiable pursuit of improving and refining the skills one has for the benefit of others.

Not only that, but the message of the work, it seems to me, is a message of hope and unity, Goku’s most powerful attack is performed thanks to the people of the world giving him their energy, collaborating with him, raising their hands and depositing in him not only the energy that will form the Genkidama but also their hopes and wishes.

For all the above, for the message, the design, the characters, the story, and even the soundtrack, Dragon Ball will forever remain in the memory of many of us as one of the most representative stories of our childhood. Therefore, I do not hesitate to position myself in favor of the words of Eiichiro Oda, creator of One Piece, friend, and admirer of Toriyama.

“Toriyama died too soon and left the bar too high… I am overwhelmed by sadness.”

Many things were left unfinished with Toriyama’s death, such as the release of Dragon Ball Daima expected for the fall of 2024, which would coincide with the 40th anniversary of Dragon Ball or the future of Dragon Ball Super, which almost certainly will be in the hands of Toyotaro, who has been illustrating the work since 2015 and who dedicated the following words to Toriyama:

“I drew manga because I wanted Toriyama-sensei to praise me. He was everything to me.”

With arms raised to the sky and hands extended, I would like to thank Akira Toriyama for an excellent childhood thanks to his works.

Wherever you are, receive some of our energy.