Akira Toriyama, creator of the popular Dragon Ball franchise, has died at the age of 68. Toriyama, who was one of the most successful manga creators of the 20th century, died in Japan March 1, 2024, from an acute subdural hematoma.

Bird Studio and Capsule Corporation Tokyo, announced, “It’s our deep regret that he still had several works in the middle of creation with great enthusiasm. Also, he would have many more things to achieve.” Athletes retire in their forties, businessmen in their fifties and sixties. Creatives tend to continue creating until they are old and gray. If not for a blood clot, fans could have expected decades more work from Toriyama.

Akira Toriyama Life and Career

Akira Toriyama was born in Kiyosu, Aichi, Japan on April 5, 1955. He passed away on March 1, 2024, and has already had a funeral, a small, private ceremony attended only by immediate family and close friends.

In 1982, he married fellow manga artist Yoshimi Kato, with whom he had two children, a son and a daughter. SciFi.Radio offers our condolences to his family and his many fans.

Like Dr. Seuss, he began his artistic career in advertising. In 1981, Akira Toriyama won the Shogakukan Manga Award for Dr. Slump, which sold 35 milliion copies in Japan. His first published work was “Wonder Island” in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1978.

From 1980 to 1984 Weekly Shonen Jump  serialized “Dr Slump,” which made Toriyama a household name in Japan. He later worked as a character design for the video games Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger, and Blue Dragon.

It was the Dragon Ball franchise that was Toriyama’s greatest success. Many credited Dragon Ball with making manga popular worldwide, not just in Japan. In a 2013 interview with Tetsuo Iwamoto, Toriyama admitted he had no idea why Dragon Ball was such an international success. He said he never intended to be didactic. “While the manga was being serialized, the only thing I wanted as I kept drawing was to make Japanese boys happy.” He succeeded in that, making boys and girls across six continents happy with his artwork and stories. A storyteller can ask for no greater epitaph.

He also said, “The role of my manga is to be a work of entertainment through and through,” he said. “I dare say I don’t care even if (my works) have left nothing behind, as long as they have entertained their readers.” That’s a healthy attitude for an artist.

Tributes From Friends and Peers

In Time Magazine, One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda said , “Toriyama proved to a disbelieving audience that “manga can be fun for both children and adults,” He showed that manga could travel the world.”

Naruto author Masashi Kishimoto said Toriyama was a major influence on him.

Masakazu Katsura, creator of Tiger & Bunny, said “He was so funny. He was naughty, cute, sharp-tongued and humble. I miss our long phone calls where we just talked about dumb things.”

Domo arigato gozaimashita , Akira Tomiyama. You will be missed and long remembered. Thank you for everything.


Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.