Skip to main content

Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama dead at 68

The legendary manga artist also made huge contributions to the Dragon Quest series and many other titles.

A compilation of characters that Akira Toriyama worked on throughout his illustrious career.
Image credit: Akira Toriyama/VG247

Akira Toriyama, the creator of the Dragon Ball franchise and a legendary manga artist in general, has died at the age of 68. The news was announced by his production office, Bird Studio, on social media.

Toriyama died March 1 of subdural haematoma - a blood clot on his brain. A small funeral for family has already taken place.

"It's our deep regret that he still had several works in the middle of creation with great enthusiam," the official statement notes. "Also, he would have many more things to achieve."

"However, he has left many manga titles and works of art to this world," the statement continues. "We hope that Akira Toriyama's unique world of creation continues to be loved by everyone for a long time to come."

Toriyama's success in manga led to him becoming well-known, and his art style quickly became one of the most recognizable in 1980s Japan. That led to offers of work on video games. The result is a towering video game legacy. The greatest gaming impact was actually Toriyama's first brush with the medium, where he provided character designs to 1986's Dragon Quest. In the almost four decades since, Toriyama's art style has become the hallmark of that series, with him directly working on most of its many entries and spin-offs.

In 1995, Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii was set to partner with Final Fantasy's Hironobu Sakaguchi on a new game - and Toriyama was invited to design its characters and much of its world. That game became Chrono Trigger, regarded as one of the finest examples of its genre and an all-time great.

Sakaguchi then became Toriyama's second most common gaming collaborator outside of the Dragon Quest and Dragon Ball franchises. He contributed art to the Square's Tobal fighting games on PS1, and Sakaguchi's first game outside of Square, Blue Dragon. In 2021 he contributed to Sakaguchi's most recent title, Fantasian.

With Bandai Namco, Toriyama worked on many Dragon Ball games as well as titles like 2019's Jump Force. Next month, Bandai Namco will publish an all-new Toriyama game with the release of Sand Land, an ambitious new Japanese RPG based on a Toriyama manga from 2000. The artist supervised the game's development.

While Toriyama will always be remembered for his contributions to manga and anime first, for gamers he remains a towering figure - and one whose art style will continue to be imitated and recreated for many years to come. Given how hard working he was, it's likely we'll also continue to see new games projects he worked on be revealed and released posthumously over the coming years. Dragon Quest XII, which was announced in 2021, will surely feature his character designs when it is released.

Read this next

news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news