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Akira Toriyama

"Hang in there!! To all the victims. This is truly awful, but please don't give up, and hang in there no matter what!"
— Akira Toriyama's message to the Japanese earthquake's victims (2011)

Akira Toriyama (鳥山 明, Toriyama Akira), born on April 5, 1955, in Kiyosu, Aichi, Japan, is a widely known and acclaimed Japanese manga artist known most famous for his Dragon Ball series in 1984. It is difficult to pinpoint the source of Toriyama's artwork inspiration. He admires Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy and was impressed by Walt Disney's One Hundred and One Dalmatians, which he remembers for the great art. Jackie Chan's Drunken Master movie also influenced him greatly.


His first manga was the story Wonder Island, published in the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 1978, and first gained fame for his manga Dr. Slump, published in Shonen Jump from 1980 to 1984. Dragon Ball was published from 1984 to 1995.

The success from his very well known Dragon Ball franchise "forced" Akira Toriyama to work on Dragon Ball from 1984 to 1995. During that time, he made 519 chapters, collected into 42 volumes. Each volume has an average of 200 pages, so the entire Dragon Ball storyline extends to almost 9,000 pages. The success of Dragon Ball led to three animated television series (Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT), feature-length animated movies and video games. Unlike Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT was not based on Akira Toriyama's original manga, instead being created by Toei and Toriyama as a sequel.

In an interview conducted in 2007 with Shōnen Jump, Akira Toriyama revealed that he does not consider what is to occur in proceeding chapters of his stories.


Toriyama's most popular characters, Goku and Arale

  • Awawa World - Unreleased one-shot from 1977.
  • Mysterious Rain Jack - Unreleased one-shot from 1978.
  • Wonder Island - 2 part One-Shot released in 1978-1979. Notable for being Toriyama's first published manga and the debut of Gala, Pagos & Gyaosu who become recurring characters in his later work Dr. Slump.
  • Today's Highlight Island - One-Shot released in 1979
  • Tomato - One-Shot released in 1979. Notable for being the debut of Sourman although he only appears in his secret identity Kenta Kuuraku.
  • Dr. Slump - The first major series created by Toriyama that ran from 1980-1984 spawning 18 volumes. The characters and setting appear in Dragon Ball.
  • Escape - One-Shot released in 1981. The female protagonist and an anthropomorphic character from this one-shot appear in the episode of the Dragon Ball anime titled "Prelude to Vengeance".
  • Pola & Roid - One-Shot released in 1981. King Nikochan & his assistant make cameo appearances in it. The main female character scares them off by dressing up as Arale Norimaki.
  • Pink - One-Shot released in 1982.
  • Mad Matic - One-Shot released in 1982
  • Chobit - 2 part One-Shot released in 1983
  • Dragon Boy - 2 part One-Shot released in 1983. Notable for being the proto-type of the Dragon Ball series.
  • The Adventures of Tongpoo - 2 part One-Shot released in 1983. Notable for introducing an early concept for the Capsule as well as being the proto-type for Dragon Ball's second chapter "No Balls!".
  • Dragon Ball - The most well known series by Toriyama that started in 1984 and went all the way to 1995 spawning 42 volumes.

Toriyama's message to the 2011 Japanese earthquake's victims

  • Mr. Ho - One-Shot released in 1986.
  • Lady Red - 4 part One-Shot released in 1987.
  • Kennosuke-sama - One-Shot released in 1987.
  • Sonchoh - One-Shot released in 1987.
  • Mamejiro - One-Shot released in 1988.
  • Karamaru - One-Shot released in 1989.
  • Wolf - One-Shot released in 1990.
  • Cashman Saving Soldier - 3 part One-Shot released in 1991.
  • Dub & Peter - 4 part One-Shot released in 1992.
  • Go!Go!Ackman - 11 part One-Shot released in 1993.
  • Chotto Kaettekita Dr. Slump - 4 volume sequel to Dr. Slump that ran from 1994-1997. Goku makes an appearance in this series.
  • Tokimecha - One-Shot released in 1996.
  • Alien X-Peke - One-Shot released in 1997.
  • Bubul - One-Shot released in 1997.
  • Cowa! - 1 volume series that started in 1997 and ended in 1998.
  • New Cashman Saving Soldier - One volume sequel to Cashman Saving Soldier released in 1998.
  • Tahi Mahi - One-Shot released in 1998.
  • Kajika - 1 volume series that ran in 1998.
  • Neko Majin - a self parody of the Dragon Ball series that ran from 1999-2005. characters from the Dragon Ball series make appearances.
  • Hyowtam - One-Shot released in 2000.
  • Sand Land - 1 volume series that ran in 2000.
  • Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo - One-Shot released in 2006.
  • Cross Epoch - One-Shot crossover between Dragon Ball and Eiichiro Oda's One Piece released in 2006.
  • Dr. Mashirito Abale-chan - One-Shot about Dr. Slump's antagonist Dr. Mashirito released in 2007.
  • Sachi-chan Gū!! - One-Shot released in 2008.
  • Jiya - 3 part One-Shot that ran from 2009-2010.
  • Kintoki - the newest One-Shot by Akira Toriyama released in 2010.



  • Akira Toriyama created a character based off himself called "Tori-Bot", and made few appearances in the early parts of the Dragon Ball manga, in the Dragon Ball Z TV series and movies, and in Dragon Ball GT.
  • Akira Toriyama's clean line and design sense led to jobs designing characters for the phenomenally popular Dragon Quest series of role-playing games (formerly called Dragon Warrior in North America). Toriyama has also served as the character designer for the Super Famicom RPG Chrono Trigger, the fighting game Tobal No. 1 for the PlayStation (as well as its sequel, Tobal 2, released only in Japan), and the Mistwalker Xbox 360 exclusive RPG Blue Dragon.
  • His works after Dragon Ball tend to be short (100-200 page) stories, including Cowa!, Kajika, and Sandland, as well as one-shots, like the spoof Neko Majin.
  • Jackie Chan's early movies had a noticeable influence on Akira Toriyama's stories.
  • He has stated that his favorite character in Dragon Ball is Piccolo and that his favorite movie/special was Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku.
  • Akira Toriyama has stated that he is a fan of the Star Wars series. He also said he would listen to the film's music whilst drawing.