Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball mangaka, Chrono Trigger designer and creator of Dragon Quest’s Slime, has died

  • Mar 11, 2024
  • Liam Hoffmann
Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball mangaka, Chrono Trigger designer and creator of Dragon Quest’s Slime, has died

Akira Toriyama, a legendary figure in the world of manga and video games, has left an unforgettable legacy following his passing. Best recognized for his work on the iconic Dragon Ball series, Toriyama's creative genius revolutionized manga and extended its reach into successful anime adaptations, a wide array of video game adaptations, and much more. Among these, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot and Dragon Ball FighterZ stand out as direct results of his artistic vision, with CyberConnect2, the developers behind Kakarot, even closing their offices to honor his memory.

Toriyama's influence stretches beyond the Dragon Ball universe. His role as the chief character designer for the inaugural Dragon Quest game in 1986 is notable, swiftly generating a vast array of characters and monsters that propelled the game to acclaim. The Dragon Quest series, enriched by Toriyama's designs, continues to captivate audiences worldwide. His distinct style, especially the creation of the Slime monster, remains a hallmark of the franchise.

His collaboration in 1995 with Dragon Quest's Yuji Horii and Final Fantasy's Hironobu Sakaguchi on Chrono Trigger marked another groundbreaking moment in RPG history. This partnership, which originated from the shared success and inspiration between Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, led to further collaborations, including projects like Blue Dragon and a contribution to Fantasia.

The news of Toriyama's demise at 68 due to an acute subdural hematoma has evoked a profound sense of loss across the entertainment and gaming industry. His passing has touched numerous fans, developers, writers, and artists, including Yuji Horii, who lamented the loss of a prolific collaborator in character design for over three decades, and Hironobu Sakaguchi, who honored Toriyama's professionalism and influence on his own work.

Toriyama's death has also resonated with key figures in the gaming industry, including Tekken director Katsuhiro Harada and former Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono, who acknowledged the vast impact Toriyama had on their creativity.

At the time of his passing, Toriyama was involved in several ongoing projects, indicating his relentless passion for creation. Among these was a video game adaptation of Sand Land, his lesser-known manga, scheduled for release soon, and Dragon Quest XII: The Flames of Fate, anticipated to feature some of his last designs.

His departure leaves behind a rich tapestry of manga and artworks that have shaped the entertainment landscape. The hope is that Akira Toriyama's unique world and creations will continue to inspire and be cherished for many years to come, honoring his remarkable contribution to the worlds of manga and video gaming.

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