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Dragon Ball Creator Akira Toriyama Passed Away At 68, ‘One Piece’s Eiichiro Oda Releases A Statement

Oda expressed his deep sadness over the 68-year-old mangaka’s loss with an online statement.

The manga and anime communities were shaken by the news that Akira Toriyama passed away on March 1, 2024, due to a subdural hematoma, which is a collection of blood on the brain’s surface causing damage. The official ‘Dragon Ball’ website shared the news on March 7, 2024.

In response to Toriyama’s passing, Eiichiro Oda shared his thoughts and feelings through Shonen Jump. Oda expressed sadness at losing Toriyama ‘too early’ and touched on the personal loss of never seeing him again.

He also reflected on his admiration for Toriyama, which began in his childhood. The ‘One Piece’ creator shared memories of their early friendship, especially highlighting the first time the late writer called him a ‘friend.’

The ‘Dragon Ball’ Creator’s Influence On The Industry

Toriyama, who was 68 at the time of his passing, had a significant impact on the manga industry, influencing many artists, including Oda and Masashi Kishimoto. His work on ‘Dragon Ball’ and ‘Dragon Ball Z’ set new standards for anime with its engaging action sequences and dramatic storytelling.

Oda paid tribute to Toriyama’s influence by saying:

“I was one of those who took the baton from the days when reading manga made you a fool, and he also created an era when both adults and children could enjoy reading manga. He showed us the dream that manga can go worldwide. It was like watching a hero going forward.”

He Inspired Many, Oda Says

Beyond manga, Toriyama also contributed to video games as the character designer for ‘Chrono Trigger’ and the ‘Dragon Quest’ series. Oda noted that Toriyama’s work on ‘Dragon Ball’ has inspired creators across different industries since the 1980s.

Comparing Toriyama’s impact to a large tree, he remarked:

“For the manga artists of our generation who stood on the same stage, Toriyama’s works became more and more important to me as I got closer to the same stage. I even felt being scary. But I am just happy to see the aloof man himself again. Because we love him on a blood level.”

The ‘One Piece’ Writer Has Only Good Wishes For His Friend

Expressing his gratitude and respect, Oda added:

“With respect and gratitude for the creative world he has left behind. I pray for his soulful rest in peace. May heaven be the joyous world he envisioned.”

Before his passing, Toriyama was actively engaged in bringing the ‘Sand Land’ anime TV series to Disney+ and was working on the upcoming ‘Dragon Ball Daima’ anime series, expected to come out this fall.

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