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The Creator of Dragon Ball, Akira Toriyama, Has Sadly Passed Away

(Thr) Akira Toriyama, the Japanese manga artist who created the incredibly popular Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump series, has died. He was 68.

Toriyama died March 1 from an acute subdural hematoma, the official Dragon Ball website revealed on Friday and that his funeral was already held by close relatives. “He has left many manga titles and works of art to this world. Thanks to the support of so many people around the world, he has been able to continue his creative activities for over 45 years,” a statement on the website said.

Even if you’re not into anime, you’ve heard of Dragon Ball. Beyond being one of the most popular and bestselling manga series ever, it is also, by far, the most popular anime series of all time. It is also one of the few IPs that totally transcended race, age, religion etc.

For me, I only got into anime later in life and I say that because I never really considered DBZ to be traditional anime. To my attempting-to-be-cool teen brain, it was just a kick ass show I watched on Toonami just like Pokemon was for whatever channel that was on. It just never carried that next level anime sheen to it and that’s probably because of how easy to digest it is. It has a ton of anime-isms, but they just feel universal. 

There are a bunch of great scenes in both Dragon Ball and DBZ but I think most people would agree that Gohan going SS2 to kill Cell (and the cell games saga in general) was an incredible moment in animation. 

RIP, Toriyama, and thank you for making the amazing stories that help break an entire genre through into the west.