A few words of gratitude for Akira Toriyama

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I love comics. Like many of my fellow Finns, I grew up following the adventures of Donald Duck, especially when they were authored by masters like Carl Barks and Don Rosa. I spent a lot of time sitting in the comic book section of the local library, reading every work on those shelves made by Hergé, René Goscinny, Albert Uderzo, Morris, and other European writers and artists. Of American authors, Bill Watterson and Jeff Smith among others made a similarly large impact on my reading habits and tastes.

It wasn't until my teens that Japanese comics — or "manga", as some may call them — were becoming popular among my nerd friends. Thankfully my English skills were decent enough at that point, because ordering American-published translations online was just about the only viable way of reading these black-and-white books. Scanlating eventually became a thing, but running out of official physical books and having to read the last few volumes of Love Hina on dial-up internet and in that crispy early scanlation quality was quite an experience.

Dragon Ball may not have been the first Japanese comic translated to Finnish, but its release in 2003 (19 years after its original Japanese serialization) certainly paved the way for the local manga translation industry. Little wonder, since by that time the Dragon Ball Z anime was already an incredibly popular TV show the world over. The creator of the series, Akira Toriyama, had gained prominence in his home country with his previous Weekly Shounen Jump serialization, Dr. Slump, but it was the best-selling manga series Dragon Ball that launched him to international fame.

What I saw in Toriyama's work was the spirit of all the other greats I'd read before him. His stories are fun and engaging, but as a bit of an aspiring artist myself, when I think of Dragon Ball I particularly admire his sheer skill at creating comics: the structure and composition, posing and movement, efficiency and clarity, scale and timing. The way the panels flow. How he uses everything from the speech bubbles, gutters, sounds effects, backgrounds and characters to intentionally lead your eyes exactly where they need to go, to create not just a sense of space but of time flowing on a static piece of paper. When you re-read Dragon Ball, try looking for these elements and see how effortlessly you're being guided to fill in with your imagination the spaces between and within the panels. This is exactly how I'd aspire to draw a comic.

Works of great people like him have in many ways brought me to where I am and taught me the skills I have, and I'm thankful for it. Akira Toriyama has sadly passed away, but on behalf of myself, the rest of the staff, and hopefully you, I wish and trust that his art will continue to inspire, teach, and entertain people all over the world for as long as we're here.
 
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  • Vegeta standing next to a grave while its raining at night

 
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Today is 9th of march. He was just there even 3 months ago, two months ago, 2 weeks ago.....:qq: It's been a while since I last perceived time like a cold wall that is slowly getting thicker. Whether it's frieza's 5 minutes or 5 minutes spent inside time chamber.

I had much to say but I'd rather go back to training than sharing bitter past which would have been far worse without DBZ and anime. I need to show him the progress of my training derived from his simple teachings. He booked all my remaining birthdays after all.
 
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I haven't been hit this hard since Kazuki Takahashi passed. It's a tragedy of unimaginable magnitude. His passing has made the world a little less bright. Otaku will be reading his works even a century from now, so in that sense, he has achieved true immortality.
 
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I've not read or watched much Dragon Ball, nor his other works, (I should probably fix that now) but his influence on what I have read and watched is very apparent. So if nothing else I'm very appreciative of how he's shaped the industry and creators I have come to know and love.
Thank You.
 
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Dragon ball has had such a positive influence on my life. It got me into lifting and motivated me enough to get into a good university. Toriyama's passing was so abrupt, and it could not have happened at a worse time since 2024 was supposed to be the big year of dragon ball; It's the year of the dragon, and Toriyama was also in the process of making daima. As such, this incident is very tragic even if I don't know him personally, and have only seen some pictures of him. Regardless, the impact he had on me, many others, the whole manga and anime industry, and the entire world is significant to say the least, and his legacy shall forever live on. As Tite Kubo said, Toriyama is immortal if his works are remembered, which they will be.
 
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I haven't been hit this hard since Kazuki Takahashi passed. It's a tragedy of unimaginable magnitude. His passing has made the world a little less bright. Otaku will be reading his works even a century from now, so in that sense, he has achieved true immortality.
Kazuki Takahashi died a protagonist so his death is more of a reward.
 

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