'Dragon Ball' creator Akira Toriyama passes away at 68

Akira Toriyama
Akira Toriyama. Photo: Reuters/Instagram

Celebrated Japanese manga comic creator Akira Toriyama, famous for his iconic 'Dragon Ball' series which inspired beloved films, video games, and TV adaptations, passed away on March 1 due to a blood clot in his brain, confirmed by his production studio. He was 68 years old.

In a statement released on the official 'Dragon Ball' website, the studio expressed deep regret over Toriyama's passing, noting that he was actively engaged in several ongoing projects with great enthusiasm. They expressed hope that Toriyama's distinct creative world would continue to be cherished by fans for many years to come.

'Dragon Ball' was first serialised in Weekly Shonen Jump comic magazine in 1984 and was later adapted into movies, video games and TV series distributed in more than 80 countries.
Toriyama was also known as a character and monster designer of the blockbuster role-playing game series 'Dragon Quest'.

Many fans, and Japan's top government spokesman Yoshimasa Hayashi, paid tribute to Toriyama and the global influence of his work.
"We will never forget Akira Toriyama for the gift he left on this earth. I can't imagine a world without Dragon Ball," a fan wrote in section below the post.

Hayashi told reporters on Friday that Toriyama had played "extremely important role in demonstrating Japan's soft power".
"Mr. Toriyama's work has led to the widespread recognition of Japan's content around the world," he added.

"Dragon Ball", a martial arts fantasy series that follows the protagonist's search for orbs known as dragon balls that summon a wish-granting dragon, was inspired by a 16th-century Chinese novel and has a widespread following in China.
News of Toriyama's death was a top trending topic on social media platform Weibo, with 450 million views.
"Let's collect all seven Dragon Balls and then resurrect Mr. Akira Toriyama!" one user wrote on Weibo.
(With Reuters inputs)

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