Legendary creator and artist Akira Toriyama has passed

Legendary creator and artist Akira Toriyama has passed

A pillar of pop culture has left us too soon

We have truly heartbreaking news to share: Akira Toriyama, the creator of Dragon Ball and an absolute root of pop culture, has passed away at the age of 68.

The artist was known for his decades of work in anime and manga, video games and film. His work influenced millions — maybe billions! — of people, across all ages, sexes, backgrounds, religions, to find joy in his work and branch off into their own. We would not be where we are today if it wasn’t for what he created.

I was a gamer growing up, but never had too many games because my immigrant family lived at near poverty levels of income. When my parents surprised us one Christmas with a subscription to Nintendo Power that just so happened to come with a copy of Dragon Warrior (now Dragon Quest), the game’s art and style hooked me. I instantly became and RPG player. That transitioned into a love of deep storytelling and game mechanisms and world design — and game art — that stuck with me and was a basis for getting into art and design, where my main career path is now. Toriyama was the man behind those incredible creatures and monsters and characters I saw on the screen. The first game I ever created was for the Commodore 64, and was heavily influenced by his Dragon Quest designs. I remained a fan my entire life, and was always overjoyed when I saw others talk about games that he worked on, or Dragon Ball, or everything else.

Sadly, he passed earlier this month after a battle with illness. May his memory be eternal — his influence and passion already is.

Akira Toriyama, 1955-2024