Anime, manga, and video game icon was 68.

Akira Toriyama, the legendary creator of Dragon Ball, has passed away.

News of the 68-year-old Nagoya-born manga artist and character designer’s passing came via an announcement by his Bird Studio production office on March 8, which reads:

Dear Friends and Partners,

We are deeply saddened to inform you that Manga creator Akira Toriyama passed away on March 1st due to acute subdermal hematoma. He was in age of 68.

It’s our deep regret that he still had several works in the middle of creation with great enthusiasm. Also, he would have many more things to achieve.

However, 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. We hope that Akira Toriyama’s unique world of creation continues to be loved by everyone for a long time to come.

We inform you this sad news, with gratefulness for your kindness during his lifetime.

Funeral service was held with his family and very few relatives. Following his wishes for tranquility, we respectfully inform you that we would not accept flowers, condolences gifts, visiting, offerings and others. Aso, we ask you to refrain from conducting interviews with his family.

Future plan for commemorative gathering is not decided, we will let you know when it’s confirmed. We deeply thank you for your understanding and support as always.

Though not as secretive about his private life as some manga creators, such as One Piece’s Eiichiro Oda or Ghost in the Shell’s Masamune Shirow, Toriyama did not make frequent public media appearances. However, he’s been consistently active on the creative front in recent years, with new entries in the Dragon Ball anime franchise and an anime movie adaptation of his Sand Land single volume manga that came out last summer. The Sand Land original net animation series is set to start in less than two weeks and its video game adaptation launches next month, followed by the the new Dragon Ball Daima anime TV series later this year.

▼ Trailer for the Sand Land anime series

Toriyama had no publicly known health issues, nor did his workload suggest that he was suffering from any debilitating chronic illness. Subdural hematoma, in which blood collects between the covering and surface of the train, is often caused by severe head trauma, such as the kind sustained in a car accident, though no statement has been made regarding what triggered the condition in Toriyama’s case.

As alluded to in the statement, it’s common for prominent members of the Japanese entertainment world to have an initial funeral with only close family and friends, followed by a larger, more publicized memorial gathering attended by other members of the industry.

Toriyama made his professional manga debut in 1978 with a one-shot story in Weekly Shonen Jump titled Wonder Island. Two years later, Toriyama began his first serialized manga, Dr. Slump, which ran from 1980 to 1984. 1984 was also the year in which Dragon Ball began serialization, and though it officially ended in 1995, the franchise’s adaptations and spinoffs have never really stopped, and have only picked up in intensity since the start of the still-ongoing Dragon Ball Super manga in 2015, for which Toriyama contributed the original concept and story outline. In addition, as a character designer Toriyama created the iconic look of the Dragon Quest video game series, as well as Chono Trigger and Tobal.

It’s sad to think that Toriyama leaves us while he still had stories left to tell. As not only one of the most beloved manga artists ever in Japan, but also one of the first to earn substantial fanbases overseas, his works have bridged generation gaps and cultural borders, and will no doubt continue to do so.

Source: Dragon Ball official website, Twitter/@DB_official_jp, Mezamashi Media via Yahoo! Japan News
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