Anime And Manga Creators Pay Tribute To Akira Toriyama (The Ultimate Compilation)

The most extensive list you’ll find on the internet containing statements from important figures in the anime & manga industry on Toriyama’s death.


It’s a sad day for Dragon Ball fans, or rather manga fans in general, as one of the industry’s most popular authors, Akira Toriyama, passed away on Mar 1, 2024. An official statement came from Bird Studio and Capsule Corporation Tokyo announcing the unfortunate news on Mar 8.

Following the announcement, scores of popular creators and manga authors, including the big three creators, Eiichiro Oda, Masashi Kishimoto, and Tite Kubo, paid their respects to the legendary mangaka on Twitter, where they shared how much the man inspired them in their desire to become artists.

We also encourage you to take a look at the comments of the voice actors of Goku (Masako Nozawa), Piccolo (Toshio Furukawa), Vegeta (Ryo Horikawa).

We begin the list with Toriyama’s first and most beloved editor, whom he made a villain in Dr. Slump.

Kazuhiko Torishima


“The last time we worked together was on the book we published last year, ‘Dr. Mashirito’s Strongest Manga Technique.’ In that book, ‘Torishima and Toriyama Back Then’ was the last manga we made together. 45 years, thank you very much. Mr. Toriyama, you were the best manga artist I have ever known.”

Yūji Horii (Dragon Quest creator and game designer)

“Honestly, I’m still filled with a sense of disbelief at this all-too-sudden news of Toriyama-san‘s passing. Toriyama-san was an acquaintance of mine from when I was a writer for Shōnen Jump, and at the behest of his editor, Torishima-san, I decided to ask him to do the art for Dragon Quest when I started work on that game.

More than 37 years later, he’s drawn so many charming designs for characters and monsters that I could hardly count them all. The history of Dragon Quest is of a piece with Toriyama-san‘s character designs. Toriyama-san, along with the late Sugiyama-sensei, was a longtime partner in making Dragon Quest.

To think that he would die….

As for what else I could say, I can’t put anything more into words than this. It’s really, truly heartbreaking.”

Takao Koyama (Dr. Slump / Dragon Ball Z anime Screenwriter)

“There are too many memories…. You never know what life is like. I pray for his soul to rest in peace. Acute subdural hematoma. Was he hit in the head?”

“My life as a screenwriter has been greatly improved by the fact that I was included among the screenwriters for Dr. Slump.
It is also thanks to Dragon Ball that the organization I later formed, “Brother Noppo”, became involved.
Akira Toriyama was one of my greatest benefactors, to whom I can never turn my back.
I never imagined that he would pass away before me.
Last year, I also had my right toe amputated due to gangrene in April, and I barely survived and was hospitalized for 100 days until the end of July. Even now, there is still one place where the wound has not healed, and I am unable to wear shoes.
It seems that Toriyama was also in a difficult situation last year, and I have no words of comfort for him. And to think that he would pass away…
If I had not met Toriyama’s works, my life as a screenwriter, and the lives of my students as screenwriters, would have been greatly changed.”

Hiroki Takahashi (Singer of Makafushigi Adventure)

“I express my profound reverence and sympathies to Akira Toriyama-sensei, the esteemed creator and originator of all things. As an individual who holds a modest position on the outskirts of his creations, I shall make a conscious effort to persistently communicate the splendor of Dragon Ball to enthusiasts worldwide. May your soul find eternal peace.”

Hironobu Kageyama (Singer of CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA)


“Singing ‘CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA!’ is the biggest medal in my life! The loss of the sun is too much to bear But the power of Toriyama-sensei’s works Will continue to be a strong light And may it illuminate people all over the world. May you rest in peace.”

Naotoshi Shida (Dragon Ball animator)

“It’s too sad…it’s too soon and I’m speechless. I learned a lot from Toriyama-san’s manga and being involved in the animation staff. The illustrations in Dragon Ball Volume 13 are my favorite and contain everything I strive for, I can only thank him for that. I pray for his soul to rest in peace.”

Masaki Sato (Dragon Ball animator)

“I am proud to have been involved in the animation of Akira Toriyama-sensei’s Dragon Ball. I pray from the bottom of my heart that he may rest in peace.”

Chikashi Kubota (Animation Director for Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero)

“It is too sudden and I am very sad to hear this. He was the most influential person in my life. Without Toriyama-sensei, I would not have been an animator. My deepest condolences.”

“The animation at the beginning of “Super Hero” infused Dragon Ball’s love with the idea, ‘I’ll put everything I have into this fist!!’ Looking back, I’m really glad I gave it my all back then. Did it reach Toriyama-sensei? Unfortunately, the opportunity to ask him directly about his impressions was lost forever.”

Megumi Ishitani (Episode Director of Dragon Ball Super and One Piece)

“I pray that your soul may rest in peace.”

Sanda (Dragon Ball Daima animator)

“This is the work that saved me many times when I felt like falling apart. This is the work that made me fall in love with Japan. Without Toriyama-sensei, I don’t think I would have become an animator. Thank you very much. May you rest in peace.”

Mami Koyama (Voice actor of Arale-chan from Dr. Slump)

“I have known him since Dr. Slump Arale-chan. Toriyama-sensei, who never appeared in the mass media, was always a guest on my radio programs and live concerts, and always supported me. He was another ‘Dr. Senbei Norimaki’ to me. His great contributions to the world with ‘love’, ‘dreams’, and ‘strength’ were incomparably great. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, offer my most heartfelt condolences, and pray for his happiness in the next world.”

Yuki Kaji (Voice actor of Eren Yeager from Attack on Titan)

“Akira Toriyama Sensei. Thank you for all the dreams and aspirations you’ve given us. Goku and Chrono are my childhood, and they will always be a part of me. Being able to voice the main character of Dragon Quest VIII was a dream come true for me, and it is something I will be proud of for the rest of my life. May you rest in peace.”

Yusuke Murata (One Punch Man manga artist)

“There were many things that I received from Toriyama-sensei, the ones which only he could give. I pray that he may rest in peace. Strangely, I don’t feel like he’s passed away at all. Perhaps because for me, he was almost like a star in the heavens even before he died. I have the feeling that I did not want to become a manga artist, but rather I wanted to become like Toriyama-sensei, and that is why I took this path. I wanted to draw like him. When I met him shortly after the serialization began, I was impressed by his personality, as he smiled and told me, a pay-as-you-go newcomer, about the background of Dragon Quest’s character design. I felt that Goku and Arale were indeed born from him. It was so sudden that I was stunned for the whole day today. I am still unable to accept the huge hole that has suddenly opened up, whether it is sadness or emptiness. We are grateful for the huge impact you have left on us, and for the time being, we will work while trying to clear our minds. Thank you very much, Toriyama-sensei.”

“At the start of One Punch Man’s serialisation, I thought, “If it’s in JUMP, then maybe, just maybe, Toriyama-sensei will read what I’ve drawn!” This was a real source of emotional support for me. This may seem strange given the “professionalism” that mangakas are valued for, but it really was.”

Naoki Urasawa (Author of Monster, 20th Century Boys, Pluto)

“When I first read Dr. Slump in Shōnen Jump, I thought this might be the guy to raise manga to the next level. But Toriyama-sensei went even beyond my expectations. I regret that I never got to have a nice long chat with him. Rest in peace”

Takehiko Inoue (Creator of Slam Dunk and Vagabond)

“I just can’t accept it. Thank you, Toriyama-sensei.”

Tatsuya Endo (Creator of Spy X Family)

“If it weren’t for Akira Toriyama, I probably would never have set my sights on becoming a mangaka. Even now, when I think about the reader’s perspective, I always think back to my childhood days when I excitedly looked forward to ‘Dragon Ball’ every week. Thank you for all the wonderful work.
I sincerely pray for the repose of Toriyama-sensei’s soul.”

Hideaki Sorachi (Creator of Gintama)

“Dragon Ball, Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger, the worlds in which I threw away my homework and devoted every spare moment before going to bed were all born from the pen of Toriyama-sensei. I was born from the eraser scraps that piled up after I admired his pen style and tried to imitate him, but I couldn’t succeed at all. Thank you, Toriyama-sensei, for teaching me so much about the world of manga. Thanks to you, I’ve become a man of a different kind who makes his living from Dragon Ball, even more so than Toriyama-sensei and Toyotarou-sensei. I don’t think this gaping hole in my heart will ever heal, even if I eat some Senzu beans. Still, I will always try to carry with me the Genki-dama (the energy ball) that you have scattered all over the world and continue to follow your heroic footsteps like the Monkey King while being covered with eraser dust. Thank you so much, Toriyama-sensei. I will always love you.”

Rifujin na Magonote (Creator of Mushoku Tensei)

“Dragon Ball and Doraemon have been a constant presence for guys of my age since birth. The aforementioned work has evolved alongside us, serving as the foundation of our own identities. The announcement of Toriyama’s demise has been a tremendously shocking incident.”

Tatsu Yukinobu (Author of Dandadan)

“I loved the works of Akira Toriyama.
The first manga I bought with my allowance was ‘Dragon Ball’. It was also the series that inspired me to draw manga.
Thank you very much for your wonderful works. I pray from the bottom of my heart that you may rest in peace.”

Yasuhisa Hara (Author of Kingdom manga)

“I was shocked to hear the news.
‘Dragon Ball’ was the manga I was most passionate about.
I sincerely pray for the repose of Toriyama-sensei’s soul.”

Takashi Shimada (Creator of Kinnikuman)

“I heard the news of Akira Toriyama’s passing during the day. He was five years older than us, but Yudetamago was one year older than him in terms of manga career.
When I saw ‘Dr. Slump’ for the first time, I was intimidated by the American comic style drawings and sophisticated gags, as we were both gag mangaka. I was also jealous of the first year of its anime series. We were really bickering and didn’t get along.
In the fourth year of serialization, ‘Kinnikuman’ became an anime, and I became more and more aware of our rivalry and stopped talking to him. However, in the early days, we were good friends, and we played games and exchanged color illustrations at banquets where mangaka gathered.
Toriyama-san was too young, just 68 years old. It’s really sad to hear this… I would like to express my deepest condolences.”

Yuugo Kobayashi (Author of Ao Ashi)

“To Akira Toriyama – Going to school was fun because Dragon Ball was there. You are my hero, my Goku. Toriyama-sensei, truly, I thank you for everything.”

Hiroyuki Asada (Author of Tegami Bachi)

“Akira Toriyama-sensei, thank you so much for all of your time. I really enjoyed many
moments. And I am really sorry about those other times.
You were always outrageously kind. Thank you very much. But I can’t accept it.
You always had just one beer at dinners. Please allow me to offer you one drink.”

Kazumata Oguri (Author of Hanasaka Tenshi Tenten-kun)

“I started buying Jump every week from the issue since ‘Dragon Ball’s serialization and was hooked on it.
When I met him at New Year’s parties, he spoke kindly to me and told me, “My daughter is a fan of Tenten-kun, so please sign my book next time,” which made me feel in heaven. He always felt like a far-reaching goal as the sun.
I pray from the bottom of my heart for the repose of the soul of Akira Toriyama.”

Kyosuke Usuta (Author of Sexy Commando Gaiden: Sugoi yo!! Masaru-san)

“He left behind a masterpiece as a gag manga artist with ‘Dr. Slump’, and then went on to create a masterpiece in manga history as an action story mangaka…
I don’t think such a genius will appear for another 100 years. I had a lot of fun with his works and they had a lot of influence on me. I pray for his soul to rest in peace.”

Masanori Morita (Author of Rookies)

“This coloured paper is completely sunburnt because it was displayed naked all the time until I framed it for the first time when I built a new work space six years ago.
I received it at a party when I was awarded an honorable mention in the Tezuka Award in my second year of high school. The words that accompanied it were the most encouraging of all.
Thank you very much! I became a serial writer!”

Ryuhei Tamura (Author of Beelzebub)

“I was stunned to learn of the passing of Akira Toriyama-san. Like many people involved in manga, he was definitely a North Star for me.
I still can’t get my feelings straight… I pray from the bottom of my heart that he may rest in

Riichiro Inagaki (Author of Dr. Stone)

It is too much of a shock to think of anything else, but for now, I just pray for his soul to rest.”

Kentaro Yabuki (Author of To Love Ru, Ayakashi Triangle)

“This is a long message. To put my mind at ease. Let me spell out my personal thoughts.
When I was a boy, I changed schools a lot and I tended to be alone. It all changed when I could make new friends anywhere by talking about ‘Dragon Ball’.
I learned the joy of drawing manga by copying many of Mr. Toriyama’s illustrations. I got hooked on ‘Dracula’ and ‘Chrono Trigger’.
The first time my picture appeared in Jump, it was because of a ‘Dragon Ball’ readers’ project postcard. I think that gave me confidence and led to my action of submitting to manga awards a few years later. I never had the chance to meet him in person, but even if I had, I might have been too afraid to approach him… That’s how much I admired him.

I would like to thank you for the illustrations you drew for ‘To LOVE-Ru’s 10th Anniversary and your kind comments. I will treasure them for the rest of my life.
He created many happy memories for me and for everyone’s life. I really appreciate Toriyama-san’s kindness.
I pray that one day I will be able to see you with a ring on your head… May you have a soulful rest in peace.”

Tsubasa Fukuchi (Author of The Law of Ueki)

“My God has passed away. I put my all into my work, making it my goal to someday meet and thank you for all you’ve done. It saddens me greatly to hear you’ve passed. I pray you find peace in the next world.”

“A day has passed since Akira Toriyama-sensei’s passing. I’ve cried for a while and have calmed down a little, so I’m writing this to sort out my feelings.
The first time I encountered sensei’s work was the Dr. Slump anime. Penguin Village was so cute and fun that I was engrossed in watching the anime every week.
Then Dragon Ball came on and I watched that every week as well. At the time, I wasn’t aware that it had a manga, and that the same author had created both.
At the time, a friend of mine introduced me to Shonen Jump, and it was there that I was shocked to find the Dragon Ball I watched on TV had a manga! It was a double critical hit.
Double in the sense that when I started reading the manga, there was much about the world I didn’t know. Goku went to heaven? Which is to say….he died?! Of course, at the time, the Saiyan Saga hadn’t aired on TV so this was a relatively new development. It came completely out of the blue, and heaven looked like so much fun in color.
So after that, I read Jump every week for Dragon Ball, At this point, however, I wasn’t aware of the system where a series that runs in a magazine is later collected into volumes so there was a bit I was missing—specifically, why Goku had died. Regardless, I kept on reading.
Despite this, Dragon Ball was a ton of fun. It’s probably the most interesting manga I’ve read. I’m sure I enjoyed the anime a ton, but Toriyama-sensei’s artwork is vivid and mesmerizing.
At that point, I had only a mild interest in being a mangaka, but upon reading his manga, my dream became fully manifested and changed from an interest to my life’s purpose.
“I want to go to where Toriyama-sensei is!!” I Thought.
There were two times in my life that I nearly gave up on living, but what kept me tethered to this life—to reality—was the dream Toriyama-sensei gave me. And now I’m saying goodbye to him without ever having the opportunity to see him in person…so I was never able to thank him. It’s incredibly painful, heartbreakingly so.
Toriyama-sensei, my name is Tsubasa Fukuchi. We’ve never met, and you probably have no idea who I am considering I’m published in another magazine, but I am a manga artist. I became a manga artist because of you. It’s because of the dream you gave me that I’ve come to the same battle field as you.
I’m still unable to accept the fact that you’re no longer with us, but with time, I will. I’ll strive to bring everything to this place you brought me. Toriyama-sensei, thank you. Thank you so very much!!”

SOW (Author of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED ECLIPSE)

“Akira Toriyama will be talked about in the same way as Murasaki Shikibu or Katsushika Hokusai, or even more so. Even after a hundred years or two hundred years. I can proudly say that I was lucky enough to be of the generation that was able to read his manga in the form of weekly serials with excitement, wondering, “What will happen next?”

I like the Piccolo Daimao Arc, you know. I was really surprised by the development from that point on. The Red Ribbon Army arc had a similar level of heroism, but Goku wasn’t quite there yet, and there were still some gags here and there, but I no longer felt the despair of “What’s going to happen?”

“The fierce battle of the Tenkaichi Budokai is over, and just when you think it’s over, Krillin dies so quickly. Goku’s face is filled with a rage never seen before. The Flying Nimbus is also obliterated. Tenshinhan is helpless, and even Master Roshi dies.”

It definitely changed the times, raised the world a notch, and its influence has been felt by many creators today. It’s so amazing that when Akira Toriyama’s art book was released a little more than ten years ago, people even said, `Don’t read it yet if you’re a serialized manga artist, it’ll break your heart.”

If you think about it calmly, it’s a scary story. ‘Akira Toriyama’s latest manga is available every week and millions of children are reading it.’ The level of Japanese manga will rise. I often hear stories like ‘I decided to become a manga artist after reading Dragon Ball,’ but that was their ‘upper limit’ lol.

We continued to strive for that kind of success, and in big or small ways, even if the genre was different, we were in an environment where it was clear that ‘we can do this, or at least there are people who have done it.” It can be said that millions of people tried to figure out what they could do to get even one millimeter closer to that, in any form or by any method.

In that sense, it may have marked the end of another era. It’s not a pessimistic opinion, it’s not good or bad, but it’s often said that ‘the arrival and departure of a single person defines an era.’ That’s the kind of person he was, that’s the true story.”

James Shimoji (Music Composer for Lupin the 3rd)

“If Osamu Tezuka is the god of manga, Akira Toriyama was the revolutionary child of manga. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Dr. Slump is the beginning of a new type of manga expression that connects to the modern era, and is completely different from the manga that existed up until then. Thank you for your wonderful work.”

Masakazu Katsura (Toriyama’s personal friend and fellow artist)

“My strength fails me, and I can’t find the will to do anything.

This isn’t the kind of thing I want to be commenting on, you know? But I will write something. Once I get started, I’ve got a million things to say, so it might get extremely long, but I’ll try and summarize it as compactly as possible. Still, I haven’t processed my feelings, so please forgive my rambling.

Even looking back, it’s no exaggeration — when I visited him at home, or had him come stay over at my place, or when we went out together for fun, I have nothing but good memories, and every time we talked on the phone, I got tired from all the laughter. He was so much fun. So dirty-minded, so adorable, so sharp-tongued, and so humble.

In my principal occupation of drawing comics, we did some work together, and that was fun, too. But we spent 99% of our relationship not even talking about comics. As a cartoonist, the things we were looking at, and our levels as authors, were so different that I never paid attention to his greatness. I did know about it, of course. But when I came into contact with him, I never felt that in the slightest. It’s his personality. That’s why, even now, I can only think of him as a friend, rather than as a great cartoonist.

Last summer, before I had surgery, he got word of it from somewhere, and sent me an email. It was reeeeeally rare to get an email from him, and the contents were all regarding my health — he seemed to be worried about me. We had known each other for over 40 years, but I think it was the first time Toriyama-san had ever treated me that kindly. I thought Hell had frozen over. Normally, there wouldn’t have been anything but jokes or dumb stories. What’s up with that? This isn’t any time to be worrying about somebody else. Geeze. I think it was a little bit before that, but when I called him feeling all kinds of ill, I told him, “I’ll probably die first, so make sure you hold a memorial for me, MC’d by you, Toriyama-san! Also, it’ll really burnish my legacy if you give a speech, so do that, too!” He promised me, and yet I couldn’t hold him to it.

Why, oh why didn’t I just call him after he sent me that email? I seriously regret it. The thought of not being able to share any more dumb stories on long phone calls with him is just too terrible to fathom. I have so many things saved up that I want to tell him. All sorts of things to say. If only I could talk to him, one more time, just like always — even if he was only half listening.

It’s not fair to let that flippant “OK” you sent, in response to my reply saying to contact me later, be the last thing I ever hear from you. I ache from the bottom of my heart.”

About Dragon Ball:

Dragon Ball is a manga series by Akira Toriyama. It first began its serialization in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 1984.

The manga was later adapted into a multitude of animated series, movies, and games.

The franchise consists of five different anime series, about 21 animated movies, and around 10 games spanning various platforms, from Famicon to Playstation and Xbox.

Synopsis of the Dragon Ball anime:

Goku Son is a young boy who lives in the woods all alone—that is, until a girl named Bulma runs into him in her search for a set of magical objects called the “Dragon Balls.”

Since the artefacts are said to grant one wish to whoever collects all seven, Bulma hopes to gather them and wish for a perfect boyfriend.

Goku happens to be in possession of a dragon ball, but unfortunately for Bulma, he refuses to part ways with it, so she makes him a deal: he can tag along on her journey if he lets her borrow the dragon ball’s power.

With that, the two set off on the journey of a lifetime.

Source: Twitter I, II, III