Unlike Toriyama, Toyotaro Ensures To Plan His Stories Ahead While Drawing Chapters For The DBS Manga

In the Moro and Granolah arcs, the author was in a completely new territory without Toei’s help, making Chapters 50 to 100 tougher to write.


Dragon Ball Super celebrates the release of Chapter 100 and Volume 22 in December 2023 and in a special edition of the official website’s “Weekly Dragon Ball News” on New Year’s Day, DBS manga editor Victory Uchida sits down with author Toyotaro to look back over the 100 chapters of Dragon Ball Super so far and talk about some behind-the-scenes secrets!

During the conversation, Toyotaro mentions how he used to doubt whether the manga would even hit 50 chapters. But after crossing that, he was more or less sure he’d reach the 100th chapter milestone and was relieved to do so.

An interesting point to note is that Toyotaro mentions that writing the last 50 chapters (Moro arc to Super Hero arc) was easier than writing Chapter 1 to Chapter 50. Uchida points out that this is because Toyotaro makes sure to plan things ahead while writing the story, especially after the anime ended with the Tournament of Power arc.

With the Moro and Granolah arcs, the author was heading into uncharted territories with no reference material from Toei, so he admitted that drawing Chapters 50 to 100 was harder from a storywriting perspective.

While it is normal for mangakas to plan their stories ahead, it doesn’t hold true with Toyotaro’s mentor, Akira Toriyama.

Toriyama is famously known for writing by the seat of my pants, which he has frankly admitted on numerous occasions. One such is while commenting on the Daizenshuu 2: Story Guide where he says:

“It seems that the second of the complete works is a “story edition”. For me, having drawn the manga by the seat of my pants, to have it called a “story” is only embarrassing. Even so, I suppose that my job of thinking up the story was a little more fun than when I was drawing the pictures. Ah, but to speak frankly, the second half of the story was difficult because I somewhat overdid thinking it up. Though I did a good job continuing it like that… I think.”

He stated in another interview that he used to come up with stories chapter by chapter and not decide the details of the story arc entirely before commencing.

“I basically only thought of what I was doing for that week. Even I didn’t know what was going to happen the next week. I’d draw the story like this, but I’d always discuss it with my editor to see what I should do for next week. (laughs)”

This is because, as Toriyama admits, that he wants to enjoy drawing chapters while he himself is in suspense, like “who is going to win?”.

But at the same time, he plans an overall structure of the arc before beginning, including some details, like coming up with the Namekian species before Piccolo found out during the Saiyan Saga.

“When I thought up Goku’s tail and the Ōzaru, I didn’t think Goku was an alien or anything. Piccolo either. Because I thought that up when God (Kami) came out.”

Despite some diffrerences, Toriyama and Toyotaro share a close bond of a master-student relationship, just like Piccolo and Gohan, and the master has recognized his student to be his proper successor.

Seriously… The more I draw, the more I realize the gap between us… (sweat).

Don’t be so hard on yourself! You might actually be the closest to my style. There aren’t many people who can manage that! Well, maybe there are people who can imitate my pictures, but not many artists can pull off an entire chapter the way you can! Your storyboards are really tight!

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: Dragon Ball Official Site