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Naruto and One Piece manga writers pay tribute to Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama

Toriyama’s fellow manga creators paid tribute on the Shonen Jump website.  

The manga world is presently grieving the passing of Akira Toriyama, the creator of the popular Japanese brand Dragon Ball. Toriyama died of an acute subdural hematoma on Friday, March 1st. He was 68 at the time. Shortly after his death was announced, tributes began pouring in from Dragon Ball fans and colleagues manga writers, including One Piece and Naruto creators.  

The Shonen Jump website received an overflow of tributes from Toriyama’s fellow manga writers. One Piece’s Eiichiro Oda stated, “The sadness overwhelms me when I realize I’ll never meet you again.” I have admired you since I was a child. I recall the day I was first addressed by name. On the way home from the day you used the word “friends” for us, I recall the happy moment with Kishimoto-san. “I remember our last conversation,” according to Anime Corner’s translation.  

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“You passed the baton from an era when reading manga was deemed silly to one in which both adults and children appreciate manga. You demonstrated how comics can transport us to other planets. “It felt like watching a hero charge forward,” Oda said in his passionate letter. 

In addition to Oda, Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of another famous long-running manga, Naruto, wrote a heartfelt message for Toriyama. “I honestly don’t know what to say in such a sudden scenario. But I’d like to express what I’ve always wanted to ask Toriyama-sensei: my ideas. From early elementary school with Dr. Slump to later years with Dragon Ball, Sensei’s manga has always been with me, forming an integral part of my life,” Masashi wrote.  

“I just got word of Sensei’s passing. I’m experiencing a deeper feeling of loss than when Dragon Ball stopped. I’m still not sure how to deal with this hole in my heart. I can’t even read Dragon Ball, my favorite manga, anymore,” Naruto’s creator continued, adding, “Thank you, Akira Toriyama-sensei, for your many delightful works over 45 years. And thank you so much for your hard work.”  

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