Thoughts on the passing of Akira Toriyama

Friday, March 08, 2024

This will be a bit of a different post for me. But still one that is within the scope for this personal blog/site.

I haven't posted much to indicate it, but I am a huge fan of Dragonball. I would say that... yea. It is my favorite anime. If asked sooner, I may have said Death Note or Re: Zero. But thats just because both are more recent, and when I first learned of DB and watched it... "Anime" meant something different to me. Toriyama's style just made DB feel separate. And as that definition happened early for me, I could never quite shake it despite knowing otherwise.

So with DB being my favorite Anime... moving to talk about my favorite video game of all time... Guess what? It's another Toriyama involved work. Chrono Trigger. Such a over all fantastic game that will never be replicated, despite attempts to do so with underwhelming sequels and fan made "spiritual successors". While I wouldn't rank it among my favorites, even Dragon Warrior is a game I am quite fond of. Though I have only played and beaten 1, 2, and 5 (I think). But overall, I don't have much to say on his gaming work as it was mostly art, while DB saw him work on art and story elements.

Something I have never gotten to post about much here is my interest in writing. Or more specifically, creating storys and world. It is something I have had an interest in for a long time, but probably only more relatively recently have realized and put any effort into. I have thought about trying to create and post some short stories here before, but it seems I never get around to it.

I may not have anything to show for it, but when I do try and write a story or come up with a plot or world... I do often think of both Dragonball and Chrono Trigger. Why they resonate with me so much. And I do at times actually find myself considering how Toriyama might approach something. Not to try and write like him, but more to write to what is true to me. Toriyama's work has so much of his own personality in it. From things like the excessively detailed cars/motorbikes/ships he would love to draw for covers, to things like making Super Sayian because he wanted to ink in black hair less, or removing/avoiding Sayian tails because he didn't like drawing them.

And while I am a poor example of someone influenced by Toriyama, there are much better ones. Particularly those in the Manga space. You would look at such manga and not overtly see Toriyama's influence, but it is there in a similar way as it is to me.

I have not been looking forward to Daima. We fans have been patiently waiting and asking for a continuation of Super for... far too long now. And Daima seems like a ridiculous, egregious ignoring of us to instead lazily rehash old ideas. But now... I can't help but have to look forward to it. If at least out of respect. But just because it will be the last DB work that Toriyama officially had a part in.

It will be interesting to see where the DB franchise goes. Particularly the Super manga. I wouldn't think it would be outright canceled, since its not like Toriyama was involved with it like he was with earlier work. He has newer generations of fans influenced by him now working on it, doing most of the heavy lifting. But at its core... there was still an influence of Toriyama with character designs, broad story arc direction and humor. I will hope it will be subtle, but I expect there to be differences without that.

At the very least, I hope its not canceled. I know Japanese culture is different, and thus it might. But it would be a shame. His legacy will continue on in his fans, and those fans should be able to continue it. To me, that seems the most fitting way to handle it.


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