Akira Toriyama

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I was an avid anime watcher until I was about 10, when I moved to manga. I think I am influenced by Osamu Tezuka's and Walt Disney's works which I watched during that time, such as Tetsuwan Atom and 101 Dalmatians.
Actually, I have a lot of hobbies, but I've kept up with model-building the longest. In particular, I love military models.

Akira "Tori" Toriyama (born April 5, 1955) is a widely known and acclaimed mangaka best known for his work in the Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball manga series. Recently he has worked on some of the games Dragon Quest, Tobal and Chrono Trigger. He helped produce the character drawings for Blue Dragon as well as the anime.


  • The method of producing comics in Japan is very hectic, but it's also rewarding because it's possible to do both the story and art all by yourself. In this way, it's possibly to bring out one's individuality. If this idea appeals to you, I call on you to try drawing your own manga.
  • Actually, I have a lot of hobbies, but I've kept up with model-building the longest. In particular, I love military models.
  • I believe mine would be Piccolo. He was the first character in my manga where I was like, "He has a scary face, but he's so cool!" It really is cliché when bad guys turn into good guys, but it just feels great drawing it!

Interview with Shōnen Jump

  • Shōnen Jump: Several readers have asked if Namekians are plants. Of course, based on their names, they seem to be slugs... but they are green, they have a strange method of reproduction, and they live on water.
  • Akira Toriyama: That's a tough question. I thought of Piccolo first, and I wanted to draw him as a scary character, and it was only afterwards that I had to come up with a species. Since they have antennae, I thought they looked like slugs. So "Namekian" is a play on words, but I didn't think too deeply about it. I don't think they're plants, but they may be hermaphrodites.
  • "With second-form Cell as well, I liked him well enough. Actually, I had wanted him to play a more active role. But since I was told he looked stupid, I had no choice but to change him. (laughs) So I made him into his cool-looking perfect form, which was to Kondō-san's liking."

Last anime?

Toriyama was asked by the chief of the Blue Dragon anime staff about whether Blue Dragon would be his final anime. The following is a translated discussion between Toriyama and the chief editor of the Blue Dragon production team:

  • "The offer to direct an animated version of Blue Dragon came in February of last year [2006]. Studio Pierrot approached me regarding it. I knew that Sakaguchi had been working on assembling staff to produce a game, although at the time Blue Dragon hadn't yet been formally announced. According to the materials, it was to be a fantasy world like Lord of the Rings, with a detailed world view and story. This may be my final anime, I'm a little worried (about it). There's incredible pressure, but at the same time, there's a sense of accomplishment — that it's worth doing. Blue Dragon will be a masterpiece, not simply because I'm working hard on it, but because the staff is expecting nothing less."
  • "Blue Dragon: Toriyama's Final Anime?", (29 March 2007).

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