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Panel By Panel: The Legacy of Akira Toriyama

hpkomic at 4:20PM, March 8, 2024

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Panel by Panel, a periodic exploration of comic panels around The Duck.

I had initially intended to discuss some free resources available to webcomic creators. Still, it seemed more prudent this week to discuss the news of the passing of the legendary manga-ka Akira Toriyama (Apr. 5, 1955 - Mar. 1, 2024).

This award-winning creator sold millions of copies of comics, including the charming Dr. Slump and the iconic Dragon Ball series. I also knew him as the artist of the Dragon Quest video game series. I do not want to drag this out, but I wanted to share my thoughts about his work and legacy as I experienced them. I would also like to hear what you all thought about this legend's work.

My first exposure to Dragon Ball and Toriyama's work came as a pre-teen when I started to get into anime and manga. At the time, my exposure was limited to Pokemon and Sailor Moon, and I could not access Dragon Ball on TV. I was aware of it but hadn't been able to experience it. However, I did manage to get my hands on a volume of the original Dragon Ball manga one day from a second-hand store, and to say that it was a game-changer for me is an understatement.

Eventually, I could watch the Toonami block of Cartoon Network when it was finally added to my family's cable package. I became hooked on watching Dragon Ball Z in the afternoon every day after middle and high school. Before I knew it, I found my way into taking in whatever manga and anime I could see, which was a rapidly expanding market thanks to how influential Dragon Ball was.

My pipeline of Akira Toriyama's works to the larger world of anime and manga is not unique. More than likely, many of us have had similar experiences and moments of discovery through his work. Many of us have also been influenced by his work, either directly through what he was involved in or by how influential he was on creators and stories we love.

But I felt it was worth noting. The loss of Akira Toriyama, at only 68 years old, has shocked the world and generations of anime and manga fans. But for now, I would love for you all to share your thoughts and impressions on this shocking news if you have them. There is no more significant legacy a creator can have than to be remembered for what they have made and how it has affected so many.

Rest in Peace, Toriyama-sensei.

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HawkandFloAdventures at 3:07PM, April 5, 2024

RIP Toriyama you were an absolute legend!

Jason Moon at 2:44PM, March 11, 2024

@Amelius - RIGHT?! It was a private christian school but it felt very dangerous in how easily you could get into trouble. That is so cool that you know exactly what scene I was talking about in the manga! Such beautiful artwork and an amazing story! :D

Amelius at 1:58PM, March 10, 2024

@Jason Moon: That girl was a dirty snitch! That's the part where Goku was confused Bulma didn't have balls because he's a literal child LOL that chick sounds insufferable if she had to announce it to the whole class like that. Hope he didn't get his manga taken away! That scene isn't even supposed to be creepy, but comedic because the only person he knew before was his grandpa, there's less cultural taboo about families bathing. The fact that Westerners are so uptight really leads to the worst abuses because everything's a dirty secret and shame, so they cannot divorce nudity from sex no matter the context. It's what you get when a country is founded by Puritans fleeing persecution for being too uptight and repressed when other religions tell them to get a grip they flounce all the way across the ocean so they can be even more repressed and uptight!

Jason Moon at 3:31PM, March 9, 2024

I hadn't heard of his passing until this post, I'm so sad. I loved his art in Chrono Trigger (like Hockey Webcomics already said) and I watched all of his Dragonball up through the recent SUPER episodes, which I was hoping for more in the future. This is really heart breaking, he was such a wonderful artist and creative mind. Funny story: Back in middle school I went to a private christian school where we even had dress code. A friend of mine we called Steveo loved anime and had a few "Dragonball" mangas he was reading in class while a lecture wasn't going on. I went over and started reading one with some other friends and it caused some of the girls in class to notice and they became curious and came over. One of the girls saw a panel in the manga where little goku is looking at a naked sleeping Bulma all curious. This caused the girl to freak out and she started shouting in class, "Steveo brought porn to school! Steveo is looking at porn!!"

Amelius at 11:05AM, March 9, 2024

I loved his work, especially the standalone illustrations with mecha and dinosaurs. An absolute icon. When I got ahold of the DB manga as a kid I was awed by his line art-- I almost never draw fan art of major franchises but I sure did draw some after looking at Toriyama-sensei's art. I had to draw that big ape it looked so cool!! He will be missed. Ugh, he was still working on so much stuff and Sand Lands was so close to launching-- dying before seeing your work through to the end has to be a deep all-consuming fear a lot of us artists have, right

Hockey Webcomics at 7:33PM, March 8, 2024

talking about video games, he's also one of the minds behind Chrono Trigger :) I'm a big fan of Dragon Ball earlier phases, from when Goku meets Bulma to him defeating Piccolo Jr. in the Tenkaichi Budoukai and then marrying Chi Chi, which, in the anime, would be the single "Dragon Ball"series (if I'm not wrong, in the manga, his adult years and the Saiyan saga keeps the plain "Dragon Ball" title with no "Z"). What I like most about Toriyama's work with Dragon Ball is how he could develop a very complex story and catchy characters with simple elements: his narrative, his art, most of the events are plain and straight. Even though, it's so close to perfection that it's impossible for someone who likes comics not to love it! Dragon Ball is the manga I read and re-read the most in my life, and sometimes I start re-reading a specific arc and then I realize I'm reading the whole thing! He's gone, but his legacy is forever. Rest in peace, sensei! We're all grateful.

plymayer at 7:26PM, March 8, 2024

May he rest in peace.

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