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The voice of De Anza since 1967.

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Remembering Akira Toriyama

Akira+Toriyama%2C+the+creator+of+%E2%80%9CDragon+Ball%E2%80%9D+and+an+inspiration+behind+modern+anime+shows%2C+passed+March+1.+This+is+a+tribute+piece+to+him+and+his+%E2%80%9CDragon+Ball%E2%80%9D+legacy.+
Mackenzie Jardine
Akira Toriyama, the creator of “Dragon Ball” and an inspiration behind modern anime shows, passed March 1. This is a tribute piece to him and his “Dragon Ball” legacy.

On March 1, Akira Toriyama, a prestigious mangaka (manga artist), died of an acute subdural hematoma at the age of 68.

Widely regarded as the “father of shonen”, Toriyama’s contribution to Japanese animation, known as anime, played a critical role in the anime industry as a leading pioneer for mainstream broadcast.

Toriyama’s most popular series, “Dragon Ball,” was released as a comic in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine on April 26, 1984. Shonen is a category of manga or anime intended primarily for boys aged 12 to18, however, the category commonly describes action, adventure and fighting.

Popular examples of shonen anime inspired by “Dragon Ball” include “Naruto” by Masashi Kishimoto and “One Piece” by Eiichiro Oda. These three series are widely considered the most successful in the anime industry, paving the path for other stories of heroism inspired by a greater purpose.

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Kishimoto released an official statement on Toriyama’s death, honoring Toriyama’s work as an inspiration for his life and career.

“I grew up with ‘Dr. Slump’ in the lower grades of elementary school and ‘Dragon Ball’ in the upper grades, and it was natural for me to have his manga next to me as part of my life,” Kishimoto said. “As I followed in my teacher’s footsteps and aspired to become a manga artist, that feeling of loss began to disappear (after stopping to read ‘Dragon Ball’ in university) … I was able to find new fun by following my teacher. My teacher has always been my guide. I admired it.”

Oda, the creator of “One Piece”, shared a similar statement.

“Sadness washes over me when I think that I will never see him again,” Oda said. “I have admired him so much since I was a child, so I remember the day he called me by name for the first time. On the way home from the day you used the word ‘friend’ for me and Kishimoto, I remember being overjoyed with Kishimoto.”

As fans of anime around the world shared their grief and experiences for Toriyama’s death, the De Anza Listening and Speaking Center shows their respects as well.

Kanako Valencia Suda, 46, the LSC coordinator, recollects her childhood memories when she lived in Japan.

“I felt like we had lost a very important part of Japanese culture because (Toriyama’s) anime and manga are a huge part,” Suda said. “I used to watch ‘Dr. Slump: Arale-chan’ as a child, and clearly remember when ‘Dragon Ball’ started to broadcast on TV when I was in fourth grade.”

Oscar Cruz Mora, 29, a LSC mentor, said he felt heartbroken by Toriyama’s death.

“To me, he was like a part of my family. It was like my uncle passing away,” Mora said. “Every millennial that grew up in Mexico knows about ‘Dragon Ball,’ and to us, he (Toriyama) is one of the most respected anime and manga creators.”

Moeka Ishizawa, 22, a student assistant at the LSC and a film/TV animation major, appreciates Toriyama’s career despite not being familiar with his work.

“I don’t know much (about ‘Dragon Ball’) but my cousin and dad love ‘Dragon Ball’,” Ishizawa said. “I love his (Toriyama) catchy art style like the illustration and movement. One of my favorite anime is ‘The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.’ and the action scenes of the show remind me a lot of ‘Dragon Ball.’”

Even after his death, Toriyama’s legacy will continue to influence fans and artists of anime around the world.

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About the Contributors
Lion Park
Lion Park, Opinion Editor
Lion's interest in journalism lies in the phrase "show, don't tell". As creative as words can be in drawing a mental image, Lion believes photography shows what true reality is. Through La Voz, he hopes to spread conviction within his readers' hearts.
Mackenzie Jardine
Mackenzie Jardine, Editor-In-Chief
Hi! My name is Mackenzie Jardine, and I am really excited to connect with people through journalism. I'm very excited to be La Voz's Editor-In-Chief this winter quarter! It's an honor to be in charge of this quarter's paper and work with the incredible, hard working and talented staff. Thank you for supporting La Voz!

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