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Authors Eiichiro Oda & Masashi Kishimoto React To Akira Toriyama’s Sudden Passing




It is widely known fact that both Eiichiro Oda, the creator of One Piece manga, and Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of Naruto manga, were influenced by Akira Toriyama’s epic creation – Dragon Ball. And in light of Toriyama’s sudden passing, both the authors have put out heartfelt statements.

In his statement, Oda expressed his deep sadness and shock at the passing of Akira Toriyama, saying that a huge hole has been left behind. He remembered Toriyama as a huge inspiration since childhood, cherishing moments like being called by name and socializing together.

Oda credited Toriyama with revolutionizing the manga industry. He explained how the author broke the stigma against manga and created a world where people from all ages could enjoy them.

He concluded his statement by offering heartfelt condolences and expressing hope that Toriyama found a joyful afterlife mirroring his own creative vision.

Check out Oda’s statement completely below:

It’s too soon.
The hole that has been left is too big.

When I think that I will never see him again, sadness washes over me.
I had admired him so much since I was a child,
And I even remember the day he first called me by name.
I also fondly remember the day we walked home after he used the word “friend” to refer to us,
And the day we had a great time with Kishimoto. I also remember the last conversation we had.

He took the baton from an era where people were told that reading manga would make them stupid,
And he was one of the people who created an era where adults and children could enjoy reading manga.
He showed us that manga could do so much,
And that it could take us to the world.
It was like watching a hero charging forward.

Not just for manga artists,
But the excitement and emotions of the Dragon Ball serialization era must be rooted in the childhood of creators in all industries.
His existence is like a great tree.

For manga artists of my generation who stood on the same stage,
We realized that the closer we got to Toriyama’s work, the greater it became.
It was scary.
But still, I’m just happy to be able to meet the carefree man himself. Because we love Mr. Toriyama at the blood level.

With respect and gratitude for the rich and creative world that Mr. Toriyama has left behind, I pray for his soul from the bottom of my heart.

May heaven be the kind of joyous place that Mr. Toriyama envisioned.

Eiichiro Oda

Like Oda, Kishimoto too was shocked by Toriyama’s death. He, however, struggled to express his grief and instead chose to share his unspoken thoughts and feelings with the author he admired to the core.

Kishimoto recounted growing up with Toriyama’s manga, Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball. Weekly releases of Dragon Ball served as a beacon of joy for him, especially during the difficult times of his childhood. The manga’s ending during his college years left a huge void in Kishimoto, but it also sparked a profound appreciation for Toriyama’s genius.

Kishimoto revealed that Toriyama inspired him to embark on his own path as a manga creator, finding purpose and joy in the pursuit.

Kishimoto also expressed his immense gratitude for the author, even if unacknowledged by Toriyama himself. He considered Toriyama a savior and a legend in the manga world. He also fondly talked about the time he got to spend together with his icon along with Oda, and the cherished memories they had together.

Check out his complete statement below:

To be honest, I don’t know what to write or how to write it. But right now, I want to tell Mr. Toriyama the things I always wanted to ask him and my feelings.

I grew up with Mr. Toriyama’s manga, Dr. Slump in elementary school and Dragon Ball in high school. It was natural for me to have Mr. Toriyama’s manga next to me as a part of my life. Even when I was feeling down, the weekly Dragon Ball always made me forget about it. It was a salvation for me, a country boy with nothing to do. That’s how much I enjoyed Dragon Ball!

When I was a college student, Dragon Ball, which had been a part of my life for so long, suddenly ended. I was overwhelmed by a tremendous sense of loss and didn’t know what to look forward to. But at the same time, it was an opportunity for me to realize from the bottom of my heart the greatness of Mr. Toriyama, who created Dragon Ball. I want to create a work like Mr. Toriyama’s! I want to be like Mr. Toriyama! As I chased after Mr. Toriyama, the sense of loss gradually disappeared. Because it was fun to create manga. By chasing after Mr. Toriyama, I was able to find new joy. Mr. Toriyama was always my compass. He was my inspiration. I may be bothering Mr. Toriyama, but I am grateful to him without permission. To me, he was a savior and a god of manga.

When I first met him, I was so nervous that I couldn’t say a word. But as I met him more and more at the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize jury meeting, I was able to talk to him. I will never forget the time when I talked to him about how much fun Dragon Ball was, like a child with Oda-san, as Dragon Ball children, and how he smiled a little shyly.

I just received the news of Mr. Toriyama’s death. I am overwhelmed by a tremendous sense of loss, even greater than when Dragon Ball ended… I don’t know how to deal with this hole in my heart yet. I can’t read my favorite Dragon Ball right now. I don’t even feel like I’m writing this text properly to Mr. Toriyama. Everyone in the world was still looking forward to Mr. Toriyama’s work. If one Dragon Ball wish really comes true… I’m sorry… It may be selfish, but I’m sad, Mr. Toriyama.

Thank you, Mr. Akira Toriyama, for 45 years of wonderful work. And thank you very much for your hard work.

To the bereaved family, I pray that you will find peace and comfort in the midst of your grief. I pray for the peaceful repose of the soul of Mr. Akira Toriyama.

Masashi Kishimoto

Along with Oda and Kishimoto, manga author and Toriyama’s personal close friend Masakazu Katsura and Game Designer Yuji Horii also put out their statements on Toriyama’s sudden passing.

Katsura especially expressed his regret at not calling Toriyama after receiving his email and talked about how much he would miss his long conversations with the Dragon Ball author.

Check out their statements below:

I feel drained and unmotivated. I don’t want to write a comment like this. But I’ll write something. Once I start writing, I’ll have so much to say that it will probably turn into a long text, but I’ll try to keep it as short as possible. I apologize for the rambling, as my thoughts are still not in order.

Looking back, all I have are fond memories of the times we spent together – whether it was visiting your house, having you stay over at mine, or going out on trips. Every time we talked on the phone, we would laugh so hard that we would get tired. You were a funny person. You were perverted, cute, sharp-tongued, and humble.

We collaborated on some manga projects, which were also a lot of fun. But 99% of the time, we never talked about manga. As a manga artist, the gap between the way we saw things and our level of skill was too great, and I never really felt your greatness. I know it now. But when I was with you, I never felt it at all. That’s just the kind of person you were. That’s why I still can’t think of you as anything other than a friend, even though you were a great manga artist.

Last summer, before I had surgery, you heard about it somewhere and sent me an email. It was really rare for you to send an email, and it was so full of concern for my health. We’ve been friends for 40 years, but that might have been the first time I felt such kindness from you. I thought it was going to snow. You know, you usually only talk about jokes or nonsense. What the hell, you shouldn’t be worried about other people, right?

I called you a little before that, and I was feeling sick all over, so I said, “I’ll probably go first, so have a farewell party for me, Toriyama! And make sure you give a speech, because it’ll make me look good!” But you didn’t keep your promise.

I really regret not calling you after you emailed me. I just can’t believe that I can’t talk to you on the phone for hours anymore. There are so many things I want to talk to you about. There are so many things I want to say. Even if you don’t care about what I have to say, you can just zone out like you always do. I just want to talk to you again. The last thing you said to me was “OK” in response to my email asking you to contact me again. That’s just not good enough. I’m so sad.

Masakazu Katsura

I am still filled with disbelief at the sudden news of Mr. Toriyama’s passing.

I have known Mr. Toriyama since I was a writer for Weekly Shonen Jump. At the recommendation of my editor, Torishima-san, I decided to ask him to draw the illustrations for the game Dragon Quest when we were launching it.

For over 37 years since then, he has drawn countless charming characters, including character designs and monster designs.

The history of Dragon Quest is one that has been intertwined with Mr. Toriyama’s character designs.

Mr. Toriyama and the late Mr. Sugiyama were longtime collaborators on Dragon Quest.

I can’t believe they’re gone…

I can’t find the words to express my sorrow. This is truly, truly a tragedy.

Yuji Horii

Source: Shonen Jump Official website

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