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‘He was a saving God’; Authors of One Piece and Naruto say goodbye to Akira Toriyama with heartfelt letters


Today is a horrible day. It’s not just a manga author who died. A person who influenced everything we know about the Japanese entertainment industry has died. Without Akira Toriyama, the works of Eiichiro Oda, Masashi Kishimoto, and many more simply would not have existed. He is the unquestionable father of the jobs that we have enjoyed the most over the last 20/30 years, and that is why now All the authors who have grown up with him as a reference have decided to leave him a heartfelt tribute.

These are the farewell letters to the creator of Dragon Ball

The death of no other author was going to unite as many story creators as that of Akira Toriyama. So I’m just going to leave you the whole words (via NewWorldArtur, SupaChronicles) from the men behind “One Piece” and “Naruto,” who created absolute historical references thanks to the influence of Akira Toriyama.

The message from Eiichiro Oda, author of One Piece

“It’s too soon. I feel like there’s a huge hole in my heart right now. The thought of never seeing you again fills me with sadness. I’ve admired you so much since I was a kid. I clearly remember the day you called me my name for the first time. I remember going home that day, and I was with Kishimoto-san. You said we were friends for the first time. And I remember the last conversation we had.

You prevailed at a time when reading manga was considered a stupid way to waste time. You are among those who forged an era in which adults and children alike could enjoy reading this medium. You taught me that manga could achieve things like that… you allowed me to dream that it could reach the entire world. I felt like a real superhero was breaking through.

dragon ball one piece
It’s easy to imagine Oda-sensei and Toriyama-sensei together as happy as Goku and Luffy

Your impact was not only noticed in the manga industry. The childhoods of many creators are clearly influenced by the excitement of having read Dragon Ball every week. Your existence is like that of a huge tree whose branches expand across the sky.

For manga artists of a generation like mine, getting closer to what he accomplished and really feeling the full impact he had on the industry… it’s an almost terrifying experience to watch. And despite this, the man behind it all was such a simple person. That made me tremendously happy. I feel like on a genetic level we all loved Toriyama for who he was.

dragon ball one piece
Another promotional illustration that was born from the collaboration of Eiichiro Oda and Akira Toriyama

I would like to offer my respects and gratitude for the vibrant creative world that Toriyama-sensei left behind, and I pray from the bottom of my heart that he may rest in peace. I hope heaven is as pleasant as you glimpsed on your sleeve, sensei.”

The message from Masashi Kishimoto, creator of Naruto

“Honestly, I don’t even know what to say with something so sudden. But for now, I would like to share my thoughts and emotions that I hoped Mr. Toriyama would one day ask me about.

I grew up with his manga, Dr. Slump, when I was in primary school, and with Dragon Ball when I was a little older, so for me it was natural to have his manga as part of my life. Even when I was having a bad day, the weekly Dragon Ball episode made me forget about it. I was simply a country boy and that feeling, for me, was saving. I really liked Dragon Ball too much!

When I started going to university, suddenly the Dragon Ball that had been a part of my life for so many years came to an end. The feeling of loss was enormous, and I didn’t know how to move forward. However, at the same time it was a great opportunity to understand the greatness of the master who created Dragon Ball. I wanted to create work like yours! I wanted to be like him! As I started to follow his path to becoming a mangaka I also felt less lost. It was because I loved making manga. Only by following his path was I able to enjoy myself again. He admired me. I may have been a pain in the ass, but I’m so grateful. For me he really was a savior God, a manga God.

dragon ball naruto
Impossible to forget this illustration in which Toriyama and Kishimoto paid tribute to each other

The first time I saw him I was too nervous to say a single word. As I saw him more times thanks to the Tezuka Award, it became easier for me to talk to him. I never forgot that embarrassing smile I saw on him one day when he and Oda-san started talking about how fun Dragon Ball was. It was like they were both kids again and competing.

It’s been a while since I found out about his death. The feeling of loss is enormous, even greater than when Dragon Ball ended… I still don’t know how to deal with this hole in my heart. I can’t even read Dragon Ball, which is something I love. I don’t even feel like I can write this message properly. Everyone was still looking forward to your work Sensei. If I could have one of those Dragon Ball wishes to come true… I’m sorry, I may be selfish, but I’m really sad, Sensei.

Akira Toriyama-sensei, thank you very much for 45 years of such enjoyable work, and thank you very much for your hard work. I’m sure his family is still tremendously hurt by the loss of him. Please take care of yourselves. I pray that Akira Toriyama-sensei can rest in peace.

The farewells of other authors

Although we could simply end with these brutally emotional messages from the creators of “One Piece” and “Naruto”, I also want you to see the tribute illustrations they have created. Yusuke Murata, artist of “One Punch Man”, and Takehiko Inoue, the author of “Slam Dunk“(The illustrations are not new as such, but they accompany the authors’ farewell messages).

How could it not be, other people like Masako Nozawathe dubbing actress of Goku in Japanesehas made comments such as ‘I just couldn’t talk right now‘, and Toshio Furukawa, the voice of Piccolo, has only been able to remember Nozawa-san herself, knowing all the impact that “Dragon Ball” has had on her. And this is how it is: today it doesn’t matter where you are from, a person who was simply in charge of making others happy has died.

Rest in peace, sensei.





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