Akira Toriyama (鳥山 明 Toriyama Akira, born April 5, 1955, in Kiyosu, Aichi, Japan) is a widely known and acclaimed Japanese manga artist known mostly for his creation of Dragon Ball in 1984. It is difficult to pinpoint the source of Toriyama's artwork inspiration. He admires Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy and was impressed by Walt Disney's One Hundred and One Dalmatians, which he remembers for the great art. Jackie Chan's early movies had a noticeable influence on Toriyama's stories.
He debuted in 1979 with the story Wonder Island, published in Weekly Shōnen Jump, and first gained popularity for the anime and manga series Dr. Slump, originally serialized weekly in Shōnen Jump from 1980 to 1984. In 1982, he won the Shogakukan Manga Award for Dr. Slump for best shōnen or shōjo manga series of the year.
In 1984, Toriyama was responsible for developing Dragon Ball which was initially serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump. It became an instant accomplishment—primarily selling over 35,000,000 copies in Japan, Dragon Ball eventually became a record-breaking best seller with over 120,000,000 copies sold. Aside from the Japanese fame, the series was equally successful internationally as well, including in Europe (1988), Canada (1996) and Latin America.
Toriyama is mostly acknowledged for his major hit Dragon Ball. This work was one of the linchpins for what is accepted as the Golden Age of Jump. Its success encouraged Toriyama to continue working on Dragon Ball from 1984 to 1995. During that eleven-year period, he produced 519 chapters, collected into 42 volumes. Each volume has an average of 200 pages. Moreover, the benefit of the manga led to three anime adaptations, numerous feature-length animated movies, several video games, and mega-merchandising. Though Toriyama had been planning to end Dragon Ball for a long time, his editors agreed to let him end the manga so he could "take some new steps in life," as he put it. The third anime adaptation, Dragon Ball GT, was not based on his manga; however, Toriyama was still involved in the project by supervising its production, although in a limited way. The Dragon Ball anime, including installments that followed, spawned over 500 episodes made in Japan, and are produced and licensed for North America and Australia by FUNimation.
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