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Akira Toriyama – How the Super Saiyan of Manga and Anime Paved the Way

March 21, 2024 | By

Celebrate Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball’s creator, and his lasting impact on manga & anime! Ronin pays a tribute to the legacy of Akira-sensei.

Akira Toriyama and his most famous creation, Son Goku from Dragon Ball manga and anime

As kids, when we first saw Son Goku (also commonly known simply as Goku) transformed into a Super Saiyan (a superhero form) for the first time, our heads were blown off. Here was a mostly happy-go-lucky guy, who acted goofily most of the time, but then he watched his friends in danger, and all hell broke loose!

That was our first introduction to the discipline and the importance of working out. Also, it was the first introduction to anime (Japanese term for animated shows/movies) for most of us – Dragon Ball. Over the years, many of us moved beyond watching cartoon shows, but Goku’s impact on our lives remained permanent.

So, who was the man behind this fantastic manga (comic book in Japanese) and its anime adaptation?

Goku has served as an inspiration for numerous kids and adults alike across the globe (Image: CBR)Akira Toriyama. For the sake of the legacy he left behind, we will address him as Akira-sensei in the rest of the article. (Sensei – Teacher)

Akira-sensei, the name behind the legendary Dragon Ball franchise, wasn’t just a manga artist—he was a Super Saiyan of Shonen (Manga depicting young boys as protagonists) himself. Dragon Ball, with its explosive fights, quirky characters, and epic power-ups, revolutionized the genre and left a permanent crater in the landscape of pop culture.


The Dragon Ball Family – The True Legacy of Akira Toriyama (Image: IGN)

The Pioneer with a Power Level of Over 9000!(1)

Before Goku’s adventures, Shonen manga often featured more serious narratives. Dragon Ball brought the fun! It embraced martial arts, humour, and fantastical elements in a way that hadn’t been done before. This unique blend became the blueprint for countless series that followed, including Naruto, One Piece, and My Hero Academia.

Inspiration Kamehameha!(2)

The impact of Dragon Ball goes beyond the genre. It inspired countless creators. From the over-the-top battles in Naruto to the vast world-building of One Piece, Dragon Ball’s influence is undeniable. Even the satirical superhero world of One-Punch Man owes a debt to the legacy of overpowered fighters and hilarious training montages.

A Dragon Ball Goes Global

Dragon Ball wasn’t just a Japanese phenomenon. It transcended language and culture, becoming a global anime sensation. The show’s action, humour, and relatable characters resonated with audiences worldwide, proving that anime could captivate a universal audience.


Dragon Ball has been cited as a major inspiration and influence by several of the iconic manga/anime artists, including creators of Naruto, One Piece, and My Hero Academia (Image: CBR)

A Haiku(3) for the Master

Akira-sensei, Your Dragon soared so high, Anime’s forever changed.

Dragon Ball’s legacy is undeniable. It’s a testament to Akira-sensei’s genius and a testament to the power of a good story, well told. So next time you witness a crazy fight scene or a determined hero powering up, remember the legend who started it all: Akira-sensei, the Super Saiyan of Shonen.


1 – “It’s over 9000!” is a famous quote from Dragon Ball Z by one of the protagonists Vegeta when he first met Goku and his scouter (a device to determine the power level of other living creatures) read Goku’s power level as ‘over 9000,’ which was drastically higher than what Vegeta expected.

2 – Kamehameha is a signature finishing attack technique used by the series’ protagonist Goku. 

3 – A haiku is an unrhymed Japanese poetic form that in English usually consists of 17 syllables arranged in three lines containing five, seven, and five syllables, respectively. 


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A writer, poet, graphic designer, harmonica player, Ronin is an artist who loves to do whatever he does. He likes fiction and fantasy genre and is a huge fan of Van Gogh, comic book legend Stan Lee, Munshi Premchand, and Dan Brown to name a few. Ronin loves listening to old rock songs; Pink Floyd and Guns N' Roses are his all time favorite. Ronin also goes by the name of Shubhang Saurav in the mortal world, which is his birth as well as socially accepted name.
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