Otaku USA Magazine
Naruto and One Piece Manga Authors Pay Homage to Akira Toriyama

Fans around the world are expressing sadness and shock at the unexpected passing of Dragon Ball Z creator Akira Toriyama. Toriyama was a major influence on manga, and some other big-name manga authors have taken to the internet to pay homage to him.

One Piece mangaka Eiichiro Oda was one of them.

“It’s too soon. The void left behind is too large,” Oda wrote. “The sadness overwhelms me when I realize I’ll never meet you again. From my childhood, I’ve admired you. I remember the day I was first called by name, on the way home after the day you used the word ‘friends’ for us, I remember the joyous moment with [Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto]. I remember our last conversation.”

Oda continued, “You showed us that manga can do this, that it can take us to other worlds. It felt like watching a hero charging forward. . . For manga artists of our generation who stood on the same stage, Toriyama’s works became an even greater presence the closer we got. Almost scary. But meeting the laid-back you always made me happy. We love Toriyama-sensei to the core. With respect and gratitude for Akira Toriyama-sensei’s rich creative world, I sincerely pray for his peaceful rest.”

Naruto mangaka Masashi Kishimoto remarked in his homage, “From early elementary school with Dr Slump to later years with Dragon Ball, Sensei’s manga has always been with me, becoming a part of my life. Even when things were tough, Dragon Ball every week made me forget about it. It was salvation for a rural boy like me.”

He went on, “The first time I met him, I was so nervous I couldn’t speak. But after meeting him several times at the Tezuka Awards judging committee, I got used to talking to him. As Dragon Ball children, [One Piece creator Eiichiro] Oda and I talked excitedly about how fun Dragon Ball was, almost competing, and I’ll never forget the slightly embarrassed smile Sensei gave us.”

And he made it clear how much this is hurting. “I’m overwhelmed with a sense of loss even greater than when Dragon Ball ended. I still don’t know how to deal with this hole in my heart.”

Source: IGN


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.