DelVohn Johnson 2/17/15
Extended Class Wasa
One of the most well known artists of this generation is Akira Toriyama. Akira Toriyama is a manga artist, which is the japanese equivalent to a comic book artist. He lived in a house of four in Kiyosu with both his parents, and an older sister. In his early life Toriyama recalled being in elementary with friends who loved to draw and imitate manga and anime. He would take part in these activities, and grow to find drawing entertaining. After graduating his love for drawing would dwindle as the trouble of getting a job or going to college approached. Against what his parents would have hoped for Akira, he would go on to work after high school rather than college.
His first job would be that of a inhouse graphic designer. A job that he would resign from after only two years. He claims the reason being he hated the “Workaday Routine”. Being unemployed he seeked any kind of job, and he came across the Monthly Young Jump Award. The Monthly Young Jump Award was an award that was used to recognize new talent. Which he would participate in twice and fail both times. Even though he didn’t win the contest Kazuhiko Torishama an editor at Weekly Shonen called him giving him words, of encouragement to never give up and to try harder. A few months later he published his first official manga, which did not do well, and failed to grasp the attention of manga readers. However, Toriyama did not waver, and instead tried, harder and the following year he would offer up several manga ideas. Which all sadly, failed except one. Tomato, Girl Detective wasn’t popular but was recognized giving Toriyama further hope to continue producing manga. Then the next year he had his big break.
In 1980 he created the manga Dr Slump, which would grow to be highly successful and the start of his career. The manga released eighteen volumes, and the plot surrounded the adventures of a female robot and her creator. In 1981 this manga would earn Toriyama the Shogakukan Manga award, for the best shonen manga. A shonen manga is a manga or animated series usually aimed at younger males. Dr Slump, after winning this award would go on to sell 35 million copies, and then be adapted into an anime series, with a second one following that. Toriyama’s biggest most known piece of work is the Dragonball series, which lasted for 153 episodes. Not only did DragonBall become a success in Japan but all over the world, and is currently the second most well known manga ever, having sold over 200 million copies. It’s only second to One Piece created by Eiichiro Oda, who admittedly used Toriyama as reference, and inspiration while making his manga.
This series would change his world entirely leading to many series, to follow. Toriyama would soon dive into the world of character designing for video games, based on his stories. Even today the DragonBall franchise is still making, money a new game is set to release on the twenty fourth of February, as well as another movie later on in the year. In total Toriyama has created 47 manga, Participated in 17 animated series’ and 10 video games. He has also created a few artbooks, all of which didn’t gain much acknowledgement and overall did not contribute much to his popularity or success.
Toriyama is always crediting Walt Disney Osamu Tezuka, and Jackie Chan, as being the biggest influences on his career. Toriyama is currently married with two children. He still lives in Kiyosu Japan, he currently is still making anime, and still participating in all works, surrounding his previous series’. Toriyama’s series’ revolutionized the manga and anime industry, and even further is used in today’s time as inspiration, and reference for all things. In conclusion, Akira Toriyama played a large role in the development, and evolution of the entertainment industry, with his anime, video game, and manga endeavours. He inspires the young to persevere with his story, and stands as a role model, for young artists, and the young in general. Sending the message that you can overcome, and succeed even if you doubt yourself, to keep trying.
"Akira Toriyama." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2015."Akira Toriyama 鳥山 明 | Biography." Akira Toriyama 鳥山 明 | Biography. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2015.