Dragon Ball fans, it is time to salute your anime overlord! The date may have passed in Japan, but U.S. fans are still celebrating the birthday of Akira Toriyama. The creator of Dragon Ball was born on April 5th back in 1955, and the acclaimed artist turns 62 this year.
Born in Nagoya, the artist had an deep interest in manga since he was a young boy. Toriyama has said he began to advance in art by drawing pictures of his classmates, and he even on to draw more complicated stills of automobiles as he grew older.
When he became a professional manga artist, Toriyama got his start working for a poster agency. He worked there for several years before he got a breka at Weekly Shonen Jump. In 1978, Toriyama made a serialized debut with the magazine thanks to Dr. Slump, a gag manga featuring a perverted professor and robot girl named Arale.
Toriyama continued his work on Dr. Slump for years before Dragon Ball was brought to fruition. The now-iconic series was first published in 1984, and its manga is the second best-selling title behind One Piece. Dragon Ball was a massive hit with Japanese readers after its debut, and Toei Animation was quick to option the franchise for an anime. Dragon Ball was then adapted into an anime series before subsequent titles like Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, and Dragon Ball Super were rolled out. Dozens of films and video games have also been sourced from the franchise.
In the world of anime, Toriyama’s work on Dragon Ball is recognized as one of the main drivers of anime’s globalization. Dragon Ball Z had unprecedented success in the U.S. when it began airing on cable blocks such as Toonami.
Dragon Ball Super recently kicked off the ‘Universal Survival’ saga. You can check out the brief synopsis for it below:
“At Goku’s request, the Omni-Kings’ “Tournament of Power” martial arts tournament between universes now begins! …But this also proves to be the beginning of universal destruction. What awaits the victors of this tournament, and the vanquished…?! How will these intense team battles between the elites of each universe turn out…?!”
Dragon Ball Super's “Universal Survival” saga is part of the recent simulcast agreement that sites like Crunchyroll and Funimation have scored. Dragon Ball Super airs on Crunchyroll Saturdays at 7:15 p.m. CST. Toonami will begin airing the English dub on Adult Swim Saturdays at 11:30 p.m.