It is almost impossible to think of anime and not consider Dragon Ball. Akira Toriyama’s famous series has come to define the modern shonen genre, and its wide appeal helped popularize anime on a global scale. So, if you have ever wondered how Dragon Ball came to be, then you are in luck.
After all, Toriyama did tell fans how he came upon the idea in a past interview.
Thanks to Kazenshuu, fans can read up on everything the artist had to say during his chat for Daizenshuu 2. It was there Toriyama opened up about his story’s origins, and the creator admitted his love of Jackie Chan had lots to do with Dragon Ball being born.
“I had just ended “Dr. Slump”, and for the time being I was thinking about what I should do for my next serialized work. I had many meetings with my editor at the time, Torishima-san. As it happened, at that time I loved Jacky Chan’s movies and had seen “Drunken Master” dozens of times,” Toriyama relayed.
“Since I liked that sort of thing, Torishima-san advised me to try and make a kung-fu shōnen manga, so I drew a one-shot called “Dragon Boy”. That got an incredibly positive response from the readers, so I decided to go that route for my next serialized work.”
After a successful one-shot, Toriyama decided he would invest his time in making a serial. The creator said he wanted to create something different from Dr. Slump and its Western feel, so he used a Chinese folktale as his main inspiration this time around. Journey to the West became Toriyama’s guide as he put together the foundations of Dragon Ball, and he modernized the story by adding more martial arts into the mix. By the time the first World Martial Arts Tournament came around, Dragon Ball was a hit with fans, and Toriyama never looked back from that point forward.
Are you surprised by the humble origins of Dragon Ball? Hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to let me know and talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!