'Dragon Ball' Creator Teases Inspiration Behind Freeza, Piccolo

Dragon Ball has introduced dozens of characters over the years, but creator Akira Toriyama has yet to burn out. The artist may not be heading the series these days, but he knows what it takes to make a memorable character. Now, Toriyama is sharing how he creates characters, and it seems Freeza gave the guy more trouble than you may realize.

So, as it would seem, Freeza likes to cause trouble for everyone and not just Son Goku.

Recently, Toriyama sat down an interview which went live in Dragon Ball Super’s eighth manga volume. The trade went public in Japan not long ago, and fan-translators were quick to summarize the interview for others. It was there fans heard a bit about Freeza’s counterintuitive design, and Piccolo was referenced as well.

According to translator Herms98, Toriyama begins by thinking up a character shape and then tries to add in some surprise elements.

“Like with Freez, you think strong = big, so instead he’s small. Then he gets big and complex as he transforms, then is simple-looking in the end,” the summary explains.

As for Piccolo, the Namekian was made to surprise with his actual name. Toriyama has a well-known thing for naming characters after puns or items, and Piccolo’s race was given the musical treatment.

“With names he basically goes with what sounds good and surprising,” Herms98 summarizes. “So Piccolo is intentionally not what you’d expect a character like that to be named. Themes make it easier to name large groups like all of Freeza’s army being stuff you’d put in a fridge.”

For the most part, Toriyama takes an advisory role with Dragon Ball these days, but the creator has not left Son Goku on his own entirely. This month, Japan will see the release of Dragon Ball Super's first film go live, and Toriyama oversaw its screenplay along with its overhauled design for Broly. Now, fans are looking forward to seeing what else the creator has in store for his Saiyans, and they're hoping it bodes well for Goku and the gang.

0comments

So, where do you rank Toriyama's character-building skills? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!

Dragon Ball Super: Broly officially releases in Japan this December, so fans will get to see more of Super Saiyan Blue Goku in action soon enough. Funimation will be bringing the film to theaters in the United States on January 16th. Dragon Ball Super currently airs its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami programming block Saturday evenings at 9:30 p.m. It is also available to stream on Funimation and Amazon Video. The Japanese language release of the series is complete, and available to stream on FunimationNOW, VRV, and Crunchyroll.