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'Dragon Ball Super' Illustrator Opens Up About Succeeding Akira Toriyama

Dragon Ball Super's manga has had a bit of a mixed reception from fans, but the manga had been adapting material that already existed in the anime series. But now that the manga is beginning a new arc taking place after the end of the Dragon Ball Super anime, there's double the pressure on its illustrator, Toyotaro.

In an interview promoting the release of Dragon Ball Super: Broly (as translated by Kanzenshuu), Toyotaro definitely understands the pressure of succeeding Akira Toriyama's work but is up to the challenge.

Toyotaro emphasized how much of a fan he of the franchise he is in the interview, “I really am an ordinary fan. I never thought that one of those fans would one day be able to draw Toriyama-sensei‘s works…. It’s crazy." And Toyotaro is constantly keeping himself in check when working on the series, fearing his work isn't good enough, "I don’t have any confidence about making my art look like Sensei‘s; I struggle to work out the story; I’m still a work-in-progress. I try as much as possible not to view things objectively, because otherwise the pressure will get to me."

But he's been in love with the franchise since he was a child, "There were plenty of other anime out there. It was one of the choices at the time." The characters of the series spoke to him the most, however, "I want to draw exciting pictures like the ones in Dragon Ball." He even came up with some of his own stories featuring his favorites, "I drew stories where Chiaotzu or Bardock was the main character. I enjoyed the fantasizing of it."

Toyotaro starting his work on the franchise with the manga version of Dragon Ball Heroes, and soon began work on Dragon Ball Super officially. While fans of the manga have been enjoying it, there is a subset of fans who don't favorably compare it to Toriyama's work with the franchise. But Toyotaro's still in love with the series, and is critiquing his work critically and is probably harsher on himself than fans. Seeing this new perspective just may alter how some look at the manga release.

Dragon Ball Super currently airs its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami programming block Saturday evenings at 11:00 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 and Crunchyroll. The manga has chapters that can currently be read for free thanks to Viz Media. Dragon Ball Super: Broly is currently in theaters as well.

If you wanted to catch up with the English dub of the series, there's actually a pretty nifty way to do so. You can currently stream the first 91 episodes of the dub on FunimationNOW, which brings the series from the beginning all the way to when the the universes began gathering their fighters for the Tournament of Power. It's not too far off from where the Toonami run of the series is at currently.

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