These days, it's hard for incidents of the past to stay in the past - especially when it comes to major celebrities. Famous people all over the entertainment industry have seen themselves embroiled in controversy over things they said in the past, and apparently the world of anime is no exception. Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama is just the latest to find himself suffering the "boomerang effect" of old controversy becoming new again. Toriyama once did an interview in which he attempted to give a humorous account of what living with severe near-sightedness is like - only to expose a side of himself that makes it seem like Dragon Ball's Master Roshi is perhaps a bit more autobiographical than Toriyama would like to admit.
Check out the 1987 quote from Toriyama below - but BE WARNED. Once read, you can't unsee this side of Akira Toriyama ever again!
"I don't think there's anything good about being near-sighted. When you go to the pool or the beach, you can't see any of the girls in their bikinis! Darn it! Quickly, I'll put on my glasses, but it'll turn out that the girl is actually an old lady! Then I'll take my glasses of as quickly as I can. This happens to me quite often. Once, I went to a mixed-bathinghot spring but I couldn't see anything because I wasn't wearing my glasses! It made me want to cry. Darn this near-sightedness! Everyone please take care of your eyes." --Akira Toriyama, 1987
So there you have it: Toriyama pretty much sounds like a living embodiment of Master Roshi in this moment that he describes - which kind of reframes so much of that character's behavior throughout the Dragon Ball series, in a somewhat creepy way. After all, Roshi in the original Dragon Ball series was very much the stereotypical anime dirty old man, constantly trying to ogle young girls... or worse. Toriyama was free to pour as much of himself into that character as he wanted, since he was still just climbing through the manga/anime ranks in the late '80s, when there was far less scrutiny on him. So again... When you see Roshi from now on, think and wonder: "Toriyama-san, is that you?"
Dragon Ball Super currently airs its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami programming block on Saturday evenings, and 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, and Dragon Ball Super's big movie, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.