'Dragon Ball' Creator Still Doesn't Understand Its Popularity

It is hard to overlook the beast that is Dragon Ball. Over the years, the series has become a global one thanks to its action-packed episodes, and its heroes have become pop culture icons even in the west. Even today, Akira Toriyama’s franchise spawns fans as new audiences are introduced to Son Goku.

However, if you ask the artist about the series’ success, he will tell you he still doesn’t understand it.

Recently, Weekly Shonen Jump spoke with the creator of Dragon Ball to celebrate its latest anniversary. Toriyama talked about his tenure as a manga artist and was asked how he felt about Dragon Ball giving Jump’s magazines a sales boost.

“I’m happy to hear that, but it doesn’t really make sense to me,” Toriyama admitted.

“A while ago, I reread the series for the first time in ages, and while the Freeza arc was suspenseful enough to grab my interest... I still wondered why it was so popular.”

Of course, fans can tell the creator dozens of reasons for Dragon Ball’s success. Its straight-forward heroes, energetic transformations, and pointed comedy make it easy to love. When the anime was brought to North America in the 1990s, it was shown to a generation of children looking for Goku’s brand of energy, and those kids are now the nostalgic adults feeding Dragon Ball its money.

It has been years since ther series made its debut, but fans continue to flock to it. The success of Dragon Ball Super proves audiences always want more of Shenron, and games like Dragon Ball FighterZ have capitalized on the franchise’s status. Toriyama may not understand why the series was — and is — so popular, but that is alright. Fans have plenty of time to show him.


DragonBall Super airs on Crunchyroll Saturday evenings at 7:15 p.m. CST. Adult Swim airs the English dub during its Toonami block Saturday evenings at 9:30 p.m, and is now available to stream on FunimationNOW and Amazon Video.

Why do you think Dragon Ball is so popular? Hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to let me know and talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!