It is difficult to overstate the success of Dragon Ball. The series, which debuted back in 1984, has broken almost every cultural barrier there is. Akira Toriyama’s franchise is known as one of Japan’s biggest of all-time, and it continues to churn out new content even today to float its global popularity.
However, if you ask Toriyama about its success, you will see a big question mark float over his head. The creator is not sure why Dragon Ball has done as well as it has.
Recently, Toriyama sat down for an interview with Weekly Shonen Jump to celebrate its annual anniversary. It was there the creator was asked about his series’ influence on the shonen genre, and he had this to say:
“That doesn’t make any sense to me since I think I draw things the wrong way.”
When asked to clarify his answer, Toriyama admitted he made Dragon Ball’s universe too loosely. The creator said anything could go, and its lack of rules allow free-for-alls to go down.
“I guess because it’s too much of a world where anything goes. Once you’ve got that as your setup, you can draw anything and nobody can complain that it’s impossible,” Toriyama said.
Of course, fans don’t seem to agree with Toriyama’s sharp critique. While audiences may not understand the series’ power scaling these days, Dragon Ball’s freedom is what drew many to the franchise in the first place. Goku and the Z-Fighters live in a multiverse where godly dragons and actual angels exist. So, at the end of the day, plenty of fans would be willing to visit the series’ world so long as Freeza does not drop by to annihilate them. You know, because that would put a damper on the tourist trip and all.
Do you think Toriyama is being too hard on himself? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!
Dragon Ball 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.