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Arab world mourns Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama

Akira Toriyama's passing sent shockwaves on Friday through Arab communities deeply influenced by his iconic anime and manga creations.
Akira Toriyama's passing sent shockwaves on Friday through Arab communities deeply influenced by his iconic anime and manga creations.
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08 Mar 2024 08:03:52 GMT9
08 Mar 2024 08:03:52 GMT9

Arab News Japan

DUBAI: The Arab world mourns the loss of creative giant Akira Toriyama, creator of the “Dragon Ball” series.

His passing sent shockwaves on Friday through Arab communities deeply influenced by his iconic anime and manga creations.

The renowned Japanese creator of the globally beloved franchise left behind a legacy that transcends borders and cultures.

In Arab nations, where Dragon Ball’s impact has been profound since its introduction, the news of Toriyama’s demise was met with an outpouring of tributes and reflections on the impact of his work.

In countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE, Dragon Ball has been a staple of television programming for decades. The adventures of Goku and his friends resonated deeply with audiences, captivating hearts with its blend of action, humor and underlying themes of friendship and perseverance.

CEO of Saudi Arabia’s Manga Productions and Editor in Chief of Manga Arabia Dr. Essam Bukhary told Arab News Japan that Toriyama “has left an indelible legacy and has served as a profound source of inspiration for numerous generations in the Middle East and across the globe through his iconic creation, Dragon Ball.”

“While it is disheartening that the world was eagerly awaiting more of his works, it is undeniable that his influence will persist for decades to come, transcending time as future generations immerse themselves in the captivating realms he has masterfully crafted, including Dragon Ball and many others. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family and the countless fans of his work worldwide,” he added.

In 2019, a YouGov study with Arab News Japan found that anime series such as “Dragon Ball” proved to be commonly watched by 59 percent of respondents aged between 16-24, with less appeal to older age groups. 

On social media, many explained exactly what the anime show meant to them, with fans sharing their favorite moments from Dragon Ball and expressing gratitude for the creator’s contribution to their lives. Hashtags honoring Toriyama quickly trended across the region, underscoring the profound impact of his work on Arab audiences.

One social media user @HanthlPro from Saudi Arabia said that Toriyama was the creator of “the most beautiful and closest work to my heart, the creative genius, the artist, the maker of my beautiful memories related to his characters that have accompanied me throughout my life.”

Toriyama’s impact extended beyond entertainment, influencing various aspects of Arab pop culture, from cosplay conventions to merchandise sales. The characters he created resonated with audiences across generations.

Another user on X, @usefyn, said: “Akira Toriyama has inspired millions around the world and his influence has changed the creative industries forever. His death is sad news and a great loss.”

A Iraqi fan, @eisajaafar_iq also said: “The world has lost one of the icons of the industry and the world of anime.. Akira Toriyama, the godfather of the world of anime and modern shonen works.. We will miss Dragon Ball.”

Ahmed Yehya said that Dragon Ball was the very first manga he ever read and the one that influenced him.

“Akira Toriyama is one of the people who changed the world for the better just with his pen and brush.. Goodbye Akira Toriyama”

Japanese social media influencer popular in the Arab world, who goes by the nickname Shams Qamar, said the passing of Toriyama has caused great sadness. 

“Akira Toriyama from Dragon Ball has died at the age of 68. Full of so much sadness… Thank you very much and good bye…”

In the Arab world and beyond, Akira Toriyama’s legacy as the creator of Dragon Ball remains a testament to the power of creativity to transcend cultural boundaries and unite audiences in shared experiences of joy and inspiration.

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