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Today, fans around the world mourn the passing of Akira Toriyama, a visionary creator whose impact on pop culture is immeasurable. Toriyama, best known as the mastermind behind the iconic manga and anime series Dragon Ball, leaves behind a legacy that has shaped the imaginations of millions.

Born on April 5, 1955, in Nagoya, Japan, Toriyama’s journey to becoming one of the most influential figures in the world of manga began with his early passion for drawing. After working as a manga artist for several years, he gained widespread recognition with the serialization of “Dr. Slump” in 1980, a comedic science fiction series that showcased his unique blend of humor and imagination.

However, it was Toriyama’s next creation, “Dragon Ball,” that would catapult him to international fame. Debuting in 1984, this epic saga followed the adventures of Son Goku and his friends as they journeyed across the universe in search of the mystical Dragon Balls. With its captivating storylines, dynamic characters, and adrenaline-pumping action sequences, “Dragon Ball” captured the hearts of audiences worldwide and became a cultural phenomenon.

Toriyama’s influence extended beyond the realm of Dragon Ball, leaving an indelible mark on the world of gaming, particularly through his impact on the creation of Sonic the Hedgehog. While direct documentation of Toriyama’s influence on Sonic’s creation may be limited, his unmistakable style and dynamic character designs have undoubtedly shaped the broader landscape of character design in gaming.

Moreover, Yasushi Yamaguchi, the lead artist for Sonic the Hedgehog 2, has shared an illustration featuring Super Sonic doing the same pose as Goku when first using the Super Saiyan transformation in Dragon Ball Z, suggesting a clear influence from Toriyama’s Super Saiyan transformation. This visual connection underscores the profound impact of Toriyama’s work on the development of iconic gaming characters. Sonic’s energetic and charismatic personality, as well as his visually striking appearance, could reflect the broader influence of Toriyama’s iconic character designs on the gaming industry.

Yamaguchi has also previously mentioned on Twitter and in a series of columns that Sonic & Tails’s relationship was based on Piccolo and Gohan’s relationship from Dragon Ball Z and today even posting an illustration for this occasion.

I’ve mentioned this in previous Twitter posts and serialized columns, but the relationship between these two characters in Sonic 2 was crafted with the image of Piccolo and Gohan from Dragon Ball. So, if it weren’t for the work of Dragon Ball, the relationship between these two characters would not have existed up to this point.

Thank you so much, Mr. Toriyama.

Yasushi Yamaguchi on Twitter

As we bid farewell to Akira Toriyama, we honor his remarkable legacy and the enduring impact he has had on our lives and the world of entertainment, especially through his influence on beloved characters like Sonic the Hedgehog. His boundless creativity, innovative storytelling, and unforgettable characters will continue to inspire and delight fans for generations to come. Though he may no longer be with us, his spirit will live on through the timeless legacy he leaves behind. Rest in peace, Toriyama sensei. Your Dragon Balls may be scattered, but your influence will remain eternal.

Source: Official Dragon Ball Website

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