6 Best Akira Toriyama Books to Read – Dragon Ball & Beyond

If you’re a fan of manga and anime, then you’ve likely heard of Akira Toriyama. He’s a legendary figure in the world of Japanese entertainment, best known for creating the Dragon Ball series. But Dragon Ball is just one of Toriyama’s many accomplishments. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at his work and highlight some of the best Akira Toriyama books to read. So, without further ado, let’s jump right in!

6 Best Akira Toriyama Books to Read - Dragon Ball & Beyond

A Brief Introduction to Akira Toriyama

Akira Toriyama was born in 1955 in Nagoya, Japan. From an early age, he showed a talent for drawing and dreamed of becoming a manga artist. He worked as a graphic designer before finally breaking into the industry in 1978 with his debut one-shot manga, “Wonder Island.

Who is Akira Toriyama?

While Toriyama’s early work was well-received, it wasn’t until the release of his iconic manga, Dragon Ball, that he truly became a household name. Dragon Ball, which debuted in 1984, follows the adventures of a young boy named Goku and his friends as they search for the seven mystical Dragon Balls. The series was a massive success, and Toriyama became one of the most influential manga artists of his generation.

Since then, Toriyama has continued to create beloved manga and characters. Dr. Slump, which debuted in 1980, is a comedic series about a genius inventor and his robot daughter. Sand Land, which debuted in 2000, is a post-apocalyptic adventure story set in a world where water is scarce. And Cowa!, which debuted in 1997, is a heartwarming tale about a group of young monsters trying to save their town from a deadly virus.

The Impact of Akira Toriyama’s Work on Manga and Anime

Toriyama’s impact on the manga and anime industry cannot be overstated. His unique art style, which blends Western and Japanese influences, has inspired countless artists and creators around the world. His characters are instantly recognizable and have become cultural icons in their own right.

Dragon Ball, in particular, has had a massive impact on popular culture. The series has been adapted into multiple anime series and movies, as well as video games, merchandise, and even a live-action Hollywood film. Its influence can be seen in countless other manga and anime series, and it has introduced a generation of fans to the world of Japanese animation.

Despite his success, Toriyama remains humble and dedicated to his craft. He continues to create manga and characters that capture the hearts and imaginations of fans around the world.

The Dragon Ball Series

Dragon Ball is arguably Toriyama’s most famous creation. It’s a manga series that’s been adapted into multiple anime series and movies. The story follows the adventures of Goku, a young boy with incredible strength and a desire to fight the strongest opponents in the universe. Along the way, he meets a colorful cast of characters, including his rival Vegeta, his best friend Krillin, and his wife Chi-Chi.

Dragon Ball: The Early Years

Dragon Ball- Shonen Jump Graphic

Dragon Ball is arguably Toriyama’s most famous creation. It’s a manga series that’s been adapted into multiple anime series and movies. The story follows the adventures of Goku, a young boy with incredible strength and a desire to fight the strongest opponents in the universe. Along the way, he meets a colorful cast of characters, including his rival Vegeta, his best friend Krillin, and his wife Chi-Chi.

The Dragon Ball manga was originally serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from 1984 to 1995. The early years of the series are characterized by lighthearted adventure and comedy. Goku is portrayed as a naive, innocent boy with a love for fighting and a lack of knowledge of the world around him. The series quickly gained popularity in Japan and abroad.

One of the most interesting aspects of the early years of Dragon Ball is the way that Toriyama blended elements of Eastern and Western culture. The series takes place in a world that is heavily influenced by Chinese and Japanese mythology, but it also incorporates elements of science fiction and fantasy. This unique blend of genres helped to set Dragon Ball apart from other manga and anime series of the time.

Another standout feature of the early years of Dragon Ball is the way that Toriyama developed the characters. Each character has a distinct personality and backstory, and their interactions with each other are often hilarious and heartwarming. For example, Goku’s relationship with his best friend Krillin is one of the most beloved friendships in anime history.

Dragon Ball Z: The Epic Battles

Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z picks up where the previous series left off. It’s a darker and more serious story that focuses on battles against powerful villains who threaten the earth. The power levels are raised, and the stakes are higher. The series is known for its epic battles, emotional character moments, and iconic scenes.

One of the most iconic moments in Dragon Ball Z is Goku’s battle against Frieza. This battle lasted for several episodes and featured some of the most intense and emotional moments in the entire series. Goku’s transformation into a Super Saiyan for the first time is still considered one of the most epic moments in anime history.

Dragon Ball Z also introduced several new characters, including Goku’s long-lost brother Raditz and the villainous Cell. Each new character brought their own unique abilities and challenges for the heroes to overcome.

Dragon Ball Super: A New Era

Dragon Ball Super

Dragon Ball Super is the most recent anime series in the franchise. It takes place after the events of Dragon Ball Z and features a new story arc with new characters and challenges. The series has been well-received by fans and is considered a worthy continuation of the Dragon Ball story.

One of the standout features of Dragon Ball Super is the way that it explores the mythology of the Dragon Ball universe. The series introduces new gods and explores the history of the Saiyan race. This helps to add new depth to the world of Dragon Ball and keeps the series feeling fresh and exciting.

Dragon Ball Super also features some of the most impressive animation in the entire franchise. The fight scenes are beautifully choreographed and the colors are vibrant and eye-catching. This helps to make the series a visual feast for fans of the franchise.

Overall, the Dragon Ball series is a beloved franchise that has captured the hearts of fans around the world. With its unique blend of genres, memorable characters, and epic battles, it’s easy to see why Dragon Ball has become one of the most iconic anime series of all time.

Dr. Slump: Toriyama’s First Hit

Dr. Slump, Vol. 1

Before Dragon Ball, Toriyama created Dr. Slump. It’s a comedic manga series that follows the adventures of a robot girl named Arale and her inventor, Dr. Senbei Norimaki. The series is known for its wacky humor, cute characters, and slapstick gags.

The World of Penguin Village

Dr. Slump takes place in the fictional Penguin Village, which is inhabited by a colorful cast of characters, including animal people, aliens, and robots. The village is a picturesque place, with rolling hills and lush green fields. The villagers are a friendly bunch, always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.

The village is also home to a number of interesting landmarks, such as the Penguin Village School, where Arale and her friends attend classes, and the Norimaki Residence, where Arale was created. There’s even a hot springs resort, where the villagers go to relax and unwind.

The Adventures of Arale Norimaki

Arale is the star of the show. She’s a naive but superpowered robot girl who can breathe fire, run at incredible speeds, and lift heavy objects. Her antics often result in chaos and destruction, much to the dismay of her inventor and the other citizens of Penguin Village.

Despite her incredible strength, Arale is still a child at heart. She loves to play and have fun, and often gets into mischief with her friends. She’s also fiercely loyal to those she cares about, and will go to great lengths to protect them.

One of Arale’s most endearing qualities is her innocence. She sees the world in a different way than most people, and is often puzzled by the complexities of human behavior. Her interactions with the other characters in the series are always entertaining, as she tries to make sense of their actions.

Overall, Dr. Slump is a delightful series that showcases Toriyama’s talent for creating lovable characters and hilarious situations. It’s a must-read for fans of manga and comedy alike.

Sand Land: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale

Sand Land

Sand Land is a standalone manga series that Toriyama wrote in 2000. It’s a post-apocalyptic story set in a world where water is scarce, and tanks roam the barren desert landscape.

The Story of Sand Land

The story follows a young demon prince named Beelzebub who teams up with a human tank driver named Sergeant Major Sam. They set out on a quest to find the legendary “Dragon Balls,” which supposedly have the power to grant any wish.

As they journey through the harsh desert landscape, they encounter various obstacles and enemies. They must navigate through treacherous sandstorms and avoid dangerous creatures that lurk in the shadows. Along the way, they also meet a cast of colorful characters, including a group of rebels fighting against the corrupt government and a mysterious woman with a hidden agenda.

As Beelzebub and Sam continue their quest, they begin to uncover the truth behind the scarcity of water in their world. They discover that the government has been hoarding the precious resource for their own gain, leaving the rest of the population to suffer. The duo must decide whether to continue their search for the Dragon Balls or join forces with the rebels to take down the corrupt government and bring water back to the people.

Themes and Artwork in Sand Land

Sand Land is a departure from Toriyama’s most famous work. It’s a more mature story with an emphasis on themes like government corruption, environmentalism, and the struggle for survival. The artwork is also different, with a more detailed and gritty style.

The barren desert landscape is beautifully rendered, with intricate details that bring the harsh environment to life. The tanks and other vehicles are also intricately designed, with a mix of futuristic and retro elements that give the story a unique aesthetic. The characters are also well-developed, with distinct personalities and motivations that add depth to the story.

Overall, Sand Land is a gripping post-apocalyptic tale that explores important themes and showcases Toriyama’s versatility as a storyteller and artist.

Cowa!: A Lighthearted Adventure

COWA!

Cowa! is a manga series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama. It follows the adventures of a young half-vampire named Paifu and his friends as they set out on a quest to save their town from an epidemic.

The Story of Cowa!

The story is set in a world where demons and monsters coexist with humans. Paifu and his friends have to overcome their differences and work together to find a cure for the disease that’s plaguing their town.

The Unique Art Style of Cowa!

Cowa! is known for its unique art style. It’s a mix of Toriyama’s signature cartoonish style and a more detailed and realistic approach. The characters are cute and endearing, but the backgrounds and action scenes are also stunningly rendered.

Conclusion

Akira Toriyama is one of the most influential manga artists of all time. His work has inspired generations of artists and entertained countless fans around the world. Whether you’re a longtime fan or a newcomer to his work, there’s something for everyone in his vast catalog of manga and anime. We hope this article has inspired you to discover some of the best Akira Toriyama books to read and explore his incredible imagination and storytelling skills.

FAQs

Who is Akira Toriyama?

Akira Toriyama is a Japanese manga artist. He also works as a character designer and is famous for his intriguing characterizations.

Is Akira Toriyama one of the best Japanese artists?

Yes, Akira Toriyama is one of the all-time best Japanese manga artists and is now worth an approximate $45 million. Although names like Eiichiro Oda are more well-known, Toriyama is known for his distinct style.

What work has Akira Toriyama done?

Akira Toriyama is best known for his Dragon Ball series that is estimated to be worth $17 billion.

YouTube video
Eddison Monroe
Latest posts by Eddison Monroe (see all)