Dragon Ball is one of the premier Manga to ever exist in the anime world. Journeying with the great Son Goku as fans explore him to be the strongest all throughout the universe. This wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the Mangaka Akira Toriyama, a sheer legend in the industry. His influence is so great that he has created many other creations outside of his magnum opus, to the point that some die-hards may not have even heard of them. As such, it is important to understand some of the great works that Toriyama has made throughout the years.
Thus here are the 10 great Akira Toriyama works that he has either been deeply a part of or had created directly in the past.
- Dragon Quest
The one that arguably has one of the biggest influences on not only the JRPG genre but video games – Dragon Quest. Although the series is primarily a creation made by Yuji Horii and his team, it was Akira Toriyama that illustrated the look of the entire series.
Adding in his quirky touch in ways that are both similar whiles also keeping it different from his Dragon Ball look, the world of Dragon Quest is one full of adventure and fun. The series has become so important that it eventually had a rep in Super Smash Bros Ultimate and recently had an 11th entry released back in 2018.
2. Dr. Slump
Before Dragon Ball was created, the manga that put Akira Toriyama on the map was his gag manga Dr. Slump. Following the adventures of a young robotic android named Arale, this quirky manga series helped lay the foundation for the humor that Toriyama mastered.
While it isn’t as popular as his later creation of Dragon Ball, it did allow Akira Toriyama to become more comfortable as a mangaka. If it wasn’t for the adventures of Arale, it would be very possible that Dragon Ball would never exist in the first place.
3. Chrono Trigger
Arguably considered one of the greatest JRPGs of all time, Chrono Trigger is essentially the brainchild between the creators of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.
Akira Toriyama, with his art during his peak in the Cell or Buu saga, the game helped captivate many gamers and it became many favorites of all time. The iconic look of Toriyama being a great indicator of its recognizability.
4. Neko Majin
Neko Majin is a series of one-shots that are essentially Akira Toriyama’s satires of his own work. Spanning a total of 8 works, it follows the titular race of the Neko Majin who all enjoy jokes and martial arts.
Over time the series becomes increasingly intertwined with the Dragon Ball universe while introducing sassy characters like Kuriza, the son of Frieza. Later on, Goku himself showed up briefly. According to Akira Toriyama, he enjoyed the silly feel of the series.
5. Blue Dragon
One of the many video games that Akira Toriyama was a part of, Blue Dragon is a JRPG that was created by studio Mistwalker which was the studio founded by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi.
This Xbox 360 exclusive title follows five friends as they travel all over the world to fight Nene, the evil ruler of the Grand Kingdom. Following a traditional turn-based system, the game was appreciated as well as criticized for having a fairly predictable story.
6. Sand Land
Sand Land is an interesting Akira Toriyama tale. A short story that takes place during an apocalypse, Sand Land is a world where everything has dried up and there is nothing but sand. With a greedy king holding up all of the water, Sheriff Rao, the demon prince Beelzebub and his friend Thief search for a new source of water.
The story was praised for its fun light story as well as its consistent art style compared to his previous work of Dragon Ball. Nevertheless, Akira Toriyama openly stated how much he hated drawing a tank.
A Manga series that Akira Toriyama created back in 1998, had 12 chapters and was published in several European territories. Following a young boy named Kajika, who journeys all over the world to become a normal boy again.
Being incredibly strong, he used to be quite evil and killed a defenseless fox when he was a boy. However, after this, he was cursed and became a fox boy. To turn back to normal, he must save 1,000 souls. A short but entertaining story, it was appluaded for its easy-to-follow structure and writing style.
8. Akira Toriyama Hetappi Manga Kenkyujo
Also known as “Akira Toriyama’s Clumsy Manga Laboratories,” this is an informational manga that contains lessons on how to get into the Manga industry.
Combined with classic Toriyama humor, he explains within his characterized Tori-bot the many techniques of the medium to his assistant Hetappi. Telling everything from inking the manga to the clarity of the story presented, this was a major success to the point of establishing a sequel decades later by Yusuke Murata of One Punch Man fame.
Another short manga series that was created by the great Akira Toriyama, Cowa! is a 14 chapter story that follows child monsters named Paifu, Jose, and Arpon. Together with a human named Maruyama, a sumo wrestler, they travel around in order to get medicine to save their town from the deadly flu.
What’s interesting about this manga is that it was the first major manga production that Toriyama has made since Dragon Ball ended. Moreover, he drew it in a three-week on, one week off approach which gave him a slower pace to draw the series.
10. Go! Go! Ackman
This is one of the many short mangas that Akira Toriyama has created. Called Go! Go! Ackman, the story was about a demon child with the titular name who has to kill people in order to sell their soul to the Great Demon Lord, while collecting them within a jar.
Essentially being a humorous story, Go! Go! Ackman was published irregularly within V Jump with about 11 chapters total. The series became popular enough to receive an animated short film as well as three platform video games based on the characters’ adventures.