My inspiration: Manga artist Akira Toriyama

August 31, 2021

Photo of Akira Toiyama by Kami Sama Explorer Museum, São Paulo, Brazil; portrait of Goku by Reece Turkson

Reece Turkson explains why he looks up to the creator of Dragon Ball Z

I am a big fan of anime and in particular the famous manga artist and character designer Akira Toriyama.

Akira Toriyama was born April 5th 1955 in the city of Nagoya, Japan.

When Toriyama was very young he had a passion for drawing and was hugely influenced by Disney productions.

After primary school his passion to draw and his interests in comics had waned and his focus was more on live-action movies, specifically westerns, war and science fiction.

Against his parents’ wishes he joined a technical high school in Nagoya to study design.

After high school, Toriyama made the decision not to progress to university and instead began his working life. When Toriyama was 20 years old, he got his first job as an in-house graphic designer in Nagoya.

Dr Slump and Dragon Ball Z are considered Toriyama’s two most famous and popular creations

Toriyama started to get famous after his work on the manga series ‘Dr Slump’ in 1980. He then went on to create the show ‘Dragon Ball Z’ of which I am a massive fan because of the story, characters and the bright, vibrant and colourful world it is set in.
Dr Slump and Dragon Ball Z are considered Toriyama’s two most famous and popular creations.

Toriyama’s work on Dragon Ball Z has inspired me to draw more characters from different Anime shows and try more detailed drawings. You might say that Toriyama inspired me in the same way that Disney inspired him.

I grew to like the main protagonist of the show, Goku because of his supernatural strength, character design and his personality.

Goku tries his best to save his friends and family from strong enemies and loves to fight enemies above his strength level.

Sometimes he gets too confident and loses battles because he doesn’t take the battles seriously and makes many mistakes.

Toriyama’s work on Dragon Ball Z has inspired me to draw more

I am a big fan of Goku’s character design as he has a unique hairstyle and has a blue and orange martial arts uniform with blue wrist bands.

You could maybe recognise him, even if you don’t know who he is or what the show is about.

Goku isn’t the smartest character, but it’s comedic to watch him get things wrong. He compensates for his errors with his strength and is one of the strongest characters in the show.

Overall, Goku is a fighting technician that cares for others and wants to get stronger and combined with a goofy personality.

Since I like Goku so much I wanted to test if I could draw him. I wasn’t able to draw him completely because I made his body too big on the paper but regardless of that, I still like how the end result turned out! (see my drawing above).

In partnership with Harington, a charity supporting young adults with learning disabilities and/or difficulties into employment, further education or a more rewarding life.

Reece enjoys his retail studies at the Harington and is a popular member of the class having been nominated for the Jack Petchey award and elected as Class Rep. He has a passion and proficiency in ICT which he hopes will help him achieve his dream of becoming a graphic designer in the not too distant future.

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