The Passing Of A Legend

I've just this past hour learned that Akira Toriyama has passed at the age of 68...

To say I am devastated would be an understatement...

I, like many of you, grew up watching Dragonball. Toonami was a significant part of my childhood, and teen years, following the adventures of Goku and friends. How many collective minutes do we think have been spent, by children the world over...pretending to power up, or go Super Saiyan?

It was one of the few things my brother and I had in common. We'd rush home after school so we could finish homework, chores, etc, and be ready for that iconic intro to start. We watched the entirety of Dragonball Z, then Dragonball when they dubbed it, and Dragonball GT together.

We watched the Funimation Dub as it originally aired, each saga restarting at the beginning of Dragonball Z as they worked to dub new episodes.

I remember it took 4 resets to get to Namek, and 3 resets to make it to the Android Saga.

The sadness we'd feel when the Farmer would appear in episode 1, instead of Trunks, was truly something else...

As with all things, they eventually come to an end. Dragonball Z, with the Buu saga, Dragonball GT, etc.

January 29th, 2005, a bittersweet day if there ever was one. You'll remember it as the air date of the final Dragonball GT episode "Until We Meet Again", but I remember it as the only episode of Dragonball media I ever missed the original airdate of, because I started my first job. A day that I truly did lament, beginning that first real transition from childhood, into adulthood. I didn't get to see that episode till I rewatched all of Dragonball 8 years later, waiting for the triumphant return of Dragonball.

A long 9 years of waiting...waiting for Dragonball to make it's return. But return it did, with Battle Of Gods, in 2014.

A bittersweet return, I think, for alot of us.

Adults now, Dragonball felt like a part of our history, our childhoods! But Dragonball was back! 2 years later we got Golden Frieza, and Resurrection of F, and I think, at last, Toriyama saw how much we wanted Dragonball to truly return.

We showed up big time, making both movie releases huge in the USA, as far as anime is concerned.

Of course, I myself started this story not long after…2017 was an interesting year for me!

I had just that past year moved across the country, gotten an interesting job, and suddenly had alot of free time. While sitting at that job, having been playing alot of Dungeons and Dragons recently, I started wondering…how would you make a character sheet for Dragonball characters? What started as some basic math on a piece of paper, became an idea. That idea became a character sheet…and that character sheet became this story.

2017 was the year I relearned what passion was. As a 27 year old man, the world had already beaten me down. I worked, I played video games, I slept. Day in, day out.

It wasn't till I put that pen to paper that I remembered what it felt to truly feel passionate about something again…and so I wrote.

Those first three weeks I wrote 12 chapters, got 190 reviews, and nearly 8k views.

Today, 03.08.24, Dragonball RPG has 1.9m views, 2500+ reviews, and 4300 each of follows, and favorites. It's available in three languages(If you know where to look…)

All those happy childhood memories, watching Goku save the world…they gave me something to truly create, for the first time. Making something is such a magical thing, and to share it is divine. Those memories, which fed this story from start, to finish? They helped me share my passion with the world.

I got to do that…thanks to Akira Toriyama.

In the end, we all die…and we should all hope to leave as lasting a legacy as he did. He brought Anime to the west, and it's thanks to him that we have most other Anime's. I remember reading an interview he did, probably 10 years ago, where he was asked how it felt knowing he was grandfather of modern Shounen. His joking response?

"When did they start adding 'grand' to the title?"

He was a humble man, and his art, his creativity, and his passion…touched billions.

Something we should each aspire to do, I think.

Alot of the world is posting messages of Goodbye, for Akira Toriyama, today.

Not me. I simply don't have it in me.

Instead, much like the only episode I ever fucking missed, I say this.

"Until We Meet Again"

Rest in peace, Mr. Toriyama. I'll never forget you...

A/N: If you have a memory to share, feel free to leave a review.

Thank you