Akira Toriyama (鳥山 明,Toriyama Akira, born April 5, 1955) is a Japanese manga artist, game artist and character designer. He first achieved mainstream recognition for his highly successful manga series Dr. Slump, before going on to create Dragon Ball—his best-known work—and acting as a character designer for several popular video games such as the Dragon Quest series, Chrono Trigger and Blue Dragon. Toriyama is regarded as one of the artists that changed the history of manga, as his works are highly influential and popular, particularly Dragon Ball, which many manga artists cite as a source of inspiration.
He earned the 1981 Shogakukan Manga Award for best shōnen or shōjo manga with Dr. Slump, and it went on to sell over 35 million copies in Japan. It was adapted into a successful anime series, with a second anime created in 1997, 13 years after the manga ended. His next series, Dragon Ball, would become one of the most popular and successful manga in the world. Having sold 250–300 million copies worldwide, it is the second best-selling manga of all time and is considered to be one of the main reasons for the period when manga circulation was at its highest in the mid-1980s and mid-1990s. Overseas, Dragon Ball's anime adaptations have been more successful than the manga and are credited with boosting anime's popularity in the Western world.
Akira Toriyama was born in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan. He has recalled that when he was in elementary school all of his classmates drew, imitating anime and manga, as a result of not having many forms of entertainment. He believes that he began to advance above everyone else when he started drawing pictures of his friends, and after winning a prize at the local art studio for a picture of One Hundred and One Dalmatians, began to think "art was fun".