How Did Akira Toriyama Keep Dragon Ball Fans At The Edge Of Their Seats? Explored

Discovering the unplanned brilliance of Akira Toriyama which led to some of the most iconic moments in the series.

Published on Jun 25, 2024  |  10:44 PM IST |  42.7K
Dragon Ball [PC - Toei Animation, Crunchyroll]
Dragon Ball [PC - Toei Animation, Crunchyroll]

Dragon Ball without a doubt is Akira Toriyama’s most famous work. He cemented himself into the Hall of Fame of manga writers with this series, which many other artists cite as a source of inspiration. 

Dragon Ball is one of the most popular series of all time. Fans of the series particularly enjoyed the dramatic twists and turns, which even came as a surprise to the mangaka. Akira Toriyama himself was left in suspense about what would happen next as he worked tight deadlines. 

How did Akira Toriyama write Dragon Ball

There are many episodes that end on a cliffhanger leaving fans wondering what will happen next. Akira Toriyama too was one of them, as his main priority was to work on the week’s chapter and not so much focus on the future. This may seem unconventional for many other artists who would at least have some sort of story for the longer haul, but Akira was different. 

Dragon Ball [PC - Toei Animation, Crunchyroll]

This unique ability of Akira to work on a week-to-week basis led to the creation of some memorable moments. In an interview from the databook Daizenshuu 6, as translated by Kanzenshuu, Toriyama mentions that Potarra’s earrings were just ornaments, but he later improvised them as a vehicle to introduce fusion. 

The Art of Improvisation

Akira Toriyama worked with Toei Animation (Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2) on Dragon Ball. As mentioned in the above interview, he would often create characters based on the drafts sent by Toei. 


Toriyama was highly responsive to any sort of feedback he got. He even went so far as to change the villain of the Artificial Human Arc to Cell because his editor did not approve of the designs for the Androids. 

Dragon Ball [PC - Toei Animation, Crunchyroll]

Working under such pressure gave Toriyama the freedom to experiment, which has led to some moments that would have never been, had he stuck to the traditional approach. Some of them include Tien defeating Goku and Goku being an alien, among others in Dragon Ball

Despite the lack of planning, the mangaka has always delivered. There will never be another Akira Toriyama. 

ALSO READ: Is Nappa The Most Dangerous Villain In Dragon Ball Z? Explored

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Writer by Day, Batman by Night. When I am not busy saving the city, I make Techno Music for


Credits: Dragon Ball Fandom/Wiki/Kazenshuu

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