The creator of the Dragon Ball series, Akira Toriyama, passed away earlier this month. The legendary manga artist who created the likes of Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z Dragon Ball Super, and Sand Land, influenced manga artists of his time and beyond. In his last interview released by Tokyo Anime Award Festival 2024, Toriyama revealed that he had not seen most of his work and also opened up about Toyo Ashida, the late animator. However, it seems there are more secrets to be unveiled about the late artist.

Akira Toriyama
Akira Toriyama

Kanzenshuu, a Dragon Ball news & information database and community, released an interview titled The Truth About the “Dragon Ball” Manga where Toriyama talks about his best work. When asked how Goku was born, he replied that when he came up with Dragon Ball he tried to combine Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee’s  Kung-Fu movies. He loved the movies so much that he would watch the videos even while working on the manga. The name “Son Goku” naturally originated from the Monkey King of the classic Journey to the West. He adds:

“The reason Goku has a tail is also because I gave him a monkey motif. Only, in the original Journey to the West, they’re heading for India, but for Dragon Ball, I changed the ultimate objective to the easier-to-understand “gather seven orbs called ‘Dragon Balls’ in order to grant a wish” when starting the serialization.”

Also Read: ‘Exceeded Expectations’: Fans Are Calling Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero a Raging Success

However, he later shifted his focus to Goku and his growing strength, and gradually the story diverged more from the original concept.

Dragon Ball Z Goku
Dragon Ball Z Goku

Undoubtedly, the question about Goku’s hair turning gold during his Super Saiyan mode came up and his response was quite unexpected. Apparently, he only had one assistant helping him with his work. As a result, most of the time would be consumed doing the black fill of Goku’s hair, so the main reason was to save time. He continues,

“Because when he became a Super Saiyan, we wouldn’t have to do the black fill. It also had the effect of making it easy to tell from his appearance that Goku had gotten stronger, so it killed two birds with one stone.”

Also Read: “My f—king heart hurts”: Dragon Ball Creator Akira Toriyama’s Tragic Death at Just 68 Leaves Millions of Fans Heartbroken

Toriyama also delved into the training and explained that he didn’t have a particular reference.

“I think it was, comparatively speaking, full of very orthodox things that anyone could come up with. There are training scenes in the film Drunken Master5, as well; I suppose that part also became a reference for me.”

Finally, the most anticipated question – “How did you come up with the Kamehameha?” – was brought up and Toriyama did not disappoint. He replied that for Kamehameha he would try to express “ki” energy, which cannot be seen with the naked eye, and quipped:

“When no one was around, I did a variety of poses, and decided on one that looked cool, which was that pose.”

Goku Kamehameha
Goku Kamehameha

Incidentally, the name Kamehameha originated from a joke between him and his wife when he was trying to decide upon a name with “something-something-Ha” and his wife jokingly asked “Kamehameha would be fine, wouldn’t it?”, fortunately, the name got stuck as it is!

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