'Dragon Ball Super's Toyotarou: From A Fan To Official Manga Artist; How Toyotarou's Childhood Obsession With 'Dragon Ball' Made Him Realize His Dreams

Dragon Ball 6
Toyotarou's favorite character from "Dragon Ball" is Goku. Photo : spadge6868/Flickr

"Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally," David Frost once said. For Toyotarou, that love is drawing his favorite series -- "Dragon Ball" -- and now from a fan, he is the official artist of the manga version of "Dragon Ball Super."

Toyotarou is a former dōjinshi (self-published works, i.e manga, novels) artist under the name Toyble, with famous works including "Dragon Ball AF" manga in the 2000s. He debuted as an official manga artist in Shueisha in 2012 under the name Toyotarou. He was the one behind the manga adaptation of the "Dragon Ball Z" anime film in 2015, "Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' - Special One Shot."

According to Toyotarou, he didn't even think Shueisha would get him to draw the official sequel of the "Dragon Ball" series. He passed some of his works to the company and got a call afterwards. He said he thought it would be impossible for him to draw the manga officially, so he did it as a hobby. "I just loved Dragon Ball. It never mattered where my work would be displayed. I just kept drawing it for years!" he told Anime News Network during the New York Comic Con.

Obsession With "Dragon Ball"

Pretty much like every fan out there, Toyotarou was first introduced to "Dragon Ball" during his childhood. He first saw the "Dragon Ball" anime series during grade school and all his notebooks were filled with drawings of "Dragon Ball" characters. His favorite character is Goku.

"I don't have exact memories of it, but my first memories are of being obsessed with it," he said. He also likes Disney and Marvel movies especially those with action scenes between the heroes and villains.

Asked if he would draw something other than "Dragon Ball," Toyotarou said he has never drawn anything aside from "Dragon Ball" spinoffs. He added that he had thoughts of drawing something original of his own but gave up on it almost immediately.

Working With Toriyama

Toyotarou creates a story board every month and gives it to the original "Dragon Ball" creator, Toriyama, to review. He said he does not deviate from the main plotlines of the story that Toriyama provides but he has the freedom to fill in details. What surprised him more about working with Toriyama is that, he is more particular about the manga's gags and comedic moments than the story, and he is also free to fill these in.

He said that the hardest part of his job is that the only materials he receives from Toriyama are just literally words on paper without any drawings. He needs to fill in all the details like the expressions of the characters, and more. He added that if it possible, he wants to work with Toriyama by his side so he can ask questions immediately. But obviously, the original writer has many things to deal with. Aside from the anime version, the "Dragon Ball" franchise is also planning to expand the brand.

And here are some spoilers for the ongoing Trunk's arc in "Dragon Ball Super" from Toyotarou himself! He said both the anime and the manga are from Toriyama's outline; however, they are a bit different. "Both the anime and manga have different ways of getting there, each taking advantage of the unique aspects of their medium, so I hope everyone enjoys comparing them," he said.


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