If Creator/OsamuTezuka is the father of Japanese comics (and a good number of genres therein), then Akira Toriyama (born April 5, 1955) in is the father of modern {{Shonen}} comics.

Akira Toriyama is one of the most famous Japanese comic writers out there, and also does work on character designs in video games.

He started off in 1979 with the story ''Wonder Island'' published by ''Magazine/ShonenJump'' and gained popularity in Japan for his BreakthroughHit gag manga ''Manga/DoctorSlump'', but became world-famous for his ''Franchise/DragonBall'' series. Ironically, it was meant to only be about two volumes, but we [[ExecutiveMeddling know how that ended up]].

Around the same time as his ''Dragon Ball'' series was taking off in Japan, Yuji Horii approached him to work on Toriyama's most influential and famous work, the character designs and art for ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'', the game that would introduce computerized role playing games to the mainstream Japanese market and set the standard for all {{Eastern RPG}}s to follow. He has continued to do every single piece of artwork, monster and character design alongside the same 3 person team (Yuji Horii (story) and Koichi Sugiyama (music) ) for ''every single VideoGame/DragonQuest game'' since then, including each and every spinoff.

Other known hits where he has worked on the video game side include ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' (with ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' departing from his artwork) and the ClicheStorm that is ''VideoGame/BlueDragon'' that managed to double into TheAnimeOfTheGame. The ''VideoGame/{{Tobal}}'' series wasn't nearly as much of a hit.

On the comics side of things, after ''Dragon Ball'' he went on to do ''Manga/{{Sandland}}'', ''Manga/NekoMajin'' and ''{{Kajika}}'', as well as several one-shots such as ''Manga/{{Cowa}}'' -- although he has not put out an omnibus style tankoubon since ''Neko Majin Z'' in 2005. With his rather infamous trouble with editors and his income from the ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' series, it is unlikely that he will ever do another manga series similar to ''Dragon Ball'', almost all of his recent works have been short one shots.

Toriyama is known largely for his art style; while Toriyama suffers heavily from being able to draw OnlySixFaces[[note]]However, this is a problem restricted to humanoid characters, and he is careful to give them distinct silhouettes to compensate; his monster and vehicle designs are where he really shines as an artist.[[/note]], his artwork is ''very'' stylized, and thus is hard to imitate without lots of careful study and practice.

Notably, a lot of the Mangaka that first started in TheNineties were inspired by him, including Creator/YoshihiroTogashi (''Manga/YuYuHakusho'', ''Manga/HunterXHunter'', ''Manga/LevelE''), Creator/MasashiKishimoto (''Manga/{{Naruto}}''), and even Creator/EiichiroOda (''Manga/OnePiece''). In fact, Akira Toriyama and Eiichiro Oda worked together on a Manga in 2006 called ''Manga/CrossEpoch'', a crossover that contains ''Dragon Ball'' and ''One Piece'' characters. Considering that some of these Mangaka have already started to inspire others to join the Shonen industry, you could call him the God of Shonen manga.[[note]]Though if you think about it, there are three mangaka who would be considered the God of manga period. Osamu Tezuka is the father, Go Nagai is the son and Akira Toriyama is the holy spirit. Eiichiro Oda is the pope or something, while the followers with popular shonen series' (like the ones influenced above) are high priests.[[/note]]

!!Akira Toriyama and his career provide examples of:

* AchievementsInIgnorance: The elements of his early work that got him hailed as "groundbreaking" and "genius" were largely a result of his lack of background in comics. He didn't know what the usual conventions or expectations were, so he just did whatever.
* ArtEvolution: Went from round and super-cartoony to angular and more streamlined, with his coloring shifting from a smoother effect to the harder lines of animation (inspired by the ''Dragon Ball'' anime, as well as his collaboration with Toyo'o Ashida on an original anime in 1988). He later went through another shift as he left pen and paper behind to do everything by computer starting in 2003. His art since then has taken on a rounder (yet even leaner and more streamlined) appearance, with finer-grained shading and some CG effects. His famously-sparse use of screen tone has also increased in what little manga he does, presumably because it no longer involves having to actually paste it onto the page.
* AuthorAppeal: {{Cool Car}}s, {{Cool Plane}}s, or anything else mechanical, thanks to his background in graphic design and love of plastic models. Also, poop jokes.
* AuthorAvatar: A few. Early on in ''Manga/DoctorSlump'', it was a bird with a pen nib for a beak, as a pun on his name ("Tori" means "bird" in Japanese). This transitioned into a little robot with grabber claws for hands and a gas mask for a face, which he has continued to use as his "self portrait" for the majority of his career. The few times he draws himself as a human being, he's usually wearing a surgical mask and deliberately dressed in "unfashionable" outfits, such as a tank top and straw hat or a sweatsuit and baseball cap. Once in ''Doctor Slump'' he portrayed himself as a [[Franchise/{{Alien}} Xenomorph]]!
* BrilliantButLazy: Claims to have spent much of his time during the ''Dragon Ball'' days watching TV and building plastic models, with only the last two days before any given deadline given over entirely to storyboarding, drawing, inking, and submitting a chapter of the manga. He considers it proof that he's a lazy bum, while those around him are awed by the work ethic, even ''genius'' required to pump out a week's worth of material in about a day and a half. We'll split the difference and call it brilliance inspired by sloth.
* CanonWelding: Of ''Manga/DoctorSlump'' and ''Dragon Ball'', though it was likely just a one-off that was never intended to be taken seriously (among ''many'' other things, ''Manga/DoctorSlump'' is contemporaneous to when it was written and uses the Gregorian calendar, while ''Dragon Ball'' has its own, completely-fictional "Age" calendar). Fans, [[SeriousBusiness on the other hand]]...
* EdibleThemeNaming: The most common form of ThemeNaming he uses, which reached its peak in ''Dragon Ball''.
* EekAMouse: Is apparently afraid of them. An infestation at one point made it hard (well, harder than usual) for him to work, because he was too scared to go into his workroom.
* ExecutiveMeddling: His editors frequently made him change ideas that they felt were unwise or simply didn't like. It's the reason why, in ''Anime/DragonBallZ'', the Androids Trunks came back to fight were #19 and 20, then, no, actually they were #17 and 18, and then Cell appeared, and then he had several transformations.... In each case, it was Toriyama's editor (Yū Kondō in this example) going, "Yeah, no. Try something else." His editor for the Buu arc was comparatively lenient, which is perhaps why the story in that part is DenserAndWackier, as well as all over the place from a narrative standpoint. On the other hand, he did insist that Toriyama give up on his plan for Gohan to replace Goku as the main character (the ending of the Cell arc was meant to be a PassingTheTorch moment).
* ForgetfulJones: Has become one of his defining trademarks to the fandom, as he cannot remember the details (or much of the big picture) of the things he's written. He once famously asked ''Franchise/OnePiece'' author Creator/EiichiroOda who "[[Manga/DragonBall Tao Pai Pai]]" was[[note]]this is especially amusing considering Oda's reputation for remembering ''everything'' to the point of MemeticMutation[[/note]], and that's not so atypical for him. He's gotten a ''bit'' better since he re-read ''Manga/DragonBall'' in 2002-03 and again in 2011-12, but he still does things like confuse Super Saiyan 2 and 3, which is pretty hard to do.
* LineOfSightName: Frequently. To name just one example, the three girls abducted by Oolong in an early ''Manga/DragonBall'' episode are named after the model "Hedgehog" and "Lee" tanks he happened to have near his desk at the time.
** A number of characters in ''Kajika'' are named after fish, for the sole reason that Toriyama had multiple tanks full of tropical fish in his workroom at the time he was drawing it.
* MotivationalLie: Seems to have been on the receiving end of more than a few by his first editor, Kazuhiko Torishima. Like that one about the series he could draw for 10 weeks and then be allowed to end it... which turned into ''Manga/DoctorSlump''. Torishima seemed to understand that the only way to get Toriyama's creativity to triumph over his laziness was to lie to him about how much work he'd be required to do.
** It gets better. When Yuji Horii approached Toriyama's editor Torishima about finding an artist to draw the characters for the [[VideoGame/DragonQuest new game he was working on]], Torishima told him there was someone who was absolutely ''thrilled'' to get the chance. Toriyama was none the wiser.
* NatureLover: Wishes he could live in the middle of nowhere so he could enjoy hearing and seeing wild animals, and has a veritable stable of pets that includes (or has included) cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, fish, and birds. One thing he does hate, though, is mice.
** [[AuthorAppeal Which may have something to do with Goku and his family living in a house in the woods]].
* OnlySixFaces: Which he mocks in ''Manga/DoctorSlump''.
* ReclusiveArtist: He's "not good with people", and prefers the company of his family and pets to others. To understand why, you need look no further than [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JOnoZXtIN8 this 1983 interview]] on ''Tetsuko's Room'' shortly after he got married: the awkward silence is ''amazing''. Initially, he (grudgingly) allowed himself to be photographed, and even portrayed himself as something of a character in his own right, but he evidently became so overwhelmed by his fame during ''Manga/DragonBall'' that he stopped showing his face in photographs and only rarely makes public appearances. The one good photo we have of him from the past ''two decades'' is from 2002, when he went to New York for the launch of the North American ''Shonen Jump'' magazine. He goes out in public so rarely that he's occasionally rumored dead by fans panicked at his (deliberate) lack of statements or creative output.
** 201314 is a rare exception for him in that he's given a plethora of interviews (at least 10) in connection with ''Anime/DragonBallZ: Battle of Gods'' and ''JacoTheGalacticPatrolman'', but he's still as unwilling to show his face as ever.
* SelfDeprecation: When his AuthorAvatar went to the future in ''Manga/DoctorSlump'', it turned out that his future self has changed his profession to [[spoiler:beggar]].
* ShrugOfGod: A lot of his tidbits and answers to questions from interviewers regarding elements of the Dragon Ball Universe are notoriously noncommittal and speculative, unknowingly [[InternetBackdraft driving fans up the wall]].
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Artist Creator/MasakazuKatsura, just look at their interview on their joint projects (''Sachie-chan'' and ''Jiya'') and notice how they nag each other to death.
** In ''Manga/DoctorSlump'', Katsura makes a quick appearance, and is portrayed as a sort of country bumpkin...
** Each has used the argument over which of them came up with "Fusion" in ''Dragon Ball'' as an excuse to take a few verbal jabs at each other in interviews.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: So great is his fear of mice that an infestation practically chased him out of his house, which made his work suffer since he kept his manuscripts in his study.
* WorldBuilding: In ''Dragon Ball'' especially, though much of it seems to have come together accidentally rather than planned from the outset; he claims never to have been thinking further ahead than the next week's chapter.
* WritingByTheSeatOfYourPants: Toriyama has admitted that he ''never'' planned anything out and made it up as he went along. The fact that this actually worked is quite impressive.