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'One Piece,' 'Naruto' creators mourn Akira Toriyama

'One Piece,' 'Naruto' creators mourn Akira Toriyama

The manga industry is mourning the loss of one of the greatest manga writers of all time, Akira Toriyama.

Following the "Dragon Ball" creator's death announced on Friday, his peers released statements to pay tribute to him.

"One Piece" creator Eiichiro Oda said that "it's too soon," and that "the void left behind is too large."

"The sadness overwhelms me when I realize I’ll never meet you again," he said. "From my childhood, I’ve admired you. I remember the day I was first called by name. On the way home after the day you used the word 'friends' for us, I remember the joyous moment with Kishimoto-san. I remember our last conversation."

Oda said that Toriyama was from an era where "reading manga was considered foolish," and yet he "helped create an era where both adults and children enjoy manga."

"You showed us that manga can do this, that it can take us to other worlds. It felt like watching a hero charging forward," he said.

"With respect and gratitude for Akira Toriyama-sensei’s rich creative world, I sincerely pray for his peaceful rest," he added. May heaven be the delightful world you envisioned, Sensei."

"Naruto" creator Masashi Kishimoto meanwhile said he that Toriyama's work has been with him since early elementary school. "Dragon Ball" particularly was "salvation" for a "rural boy" like him.

"I want to create works like Sensei! I want to be like Sensei! Pursuing manga artist, I gradually overcame that sense of loss. Because making manga was fun. Sensei was always my guiding star. I admired him. Sensei might find it bothersome, but I'm grateful anyway. He was truly a god of salvation and manga to me," he said.

Kishimoto said that the first time he met Toriyama, he was so nervous he couldn't speak, but he eventually got used to him. In fact, he and Oda would talk about Dragon Ball, and Toriyama would give them a "slightly embarrassed smile."

"I've just received news of Sensei's passing," Kishimoto said. "I'm overwhelmed with a sense of loss even greater than when Dragon Ball ended... I still don't know how to deal with this hole in my heart. I can't even read Dragon Ball, my beloved manga, now. I don't feel like I can write this message to Sensei properly. People around the world were still looking forward to Sensei's works. If there's one wish from Dragon Ball that could come true... I'm sorry... It may be selfish, but I'm sad, Sensei."

"Thank you, Akira Toriyama-sensei, for your many enjoyable works over 45 years. And thank you very much for your hard work," he added.

Akira Toriyama died of acute subdural hematoma, Bird Studio announced on Friday. He was 68.

He is known for his work on "Dr. Slump," "Dragon Quest," and of course, "Dragon Ball," which remains to be one of the most influential manga series of all time. —JCB, GMA Integrated News