As far back as I can remember I have always been a fan of Toriyama-san. Like with most of occidental otakus my love for this guy’s work started with the anime Dragon Ball Z. It was only much later that I realized that the manga it was based on was much better. From that moment on there was no holding back. Everything with the name Akira Toriyama on it had to be mine. To this day Akira Toriyama’s work remains a constant inspiration to a generation of mangakas trying to be the next big thing. The next Akira Toriyama. Bitch please, there is only one Akira Toriyama.
Akira Toriyama – Le maître du manga is a biography based on the life of the man before he became the legend and the life-changing repercussions that came with the fame.
Wait what? A biography on Akira Toriyama? Yes sir. The reason you’ve probably never heard of this book is probably because it is all written in French. And quite frankly what use is it to you if you don’t speak French? But if you do, this book is for you. The book was written by Olivier Richard and was put out by 12bis in 2011.
Akira Toriyama – Le maître du manga is an extremely detailed an well-put-together book. It contains tons of pictures and has a lot of information on the life that led Akira Toriyama to become the superstar whose work we all learned to love. Every aspect of Akira Toriyama’s outstanding career is documented. Being it the most famous works like Dr. Slump or Dragon Ball or the lesser-known projects like his multiple character designs for games like Tobal No.1, the scale models for the World Fighter Collection (Fine Molds) or the children’s book titled Toccio The Angel. The biographical part of the book starts with Akira Toriyama’s birth in 1955 and ends with the mention of Ooishi Naho’s Dragon Ball SD & Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock. So as you can see it is not missing much, if any.
The format of the book is rather unique for any biography for it has the shape and size of an American comic book trade paperback. Though a lot of people will probably like this for its originality I’d rather have a proper fancy hardcover with stronger binding. Yeah, I’m old like that. Other than the biographical part the book also contains a complete chronologically correct bibliography of Akira Toriyama’s work which comes in handy if you feel the need to complete your personal collection. It also contains a couple of interviews with people who have worked with or whose work has been inspired by Akira Toriyama.
If you speak French and are into Akira Toriyama’s work or manga in general you’ll have to give Akira Toriyama – Le maître du manga a read. I for one could not put it down until the end. It is a very simple written but informative book that will make you want to re-read Dr. Slump, Dragon Ball, Kajika, Sandland and all the other books by the master of shônen manga.