Akira Toriyama Was Knighted
Update: It has come to our attention that the original cover photo for this article was of the wrong person. It was Go Nagai in the cover photo that we have taken down. We apologize for the miscommunication.
So… The French government conferred upon the Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters). Akira Toriyama
Mr. Toriyama is a very private person. It is rare to ever see him in public. So obviously he was not there to attend the ceremony. His publisher Akio Iyoku received the medal awarded on behalf of Toriyama. Iyoku emphatically apologized for the creators’ absence.
“Mr. Toriyama is always very grateful to his French fans who have appreciated his works since the early days of his career. Unfortunately, Mr. Toriyama almost never attends ceremonies and so I have the honor of receiving this award in his place. He instructed me to tell you how honored he is to receive this award from your country.”Huffington Post
Beyond Akira Toriyama, other knighted creators from the world of anime and manga include the likes of Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) in 2005, Jiro Taniguchi (The Summit of the Gods) in 2011, Leiji Matsumoto (Galaxy Express 999) in 2013, and Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies) in 2015, among others.
Toriyama’s Dragon Ball is credited with popularizing manga in France. The series rose to popularity thanks to its anime adaptation airing as part of the Club Dorothée children’s television program in the late 1980s. French publisher Glénat localized the manga in 1993 and it quickly became a cultural phenomenon.
Being Knighted is just another accolade added to the list of Toriyama’s. One of the most coveted awards in comic books is the Eisner for which Akira Toriyama is being nominated for as well. He was also mentioned as being an influencer inspiring other famous manga artists, such as Eiichiro Oda, the creator of One Piece, and Masashi Kisomoto, the creator of Naruto.