The Art of Toriyama Akira – The World Special Art Book Review

Posted By yonghow on October 28th, 2010

“The World Special” is a collection of illustration art work by Toriyama Akira, whose immensely popular “Dragonball” is probably the most famous (Japanese) manga ever created.

The bulk of the book features art work from Dragonball, most of them used as cover illustrations/chapter dividers for the comic.

Toriyama-san is an expert mecha/vehicle designer, and I so love his creations ! I was planning to do a post on all the machines that appeared in the entire Dragonball series, but I never found time to scan all the pictures I needed. Here at least, you can enjoy some of them.

(above) The cover for book 12. From here on the mood of the manga gets significantly darker/tenser with the start of the Piccolo arc/saga. ( below ) A sneak peek of Toriyama-san’s atelier.

Dr Slump and Arare-chan, one of Toriyama’s earlier creations, also hugely popular in Japan.

(above) Toriyama-san takes us through the creation of one of his art pieces used as the cover art for this book. (below) A piece for Dragon Quest.

The book comes housed in a sturdy outer cardboard slip case. ( above )

Toriyama Akira’s “The World Special″ art book details :

– Dimensions –12.4 x 9 x 0.8 inches
– Hardcover, 185 pages
– Full color
– Comes with a cardboard slip case ( see top image )

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8 Responses to “The Art of Toriyama Akira – The World Special Art Book Review”

Sonny Sy

very nice, and quite timely, i just got into the dragon ball manga more than 20 years since it was first published 🙂


i’m still stunned by his artwork, even though i’m not as big of a Dragonball fan anymore. his style is so simple and yet, it’s so sophisticated. the Arare-chan illustration where she is riding the thing with the number 8 on it is one of the best examples of that. Akira Toriyama is an unbelievable talent and his illustrations, still, are fascinatingly enjoyable.


I haven’t read/watched any of the Dragon Ball manga/anime yet, but I’m a huge fan of his artwork. I’ve read a couple of Dragon ball volumes, and, wow, he has a beautiful imagination. I didn’t know that Dr Slump was from his as well. I saw it pictured in another Shonen Jump manga and I had no idea it was from him. It would be great if he worked on a new epic, something of the same scale as Dragon ball.


Sonny – Haha, better late than never. :]

Zack – That’s right, Toriyama-san’s art is simple, but he’s knows how to design appealing characters and mecha, which is why Dragonball is still popular today.

Hina – On the inner jacket cover flap of the original Japanese Dragonball comics, Toriyama-san said he worked his a** off on Dragonball, and won’t want to do it again. He’s got 2 kids now I think, and is collecting very generous royalties from all the merchandize, games and comics he’s done, so nope, its not likely he’d work on something as epic as Dragonball again, said to say.


quick question: what is the difference between this and the artbook of his just titled The World? i am assuming this is just an expanded edition, but i am often wrong, ha.

also, i think the appeal of his artwork to me has always been his color, too. as with Masamune Shirow (before he started doing so much with computers), his hand painted images are just stunning.


Zack – Yes you’re right ! “The World” is like an abridged version, softcover, but I’ve been told to get The World Special as its more comprehensive.


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