Akira Toriyama is the man behind classic manga like Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump. He also served as character designer and illustrator for the Dragon Quest games as well. But now, he is also officially a knight! During a ceremony at the French Embassy in Japan, the French government actually knighted the mangaka as a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters).
Unfortunately, Toriyama himself did not attend his own Knighting ceremony, but his publisher, Akio Iyoku, attended in his place. The publisher then passed a message from the absent mangaka himself. Toriyama says he is grateful to his French fans who have supported him even through the early days of his career. Iyoku also explained that Toriyama almost never attends ceremonies and said that the mangaka instructed him to tell the French people that he feels honored to receive the award.
Toriyama is known to help spread the popularity of manga in France. In fact, many in the country regarded Dragon Ball as a cultural phenomenon. Other knighted figures from Japan include Leiji Matsumoto, Jiro Taniguchi, Katsuhiro Otomo, Isao Takahata, and Takeshi Kitano.
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