Having apparently conversed with my parents saying “Ki—n”, “N’cha!” and “Hoyo”2, I just adored Toriyama-sensei since I was little.
As for Dragon Ball, I didn’t have the money to buy Jump every week when I was an elementary schooler, so I went to read Jump at an okonomiyaki3 shop in my neighborhood where you could eat for 100 yen.
My friends and I were so desperate, we would pool together a little bit of money at a time and order an okonomiyaki. Then we’d ignore the okonomiyaki and sink our teeth into Dragon Ball instead.
I liked Dragon Ball so excessively much that I’d cut out panels from my favorite pages of the volumes (looking back now, I did something unthinkable), paste them into my notebook, and work with the utmost diligence at writing commentary and such. (And gratis, to boot.)
Sitting seiza style in front of the TV five minutes before the anime started was the rule. I’d get [my parents] to buy me something called a “Koro-chan Pack” or other, and listen to it every week. “Grab hold of the romance”, “Lonely Wolf”; even now, I can sing them perfectly!!
The more I think back on it, the more I re-read it, the more [I realize] Dragon Ball is what got me started wanting to do shōnen manga.
I love Dragon Ball!