Momoko Sakura → Akira Toriyama
Arale Norimaki: Maru-chan, I’ll give you this as a token of our friendship!!
Narrator: For a short while, Maruko was bewildered by her present from super-idol Arale-chan…
Toriyama-sensei, how do you do? I have been enamored of you since far, far back, Toriyama-sensei, having admired you since junior high school.
Toriyama-sensei, your works are gentle, enjoyable, and optimistic, and they always give me excitement. The magnificence of your own character really shines through, Toriyama-sensei. I have nothing but the highest esteem for your rare talent that allows you to create one splendid work after another, and for your work ethic overflowing with enthusiasm.
Previously, Toriyama-sensei, when my character and your character appeared together on the TV screen1, I was so deeply moved that I wept. To think that it would be able to appear alongside the work of Toriyama-sensei, whom I had always admired, I could only think that it was a dream.
Before I became a cartoonist, I read the book Akira Toriyama’s Crappy Manga Laboratory, and it was a great encouragement. Naturally, I have also gotten plenty of dreams from your works such as Dr. Slump, Dragon Ball, and Akira Toriyama’s _____piece Theatre.
Just like this, Toriyama-sensei, the manga that you have drawn are nurturing big dreams in Japan and around the world. I, too, nurtured the dreams that I got from you, Toriyama-sensei, and became a cartoonist. Thank you so very much.
Toriyama-sensei, I know that you must be very busy, but please be sure to take care of your health.
And, of course, I am truly looking forward to your wonderful efforts in the future.
Akira Toriyama → Momoko Sakura
Maruko: To commemorate this, I’ll switch clothes with you! You take good care of that outfit, now!
Son Goku: Right…
I am truly thankful to receive your kind message. It is an incredibly great honor. It’s all gone straight to my head. Really, I am happiest to be praised by someone in the same profession than by anyone else.
However, Sakura-sensei, I am quite embarrassed, because I am not at all like the sort of author you praised… With regards to manga, I was just enthralled with things like Astro Boy when I was in primary school, but from junior high onward, up to the present, I have lived without much contact with it, so even now, this world of manga is full of things that I don’t know. I keep thinking that I should study a little more, but I’ve just lazed along, without doing anything in particular. (That’s not being modest; it’s the honest truth.)
But of course, even someone as ignorant as I am couldn’t possibly be unaware of Chibi Maruko-chan.
Sakura-sensei, you are really able to discover enjoyment out of daily life, past and present. I feel that your powers of memory, observation, and organization, and most importantly, your aesthetic sense, are wonderful. That’s a feat I, drawing as I am in that exaggerated style typical of a shōnen magazine, can’t really hope to mimic.
Please continue bringing enjoyment to all your fans with your oh-so-cute stories and pictures (with just a little bit of poison2). It’s made me want to work a little bit harder, as well.
P.S. Thank you so much for your wonderful illustration. It’s something I’ve always admired, Sakura-sensei, but your design drawings are so nice and cute. They have a bit of an Eastern feel, and I like that a lot. I have displayed it with great care here. (My wife also likes it very much.) Well, then, I’ll be looking forward to your art book.
2 The word Toriyama uses here (毒; doku, meaning “poison”) is one he would use again within a couple years in his WIRED Japan interview discussing Son Goku, the character’s portrayal in animated adaptations, and aspects that were missed therein.