Finding the designer of Towa, and an amusing anecdote about Toriyama and Goten

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Finding the designer of Towa, and an amusing anecdote about Toriyama and Goten

Post by Cipher » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:47 am

A bit of a new discovery (for English-speaking fans) from the Twittersphere today, thanks to Kanzenshuu mod TheDevilsCorpse pointing my way to some year+-old tweets.

If you've dipped your feet into any of the increasingly original-story-driven DB video games in recent history, or related media like the Super Dragon Ball Heroes manga/promotional anime, you're likely familiar with Towa, Dabra's scientist sister who is usually seen fiddling with the flow of time to collect energy for the Demon Realm, her artificial creation/eventual husband Mira, and their time-traveling son Fu.

Those three were originally written to fill antagonist roles in the Dragon Ball-themed MMORPG Dragon Ball Online, the background story to which was provided by Toriyama himself. (Online was shuttered after release only in Korea and China, leaving many of its elements to be shuffled into Xenoverse instead, through which they made their first appearances in Japan.) For this reason, it was a common assumption among fans that he had also designed most of its prominent characters.

From Japanese Twitter conversations that took place in spring 2017 (also cited in Japanese Wikipedia articles after the fact), but which went unnoticed by English-speaking fans, we now know that isn't the case.

Daiki Miki - DB Online Designer - Responsible for Towa, avatars, possibly Fu, etc.

Towa was designed by DB Online designer Daiki Miki (https://twitter.com/mikidai7). Miki may or may not have a more specific credit, but neither information he's provided nor Japanese Wikipedia specify any further. He does make it clear that he worked under Toriyama's guidance designing many parts of the game, including: avatars, avatar outfits, items, monsters, buildings, etc. At this point he has trouble remembering what he designed and what Toriyama did. (https://twitter.com/mikidai7/status/864457644106334208)

What is clear is that he designed Towa, who went through Toriyama's review while receiving practically no alterations (https://t.co/MdzkNJjwrw). The female Majin avatar--also more or less reused in Xenoverse--is another major contribution of his that survived nearly or entirely untouched. He also submitted a design of Mira, but the corrections he received from Toriyama were apparently so extensive they constituted almost an entirely new character (https://t.co/ImzsGSsty6). There's some implication he also designed a few characters who re-appear in Heroes-original story lines, such as Kyoakkuman and General Bon, as he notes feeling nostalgic upon seeing they're now playing roles in the game (https://twitter.com/mikidai7/status/864764845484265472).

All this was first uncovered due to his tweeting "fan" art for Xenoverse (which he played no direct part in, though obviously it continued to use characters he'd originally played a role in designing), leading to a handful of conversations with Japanese fans.

He currently works as an illustrator and designer for Japanese digital media company Exys, which appears to help produce digital creative projects for clients. His employee introduction page features a short comic about his time working under Toriyama, and the role Toriyama's style continues to play in shaping his work. (Quite obviously, as he remains an uncanny Toriyama imitator. His highest profile works of late seem to be helming design for several mobile games.)

All this taken into consideration, Miki is someone who's played a rather substantial role in modern DB character design, but who you probably haven't heard of. Through ever-expanding branches of DB video-game fiction like Xenoverse and Heroes, his designs, and designs inspired by them, continue to play a role in the series. According to Heroes producer Wataru Higuchi in the Heroes 8th anniversary book, even the games' avatars took a bit of design influence from those of Online, so assuming Miki either designed or helped design them all, that's quite a legacy.

Toriyama and Goten

Miki also recently tweeted an anecdote he was reminded of upon reading articles about Toriyama confessing to forgetting who Broly was before the development of the new film: https://twitter.com/mikidai7/status/1031889960024952834

During their work together--which, for context, would have been prior to Battle of Gods or any of the current revival material--Miki apparently asked Toriyama for a signature and sketch of Goten.

"Who was Goten again...?"
"His face looks like Goku's, and..."
"Well, then I can just draw child Goku?" (Miki says he remembers Toriyama giving an answer along those lines.)

(Fun fact: You can see this very Goku sketch hanging in Miki's office in his company bio page.)

And in a case of the student becoming the master, years later Miki had to be reminded by fans who Fu was, having added him to a drawing of Towa and Mira only because he felt like he remembered drawing him back then and was pretty sure he belonged with them due to the mark on his hat (https://twitter.com/mikidai7/status/864426632341147648).

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Re: Finding the designer of Towa, and an amusing anecdote about Toriyama and Goten

Post by Dragono » Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:09 pm

This makes too much sense.....

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Re: Finding the designer of Towa, and an amusing anecdote about Toriyama and Goten

Post by emperior » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:31 pm

I find Toriyama forgetting of Goten extremely hilarious.
Especially because with modern Dragon Ball stories it’s clear he’s forgotten how he had Goku almost passing off the torch to Goten and Trunks, the both of whom are now treated as little kids who shouldn’t ever be involved in any fight.
It almost basically confirms the theories that Goten was created just to be a visual replacement to the then dead Goku. But then, it’s also true that Trunks HAD to be in the story and Goten as his sidekick is helpful to give Trunks someone to talk and hang out with.
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Re: Finding the designer of Towa, and an amusing anecdote about Toriyama and Goten

Post by DestructoDisc » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:42 pm

Welp, Goten can now join Launch in the group of characters Toriyama forgot even existed

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Re: Finding the designer of Towa, and an amusing anecdote about Toriyama and Goten

Post by Dbzfan94 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:16 pm

As a huge Goten fan this makes me sad

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Re: Finding the designer of Towa, and an amusing anecdote about Toriyama and Goten

Post by ShadowBardock89 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:22 pm

DestructoDisc wrote:Welp, Goten can now join Launch in the group of characters Toriyama forgot even existed
So, who is in this group?
Launch, Broly, Tao, and now Goten?
http://www.kanzenshuu.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=40715&start=20#p1439892
http://dba.bn-ent.net/character/barduck.html
https://i.imgur.com/86hOk5i.gif

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Re: Finding the designer of Towa, and an amusing anecdote about Toriyama and Goten

Post by 90sDBZ » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:07 pm

Considering the huge role Gotenks played as earth's last hope against Buu for a long stretch, it's pretty crazy that Toriyama would forget Goten. With characters like Tao it's understandable as he was ultimately overshadowed by time and other villains, but Goten is Goku's son for crying out loud. :?

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Re: Finding the designer of Towa, and an amusing anecdote about Toriyama and Goten

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:26 pm

God, Cipher, you should go back to "Shitposting" (In quotes because I dont care what that guy says, those posts were epic) and less depressing stuff like this.
Jinzoningen MULE wrote:I will not be satisfied until my pessimism crushes your spirit.
90sDBZ wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:44 pm
19 years ago I was rushing home from school to watch DBZ on Cartoon Network, and today I've rushed home from work to watch DBS on Pop. I guess it's true the more things change the more they stay the same. :lol:

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Re: Finding the designer of Towa, and an amusing anecdote about Toriyama and Goten

Post by Kataphrut » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:12 am

I've said it before, but it would make a lot of sense to find out Toriyama doesn't look back fondly on the Buu saga. The use of ensemble characters (whenever he does use them) in modern stories is very telling. Buu, Goten and Trunks always get the short shrift and Gohan doesn't fare much better.

Also, interesting to find out he didn't design Towa. Makes sense, she doesn't seem like his "type" of female character.

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Re: Finding the designer of Towa, and an amusing anecdote about Toriyama and Goten

Post by 90sDBZ » Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:04 am

Kataphrut wrote:I've said it before, but it would make a lot of sense to find out Toriyama doesn't look back fondly on the Buu saga. The use of ensemble characters (whenever he does use them) in modern stories is very telling. Buu, Goten and Trunks always get the short shrift and Gohan doesn't fare much better.

Also, interesting to find out he didn't design Towa. Makes sense, she doesn't seem like his "type" of female character.
I'd have thought the opposite would be true because he was given more freedom by his editor at the time. Toriyama seems to prefer the lighter goofier stuff to the more serious stuff his other editors pushed him towards.

Even if he doesn't like that portion of the story it's still shocking that he forgot who Goten was.

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Re: Finding the designer of Towa, and an amusing anecdote about Toriyama and Goten

Post by emperior » Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:05 am

Well even if Toriyama did indeed forget Goten, he nowadays knows who Goten is yet he doesn’t do anything with him.
The saddest thing is that Goten really is a forgettable character. He never had much of a personality in the original manga and only served his purpose of being Goku’s lookalike and Trunks’ sidekick and Gotenk’s fusee.
It would be nice if Toriyama could write something interesting with Goten and Trunks but at this point, I honestly expect them to never have an important role in any of the new modern Dragon Ball stories.
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Re: Finding the designer of Towa, and an amusing anecdote about Toriyama and Goten

Post by Cipher » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:50 am

Kataphrut wrote:Also, interesting to find out he didn't design Towa. Makes sense, she doesn't seem like his "type" of female character.
I've always thought this as well. She's a little out of place. I thought maybe he was just hamming it up a little as a one-off, but it made so much sense to me to find out she wasn't his design.

@Cure Dragon 255, sorry.

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Re: Finding the designer of Towa, and an amusing anecdote about Toriyama and Goten

Post by Michsi » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:58 am

I haven't seen a lot of images of Towa, but she didn't strike me as something un-Toriyama-like when I forst saw her (maybe the under-boob outfit was bit strange ).

Design for Galena and Android 21 (demon form) are also similar in that regard.

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Re: Finding the designer of Towa, and an amusing anecdote about Toriyama and Goten

Post by Lord Beerus » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:19 am

When it comes to Toriyama forgetting shit like this -- which he shouldn't ever forget in the first place -- I always go to one of my signatures which explains everything in wonderfully wholesome manner:
Akira Toriyama wrote:My policy is to try and forget things once they’re over. Since if I don’t discard the old and focus on what’s new, I’ll overload my brain capacity. I still haven’t lived down going, “Who the heck is Tao Pai-pai?” that one time I was talking with Ei’ichiro Oda-kun. But the fact that there are still people reading the series after all this time… All I can say is; “thank you.” Really, that’s all.

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Re: Finding the designer of Towa, and an amusing anecdote about Toriyama and Goten

Post by Grimlock » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:21 am

Kataphrut wrote:Also, interesting to find out he didn't design Towa. Makes sense, she doesn't seem like his "type" of female character.
Well, we know that Toriyama created Towa, but having created does not mean necessarily he designed her. Just like movie characters, all Toei's creation but Toriyama was the one who designed some of them. The point is, we can't actually give credits to one entity alone.

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Re: Finding the designer of Towa, and an amusing anecdote about Toriyama and Goten

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:01 pm

Cipher wrote:
Kataphrut wrote:Also, interesting to find out he didn't design Towa. Makes sense, she doesn't seem like his "type" of female character.
I've always thought this as well. She's a little out of place. I thought maybe he was just hamming it up a little as a one-off, but it made so much sense to me to find out she wasn't his design.

@Cure Dragon 255, sorry.
Dont be sorry. You are awesome.
Jinzoningen MULE wrote:I will not be satisfied until my pessimism crushes your spirit.
90sDBZ wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:44 pm
19 years ago I was rushing home from school to watch DBZ on Cartoon Network, and today I've rushed home from work to watch DBS on Pop. I guess it's true the more things change the more they stay the same. :lol:

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