This information has since been converted into a fully-fledged section here on Kanzenshuu.
----Notice:This old thread is part of my series of guides. To avoid necro-posting, please post any comments you have in the sticky thread for my guides, rather than here. Thanks!----
While it seems to be fairly well-known that Toriyama contributed certain ideas and character designs to the anime, there’s still a lot of misunderstanding as to just what stuff he did or didn’t have a part in. Daizenshuu EX does go over some of Toriyama’s contributions to the DBZ anime filler in their Rumor Guide, and we’ve had lots of threads on Toriyama’s involvement in GT, but I think we need one thread that compiles all this info. And this, hopefully, will be it. And later I’ll probably re-use it for Kanzentai, I suppose. Since I don’t have a scanner of my own, when possible I’ll reuse scans made by previous people. Maybe later I'll cajole Hujio into making more scans/scanslations. edit: Now updated with scans kindly provided by Hujio.
I’ll organize this so that story elements and character designs are listed roughly in the order in which they appeared in the series, with the main series first (including GT), followed by movies and TV specials.
DB (original series)
Voice Actor/Actress Selection
Toriyama personally selected Masako Nozawa to voice Goku, Mayumi Tanaka to voice Kuririn. He also helped select other unspecified major characters as well, though apparently this was only for major characters at the very beginning of the series. In Daizenshuu 10, for instance, Ryo Horikawa mentions not having to audition to play for Vegeta.
From Toriyama’s Daizenshuu 3 interview
Fire-Eating Bird--Where there any jobs you did directly for the “DB” anime?
Toriyama: In cases where characters appeared in the anime before they were shown in color in the manga, I sent a response to the animators at Toei through my editor. After that, I listened to the voice actor audition tapes, and decided on the casting. When I decided on Goku’s voice, I listened to the voices of five or six candidates, and out of those I decided on Masako Nozawa-san.
--What were your impressions on hearing Goku’s voice during the actual broadcast?
Toriyama: I went “Goku has this sort of voice, doesn’t he”. From then on, when I was drawing the manga, the characters’ voices would somehow drift up in my mind. Whenever that happened, Goku’s voice would be just like Nozawa-san’s, and I’d think “Geez, she’s good”. Now it’s impossible to separate Goku from Nozawa-san.
--Did you choose any of the other characters?
Toriyama: I was present for the selection of the other major roles. After that, I suppose I only designated Mayumi Tanaka-san as the voice of Krillin. When I saw “Night on the Galaxy Railroad” (note 1), I said the protagonist had a really good voice, and a very knowledgeable friend of mine told me that it was Mayumi Tanaka-san.
The only filler contribution Toriyama made for the original DB anime series that I’ve been able to find is his design of the Fire-Eating Bird featured in the Mt. Frypan filler arc at the end of the series. His design is featured on page 67 of Daizenshuu 10, along with a sketch of the older Gyuumao which was apparently done for the anime staff.
The “Z” title
Probably Toriyama’s most notable contribution to DragonBall Z is that he coined the title “DragonBall Z” itself. In pages 92 and 93 of Son Goku Densetsu, Toriyama explains the origin of the name:
Daizenshuu 10 mentions how, prior to Toriyama coming up with the title “DBZ”, the anime staff had been considering such names as “New DB”, “DB 2”, “DB 90”, “DB: Wonder Boy”, and “DB: Gohan’s Big Adventure”.---I heard a rumor that you added the “Z” to the title because of an energy supplement that had “Z” in its name.
Toriyama: Well, that’s wrong (laughs). “Z” is the last letter in the alphabet, right? So, at the time I already really wanted to end the series, and so I made the title “Z” to say “Hey, this is the end!” I don’t remember saying a single thing about any energy supplement. You really can’t go by rumors (laughs).
Nakatsuru: Did you imagine anything else besides “Z”?
Toriyama: No, I don’t think so. Personally I thought that the title was fine the way it was, but the people on the anime staff said they wanted an image change, so I figured “well, this should be OK”.
Toriyama mentions in his Daizenshuu 3 interview how “during the story when Goku was training at Kaio-sama’s place, [the anime staff] said they wanted one more character, so I thought up the character of ‘Gregory’”.
Toriyama’s memo on Gregory is shown in the DBZ Anime Special. Along with several sketches of Gregory, there is also a height chart comparing him to Goku and Kaio.
Goku’s Various Adventures Along the Snake RoadAfter catching Bubbles, for further training he must try to hit Gregory with an extremely heavy hammer, while dodging Gregory, who can freely fly around and attack. After managing this, Kaio will finally train him.
Gregory flies at incredible speeds while glowing and also has considerable power. While he’s quite a loudmouth, his tone of voice is polite. He’s like Kaio-sama’s butler, and looks after him.
The DBZ Anime Special mentions that Toriyama had quite a hand in these. First, he submitted a memo giving a general idea for the Snake Princess episode, although this memo only talked about a single giant snake living in the castle along the road. The beautiful Snake Princess and her servants were apparently the anime staff’s idea. Of course, in the episode they just turned out to be illusions created by the giant snake in the end.
Second, the Anime Special says that the episode where Goku goes down to Hell is also “full of Akira Toriyama-sensei’s ideas!!” But it’s not any more specific than that, unfortunately. But interestingly (maybe), the entry for Hell in Daizenshuu 7’s glossary says how Hell is cut off from the above world by mysterious clouds, which people coming from above can pass through, but which people coming from below can’t, thus preventing criminals from flying out and escaping. Now, all entries in Daizenshuu 7’s various dictionaries are broken up into several subsections, such as “first appearance”, “special characteristics”, “history”, or the like, and anime-only stuff is included in a “anime” subsection. But despite the cloud barrier only showing up in the anime, Daizenshuu 7 doesn’t place it into an “anime” subsection. Is this just a mistake, or is it because the cloud barrier idea was part of Toriyama’s memo on Hell? There’s at least one proven example of the later sort of thing. In Piccolo’s Daizenshuu 7 bio, it mentions Piccolo’s weakness to high-frequency noises such as whistling, which it includes under “special characteristics” and not “anime”, despite this only being mentioned in DBZ movie 4. In a different part of Daizenshuu 7 (more on this later), it says that Toriyama came up with this Namekian weakness, despite it only appearing in the movie, so this is probably why Daizenshuu 7 didn’t file it under “anime”. So the cloud barrier thing could have likewise come from Toriyama.
Finally, the filler scene where Goku breaks off a piece of the clouds that surround the Snake Road and eats it was also Toriyama’s idea.
Toriyama made a memo on the Saibaimen for the anime staff, which is reproduced in the DBZ Anime Special, Daizenshuu 5, and Son Goku Densetsu. Unfortunately, in every case the picture is very small, with only the DBZ Anime Special picture being remotely readable. It’s titled “About the Saibaimen”, and the first sentence seems to be talking about what the Saiyans used Saibaimen for, but I can't make much out. The next sentence says that they were artificially created by Saiyan scientist(s) using bio-technology. Then it says that their battle power is quite high, only slightly inferior to Raditz. After this is a paragraph I can barely read. Stuff I can make out is Toriyama writing that he “thinks it would be good”, “demonstration”, “flashy”, and “sending [something] flying”. My guess is that this second paragraph is Toriyama saying he thinks it would be good for the Saibaimen to give a demonstration of their strength by doing various flashy stuff, and that this is the basis for that filler scene where the Saibaimen jump around smashing rocks and whatnot.
The fact that Toriyama’s memo talks about how the Saibaimen were created through bio-technology by a Saiyan scientist is also mentioned in their Daizenshuu 7 bio.
Toriyama outlined most of the Saiyan/Tsufruian backstory that appears in DBZ episode 20. His memo on this is reprinted in the DBZ Anime Special, Daizenshuu 5, and Son Goku Densetsu (the readability of said memo varies with each reproduction, though).
It’s notable that Toriyama’s memo uses the name “Planet Plant”, which is later mentioned in “Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans” and DBGT as being the original name of Planet Vegeta before the Saiyans took it over, but is not actually mentioned in DBZ episode 20. Oddly, the DBZ Anime Special and Son Goku Densetsu pictures of the memo show “Planet Plant” crossed out in red, with “Planet Vegeta” written in, but the Daizenshuu 5 picture doesn’t have this. This implies that there are at least 2 copies of this memo.Planet Plant is a difficult planet to live on, as its gravity is unusually strong. However, two races live here. The majority of the inhabitants of Planet Plant are Tsufruian. Their bodies are small, but knowledge-wise they have a comparatively advanced culture and civilization. The other race has an unusually small population, but their bodies are large and strong. They are a primitive, warlike race called the Saiyans. Their biggest distinguishing characteristic is that they have tails, and every one of them seems to be a warrior.
[Picture of Tsufuru, with scouter and blaster gun, labeled “Tsufruian”. We see a colored version of this guy in DBZ episode 20 when Kaio introduces the Tsufruians] Due to the heavy gravity, they are about half as big as the Saiyans.
[arrow pointing to scouter on Tsufruian's head] This scouter, for instance, and other such things were originally Tsufuru inventions.
[picture of three caveman-like Saiyans, all three of which ended up appearing in Kaio’s flashback] The Saiyans of long ago
[picture of the Saiyans’ rocky housing] The housing area that the ancient Saiyans lived in (perhaps more varied shapes might be good?)
From what is shown of Toriyama’s memo, it mentions nothing about Planet Vegeta’s god causing a meteor to collide with the planet, as seen in DBZ episode 20. A caption in the DBZ Anime Special does mention this, but says nothing about it being Toriyama’s idea (the caption is, oddly, for a picture of the two “phantom Saiyans” from a completely different filler episode).
Piccolo’s doppelganger training
The DBZ Anime Special mentions that Piccolo’s practice of splitting into two and fighting himself was Toriyama’s idea.
Lunch chasing Tenshinhan
The DBZ Anime Special says that Toriyama came up with the scene where Lunch reaches the Karin Tower during her endless chase for Tenshinhan, and runs into Upa and Bora as she’s unable to climb the tower. Daizenshuu 10 also has a picture of the character design Toriyama drew for grown-up Upa (adult Upa did end up appearing in the manga at the very end). Son Goku Densetsu mentions that “Tenshinhan and Lunch’s relationship” was part of the stuff Toriyama outlined for what the cast did in the year leading up to Vegeta and Nappa’s arrival. This could just be a reference to the previously mentioned scene with Lunch following Tenshinhan to Karin Tower, or it could also mean that the earlier filler scene where Lunch meets up with Tenshinhan and Chaozu at a waterfall was also Toriyama’s idea.
Yamcha as a Baseball Player
Another thing mentioned as being Toriyama’s idea in the DBZ Anime Special. After getting into a fight with Bulma, Yamcha leaves West City and becomes a baseball player. A caption says that in the memo regarding this, Toriyama wrote out Yamcha’s feelings in great detail…but doesn’t elaborate on this.
Possibly (?!): the Phantom Saiyans
The DBZ Anime Special and Son Goku Densetsu mention that Toriyama detailed various events during the year before Vegeta and Nappa’s arrival for the anime staff, and I’ve gone over all the specifically mentioned examples above. Now, despite the fact that the Daizex rumor guide mentions the phantom Saiyans which Tenshinhan and co. travel to the past to fight with in DBZ episode 17 as being one of Toriyama’s ideas, it is not specifically mentioned as such anywhere. I’d assume that Mike and/or Julian simply misidentified the sketches Toriyama drew of the caveman-like Saiyans from Kaio’s flashback in DBZ episode 20 as being the phantom Saiyans from episode 17. These sketches are labeled “ancient Saiyans” (mukashi no Saiya-jin tachi; Saiyans from long ago), which is how the Daizex rumor guide refers to the phantom Saiyans (even putting “ancient” in quotation marks). Still, despite the fact that they’re never specifically referred to as Toriyama’s idea, it’s still quite possible that they are, since the DBZ Anime Special and Son Goku Densetsu talk about how Toriyama submitted ideas for the Z Warriors’ training. A picture of the phantom Saiyans (taken from episode 17) is even included in the DBZ Anime Special’s insert on Toriyama’s anime memos, although it’s in the section on Saiyan/Tsufruian history rather than the Z Warriors’ training, and the caption simply talks about how Planet Vegeta was destroyed by its own god.
King Vegeta facial design
Page 138 of Son Goku Densetsu shows Toriyama’s sketch of King Vegeta’s head. The caption notes how it seems he didn’t draw King Vegeta’s entire body or costume.
Toriyama’s character design for Paikuhan is shown on page 136 of Son Goku Densetsu.
Son Goku Densetsu also reproduces Toriyama’s character design for the Dai-Kaio, including both his crazy hippy get-up and the more regal attire which he wears for the tournament.
DB cosmos map
In his Daizenshuu 4 interview, Toriyama mentions first drawing the map of the DB cosmos featured in Daizenshuu 4 and later guidebooks for the anime staff.
This overview of the DB cosmos is actually seen briefly in DBZ episode 190, with the Dai-Kaio shown holding it on top of his outstretched index finger like a basketball, to symbolize his godly authority and whatnot. The airport to Heaven which Toriyama mentions is also seen in this episode, as well as the Dai-Kaio’s planet. Though these are part of Toriyama’s conception of the DB afterlife, it’s unknown if he had any hand in the designs used for these places in the anime filler.For Kami-sama's temple, I gave it a comparatively mysterious feeling, but on the other hand I thought it'd be good to have the afterlife be realistic. So Enma Daio and the oni all wore suits like salary-men. I think you can see this by looking at the world map in this book, but there's a thing called the airport to Heaven. The background on that is that the people who go to Heaven all have to go by plane. This complete map was originally background information that I drew at the request of the anime people, but I took this opportunity to add the Kaioshin World, which wasn't included in the complete map before, to make it perfect. In truth, this complete world map is something I made after I finished drawing the story, to make everything consistent. (laughs)
The afterlife tournament filler arc is notable for explaining about the 4 Kaios and the Dai-Kaio some time before this was explained in the manga. This filler arc began on July 18th, 1993 and featured the Dai-Kaio and the four regular Kaio prominently, while in the manga the Dai-Kaio and his role isn’t explained until Piccolo learns Kaioshin’s identity in chapter 440, which came out October 11th, 1993 (the South Kaio did however debut in the manga shortly before the anime filler arc began, appearing in chapter 428 on July 12th, 1993). Since the explanation of the Dai-Kaio and the four Kaios is the same in both the manga and anime, it’s almost certain that Toriyama supplied this background information to the anime staff.
Fused Character Voices
A section on “anime effects” on pages 94-95 of Daizenshuu 5 notes that it was Toriyama’s idea to create the voices of fused characters by having the voice actors/actresses of each character say their lines simultaneously.
In his Daizenshuu 6 interview, Toriyama says that his job for the DB movies consisted of checking the plot and script sent to him by Toei, designing characters, tweaking existing character designs, and changing character names.
Daizenshuu 6 and Son Goku Densetsu have galleries of these movie character designs, and Daizex has most of them up here.
Dr. Uiro design
Tree of Godly Might design
Namekians don’t like whistling
The “anime” section of Daizenshuu 7’s Particulars Dictionary (essentially a collection of random info they couldn’t fit anywhere else) on pages 252 and 253 notes that it was Toriyama’s idea that Namekians have a weakness to high frequency noises such as whistling.
This same section also mentions how Toriyama came up with the idea of portraying Goku’s “Pseudo Super Saiyan” form from this movie by having his hair stand up.
Coola (both forms)
Thouser, Dore, Naise
Super Saiyan Goku
You can’t really tell from the Daizex picture, but SSj Goku here has red pupils, something noted in Son Goku Densetsu (but not Daizenshuu 6).
Though Daizex doesn’t have pictures of them (darn you! Do my work for me!), Toriyama drew black and white designs for the androids in this film (including both of 13’s forms). He also drew a height chart comparing them to Goku. These are all included in Daizenshuu 6, where it notes that in Toriyama’s height chart, 14 is labeled as 15, and vice-versa. This seems to have been the original numbers for each, but the anime staff later switched them around.
Bujin, Bido, Gokua, Zangya
As noted in Daizenshuu 6, this was the only movie which Toriyama designed guest characters for (as opposed to enemy characters). Note that Toriyama did not design Hildegarn.
(TV Special 1)
Barduck and co. designs
Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru did the original designs for the characters, which Toriyama then modified, along with their names. Oh, just read about it here.
Barduck, Selipa, Toma, Toteppo, Pumbukin
Jump Super Anime Tour Special
From the start, the Jump Super Anime Tour special was promoted as being based on a story by Toriyama. And in fact, the opening credits to the special credit Toriyama with the first draft (原案), in addition to his usual credit in anime openings as the creator of the original work (原作; ie the manga). The actual script for the special is, however, credited as being written by Takao Koyama, the same man responsible for all the DBZ movie scripts. So Toriyama did come up with the basis for the story, but he didn’t flat-out write the finished version . Still, this represents more involvement from Toriyama than any of the other DB/Z movies got. Interestingly, in an interview in Son Goku Densetsu, which came out several years before the special, Toriyama and Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru discuss ideas for a new DBZ work, which seem to foreshadow the Jump special a little bit. From page 96:
The Jump special did, in fact, take the approach Toriyama describes here of going back in time and saying that a previously unmentioned incident happened at that particular point in time.---The “DragonBall” kanzenban have brought in new readers, and I think that as fans it’s only natural that they’d want to see a new “DragonBall Z” title. What would you think about making a new anime work about once a year or so?
Toriyama: Oh, I’d like to see that.
Nakatsuru: But by the final chapter, Goku had gotten pretty old. And even after that he was the main character for the anime-original “DragonBall GT”. If we’re going to be making stories left and right here, maybe we should rewind time a bit and make them stories set sometime in the past.
Toriyama: I think so too. Instead of continuing the story further and further into the future, it’d be better to do a separate episode style of story development where you go back in time and go “this sort of enemy was here, and this sort of story”. Just say “it wasn’t in the original work, but this sort of story happened”. Maybe that would be better.
GT is, of course, the anime series that Toriyama had the least involvement in. In his intro to the GT Dragon Box, Toriyama explains that “For GT, all I did was just come up with the title, design the initial main cast and some of the machines, and also do a few images.” Let’s look at each items in detail.
Title “GT” and logo
Just as he came up with “Z”, Toriyama came up with the name “GT” as well. In his GT Dragon Box intro, he says that “in car lingo, GT means ‘Gran Turismo’: a fast, high-powered car, in other words. But in this case, I had GT mean ‘Grand Touring’, a great journey, since the scenario was that they'd be running around the universe.” The GT Perfect Files Vol.1 mentions that the name could also mean “Galaxy Touring”, though this doesn’t seem to have been Toriyama’s intention.
Besides coming up with the title, Toriyama also drew a rough design for the GT logo, which is shown on page 82 of the GT Perfect Files Vol.2. Hi design looks pretty much the same as what the logo ultimately ended up as.
Initial main character designs
Toriyama designed the “several years later” appearance of the main GT cast, including the infamous moustache-blighted Vegeta. The GT Perfect Files Vol.1 has a picture of these designs on page 89:
So as you can see, he designed the GT versions of Gohan, Videl, Goten, Chi Chi, Oob, Mister Satan, Kuririn, Bulma, Bra, Vegeta, Pan, (kid) Goku, Trunks.
(Note that the picture of Don Kia is an unrelated image that happens to be on the same page. Toriyama did not design him, as far as we know.)
In addition to these black and white designs, Toriyama also made several color pictures of Goku, Pan, and Trunks. One is just a colored version of the above pictures of them. There’s also a stand-alone picture of Goku using alternate colors than what he ended up having in GT: orange shirt and blue pants, instead of blue shirt and orange pants.
Then there’s a different picture of Goku, Pan, Trunks, and Giru there were all originally printed in Weekly Jump No.52, 1995, then reprinted in Daizenshuu 7. Only this picture with Giru was included in the GT Perfect Files.
Giru (the “meddling robot”)
Toriyama’s design for Giru was originally printed in Weekly Jump No.52, 1995. It’s been reprinted in Daizenshuu 7 and the GT Perfect Files, though the Perfect Files reprint lacks Toriyama’s notes. Apparently Giru was not named at this point, and is simply labeled as "Meddling Robot".
Spaceship designMeddling Robot (manufacturer unknown)
--Green-blue metallic color
--The arm covers slide into the upper interior segments
--The leg covers slide into two separate left and right interior segments
--By facing up and down, various weapons and tools come out.
Toriyama designed the spaceship which Goku and co. use to hunt for the dragonballs. Like his Giru design, Toriyama’s spaceship drawings were printed in Weekly Jump No.52, 1995, and later reprinted in Daizenshuu 7 and the GT Perfect Files Vol.1. They include fairly detailed notes, which unfortunately are left out of the Perfect Files reprint.
Planet sketchesSpaceship (manufactured by Capsule Corporation)
Goku calls it an octopus
--Uses water as fuel
--Can become small by using the Capsule System (though it would be troublesome if they lost it)
[Large colored picture]
[Top section] Black
[Below that] Body (white)
[top note for nozzle thing on ship’s front] (Slightly brownish silver)
[bottom note] Nozzle for sucking up water (Silver)
[note for thing on the back] Exhaust nozzle (burnt silver color)
[note for tentacles] White
[note for bottom nozzle] Exhaust nozzle (burnt silver color)
[Smaller colored picture]
[label for side winders] Room windows
[label for the yellow sections on the side] Gravity control domes
[label for the black bottom section labeled “Capsule Corp”] Fuel water tank segment (black)
[Small black and whit sketches]
[label for it flying head-on] It’s form when traveling through space
[label for sketch of the tentacles all spread out] Modifies to this
[label for it flying upright] It’s form when traveling through the atmosphere
Toriyama drew three (known) color pictures of Goku, Pan, and Trunks adventuring on various alien planets. The first two were, as you might guess by now, printed in Weekly Jump No.52, 1995, and were later included in Daizenshuu 7 and the GT Perfect Files. One shows the gang on Planet Mommath, hiding behind a giant glass bottles as giants curiously check out their ship. Planet Mommath and the giants appear in GT episode 6.
The other picture shows them on the desert planet Kahra (カーラ; possibly a pun on kara, “empty”). This picture strongly resembles Planet Ruhdeze, seen in episode 16.
Toriyama made a third GT picture for a calendar included in Weekly Jump No.3-4, 1996. It shows Goku and co. beating up a bunch of aliens. These alien and planet designs were not used in GT.
Well, I think that's about it.