Rumor Guide

Our Rumor Guide here at Kanzenshuu is an extensive collection of articles with comprehensive, well-researched, well-documented deep-dives into some of the most prevalent rumors in Dragon Ball fandom. There is always more to every story, so be sure to follow along with any additional links provided throughout the articles!

Akira Toriyama Designed Mecha Freeza
in Super Dragon Ball Z

Rumor Status

Something that has been passed around as accepted fact over the years is that Toriyama went on to design a special upgraded version of Mecha Freeza for the PlayStation 2 home release of Super Dragon Ball Z. We here at Kanzenshuu even incorporated this into our accepted knowledge base without really questioning it.

It turns out this may not actually be true.

The source for this information may be a preview article penned by Chris Roper on IGN back in May 2006. In the article, Roper noted:

While the character set is “limited” to 18, there are a handful of playable characters not yet seen in a DBZ game. Chi-Chi, Goku’s wife, makes her first appearance, for example. Not only that, but original Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama has created a Mecha-Frieza specifically for the game. Talk about official…

We reached out to Roper, who — understandably so — had no real recollection of where that information would have come from at the time.

Our attention then turned to what might have been that original source for this type of tidbit. We were directed to the June 2006 issue of V-Jump where the home port was also being previewed.

While the magazine does indeed introduce the new design for Mecha Freeza, there is absolutely no mention of any involvement by Akira Toriyama. This is precisely the kind of place where such involvement would not only be mentioned, but heavily promoted. Not being there does not in and of itself disprove his involvement, but it is a massive hint.

Shortly after the June 2006 issue’s release, a couple users of the Japanese board 2ch discussed Toriyama’s “supervision” of the character design:



It’s in V-Jump, the arcade Super Dragon Ball Z
It had this serious Mecha Freeza design image supervised by Akira Toriyama.
It looks like he actually had a bunch of heavy weapons incorporated into his body, and there was a bazooka equipped on his shoulder.
The home version apparently goes on sale for the PS2 around June 27th
Incidentally, the Full Armor Mecha Freeza-sama apparently isn’t coming out for arcade, but as a home exclusive.

That’s because Earth-games are actually quite well-done, you know.
And on top of that, “supervised by Akira Toriyama”… you know it’s gonna be good.
I was down about the rainy season coming up,
but now I’ve got one thing I can look forward to. You have my gratitude.

The authors of these separate posts (from the same 2ch thread) seem to have been under the impression that Toriyama was involved with Freeza’s new design, but there is no proper source for this supposed “supervision”. It may have been a multilingual game of telephone porting information over from the IGN preview or simply misremembering information from the magazine.

To be extra careful, we also grabbed the May 2006 issue of V-Jump where it is first previewed through the October 2006 issue (which would have been released in August; the game itself was released in June). As expected, nothing called out any special design work by Akira Toriyama. The August 2006 issue even included a bonus pack-in “Super Dragon Ball Z: Seven Super Words” booklet detailing behind-the-scenes information; no special mention is made of Mecha Freeza’s design with regard to Akira Toriyama.

Around the same time as the V-Jump issues detailed above, the American print edition of Viz’s Shonen Jump was also actively previewing the game. While advertisements — such as those shown below from the August 2006 issue — did indeed note that “Cyborg Frieza” was an “all-new character to unlock” there remains no mention at all of any involvement from Akira Toriyama other than with his creation of the original manga.

Even the game’s official website at the time — which had previously included an original sketch and message from Akira Toriyama to celebrate the arcade launch — made no special mention of any involvement in the new Freeza design. The six new additions to the home version roster were each given a brief synopsis, but the Freeza one simply mentions the new upgrades.


The evil overlord who was supposed to have been defeated on Namek has returned from the brink of death!
He fights by making use of the numerous future weapons built into his mechanical body.
Among his skills, apparently there are even as-yet unknown weapons he can be equipped with….

Beyond all of the sources noted above, we have also since taken a look at instruction manuals, strategy guides, and other previews for the game in multiple languages. There is not a single official confirmation anywhere — that we can find, anyway — of Toriyama’s personal involvement with the upgrade to Mecha Freeza in Super Dragon Ball Z.

When Toriyama is involved in something, that fact is reprinted several times over. While we have gone through every bit of promotion for the game in V-Jump, we admittedly cannot go through every single issue of (the now-defunct) Monthly Jump — never mind individual Weekly Shonen Jump issues — from that same time period. There are likely fun tidbits printed in those compilations, but that brings about another comparison: Toriyama’s design of Chilled for Episode of Bardock. While this fact was initially printed alongside the first chapter’s original publication in the August 2011 issue of V-Jump, the design was also reprinted in the massive 2013 Chōgashū (“Super Art Collection”). With essentially every major new contribution post-kanzenban from Toriyama added to the art book, the fact that there is no Super Dragon Ball Z Mecha Freeza design may be the final nail in the coffin.

It is likely that some combination of the Japanese fan discussion combined with the IGN preview created the false information that Toriyama was involved with the design. Where those people perhaps got the false impression of his involvement is a separate question entirely!