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How Akira Toriyama Designed Android 21

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As recently revealed, Dragon Ball FighterZ has an original fighter called Android 21. Even though the character was created by Namco Bandai for the game, the company explained how the character was designed by Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama.

While at Namco Bandai earlier this week in Tokyo, Kotaku participated in a roundtable discussion with Dragon Ball FighterZ producer Tomoko Hiroki, who described how the process went, which helped clarify Toriyama’s involvement.


I asked why the Android 21 trailer read “Original character supervised by Akira Toriyama.”


Namco Bandai created the game’s story and decided what kind of character Android 21 would. “We basically said what the character was, such as her gender and her personality,” Hiroki explained. “We said what kind of character we wanted, and gave Toriyama the plot. Then, he was able to freely draw the character.”

Essentially, Namco Bandai created the framework, and within those parameters, Toriyama designed Android 21.

Namco Bandai was operating under parameters of its own. While working on the game, the developers would show art and footage to Toei and Shueisha (instead of working with directly with Toriyama). The anime studio and the manga publisher would then check the game to make sure what the developers were doing suited the characters and the Dragon Ball universe.

“There were small things that were rejected or changed, such as them saying that Freiza or Cell wouldn’t say this or that or some slight changes to how Goku would act.”


While Android was designed for Dragon Ball FighterZ, Hiroki said she would be happy if the character became popular enough to make the leap to the Dragon Ball anime. We’ll have to see about that.