Fact Check

Was Dragon Ball Creator Interviewed About the Franchise Not Having Black Characters?

The person who originally posted the interview later said in a YouTube video he had made the "fake racist article."

Published March 9, 2023

Image Via Twitter
On Feb. 24, 2023, Dragon Ball anime series creator Akira Toriyama gave an interview about the lack of Black characters in the series.

On Feb. 24, 2023, a Twitter post claimed that Dragon Ball anime series creator Akira Toriyama had said in an interview that the media franchise didn't have Black characters because it's a Japanese franchise. The story is fake.

"Holy shit," a Twitter user posted above the screenshot of the "article."

Claiming to be written by an author named Danielle Starlight, the "interview" said:

"The things people complain about continue to change over time, but Japan's racial demographics do not. They (black people) do not live here," Toriyama said in a highly controversial interview earlier this month.

When questioned about the decision to include Mr. Popo - a racist depiction of a black individual - in the show, Toriyama responded: "I love Mr. Popo. He's a hilarious character… But maybe you're right, if I could go back in time I would write three of him into the story to avoid all of this drama…" "Mr. Popo isn't going anywhere." 

On March 1, the person who made the screenshot posted a YouTube video to his Twitter account saying it was fake. 

"I managed to make the most viral anime related article that has been seen on Twitter and the rest of the Internet in a hot minute," he said in the video. "This fake racist article that I made in Photoshop has been seen by at least 10 or 20 million people."

Dragon Ball is one of the most popular anime series created in history. A 2015 Insider article called the series a watershed moment for the rising popularity of Japanese animation. 


"Https://Twitter.Com/WAIFU_WATCHERS/Status/1630915794917007360?S=20." Twitter, https://twitter.com/WAIFU_WATCHERS/status/1630915794917007360?s=20. Accessed 9 Mar. 2023.

Rivera, Joshua. "'Dragon Ball Z' Voice Actor Tells Us How the Series Became a Pop Culture Phenomenon." Business Insider, https://www.businessinsider.com/dragon-ball-z-christopher-sabat-interview-2015-8. Accessed 9 Mar. 2023.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.

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