Foreign fans of Akira Toriyama, best known as the creator of the "Dragon Ball" manga series, gathered at spots in Tokyo linked to his work and anime culture on Saturday to remember him after his death was announced the previous day.

Fans from Mexico, Taiwan and elsewhere were drawn to a statue of series protagonist Goku, situated outside the head office of a toy and merchandise firm. A 36-year-old Portuguese voiced his love for the hero, saying many in his home country were mourning.

A 37-year-old man from Poland, visiting Japan for sightseeing with his wife, expressed admiration for Goku's unwavering determination, adding he had wanted to take a photo with the statue before leaving for home on Sunday.

A foreign tourist poses for a photo next to a statue of a character from Akira Toriyama's best-known work, "Dragon Ball," in Tokyo on March 9, 2024. (For editorial use only) (Kyodo)

The death of Toriyama, who also worked on the character designs for the iconic "Dragon Quest" video game series, from an acute subdural hematoma on March 1 at the age of 68 was announced Friday by publisher Shueisha Inc., shocking fans worldwide.

Dragon Ball, serialized from 1984 to 1995, was a huge hit, selling over 260 million copies and spawning a franchise that included anime series, films, video games and toys.

At Comic Zin Akihabara, a bookstore popular with foreign visitors, a man in his 40s from the United States expressed his gratitude to Toriyama as he has loved Dragon Ball above all other Japanese cartoons since first reading it at the age of 15.

At another bookstore in Tokyo, a section dedicated to Toriyama was quickly set up on Friday along with an in-memoriam sign. Yukari Yamaguchi, in charge of comics at the shop, said, "His work was a source of strength for many people across generations."

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