Akira Toriyama - The World, also called The World of Akira Toriyama (鳥山明の世界), is a series of five artbooks devoted to the work of Akira Toriyama. They were published in Japan between 1990 and 1995 by Shueisha and Bird Studio.
The series is divided in two groups: three actual books titled "The World" that were released in 1990, and two catalogues titled "Exhibition" released in 1993 and 1995 respectively. They contain many color illustrations of Dr. Slump, Dragon Ball, and Dragon Quest, as well as a few of Toriyama's one-shots and exclusive interviews with Akira Toriyama. The numerous illustrations featured in the five books are reused several times from one book to another, as well as in the Dragon Ball art and data books.
Akira Toriyama - The World
Akira Toriyama - The World reviews the various achievements of Akira Toriyama throughout the 1980s. It was released on January 15, 1990, published by Shueisha (ISBN 4-08-858130-X), 21.0 x 29.7 cm, 100 pages.
The artbook begins with a very short story titled Wolf, and features 81 colored illustrations. It features a few Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump chapter illustrations, several drawings created for the Weekly Shōnen Jump and calendars, various illustrations from Toriyama's one-shots (Pola & Roid, Chobit, Mister Hō, and Clear Skies, Karamaru), and several drawings based on Dragon Quest. There are also boards of the Dr. Slump chapter "My Toilet Paper" published in color, and a few sketches (notably, early sketches for Frieza and Zarbon). The book concludes with a portrait of the author drawn through a debate between him, his editor, and his collaborators.
The main headings are Wolf, Dragon Ball, Variety (Dragon Quest and animated productions), Dr. Slump, the chapter "My Toilet Paper", Heroes (from a few one-shots), Akira Toriyama, and the index of illustrations.
Wolf is a short picture story that is a kind of modern Little Red Riding Hood, with a biker wolf as the main protagonist. Through some humoristic cartoon boxes, Wolf tells his life while making trips on his motorcycle. This story was never published outside of this singular book.
Akira Toriyama - The World Special
Released on September 24, 1990, Akira Toriyama - The World Special comes with a high quality cardboard box. It contains a preface that is an interview of Akira Toriyama, and comments of Akira Toriyama. This artbook begins with Toriyama's 1981 one-shot Escape and features 83 colored illustrations, covering mainly Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump, as well as Dragon Quest, with a few images of Chobit (1983) and Pola & Roid (1981). It also features the Dr. Slump chapter "Poop-Boy Finds a Home" in color, and a few sketches for the Vegeta and Namek Sagas (notably for Zarbon, Nail, Grand Elder Guru, and the Ginyu Force).
The main headings are Escape, Characters, Mechanics, Monsters & Animals (includes a double page titled "Penguin Village", and another one titled "Monsters of Dragon Quest"), Worlds, and the index of illustrations.
Akira Toriyama - The World "Anime Special"
This special issue dedicated to the works of Akira Toriyama was released in October 1990. The cover is flexible, the first pages are printed on glossy paper, and the other part of the book is printed on thin paper of lower quality.
The book notably presents information about the three movies shown as part of a triple feature during the Toei Anime Fair in July 1990 (three months before its release): the anime adaptations of Pink and Kennosuke-sama, as well as Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might. It introduces background information about the Turles Crusher Corps., the group of antagonists led by Turles in The Tree of Might, on pages 183-185. It also reviews the first animated film produced by Akira Toriyama, Kosuke & Rikimaru - The Dragon of Konpei Island (1988), which features an original story not based on any of his manga.
The book's other notable headings are Villains, Dragons, Fantastic Creatures, Robots, Weapons, and Vehicles.
The World of Akira Toriyama - Akira Toriyama Exhibition
The first "Exhibition" book was released in 1993 and its reprint was released in 1995, on the occasion of exhibitions around the work of Akira Toriyama throughout Japan.
The catalogues contain a few of the best illustrations that were shown at the Museum of Kawasaki city, featuring Dr. Slump, Dragon Ball, Dragon Quest, and other short stories by Akira Toriyama.
Notably, they contain a few pages from Toriyama's first two manga: Awawa World and Mysterious Rain Jack.