According to Anime News Network, based on a French-language story published by the Huffington Post, the French government named Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) at a ceremony held at the French Embassy in Japan on on May 30, 2019. ANN reports that Toriyama is the sixth anime or manga creator to receive this medal, and his work is credited with bringing manga into the French mainstream.
While Toriyama himself did not attend the ceremony, his publisher, Akio Iyoku, accepted the medal on his behalf. Iyoku was quoted as saying, “Mr. Toriyama is always very grateful to his French fans who have appreciated his works since the early days of his career. Unfortunately, Mr. Toriyama almost never attends ceremonies and so I have the honor of receiving this award in his place. He instructed me to tell you how honored he is to receive this award from your country.”
It’s exciting to see Toriyama receive such a great honor, as it will prove to be an inspiring accomplishment to anime and manga creators everywhere. Perhaps in the future, more mangaka will reach the same great heights.