Akira Toriyama wasn’t just a Japanese manga artist responsible for several popular franchises. When his death at the age of 68 was announced last week, it soon became apparent just how much of an impact he had on millions of people around the world.

“I heard about Toriyama-sensei’s passing the moment it was announced,” says Jason, a YouTuber who asks to only go by his first name and refers to Toriyama with the Japanese honorific for “teacher.” Jason is the creator behind the channel Carthu’s Dojo, which is devoted to all-things “Dragon Ball,” Toriyama’s best-known creation. “I sat in my chair just thinking about how Toriyama-sensei had greatly changed the trajectory of my life more than (even my) relatives had. I’m not one to get emotional over celebrity deaths, but I openly wept for this one.”

After the animator’s office shared news of Toriyama’s death due to acute subdural hematoma (a blood clot in his brain), users of social media networks from X (formerly Twitter) to Weibo to Instagram shared messages of shock followed by tributes expressing just how much his work meant to them.