Ni No Kuni...epitomizes the old-school console RPG; in fact, it feels more like a classic Dragon Quest game than recent Dragon Quest sequels do...Imagine if DQVIII's sequel had appeared on an HD system rather than on the tiny DS, that Akira Toriyama's artwork had been swapped out for image design by Studio Ghibli, and that the combat system added a real-time element and played up the monster-collecting mechanics of Dragon Quest V and Dragon Quest VII...To top off the Dragon Quest vibe, Ni No Kuni's English localization has been spearheaded by Richard Honeywood, the former head of Squaresoft localization who defined the Dragon Quest dialogue style with his work on DQVIII. Ni No Kuni reads and sounds exactly like it was ripped from the DQ world; characters speak with a variety of European dialects (including a persnickety Welsh monster companion) and puns abound. A feline fortune teller is called a "Purrognosticator"; a pig soldier is called a "Boarrior"; and the mechanical pig boss you battle at the demo's end is called "Porco Grosso." That... is Ni No Kuni. And it's endlessly charming.
Akira Toriyama was born in April 1955 in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. In 1974 he entered high school to study art specializing in publicity but abandoned this endeavor three years later to begin drawing cartoons.
Some time afterwards, he entered Shueisha, the biggest manga publisher in Japan, as a mangaka or cartoonist, where he started drawing for a living. It was here he published his first work as a professional. In December 1978, he published his first manga, Wonder Island in the popular Weekly Shonen Jump, and soon thereafter Dr. Slump, which ran from 1980 to 1984. It was then when he developed the infinitely popular Dragon Ball, which soon saw 42 volumes of material, three full-length series (two with his involvement), movies, video games, and absurd amounts of merchandising.
Toryiama's immense popularity was augmented as character designer for the Dragon Quest series, easily the most popular RPG series in Japan. In 1992, Toriyama was brought into the fold for the monumental classic, Chrono Trigger. Described by director Hironobu Sakaguchi as "playing around with Toriyama's universe," the style and aesthetic of Chrono Trigger, including the world, characters, and monsters, were very much a Toriyama creation. Sakaguchi also attributes the whimsy and humor of Chrono Trigger to Toriyama's abilities to infuse his trademark styles into his creations.1
Toriyama continues to work on the Dragon Quest series to this day alongside his other manga endeavors, with no conceivable end in sight.