‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ Creator Kazuki Takahashi Passes Away!!

It is a sad day for fans and all those who grew up reading the manga, watching the anime, and playing the iconic Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game. Kazuki Takahashi, the Japanese artist behind the franchise’s origin, passed away on July 6. He was 60 years old.

NHK reported that the manga artist was found at sea by local firefighters, about 300 meters off the coast of Nago, a popular holiday destination in the northern part of Okinawa Island in Japan. According to the Japanese Coast Guard, he had been wearing snorkeling gear when he was found, and his cause of death is still unknown. Takahashi had apparently been on vacation by himself in the area. Prior to the body’s identification, the Coast Guard had found a white rental car that the mangaka had been using abandoned seven miles away from where he was discovered. According to reports, his body had no noticeable injury and an investigation to determine the cause of death has begun.

Takahashi was born in Tokyo on October 4, 1961. He began his career as a manga artist in 1982, but it was not until 1996 that he found success when he created his most popular series, Yu-Gi-Oh!. The Shonen series was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from September 1996 to March 2004. The story centers around Yugi Mutou, a teenager who finds himself in the possession of an ancient artifact known as the Millennium Puzzle. When he solves the puzzle, his body becomes host to the spirit of an Egyptian pharaoh, thus awakening an alter ego that shows himself when Yugi is challenged to partake in magical high-stakes Shadow Games. Takahashi’s manga lead to the creation of movies, TV adaptations, video games, and a competitive trading card game in 1999 which at one point had just as much popularity as Pokémon, both at home and internationally. New cards have still been released even after the manga’s conclusion and the game is still enjoying popularity to this day.

Other of Takahashi’s works include Fighting Hawk and Tennenshoku Danji Buray, but his most famous one still remains Yu-Gi-Oh!. Takahashi’s real first name was Kazuo, but he wrote under a pen name.

In the wake of the artist’s death, Studio Dice, Takahashi’s agency, paused the mangaka’s website and turned it black. Our condolences go out to his family and friends at this time.


via Collider

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