Manga artist Kazuki Takahashi, more well known for creating the juggernaut trading card franchise, Yu-Gi-Oh! has passed away at 60 yesterday morning, according to reports from Japan public broadcaster NHK.
The report states that Takahashi’s body was found dead on July 6th at 10:30 a.m. local time by the Japan Coast Guard in the shallow waters 300 meters off the coast of the resort city of Nago on Okinawa Island. An individual on a passing boat spotted the body of the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga artist and called Japan’s maritime hotline to report it. When the coast guard saw the body, they reported that Takahashi’s body was wearing snorkelling equipment. At this point, nothing is definitely known about what led to the Yu-Gi-Oh! creator’s death. Local police and the Coast Guard are currently investigating the circumstances around this case.
Takahashi kicked off his manga career in 1982 when he was 20 years old and would struggle to find success in some of his titles – Fighting Hawk and Tennenshoku Danji Buray. That all changed in the mid-1990s with his first serialized series, Yu-Gi-Oh! which ran from 1996 to 2004. It was an instant success as it became a multimedia franchise we know it as today through manga sales, the many anime series that spun off from the original, the card game, video games, merchandise, and so much more.
Throughout the successful years of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Takahashi had been a key member and supervisor of the series’ many projects throughout the years. The manga artist even wrote the original story for the series’ most recent 2017 film, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimension — the anime film brought it back to his original series following the conclusion of his original story.
Takahashi taught fans the meaning of phrases like “it’s time to duel” and “heart of the cards” through his art and story in his original manga run and the anime adaptation. His passing is very much felt and sadly follows last year’s passing of his fellow mangaka, Berserk creator, Kentaro Miura who died at an even younger age of 54 back in May of last year.