Takahashi Kazuki, ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ Creator, Passed Away at 60

Takahashi Kazuki, ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ Creator, Passed Away at 60.

Takahashi Kazuki, a Japanese manga artist, credited with creating the “Yu-Gi-Oh” comic book series, was found dead on Wednesday. He was 60.

Public broadcaster NHK reported that Takahashi’s lifeless body was found in the sea, about 300 meters off the coast of Nago in Okinawa Province. It was reported that he was wearing snorkeling equipment at the time.

The body was identified as Takahashi’s on Thursday after the Japan Coast Guard connected it to a white rental car that had been abandoned some 12 kilometers (7 miles) away.

The Coast Guard said that Takahashi had traveled to Okinawa alone.

His body bore no noticeable sign of injury, and an investigation into the cause of his death has now begun.

Takahashi’s agency Studio Dice turned the artist’s web page black.

Takahashi Kazuki, ‘Yu-Gi-Oh

Takahashi, whose real name is Takahashi Kazuo, and is also known as Kazumasa, started as a manga artist in the early 1980s but did not achieve great success until he created the “Yu-Gi-Oh!” a comic series (manga) for boys in 1996.

The series focuses on a boy who solves an ancient puzzle and awakens in himself a gaming alter-ego.

The manga was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine and spawned a hit TV animation series (anime) and an animated film.

Even more significantly, it led to the creation of a trading card game in which players battle against each other.

Intended as a one-off, the game was first published by Bandai and later by Konami and became a worldwide phenomenon with national and international competitions.

Takahashi Kazuki, ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ Creator, Passed Away at 60

Takahashi Kazuki, ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ Creator, Passed Away at 60

It was certified by the Guinness Book of Records as the trading card game with the world’s highest sales.

Takahashi continued to supervise the manga and wrote and drew other works, including Comic, a series to commemorate Weekly Shonen Jump’s 50th anniversary in 2018.

In 2015, Takahashi received Comic-Con International’s Inkpot Award, recognizing an individual who has made outstanding contributions to comics, science fiction and fantasy, film, television, animation, and fandom.

In April, FilmRise, the New York-based film and television studio and streaming network, acquired the North American rights to a large swath of Japanese anime titles, headlined by more than 800 episodes of “Yu-Gi-Oh!”

Takahashi Kazuki, ‘Yu-Gi-Oh

Takahashi had still been active in the comics scene; he was still involved in broader creative decisions on Yu-Gi-Oh, and it was only two weeks ago that a Marvel collaboration he had worked on, involving Iron Man and Spider-Man, was published.

In addition to creating the manga, Takahashi—who had some experience in games design—also designed the broad outlines of a card game (called initially Magic & Wizards, but later changed to Duel Monsters) featured in the series itself, which after the popular request was first released in 1999 as an actual trading card game in Japan by Konami and blew up.

It saw an American release in 2002 and is still famous worldwide today.

Alongside the manga (which has now sold tens of millions of copies) and card game (which has sold tens of billions of cards), Yu-Gi-Oh has also inspired a range of other media appearances, like several long-running anime series, several motion pictures, book releases and, of course, video game adaptations.

The latest Yu-Gi-Oh game, Master Duel, released earlier in 2022 on PC, Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation, was at one point pulling in over 200,000 concurrent players just on Steam.

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