“Yu-Gi-Oh!” creator Kazuki Takahashi dies at age 60

Fans of the “Yu-Gi-Oh!” manga, anime and trading card phenomenon mourn the death of legendary creator, Kazuki Takahashi.

The body of Takahashi, 60, was found floating off the southern Japanese coast of Nago on Wednesday in snorkeling gear, according to the National Coast Guard and reported by local broadcaster NHK.

The creator, also known as Kazuo Takahashi, started working in the manga industry in the 1980s and boomed the following decade with “Yu-Gi-Oh!” Written and illustrated by Takahashi, the influential underdog fantasy manga series features a spiky high school outsider named Yugi who, once he solves an ancient puzzle, becomes a mystically powerful version of himself: Yu-Gi-Oh, the king of games and champion. warrior of evildoers.

“Yu-Gi-Oh!” was serialized in the widely read Japanese boys’ magazine, Weekly Shonen Jump from 1996 to 2004. Takahashi’s creation grew into a multi-billion dollar global venture, leading to an anime franchise and video games. In 2011, Guinness World Records recognized “Yu-Gi-Oh!” as the largest trading card game ever, with more than 25 billion cards sold, according to game maker Konami. Takahashi received the Inkpot Award from San Diego-based Comic-Con International in 2015.

Takahashi’s creation was appreciated for its massive appeal, including the anime, which was introduced in the United States as “Pokémon’s heir apparent,” Daniel Dockery, senior writer for Crunchyroll, told The Washington Post.

“The common theme that united fans was Takahashi’s fascination with how humans play and how we fall in love with our favorite monsters,” said Dockery, author of the forthcoming “Monster Kids: How Pokémon Taught a Generation to Catch Them All.” “The spirit of interactivity, and the way people grow through it, perpetuates the legacy of his work.”

Takahashi’s creatures range from horror to fantasy, but “there is a common craftsmanship among them — the kind that reveal hidden details over time, as well as the visceral ‘Oh my God, that looks so rad,'” said Dockery: “The fact that they would be summoned in a world not too much like our own makes them all the more appealing to the eye. They are truly yours to adore and play with, making you feel like you in equal measure. feels powerful and inspired.”

Takahashi had recently been working on Marvel’s “Secret Reverse”, a manga graphic novel team-up with Spider-Man and Iron Man/Tony Stark, traveling to a Japanese gaming convention.

“As one of his fans, who also had the privilege of working on the English adaptations of his comics, I am deeply saddened to hear that Takahashi died so young,” said Jason Thompson, who edited VIZ Media’s English manga. from “Yu-Gi-Oh!,” “Yu-Gi-Oh!: Duelist” and “Yu-Gi-Oh!: Millennium World.”

“He was a gracious man who loved games and American comics and was a pleasure to work with.”

Thompson noted that the original “Yu-Gi-Oh!” graphic novel series was one of his favorite mangas, with “an emotional core that gives it a life beyond the cliffhanger fights and bizarre monsters.”

On social media, fans shared favorite memories of “Yu-Gi-Oh!” and Takahashi. “Yu-gi-oh! defined my taste in anime when I was a kid, and the game got me out of the house and my own head when I needed it most as an adult,” a fan said on Twitter. Added one more that the fantasy series “had a huge impact on global culture. It’s an important story about confronting evil with hope and friendship, and always fighting for a better future.”

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