Manga artist Kazuki Takahashi, best known as the creator of the Yu-Gi-Oh series (and the popular card game it is based on), has been found dead.
As NHK reports, through an English story in the Japanese times, a body “was found floating Wednesday morning wearing snorkeling gear in the waters off Nago, Okinawa Prefecture”. Japan Coast Guard officials confirmed on Thursday that the body belonged to Takahashi and that they are currently “investigating the cause of death.”
Takahashi began his manga career in 1982 and struggled for the next 14 years to find success with titles such as Fighting Hawk and Tennenshoku Danji Buray† However, in 1996 he released Yu-Gi-Oh– a series about people battling with magic cards – and the rest was history.
In addition to creating the manga, Takahashi, who had some experience in game design, also designed the outlines of a card game (originally called Magic & Wizardsbut later changed to Duel Monsters) featured in the series itself, which was first released as a real one in 1999 by popular demand trading card game in Japan by Konami and blown up† It saw a US release in 2002 and is still popular around the world.
In addition to the manga (of which tens of millions of copies have now been sold) and the card game (of which dozens of billions of cards), Yu-Gi-Oh has also inspired a range of other media appearances such as several long-running anime series, a number of movies, book releases and, of course, video game adaptations. The last Yu-Gi-Oh game, Master Duelreleased earlier in 2022 on PC, Switch, Xbox and PlayStation, pulled in over 200,000 concurrent players on Steam at one point†
Takahashi was still active in the comic book world; he was still involved in wider creative decisions about Yu-Gi-Ohand it was just fortwo weeks ago that a Marvel collaboration he’d been working oninvolving Iron Man and Spider-Man was published.