It’s been two days since Yu-Gi-Oh! creator Kazuki Takahashi was found dead at sea, and while details of what happened are still emerging, people around the world are expressing their sorrow over losing the beloved creator.
George Morikawa, the mangaka behind Hajime no Ippo, put out a statement saying, “We were close friends because our [manga] debuts were close and we had the same editor. We were also mahjong buddies. From the time he was a rookie, his drawing ability was outstanding, but he lacked the spirit of conquest. He wasn’t really obsessed with selling copies.”
The official Twitter handle for the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game shared this:
— Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG (@YuGiOh_TCG) July 7, 2022
Takahiro Kagami, who has been both an animator and animation director for Yu-Gi-Oh!, remarked, “I read the obituary at noon. What do you say… Suddenly, I feel like I’ve been cut off from a part of myself. I think that the existence of ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!‘ and ‘Kazuki Takahashi’ merged with me. Thank you, Kazuki Takahashi-sensei. However, I am sure I will continue to be of help to you someday in the future.
When I talked to him last year he said, ‘When the corona virus calms down, let’s have dinner together.’ Just like with the launch of DSOD [Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions], he was so passionate and positive that I felt energized when I listened to him, so I wanted to talk to him again.”
Kenjiro Tsuda, the voice of Seto Kaiba in the Japanese version, shared this image:
— 津田健次郎 KENJIRO TSUDA (@tsuda_ken) July 7, 2022
Across the ocean, the English voice actor for Seto Kaiba, Eric Stuart, left a lengthy homage, along with a photo of Stuart, Takahashi, and Yugi/Yami voice actor Dan Green. Stuart wrote:
“So Dan and I were performing one of our Yu-Gi-Oh! live duels and were were told Sensei wanted to meet us. It was exciting he was there to watch the event. I asked what the protocol would be. Would we shake hands, bow, could we speak? I mean he is the creator of the show! Anyway, we were told to ‘play it by ear and follow his lead. After we got the bows and awkward ‘normal’ photos out of the way I then asked him ‘Hey, do you want to do an Anime pose with us like we do with the fans?’ The translator’s eyes popped wide open and quietly told Sensei. He smiled and said ‘YES!’ Here is the infamous photo. Not only the creator of Yu-Gi-Oh! But like all of us, a fan. RIP. Love, Kaiba.”
Other people from the Yu-Gi-Oh! dub cast also shared their thoughts and condolences.
This is stunningly sad news. The talents and influence of Kazuki Takahashi have played a monumental part in our lives for so long. His legacy will live on as we all deal with this incredible loss. My sincere sympathies to his family and the many lucky enough to work with him. https://t.co/pf8dd4dC31
— Veronica Taylor (@TheVeronicaT) July 7, 2022
This is only a small sampling of how many people Kazauki’s life and talents have affected.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.