People across the world were shocked to learn about the death of Yu-Gi-Oh! creator Kazuki Takahashi (the pseudonym of Kazuo Takahashi). On July 6, his body was found floating in the ocean off the city of Nago and he was wearing snorkeling gear. He was first spotted by a person on a boat, who then called the Japanese maritime hotline for help.
An autopsy was performed on the 60-year-old creator, and they confirmed what many people already suspected: Takahashi passed away from drowning. This doesn’t mean everything is case closed now, as the Coast Guard and police will continue to investigate what happened. However, at this point it appears to have been a tragic accident, as so far there is no evidence of foul play or criminal acts.
Takahashi debuted Yu-Gi-Oh! in 1996 in Weekly Shonen Jump. It was published there until 2004, and spun off into additional manga series, anime adaptations, card games and more. In 2015, Takahashi took home the esteemed Inkpot Award from Comic-Con International. He was behind The Comiq manga and the Secret Reverse Marvel Comics manga collaboration, too.
VIZ Media publishes the bestselling Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, and gave this description of the first volume:
“Sitting by himself in the back of the class, 10th-grader Yugi always had his head in some game–until he solved the Millennium Puzzle, an Egyptian artifact containing a powerful spirit from the age of the pharoahs! Awakened after three thousand years, the King of Games possesses Yugi, recklessly challenging bullies and evildoers to the Shadow Games, where the stakes are high, and even the most ordinary bet may result in weirdness and danger beyond belief! Let the games…begin!”
You can also see the condolences spilling out from people in the industry who worked with Takahashi, both in Japan and in America. Takahashi will be deeply missed.
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.