Kazuki Takahashi, creator of hit manga ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’, dies at age 60

Written by Emiko Jozuka, CNNTokyo, Japan

Kazuki Takahashi, creator of the international hit manga series and trading card game “Yu-Gi-Oh!”, was found dead on Wednesday. He was 60.

Takahashi’s body was found off the coast of Okinawa in southern Japan, a coastguard official in the city of Nago told CNN. He was found in snorkeling gear, including a mask and fins, the official said, adding that an investigation into his death is underway.

Created by Takahashi in 1996, “Yu-Gi-Oh!” started as a manga series on the pages of Weekly Sh┼Źnen Jump, a Japanese anthology that has also been home to popular series like “Dragon Ball” and “Demon Slayer.”

“Yu-Gi-Oh!” tells the story of Yugi Muto, a teenager who, after solving an ancient Egyptian puzzle, unleashes a mysterious alter-ego, which resolves conflicts through various spell. the franchise, which later featured video games and anime series, found worldwide popularity in the 2000s. More recently, during the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a resurgence in interest in the associated trading cards.

Guinness World Records has “Yu-Gi-Oh!” as the world’s best-selling trading card game with over 25 billion cards sold worldwide as of 2011.

The 100th Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series, held in Long Beach, California in 2013, is also recognized as the largest trading card game tournament ever held. A total of 4,364 players, known as “duelists”, competed against each other in the event, breaking the record previously held for a “Magic: The Gathering” tournament, which attracted more than 2,227 players in 2010 in Madrid, Spain.

tributes to Takahashi quickly poured in from anime fans and the entertainment industry.

The Japanese entertainment and video game company Konami, which produces and distributes “Yu-Gi-Oh!” trading cards, pledged on its website to continue the franchise’s legacy alongside Takahashi’s “countless fans.”

“We are shocked and saddened to hear of Mr. Kazuki’s sudden passing,” Konami wrote on Twitter.

“We are immensely grateful for the wonderful ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ universe he has created, and our thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time.”

Marvel Entertainment, meanwhile, wrote that it was saddened to learn of the passing of the “visionary” manga creator, “who graced the Marvel universe with his imaginative stories earlier this year.” The company accompanied its post with a photo of Takahashi’s “Secret Reverse,” a 2022 manga novel in which Iron Man and Spider-Man teamed up in a “tech adventure with a dash of danger.”
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