The Japan Coast Guard met Yu-Gi-Oh creator Kazuki Takahashi (real name Kazuo Takahashi) off the coast of Nago City, Okinawa on the morning of Wednesday, July 6th. He was 60 years old.
The Coast Guard reportedly found Takahashi equipped with scuba gear. Both the Coast Guard and the police are investigating the events that led to Takahashi’s death. A person on a passing boat called Japan’s maritime hotline to report an apparent body, floating 300 meters (about 1,000 feet) off the coast of the tourist city of Nago, at around 10:30 am on Wednesday.
Takahashi was born in Tokyo in October 1963. As a child, he was known to fall ill frequently and spent most of his time watching Ultraman and various anime series, reading the works of Fujiko Fujio, and drawing. His first manga, an adaptation of the Go-Q-Choji Ikkiman anime series, was serialized in Weekly Shonen Magazine in 1986. Takahashi did not have his own original work published until his one-shot Tokio no Taka no Weekly Shonen Jump Summer. Special edition in 1990.
Yu-Gi-Oh! it was Takahashi’s first serialized work in 1996, until 2004, thus creating a massive multimedia franchise that lasts to this day. Following the series’ success, Takahashi has spent most of his time working on various aspects of the franchise as a supervisor and creator, most recently writing the original Yu-Gi-Oh! Anime movie The Dark Side of Dimensions. Takahashi also supervised the Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga series written by Shin Yoshida and drawn by Naohito Miyoshi.
Since Takahashi is only supervising Yu-Gi-Oh! , he has also released a few one-shots with Shonen Jump, including THE COMIQ in Weekly Shonen Jump in 2018 and SECRET REVERSE in Shonen Jump+ in 2019. Takahashi also enjoyed playing board games, TRPGs, and mahjong throughout his life, and regularly played mahjong with his assistants during the serialization of Yu-Gi-Oh!.
For many, whether it’s the anime series, the card game, or even the video games, Yu-Gi-Oh! it has been a huge part of culture around the world and a source of fun for many of all ages. Takahashi’s legacy will live on in the works he produced and in the memories of those good times playing cards with friends.