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Yu-Gi-Oh Creator Kazuki Takahashi Passes Away At 60

Yu-Gi-Oh creator Kazuki Takahashi passed away aged 60 in Okinawa Prefecture on 6th July 2022. Rest in peace, game legend.
Yu-Gi-Oh Creator Kazuki Takahashi Passes Away At 60

According to reports by the Japanese news outlet NHK, Yu-Gi-Oh! creator Kazuki Takahashi tragically passed away in Okinawa, aged 60 years, on the morning of Wednesday, 6th July 2022. The creator behind Yu-Gi-Oh's manga, animation, and trading card game was found dead off the coast of Awa, Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture. Japan Coast Guard officials are currently investigating his cause of death.

Yu-Gi-Oh Creator Kazuki Takahashi Found Dead In Okinawa

Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series creator Kazuki Takahashi found dead died passed away
Kazuki Takahashi's death is a massive shock to the anime and trading card game community. (Picture: Konami)

Per reports, Kazuki's body was first spotted drifting along the water 800 meters off the coast of Awa, Nago City, by a bystander on 6th July 2022. Followingly, the Japan Coast Guard was alerted; albeit, the identity body of the deceased was unknown at the time.

Sadly, attempts by the medical response team to resuscitate Kazuki were unsuccessful. The following day on 7th July 2022, the Nago Coast Guard confirmed the body's identity to be that of famed manga artist Kazuki Takahashi, also known as Kazuo Takahashi.

According to the Japan Coast Guard, Kazuki was found dead wearing snorkeling equipment and appeared to be visiting Okinawa alone. The response team found his rental car and belongings 12 km away on a farm road from the site his body was found. There were no noticeable scratches or marks on Kazuki's body, but officials are still determining what caused the Yu-Gi-Oh creator's death.

Kazuki Takahashi's Legacy Yu-Gi-Oh! Will Live On

Yugi Mutou stares intensely as he prepares to duel.
As of January 2021, an estimated 35 billion Yi-Gi-Oh trading cards have been sold. (Picture: Konami)

Kazuki's death naturally came as a massive shock worldwide. However, as someone who's inspired and entertained generations, Kazuki's legacy, Yu-Gi-Oh, has been a cornerstone of the card and tabletop gaming and entertainment genre for decades.

Since 1982, Kazuki has been a famous mangaka. Still, it was only until he wrote and illustrated Yu-Gi-Oh and serialized it in Japan's Weekly Shonen Jump with Shueisha Inc.'s help that he rose to popularity.  After featuring the manga in the magazine between 1996 and 2004, Yu-Gi-Oh became a media franchise leading to the inception of the hit anime series, trading card game, and many more spin-offs down the line. 

yugihoh creator found dead in japan
Yu-Gi-Oh! sold approximately 1.38 billion manga copies in Weekly Shonen Jump. (Picture: Konami)

As time passed, Kazuki moved down to a supervisor role allowing Konami and other studios to help cultivate the masterpiece he's created and keep Yu-Gi-Oh's magic going. There have been eleven anime series of Yu-Gi-Oh, with the latest being Yu-Gi-Oh! Go Rush!! Additionally, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links is one of the most popular online trading card games known to date.

Yu-Gi-Oh fans, and even people who know the name, will surely mourn the loss of such a creative and talented mind. However, in the words of supporting Yu-Gi-Oh character Joey Wheeler, "Best friends are hard to leave but impossible to forget." Rest in Peace, Kazuki Takahashi.

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Featured image courtesy of IMDb and Konami.