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Yu-Gi-Oh! creator Kazuki Takahashi dead at age 60

Japanese authorities are investigating what appears to have been a tragic accident.

Image via Anime Hunch
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Tragedy has struck this week as the creator of one of the most influential franchises in the world has passed away. Kazuki Takahashi was the creator of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, having worked on the manga since its beginning, but he was recently found dead on the coast of Nago City, Okinawa Island in Japan. Police and coast guard authorities are still investigating the circumstances of his death. Takahashi was 60 years old.

Word of Kazuki Takahashi’s passing was reported via Japan’s public media organization NHK. According to the group’s reporting, Takahashi was found along the coast of Nago City with snorkeling equipment. Authorities are still looking into the details, but at this time, it appears to have been an accident.

“Around 10:30am on July 6th, 2022, a man wearing snorkeling equipment was found floating off the coast of Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture, and his death was confirmed soon after,” NHK said, with translations provided by YGOrganization. “According to the Nago Coast Guard, it was confirmed on the 7th that the man was Kazuki Takahashi, real name Kazumasa, age 60, the creator of the extremely popular Shonen manga, ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’.”

Kazuki Takahashi created the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga and franchise and still oversaw new works past the original manga's run up until his passing. [Image via Kazuki Takahashi/Shonen Jump]
Kazuki Takahashi created the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga and franchise and still oversaw new works past the original manga's run up until his passing. [Image via Kazuki Takahashi/Shonen Jump]

Takahashi is best known for creating the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga that first launched in 1996. He has been involved in it and other projects in Japanese media with his first work being Fighting Hawk being published in 1990. He continued to supervise the creation of Yu-Gi-Oh! manga past the original run up until his passing, including the launch of the Official Trading Card Game which was distributed first by Bandai, and later by Konami.

Yu-Gi-Oh! has been a hugely popular franchise around the world, featured well beyond the manga in video games, comics, anime, and all sorts of references in other media. The card game still continues to enjoy success today with new series launching regularly.

Takahashi’s passing marks the end of a creator who has influenced millions of players and fans around the world. The Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise has meant a lot of things to a lot of people over the decades. Shacknews wishes Takahashi’s friends and loved ones well in this tragic and difficult time and will update if further details become available.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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