Yu-Gi-Oh! Creator Kazuki Takahashi Dies, Age 60

Kazuki Takahashi, the Japanese manga artist and game creator best known for creating Yu-Gi-Oh! has died at the age of 60. Yesterday, he was found dead on the coastline of Nago, Okinawa by Japan Coast Guard officers, wearing snorkelling gear and it has been presumed it was an accidental death.

Kazuki Takahashi
Kazuki Takahashi photo by StGerner at German Wikipedia under CC 2.0

Takahashi's career in manga began in 1982 with his series Tokiō no taka, translated as Fighting Hawk, and Tennenshoku Danji Buray. But he did not find success until 1996, when he created the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga series in the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine. Running until 2004, he told the story of a boy named Yugi Mutou, who solves the ancient Millennium Puzzle.

Kazuki Takahashi
Yu-Gi-Oh! by Kazuki Takahashi

This led to his creation of the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game from Bandai, later Konami, which was originally intended as a one-off for the magazine and part of the manga's narrative, titled "Magic and Wizards". Its popularity led Kazuki Takahashi to extend it. First published in the US in 2002, it became one of the world's most popular trading card games, with players using cards to "duel" in mock battles of fantasy creatures, spawning a media franchise including several video games, as well as a TV series and films. The Guinness Book Of World Records named Yu-Gi-Oh! as the world's best-selling trading card game in 2011, noting that 25.17 billion sets had been sold at that point. The latest Yu-Gi-Oh game, Master Duel, released earlier in 2022 on PC, Switch, Xbox and PlayStation.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Creator Kazuki Takahashi Dies, Age 60
Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards

Takahashi has continued to supervise the creation of Yu-Gi-Oh! manga since the end of the original manga's run, but just a couple of weeks ago, Viz published Secret Reverse is a new manga by Kazuki Takahashi featuring Marvel characters Spider-Man and Iron Man as they "travel to Japan to battle an evil gaming magnate and his deadly new technology" in canon with the rest of the Marvel 616 universe. Takahashi was also a fan of Mike Mignola's Hellboy, and the two engaged in occasional artistic trading of duties.

Bleeding Cool offers our condolences to Kazuki Takahashi's friends and family, colleagues and fans, the world over.

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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