TOKYO. Kazuki Takahashi, creator of the world famous manga and collectible card game Yu-Gi-Oh!, has been found dead in southern Japan, the country’s coast guard said on Thursday.
His body was discovered on Wednesday off the coast of Nago in Okinawa Prefecture.
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Mr Takahashi was traveling alone in Nago, a popular holiday destination, and was apparently snorkeling when he died of unknown causes, according to a coast guard spokesman. He was 60.
Mr. Takahashi, whose real name is Kazuo, started working as a manga artist in the early 1980s, but it wasn’t until 1996 that he began his rise to international fame with the story of a boy with spiky hair who defies his enemies. duels involving magic games.
The story began as a one-off story, but ended up being featured in the popular Japanese comic magazine for boys, Weekly Shonen Jump, for nearly eight years. Along the way, it has inspired movies, TV shows, video games, and collectibles. collectible card gamewhich rivaled Pokémon as one of Japan’s most recognizable cultural exports.
The series and its spin-offs became a marketing giant that marketed itself: the movies and TV shows featured characters playing a card game much like the one fans could buy in their hobby shops. Since then, new cards have been released regularly and they continue to be updated even after the manga and anime are completed.
Yu-Gi-Oh! the manga frequently appeared on best-seller lists, and the collectible card game generated billions of dollars in revenue for its publisher, Konami. The new version of the video game released in January was loaded 30 million times in the first three months.
The Coast Guard said local firefighters discovered Mr. Takahashi’s body at 11:27 a.m. Wednesday after reporting local tourists, adding that they were investigating the cause of his death.
News of his death broke in the late afternoon in Japan and was met with an outpouring of grief on social media both in his home country and around the world.