Yu-Gi-Oh creator Kazuki Takahashi dies aged 60

Lucy-Jo Finnighan
an image of the yu-gi-oh anime

Yu-Gi-Oh creator Kazuki Takahashi has tragically died aged 60, and police are still unaware of the official cause of death.

Kazuki Takahash, who is best known for overseeing the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise since its start in 1996, has passed away at the age of 60.

Yu-Gi-Oh! launched Takahashi’s career when it debuted in 1996. Before that, he had seen moderate success with a manga adaptation of the 1986 sports anime Go-Q-Choji Ikkiman, and he finally created his first original work, Tokio no Taka, in 1990.

Fans across social media are devastated, as Takahashi’s creation had shaped the childhood and lives of so many individuals. Yu-Gi-Oh! was one of the first mangas and animes to really make it big worldwide, and for that Takahashi’s skill cannot be understated.

No official cause of death for Yu-Gi-Oh creator Kazuki Takahashi

According to the NHK, at approximately 10:30am on July 6, a citizen on a nearby boat spotted a body off the coast of Nago City in Okinawa. Japanese Coast Guard authorities later announced that the body was indeed that of Takahashi.

Takahashi was found wearing snorkeling gear, and appeared to have already been dead for between one and two days. His body also wasn’t confirmed to be him until a day later by the Nago Maritime Security Office.

The Coast Guard and Police have yet to confirm the cause of death, including whether it was accidental.


Yu-Gi-Oh fans pay tribute to Kazuki Takahashi

While Yu-Gi-Oh! may now be known for its card game, fans will know that Takahashi’s magnum opus actually began as a horror-based story, and the cards didn’t even show up until the 9th chapter, where the game was first-known as “Magic and Wizards,” clearly inspired by Magic: The Gathering.

But the game aspect quickly grew in popularity, and at the request of Shonen Jump Magazine, Takahashi developed it into the manga’s primary focus.

Takahashi contributed to not just the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, but also the anime as an executive producer and the game as a consultant. For his contributions, Takahashi was awarded the Comic-Con International Inkpot Award in 2015.

Outside of Yu-Gi-Oh, he was also involved in Marvel’s Secret Reverse in 2019, which presented a team-up between Iron Man and Spider-Man as they took on an evil Japanese gaming company CEO.