Today, reports confirmed Kazuki Takahashi, the 60-year-old creator of Yu-Gi-Oh, has passed away. Sources like NHK shared news from the Japan Coast Guard revealing the shocking case to fans. According to current reports, Takahashi was found off the shore of Okinawa by a passing boater, and an investigation has been launched into the case by authorities.
Takahashi's manga career started in 1982, but he didn't become a household name until Weekly Shonen Jump! published Yu-Gi-Oh! in 1996. The series starred a young boy named Yugi Mutou, who unlocked a darker, secondary personality when he solved the mysterious Millennium Puzzle, an ancient Egyptian artifact. Initially, Yu-Gi-Oh! focused on Yugi using various kinds of games to punish the wicked, but the comic truly found success when it started to focus on a trading card game. Although Takahashi initially wanted the card game to make only a few appearances in the series, it eventually became the cornerstone of a massive franchise that spanned TV, movies, video games, and of course, a popular card game with a wide-ranging and active fanbase that remains active to this day. Although Yu-Gi-Oh! ended in 2004, the anime and its various spinoffs continue to be active to this day. A free-to-play game called Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel has drawn in many new fans to the card game, bringing in thousands of new players per day.
After the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga ended in 2004, Takahashi continued to oversee the franchise and work on various other one-off projects. Just two weeks ago, Marvel and Viz published Marvel's Secret Reverse, a one-off manga by Takahashi starring Spider-Man and Iron Man. Appropriately, Marvel's Secret Reverse featured the heroes visiting a gaming convention. Takahashi was also awarded the Inkpot Award at Comic-Con International for his contributions to the comics industry.