Kazuki Takahashi, the creator of Yu-Gi-Oh! A hugely popular collectible card game, and the manga series that spawned several anime and video game spinoffs, was found dead this week in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture, broadcasters NHK and The Japan Times reported on Thursday. Takahashi, whose given name was Kazuo Takahashi and wrote under a pen name, was 60 years old.
According to NHK, authorities have not announced the cause of death and are still investigating. Takahashi’s body was reportedly found near the shore on Wednesday, and is said to have been traveling alone on a snorkeling trip.
Yu-Gi-Oh! First gone as a serial manga weekly Shonen Jump Magazine from September 1996 to March 2004. the story of Yu-Gi-Oh! Centered on the pointy-haired protagonist Yugi Muto, who, after solving an ancient tool known as the Millennium Riddle, summons a mysterious spirit that alters his alter ego, Yami Yugi. Together, they sought the power to become the mighty duelist in the ancient – and currently modern – game of dueling monsters, and challenging others to games with heavy stakes.
Yu-Gi-Oh! The manga was later adapted for several anime series, spinoffs and animated films.
Yu-Gi-Oh! The trading card game was launched in Japan in 1999, and publisher Konami brought it to the West in 2002. The game was a huge success, and over 35 billion cards have been sold to date. Konami adapted the anime and manga series for video games with early game avatars for the original PlayStation and Game Boy Advance. In January, Konami released the free-to-play game Yu-Gi-Oh! master duel for Windows PC, and the game became a surprise smash hit on Steam.
Takahashi was actively creating comics even before his death. In June, Marvel and Viz Media published Takahashi secret reverseA comic starring Iron Man and Spider-Man, in which Tony Stark travels to Japan to attend a gaming convention, where he meets the CEO of a card game company with apparently sinister motives.