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Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG manga creator Kazuki Takahashi has passed away

At the age of 60.

An image of the creator of the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga Kazuki Takahashi with Yu-Gi-Oh! artwork
Image credit: Peter Endig/DPA/Writer Pictures

The creator of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, which the trading card game is based on, has passed away at the age of 60.

Kazuki Takahashi, the creator behind the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga series , has been pronounced dead after his body was found of the coast of Nago City, Okinawa, Japan. (Thanks Anime News Network.) A passerby discovered the body of Mr Takahashi yesterday morning and reported the incident to the maritime hotline. Mr Takashi was found 300 metres from the coastline in Nago City wearing snorkeling gear. The Coast Guard and police are currently co-investigating the manga creator’s death.

Yu-Gi-Oh! was originally written and illustrated by Takahashi in 1996, with the manga appearing in the iconic Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine – which has also featured other beloved manga series such as One Piece and My Hero Academia. The manga ran in the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from September 1996 until Match 2004 and followed the story of Yugi Mutou, a young boy who solves a puzzle box and discovers an alternate version of himself whose love of gambling. This alter-ego proceeds to challenge various people to compete against him in a variety of games.

The manga was eventually adapted into an anime series in 1998 – which was never shown outside of Japan – and another anime series in 2000 called Duel Monsters, which was aired outside of Japan under the name Yu-Gi-Oh!. Duel Monsters served as a tie-in to the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game that was published by Konami in 1999, with players taking on the role of rival duelists seeking to beat their opponent using their deck of cards.

In the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, players pre-build their decks – which can contain a variety of cards from monsters to spells – and then go head-to-head with one another to reduce their opponent’s life point total to zero. Players can also win by forcing their opponent to draw when they have no cards left in their deck or by fulfilling specific requirements found on certain cards. Players in the trading card game then take it in turns to play cards from their hand, with players wanting to summon various monsters onto their main monster zone in order to attack and defend.

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The two-player game has participants switching their monsters from facedown to faceup, which changes whether cards can be targeted, and in attack or defend positions. Placing a monster in attack position will enable them to attack an opponent’s monster or health total, whilst putting a monster in defend will prevent the player from taking damage if it’s destroyed. Besides the physical trading card game, Yu-Gi-Oh TCG has also been adapted into a video game version called Master Duel.

There are yet to be any updates on the circumstances behind Kazuki Takahashi’s death.

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Alex Meehan avatar
Alex Meehan: After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.
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