Creator of manga series Yu-Gi-Oh! dies while snorkelling in Japan – with police treating it as a possible crime.
Kazuki Takahashi, author of the popular ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ manga series, has been found dead after an apparent snorkelling trip in Japan, a coast guard official said Thursday.
The 60-year-old was found off the coast of Okinawa in the country’s south on Wednesday and was thought to be snorkeling when he died.
He was wearing a T-shirt and an underwater mask, snorkel and fins, the official in the city of Nago, who declined to be named, told AFP.
‘We are investigating the case as both a possible accident or crime,’ he said.
Japanese media including public broadcaster NHK said Takahashi was found around 328 yards offshore and pulled from the water.
‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ ran in the Japanese weekly comic magazine Shonen Jump between 1996 and 2004.
It told the story of Yugi, a teenager who receives an ancient puzzle that awakens in him the alter ego of an Egyptian pharaoh.
The manga gave rise to a media franchise including a trading card game as well as anime series and films.
It was later published as a series of 38 books by Japanese publishing powerhouse Shueisha, which did not issue any immediate statement on Takahashi’s death.
Takahashi wrote under a pen name and his real first name was Kazuo.
The manga artist won international fame with a story that inspired a trading card game rivaling Pokemon as one of Japan’s most recognizable cultural exports.
Kazuki Takahashi, the creator of the international smash hit manga and trading card game Yu-Gi-Oh!, was found dead in southern Japan, the country’s Coast Guard said Thursday.
His body was discovered on Wednesday floating off the coast of Nago in Okinawa Prefecture. Mr. Takahashi was traveling alone in Nago, a popular vacation destination, and had apparently been snorkeling when he died from unknown causes, a Coast Guard spokesman said. He was 60.
Mr. Takahashi, whose real name was Kazuo, began 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 spiky-haired boy who challenges his enemies to duels involving magical games.
The story started as a one-off but ended up running for nearly eight years in the pages of the popular Japanese boys comic magazine Weekly Shonen Jump. Along the way, it inspired movies, TV shows, video games and a collectible trading card game, which rivaled Pokemon as one of Japan’s most recognizable cultural exports.