Anime fans mourn Kazuki Takahashi, manga artist who created Yu-Gi-Oh! universe

Two men sit at opposite sides of a table playing a card game.
Fans of ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!,’ a popular manga and anime series, are paying tribute to late creator Kazuki Takahashi.
(Christy Radecic / Invision / Associated Press)

Fans, voice actors and other members of the anime community are coming together on social media to pay tribute to Yu-Gi-Oh! creator Kazuki Takahashi, who died in a diving accident on Wednesday. He was 60.

Takahashi was best known for the classic manga comic that spawned a popular anime series and trading-card game of the same name. According to the BBC, Takahashi’s body was found off the coast of Japan after a snorkeling trip in the Okinawa prefecture. On Thursday, the official Twitter account for Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game confirmed the manga author’s death.

“We are shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Mr. Kazuki Takahashi,” the Twitter statement read. “We are deeply grateful for the wonderful ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ universe that he has created, and our thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time.


“Together, with his countless fans, we pledge to carry on the ‘Yu-Gi-Oh! legacy with all the love and care it deserves.”

Anime Expo 2022 drew tens of thousands of attendees to the Los Angeles Convention Center this weekend and, as has happened many times before, its popularity even attracted the attention of fire marshals working to keep the crowd safe.

July 4, 2022

Takahashi created the beloved world of Yu-Gi-Oh!, which first appeared in the Japanese comic magazine Shonen Jump from 1996 to 2004. The comic followed a teenager named Yugi Muto who solves an ancient Egyptian puzzle that unlocks a dark and mighty alter ego.

The original manga then spawned a popular anime series, a trading card game and various spinoff films, opening Takahashi’s universe to multiple generations of anime enthusiasts.

On Thursday, fans and members of the anime community honored Takahashi.

“Sensei created a role that would help define my voice acting career. He once told me my version of Seto Kaiba was his favorite. RIP,” tweeted voice actor Eric Stuart, who lent his voice to numerous “Yu-Gi-Oh!” characters in the series’ version dubbed into English.

“RIP Kazuki Takahashi, and eternal thanks for creating Yu-Gi-Oh!,” tweeted fellow anime voice actor Cassandra Lee Morris, who voiced Alice and Yubel in “Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.” “I’m forever grateful for the memories and still amazed I got to be part of it. Your spirit will live on in the heart of the cards.”


San Diego Comic-Con also paid tribute to Takahashi, who received its honorary Inkpot Award in 2015. The official Twitter account said its “sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends and fans.”

Hypland, a clothing brand that specializes in anime merchandise, tweeted, “RIP Kazuki Takahashi.”

“Thank you for the community and everything you’ve created. Have definitely touched the lives of millions of people,” the brand said in another tweet.