Author of Manga ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ Found Dead in Okinawa πŸ’‰

Kazuki Takahashi, author of the popular “Yu-Gi-Oh!” manga series, has been found dead after an apparent snorkeling trip in Okinawa Prefecture, a coast guard official said Thursday.

A body that turned out to be the 60-year-old was found off the coast on Wednesday. He was wearing a T-shirt and an underwater mask, snorkel and fins, said the official in the city of Nago, who declined to be named.

Media outlets including public broadcaster NHK said Takahashi was found around 300 meters offshore and pulled from the water.

According to broadcaster TBS, Takahashi was traveling in Okinawa alone. A car rental company contacted police on Wednesday night saying it could not reach him, prompting the coast guard to suspect the body was his, TBS said.

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“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. His works are hugely popular at home and abroad, with his manga turned into a television series, movies and card games.

In 2011, “Yu-Gi-Oh!” was recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s best-selling trading card game after selling more than 25.17 billion sets around the world, according to Kyodo News.

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