What happened to Kazuki Takahashi? Is Yu-Gi-Oh’s creator’s cause of death known - have fans reacted

Yu-Gi-Oh creator Kazuki Takahashi was found dead at sea

The creator of the popular card game Yu-Gi-Oh was discovered dead at sea by authorities in Japan.

Kazuki Takahashi was a manga artist who had been active since 1981.

The 60 year old was born on 4 October 1961 and started his career working for various magazines, such as Weekly Shōnen Sunday and Weekly Shōnen Magazine.

His first major work was a one shot called Fighting Hawk, which was published in 1990.

Mr Takahashi found success with his 1996 series Yu-Gi-Oh which spawned a TV series and a popular card game of the same name.

He was found dead this week in Japan.

What happened to Kazuki Takahashi?

The body of Mr Takahashi, 60, was found on Wednesday (6 July) floating about 300 meters off the coast of Okinawa, the coast guard said on Friday ( 8 July).

According to an official at the Naha Coast Guard Nago station, the artist’s body was found by a person running a marine leisure business.

The coast guard and the fire department went by boat and watercraft and found the body, face down and wearing a snorkelling mask.

Young players compete in a game of Yu-Gi-Oh! at the Chinese Theater August 7, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

He may have been dead for a day or two, according to the coast guard official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because their job did not allow them to be quoted by name.

Mr Takahashi was identified after police in another part of Okinawa contacted the coast guard on Thursday, saying a rented car had been found abandoned on a beach.

The car had a driver’s license, confirming the identity. Mr Takahashi’s real first name was Kazuo. His family was contacted and identified him, the coast guard official said.

Is his cause of death known?

The body showed signs of being attacked by a marine creature, possibly sharks, but the cause of death was still under investigation, the official said.

What is Yu-Gi-Oh?

His comic Yu-Gi-Oh! became a hit after its 1996 debut in Shonen Jump magazine, selling more than 40 million copies as manga, although the number of cards out in the world is far greater.

The plot of the comic follows the story of a boy named Yugi Mutou who solves the ancient Millennium Puzzle causing him to be possessed by the spirit of a nameless Pharaoh from Ancient Egyptian times.

It spawned an official card game which went on sale in 1999 - it is a trading card game with players able to face off with each other.

Yu-Gi-Oh! is played by having two people facing off and placing cards from their deck with different powers to try and defeat the other.

Each player starts out with 8,000 “life points,” which get chiselled away as your cards lose.

Players can buy of cards to help improve their deck.

Famous cards include the Blue Eyes White Dragon.

When a Yu-Gi-Oh! event was held at a Tokyo baseball stadium in 1999, so many children and parents came to buy the cards, game-maker Konami, the organiser, had to call in riot police.

How have fans reacted to his death?

There was an outpouring of mourning on social media for Mr Takahashi.

Fans around the world posted their cards and manga images online in tribute. Some noted that was how they had become interested in Japan. People recalled how the cards had helped them make their first friends.

“We are deeply grateful for the wonderful ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ universe that he has created, and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time,” the London-based YuGiOhNews account said on Twitter and on its official site.