Fans and industry representatives react to the recent death of Yu-Gi-Oh! manga creator Kazuki Takahashi. The 60-year-old artist was found dead by police Japanese Coast Guard off the coast of the city of Nago, Okinawa on July 6, allegedly with snorkeling gear. This was announced by the Coast Guard NHK that Takahashi was visiting the area alone.
The news quickly spread across social media and news outlets, including The Washington Post, BBCand ABC. Takahashi’s friends, colleagues, and fans shared their memories of the creator, whose work has been a gateway to anime, manga, and comics fandom, as well as a glimmer of hope at difficult times in her life.
Hajime no Ippo Creator George Morikawawho was also a friend of the deceased berserk Creator Kentarou Miura, divided his memories of Takahashi on Twitter.
Morikawa wrote that Takahashi was “Kazuo Takahashi” to him. “Kazuo” is Takahashi’s birth name while he wrote under the pseudonym “Kazuki”.
“We were close friends because our [manga] Debuts were close and we shared the same editor. We were also mahjong friends. Since he was a beginner, his talent for drawing was outstanding, but he lacked the spirit of conquest. He wasn’t really obsessed with selling copies.” Morikawa said that while they were both making ends meet, Takahashi said he was “making some money Jump.” Morikawa felt that Takahashi’s “flashy art” would be a great fit Shonen jump but knew it wasn’t going to be easy.
Sure enough while they both worked on it Yu-Gi-Oh! and Hajime no Ippo or called Takahashi Morikawa by phone for advice. According to Morikawa, Takahashi considered opening a studio and letting him know how much money he had made. “It wasn’t just loose change,” Morikawa wrote. However, he said that through it all, Takahashi maintained a humble demeanor and didn’t come off like a big hitter who hit the jackpot.
The last time Morikawa heard from Takahashi was several years ago. He asked them to play mahjong together again.
“I guess you really were the king of the games,” Morikawa wrote.
Voice actor of Seto Kaiba Kenjiro Tsuda refrained from recounting an anecdote and instead shared a picture of the celebrity Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Blue-Eyes White Dragon.
Marvel Entertainment, the publisher of Takahashi’s Secret back Manga about Spider-Man and Iron Man traveling to Japan to fight an evil gaming magnate shared a message.
Marvel is saddened by the passing of visionary manga creator Kazuki Takahashi, who graced the Marvel Universe with his imaginative storytelling earlier this year. Our condolences go to his family, friends and many, many fans worldwide. pic.twitter.com/NsGHXdSJIX
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) July 7, 2022
That Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game wrote:
— Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG (@YuGiOh_TCG) July 7, 2022
In memory of Mr. Kazuki Takahashi
We are shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Mr. Kazuki Takahashi.
We are deeply grateful for the wonderful “Yu-Gi-Oh!“The universe he created and our thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time.
Along with his countless fans, we commit ourselves to the “Yu-Gi-Oh!“Legacy with all the love and care it deserves.
voice actress Megumi Ogatawho played Yūgi Mutō in the 1998 series, shared that she had heard Takahashi first recommended her for the role.
“Viewing ratings skyrocketed after season two, trading cards sold like hotcakes, and the film version was decided… The cast worked as a team and together overcame many obstacles to create this memorable work. Thank you, Takahashi sensei. I pray for your soul from the bottom of my heart.”
Yu-Gi-Oh! Animator and animation director Takahiro Kagami wrote on Twitter:
At noon I read the obituary. What are you saying… Suddenly I feel like I’ve been cut off from a part of myself. I think that the existence of “Yu-Gi-Oh!” and “Kazuki Takahashi“merged with me.
Many Thanks, Kazuki Takahashi-sensei.
However, I am sure that one day in the future I will continue to be of service to you.
When I spoke to him last year, he said, “When the coronavirus calms down, let’s have dinner together.” Just like the start of DSOD [Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions]he was so passionate and positive that listening to him made me feel energized, so I wanted to talk to him again.
voice actor Tetsuya Iwanaga (Malik Ishtar) wrote that when he first met Takahashi, he told him that he didn’t initially have a voice for Dark Malik, but after hearing Iwanaga’s voice, he drew the character with his rendition in mind.
“I was really happy. I pray from the bottom of my heart that he rests in peace,” he wrote.
voice actor Haruhi Nanao (Mai Kujaku) shared that she hasn’t processed the news yet, so will “lock it in a special place in my heart for a while.”
Hiroki Takahashi (voice of Katsuya Jōnōchi) simply expressed his gratitude.
voice actor Eric Stuart (English voice of Seto Kaiba) posted a photo of him and voice actor Yugi Dan Green on Facebook and recalled a heartwarming anecdote: “So Dan and I performed one of ours Yu-Gi-Oh! Live duels and we were told Sensei wanted to meet us. It was exciting that he was there to see the event. I asked what the protocol would be like. Would we shake hands, bow, could we speak? I mean he’s the creator of the show! Anyhow, we were told to play it by ear and follow his lead. After we got the loops and awkward ‘normal’ photos out of the way, I asked him, ‘Hey, do you want to do an anime pose with us like we do with the fans?’ The translator’s eyes opened wide and said it softly to Sensei. He smiled and said ‘YES!’ Here is the infamous photo. Not just the creator of Yu-Gi-Oh! But like all of us, a fan. RIP. Dear Kaiba.”
voice actor Veronica Taylor (Carly Carmine, Mira Tsukumo) wrote on Twitter: “This is incredibly sad news. The talents and influence of Kazuki Takahashi have played a monumental role in our lives for so long. His legacy will live on as we all deal with this incredible loss. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family and to the many who are fortunate enough to work with him.”
This is incredibly sad news. The talents and influence of Kazuki Takahashi have played a monumental role in our lives for so long. His legacy will live on as we all deal with this incredible loss. My sincere condolences go out to his family and the many who are fortunate enough to work with him. https://t.co/pf8dd4dC31
— Veronica Taylor (@TheVeronicaT) July 7, 2022
voice actor Lisa Ortiz (Serenity Wheeler) wrote: “Sorry about the death of Kazuki Takahashi. Yu-Gi-Oh! was a big part of my life and formative years in this industry. I have always felt blessed to be a part of his wonderful work that has touched so many lives. Rest in peace.”
Sad about the death of Kazuki Takahashi. #yugio was a big part of my life and formative years in this industry. I have always felt blessed to be a part of his wonderful work that has touched so many lives. Rest in peace #KazukiTakahashi #SERENITYhttps://t.co/EJ9Ak3vzbT
— Lisa Ortiz🇵🇷 (@Lisalisejam) July 7, 2022
voice actor Cassandra Lee Morris (Tori) wrote: “RIP Kazuki Takahashiand eternal thanks for creating it Yu-Gi-Oh! I’m eternally grateful for the memories and still amazed that I got to be a part of them. Her spirit will live on in the heart of the cards.”
RIP Kazuki Takahashi and eternal thanks for creating Yu-Gi-Oh! I’m eternally grateful for the memories and still amazed that I got to be a part of them. Your spirit will live on in the heart of the cards 💜 https://t.co/vaMAR3Doij
— Cassandra Lee Morris (@SoCassandra) July 7, 2022
Fans also share Takahashis Comments from his previous publications, including his anti-war stance, his hope that readers would exercise their right to vote art exchange with American comic artist Mike Mignola and his wish that games would make people do it understand each other.
Thanks Rob19ny for help compiling comments.