Fans around the world are sharing their tributes to Yu-Gi-Oh mangaka Kazuki Takahashi following tragic news of his passing aged 60.

Today is a dark day for millions of manga, anime and modern media fans as the world mourns the loss of one of the greatest authors in history.

Whether you were like many other young kids and begged your parents to buy as many TCG cards as possible, or whether you simply tuned in every weekend morning for the anime adaptation, Yu-Gi-Oh was a part of so many lives.

With a heavy heart, it has been reported this morning that Yu-Gi-Oh mangaka Kazuki Takahashi has sadly passed away, with those same fans around the world sharing heartfelt tributes to the late author.

Takahashi passes away in apparent snorkelling accident

The news of Kazuki Takahashi’s passing was first shared by NHK earlier today, July 6th, who reported that a man was “found floating offshore of Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture at around 10:30 am.”

“At around 10:30 a.m. on August 6, a person involved in marine leisure activities reported to the Japan Coast Guard that a man was drifting face down in the sea about 300 meters offshore of Awa, Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture.” – NHK statement.

The man was reportedly wearing snorkelling equipment and when firefighters arrived at the scene, the man was confirmed to have died.

Sadly, the Nago Coast Guard Station later identified the man as Yu-Gi-Oh author Kazuki Takahashi.

“According to the Japan Coast Guard, there were no significant injuries on Mr. Takahashi’s body, and the Coast Guard is investigating the circumstances leading up to his death.” – NHK Statement.

What is the legacy that Kazuki Takahashi leaves behind?

There are tens of millions of people, from all walks of life, who will be deeply saddened by the passing of Kazuki Takahashi.

His work played a significant role in countless fans’ young lives and his most famous project, Yu-Gi-Oh, would go on to become one of the biggest franchises of all time.

Per Wikipedia’s ongoing Highest-Growing Media Franchises list, Yu-Gi-Oh has earned more than $17.1 billion since its debut in 1996.

This puts Yu-Gi-Oh as the 22nd highest-grossing franchise of all time; above the likes of The Simpsons, Avengers, Looney Tunes, SpongeBob SquarePants, One Piece, James Bond, EA Sports and Star Trek amongst many, many others.

In 2014, there was a report by Manga Zenkan in Japan who claimed that more than 1.38 billion copies of the manga had been sold worldwide, with over 40 million individual volumes in the hands of fans.

Fans may tribute to Takahashi on social media

Fans around the world are sharing their own personal tributes to the late Kazuki Takahashi, demonstrating just how many lives the mangaka touched across a legendary career.

User ‘DarkBakuraa’ said “Rest in peace Kazuki Takahashi Thanks for showing us the greatest manga of all time. Yugioh is so important to me, I can’t describe how painful is it to write this. This show is my whole childhood, I spent so much time watching and read this manga… You will be missed…”

“RIP Kazuki Takahashi. Yugioh was a whole damn entire phase of my life as a kid and still holds a special place to me long after i stopped playing it. that first season of the show where half the rules are madeup is an unironic comfort show that i rewatch more than i care to admit” – User ‘speedoru’, via Twitter.

lariatoh’ noted, “The world lost one of the most talented artists in Kazuki Takahashi. He was the rare type of mangaka whose style felt like it evolving without ever giving up the sharp flair that made his designs so fun in the first place.”

“This series was huge for me when I was a kid. I remember reading about it, waking up early to watch it, begged my parents to buy me cards, and I even owned a duel disk. Rest in peace, Kazuki Takahashi. Thank you for everything.” – ‘TropicalMaku’, via Twitter.

Importantly, user ‘TakahashiArtYGO’ stated “Regardless of if you grew up with Yu-Gi-Oh or not, if you only played the card game or only read the manga, if you watched the anime in English or in Japanese, we were all brought together by one man’s passion. He’ll always be alive in our hearts. That’s the lesson he taught us.”

“One of the first manga I had ever read, a show I watched on Saturday mornings, as well as being one of the reasons I began drawing and studying art. Inspiration to many, loved by all. Millions of hearts were impacted by your story. Rest in Peace, Kazuki Takahashi” – User ‘wandersail’, via Twitter.

By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]

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