It’s a sad day for manga and anime fans everywhere. The creator of Yu-Gi-Oh has died. Anyone who grew up watching kids’ TV in the early 2000s is at least aware of the show. For many of those people, Yu-Gi-Oh was probably a beloved gateway into the large world of anime. The property went on to influence tons of other works in the genre, as well as spawning many spin-offs and sequels that many enjoy to this day.

According to reports published by NHK in The Japan Times, Kazuki Takahashi’s body was recovered after being “found floating while wearing snorkeling gear in the waters off Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, on Wednesday morning.” Japanese police are currently looking into the specific cause of death.

Takahashi started his career as a mangaka in 1982, struggling to get any of his series off the ground until 1996. When he began work on Yu-Gi-Oh, it quickly became a hit. The series features the adventures of Yami Yugi, a young boy who discovers a powerful Egyptian artifact that aids him in the playing of a mystical card game. He’s joined by Joey Wheeler and Maia Yoshioka. Generally, he’s battling against enemies such as Seto Kaiba or Maximillian Pegasus.

The show also managed to spawn a trading card game based on the one in the show, with which Takahashi was intimately involved. The trading card game features monsters and mechanics featured in the show, and it remains popular in trading card game tournaments across the world. Takahashi was also still actively involved in creating new Yu-Gi-Oh stories and merchandise, even releasing a collaboration with Marvel earlier this year. This is truly a tragedy for his friends and family and fans of his work everywhere. Rest in peace, Kazuki Takahashi.

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