‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ Kazuki Takahashi, the Founder, Died While Attempting to Help Drowning Victims

Kazuki Takahashi, the creator of Yu-Gi-Oh!, died in July, and his cause of death was officially listed as drowning. A recent publication from the United States military’s newspaper provides more information about his demise (via Kotaku).

Takahashi is best known as the creator of the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga series. Because of the manga’s success, Konami created the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game in 1999, with Takahashi’s assistance. The card game spawned multiple video games, the most recent being Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel.

According to a recent Stars & Stripes account, a US Army officer was recognized for “rescuing three persons from a riptide at a prominent Okinawa dive area in an occurrence that supposedly killed a well-known Japanese manga artist.”

According to the account, Major Robert Bourgeau, 49, has been recommended for a Soldier’s Medal for his efforts on July 4, when he reportedly observed three swimmers suffering in a “threatening riptide” and promptly swam out to save them. The swimmers, two Japanese citizens, were hauled to shore, and the US soldier was directed to safety.

However, “many sworn witness statements” claim that Takahashi also dived in to help the struggling swimmers during the rescue, but that observers only “caught glimpses of him before he disappeared beneath the waves.”

Takahashi’s body was discovered the next day off the shore of Nago in northern Okinawa by the Japanese Coast Guard. His automobile was discovered parked in Mermaid’s Grotto, the scene of the incident.

“He’s a hero,” Bourgeau told the publication, before adding, “He died attempting to save someone else.”

Fans of the show have been speaking out over Takahashi’s death on social media, with one stating, “It takes courage, selflessness, and honor as a human being to put your life on the line for strangers.”

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