Kazuki Takahashi is a likable guy. I’m a big fan of his honesty–the artist has admitted publicly to being a procrastinator, starting his work right before a deadline and berating himself constantly for that poor decision. It’s always nice to know you have something in common with someone so famous.
For those who keep up with anime and manga news, you’ll constantly see Takahashi collaborating with other popular artists, and in 2015, he made his Comic-Con debut to a sea of overzealous fans desperate to see the genius himself.
For those unaware of this titan of the anime world, Takahashi created Yu-Gi-Oh! nearly twenty-five years ago, a series that continued on to become a worldwide phenomenon. The trading card game still holds the Guinness World Record as the bestselling trading card game ever made, defeating Pokemon for that high honor.
A large number of us probably remember playing at school, making all the same dramatic moves and loud declarations as the protagonist. We looked incredibly lame doing it, but it felt good, right?
Starting his career in 1982, Takahashi has a rags-to-riches story in the manga world. At 19, one short manga he created won a magazine contest, but for the next decade, he would have plenty of rejected stories and several publishers before Yu-Gi-Oh! finally came to fruition in 1996.
Takahashi’s interest to create something revolving around ‘games’ made perfect sense to him, someone who had obsessed over games as a child and continues to do so as an adult. Making a fighting manga seemed too easy and overplayed, but creating a story where winning a game could make anyone a hero? Now that was an idea.
Takahashi Loves Collaboration and Social Engagement
In the past few years, Takahashi has made quite a splash on social media. For fans of his art style, his Instagram page is constantly updated with plenty of hand-drawn goodness and the occasional insanely cool video.
In June of 2019, he participated in an art campaign using his famous Yu-Gi-Oh! characters to convince fans of the series to cast their vote in the Japanese elections. A little later in the year, his Secret Reverse collab had fans jumping for joy when the artist illustrated their favorite Marvel characters.
That’s right, Spiderman and Iron Man in a take on the Yu-Gi-Oh! universe. Now that’s a crossover no one expected.
This isn’t something that began recently. Back in 2004, Takahashi and Mike Mignola, known for creating Hellboy, decided to do a little crossover. These incredible art pieces were released to the world in Shonen Jump, to some major shock.
As much as I hate to bring down the mood, Takahashi has also been keeping up to date with some more serious news. In order to raise awareness about the Coronavirus sweeping the world, the artist posted a PSA on his Instagram page, showing Yugi’s rival Seto Kaiba fighting the virus in a duel, all while wearing his all-important surgical mask. That’s one way to stay healthy.
It’s No Surprise that Kazuki Takahashi is Living the High Life
It’s not very often a creator’s living situation makes the headlines. Googling Kazuki Takahashi often leads browsers to sites relating to his net worth, which at the time of writing this hovers around $20 million. It’s a massive number, though not surprising, given that what he created wasn’t simply an anime and manga series, but a card game which continues to sell booster packs to this day.
Back in 2017, a Japanese 2chan user blessed the world by uploading some images of Takahashi’s opulent home and art studio. We could all expect the massive room filled with nothing but Yu-Gi-Oh! merch displayed in massive glass cases. Maybe we could have also anticipated the game room with a pool table, jukebox, and luxurious chandelier. But the in-house bar? The full theater? Now that’s impressive.
The Yu-Gi-Oh! Hype isn’t Over
Every time I find myself in a comic book shop, Yu-Gi-Oh! is still front and center behind the card game counter. The mechanics of the game have been updated over the years, usually keeping pace with new anime releases.
Originally, the Yu-Gi-Oh anime series aired in the west beginning in 2001, all the way until 2006. Following this, there have been seemingly countless spinoffs, including Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, Yu-Gi-Oh! Arv-V, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Sevens.
In April 2020, a new series will begin titled Yu-Gi-Oh! Sevens, produced by anime studio Bridge of Fairy Tale and The Royal Tutor fame.