'Yu-Gi-Oh!' creator Kazuki Takahashi found dead in the sea

The manga series author was on a snorkelling trip in Japan

The manga artist Kazuki Takahashi has died aged 60. EPA
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Kazuki Takahashi, author of the popular Yu-Gi-Oh! manga series, has been found dead after an apparent snorkelling trip in Japan, a coast guard official said on Thursday.

The manga artist and game creator, 60, was found off the coast of Okinawa in the country's south on Wednesday.

He was wearing a T-shirt and an underwater mask, snorkel and fins, the official in the city of Nago, who declined to be named, said.

"We are investigating the case as both a possible accident or crime," he said.

Japanese media including public broadcaster NHK said Takahashi was found about 300 metres offshore and pulled from the water.

Yu-Gi-Oh! ran in the Japanese weekly comic magazine Shonen Jump between 1996 and 2004.

It told the story of Yugi, a teenager who receives an ancient puzzle that awakens in him the alter ego of an Egyptian pharaoh.

The manga gave rise to a media franchise including a trading card game as well as anime series and films.

It was later published as a series of 38 books by Japanese publishing company Shueisha, which did not issue any immediate statement on Takahashi's death.

Takahashi wrote under a pen name and his real first name was Kazuo.

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