Kazuki Takahashi (高橋 和希 Takahashi Kazuki?, also 高橋 一雅, born October 4, 1961 in Tokyo) is a manga artist, illustrator and game creator who created the manga Yu-Gi-Oh!, which led to the anime versions of it, Toei's Yu-Gi-Oh! and Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters (Internationally known as Yu-Gi-Oh!), as well as a spinoff manga (Yu-Gi-Oh! R), two spinoff anime (Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's) and several video games, novels and books. He has no relation with female manga artist Rumiko Takahashi, creator of InuYasha and Ranma ½. In an interview with Shonen Jump (magazine) Takahashi stated that his favorite manga from other authors included Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki, and Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama.
Takahashi started as a mangaka in 1982. His first work was Tokiō no Tsuma (闘輝王の鷹), published in 1990. One of his earliest works was Tennenshokudanji Buray (天然色男児BURAY), which lasted for two volumes and was published from 1991 to 1992. Takahashi did not find success until 1996 when he created Yu-Gi-Oh!
Takahashi's Yu-Gi-Oh! manga started the creation of the Yu-Gi-Oh! cards or originally known as "Magic and Wizards" , a reference to the card game Magic: The Gathering and the card game's parent company Wizards of the Coast; the name of the card game was changed to "Duel Monsters" for the anime adaptations. However, he never intended to focus his manga on the card game he created. The original format of the manga was set in episodic chapters with a different game being played in each chapter, and the Magic and Wizards card game was originally intended to only appear in two chapters. Shueisha, the publisher of the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, received so many letters and fan-mail asking about the Magic and Wizards game that Takahashi decided to extend it. The game later became a full trading card game published by Konami.
Takahashi enjoys reading American comics, and Hellboy is his favorite American comic book character. Takahashi and Mike Mignola, the creator of the Hellboy comic book series, once participated in an art exchange. Takahashi drew a picture of Hellboy with Yugi Mutou's hairdo, a Millennium Puzzle, and a duel disk. Mignola drew a picture of Hellboy wearing a Millennium Puzzle and a Yugi T-Shirt, and the two exchanged their artwork.
Takahashi also collaborated with Yoshio Sawai by sending him a picture of Yugi that was used in the manga Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo (Bobobo makes Yugi come out of his afro). In return, Takahashi included the 'nu' handkerchief in one of the panels in Yu-Gi-Oh! during the Egypt arc.
Studio Dice - Kazuki Takahashi's Official Website (Japanese)