RIP Isao Takahata.
The beloved anime genius and co-founder of Studio Ghibli passed away yesterday in Tokyo at the age of 82. According to various Japanese news sources, Takahata’s health began declining last year because of a heart condition.
Takahata’s career as a producer, director, and animator began in 1959 when he joined Toei Animation as an assistant. It was ther that he met his longtime collaborator (and fellow legend) Hayao Miyazaki. In the 80s, they would found Studio Ghibli alongside Toshio Suzuki.
A number of Studio Ghibli’s most famous anime have directly involved Takahata in some way. After producing 1984’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and 1986’s Castle in the Sky, Takahata directed Grave of the Fireflies, a brilliant and devastating World War II drama that received universal acclaim.
Between 1991 and 2013, Takahata directed Only Yesterday, Pom Poko, My Neighbors the Yamadas, and The Tale of Princess Kaguya, the latter of which was nominated for an Academy Award. He continued working through 2016.
He’ll be forever missed by the fandom.