Co-founder of Studio Ghibli Dies at 82
By Faith Magbanua, April 10, 2018 05:04 AM
Japanese anime director and Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata has died at the age of 82 on April 5, 2018.
"[His death] is true, but we can't comment further as we are trying to confirm some facts around it," a Studio Ghibli spokeswoman said.
Citing unnamed sources related to Takahata, Japanese public broadcaster NHK said he had died at a Tokyo hospital after a recent bout of ill health.
Takahata started his career in animation in 1959 at Japan's Toei studio, where he met Hayao Miyazaki, who is usually seen as the face of Studio Ghibli.
After that, the duo went on to co-found Studio Ghibli in 1985, and were described by local media as friends and rivals at the same time. Studio Ghibli has produced several animated blockbusters and become one of the world's most renowned animation studios.
The studio has mainly produced films by Miyazaki, with the second most prolific director being Takahata.
Other directors who have worked with Studio Ghibli include Yoshifumi Kondo, Hiroyuki Morita, Gorō Miyazaki, and Hiromasa Yonebayashi.
Composer Joe Hisaishi has provided the soundtracks for most of Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli films. In their book Anime Classics Zettai!, Brian Camp and Julie Davis made note of Michiyo Yasuda as "a mainstay of Studio Ghibli's extraordinary design and production team".
At one time, the studio was based in Kichijōji, Musashino, Tokyo.
Up until now, their animations can be considered heartfelt and beautiful.
Takahata's film The Tale of the Princess Kaguya earned him an Academy Award nomination in 2014 for Best Animated Feature.
But his most beloved work remains was the 1988 film Grave of the Fireflies, a heartbreaking tale of two orphans during World War Two.
He also had a hand in producing other well-known works like Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and Castle in the Sky.
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