Studio Ghibli's Co-Founder Isao Takahata Passes Away At 82

By Eknoorpreet Singh | April 6, 2018

Studio Ghibli | Isao Takahata |  Grave of the Fireflies

Isao Takahata, the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, passed away today in a Tokyo hospital. He was reportedly suffering from major health problems since last summer. Although the cause of death is yet to be confirmed, many news reports cite lung cancer as a potential cause. He was 82.

Takahata, along with Hayao Miyazaki, was the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, the greatest Japanese animation studio which gave us anime films like 'Spirited Away' and war-themed 'Grave of the Fireflies'; the latter was written and directed by Takahata himself. Film critic, Roger Ebert, considered it "one of the greatest war films ever made". He went on to direct more films like the romantic drama 'Only Yesterday', the ecological adventure 'Pom Poko', and the comedy 'My Neighbors the Yamadas'. His last film, 'The Tale of the Princess Kaguya', was nominated for an Academy Award in the category Best Animated Feature Film at the 87th Academy Awards.

After the success of Miyazaki's Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Takahata was invited by Miyazaki to join his animation production company Studio Ghibli, to which he accepted.

(A picture of Takahata and Miyazaki, the co-founders of Studio Ghibli)

Studio Ghibli went on to become the greatest animation studio in Japan, with films grossing over US$290 million worldwide. The company's five films have earned Academy Award nominations. Many of their works have won the Animage Anime Grand Prix award, and four have won the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year.