This past weekend, a legend in the world of Japanese anime has gone to that “castle in the sky”.
Isao Takahata, who co-created the famed Studio Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki, lost his battle with lung cancer at the age of 82 on April 5.
Takahata got his start at Nippon Television (NTV), doing animation on the series Horus: Prince of the Sun and Heidi, Girl from the Alps. In 1985, he joined forces with Miyazaki and Suzuki to create Studio Ghibli, where Takahata served as producer on Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and Castle in the Sky.
Takahata would take the reigns on Grave of the Fireflies, considered one of the best and greatest anime films produced. While his follow-ups Only Yesterday and Pom Poko gained an audience, things didn’t bode too well with My Neighbors the Yamadas in 1999, but in 2013, regained that following with The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, his final film as writer and director. That film earned him an Academy Award nominated for Best Animated Film. He served as producer for 2016’s The Red Turtle, directed by Michael Dudok de Wit. That film would be Takahata’s final film as a producer.
Isao Takahata will forever remain a legend in the anime universe. Condolences go out to the family of Isao Takahata. As a final tribute, check out the trailer to his final film as writer and director, the Academy Award-nominated The Tale of the Princess Kaguya