Isao Takahata, the legendary anime director who co-founded Studio Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki, died. He was 82 years old. Yahoo Japan reports that it suffered from a heart condition and was hospitalized last summer; Studio Ghibli has confirmed the news of his death.
Although not as internationally known as Miyazaki, Takahata directed some of the most beautiful and original films of Studio Ghibli, from the touching Only Yesterday to the heart. heartbreaking war drama Tomb of the fireflies . He also served as producer of the first works of Miyazaki Nausicaä del Valle del Viento and Castillo en el cielo and his last credit as director was for the visually stunning, elemental story of Princess Kaguya .
Takahata never drew himself, which led to his films often serving as an outlet for Ghibli's more experimental and brilliant animation. His respectful though sometimes antagonistic relationship with Miyazaki is explored in the fascinating documentary in The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness that also details the unorthodox and frustrating work approach of Takahata.
But no one has any doubt that Takahata was an essential figure for Studio Ghibli, and one of the most uniquely talented directors in the history of animation. Although it was perhaps unlikely that he would ever direct another film, his loss will be deeply felt.