The Japanese animation industry lost an icon when Grave of Fireflies director and Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata passed away. However, it seems that one man’s silence about the passing of his close friend has been quite deafening. Oscar-winning director Hayao Miyazaki is known as a firebrand in the anime industry who is willing to say what’s on his mind, even going as far to say that the industry has too many otaku. However, so far, he has remained unusually silent.
But now, it seems that the Academy Award winner may just really be just in mourning. According to Japanese newspaper, Spoinichi Annex, his silence is due to “overwhelming shock” about his close friend’s death. “I still am not used to this feeling,” he told the newspaper.
New details also surfaced regarding Takahata’s death. It was reported that he passed away due to lung cancer at 1:19 a.m. on April 5, 2018 at the Teikyo University Hospital at the age of 82. The legendary director started out his career back in 1959, as he joined Toei Animation, then called Toei Douga, right after graduating from the prestigious University of Tokyo. He would later Toei to found Studio Ghibli alongside Miyazaki.
Takahata directed plenty of films for Ghibli, including Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday, Pom Poko, and My Neighbors the Yamadas. However, it was his final film, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, which garnered him an Oscar nomination.
As for the fans, Studio Ghibli will be holding a special memorial gathering to say farewell to the icon. It will happen on May 15, 2018. His family is holding a very private family-only wake for him as well.
Rest in Peace Isao Takahata, your works will live forever in our hearts.
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Source: Sponichi Annex