Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata dies aged 82

Studio Ghibli Icon, Isao Takahata, Dies at 82

Studio Ghibli announced on Friday that Takahata had died of lung cancer on Thursday at a Tokyo hospital.

Takahata's credits include Grave of the Fireflies (1988), Only Yesterday (1991), and Pom Poko (1994). It was inspired in part by his own real life experiences: At aged 9 Takahata survived a United States air raid on Okoyama. He was first intrigued by animation when he saw the French animated cartoon feature Le Roi et l'Oiseau (The King and the Mockingbird).

Born in 1941, Takahata was intrigued by animation from an early age and after graduating from the University of Tokyo in 1963, he began his career at Toei Animation, the studio that made the hit TV show "Sailor Moon". It remains one of the most visceral war movies ever made, animated or otherwise.

Takahata's Grave of Fireflies is a classic example of an anti-war movie. Three years after it was deemed a commercial failure, Takahata left the company alongside Yōichi Kotabe and Hayao Miyazaki to embark on ventures including a Pippi Longstocking anime film that never came to fruition, and directing episodes of the now iconic Lupin the Third television series.

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Though they had their differences over the years, both Takahata and Miyazaki had a penchant for telling stories about strong-willed girls and women.

Takahata produced around 20 movies over his long career.

With more complex and occasionally more violent plots than depicted in the average Disney cartoon film, these films have at times confused audiences outside Japan, who largely consider animation to be primarily for young children.

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