Japan anime giant Isao Takahata dead at 82

Fireflies

Animator, Studio Ghibli co-founder Takahata dies at 82

With Miyazaki, he co-founded in 1985 the Japanese animation Studio Ghibli, which went on to produce several blockbusters. A first for the Ghibli franchise in style was Grave of the Fireflies character Seita staring down the camera in its opening moments. Local media reports cite sources saying he died in a Tokyo hospital after a long illness.

Takahata was born in 1935, in Mie Prefecture in central Japan, and graduated from the University of Tokyo.

'Grave of the Fireflies', written and directed by Takahata, is a grim, war-themed anime film that received universal acclaim from the critics.

Studio Ghibli produced a number of writer-director Miyazaki's films, including The Valley of the Wind (1984) and the Best Animated Feature Oscar nominees Princess Mononoke (1997) and Howl's Moving Castle (2004).

While Hayao Miyazaki remained the best known director at Ghibli, Isao Takahata made some of the studio's most beloved movies. Takahata confessed to an nearly love-hate relationship with Miyazaki because their works were so different.

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Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki, together had created commendable artistic works that deal with pain, despair and happiness. It turned out to be the final film he would direct.

In 2013, cinema-goers finally got to see The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya, a stunning animated folklore tale that took somewhere in the region of five years to make and a budget of about $49 million - making it the most expensive hand-drawn film in Japanese history.

He is also well-known for animation series "Alps no Shojo Heidi" ("Heidi, Girl of the Alps") and "Lupin Sansei" ("Lupin the Third").

Takahata Isao's achievements in film are many (check this overview we posted in 2014).

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, adapted from an ancient fairytale about a foundling child, explores the lead's personal conflict against the oppressive society she lives in.

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