Studio Ghibli co-founder and director Isao Takahata has passed away at the age of 82.
The revered director was admitted to a Tokyo hospital before passing away. No cause of death has been shared, but NTV News 24 cited an anonymous source that Takahata was in declining health from a heart condition since last year.
Takahata’s career dates back to 1959 when he joined Toei Douga (now Toei Animation) after graduating from the University of Tokyo. He is best known for co-founding Studio Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki in 1985. Takahata’s Ghibli films include Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday, Pom Poko, My Neighbors the Yamadas, and The Tale of Princess Kaguya.
2013’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya was Takata’s last directed film and The Red Turtle is the final credit in his esteemed filmography.
In 2016, Takata revealed to Variety had several projects in mind, but somberly stated, “Whether those will be finalized as films is something no one, myself included, can know.”