A Moving Tribute to Studio-Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata (RIP)

Posted by Kelly Sweeney Osato, April 9, 2018 10:22pm | Post a Comment
isao takahata grave of the fireflies studio ghibli

Famed Animation juggernaut Studio Ghibli is best known for the work of two of its directors, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. Both masters of the medium, the two legendary auteurs seem to challenge and inspire each other's creative output by employing contrasting aesthetic styles and work ethics, as much as their collective works consistently trounce the increasingly unimaginative box office bloaters made in, well, let's just say California. Their efforts are the stuff timeless, enduring classics are made of.

This past Thursday Isao Takahata, 82, died of lung cancer in a Tokyo hospital. When I learned of his passing I experienced a strange, instant cold sweat pang of a panicked feeling a sudden realization sometimes triggers. Nobody lives forever, and I didn't know the man personally, but I sensed a grave pressure drop-like feeling like I had lost a loved one. What could I possibly say about what his work meant to me in my life other than the simple truth: movies are the best, and Isao Takahata's films are so fully fantastic I always feel emotionally spent and high on enchantment after watching them. I could go on plodding away about how I appreciate Takahata's freewheeling yet meticulous approach to working, never compromising quality in no matter how large the deadlines loom, and how his love of realism is reflected not only in his work, but also in that of Miyazaki, his former apprentice, and how I agree his critically acclaimed 1988 World War II drama Grave of the Fireflies is one of the most gut-wrenchingly film experiences worth enduring, but that wouldn't be as fun to digest as what I have in mind—an actual moving tribute to Takahata's works (via gifs).

Here follows a selection of giffy bits and bobs from Takahata's filmography, with titles and links below each image to Amoeba's online emporium. As always, feel free to call us up and see what we've got on the shelf for ya if you don't see what you want in our virtual shop.

grave of the fireflies studio ghibli isao takahata 1988 war film anime
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

isao takahata studio ghibli The Tale of Princess Kaguya 2013
The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) - Takahata's exquisite final film.

isao takahata studio ghibli pom poko 1994 Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko
Pom Poko (1994) - Tanuki take over the world!

isao takahata studio ghibli Omoide Poro Poro 1994 only yesterday 1991
Only Yesterday (1991) - My very favorite of his films.

isao takahata studio ghibli panda go panda 1972
Panda! Go, Panda! (1972) - Considered by some to be a precursor of Miyazaki's Totoros.

isao takahata studio ghibli My Neighbors the Yamadas 1999
My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999) - A stylized departure from traditional anime styles.

only yesterday isao takahata studio ghibli
Another from Only Yesterday—not just because it's my favorite, but because ending with a sunset-lit countryside frolic seems fitting. Rest in peace Takahata-san, may your films live forever.

Relevant Tags

Hayao Miyazaki (1), Isao Takahata (2), Studio Ghibli (3)