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Famed Anime Director and Studio Ghibli Co-Founder Isao Takahata Dies
Famed Japanese anime director Isao Takahata, who co-founded Studio Ghibli and was best known for the masterpiece Grave of the Fireflies, has died of lung cancer. Takahata passed away at a Tokyo hospital in the morning hours of Thursday, April 5. “[His death] is true, but we can’t comment further as we are trying to confirm some facts around it,” a Studio Ghibli spokeswoman said, the Guardian reported. Takahata’s latest film, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, earned him an Oscar nomination in 2015 for best Animated Feature Film. This was Takahata's first Academy Award nomination. But Grave of the Fireflies, a 1998 release set in the period of the Second World War, is widely held to be his best work. In 1985, Takahata co-founded the Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki, which produced several blockbusters. Takahata's productions amount to around 20 films, including Only Yesterday (1991) and Pom Poko (1994). Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki released a statement on Friday, April 6, on the company's website indicating plans to hold a grand memorial to bid Takahata farewell. Reuters contributed to this report.