Earlier this year, the anime community gathered to mourn the loss of one legendary director when Isao Takahata passed away. The man, who helped found Studio Ghibli, was laid to rest in April in a private ceremony but fans just got the chance to bid farewell to the director for themselves.
On May 15, Studio Ghibli held a farewell ceremony honoring Takahata at the Ghibli Museum. The packed event brought together many of Japan’s top animation talents, and Hayao Miyazaki attended the wake along with Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzaki. It was there Miyazaki broke his silence on Takahata’s passing, and he shared a touching tribute to his longtime creative partner.
"I was convinced that Paku-san (Takahata's nickname) would live to be 95 years old, but he unfortunately passed away. It makes me think my time is also limited," Miyazaki explained as he nodded back to the first time he met Takahata (via Mainichi).
After choking up on more than one occasion, Miyazaki ended his speech with a simple message. “Thank you, Paku-san,” the director closed.
This is the first time Miyazaki has spoken directly about Takahata’s passing, and fans are embracing the iconic director as he mourns. Not long after Takahata died, reports from Japan said Miyazaki was in deep shock over the ordeal. Sponichi Annex claimed the Studio Ghibli legend admitted to close friend he is “not used to this feeling” of loss and was deeply affected by Takahata’s death.
Since Takahata’s passing, fans have gone back through footage of Studio Ghibli’s earliest days, and they have seen glimpses into the duo’s creative relationship. In one behind-the-scenes interview, Miyazaki explains that he and Takahata “know each other too well.”
“We won’t be able to stop once we start railing against each other,” Miyazaki said, explaining why the pair rarely spoke about film production while in the studio together.0comments
“I don’t think I’d let anyone else rail at Takahata,” the director continued before saying his friend is the one who can drive him mad the most. “I swear at him all night. Having said that, he’s the one I can trust the most.”
Which of Takahata's films with Miyazaki is your favorite? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!