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Japanese animation master and co-founder of Studio Ghibli, Isao Takahata, died of lung cancer on Thursday, April 4, at a Tokyo hospital. He was 82.

Takahata co-founded the animation film studio together with renowned animator Hayao Miyazaki in 1985 and produced a number of films including My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Ponyo, Grave of the Fireflies, and many more.

As we all mourn for the death of the Japanese legend, allow us to list down some of his most iconic works that everyone should watch:

1. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

A film based on Akiyuki Nosaka’s novel of the same name, Grave of the Fireflies tells the story of a young boy named Seita and his sister who were trying to survive the final month of World War II. The film won many awards including the Animation Jury Award and Rights of the Child Award at the 1994 Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.

2. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013)

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is about a princess who was found by a bamboo cutter inside a bamboo shoot. The bamboo cutter and his wife raised her as she turned her into a woman, who orders her suitors to prove their love by completing a series of near-impossible tasks. This film earned Takahata an Academy Award nomination in 2014 for best animated feature. It was also selected for a slot in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar to the main competition at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

3. Heidi, Girl of the Alps (1974)

If you’re a ’90s kids like us, this TV show might be one of your favorites. Heidi, Girl of the Alps is a 1974 Japanese anime series based on the novel Heidi’s Years of Wandering and Learning by Johanna Spyri. This tells the adventures of a 5-year-old orphan named Heidi who lived with her grandfather on the Swiss Alps.

4. Only Yesterday (1991)

Only Yesterday follows Taeko, 27-year-old office worker who travels to the countryside and reminisce her childhood in Tokyo. Though 1982 setting is the main storyline of the film, her memories of 1966 is one of the most memorable one. Prepare some tissues or hankies if you’re planning to watch this film.

5. Anne of Green Gables (1979)

Just like Heidi, Anne of Green Gables has been part of our childhood memories. We all witness the adventures of the orphan Anne Shirley, who was accidentally sent to a family who was expecting a boy. Although it was a mistake, she charms her new home with her wit.

Featured image from Zerochan and Madman | YouTube



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