The animation world is mourning the loss of one of its giants: Isao Takahata, an iconic animation director and co-founder of Studio Ghibli.

Takahata died at age 82 in a Tokyo hospital yesterday following an undisclosed illness, according to a report by Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

In an illustrious career that lasted over 55 years, Takahata wrote and directed the features Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday, Pom Poko, My Neighbors the Yamadas, and most recently, The Tale of Princess Kaguya. He also storyboarded and directed numerous tv series in the 1960s and ’70s, among them Lupin III, Anne of Green Gables, and Heidi, Girl of the Alps.

Takahata co-founded Studio Ghibli in 1985 with Hayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki, and Yasuyoshi Tokuma. He produced two of Hayao Miyazaki’s films – Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Castle in the Sky – and also served as artistic producer on Michael Dudok de Wit’s The Red Turtle.

His wide impact on the animation world can be witnessed in the outpouring of tributes to him being posted by artists on Twitter. Here’s a look at what people are saying about Takahata’s legacy.

(Photo at top: Martin Holtkamp)

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