Michiyo Yasuda, Legendary Studio Ghibli Colorist Has Died at Age 77

The main architect behind the vibrant look of films such as ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ and ‘Spirited Away.’

Entertainment
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Iconic Studio Ghibli founder/director Hayao Miyazaki may get most of the credit for creating the memorable anime films we’ve grown to love, but it was veteran colorist Michiyo Yasuda who helped bring some them to life with her amazing talent and keen eye to detail. The Japanese artist has died at the age of 77 due to an illness on October 5, marking a very sad moment in the film and anime community. For those who may not be familiar of her role, Yasuda helped on 13 animated productions for the studio which include My Neighbour Totoro and Howl’s Moving Castle. But it was her work on the 2003 title Spirited Away that helped the project nab an Oscar win for best animated feature. She eventually retired in 2008, but then returned and even helped put the magical touches on Mr. Miyazaki’s last film, The Wind Rises.

She has been with the company since its inception and was key in making characters such as Chihiro (Spirited Away), Kiki (Kiki’s Delivery Service), and the iconic Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro) so memorable. In fact, Totoro became the logo for the studio and even appeared in Disney’s Toy Story 3.

Here she is hard at work on one of the studio’s films:

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