The anime fandom is coming together to mourn the loss of a beloved animator. New reports from Japan have confirmed Hiroki Takagi passed away earlier this month at his residence.
A close friend of Takagi confirmed the animator’s death (via ANN). Patlabor co-creator Masami Yuuki released a statement about the tragic ordeal and said Takagi died after losing consciousness while bathing. The animator has been diagnosed with the flu shortly before his death according to Yuuki, but no official cause of death has been released as of yet.
Another post from one of Takagi’s co-workers was shared with fans. Artist Nobuteru Yuki attended Takagi’s funeral as the pair worked closely on Yamato 2202 together. The artist said the loss was a huge one despite Yamamto 2202 being halfway finished, but the production’s crew will carry on. Makoto Kobayashi, the anime’s director, confirmed the upcoming series will be a posthumous one for Takagi.
Yamato 2202 is not the only anime which Takagi worked on recently. The animator also acted as an animation director for the franchise’s recent films.
If you are not familiar with Takagi’s name, you will know of his work. The animator worked on a slew of Studio Pierrot projects such as Bleach. He did oversaw a few roles for the franchise’s TV series, but Takagi also did work on its films. He was an animation director on Fade to Black, Memories of Nobody, and The DiamondDust Rebellion.
Outside of Bleach, Takagi was well-known for his work on other anime. His credits include projects like Akira, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Honey and Clover, Kimi ni Todoke, March Comes In Like A Lion, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Tokyo Mew Mew, and more.
If you are not familiar with Bleach, then you should know the series is a massively popular one with fans. The franchise began in 2001 under Tite Kubo before an anime adaptation started in 2004. The supernatural series follows the life of a boy named Ichigo Kurosakiafter he becomes a substitute Soul Reaper. The immensely gifted boy works with his partner Rukia to dispath evil souls and send others to their resting place. However, when Ichigo learns of the Soul Society and its strict customs, the hero discovers his world is in far more danger than he could have imagined