The animation industry has lost one of its greats with Makiko Futaki, a long time Japanese feature animator whose most recent work was on Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s ‘When Marnie Was There, passing away on May 13 of an “unspecified illness” at age 57.
The prolific animator’s career spanned over 30 years at Studio Ghibli after joining the studio in 1981. She worked on each of the great Harao Miyazaki’s films following ‘Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind’, and was a key animator on both ‘Princess Mononoke’ and ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’. Her animation career began working on the classic animated feature ‘Lupin III’ and she also served as a key animator on ‘Akira’, the iconic 1988 feature adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's cyberpunk manga, which the author directed.
Her passing comes as a great loss to the the industry and she will be missed by fans around the world. The artist’s passing was honored with a private family funeral earlier this month.