In what is fast becoming one of the saddest years for losing giants in the anime industry, Nizō Yamamoto has passed aged 70 on Saturday 19th August due to stomach cancer.
Born in Goto City, Nagasaki Prefecture in 1953, he first made a splash on television at the age of 27 as the director of the classic Future Boy Conan series, before working as Art Director on seminal films such as Castle in the Sky Laputa (1978), Grave of the Fireflies (1986), Princess Mononoke (1988), The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (1997) and most recently on Weathering With You (2019).
His signature clouds, which were both fanciful and realistic, earned him the nickname from fans of Nizō-gumo, literally Nizō Clouds. A traveling exhibition of works drew over 900,000 visitors, and his hometown has opened a museum in his honour.
Before his passing, he was one page away from finishing his 120 page manga depicting local folk tales.
Nizō Yamamoto inspired fans worldwide with his dreamlike vistas, and will be sorely missed.
Image courtesy of the Nizo Museum. First report courtesy of ANN.