Hayao MiyazakiEarlier today, Anime News Network reported that legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki will retire from making feature films. Studio Ghibli President Koji Hoshino made the announcement at Italy’s Venice Film Festival, one of the world’s three most prestigious film festivals. While he will retire from features, the announcement doesn’t affect the possibility of Miyazaki working on shorts or other projects.

Over his career, Miyazaki has been hailed as the Japan’s equivalent to Walt Disney. Over his career, Miyazaki gave life to legendary films like My Neighbor Totoro, Laputa: Castle In The Sky, and Nausicaa. His name transcends the genre, to the point that even the average film-goer knows his name. His stories touch hearts and move people to tears. They enrich and engage, and bring simple beauty in even the ugliest of situations.

Miyazaki’s semi-retirement is the signal for the end of an era. His worlds and visions will no longer come forth to delight viewers on the silver screen. And, instead of an active player, we’ll slowly see the image of Miyazaki turn to that of the living legend. His films will continue to be cherished and loved by fans across the world, and he will endure as an influence on both filmmakers and fans for generations to come.

…I’m okay with that.

While it’s sad to see Miyazaki slowly stepping out of the limelight, he’ll forever be an inspiration on the anime world. His works have inspired thousands, touched millions, and delighted countless more. Barring some disaster, they will continue to do so for as long as time marches forward.

For now, though, I want to extend my thanks to Miyazaki for the decades of entertainment, the countless imagination he’s sparked, and the memories he’s created. May your future be as bright as the worlds you’ve created.