Even since its ending, Bleach has been a constant in the hearts of otaku everywhere. It’s the same for us, so we’re sad to bring news that Bleach animation director Hiroki Takagi passed away earlier this month.
Patlabor co-creator Masami Yuuki, a close friend of Takagi’s, released a public announcement that the animator had died. He said that Takagi had lost consciousness while bathing at his home, leading to his death after reportedly being diagnosed with the flu. This is all according to Yuuki’s own statement, but no official cause of death has been made public yet.
Takagi had worked with Yuuki on the 1989 Patlabor anime, and more recently he was on board for the upcoming Yamato 2202 movie series. Fellow artist Nobuteru Yuki said the loss was a huge one for the whole team, as the project is halfway to completion. Production will continue nonetheless, director Makoto Kobayashi confirming that the release will be a posthumous honouring of Takagi’s work.
The gifted animator’s many other credits included Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, March comes in like a lion and Akira, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. On behalf of the blog and our community, we thank him for his dedication to so many creations we’ve come to admire, and wish healing to his loved ones.