Anime art director Niko Yamamoto, best known for his work with Studio Ghibli, has sadly passed away at the age of 70 from cancer.

An obituary notice was shared a few hours ago from Japanese outlets confirming that veteran anime art director Niko Yamamoto had sadly passed away at the age of 70.

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Anime veteran Niko Yamamoto sadly passes away

On August 21, several Japanese news outlets reported on the tragic passing of veteran anime art director Niko Yamamoto.

Yamamoto passed away on August 19 at the age of 70 years old following a battle with stomach cancer, his funeral will be held in Saitama’s Hanno City on August 27.

According to an obituary notice posted by Asahi, Yamamoto continued to work content “until a few days before his death”.

The post to his Twitter page also included an extract from a message sent by Yamamoto: “I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who took care of me during my lifetime, to all my fans, for your support.”

“The soul of Nizo Yamamoto will continue to dwell in the sky of Laputa, in the air-raid shelter of Grave of the Fireflies, in the forest of Princess Mononoke, in the streets of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and in the sea of ??100 Views of Goto.”

The notice continued: “’I’m Natsuo (laughs),’” he used to say. He was a lover of alcohol and tobacco. Even today, the desk in my atelier is littered with manuscripts and materials I am working on. I have a feeling that Mr. Fumio is still sitting in the empty chair.”

Yamamoto worked as an anime art director and was particularly well-known for his work on various Studio Ghibli titles and more specifically, the outstanding style of which he drew clouds and weather effects.

Yamamoto’s style was considered both ‘realistic yet fanciful’ within the anime space with fans even giving the nickname “Niz?-gumo” (translated into Niz? Clouds) when his work is replicated in other titles. An exhibition featuring his work had toured Japan with over 900,000 visitors and his hometown opening a museum to honor his achievements in 2018.

Some of his most famous titles include:

Yamamoto spent his final days working on a folk tale manga and according to Anime News Network, “he was one page away from completing the manga before he passed away.”

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