Celebrated Japanese animator Makiko Futaki, known for her work in films like Akira and 2002 Oscar-winning Spirited Away, has died. Futaki died on May 13 in a Tokyo hospital from an unspecified illness, reported The Hollywood Reporter. She was 57.
She worked for Studio Ghibli for three decades and was an animator for all of legendary Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki’s productions including Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke and 2013’s The Wind Rises. Her final film credit was Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s critically acclaimed When Marnie Was There.
Futaki also worked as a key animator on Akira, the iconic 1988 Japanese feature adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s comic series, which the author directed.
A Hollywood adaptation of Akira has been at various stages of development for years.