One of the great men behind the great Miyazaki regime in animation and storytelling is stepping down from his post at Studio Ghibli after twenty years of amazing work and some films that will stand up and be beloved in the same way as the work of Disney, Lang, and whomever happens to be your film God du jour.

Toshio Suzuki. That’s the gentleman’s name, and though Hayao Miyazaki’s the golden idol of the Studio Ghibli corner of the filmmaking world anyone who’s not a total Lohan knows that it’s the people the creator surrounds his/herself with that take brilliance from concept through to execution. That the man spent as long as he did overseeing Kiki’s Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and the upcoming Ponyo on the Cliff tells me all I need to know.

Miyazaki himself has hinted at stepping away from the chair and at age 67 I guess it’s his right as a gentleman. It’d suck, but he’s earned the right to do whatever the damn he wants.

When Miyazaki does indeed step down, and perhaps his longtime collaborator’s decision might be a harbinger, I wonder who will inherit the mantle of Grand Excellency of Anime. The medium has become a much different animal over the course of, and greatly because of Miyazaki’s crossover [as opposed to his combover], but I think the rapid growth has often come at the expense of quality and though there are some amazing talents in the field of anime no one has managed to be mentioned in the same breath.

Then again, I’m not an authority. I just know that it’s a sad day when someone who has been involved creatively in so much genuine filmmaking magic steps down.

- Nick Nunziata thinks that the forest spirits in Princess Mononoke are just about the cutest thing ever.

And now… a Mary Worth War Strip from the vault…

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All apologizes to the creators of the strip. This intended as parody only and not an attempt to be the best thing ever.