I’ve just learned of the passing of Makiko Futaki. I’m not normally one for blogs about the deceased. I believe every life is special. This loss, however, is particularly hard. You see, her loss was a loss from my childhood.
I have five favorite movies. Of those five, I watch two on my birthday every year. I have since I was a kid. The first is Krull. The second is Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, though I remember it as Warriors of the Wind from when I was young.
I first saw the movie when I was somewhere around 9. It was amazing. It was a world of prophecy and courage. Years later (I must have been 16), I had a dream. I described the dream to my brother during a role playing game. I knew the dream was a memory from a movie I couldn’t place. But that memory was so powerful, the image of Nausicaa walking on the golden field was so impressive, it stuck in my subconscious for at least 7 years.
“That’s Warriors of the Wind,” he said.
Later that night, I went out and rented it. My brother bought it for me for my birthday or Christmas later that year. I have watched it every year since, and I will watch it every year.
It’s my second favorite movie ever. It’s why I like anime. My sixth book is heavily (and that’s being polite) influenced by that movie.
I’m deeply saddened by this loss. Futaki’s work wasn’t just something I enjoyed, it was a foundational pillar to the very tenants I hold dear in storytelling. Most importantly, I feel like a part of my childhood has been lost.
There aren’t words in any language that can take away the sadness those who knew her and loved her must feel. All I can say is that she touched so many lives so very deeply. She didn’t make animations. She brought stories to life. She helped bring my childhood to life. My prayers are with her and her loved ones.
Rest in peace. Thank you.