Isao Takahata (born October 29, 1935) is one of the most famous directors of anime, or Japanese animated films. Born in Ujiyamada (now Ise), Mie prefecture, Japan, he is a long-term colleague of Hayao Miyazaki and co-head at Studio Ghibli. His four animated films at Studio Ghibli have spanned a remarkable range of genres: war-film (Grave of the Fireflies), romantic drama (Only Yesterday), comedy (My Neighbors the Yamadas), and ecological adventure (Pom-Poko). Of these Grave of the Fireflies, in particular, is widely considered one of the greatest animated films ever made. Graduating from the University of Tokyo in 1959, Takahata joined the newly-created Toei Doga animation company (Toei Animation) where a short time later he met Miyazaki, and also directed his first feature film Hols: Prince of the Sun. Ostracized within the company after the financial failure of the film (despite its artistic success), he and Miyazaki left in order to work together, and collaborated on many other films. Unlike most anime directors, Takahata doesn't draw and never worked as an animator before becoming a full fledged director.