Even though we all knew it was coming, this is still hard to hear: According to Deadline, legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki has officially announced his plans to retire after the press tour for his most recent film, The Wind Rises, comes to a close. Miyazaki had previously released the news through his production company, Studio Ghibli. 

From Deadline:

Today, Miyazaki said he would “like to work for at least 10 more years, but I think that making feature films is no longer my job.” Miyazaki acknowledged he has said he would stop making features before, but today he reiterated that he was serious this time, according to local media reports. “I’m going to be free. At the same time, as long as I can drive my car to the studio, I’ll go. If there are things I want to do, then I will,” he said without elaborating.

Speaking of
The Wind Rises, Miyazaki said the film took five years to make. A new film “would take six or seven years. I’m going to be 73 years old and I would be 80 by the end.”

Maintained involvement with Studio Ghibli is something, but this is still some of the saddest news to ever end a Friday afternoon with. Miyazaki, of course, produced some of the most iconic animated films to ever grace modern cinema: Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Ponyo, and Howl's Moving Castle, just to name a few.

The Wind Rises will hit theaters nationwide on November 8th.

[via Deadline]