I never thought I would have to write these words, as I ignored the fact that the day would come when we would hear that you were stepping out of our worlds, and receding into your own. But the time has finally arrived, and though I recognize your reasons as good, solid reasons, I still feel a bit empty at the news of your retirement. I, like many of your fans, have spent many a night cuddled in blankets holding a cat, a stuffed Totoro, or a loved one watching your wonderful fables imagining a cross between our worlds.
And even though this is not the end of Studio Ghibli, it is indeed the end of something great, and enchanting. You alone have captivated our minds and kidnapped our imaginations and filled them like pockets at the beach with shells, stuffed them like overflowing closets, and gently scooped them full of wonder, magic and innocence. It is for these kind, selfless acts that I thank you. Without you I would truly be lost in the world that I have begun to accept as my own.
I found myself in characters like Kiki and Sophi, kindred souls in Totoro, and Gigi, but most importantly I found the world I wanted to belong to. A world that spoke to my inner child, my inner darkness, and my inner justice. As a fellow filmmaker and storyteller, you helped me find my point of view.
So for all of your artistic contributions, and from the deepest depths of my heart, thank you,