Yoshifumi Kondo was an anime director and character designer who worked for Studio Ghibli, born in Gosen, Niigata. He worked as an animation director on Anne of Green Gables, Sherlock Hound, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Only Yesterday, and Princess Mononoke. He was expected to become Hayao Miyazaki’s successor when he died of an aneurysm in 1998. His death is said to have been caused by excess work, and seems to be the main reason for Hayao Miyazaki’s announcement of retirement in 1998. Although Miyazaki didn’t retire in the end, this incident caused him to work at a more relaxed pace.