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Hayao Miyazaki at His Retirement Press Conference on September 6, 2013Ken Ishii/Getty Images


Animation legend Hayao Miyazaki is retiring -- for real.

The iconic director, who won a 2003 Academy Award for "Spirited Away," confirmed a statement from his Studio Ghibli that his latest film, "The Wind Rises," would be his last.

"I know I've said I would retire many times in the past. Many of you must think, 'Once again.' But this time I am quite serious," the 72-year-old said during a press conference in Tokyo, Japan, on September 6.

Miyazaki has talked retirement before, but age has finally caught up to him. Creating feature films demands too much time and energy; "The Wind Rises" took five years, and Miyazaki continues to draw by hand rather than rely on computer-generated graphics.

"You just can't do anything about those problems resulting from aging," he said.

Miyazaki's gorgeous movies often feature elements of fantasy and mysticism, as well as recurrent themes like humanity's relationships with nature and technology. "The Wind Rises," which is playing at this week's Toronto Film Festival, is a bit of a departure -- it's a fictionalized biopic of a man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II.

Though Miyazaki is retiring from films, he plans to keep working for the next decade at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo.

"I've always wanted to do something besides animation," he said. "There are so many things I want to do."

[via Variety]