Studio Ghibli. There's no anime or animation fan out there who doesn't know who they are.
Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and other Ghibli animators have been around since the seventies, though Ghibli wasn't officially founded until the mid to late 1980s. Ever since then, they've become the paragons of animation, revered and loved by anyone and everyone in all countries. My parents tell me they showed me Totoro when I was very little, but I have no memories of it. But I never really got into Ghibli until fairly recently. I remember my animation class showing Spirited Away in high school, and everybody and his dog loves that movie...but I don't. I had no idea what was going on in it, and the whole thing just felt inconsistent and annoying to me.
But then, a couple months ago, there was a rumor going around that Ghibli was going to shut down and close its doors forever. Everyone was in a panic, myself included. Thankfully, that rumor turned out to be false, as an interview with Toshio Suzuki clarified that Ghibli wasn't shutting down completely, but rather going on hiatus for a while. Spring cleaning, Suzuki called it. Apparently, some of their recent movies hadn't been turning good profits and that ever since Miyazaki officially retired, the studio couldn't quite get its act together. But no worries, fans. Ghibli will return one day.
The main reason I started getting into Ghibli movies recently was that I heard some of them were good. I saw a good portion of Kiki's Delivery Service, but due to other obligations I couldn't finish it, but I plan on getting the DVDs soon. I also saw From Up on Poppy Hill, and it was good, but it didn't really hook me. But the only two Ghibli movies I absolutely LOVE are The Tale of Princess Kaguya and Whisper of the Heart.
These are the only two Ghibli films I absolutely adore with all my heart, Kaguya for its sublime animation, heart wrenching story, and its pushing boundaries, and Whisper of the Heart for its simpler story, subtlety, great characters, and very relatable and down to earth premises and messages. Both these films have strong places in my heart, and I can't wait to show them to people if I ever get the DVDs.
Moment #3: The moment I realized just how great Ghibli actually was.