Anime Vice News

Director Satoshi Kon Dies at 46

We'll never forget the brilliant director's psychological dramas.


Word began popping up around Twitter yesterday early afternoon, but we wanted to wait for solid confirmation before running anything: cutting-edge director Satoshi Kon has unfortunately lost a battle with pancreatic cancer at the young age of 46. Confirmation of the news came from the Twitter accounts of Masao Maruyama of Studio Madhouse and Yasuhiro Takeda of Gainax, both acquaintances of the director and contemporaries. 
 
Kon's films stand above run-of-the-mill anime offerings for the simple fact that, had they been made as live-action, effects-driven psychological dramas, they'd still have been brilliant works. He specialized in a twisting and beautiful form of psychological drama that challenged perceptions of reality for both his characters and the audience. His directorial debut title, 1997's Perfect Blue, made the rounds on the festival circuit and was well-received by critics and audiences alike. Darren Aronofsky liked it so much he bought the film's rights just to use a single scene in his title Requiem for a Dream, and Madonna used clips from it for a music video and concert background projection. His subsequent works Millennium ActressTokyo GodfathersParanoia Agent and Paprika were each stood as monuments to Kon's skill as a director. 
 
He was busy on a new film before his cancer caused him to stop working. The Dream Machine will be released posthumously some time in 2011. Just before he passed, Kon left a message to fans on his website that translates into English as:

 "Full of gratitude for all that is good in the world, I put my pen down. Well, it's time to go." 

R.I.P. Satoshi Kon, 1963-2010
YuliaDyulichevaon Aug. 26, 2010 at 1:44 a.m.
 It is terrible tragedy that Satoshi Kon has passed away. You can help remember him by contributing to his memorial website at http://satoshikon.people2remember.com/
newaveon Aug. 26, 2010 at 8:19 a.m.
this is so very sad. still can't believe it. the world has lost a true genius
dastly75on Aug. 26, 2010 at 11:10 p.m.
ご冥福を祈ります。
AHoodedFigureon Aug. 27, 2010 at 2:17 a.m.
Until I saw Memories, I wasn't familiar with his work.  His Magnetic Rose is one of the most riveting short films I've ever seen, in any medium. I have yet to see Paprika or Perfect Blue, but I intend to.
 
How involved was he in Roujin Z?  I remember liking that, but it's been so long since I've seen it.
 
If you ask me, most of us die too young, but I think this man still had a lot of stories to tell. RIP.
Cybexxon Sept. 1, 2010 at 12:17 p.m.
Just found out about this while listening to the Behind the Screened Door podcast, read through the translated version of his final words. I discovered his works earlier this year and bought his 4 feature films, have not seen Paranoid Agent or his short in Memories but I really need to track those down now.  
 
I really enjoyed all his films, he has a similar sense of narrative design as Miyazaki but of course his films are very different in tone. I mean that his films transcend their Anime trappings to just be great films that happen to be animated. I think Perfect Blue might be my favorite, at least the one that had the most impact on me.  

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