Posted August 25, 2010 at 09:59 pm

If you're a fan of anime, or someone who follows me on twitter, or someone with a dA account, there's a good chance you've already heard about Satoshi Kon's death of pancreatic cancer. There's also a pretty good chance you have no idea who he is, which isn't a crime.

Satoshi Kon was an anime director. His movies include Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, and Paprika. He also directed the TV show Paranoia Agent. He's the kind of person I would call brilliant and my father would call a presumable drug addict. His work dealt a lot with the human mind and how it shapes the world around us, and he did a lot of amazing experimentation with animation to portray this.

My favorite movie I've seen of his is Paprika, which is one of my all-time favorite films. If I were to describe the premise, it may sound startlingly similar to inception: Scientists have created devices that allow them to enter other peoples' dreams. Inception's release actually made me think a lot about Paprika lately, which made Kon's death hit extra hard. But the two are very different films, and Paprika really needs to be seen to be understood. Allow me to point you to the Opening Sequence as a taster.

I can't claim to be the most devoted Satoshi Kon fan. I've never seen Perfect Blue, and I just now obtained Tokyo Godfathers. But even so, his death felt surprisingly like a punch in the gut. It's one of those things that makes me look at my own work (a page of which I interrupted to write this blog post) and think "why the hell aren't you making something more intelligent and amazing than this?" The fact is that now isn't the time; I'm not at a skill level in my writing or art that I could make something like that even if I wanted to. But I've got time, and it's something I'll be working towards.

Millenium Actress
Paranoia Agent

I'm trying to keep this blog post pithy and avoid rambling, so I'll end it with this:
I'm not a religious person, so this isn't a "RIP Satoshi Kon" message. He's already executing on that objective, I'm sure.
I'd say this is more of a recommendation to watch some of his stuff, even if you aren't a fan of anime in general. He really did have a unique voice and style. It's possible that there will still be one more film of his, but there's no telling what state the movie's in until they make an announcement. One can hope.

SK is the first "celebrity" I've ever cried at the death of, but I don't think I cried out of pity for him as much as selfish frustration. He was only 47 years old. We all got short changed.