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Creator / Satoshi Kon

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"With feelings of gratitude for all that is good in this world, I lay down my pen.
Now, if you'll pardon me, I have to go."
Satoshi Kon closing out his final message to the world

Satoshi Kon (October 12, 1963 August 24, 2010) was a Japanese director noted for serious, thoughtful, arthouse films which examine their characters' psychology. He was especially preoccupied with the concept of subjective reality, and incorporated it into almost all of his works; that aside, his works cover a wide range of genres and themes: psychological thriller (Perfect Blue), Magical Realism (Millennium Actress), wacky caper comedy (Tokyo Godfathers) and Paranoia Agent (which defies categorisation). He was closely tied to Madhouse studios and composer Susumu Hirasawa.

Relatively unknown to most, he also drew several manga before moving into animation, many of which were eventually released in English in 2013-2015.

He passed away on August 24, 2010 from pancreatic cancer at the age of 46. His final words can be read here (in English) or here (in Japanese).

Works by Satoshi Kon include:

Tropes found in his work:

  • Central Theme: Systems, human psyche, social stigmas, surrealism, morality, mental illnesses, imagination vs realism.
  • Creator's Oddball:
    • His third film Tokyo Godfathers is a lot more light-hearted and comedic compared to his other works. However, the film still contains Kon's Signature Style including his atmospheric touch, keen social commentary, and insight on the human mind.
    • His incomplete film, The Dream Machine was meant to be a kid-friendly adventure.
  • Died During Production: At the time of his death, he was working on a film about robots called The Dream Machine which would have been his first project aimed at a younger audience. invoked
  • Four Is Death: Rather eerily, his fourth film, Paprika, was his final theatrical film to be released.
  • Genre-Busting: Most of his films have strange or unconventional premises.
  • He Also Did: Wrote, storyboarded and directed the fifth episode of the original JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders OVA for APPP (the episode with the memetic scene where DIO stares up at a 7UP sign). He died before David Production animated the more well-known (nowadays) version of the anime, so we'll never know what he might have thought of their take on it.