His stories explored the ideas behind perception and the power of the mental landscape. How it all matters who is telling the story and each tale was accompanied by amazing visuals and animation.
Japanese animator and director Satoshi Kon was known for the exploration of the human psyche and social taboos, the director gained fame for the mix of bizzare and gorgeous that was his work.
A animator, screenwriter, anime director, and manga artist; Satoshi Kon had a deep involvement with the realm of Japanese visual arts.
Many of the scenes he created have the amazing ability to make you feel uncomfortable at the grit and harshness that they could contain alongside the reality of the emotions. The sentiments of each character.
The beauty that could be fear and death.
Some how Kon’s work was exhausting but you always felt like it was worth it. That the journey you were shown was more than just images on the screen.
The contrast of a father’s concern that his daughter ran away from home, not truly noting that she ran away after finding out he was the same father who was secretly recording her while she changed.
Or a man trapped in a illusion of a perfect love, a long lasting love…
But his realnrole of course is just to replace the lost lover of a suffering entity.
And Paranoia Agent, the might of what brought myself into being a fan of Kon’s work and is my personal favorite next to Millennium Actress and Tokyo Godfathers is a story on how fear, anger, resentment, envy and a mix of other emotions can give into mass hysteria and even just plain old paranoia.
Paranoia Agent manages to be a mystery, drama, comedy, suspense series all mixed into one.
It is not fair to Kon’s works to give full plot summaries. His art and influence has been countless but here are some of our favorites and the ones we feel show his style the best:
(1991) World Apartment Horror
(1995) Memories (The Blue Magnetic Rose Segment)
(1997) Perfect Blue
(2001) Millennium Actress
(2003) Tokyo Godfathers
(2004) Paranoia Agent
(2008) Good Morning
Sadly Kon passed away Pancreatic cancer in 2010 during the production of his fantasy adventure anime film, Dreaming Machine. Despite his passing, anime production company Madhouse has continued work on it using his notes and available tapes. Madhouse has promised that no matter what they will finish his final film.
Uncertainty, illusion, perception and gaze; themes that flow through most of Satoshi Kon’s work. Thank you Mr. Kon for focusing on the idea that a unreliable narrator might not be at fault for being unreliable.