Kon is Dead

Kon Satoshi is dead. No one will see him ever again. He will never make another movie. Ever.

I think what’s hitting most of us the hardest about this whole deal is how shocking it is. No one was expecting that there would be a day in 2010 where Kon would die. This is to say, his death was untimely. He was only 46–younger than my parents!

Putting aside the obvious personal loss to his family and friends, for people like me who only know him as a director, the weirdest thing (second to him dying so early on) is that he will never make another movie ever again. With only four films under his belt, one TV series, and a new film in production, his career was cut way too short. Certainly he’s had his fingers in a variety of other sinister soups, doing animation work and script work on a number of projects; but the stuff that was actually 100% him was short in number, and will never be seen again. That really sucks.

Truth be told, I’m not able to call myself a devoted Kon fan, but I have enjoyed all of his output that I’ve seen, which is basically everything that has his name beside the word “director,” except for Perfect Blue. Like most other people, I also feel that his death is gigantic blow to the anime industry. Kon undoubtedly had his own unique vision when it came to movie making, one marked  by characters rendered in a semi-realistic style, along with a pension to bend that established reality into whatever his imagination could conjure up.

Is anime dead? No. I mean, I still have all my fun otaku-centric stuff coming at me at full speed. But anime is no longer on the map, and while Hosoda is making great movies, I’m not sure how many people are going out to see ‘em! Kon’s movies were things you could show to any seasoned movie goer, and they’d probably enjoy it. I can sit down with my parents and watch one of his movies with no reservations. Anime is shoulder deep in the shit right now, and the industry needed a man like Kon to make movies that would help bring the industry back above water and thrive.

Whether you loved his work, hated his work, or were just indifferent to it; it is a fact that his death is a severe blow to the industry. It is also a fact that Kon’s storyboards–which he’d keep working on for a year and change per movie–are amazing.

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7 Responses to Kon is Dead

  1. elevated says:

    Our anime club is watching Millennium Actress this weekend in his honor.

  2. TheBigN says:

    I think the important thing was that it’s a blow to cinema as well, what with his dedication to his craft, and the ability to make others see that anime can be much more than what they’d expect.

  3. BrendantheJedi says:

    It is a goddamn shame. His stuff was consistently good, and certainly more mature than most stuff on the market. As moe was flourishing, he made Paranoia Agent, which was a definite stance against that, and Japan’s larger kawaisa culture. The man had balls. And I feel that with a couple more years he could have built up a real influence in the industry.

    But that’s the scary thing: he wasn’t that old. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Tomino, Miyazaki, or Go Nagai croaked. The each of them have had long fruitful careers. They’ve made large impacts to the industry.Hell, one even got himself an Oscar. But Kon could have yet made a bigger impact.

    But that’s the thing about death. You never know when it’s going to hit. Bruce Lee was in his prime. Douglass Addams could have still written another Hitchhiker book. Hell, some authors died too young to see their popular and influential works published. Death sucks.

  4. TheBigN says:

    “As moe was flourishing, he made Paranoia Agent, which was a definite stance against that, and Japan’s larger kawaisa culture.”

    Also keep in mind that it’s not like he had a vendetta over that. It’s just another way to look at the situation. :P

  5. Apparently Madhouse are going to finish making The Dream Machine, which he was working on when he received the news. If there’s any justice in the world this will be his magnum opus.

    Of course, if there was any justice in the world then Kon wouldn’t have died so young.

  6. Orange says:

    I’ve poured my heart out in million websites and cried over Kon’s will, so I’ll just say that he was my favorite anime movie director and I find it devastating that I will never see another movie by him again.
    What hits me the most is the fact that he most likely would’ve kept doing his thing for decades, and I feel he could’ve improved his style and perhaps make his biggest breakthrough film in the near future, if given the time that was taken from him.

    In short: worst week ever. I still have his framed autograph on my wall.

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