Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Anime artist/writer/director had short - but brilliant! - career .....

A passing of note for me - and for all fans of anime, really ... Satoshi Kon, a highly acclaimed Japanese anime director, died suddenly of cancer on Monday evening. He was 47.

Kon was not a pioneer of the genre ... nor was he its most prolific artist. But he had a special significance, a special impact, nonetheless. Like many in the west, I was introduced to his screen works in the mid-90s, when he directed a segment of
Memories. This was followed by a short list of films (short ... but every one of them a gem), and one of the better animated series to ever appear on American television screens.

The films were
Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers and (my favorite) Paprika. The television series was Paranoia Agent.

Each one challenged us - the viewers - in different ways, and stretched our definitions of "cartoons" to the breaking point, and beyond.

Probably the best comment on Kon's death that I've seen comes from a Tweet by
jbetteridge, who wrote, "It's not that anime will never be the same with Satoshi Kon gone. It's now much more likely that anime will always be the same."

So true.

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