In Memoriam Satoshi Kon: 1963 – 2010
I was really devastated when I heard of Satoshi Kon’s death, and it’s hard to put this into words but here’s my attempt anyways. As a teenager growing up in Taiwan, I was an avid manga collector – the comics were good for swapping with friends, reading on the buses, and if I skimped enough lunch money I could add new manga to my collection almost every week. Anime, on the other hand, was just the “side dish.” Sure it was fun to see favorite characters animated and stories rehashed, but in my mind anime was the “inferior” stepchild to manga, which had far prettier art and more detailed plot.
Satoshi Kon blew that idea out of my mind with Millennium Actress. The film showed me that anime could be beautiful, and not just the visuals, which were exquisite, but also the music, and the intricate story… this was beauty tied up in one neat package, and it moved me profoundly. Watching Millennium Actress was a huge milestone on my road to otaku fandom, and years after my first viewing I still believe that this is one of my favorite films of all time.
It’s devastating to think that the man who gave the world Millennium Actress, Perfect Blue, and Paprika is gone. But in my heart of hearts I hope that his untimely death will, if nothing else, shine new light on his extraordinary body of works and bring wide, if overdue acclaim to Satoshi Kon.