Satoshi Kon, the director of Perfect Blue, Millenium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, Paranoia Agent, and the sublime Paprika has passed away at the age of 46.
Satoshi Kon was one of the principle talents at Studio Madhouse and worked with Susumu Hirasawa on several of his projects, most notably 2006’s Paprika.
The founder of Studio Madhouse Masao Maruyama wrote on his Twitter account that an important director in the studio had passed away tuesday night in Japan but did not mention the director’s name at the time.
Earlier today, Jim Vowles, a member of the board of directors for the Otakon Convention announced Kon’s death. Many other animators in Japan have written about Kon’s passing including Takeda Yasuhiro, one of the founding members of Gainax. Here is Madhouse’s official statement:
Satoshi Kon, the director of numerous works at MADHOUSE including Paprika, Paranoia Agent, Tokyo Godfathers, and Millenium Actress, passed away due to pancreatic cancer early in the morning of Tuesday, August 24. He was 46.
With regards to funeral services, a private service will be held for family members only.
We are respectfully and deeply grateful for your kindness during his lifetime.
Satoshi Kon was in the middle of production of his latest film Yume-Miru Kikai (The Dreaming Machine) at the time of his passing. I’ve previously written about the few images that have been released for The Dreaming Machine and it was expected to be released sometime in 2011.
On Wednesday in Japan, a final message was posted on Kon’s website on his behalf.
In the beginning of the message titled “Farewell,” Kon recalled:
May 18 of this year, an unforgettable day.
My wife and I received the following prognosis from a cardiologist at the Musashino Red Cross Hospital:
“The pancreatic cancer is terminal and has metastasized to the bone. You have at most a half year left.”
Later, he remembered meeting with MADHOUSE founder Masao Maruyama about the final anime film he was directing:
When I conveyed my concerns for Yume-Miru Kikai to Mr. Maruyama, he said, “It’s fine. Don’t worry, we’ll do whatever it takes.”
I cried aloud.
He concluded his message with the following:
With feelings of gratitude for all that is good in this world, I put down my pen.
Well, I’ll be leaving now.