Among all Japanese directors of animation movies, Satoshi Kon can be considered as one of the most complex and interesting. With only four movies and a television series to his directing credit, he has successfully created a universe ruled by a double perception of reality.
He started his career as a mangaka in 1990 with the comic “Kakisen” (海帰線) and soon worked with Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) on the manga “World Apartment Horror”. He began to work on animation movies by designing the set on the anime “Roujin Z“, directed by Otomo. Then, he wrote the script of “Magnetic Rose” (彼女の想いで) which is part of a movie in 3 parts named “Memories“
In 1997, he directed his first movie, “Perfect Blue” (パーフェクトブルー), and then released three more: “Millennium Actress” (千年女優) in 2001, “Tokyo Godfathers” (東京ゴッドファーザーズ) in 2003 and “Paprika” (パプリカ) in 2006.
He also created the 13-episodes television series “Paranoia Agent“(妄想代理人) in 2004.
His death from pancreatic cancer on August 24th, 2010 at the young age of 46 sent shockwaves through the anime production community.
In May 2010, Kon was diagnosed; given half a year to live, he chose to spend the remainder of his life in his home. Shortly before his death, Kon uploaded a final message onto his blog. As Kon explained in the message, he chose not to make news of his rapidly advancing illness public: the result was that the announcement of his death was met with widespread shock and surprise, particularly given that Kon had shown no signs of illness at relatively recent public events, as the cancer progressed to a terminal state a matter of months after being diagnosed.
Masao Maruyama of Madhouse vowed to see through Kon's final work, the movie Yumemiru Kikai (The Dream Machine), until it was finished. The film's character designer and chief animator Yoshimi Itazu will assume directing responsibilities in Kon's stead. But due to the financial situation at Madhouse right now, the Dreaming Machine is put on hold indefinitely.