By now, you’ve probably read many posts on the subject (It has been a week after all). You’ve also probably read his parting words (Makiko Itoh has a great translation here), seen his movies and series, and voiced your opinion on the subject. Heck, if you own a blog, chances are you may have talked about it. Or tweeted about it. Or re-tweeted what someone else had to say. Either way, his death was the talk of the town in the AniBlogger community, and even in some film fan circles.
But you haven’t read what I have to say on the subject.
And here it is.
Satoshi Kon died, and with him, his amazing talent, vision and creativity.
All in all, it is a great loss.
But, is it, really?
I think we’re really fortunate. Like, incredibly fortunate.
Satoshi Kon was here, and he reached and touched a lot of people. He broke boundaries. He pushed the envelope. He opened eyes.
Thus, incredibly fortunate.
Regardless of his death, it is undeniable that he was a man of vision, and he did share this vision with his peers and the world. It might have been but a fraction of what he could feel, but he did it.
And he did it through animated movies that are not ordinary Anime movies. Maybe they are not even Anime movies at all!
I can’t decide: Was he a live action director doing animation, or an animation director directing like a live action director? Maybe he was both.
What he left us with, his films, are full of magic, ideas, sweat, blood, magic. You can watch them many times, and if you analyze specific aspects every time, you will come out of the film with a trove of techniques, ideas and amazement like you wouldn’t believe.
Few animation directors can make films so rich, so powerful, so engrossing, that they can become the subject of many subsequent studies. Like Satoshi Kon did.
His death is not an end: It’s a beginning. The master has left, now it’s time to see how his influence will be felt. Just as it was exciting to see what he was making, it will be exciting to see what all those people who have been moved and inspired by his work will do.
He was also not the only director doing risky, more sober things in Anime: There’s Masaaki Yuasa (Mind Game, Kemonozume, Kaiba, Tatami Galaxy) and Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell S.A.C., Seirei no Moribito, Eden of the East), for starters and off the top of my head.
His death is definitely sad, regrettable, a huge loss.
But that doesn’t mean we should focus on that.
He left us a lot of beautiful stories, images, ideas, to enjoy and work it.
And that itself is incredible.
So, let us say it: Thank you, Satoshi Kon, for everything.
Of course, all this doesn’t mean he won’t be missed. A lot.
So it goes.