I was soaking my bones in a riverside rotenburo when news of anime director Satoshi Kon's death flashed across my cell phone via text message from Tokyo. Must be a macabre joke, I thought at first glance, though the friend who sent it isn't given to jabs of dark humor.
Maybe a promotional gambit for Kon's next work? His films are characterized in part by multiple realities and unexpected shifts among them, so that just when you think something is really happening, perhaps it isn't. After all, typing or even thinking about the phrase, "the late Satoshi Kon," just didn't feel right.
But I returned to Tokyo and the banal and humbling truth: Kon, one of the most gifted, innovative and searchingly intelligent artists working in the anime medium and the film world at large, died on the morning of Aug. 24 from pancreatic cancer--at the age of 46. [continued here]