Paprika and Paranoia Agent director Satoshi Kon passed away this week, but before he died, he wrote a final blog post to his friends, family, and anime colleagues.
Kon's post is a meditation on death and tying up loose ends. In one particularly sad passage, the director regrets that he wasn't more open about his upcoming robot "road movie," The Dreaming Machine. At one point, he meets with Madhouse Studios founder Masao Maruyama and realizes that the project is in good hands. It's poignant to read about Kon letting go of an endeavor he had planned so meticulously; it's also heartening to see that his colleagues will do it justice:
My biggest regret is the film "Dreaming Machine". I'm worried not only about the film itself, but the staff who I was able to work with on the film. After all, there's a strong possiblity that the storyboards that were created by (our) blood, sweat and tears will never be seen. This is because Satoshi Kon put his arms around the original story, the script, the characters and the settings, the sketches, the music...every single image. Of course there are things that I shared with the animation director, the art director and other staff, but basically most of the work can only be understood by Satoshi Kon. It's easy to say that it was my fault for arranging things this way, but from my point of view I made every effort to share my vision with others. However, in my current state I can only feel deep remorse for my inadequacies in these areas. I am really sorry to all of the staff. However, I want them to understand, if only a little bit. Satoshi Kon was "that kind of guy", and, that's why he was able to make rather weird anime that was a bit different. I know this is a selfish excuse, but think of my cancer and please forgive me.
I haven't been idly waiting for death, even now I'm thinking with my weak brain of ways to let the work live even after I am gone. But they are all shallow ideas. When I told Maruyama-san about my concerns about "Dreaming Machine", he just said "Don't worry. We'll figure out something, so don't worry."
I wept uncontrollably.
You can find an English translation over at Makiko Itoh's blog. It's a must-read.
[Spotted on Tokyo Mango. Top image from Paprika.]