When dreams and reality are one. Satoshi Kon and his career (Topic)

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When dreams and reality are one. Satoshi Kon and his career


There are creators in the world who are not satisfied with creating something unique. They go further, want to bring something truly extraordinary to the culture, without bending under the system. Such was the Japanese surrealist director Satoshi Kon. He not only left behind a number of iconic anime, but was able to merge reality and fiction. We have already added his anime to our tops, and today we will tell you about the creative path of Satoshi Kon.

When childhood is not in vain

Satoshi was born in Sapporo, Hokkaido, in 1963. His childhood was the case when the very first interests and will guide in life. From an early age, Satoshi was inspired by such films as Space Battleship Yamato, Heidi, Alp Girl, Future Boy Conan, and one of the founders of the Mobile Suit Gundam fur genre. In his free time from school, he spent reading manga. He also loved manga for girls, which did not bother him at all.


One of my favorite pieces was “Domu. A child's dream ". It was a creepy manga about a confrontation between two psychics, where a girl fought against an insane old man. In the future, Kon admitted that if he were offered to make a film based on only one manga, he would have chosen this one. In his youth, he decided to take the path of a graphic designer, and entered the Tokyo Art University Mumashino.


By that time, he had reviewed a huge number of films and was fascinated by the work of Tsutsui Yasutaki, the founder of Japanese modernism in literature. In the books of this author, surrealism and black humor border and always stand next to each other. He often uses psychoanalysis in his work, ridicules Japanese taboos, giving them satire. And if it seems to you that the same can be said in relation to Cohn's work, then you are absolutely right. After all, he reread his books over and over again, which could not but affect him.


In those years, he began writing his manga and sending it to various magazines. He used to win awards for the best debut. At one of the awards, Satoshi met his second idol Katsuhiro Otomo, who took him as an assistant in the work on the legendary Akira manga.


The beginning of the creative path

After university, Cohn worked as an assistant to famous authors, but he did not have time to implement his ideas. His first personal work on the manga "Kaikisen" was difficult for him due to tight schedules as well as an addiction to alcohol. The story turned out to be rather crumpled at the end, and the mangaka himself fell ill with hepatitis A. But still he got out.


He continued to work with Otomo, and he began to trust him to work on the background for "Roujin Z". Satoshi gave all the best, for which he earned the trust of the idol. The two of them began to create a three-part almanac, "Memories." Satoshi himself worked as a layout artist and artistic director for the short film Magnetic Rose, the first picture in the almanac. It was a very cool story about space scavengers who, exploring an abandoned station, are captured by the memories of an opera singer. The boundaries of perception are erased, and soon the memories begin to merge with reality.


Although Satoshi had a significant influence on the picture, the final word was always with Otomo, and our hero was unhappy. While working on the second film of the project, he met Oshi Mamoru.

In 1993, he was commissioned for the first time to direct the fifth episode of the original adaptation of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. But even there he could not reveal his potential. Over time, he decided to return to the manga. Unfortunately, he faced a number of setbacks. Together with Mamoru Oshi, he wrote the story "Seraphim: 266 613 336Wings". Alas, they did not agree in character, and did not finish it. Therefore, he created the next manga "Opys" himself.


It was a story about the conflict between the author and his creation. In Opus, the mangaka creates a comic strip, and one of her characters, dissatisfied with the ending, tries to rewrite the plot, and at the same time pulls his creator into the work. The narrative tried to break all boundaries and at times went into a meta-analysis of the relationship between the author and the created. Alas, the magazine in which Opus was published was closed and the manga was not finished. Only later were the concepts of the ending of the story found, in which, according to the plot, Satoshi introduced himself into the manga, which further blurred the line between reality and fiction.

"Perfect sadness"

This is how you can call the future life of the mangaka until 1997. A series of failures forced him to rethink his work. Drinking constantly, he tried to find inspiration in the works of David Lichne, Terry Gilian and other surreal films such as Slaughterhouse Five, based on the novel by Kurt Vanegut. It was from the "carnage" that he borrowed many techniques for changing the frame and constructing the narrative.

It so happened that at that time the author of the book "Perfect Blue" Yushikazu Tekauji tried to film his novel. It was already filmed, but because of the earthquake, the studio was destroyed and closed. Over time, his robot got into the animation studioImageMadHause studio, where they decided to film it. Katsuhiro Otomo was responsible for the illustrations in the book, who decided to involve Satoshi in the work on the picture when it came to finding a director. Kon, who did not read the book, but only the script, blew it to smithereens with the words that either he completely takes control of the production, or will not work at all. The ultimatum was accepted.

He chose Sadayuki Murai, who used to work with pop idols, as the scriptwriter, which brought a lot of cool details to the project. The final script was radically different from the plot of the book, and Satoshi admitted that he did not know why it was called that.

We have already written about the plot and problematics of the picture "Perfect Blue" in our top of the best anime for exploring the genre. However, let us remind you that the story is about pop idol Mimarin from the CHAM group. She decides to change her image and become an actress. The director invites her to star in a film with a rape scene, which will put an end to the life of an idol, because he must be pure. Soon, a disgruntled fan begins to pursue her, and Mima herself is gradually losing her mind, as she is stuck between two creative lives.


In the work on the film, Satoshi applied all his accumulated knowledge. Cohn tried to convey the feeling of losing touch with reality. Reality and fiction of consciousness are superimposed on each other and you no longer understand what is true and what is not. And only you can determine your place in this world.

The work was so strong that in the future, based on anime, there will be a Western painting "Black Swan".

Millennium Director

After his first painting, Satoshi Kon gained fame and authority. He planned to film his favorite novel by Yasutuka Tsitsie "Wig", but the idea had to be postponed for a while.

After a while, he decided to make the spiritual heir to "Perfect Sadness". Producer Taro Maki suggested that he make an anime using the Trampleu method. This is a trick, when it seems that a two-dimensional object is in three-dimensional space, such as when the hero of a picture allegedly leaves the frame. Kon liked the idea and teamed up with Sadayuki Murai again to write the script for the Millennium Actress anime.


In it, a director named Genya Tachibana shoots a documentary about actress Chiyoko Fujiwara. He heads to her home to have the aging actress play herself and be the narrator in the documentary. However, her real-life memories begin to blend in with all the roles she has played. The story jumps from era to era, from one image to the second and third. The anime also introduced the viewer to the history of Japanese cinema.


To work on Satoshi's picture, I had to get to know my native cinema myself, as well as interview other actors, in particular, Hideko Takamina, with whom he copied the image of the heroine.


The Millennium Actress was even more cinematic, and unlike its predecessor, which was a horror film, this one was the brightest thing that Cohn wanted to say about the connection between life and work. You watch in awe as Chieko talks about his millennial biography, confused, but still so beautiful that it is intoxicating.

The painting hit its budget and raised a huge amount, as well as received many awards.

We will continue to talk about the biography of Satoshi Kon and his work next week, in the second part of the article.

The Topic of Article: When dreams and reality are one. Satoshi Kon and his career.
Author: Jake Pinkman