10/26/2010: Satoshi Kon
Written by Cindy Yamauchi   

Yume Miru KikaiAs I read my own blog posting from July, I noticed that nothing much in my working life has changed since then, and yet, so much seems to have happened.

The most notable incident was the passing of Satoshi Kon in August. I remember that I was with talking with another animator/designer at Madhouse who just returned from a short vacation in Los Angeles. Suddenly, he received a text message from his friend. He had a strange look on his face as he showed the message to me. It said, "Is it true that Kon-san passed away?" Our first reaction was to nervously laugh it off, but we both started making calls right away. When we finally got in touch with our producer over the phone, he said he was already at Kon-san's home. Our conversation was brief, but that was enough to confirm that it was indeed true. The great director and artist Satoshi Kon had died of cancer. When I returned to my seat, I noticed that others seemed to be dealing with phone calls as well. No one at that moment knew exactly what was going on, so I confirmed to them that Kon-san had passed away. Only few people knew about how gravely ill Kon-san's was, so it naturally came as a great shock to everyone at Madhouse (including me).

Kon-san's Yume Miru Kikai production had made very little progress since the end of the previous year, but many of us weren't told that it was mostly due to Kon-san's condition. I had seen him around occasionally since Madhouse moved to its new location. He said that "my back is giving me trouble" when one of his concerned colleagues asked why he was using a cane.

A very private service was held for family and close friends. We waited for the company to hold a memorial service that all of us could attend, but that hasn't happened yet. The production of Yume Miru Kikai has restarted, supported by Kon-san's loyal staff. Our president had made a promise to Kon-san that his film will be completed; we all hope to join the production as soon as we can in order to fulfill that final promise.