R.I.P. Satoshi Kon, director of Paprika

Japanese animation has lost one of its giants. Satoshi Kon, director of Paprika and creator of Paranoia Agent, has apparently died at age 47. Gainax employee Takeda Yasuhiro tweeted the news a short time ago, and it was confirmed by Madhouse's Masao Maruyama via the Otakon committee. Paprika, Kon's lush exploration of dreams, was clearly an inspiration for Christopher Nolan's Inception. Check out this trailer mashup that came out a while ago:

And the kicker is that he was still working on his next film, which he described in a 2008 interview with Anime News Network:

The title will be Yume-Miru Kikai. In English, it will be The Dream Machine. On the surface, it's going to be a fantasy-adventure targeted at younger audiences. However, it will also be a film that people who have seen our films up to this point will be able to enjoy. So it will be an adventure that even older audiences can appreciate. There will be no human characters in the film; only robots. It'll be like a "road movie" for robots.


[via UK Anime News Network]

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Was there a cause of death reported? 47 is a pretty young age to lose anyone at, especially one of the more talented directors of our time...