0 Items | £0.00

VIEW BASKET

Satoshi Kon Exhibition

Tuesday 6th January 2015


Andrew Osmond drops in on a Tokyo celebration

Satoshi Kon ExhibitionA while ago, this blog reported on the Suginami Animation Museum in Tokyo, which runs a series of temporary exhibitions on various animated subjects. The museum’s current exhibit should be of particular interest to British fans. It’s a showcase of the art of Satoshi Kon, who built an international reputation as a truly adult, often bitingly satirical anime director before his tragically early death in 2010, aged 46. His main works are the films Perfect Blue (1997), Millennium Actress (2001), Tokyo Godfathers (2003) and Paprika (2006), as well as the TV serial Paranoia Agent (2004).

The exhibition is in two parts. The first features Kon’s early work before he was famous, with samples of his student art and his manga. Kon’s strip Kaikisen, published in English as Tropic of the Sea, concerns a fishing village haunted by the legend of a mermaid. Kon’s two other long manga serials were both unfinished, for different reasons. Seraphim was an ill-fated collaboration with Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell, The Sky Crawlers), whom Kon had worked under on Patlabor 2. The manga even features Oshii’s beloved basset hound. The strip was intended to be an epic, but Kon claimed that Oshii never moved the story forward. A bored Kon tried supplying ideas for the scenario himself, hoping to give it some momentum. Instead, Oshii quit the project, leading Kon to be more careful about who he worked with in the future.

The similarly unfinished Opus was a story about a manga writer who finds himself becoming part of his own strip. Kon was well into the story when he received news from the magazine serialising Opus (Comic Guys). The news was bad; the magazine was ending in three issues. Kon was told he could either leave Opus unfinished, or wrap it up in that time. Kon’s solution was to go ‘meta.’ Putting himself into the story, he roughed out a strip version of what had just happened: Kon meeting with the editor, and being told that he had to terminate Opus... For some strange reason, this idea was rejected by the magazine editor. (Much later, Kon would have a similar ‘meta’ idea for Paranoia Agent. “Mellow Maromi,” an episode set in the anime studio, was originally planned to be in live-action, and would have starred Kon himself!)



The second part of the exhibition features Kon’s more familiar anime work, with storyboards, character sheets and publicity art. As well as the anime listed above, it also features the storyboard for Kon’s last completed anime, the one-minute film “Ohayo” (‘Good morning’) made for NHK’s “Ani-kuri” short film strand in 2008. For more on Kon’s still-unfinished last feature, The Dream Machine, see our interview with the animator Aya Suzuki.

The Satoshi Kon exhibition is running at the Suginami Animation Museum until 25th January. Admission is free, but please note that the staff only speak Japanese. The museum is near Ogikubo station on the JR Chuo Line (the station is also on the Marunochi subway line). From the station, take the Kanto bus at the north exit, and get off at Ogikubo Police Station, about 5 minutes away. The museum is on the opposite side of the road from the police station, on the third floor of the Suginami Kaikan building.

Alternatively, the museum can be accessed from Kamiigusa Station on the Seibu Shinjuku line. Take the Seibu bus towards Ogikubo and get off at the Ogikubo Police Station.

The museum is usually CLOSED on Mondays, but open other days between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. (last entrance 5.30). It will be open on Monday January 12 but closed on Tuesday 13. There may be temporary closures at other times; please check the above link for updates.

Thanks to the Suginami Animation Museum and to Carlos Nakajima for their kind help with this article.

MANGA UK GOSSIP

Akira (the Collector\'s Edition) Triple Play Edition (incl. Blu-ray, Dvd, Digital Copy)

£22.49
sale_tag
was £29.99
Iconic and game-changing, Akira is the definitive anime masterpiece! Katsuhiro Otomo’s landmark cyberpunk classic obliterated the boundaries of Japanese animation and forced the world to look into the future. Akira’s arrival shattered traditional thinking, creating space for movies like The Matrix to be dreamed into brutal reality.

Neo-Tokyo, 2019. The city is being rebuilt post World War III when two high school drop outs, Kaneda and Tetsuo stumble across a secret government project to develop a new weapon - telekinetic humans. After Tetsuo is captured by the military and experimented on, he gains psychic abilities and learns about the existence of the project's most powerful subject, Akira. Both dangerous and destructive, Kaneda must take it upon himself to stop both Tetsuo and Akira before things get out of control and the city is destroyed once again. 
AKIRA The Collector’s Edition features both the original 1988 Streamline English dub and the 2001

Pioneer/Animaze English dub!

FEATURED RELEASE

RELATED BLOG ARTICLES

Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira then and now

Helen McCarthy examines Katsuhiro Otomo’s landmark Akira, then and now
1988 in Japan: Yamaha Motors won the J-League but Nissan won the Cup. Western pop divas Bananarama, Kylie and Tiffany were on TV. Japanese real estate values climbed so high that the Imperial Palace garden was worth more than the State of California, and Tokyo’s Chiyoda ward had a higher market value than Canada. The Government signed the FIRST Basel Accord, triggering a crash that wiped out half Japan’s stock market. Katsuhiro Omoto’s movie Akira premiered on 16th July.

Akira's Ancestors

Andrew Osmond on the unexpected forerunners of Neo-Tokyo
In Akira’s opening moments, a sphere of white light appears from nowhere in the centre of Tokyo, and swells to obliterate the city. Many Western critics saw the image as a symbol of the Bomb, like the earlier Japanese pop-culture icon, Godzilla. But the designer apocalypse could be taken as Akira’s own mission statement – to be a new kind of entertainment, blowing away its peers and reshaping the cinema landscape.

The Impact of Akira

Andrew Osmond reviews the reviews from 20 years ago.
On its explosive arrival in the West, Akira crossed the Pacific to catch the generation that grew up on the films of Spielberg and Lucas; it was also the generation that read adult superhero strips such as Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns. Akira, though, offered the shock-and-awe widescreen violence akin to that of enfant terrible live-action director, Paul Verhoeven. For example, both Akira and Verhoeven’s Robocop (1987) have a gory money-shot scene in their early minutes, in which a luckless bit-part player is graphically torn apart by a hail of bullets. Unsurprisingly, such imagery excited reviewers.

Akira 25th Anniversary Screenings

Your chance to see it in the cinema in the UK
Neo-Tokyo is about to E.X.P.L.O.D.E. Katsuhiro Otomo’s debut animated feature AKIRA had its Japanese premiere on 16th July 1988. We are very proud to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of what is undoubtedly, one of the most celebrated animated movies of all time. Voted by Empire readers as one of the top 100 best films ever and cited by everyone from James Cameron, Ridley Scott, Daft Punk and Kanye West as a massive influence on their work, AKIRA kick-started the anime business all over the world, opening the doors for everything from Pokémon to Princess Mononoke.

The Art of Akira

Joe Peacock tracks down the original images from the anime classic
Watching Akira for the first time provokes a universal reaction of awe. And justifiably so: there’s often an overwhelming sense among audiences that this animated film is unlike any other they’ve ever seen. Casual viewers won’t be able to put their finger on it; they just know that Akira is visually striking. Art and illustration aficionados appreciate the intricacy of individual scenes, sometimes pausing the film to appreciate the detail in a particular frame.

Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira then and now

Helen McCarthy examines Katsuhiro Otomo’s landmark Akira, then and now
1988 in Japan: Yamaha Motors won the J-League but Nissan won the Cup. Western pop divas Bananarama, Kylie and Tiffany were on TV. Japanese real estate values climbed so high that the Imperial Palace garden was worth more than the State of California, and Tokyo’s Chiyoda ward had a higher market value than Canada. The Government signed the FIRST Basel Accord, triggering a crash that wiped out half Japan’s stock market. Katsuhiro Omoto’s movie Akira premiered on 16th July.

RECENT FEATURED POSTS

Godzilla: Too Soon?

When is it okay for a real-life disaster to become entertainment?
How soon is too soon? The question’s raised by the new Godzilla trailer, the first half of which seems to be all about recreating traumatic events as fantasy, just three years after they occurred. Specifically, the trailer opens with a disaster at a Japanese power station, before segueing into images of a giant wave sweeping into a town with devastating force. Both images seem less ripped than Xeroxed from the headlines of March 2011, when northern Honshu (Japan’s mainland) was struck by an earthquake which caused a tsunami, killing thousands, and the meltdown at Fukushima.

Fairy Tail music: Hi-fi Camp

Tom Smith on the hi-fi hijackers
By the time Fairy Tail Part 9 hits the shops here, the J-pop band responsible for its ending theme will be fast approaching their second anniversary – of breaking up! Though, this particular writer can’t help but think Fairy Tail may have had something to do with the band’s demise…

Cosplay: Yu-Gi-Oh

Paul Jacques snaps more anime costumers
Yugioh Yami and Dark Magician Girl spring into life in the forms of Stephanie Budden and Carla Rice.

Tales of Vesperia Cosplay: Yuri Lowell

Paul Jacques finds an Imperial Knight at the Birmingham Comic Con
Melissa Joy dresses as Yuri Lowell, the Imperial Knight from Tales of Vesperia. Justice!
Following on from our English voice actress article, it's time to share with you our favourite English language voice actors.

Tales of Vesperia Cosplay: Estelle & Rita

Paul Jacques finds a princess and a... erm... scholar
Cosplaying away at Birmingham's Comic Con, Meg Atwill dresses up as Estellise Sidos Heurrasein (or Estelle for short), accompanied by Aimee Tacchi as the whip-wielding scholar Rita Mordio, both from Tales of Vesperia.

Comicon Announcements

News on releases and extras from this weekend's panel
This is what you would have heard:

One Piece Cosplay: Boa Hancock

Paul Jacques finds a Pirate Empress at the Birmingham Comic Con
"Whether I kick a kitten, tear off your ears, even slaughter innocent people, the world will never cease to forgive my actions! Why, you ask? That's right, it is because I am beautiful!"

The World of Hideaki Anno

Evangelion's director in conversation at TIFF
This year's Tokyo Film Festival also included a festival within a festival, an awesomely thorough programme of screenings and live appearances by the maker of Evangelion. It covered Anno’s career from his early amateur films to his live-action, to his work as an animator and anime director.

Anime Tattoos Declared Illegal

Japanese licensors demand pound of flesh
Citing “unsavoury gangster links” and “unlicensed IP [intellectual property] exploitation,” a group comprising every major anime studio (except Gainax) has warned fans that body-art is no longer permissible.
Contact Us   |   Refund Policy   |   Delivery Times   |   Privacy statement   |   Terms & Conditions
Please note your card statement will show billing by MVM. Satoshi Kon Exhibition from the UK's best Anime Blog.