is the highly-regarded director
of the anime
films Perfect Blue
(1997), Millennium Actress
(2001), Tokyo Godfathers
(2003), and Paprika
(2006), as well as the television series Paranoia Agent
(2004). All of his works as a director have been made by Studio Madhouse
, where he is a staff director along with Rintaro
and Yoshiaki Kawajiri
. His films are characterized by psychological complexity, realistic character and background designs, and the blurring of dream and reality.
Kon attended Musashino College of the Arts and intended to become a painter. Shortly after leaving school, he worked with Katsuhiro Otomo
on the manga World Apartment Horror.
Kon entered the anime industry by working as set designer for Roujin Z
(1991), for which Otomo was the screenwriter and mechanical designer. Kon's early work was strongly influenced by Otomo. Other early projects include Run Melos!
(1992), and Mamoru Oshii
's Patlabor 2: The Movie
(1993). After collaborating with Oshii on a short-run manga series titled Seraphim: 266613336 Wings
, he then wrote the screenplays for Koji Morimoto
's Magnetic Rose
segment of Memories
(1996) and episode five of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure original video animation
. His directorial debut was Perfect Blue
(1997), a murder mystery reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock
and Philip K. Dick
. After making a pair of acclaimed anime feature films, Millennium Actress
and Tokyo Godfathers
, Kon branched out into television with his series Paranoia Agent
(2004). A television series which examines the human psyche and archetypes within the framework of modern Japanese popular culture, as well as issues of personal and cultural identity, Paranoia Agent has a strong subtext of social commentary on post-war Japanese culture. In 2006 he finished work on Paprika
, a feature-length film which received a wide release to cinemas worldwide in 2007.
Kon's works often blur fantasy and reality to the point where they are no longer distinguishable, and his films deal with subject matter not usually found in anime. In the case of Tokyo Godfathers (2003), Kon discusses urban homelessness, a topic not usually discussed in live-action Japanese films. Many parallels can be drawn between the views expressed in his works and those proclaimed by Takashi Murakami in his superflat manifesto.
- Roujin Z (Layout) (Mistranslated on US DVD as Takeshi Kon) (1991)
- Patlabor 2 (Scene Design) (1992)
Original video animations
- Return to the Sea (海帰線; Kaikisen) (1990)
- Seraphim - 266613336 Wings (1995) (with Mamoru Oshii) - Only published in magazine form