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Ranking the Films of Satoshi Kon


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TravellinMatt77



Joined: 26 Dec 2016
Posts: 50
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:32 pm Reply with quote
My ranking would be:

1. Millennium Actress
2. Paprika
3. Perfect Blue
4. Tokyo Godfathers
(I haven't seen Paranoia Agent, so I can't rank it)

Of these films, I'm especially grateful for the opportunity to have watched Paprika in the theater, as it was quite the experience. I haven't watched any of these films in a long time, though, so perhaps a re-watch is in order Smile .
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KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 145
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:14 pm Reply with quote
Move Paprika to the bottom of the list, and that would essentially be my order. They're all absolutely fantastic, but Millennium Actress is just special to me.

I really hope we eventually get Millennium Actress, Paranoia Agent, Tokyo Godfathers, (and let's throw in Memories for good measure) back in print on blu-ray. I have my dvds (and luckily found an affordable box set of Paranoia Agent years after Geneon closed shop), but its an absolute shame they're so difficult to find. Thankfully, getting Perfect Blue back in print is a really good start!
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Crisha
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Joined: 21 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:30 pm Reply with quote
At this point, it's been a while since I've watched a majority of his works, and so I've forgotten a lot of what happens. The things I do remember are the emotional impressions left behind. Like the suicide episode in Paranoia Agent, how it was both funny and melancholic. Or how horrifying and uncomfortable certain scenes were in Perfect Blue (the rare exception to the rule that animation doesn't frighten me). Or how the final scenes in Millennium Actress never fail to make me bawl. I treasure media that can emotionally affect me. Memorable characters, interesting plot, and gorgeous artwork are all important factors in my enjoyment, but the biggest contributor is how emotionally invested I am.

My list:

  1. Millennium Actress - I get shivers and tear up throughout the whole movie. This is Satoshi Kon's work that I've watched the most and treasure the most.

  2. Perfect Blue - This and Paranoia Agent essentially tie for #2, but I give a slight edge to PB here because it's quite remarkable how effective this is as a horror movie. I personally enjoy horror movies, so being creeped out and frightened is my jam. And animation doesn't often accomplish that for me. But here it does.

  3. Paranoia Agent - I have forgotten the plot to a majority of the episodes, but the few I do remember - the suicide one and the last episode - left an impression.

  4. Tokyo Godfathers - A heartwarming Christmas tale. I'm more of a fan of Satoshi Kon's mindtrickery, but I appreciate this simple tale for what it is.

  5. Paprika - None of Satoshi Kon's works are poor. They are always some sort of combination of emotional powerhouses, gorgeous artistry, or psychological mindtrips (all great on their own, even better combined). Paprika I find a combination of the last two, but little of the former. Not that the movie didn't have the potential nor that there's no possible way for anyone else to have been emotionally affected by it. But after I watched it I was left feeling a little cold. It's been a while since I last watched it, however, so maybe it's time for another watch to see if my feelings change.



EDIT: Also, thank you so much for this thoughtful and detailed article, Matthew. Very well done!


Last edited by Crisha on Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SailorMoonlight



Joined: 22 Jul 2010
Posts: 5
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:33 pm Reply with quote
My list looks like this:

1. Millenium Actress - a genius piece of work, it always makes me cry at some point
2. Perfect Blue
3. Tokyo Godfathers
4. Paranoia Agent
5. Paprika

I really like all of them, episode 8 of Paranoia Agent was really something.
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Zeino



Joined: 19 May 2017
Posts: 615
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:17 pm Reply with quote
With a director as consistently great as Satoshi Kon was, I find ranking his works to honestly be an exercise in futility. They are all equal masterpieces in my view. Though I would be curious to hear in more detail why Mr. Roe finds Perfect Blue to be his weakest effort.
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Narutofreak1412
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Joined: 22 Feb 2015
Posts: 239
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:08 pm Reply with quote
I have to admit that so far I've only seen around half of his work.
But it has a reason - I don't want to run out of new Satoshi Kon works to discover anytime soon, so I only watch one thing every 5 years or so. And I really treasure each evening where I watch something new from him.
So I can't really post a complete toplist, but so far I have to say that I enjoyed Paprika and Tokyo Gofathers the most. But Perfect Blue was something else aswell. But only Paprika and Tokyo Godfathers I have watched several times, as some parts in Perfect Blue were difficult to watch.

I'm really looking forward Millenium Actress and of course the others.
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Takkun4343



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Posts: 765
Location: Gahanna, Ohio
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:43 pm Reply with quote
Let's take a moment to be thankful that Adult Swim aired Paranoia Agent back in 2005, even if the only reason they did so was because it was a part of a package deal with Samurai Champloo and other show in the "Which one should we air?" poll that fans voted on (Gungrave) - which got more votes than PA - was already nabbed by TechTV.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 3297
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:49 pm Reply with quote
I've only seen 3 of his films, and from what I hear I'm missing his best film.

Tokyo Godfathers: A great a Christmas film, and great social commentary on what it is like to be homeless in japan.
Perfect Blue: A great psychological horror, but I feel it is more important for it's legacy than the quality of it's content.
Paprika: This seemed like a Satoshi Kon film, as if they were starting to sell him as a brand. Still a fun film though.
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GeorgeC



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 718
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:51 pm Reply with quote
Memories is back in print...
The anthology has a segment called "Magnetic Rose" (?) that was written by Satoshi Kon.

It's DVD only and they're selling it in two different compilations at Wal Mart.
They're both Mill Creek DVDs.

There's the Pop Culture Bento Box which has the films The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon, Battle in Outer Space, Mothra, Memories
as well as 4 TV episodes apiece of Godzilla (4 episodes), Astro Boy (4 episodes), Viper's Creed (4 episodes)

Looks like a great deal for quite a bit of Japanese culture!

The other way Memories can be had is in a double-feature set with Metropolis.
Sheesh, this at least the third version of Metropolis released by Mill Creek in the last year!
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meruru



Joined: 16 Jun 2009
Posts: 329
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:17 pm Reply with quote
I don't think I could rank them. They're all extremely good. Satoshi Kon is a pioneer in cinematography. I love how he like no other director I've seen, manages to create very dreamlike cuts and transitions.

https://youtu.be/oz49vQwSoTE Short video discussing Satoshi Kon's editing. Really gives you an appreciation.
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Sahmbahdeh



Joined: 05 May 2015
Posts: 706
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:40 pm Reply with quote
I simply don't understand the praise Paprika gets. I think it is by far the worst thing he ever made, and this is coming from a Satoshi Kon superfan. In any case, my ranking is:

1. Millennium Actress
2. Perfect Blue
3. Tokyo Godfathers
4. Paranoia Agent
5. Magnetic Rose (yes, I'm including this as a Satoshi Kon work)
6. Paprika
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Ggultra2764
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Joined: 21 Jan 2004
Posts: 3351
Location: New York state.
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:09 pm Reply with quote
To this day, Satoshi Kon's still one of my personal all-time favorite anime directors. Far as my thoughts of his works from worst to best (#5 was easy to sort out, the rest were frustratingly hard to think about)...

5. Paprika - The weakest of his works for me, though still found it entertaining when I seen it years ago. The dream world thought up for the premise was very creative and Chiba was an engaging character with Megumi Hayashibara voicing her. But it lacks the strong character explorations and psychological focus used from his past works that had them strongly stick out.

4. Paranoia Agent - Kon's only foray into TV anime retained his cerebral style from Perfect Blue delving into the mystery of Little Slugger and the various problems that effect his unwilling victims.

3. Tokyo Godfathers - As one of his lighter works, Tokyo Godfathers stuck out as a strong character-driven story with its focus on the three homeless folks caring for the baby and being one of the few anime titles focused on the holiday season and believably depicting the harshness of living life among the impoverished.

2. Millennium Actress - An imaginative and light-hearted film that did very well at connecting me with Chiyoko as she reflected on her past life with two reporters interviewing her.

1. Perfect Blue - The first Satoshi Kon work I seen and perhaps the one that strongly stuck out for me with Kon's cerebral directorial style and lifelike character designs. Made a strong enough impression as such where I still own my old Manga Entertainment copy of the film that I got for Christmas nearly a decade earlier.
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animefan1238



Joined: 28 Nov 2006
Posts: 244
Location: Ma
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:24 pm Reply with quote
Satoshi Kon was one of a kind. As I have told some people, he shows anime isn't just for kids. His visuals are amazing along with his themes in each story. I was fortunate enough to see Paprika in the movie theater with my girlfriend(now wife) and we were both blown away. The explosion of color in those "dream" sequences showed you the audience was no longer in the patient's conscious mind.

Millennium Actress is the first anime (show or film) that made me cry and really make my think about the story and the journey of it. It is a great film.

It is absolutely tragic he died at a young age and we all know he had more to give not just anime fans but audiences as a whole with his works. Even though his career was short he left behind a great collection of films.

I have yet to see Paranoia Agent so my Kon watching catalog is incomplete.
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maple



Joined: 08 Jan 2005
Posts: 11
Location: Thailand
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:28 pm Reply with quote
Mine would be,
1 Millennium Actress
2 Perfect Blue
3 Paranoia Agent
4 Paprika
5 Tokyo Godfathers
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Jayhosh



Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 948
Location: Millmont, Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:15 pm Reply with quote
Narutofreak1412 wrote:
I have to admit that so far I've only seen around half of his work.
But it has a reason - I don't want to run out of new Satoshi Kon works to discover anytime soon, so I only watch one thing every 5 years or so. And I really treasure each evening where I watch something new from him.


I identify with this a lot. Wish I hadn't run the well dry years ago already though :'(
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