Late last year I interviewed essential Japanese anime director Satoshi Kon (he of the notoriety of Paprika, Tokyo Godfathers, and the brilliant Millennium Actress), and that interview appeared in the January issue of Impact mag over in the UK. I’ll be running with the somewhat lengthy interview on this site sometime in the next couple of months.
In the meantime, however, Kon is gearing up for the release of his long-awaited next anime movie: Yume Miru Kikai (The Dreaming Machine) is coming up through Studio Madhouse and it has its own funky new website here. The movie features central characters called Ririco, Robin and King – and all of three are automated. Kon has dabbled quite extensively with technology (and its impact on people) before, but this time there’s a different slant.
“This is my own original story – therefore different from my previous work,” Kon told me during that recent interview we did; it was the first time we’d chatted and he was surprisingly open, humourous and verbose. “While I was developing the script, I heard about a movie called WALL·E… and I got a little nervous that it might be similar to mine. I can’t tell you how relieved I was when I learned that the two stories were totally different,” he laughed.
“In The Dreaming Machine, only robots are there. I want the audience to enjoy the adventures of robots who survived even after their parents – human beings – had become extinct. After Paprika, I ended up taking a vacation for over a year, so we’ve just started development on this. You can see this movie in 2011.”
Here are some sneak preview images from the new film. Also on board is art director Nobutaka Ike, who performed the same role on Millennium Actress (千年女優 Sennen Joyu, 2001) and Paprika (パプリカ, 2006). Till then, if you haven’t checked it out already, here’s the promo teaser (below) for Kon’s Millennium Actress – perhaps my favourite anime flick from the 2000s, even up against stiff competition from Miyazaki’s Spirited Away and Oshii’s Innocence. Essential viewing.
Andrez Bergen is senior editor of Impact magazine in the UK. He’s a long-term writer on Japanese pop culture, music, anime, movies and weird stuff who has covered the space since 2001. Andrez also runs Tokyo-based IF? Records, makes music as Little Nobody, writes a personal blog called JapaneseCultureGoNow!, and can be found on Twitter @andreziffy