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English translated entry of Satoshi Kon’s French Wikipedia page

I have been learning French lately. In order to help me, one of the things I started doing is to read Wikipedia. I think it would help to read something that interests me, but I also suspect that a lot of internet French has colloquialism that would confuse learners so I decided that Wikipedia is probably the best.

One of the articles that caught my attention was the article for Satoshi Kon. It is quite different from the English article. I have not read either one in their entirety, however, so perhaps they have similar information but they are placed throughout differently. Either way, an interesting and different viewpoint.

Note that the French language can describe things a little more compactly, I think, so these are not literal translations. Doing a literal translation would be confusing, I feel. However, there are some interesting things to note, which I put at the end. I do highly recommend you read the notes at the end.


Satoshi Kon (今 敏, Kon Satoshi?) est un mangaka et réalisateur japonais, né le 12 octobre 1963 à Kushiro et mort le 24 août 2010.

Satoshi is a Japanese mangaka and director, born on October 12th 1963 at Kushiro and died on August 24, 2010.

Après des débuts brillants et touche-à-tout (mangaka, coscénariste pour le cinéma) auprès de Katsuhiro Ōtomo, Satoshi Kon s’engage dans le cinéma d’animation. Toujours sous la coupe du maître, il travaillera aussi avec Mamoru Oshii (Patlabor 2, 1993). Puis il se lance et réalise son premier film d’animation avec les Studio MadHouse.

After a brilliant debut as a mangaka and scriptwriter for live action cinema with Katsuhiro Otomo, Satoshi Kon entered into animated films. He always worked with talented people; for example, he also worked with Mamoru Oshii (Patlabor 2, 1993). Afterwards, he attempted and released his first animated film with Studio MadHouse.

Dès son premier long métrage d’animation (Perfect Blue, 1997), l’artiste montre son talent en proposant une approche graphique très réaliste pour ce thriller. Loin des concepts occidentaux de l’animation de l’époque, ce film – interdit aux moins de 12 ans – fait sensation par la justesse du rendu des émotions des protagonistes, son introspection de la psychologie humaine tout en traitant un phénomène typiquement japonais, les idoles. S’il traite d’autres sujets par la suite (Millennium Actress, 2002 ; Tokyo Godfathers, 2003), son style conservera cette approche de la réalité subjective, faisant de lui un réalisateur atypique. Il réalisera la série d’animation Paranoïa Agent, prémisse au chef-d’œuvre Paprika qui obtiendra une reconnaissance internationale.

For his first animated feature film, he displayed his talent in proposing a very realistic and detailed approach to thrillers. Far from Western concepts of animation at the time, the film – which should not be watched by children – looked at the emotions of the characters. The film provides an introspective look at the human psychology of the characters, who are involved in a typical Japanese phenomenon, the idols. Looking at his later films (Millennium Actress, 2002; Tokyo Godfathers, 2003), his style continued to focus on a subjective truth, making him an atypical director. He also directed an animated series called Paranoia Agent, and then he created the masterpiece Paprika which got international recognition.

Au-delà de son travail, l’auteur s’engage et participe à la création de la Japan Animation Creators Association (JANICA) afin d’améliorer les conditions de travail des jeunes animateurs. Il a également animé une master-class en France en 2003, au Forum des Images dans le cadre du festival Nouvelles images du Japon.

Beyond his work, he also worked and participated in the creation of the Japan Animation Creators Association (JANICA) with the objective of improving the working conditions of young animators. He also was at a master-class in France in 2003, at the Forum des Images in the Nouvelles images du Japon festival.


  • The article also refers to Satoshi Kon as “l’artiste” and “l’auteur,” which means “the artist” and “the auteur” respectively. “auteur” literally means “author” or “writer,” but in English it could refer to a director that displays a powerful creative vision in his films. Seeing as Satoshi Kon also worked as a scriptwriter, I decided not to translate this.
  • The French article states, “Toujours sous la coupe du maître” which literally means “always under the stroke of genius” – in other words, Satoshi Kon was always surrounded by talent. I find this interesting, because it is not something you would see in an English encyclopedia. My impression is that this article is more interpretative, whereas the English version is more descriptive.
  • I translated “fait sensation par la justesse du rendu des émotions des protagonistes” as “looked at the emotions of the characters” but it literally means “made a sensation for the accuracy of rendering the emotions of the protaganists” – which sounds weird in English to me. I might be off here. To me, it means “he created a detailed depiction of the emotions.”
  • The French article literally calls Paprika a “masterpiece” – “chef-d’œuvre Paprika.” Again, interesting for an encyclopedia…
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