Satoshi-san passed on August 24th, 2010, at the age of 46. The cancer diagnosis was sudden and expectations to defeat it were slim. The filmmaker admits to combatting some aspects of treatment, though he deeply thanks the attending medical staff for helping him in his return to his home, where he would ultimately pass since he was resolute to not die in their hospital. His wife learned and strived to care for him in this state, some friends and family were able to visit him during his fight with the complications from the disease, and much of his final words express thankfulness for their presence.
Part of why Satoshi Kon’s final words are so powerful – the original translator describes it as a “rambling but extraordinary document” – is that they define a soul meandering towards departure, fulfilled and grateful, even though they had yet more work left to do. It’s honest, insightful, sensibly tragic but ultimately peaceful. The words of a creative who wasn’t done but left behind magnificent work, and was thankful for that work, just as all of his fans were and are. Ten years later, take a brief moment to sit with Satoshi Kon as he leaves this world with a careful exit, “Now excuse me, I have to go.”