Satoshi Kon and Aristotle: Ann Le’s thoughts
Many of Satoshi Kon’s works are a mixture of imagination and reality. He creates worlds where transitions between imagination and reality are often subtle. His characters, on the other hand, feel very real. That is not to say that his characters are entirely believable but they have much more depth than the characters portrayed in the tragedies Aristotle writes about.
Aristotle would likely disagree about the success of Kon’s works. He writes “And since tragedy is an imitation of people better than we are, one ought to imitate good portrait painters, for they too, while rendering the particular form and making likenesses, paint them as more beautiful. So too, the poet when he imitates people who are quick to anger or lazy or who have other such traits in their characters, ought to make them be decent people who are of these sorts […]” (42) Kon tries to not create characters from the same “good” cast. Many of his characters are far from reinvented perfect human beings. They imitate real people of both good and bad traits. This, I feel, allows Kon to tell fantastical stories without asking the audience to completely suspend their disbelief. Kon offers his audience the familiarity of half-real worlds and characters who have dimension and feel real. The ability for an audience to relate to characters with good characteristics and flaws allows them to immerse themselves in the invented world.