Rumors started to circulate around Twitter today that anime luminary Satoshi Kon, director of such truly brilliant films as Millennium Actress and Paprika, has died at the age of 47. One of the first reports came in from Takeda Yasuhiro, a founding member of Gainax, the animation studio most famous for producing Neon Genesis Evangelion. Now both Ani-Gamers and Anime Reel is reporting that the above tweet is most likely true and while confirmation will have to wait until it's daytime in Japan, Anime Reel writes that other sources have confirmed Yasuhiro's claim, including Masao Maruyama, president of Madhouse Studios (Note: Maruyama didn't say Kon died explicitly, just that a major filmmaker had passed away). According to Anime-Gamers' source, Kon died of cancer.

There's still a chance that this could just be a nasty and rather inexplicable rumor but it looks less and less likely. We will update you if the situation changes and as more news becomes available.

Kon was a brilliant filmmaker. His works are vital and revolutionary for their visions of lucid dreaming and the way psychosis bleeds over into the waking world. If he has indeed died, the world has lost a bright artist in the prime of his career. I wrote about Kon for the New York Press when most of his body of work screened at the Film Society at Lincoln Center. I also interviewed him at Twitch around the same time. Share your information or your condolences in the comments section. Very sad news, if it's true.

{Editor's note: 5:35pm -- It seems that this sad news is indeed true. The Cinematical team sends its condolences to Satoshi Kon's family, friends, and fans.}