After a deadly encounter with two yakuza, a loser with a crush on his childhood girlfriend goes to heaven and back, embarking on a psychedelic self-discovery experience with her and his friends.


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Cast overview:
Kôji Imada ...
Nishi (voice)
Sayaka Maeda ...
Myon (voice)
Takashi Fujii ...
Jiisan (voice)
Seiko Takuma ...
Yan (voice)
Tomomitsu Yamaguchi ...
Ryou (voice)
Toshio Sakata ...
Father of Myon and Yan (voice)
Jôji Shimaki ...
Yakuza boss (voice)
Rintarou Nishi ...
Yakuza (voice)
Kenichi Chujou ...
Atsu (voice)


The film follows Nishi, a loser who has a crush on his childhood girlfriend. After an encounter with the Japanese mafia, the film follows Nishi as he journeys to heaven and back, and ends up trapped in an even more unlikely place. Nishi (and some friends) attempt to break out of their trap, and discover what it truly means to be alive along the way. This is a mind-bending trip that uses some of the most innovative animation ever created. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

sex | love | violence | heaven | surrealism | See All (41) »


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Release Date:

7 August 2004 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Игра разума  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the directorial debut of Masaaki Yuasa. See more »


Nishi: Fear takes the shape we're willing to give it.
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User Reviews

Story that never ends
14 May 2005 | by (Oriental State of Mind) – See all my reviews

And I thought the avant-garde style of animation and story telling was going to take its routinely long hiatus with the marvelous Triplets of Belleville, but I was fortunately wrong.

After reading countless reviews, certain people proclaimed their dislike for this film with little to no elaboration given, which somewhat intrigued me and pushed me further toward wanting to experience Mind Game. As an avid follower of experimental cinema and anime I rarely get rewarded with solidly evolving features, but once in a while I strike gold and get to travel through the medium of rich expressionism dealing with both real life and fictional events in the utmost fascinating fashion. Mind Game is the recent treasure and a great example of such artistry, fusing stories of love, self worth and other qualities of life, without forcing conclusions or values, but merely giving you a chance to reflect on your life or simply enjoy that of the characters.

The main conflict of this film deals with a young man named Nishi, who lacks courage to do what he really wants in life. After a rather fatal turn of events he gets a second chance at life and love. So he embarks on a journey to face things he otherwise wouldn't, but his personal rediscovery takes place in the weirdest of places.

Aside from feeling a genuinely exalting rush with its almost mosaic imagery and perfectly fitting music, I felt something else while viewing Mind Game and I attained a certain notion afterwards, which I don't see worth sharing, since I believe everyone who'll give this a watch will acquire on their own terms, levels and depth.

40 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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