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|Index||18 reviews in total|
60 out of 62 people found the following review useful:
Touching the limits of imagination, 8 May 2005
Author: (soulcharmer) from Brno, Czech Rep.
I saw this piece on local Animefest and I tell you what. I honestly
thought my head will blow. Such seemingly never-ending torrent of
originality and imagination is truly unprecedented. There are numerous
animation techniques mixed together, loads of standard anime
exaggeration (no manga though), psychedelic trips, serious issues and
silly sarcastic humor. There's no way an intelligent non-shallow adult
would not like this masterpiece. Consider yourself as unprepared for
what you will see but be ready to be surprised when you do and mentally
exhausted once you did.
By the way, describing the plot of Mind Game would be utterly stupid. It's a mind game alright, you will get the message one way or another.
54 out of 57 people found the following review useful:
A mind-blowing, surreal, life-changing adventure, 29 March 2005
Wow. What can I say? I was truly blown away by this movie. Winner of
the Noburo Ofuji award (the most prestigious award in Japan for an
animated film), this film has unfortunately only had a very limited
release in Japan (although it is playing in theaters again since
winning the award). The director, Masaaki Yuasa, has previously done
critically acclaimed animation work on other series, and helped create
the equally mind-blowing, and somewhat disturbing short animated movie
The first thing about the movie to note is the animation. The animators worked in a collaborative effort, and included a wide range of experimental and traditional animation techniques, a bit of CGI, and even a bit of live action. Viewed as individual pieces, it can be jarring, but seen together as a whole, each piece seems to fit with each other perfectly, with the different animation forms setting the mood perfectly.
The story begins in present-day Tokyo, and follows a loser who is letting his childhood girlfriend slip away. Things take a twist to the fantastical side, as the characters embark on a surreal journey that changes everything about them. The actual elements of the plot are not really the focus of the movie..it is about setting the mood, creating the atmosphere of the characters' emotions, and drawing the viewer in to same mental journey the characters are going on, without even realizing it. The pace of the movie picks up and slows in parts, before building up to its thunderous and (literally) exhausting climax.
See this movie , if only for the virtuoso animation that you will not see in any other film. And who knows? it just might change your whole outlook on life.
43 out of 51 people found the following review useful:
If ever there was a GEM..., 24 January 2006
Author: juubei-2 from Canada
I am frankly appalled to see a total of 5 comments for a movie which,
and I believe most people will agree, is deserving of much, much more
attention and inspection. This film is like a light at the end of a
long, boring tunnel that is the general doldrum of cookie cutter
animated films released year round.
At once unique, inspired, beautiful, hilarious, weird, touching, unforgettable, innovative among other words that won't do it justice: Mind Game is the definition of a GEM.
The only other movie that I can think of in the same "category" is Waking Life, another animated excursion worthy of your time and attention. But even if you hated Waking Life, Mind Game is so different you might love it. Mind Game sort of takes Waking Life's "all over the place" style (cartoony one moment, then rotoscoped the next) then adds a story and characters and a LOT of humor.
Seriously, you owe it to yourself to seek this one out. My new agenda will be to show this to as many people as I possibly can. Help spread the word: Mind Game is cool.
37 out of 42 people found the following review useful:
Story that never ends, 14 May 2005
Author: Gigo_Satana from Oriental State of Mind
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.
30 out of 35 people found the following review useful:
MIND GAME redefines the animated film, 17 July 2005
Author: bingobangobongo from United States
This film is beyond anything that has been made to date, both in Japan
and the U.S. It is not a conventional narrative, yet the narrative
clips along like a kayaker on speed. It seesaws from tight-tension
drama to dreamy atmospheric visualscapes to video-game style song and
dance routines! The overall plot is unimportant yet is completely
engaging and satisfying. The characters come across as real people, and
the shifts in perspective and personality heighten our understanding of
each character as they face their ordeals. We get a sense of time both
passing and standing still- which is the true mark of a genius of film:
The ability to wrap us up in his concept of time and carry us along
If you like shiny robots, plots about strange bio-computer viruses that mutate people into shiny robots, and silly relationship dramas about high school kids with strange powers, please avoid this film. If, however, you appreciate innovative stream-of-consciousness film-making, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants pacing, and so-sloppy-its-tight design, get yourself this DVD!!!! (Fans of FLCL take note!) Its hard to find in the U.S. right now (July 17th 2005) but it is poised to explode.
An additional note of interest is the fact that Matthew Minami is the voice of the old man- Jiisan. (You may remember him from the clips of him interviewing Bill Murray on Matthew's Best Hit TV that were featured in Lost in Translation...)
13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Mind Game is unique in animation, Japanese or otherwise, 2 November 2006
Author: tavm from Baton Rouge, La.
I just saw Mind Game on YouTube after AMID in Cartoon Brew recommended it and I've gotta tell you: You have not and most likely will never see anything like it again! Initially seeming to be a tale about Nishi and his unrequited crush on Myon since childhood, this anime goes in all kaleidoscopic directions that leaves you breathless all the while. If you're tired of all the mostly cookie-cutter CGI features that have bombarded features for the past few years, and want something more unique in Japanese animation, Mind Game fits the bill perfectly! All the animation techniques that have ever existed seem to come into play here and the music score will take you on the wildest trip possible! So on that note, seek Mind Game on YouTube or wherever you can find it.
13 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
The story has never ended, 17 March 2007
Author: siderite from Romania
This movie is really what the title says it is. At first I thought the
title was bad, since it didn't say anything about the film, but in the
end I realized it does.
If you are looking for a normal story (you know, with a start, an end, a punchline) you are not going to find it in this anime. The animation is coarse, not like the classic Japanese animation, a bit like Tokyo Godfathers, but even more symbolic. So why is this film so great?
Because of the feeling. Plot and animation separately don't make this great, but together they do. The moral of it all is that you must live your life to the fullest and enjoy everything life throws at you, since it is all you have. No one else is going to live your life or enjoy what you have.
My thoughts are that this story is deeply personal to Robin Nishi and, even if a lot of the symbols in it can be singled out and understood, most of it you are left to guess. An argument for this is the torrent of animation sequences that don't make sense in the beginning of the movie, repeated at the end of the movie and suddenly making sense. I believe that is the greatest innovation of this anime.
Bottom line: this is an art film. This time I mean it in a good sense :). Perhaps because it has a positive view on live and it is more accessible. Anyway, if you are ready for its message and are in the mood for a fun carpe diem story, you gotta see this. If you've enjoyed Tokyo Godfathers, then you will also like this movie.
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A very interesting experience, 28 January 2010
Author: lyynn from Lithuania
I think 'Mind Game' is one of those movies that you either really like
or really hate, but never in the middle. I spent first 20 minutes
itching to turn it off since the animation style didn't seem all that
pleasant, but then things just kept happening and before I knew it I
was really immersed in it.
'Mind Game' has everything: irony, action, humour , even romance; and it touches practically every aspect of human life, going from relationships to domestic problems. All that covered in psychedelic imagery leaves a great impression.
You might experience various emotions watching this movie but one thing for sure, you won't feel like you've wasted your time when it's over.
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A true masterpiece, 6 August 2006
Author: Vadim Berman from Australia
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Like most people here, I saw Mind Game on a festival - in my case,
Melbourne International Film Festival in August 2006 and was simply
blown away. I am no fan of anime (I wasn't before Mind Game), because
the ones I have seen before seemed either too violent (Akira) or
difficult to appreciate because of the Japanese cultural peculiarities
(Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke).
Mind Game seems to be a blend of Japanese and Western cinematography with only a few cultural barriers for westerners. I believe there are influences by Coen brothers (the hilarious episode with milk vs. "Mr. Mussburger is such a nice man, I give him double stitch anyways"), Run Lola Run, even Amelie. Perhaps the plot is inspired by the book of Job? Add to this Japanese imagination and intentionally left space for interpretation.
While the plot is inventive and complex enough, it is not what makes the film, in my opinion. It is the ability to focus on tiniest details and create, well, a detailed consistent absurdist universe.
Hopefully, it will be easier to find future creations of the same authors.
6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
A magical afternoon in Shibuya, 24 December 2006
Author: samhillranch from United States
The start of the film is a bit rough,character behavior, but as it moves it along it just gets more amazing. I have seen many Japanese anime movies, Miyazaki being my favorite. Mind Games raises the bar visually, not beyond Miyazaki, but for anime in general. I am amazed that this film has not toured the U.S, by now. Anyone who loves anime must see this film. The use of color is extraordinary and seems to build into ever more wondrous neon kaleidoscope. the story itself is also very well constructed, full of compelling characters, some suspense and a great ending. Life in the whale is such a creative element. I'm now trying to find a DVD copy of this film for my collection. If you have a chance, be sure to see this amazing film.
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