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
I had to give this a 9 out of 10 for a couple of reasons: 1.) This is a truly original movie 2.) With a little patience the animation is greatly rewarding 3.) It's a rare movie about the enthusiasm of life without force-feeding it into the viewer's face.
I liked this movie mostly for reason number two and next because of reason number three. The animation is one of the real driving elements behind the film and if you enjoyed stuff like American Pop or Fire & Ice from Ralph Bashki, then you're also (more than likely) enjoy the animation and wacky celebratory art-style, rotoscoping, cel-shading, 3D and a bunch of other animation techniques used in this film.
Now, the real meat and potatoes lies within this movie's message for appreciating life, as it goes in the movie: the story never ends, just like life goes on even after the curtain drops for the main character (being you).
Unlike most films that force-feed viewers a "hero" who must save the day, get the girl and redeem himself, Mind Game instead wants viewers to root for the hero because the hero is put into a position where only he can root for himself. I also liked that this movie gives a flipside on what it is to appreciate life, even when you have nothing to look forward to in life. I think it helped turn this sometimes violent and dark film into something inspirational and hopeful. I also truly enjoyed the "possibilities" this movie played with that life can sometimes throw our way.
All in all, I loved this film. It's not a typical Japanese anime by a long-shot and it's certainly not for everyone (especially younger viewers) but it's a great film that any avant garde film enthusiast would greatly appreciate.
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