7.9/10
7,493
24 user 33 critic

Mind Game (2004)

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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.

Writers:

Robin Nishi (comic), Masaaki Yuasa (screenplay)
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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 animenewsnetwork.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

26 June 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Maindo gêmu See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,609, 18 February 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$36,613, 5 April 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie's main character Nishi is based on Robin Nishi, the man who wrote the underground cult comic on which Mind Game was based. Some elements of the story are said to be autobiographical. See more »

Quotes

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

 
Unbelievable...I loved it!
17 September 2011 | by cygurationSee all my reviews

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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