Mind Game REVIEW

Mind Game REVIEW

0 comments 📅01 May 2018, 19:31



Let’s save some time here; if you’re in the mood for an animated movie that’ll knock your socks off with its verve and audacity, watch Mind Game. The 2004 directorial debut of Masaaki Yuasa, who has since gone on to helm the likes of Ping Pong: The Animation, The Tatami Galaxy and Lu Over the Wall, Studio 4°C’s Mind Game is wild and exhilarating ride.

The films centres on 20-year-old Nishi, a hapless manga artist whose childhood crush Myon has just become engaged to another chap. Unable to express his feelings, Nishi is having a somewhat awkward meal with Myon and the boyfriend at her family’s yakitori bar when a couple of yakuza start throwing their weight around. Things escalate rapidly and one of the yakuza assaults Myon. The terrified Nishi digs deep, finds his courage and stands up to the gun-toting thug.

He gets shot up the arse for his pains, and instantly expires.

Okay, so that didn’t go so well for poor ol’ Nishi. Fortunately, he gets another chance at life following a distinctly trippy encounter with God. Determined not to blow it, a newly confident Nishi saves Myon and her older sister Yan, steals the yakuza’s car and speeds off with a bevy of mobsters in hot pursuit. Nishi and the girls are then swallowed by a gigantic whale, inside which they meet an old man who has been trapped for 30 years. Some days you just can’t catch a break.

Mind Game’s surreal – and surprisingly touching – storyline keeps you on your toes, but its Yuasa’s wonderfully imaginative visuals that’ll blow your mind. Switching between different styles on the fly, the film is a tour de force of animation; a showreel announcing the arrival of a sensation new talent. Yuasa cites an eclectic range of influences on his work – a list that runs from Tex Avery and Nick Park to Ladislas Starevich and George Dunning’s psychedelic Yellow Submarine – and his debut feature puts everything in the shop window.

An anime doesn’t have to look flashy to be worth watching, of course. But when one comes along that is packed with excitingly inventive visuals – Madhouse’s Redline, say, or Trigger’s Kill la Kill – you can bet we’re going to relish every morsel. Masaaki Yuasa’s Mind Game is one of those visual feasts; tuck in and enjoy it.

Release: Out Now
From: All The Anime
Format: Blu-ray
Age Rating: 15

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