Initially daily but now sporadic blog about anime and world animation with a specific focus on the artists behind the work. Written by Ben Ettinger.
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Archives for: August 2004, 04

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

04:38:11 pm , 801 words, 749 views     Categories: Animation, Mind Game

Only two more days till Mind Game!

Mind Game Official SiteI'll be keeping an eye on things to follow people's reaction over there as Mind Game finally hits the cineplexes -- er, I mean the cinematheques. All the difference in the world, unfortunately. Let's hope word of mouth will get those seats filled. The film will almost certainly reach at least discerning moviegoers looking for the most original film of the year, but I hope it reaches much, much more people than that, because it's a movie with the scope to speak to just about anyone, not just cinephiles. Whenever the movie hits our theaters -- which it should, due to the Joel Silver thing (sometime next year hopefully?) -- I'm hoping word of mouth (well, the internet) will have done at least a bit to help towards getting people out to see the film. This is one of those rare cases when the underdog has shown that he can make a film 10 times better than the big guns, so it absolutely deserves the whole-hearted support of fans.

To help build up the excitement, I thought I'd pass along an amazing anecdote that comes to me via Anime Style; more specifically, from Dezore-san, el capitán of the Mind Game Cheerleader Squad (応援団), of which I happen to be enlistee #00001!

There he was, strolling along in the broiling heat one summer's day around Asagaya, when suddenly he remembered, "Hey, Madhouse is around here!" So he decided to head over to sneak a peek at the famous studio. As he was walking along the main road, he began to notice the festive sound of a taiko being drummed, and caught sight of a group of figures standing by the side of the road wearing matching jogging sweats, apparently rehearsing some kind of cheer routine. On each of their backs was embroidered a set of mysterious golden letters, such as "MM" and "DN" and "DH". Baffled, he continued to watch. When all eight figures finally turned their backs to him, he was finally able to see all the letters lined up properly, and he was stunned to realize what the letters said: "MADHOUSE MINDGAME".

He later learned that these madmen were Madhouse employees out on the street advertising Mind Game. Apparently a certain famous Madhouse producer had seen the test screening and been so overwhelmed and moved by the experience that he decided to start a Mind Game Cheerleader Squad!

Don't beleive me? Look at Madhouse's home page: They've put up a "SPECIAL!!" page to support Mind Game!

Do you realize? Madhouse had nothing to do with Mind Game. They were just so friggin' amazed by the film that they decided they were going to start doing tons of activities to support the film and get people to see it!! Like standing out on the road during the Tokyo summer wearing sweats with "MADHOUSE MINDGAME" written on the back!!! I'm pretty sure this is a first, folks. A studio going all out to publicize a film they had nothing to do with. Maybe now you realize the magnitude of the event at hand. I've never heard of a film that has the power to energize people this way.

Way to go, Madhouse!! Rah rah rah!

I was so moved by this that I'm going to translate the text on their page for you (I know it sounds wooden, but I'm trying to keep it literal):

Mind Game, the new movie by genius animator Masaaki Yuasa, opens shortly on August 7. What Masaaki Yuasa has created here in this film, which is staffed by the cream of the crop of today's animators and features the offbeat voice talents of the Yoshimoto Kogyo, is nothing short of a colossal masterpiece. After dying a humiliating and pointless death, the hero of our story, Nishi, ignoring God's pleas, hurtles himself back to life in a mad dash of sheer will power, vowing this time to live life to its fullest, "straight ahead, with everything I've got!" How will Nishi deal with all the hurdles thrown in his path?! Uninhibited imagination and astonishing storytelling combine with a massive impact that will invite tears of gratitude! A visual experience of super-colossal proportions awaits you!!


With that out of the way, well, there you have it: We've decided to start a Madhouse Mind Game Cheerleader Club. Nobody asked us, we just wanted to. Isn't it normal to want to support something that's good? How can I convey these feelings? We just had to express our support somehow. Even on the sidelines is fine, just please let us!! Anyway, that's all for our first column. Today was just an introduction to the film, but next time we'll start telling you about the many activities we have in store to cheer the hell out of this film, so check back in a while.