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: January 2005, 17

Monday, January 17, 2005

05:24:03 pm , 288 words, 1030 views     Categories: Mind Game

Mind Game: Two for two

Hooray redux! As many fans had hoped, Mind Game has won the Noburo Ofuji Award at the 59th annual Mainichi Film Concours hosted by the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper. The Mainichi Film Concours is one of Japan's most famous film contests, each year giving out awards in various categories, including two in animation: the venerable art-oriented Ofuji Award and the younger, more general Animation Film Award. Makoto Shinkai's The Place Promised in Our Early Days has taken the Animation Film Award. Mind Game thus joins the ranks of historical animation greats including indepenedent animators like Tadanari Okamoto and Yoji Kuri and full-length features like Night on the Galactic Railroad, Gauche the Cellist and Little Prince and the 8-Headed Dragon, past laureates of the prestigious Ofuji Award. The Ofuji Award is the oldest and most important animation award in Japan, focusing on inherent quality over popularity. The strictness with which the awardees are selected can be inferred from the fact that there were several years when no Ofuji Award was given because no film was deemed to merit the prize that year. This is Mind Game's second award, coming as it does a month after the announcement that Mind Game had won the Japan Media Arts Festival's Animation Divison Grand Prize. (To learn more about the first award and view a list of past Ofuji Prize winners, see my December 17 post.) Together these are two of the most important awards in Japan for animated films, so fans are gratified that recognition is slowly arriving for the film, which passed by with scant public acknowledgment last summer in a short and limited theatrical run. The awardees were announced today (actually tomorrow, the 18th, Japan time) on the Mainichi's Japanese web site.