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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Monday, January 17, 2005

05:24:03 pm , 288 words, 1031 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.

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5 comments

hym
hym [Visitor]

Hurray for Mind Game and Ben,
for introducing many to this great movie.

I received Mind Game in the mail today (may i add, nicest dvd box i have) and this evening finlay watched it. An awesome thrill ride challenging my views on animation, in one word wow, great step forward for possessive anime. Also a big thanks to Studio 4°C and everybody that helped with getting an English subtitle on this movie, lets hope next time we even get a sub for the dvd extra’s.

01/17/05 @ 22:32
hym
hym [Visitor]

heh, possessive anime, progressive. Maybe a new genre, I’m still under influence of it.

01/17/05 @ 22:42
Ben
Ben [Visitor]

Thanks. I noticed people are slowly starting to see the film over here. Still not too many, though. I agree, kudos to the people who took the initiative on the English subs. Shows what you can do with a little effort.

01/20/05 @ 01:00
neilworms
neilworms [Visitor]

“Kudos to the people who took the initiative on the English subs”

Yeah really surprised me also, I’m so glad that our efforts payed off :).

I just got it in the mail, and am going to watch it tomarrow, one thing that I noticed when checking out the first 10 mins or so is that the pacing is a lot different than what I was expecting from the trailer. The trailer made it feel closer to noiseman or dead leaves, whereas the film itself seems to be a lot calmer.

I’m really impressed with what I’ve seen, now its time for me to unleash it on my local anime club this friday :)…

01/20/05 @ 06:34
Ben
Ben [Visitor]

I was also expecting something more manic and chaotic, and was surprised by the very deliberate pacing and way things fell into place very clearly. Far from the ‘chaotic mess’ some people were expecting, it’s actually a lot more approachable than you’d expect from the trailer. I think if Koji Morimoto had directed it, it would have been more manic and difficult and spiritual. Yuasa made sure there was a clear story to follow.

Let us know how things go at the club!

01/20/05 @ 12:12