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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Saturday, August 7, 2004

06:29:46 pm , 441 words, 954 views     Categories: Animation, Mind Game

Mind Game: Day One

Mind Game Official SiteSpent a lazy Saturday enjoying a cool breeze and listening to John Dowland songs.

Mind Game has now opened. Here a few snapshots of the man himself on the occasion of the talk he gave before the Cine Quinto première. He's flanked by the voice-actors Koji Imada (Nishi) and Toshio Sakata (Yan's father). Love the life-sized Yan-chan! After the talk Yuasa was off to the next stop on the campaign trail -- er, I mean... you know what I mean -- to present his next talk at the Osaka première.

Mr. Sakata was reported to have made a comment regarding ambitions towards something called the "Academy Award".

I've already read tons of Japanese reviews of the film from people who saw the preview screenings. One of the common threads throughout the reviews, besides the flood of superlatives, was the way many of them stated, without embarrassment, even proudly, that they left the theater in tears. Not tears of sadness, but of joy. I cried after Grave of the Fireflies, but those weren't tears of joy. I can't think of a film that has ever made me cry tears of joy.

One of my favorite reviews also happens to be the only negative one I've read so far. Well, nominally negative. After establishing his basic stance early on in the review, the reviewer goes on to write what, for the life of me, sounds like a rave review, capping it with the comment, "Damn, I feel like I'm handing ammunition to the enemy. In any case, there's no doubt that to certain people this film is going to be one of those rare towering masterpieces that comes along maybe once a decade, if you're lucky."

I've done my civic duty and purchased the Mind Game Remixed DVD, soundtrack and original manga, but they're all up on the top shelf until after dinner. In other words, I'm waiting until I see the film to look at them. From everything I've read, and from what I've seen of the manga, it appears to be a masterpiece in its own right, so I hope it gets translated after the movie comes out. It's clear that Robin Nishi is a truly original mind, and that his comic is one of the great Japanese comics of the last fifteen years. Which makes it all the more miraculous that a movie has been made of this manga, which was languishing in obscurity for ten years, and that the movie has reached equally towering heights in its own medium. A movie masterpiece from a comic book masterpiece. That's sort of like getting all the planets perfectly aligned.


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