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, October 16, 2004

04:29:29 pm , 258 words, 2488 views     Categories: Mind Game

Mind Game DVD

I was expecting to have to wait until next year, but it appears that we'll all be receiving a nice Christmas present this year. The release date for the Mind Game DVD has been set for December 22. I was skeptical as to how much would be included as an extra on the DVD due to the small number of people who voted on the survey, but all fears were unnecessary. Studio 4°C will be including most of the important items that were on the survey, which is much more than anyone was expecting. And the good news is, English subs are in.

The DVD will be released in three editions: the normal edition, a first-pressing edition, and a pre-order only edition. Here is a breakdown of the contents.


- Japanese language/English subs
- Cover drawing by Masaaki Yuasa

DVD Extra Features:

- Film completion reception event
- Pre-screening talks
- Director's commentary
- Interviews
(and maybe more)

Included Extras:

Postcards illustrated by Koji Morimoto, Tatsuyuki Tanaka, et al.


Everything on the normal edition plus:

Special Features Disc:

- Animatic (not sure what this is)
- Art gallery
- Interviews

Additional Included Extras:

- Storyboard book

"PERFECT" PRE-ORDER ONLY EDITION - 4 DVDs + 1 CD + manga, ¥22,320

They'll only be making as many of these are people pre-order. Everything on the first-pressing edition plus:

Additional Included Extras:

- Image boards by Masaaki Yuasa
- Original soundtrack CD
- Mind Game manga by Robin Nishi
- Mind Game Remix DVD
- Co-Mix DVD



Noah [Visitor]

Any word on if the extras will be subtitled?

10/16/04 @ 19:03
iamNataku [Visitor]

Is the Co-Mix DVD the idea where various artists do their own artistic riffs on Mind Game? Any word on who those artists are by chance?

Also, I believe an “animatic” is just an animated storyboard. They take the storyboard drawings and bring them into After Effects. They’re then timed out with rough dialogue and music/sound effects in order to get a better feel for the final product.

George Lucas and his boys at ILM were the first to use this technique for the Star Wars originals. This is the first time that I’ve heard of an animatic being used for a 2d animation production though.

10/16/04 @ 20:41
jfrog [Visitor]

Most of the Ghibli DVDs have animatics.

10/16/04 @ 21:39
Ben [Visitor]

I don’t know about subs for the extras yet. Things are still a little tentative.

The Co-Mix DVD is a 20 minute remix consisting of images from the comic and the movie. It’s not something that was newly made for this edition. It’s been available from Studio 4°C’s web site for some time. It’s a promo item like the Mind Game Remix DVD. The pre-order edition is essentially the first-press edition plus the various goods that have been released previously. So far it doesn’t look like additional remixes are part of the extras. It’s interesting that they’re including both an animatic and a print reproduction of the storyboard.

10/16/04 @ 22:05
jay smith
jay smith [Visitor]

animatics have been in use since 60’s disney features, way before ilm!!

not quite sure how you came to that conclusion?

10/17/04 @ 04:46
Ben [Visitor]

I just remembered the “Leica Reel” system had been used for a film I’m familiar with, Fairy Florence. I wonder if there’s any difference between this and an animatic? They sound similar.

10/17/04 @ 09:52
jay smith
jay smith [Visitor]

essentially they are the same thing,

a “leica reel” is filmed layout art from the layout artist to form a blue print of the film timing.

a “animatic” is exactly the same but using the storyboard art instead of layout art.

im not sure of the purpose of the two types? though i supose the “lecia reel” would be closer to the final film.

10/17/04 @ 16:18
Tsuka [Visitor]

Excellent news, thanks Ben :) !

An animatic can use drawings from the storyboard but also part of 2D and 3D animatoin-tests, line-tests … It can be a simple slideshow of the storyboard (Ghibli), or more sophisticated (like the animatic of Peter Chung’s Dark Fury, available on the DVD).

An animatic can be used as a “pilot” … for example on french animated TV series … the animatic of each episode is shown to the producers, and they must validate it in order to make the episode.

Of course, it’s used to have an idea of the timing, the rythm, etc …

For example, I actually publish a miking-of of a french-tv series calles “Corneil & Bernie", including animation-test of episodes (in english) :

There’s a lot of animatics on the Studio 4°C DVD box too.

Noah > I don’t have any japanese DVD with english subtitles on the extras :-\ It’s often just on the movie.

10/17/04 @ 17:43
Tony Mines
Tony Mines [Visitor]

A further expansion: an animatic is a rough, but full cut of the film, used by film makers and animators to provide a timing guide and general overview for the rest of production. They may or may not have sound depending on where they come in the original production process. In animation, they are generaly made up of storyboard and line tests (or sequenced key frames). In other mediums they can be made up of anything.
I once saw the animatic to a certain infamous prequel sequel, that used clips from the Judge Dredd movie to represent a particular flying car chase. Though I probably shouldnt tell you that.

10/18/04 @ 07:54
Ben [Visitor]

Thank you all for all the precisions!

I’ve seen an excerpt from a bit of the video that was put together in order to be able to record the voices for Mind Game last summer, and indeed, it consisted of line tests (gensatsu in Japanese, from genga satsuei or key animation photography) for scenes that weren’t yet finished, interspersed with finished video. Captions would come on the screen indicating placement of sound effects and timing for insertion of dialogue.

The voice-actors apparently had no idea what sort of movie they were making when they recorded the voices, so when they saw this really uninspiring, crappy-looking video they just assumed their company (Yoshimoto Kogyo) was using some seedy studio to churn out a low-budget summer potpoiler or something.

Part of that was because it was line tests, but obviously a lot of that was intentional - the “rough” aesthetic of the film Yuasa talks about. They talk about this in the reception event, which will be included on the regular DVD.

I doubt Studio 4°C produced an animatic beforehand the way it’s done here in the west (because as far as I know that’s not as common a practice in Japan as it is in the west due to the extreme time and budget constraints that are the norm), so I’m thinking the animatic they mention is either the one they used for voice recording, or else they put one together afterwards. (could be wrong, though - Tsuka mentions animatics on the Studio 4°C box, so it seems to be common practice with them)

I know line tests are common, but I don’t know how common it is to put together an animatic to sell a project. Seems like the sort of bureaucratic overkill that could be skipped. Miyazaki doesn’t even have a finished storyboard when he starts on his films, and look at the results.

The fact that they used the Leica Reel system was one of the big selling points for Florence, which sort of indicates how exotic and unusual it was to do that in Japan.

10/18/04 @ 12:24
Tony Mines
Tony Mines [Visitor]

I’m hardly an expert, but I think animatics are as common in anime as they are in the west. Far from being a beurocratic luxury, I wouldnt dare imagine producing an animation of more than ten minutes without one! I know of them for Akira, Mononoke Hime, Eva, Mahoromatic - heck, even Daicon V. So I’m sure it’s fairly common.
In the Post-modern post-eva environment, a lot of anime shows actualy use them in the previews at the end of episodes these days.

10/18/04 @ 12:56
Ben [Visitor]

I really don’t know either, but as an animator, you’re certainly in a better position to know about these things. I’m probably just projecting my own laziness. I like Naoyuki Tsuji’s approach: charcoal and paper - voila - no animatic needed!

10/18/04 @ 13:15
iamNataku [Visitor]

I’m curious what the animatics for the old (60’s, 70’s) Disney films looked like, seeing as how computers weren’t used in productions back then. Perhaps somebody could explain how these animatics were composed?

Also, could somebody name some anime series where the animatics are shown in the previews? I’ve seen plenty of shows with pencil tests, but rarely any with animatics.

10/19/04 @ 08:51
jay smith
jay smith [Visitor]

there was a time when animation was made without computers!

they looked like exactly what they were, filmed storyboards!

each storyboard panel is filmed to the same length (or roughly the same length) of the scene in the film.

10/19/04 @ 11:40
iamNataku [Visitor]

That’s what I thought after I posted. Cool. Are there any Disney DVDs (pre-Lion King), or any older 2d animated films, with the animatics included on the disc?

It’s just that I still have yet to see an animatic for a film that didn’t include CG elements. (Not including some recent 2d animated series like King of the Hill or The Simpsons.)

10/19/04 @ 17:55
Jeremy [Visitor]

Hi! First time posting~
I’ve read many of these threads, but I can’t determine whether it’s worth it for me to buy anything other than the normal edition DVD, as I cannot understand Japanese! I’ve seen a couple people ask if there are English subs on the non-normal edition DVD’s, but haven’t found any answers. Anyone know which segments have subs?

01/15/06 @ 13:39
Ben [Visitor]

Only the film itself has subs. So for a non-Japanese speaker you’re best with the normal edition, unless you specifically want the more expensive edition for the extras like the 500-page storyboard book.

01/18/06 @ 12:44