Review
Mind Game
Amy Harlib · From fps #3 · July 1, 2005 | Mind Game, an astonishing directorial debut from acclaimed animation designer Masaaki Yuasa (and co-written by Robin Nishi, creator of the original manga) presents audiences with something refreshingly different from the standard giant mecha, beautiful teenagers and cyber-noir SF tropes associated in the West with most otaku-anime fare. Mind Game even distinguishes itself from and challenges the undisputed master of the art form, Hayao Miyazaki, with its unique approach, which garnered the film a prestigious Nobuo Ofuji Award among other accolades in its home country.

Mind Game
Directed by Masaaki Yuasa
Madhouse Studios, 2004
104 minutes
Employing a deceptively rough-looking, sketchy and angular art style reminiscent of American avant-garde animator Bill Plympton, Mind Game unfolds in a stream-of-consciousness flow of kaleidoscopically diverse visuals using techniques that include: rotoscoped voice actors portraying their characters; collage; CGI; and traditional cel drawings that sometimes include fleeting riffs on anime clichés. The images mesmerize at a mostly frantic, MTV-style pace but they do slow down at significant moments of drama and character development. The renderings sometimes distort the figures in a clever animation trick used to emphasize emotions—an effect that makes Mind Game's surreal ambience and conviction in its dreamlike logic easy to believe.

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You'll find it and many other articles in the July 2005 issue of fps, available as a free download.
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