I haven’t dropped acid or done mushrooms in years and I thought I was having a flashback, maybe I was falling asleep watching this movie and getting those flashes of dreams you get when you wake up quick and fall asleep repeatedly until you just give up and lie down. “Mind Game” from Japan (where else) will play mind games with you, it will toy with you, your emotions and mental state, it will always win.
This isn’t your traditional Japanese animated movie, which is what I liked about this one. Seriously, I kind of get burned out on the “big eyed anime” style that prevails in almost every Japanese animated movie. This one takes a wink and nod to “Belladonna of Sadness” (which I will review in the future) where various forms of animation are mixed together in an eye stabbing, mysterious brilliance.
Nishi, aspiring Manga artist encounters an old flame on the subway, Myon who is running from a yakuza member/football player Atsu. Nishi finds out she is getting married and is still in love with Myon but is too much of chicken to actually say it, he says it in his imagination but not out loud. Over all, you get the feeling Nishi lives most of his triumphs in his own head, he is dreamer but it doesn’t help him in the real world. However, they go to Myon’s father’s Sushi restaurant, her sister Yan is at the bar making sushi and serving beer while their dad drunkenly talks about his sexual conquests, Nishi gets pissed off and goes off on him talking about this in front of his own daughters, in this scene you can’t tell if this is in Nishi’s head or if he is actually telling the father off, Myon’s soon to be husband Ryo shows up and its awkward. Two yakuzas walk in, one is Atsu who I just mentioned was chasing Myon. The yakuza are looking for Myon’s father who is hiding because he screwed Atsu’s girlfriend. They start threatening everybody, Ryo tries to punch out Atsu and Atsu fells him, he goes to rape Myon and Myon shouts for Nishi who is curled up in a ball in fear. Atsu disgusted by his behavior shoots him through his asshole. Nishi dies and ascends into some strange afterlife where God mocks him for being a loser, Nishi pissed off and wants another chance so instead of running to the gate way of the afterlife he runs towards the life tunnel and God chases him, he gets back in his body and kicks ass.
Or are we sure he actually gets back in his body kicks ass? What happens next is insane, Nishi, mad at wasting his life with Myon and Yan in tow, leads the Yakuza on an insane car chase where they are swallowed by a whale. Inside the whale they come across a ship and an old hermit who is an ex Yakuza, he turned his ship into a toy, food, comfort laden pleasure palace. From there it gets even more crazier, on the surface you may see non sense but beneath it, if you really drink it in it has got a lot of layers religious, philosophical and spiritual. The movie uses different types of animation to express different emotions and thoughts. Weebs who want “traditional” anime aren’t gonna happy and there isn’t probably enough stupid action for their “Bleach/Sailor Moon” ridden brains. This movie will have you questioning everything. Is this all in Nishi’s head? Is he in the after life? Did he really come back to life and start to kick ass? Can you really survive being swallowed by a whale? On that last note there is a lot of religious iconography in this movie, both Western and Eastern. To all of you people who don’t want to think about your movies this one isn’t for you.
The music is pretty strange to and goes with the mood, some are Broadway type musical numbers and some are Bossa Nova numbers. Overall this movie has a dream like logic but when you fit the pieces together like a puzzle most of it will fall right into place. This piece of visual art noise is a must have for people who want something different in their Japanese animation.
So where do you want to play the “Mind Game”? Well this isn’t going up on my bitchute channel, while I upload stuff over there because copy right is pretty much non existent I don’t want to push it too far by putting this up there and also these film makers are still in existence and need your support, so just get your favorite search engine and put in “Mind Game” and “Streaming”, Amazon, Youtube, Apple etc. have it pretty cheap or you can always visit that Pirate in the Bay you super cheap, cheatin’ bastid.