Your life is the result of your own decisions.Mind Game
(マインド・ゲーム) is a Japanese animated feature film based on the comic by Robin Nishi. It was written and directed by Masaaki Yuasa and animated primarily by Studio 4°C
Nishi is a 20-year-old, self-deprecating loser who dreams of drawing manga for a living. Since the age of nine, he has always been in love with a girl named Miyo - but although she has feelings for him, his shyness and inability to confess his love have led her to think about marrying another man.Shortly after learning of this, Nishi is shot through the butt by an angry Yakuza mobster and dies - and thus begins the story of Mind Game, a movie about second chances and living life with no regrets.
The whole movie is told in several different styles of animation, visual metaphors, intertwining plots and philosophical messages. Since its release, it has become something of a cult classic, being praised by directors from both the West and the East for its storytelling and visual style(s).
Mind Game contains examples of:
- Art Shift: The entire movie switches between three or four different art styles, the main two being a sketchy, surreal style and Rotoscoping.
- Stylistic Suck: ... which is occasionally interspersed with clean, fancy and sometimes breathtaking animation.
- Ass Kicks You: Saves Nishi's bacon on the second time around.
- Deranged Animation: The message may be clear, but the presentation leaves one occasionally baffled at just what sort of chemicals would be required to envision what plays out on screen.
- Dirty Old Man: Jiisan, the old man in the whale.
- A Fate Worse Than Death: Nishi narrowly avoids being erased from existence by God after he dies.
- Actually, it's rather The Nothing After Death than the Cessation of Existence.
- The scene where the people trapped inside the claustrophobic darkness of the whale are helplessly listening to the radio... and the weatherman describing the beautiful day, hoping everyone enjoys the warm sunlight and lovely breeze...
- Flash Forward: The ending basically shows a series of possible future events.
- Forgiveness Requires Death: Done to Atsu after he killed Nishi.
- King of All Cosmos: God, "In all his infinite manifestations".
- Like a Badass out of Hell: Nishi Took a Level in Badass while there, and even pulled a fast one on God... Or did he?
- Mind Screw: And goodly amounts of it. It's named "Mind Game" for a reason.
- No Ending: The movie specifically ends with "This movie has no ending."
- Non-Human Sidekick: The Plesiosaurus.
- Serial Escalation: The entire whale escape sequence. Notably the obstacles that crop up.
- Swallowed Whole: Invokes the trope in classic fashion by using a gigantic whale.
- The Gods Must Be Lazy: God.
- Time Travel
- Train Escape: The protagonists end up narrowly avoiding a train (among other things) while escaping from inside a whale.
- X Meets Y: A good description of this film would be a Japanese, art-house "Jonah and the Whale".
- You Cannot Grasp the True Form: God