Nishi has always loved Myon since they were little. And now as adults, he wants to pursue his dream of becoming a manga artist and marrying his childhood sweetheart. There’s one problem, though. She’s already been proposed to and she thinks Nishi is too much of a wimp. But upon meeting the fiancé while at her family’s diner and accepting him as a good guy, they encounter a couple Yakuza (Japanese mafia), only to have Nishi grasp a certain revelation. And, with his newly aquired look on life, adventures abound as he, Myon, and her sister Yan escape the Yakuza into a most unlikely location where they meet an old man.So, while I do respect a lot of Yuasa’s material, I’m not exactly in love with everything he makes as a lot of people do. In other words, haven’t seen Devilman Crybaby or The Tatami Galaxy yet and not a fan of Ping Pong The Animation (didn’t hate the art style but the show never resonated with me at all) but his other works, I do like and appreciate over the time and looking at this for the first time…….HOLY HELL!!! That must’ve been some good shit he was on while doing this. I don’t know if he did smoke weed while making it but the whole presentation feels like it. First things first, this doesn’t have a straight narrative feel to it. It goes from girl running from Yakuza to her meeting her old friend to him running into same Yakuza, and the way he goes out being shot in the ass is all kinds of fucked up and I don’t mean a cheek or two, I mean in the hole and through the head. But then, a second chance happened and bam!! Clenched the gun with his buttcheeks, shoots the guy and a bunch of other crazy shit happens from there on out from escaping in a yakuza car to being inside of a whale. There isn’t much to say other than this is very, very, very unpredictable and it works.
With the main character Nishi, the journey of his is basically him always playing it safe as in the movie, he’s trying to tell Myon, his childhood friend and crush, that he loves her but never has the balls to do it but then of course, getting shot in the ass then being revived will give you a new meaning of life and finally do some shit he was too afraid to do. On a visual note, you know what you’ll into when Masaaki Yuasa and Studio 4°C are involved. They are either very sporadic, odd-looking, weird as fuck, even being unsettling when it comes to them using some realistic-looking human faces on the characters in close-ups and man, that shit is very creepy-looking but again, I really admired and respect the craft of it. I do dig the music in the movie and there is a lot of montages as well that adds up to the already-eccentric vibe in the movie. However, some of the score doesn’t grabbed my attention aside from a few scenes but this is still quality sound.
FINAL VERDICT: Mind Game is definitely a trip in all the right ways from its art-style, the plot that definitely go bonkers and to see after 14 years since its release does cement why Yuasa is one of the many talked-about anime directors in our time.