by Chris MaGee
A favorite anime films amongst the Pow-Wow crew is Masaaki Yuasa's 2004 animated film "Mind Game". To call that story of life, death and purgatory just an anime film doesn't seem to do it justice. "Mind Game" was one of... well, it still is.... one of the most inventive animated films to come out of Japan in years. It's still a crime that its never gotten a North American DVD release, but that's beside the point.
Since "Mind Game" Yuasa has concentrated most of his efforts into TV work and just this past February we reported on how he was bringing Morimi Tomohiko's novel "Yojohan Shinwa Taikei" to the small screen in a series called "The Tatami Galaxy". The show, broadcast on Fuji TV, chronicled the life of a 3rd year Kyoto University student as he bounces between parallel universes. Now this student's search for love, conflicts with rivals and interactions with a temple god have earned "The Tatami Galaxy" the Animation Grand Prize from the 14th Japan Media Arts Festival. Yuasa had already been honoured with the Animation Grand Prize for "Mind Game".
Check out the trailer for "The Tatami Galaxy" below. You can see for yourself what the Japan Media Arts Festival jury was talking about when they said the series possessed "superb storytelling and visual arts’’. Thanks to Japan Today for this news.