>Anime Review: Summer Wars
November 21, 2010 3 Comments
>As I promised, I have take upon myself to watch Summer Wars, and in return, Ven would watch Toy Story 3. So what did I think of it? Well, read on.
Summer Wars is centered around a virtual world known as Oz, a place that essentially controls every technical aspect of the world. Oz controls all traffic, GPS signals, power plant systems, and so on. It can best be described as an unbelievably world-wide internet system. People can create avatars and use them to manage finances, play games, communicate with one another. In other words, Oz is what connects everyone to each other. The characters we follow is Kenji, who works a part time job as maintenance on Oz, and Natsuki, a teenage girl of the Jinnouchi clan. One summer, Natsuki hires Kenji to visit her home, and pretend to be her fiance to please her grandmother at her 90th birthday. During his stay, Kenji receives a text message displaying a difficult math problem. Being the genius that he is, he solves it no problem, however, it results in a virus breaking out into the world of Oz, causing what could be the end of the world.
Summer Wars can best be described as a grown up version of the “War Games” segment of the Digimon movie. This isn’t mainly due to the virtual world itself, but how the characters in the real world handle the situation. However, that’s not to say, Summer Wars should be regarded as anything lower than the digimon movie. In fact, you could say, it excels it in many ways. The animation of Summer Wars is, without a doubt, outstanding. Every scene in the movie is made exceptionally well, with detailed backgrounds and, realistic looking characters. It’s certainly a step up from some animes where characters would have unusually large eyes, and women with breasts larger than their own head. It’s absolutely a must to see this in high quality. There are some actions scenes in the movie that shouldn’t be missed, with some of the most gripping moments I’ve seen in an anime movie.
What summer wars does well, is that it’s able to make you to empathize with the characters. No one’s trying to be outrageously ridiculous, crying for attention as they show how zany they can be. The families, the children, all act as you would normally suspect in real life. It’s even more heartwarming to see them bond together, even in some of the most dire moments.
One of the problems I usually have with movies like this, is that sometimes a character can pull some of the most idiotic acts out of any cast, and because of that, it results in the conflict to begin with. However, with Summer Wars, it’s mostly not the case. For the majority of the movie, the characters complete their duties as what’s necessary. There was one point in the movie, that just had me dumbstruck. It was one of the moments that caused me to lower my score on the movie . Really was rather disappointing to see that one scene near the end.
One of the complaints I can make about this movie, is that there were some times when it was being overly dramatic in situations that didn’t need it. It felt rather awkward to see those scenes, with the music building up, and action slowing down, to create those dramatic effects.
Summer Wars is a gem in the rough. I’ve hardly heard anything about this movie when it came out, much less seen any marketing for it. It’s a bit sad. Just about anything Ghibli produces is an instant masterpiece, and highly proclaimed by most people. Not to say that they shouldn’t receive that recognition, but because of that, movies made by directors, such as Mamoru Hosuda (director of Summer Wars, Digimon movie, and The girl who leapt through time) will be overshadowed. It’s been over a year since the movie came out, and now it’s finally getting a dub by Funimation. I still wouldn’t be surprised to see that this lose to Toy Story 3 at the oscars. Hell, I’ll be surprised if this even gets a nomination. I certainly hopes this movie gets more recognition, because, by god, does it deserve it.
I give Summer Wars a 4.5/5.