Saturday, May 24, 2014

Review: Summer Wars

Animated Anime Feature 114 minutes
Mamoru Hosoda director

Our anime guru Justin has come through again with a really timeless anime film called Summer Wars.   From the director who did the wonderful film The Girl Who Jumped Through Time.

First thing is to imagine a large social media program like Facebook combined with with something like Second Life.   The program itself is the basis for a virtual world called Oz.  This meeting place has grown from a simple place to play games or to talk to people, to a huge multi-faceted  world where much of daily life takes place.  Work and leisure, take place in the virtual settings of OZ and the film's layers all revolve around this virtual world.

The main theme is this virtual world is compromised by a mysterious person.  As a result, much of the infrastructure in Japan begins to crumble.

At the same time we have a young high-school student being exposed to a large extended family of really unique individuals.  The dynamics of several of the family members is what keeps the movie entertaining as well as intriguing.

I really don't want to give away to much of the plot because how this film progresses as the main character becomes more involved with them is the dynamic of what makes this very unique film, immensely entertaining. The plot moves along very well and the animation is very good.  I would put this piece of anime in a class that would contain films like Spirited Away, The Girl Who Jumped Through Time  or Steamboy, it really is that good.

I would give Summer Wars a conditional must see.  It is very entertaining  but sometimes you get the feel that you are watching a good anime serial instead of a stand alone film, but that is certainly not anything that should  keep you from seeing this film.   

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