Title: Summer Wars
Genre: Action, Comedy, Thriller
Summary: When timid eleventh-grader and math genius Kenji Koiso is asked by older student and secret crush Natsuki to come with her to her family’s Nagano home for a summer job, he agrees without hesitation. Natsuki’s family, the Jinnouchi clan, dates back to the Muromachi era, and they’ve all come together to celebrate the 90th birthday of the spunky matriarch of the family, Sakae. That’s when Kenji discovers his “summer job” is to pretend to be Natsuki’s fiancé and dance with her at the birthday celebration. As Kenji attempts to keep up with Natsuki’s act around her family, he receives a strange math problem on his cell phone which, being a math genius, he can’t resist solving. As it turns out, the solution to the mysterious equation causes a hijacking of the social networking site through which most of the world’s social and business traffic flows.
Review: Unlike most anime movies I have seen, this one felt complete. Often times movies tend to feel like they are cutting you short, but Summer Wars did a great job creating a captivating story and well explained plot. The art style outside of the cyber world was refreshing. Although it is a very modern film (2010 in the U.S), it had old characteristics. It was simple yet effective. Within the virtual world of Oz, the art style was unique and beautiful. It reminded me a lot of Jet Set Radio Future (yay for random video game references). The polygon count was higher in Summer Wars but the rich contrasting colors really made the characters stand out from the hectic environment. The battle system was top notch, and made me wish Oz was real. The movie didn’t scrap on the details either. The backgrounds were constantly changing, adding a greater feel by bringing you into the world. The story was a great mix of romance, comedy, and thriller; all combined to create a bowl of awesome. Initially starting as a sweet tale between a nerd and pretty girl, eventually turning into a fight to save the Japan, and quite possibly the world. As a computer science engineer and believer in technology, I didn’t find the world of Oz to be that far fetched of an idea either. The character development was done wonderfully. Within the short period of time you watch the characters become closer because of the upcoming mayhem. Summer Wars kept me hooked till the very end.
Final statements: This is a great anime to watch at any time. It has a great story, wonderful art work, and a decent soundtrack. The flow of the movie is better than most others. A high priority watch for anything looking for an interesting, modern anime.