Summer Wars (Sama Wozu) Reviews
Well, the story does go through the days of summer so the title shouldn't confuse anyone much.
Summer Wars is an animated film directed and written by Mamoru Hosoda (known for Girl Who Leapt through Time, Wolf Children). The story takes place in a busy cyber world Japan that nearly everything is used by this simulator known as Oz. Kenji is the main protagonist who works as an admin for Oz and somehow, Natsuki, a fellow student came to ask him to disguise as her fiance to impress her grandmother on her birthday. The conflict starts later when an A.I. known as the Love Machine decides to take hostage of the virtual system, immobilizing every network use connected to Oz.
The animation is superb when watching everything fly within that virtual world of Oz. Yep, you can still get the same style character drawing from Hosoda's other anime and just put them in this movie. The fight scenes may look a bit cheap but it's as if Hosoda wanted Oz to do everything in the online world of today. Colors and tones work very well with this film.
Characters show good emotions. I tend to believe the best character when I see one and I believe it is Natsuki's 90 year old grandma. She has shown quite the strength of her age and she's made a lot of connection with friends and families in her leadership. Kenji and Natsuki, do they develop better in their pretense of the relationship? You'll maybe see little spark. Of course, Natsuki has a huge family and you can see how Kenji will make that approval acceptable from the events later in the story.
The soundtrack won't stick much to some audiences, but it won't make the film look poor.
Hosoda threw in some cliche anime schemes in the mix of some Eagle Eye, Black Hat, Transcendence ideas to blend in better with the story.
Summer Wars is a good Hosoda film like his others. It would be a good pick up or rental if you enjoy online gaming stories or just a good anime film in general.
Also there's like...a weird MMO, which I guess the crux of the movie's plot? But the big extended family is the best part here.
(Full review TBD)
That said, I felt like the pacing was good. The characters were enjoyable, the animation was beautiful, and you can easily get into what the is happening the story. I highly recommend you check this out, and this movie is an example how Anime is an underrated genre. This is a movie that should be considered for Best Animation award at the US Academy awards. Instead they usually overlook anime, and just focus on Disney and DreamWorks.