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From the visionary directory of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2007 Japanese Academy Award winner, Best Animated Feature) comes the story of an ordinary family going to extraordinary lengths to avert the impending cyber apocalypse!
Kenji is your typical teenage misfit. He's good at math, bad with girls, and spends most of his time hanging out in the all-powerful, online community known as OZ. His second life is the only life he has until the girl of his dreams, Natsuki, hijacks him for a starring role as a fake fiance at her family reunion. Things only get stranger from there. A late-night email containing a cryptic mathematic riddle leads to the unleashing of a rogue AI intent on using the virtual word of OZ to destroy the real world, literarily. As Armageddon looms on the horizon, Kenji and his new family set aside their differences and band together to save the worlds they inhabit in this near-perfect blend of social satire and science fiction . (AnimeNewsNetwork.com) First Press includes collectible art cards.
Kenji, the teenage hero of Summer Wars, is an alternate for the Japanese Math Olympics team, but math is the only thing he's good at. He works part-time doing maintenance for the global computer network Oz, so he jumps at the opportunity when his pretty classmate Natsuki offers him a job--until he discovers she wants him to pose as her fiancé at her grandmother's 90th birthday celebration. Kenji has his hands full coping with Natsuki's large, eccentric family, who constantly refer to their samurai ancestors as they squabble with each other. But when a malicious AI program known as The Love Machine attacks Oz, Kenji has to solve a series of complex mathematical puzzles to prevent the cyberterrorist from causing a disaster. Mamoru Hosoda captures the oppressive heat of the Japanese summer in the sequences involving Kenji and Natsuki; Oz is rendered in a brightly colored, hallucinatory style. Hosoda worked with Takashi Murakami on the "Superflat" project, and the avatars that populate Oz reflect its depraved cuteness. Summer Wars was a critical and box-office hit in Japan, and deserves a wide audience in America. Hosoda, who also made The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006), is clearly one of the most interesting directors working in Japan. (Suitable for ages 12 and older: brief nudity, cartoon violence) --Charles SolomonSee all Editorial Reviews
Interview with Ryunosuke Kamiki (Kenji Koiso)
Interview with Nanami Sakuraba (Natsuki Shinohara)
Interview with Mitsuki Tanimura (Kazuma Ikezawa)
Interview with Ayumi Saito (Wabisuke Jinnouchi)
Interview with Sumiko Fuji (Sakae Jinnouchi)
Interview with Mamoru Hosoda (Director)
Teaser trailers (2 trailers)
Teaser TV spot
TV spots (6 spots)
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Top Customer Reviews
Being too nice (or too lovesick) to bail on Natsuki when she reveals her plot, Kenji stays, experiencing the tortures of the damned in fear of his eventual, inevitable exposure and enduring treatment from Natsuki's huge extended family that varies from overwhelming to nerve wracking to downright cruel, but along the way something happens. As the sole child of an absent, working overseas father and a long hours working mother, he begins to appreciate the benefits of a large family and finds himself wistfully envying what Natsuki has and what he can never have once the family gathering is over and Natsuki wraps up the lie by telling everyone that they've broken up.
Then the long telegraphed disaster strikes, Kenji is exposed and, worse, falsely accused of causing it. At first it seems to be just a series of nasty computer pranks,... until somebody very close to them dies as a result. Then while the women of the Jinnouchi clan mobilize to manage the family through the crisis, it falls to the men of the Jinnouchi clan along with Natsuki and Kenji to mobilize and wage and win a cyber war. As per their history, the odds are hopeless but that never stopped the Jinnouchis before, and it doesn't stop them now. Does everyone manage to put aside the past and rise to the challenge to save the world? You might as well ask the outcome of the simultaneously occurring baseball match in which a Jinnouchi family member puts his team on his back and tries to pitch them into the nationals with ups and downs that eerily parallel those of the ongoing cyber war. It is corny and predictable and absolutely wonderful!
So, any defects? Only a minor one and that could possibly be a translation error. It is revealed at the end that the disaster was caused by the US Army that contracted to purchase the Love Machine virus DELIBERATELY releasing it as some sort of test.... Nope. Sorry. Never going to happen. The US Army would never do this; hell, the Japanese army would never do this; nobody in their right mind would ever do this! An accidental release, as contrarily reported earlier in the film? Yes, I can see that. For comparison over the years the US and the Russians have managed to lose at least six nuclear weapons that were never recovered, but all were due to accidents, and while nuclear tests have occasionally gone wrong and resulted in fallout in unexpected places, no one has ever deliberately tested one in range of a populated area in order to see what might happen, and no sane person ever would.
That minor criticism aside this film is highly recommended!
Note: A two volume manga series has been published that closely parallels the movie it was based on in plot and artwork so if you love one, you will no doubt love the other: Summer Wars, Part 1 and Summer Wars, Part 2.
If I had to say something bad about the movie, I think it would have to be with the animation of people crying. He can make a really emotional moment but when you see the person crying, to me the tears always looked a little weird. That is just a very small nitpick though and still think that everyone should watch this movie.
Personally I enjoyed this movie more than several other big Japanese Animations that came out near its release (Wolf Children, Boy & The Beast, &The Girl Who Leapt Through Time).
Even with the profanity issue aside, it was an interesting and intriguing move - but so strange!
Someone has taken over a "facebook" of the future where everyone interacts socially, pays their bills, and untold other things. Basically if this "facebook-like entity" is hacked, then doom awaits. In fact, it is tied into the military and can even be used to launch missiles and such. Sort of a War Games meets Japanese Anime in the future... somewhat interesting and thought provoking and somewhat immature and childish in the imagination of the computer program and its ability to manifest in real-world ways from time to time.
Overall, worth the watch - it stays with you for a couple of days for sure.