Created by Madhouse and directed by Hosoda Mamoru who also made “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” created another amazing story called “Summer Wars”. If you watched the earlier movie i can bet that you will like Summer wars really much. I would say that Summer Wars is a special movie, it mixes the elements of science fiction, cyber wars, Romance and family drama into one beautiful mix.
In the movie there is The world of OZ, a virtual cyber world that is connected to the real world, government officials could use their OZ avatar to control anything from anywhere in the world and people do their jobs with the help of of trough their phones, computers of portable game devices, if anything where to happen to OZ the world would be in trouble. The story centers around Kenji Koiso who is a high schooler and a mathematical genius at that, he is quite shy and inarticulate in the area of girls and love. One day Natsuki Shinohara ask comes into the room where he works with a friend to ask for one of to get “hired” by her for a few days. After loosing in Rock, Paper, Scissors Kenji ends up following her to do the job she asked for, what it is you will just have to watch the movie to find out.
Everyting starts when one night Kenji gets a message filled with numbers that seems to be a code. As he is a math Genius he easily crack the code and sends it back, what he do not know is that the code he just sent back was the security key to the entire OZ network thus allowing an artificial intelligence called “Love Machine” to cause a lot of problems in the virtual world which in turn makes the normal world end up in chaos. It is now up to Kenji, Takashi and another boy named Kazama to save the world and the OZ network while the grandmother of Natsuki gather their friends and family together to help save their community.
The movie really tells two separate tales that, by the end, intertwine and tie up into a single uniform plot. First, there’s the story about how a rogue AI attacks the impregnable security of OZ and ends up putting the world at risk. Second, we have the story of Kenji and Natsuki, and how the former story ends up pulling the Natsuki family together (including Kenji) to avert a worldwide disaster. While the overall progression is very well done, the pacing is a bit uneven, starting out way too slow but then suddenly picking up the pace greatly once the trouble start to arise. Be prepared for a few predictable plot twists and a few obligatory ecchi scenes. The story builds to a definite climax but then doesn’t do a terribly good job of winding down, the end credits just roll a few clips from the movie. There are a few really good moments in the movie, one which tries to show that there is always hope that humanity will work together to avert crises.
The animation is quite amazing, you can se that the movie had a big budget as the characters have rather lively body language aswell as the great visuals that represent the The avatars, figurines. Objects are rendered nicely crisp and colorful and looking at it in detail, it almost feels like your in a video game that looks quite pixilated in high detail. In regards to the action we see on both the virtual and real world, it is pretty fast paced, fluid and on the most, quite stunning.
The music is quite excellent for the movie, my favorite tune would be the theme of King Kazma but many of the tracks are gorgeous and evoke spectacularly well the very particular mood of the film. The voice actors did a really great job to, there is nothing i have to complain about other then that i do not recognize any of their names.
Overall, I found the movie to be heart warming, cute, and honest. I really enjoyed every minute of it. I recommend this to anyone that wish to watch a movie filled with Stunning visuals, great story, identifiable characters, good romance and nice music.