Saturday, February 26, 2011

Summer Wars: Googles of Fun

Kenje is hired by Natsuki to be her "boyfriend" for the weekend during her grandmother's 90th birthday celebration. The bad news: the world collapses over the weekend and it's partly Kenje's fault. The good news: Natsuki's family is there to make things right!

The characters remind me of Miyazaki, especially in their friendliness and work-hard attitude, but there is little depth or real emotion going on, apart from embarrassment, especially on the part of the two in the romantic focus. The best character is the grandmother, Sakae, who is shown to be insightful, tough and imminently confident. However, the whole group is fun with all their little quirks and attitudes. The English dubs are pretty well done as well, if you are thinking about going that way.

The visuals are magnificent and detailed, especially when dealing with Oz, the internet world that everyone seems to be going on. There's a lot to see, and a number of fun little details.

The plot reminds me of .hack more than anything else. It's kind of silly, but the best part is how they integrate all the characters into this fun story. It's a perfect plot for today's gaming teens and pre-teens. It connects the gaming world with the real world and also connects family with internet. It is illustrating a chance for the isolated internet junkie to be worthwhile and connected to his or her world surrounding them.

This is probably the most fun I've had with a movie in the last year, and certainly deserving of consideration in next year's Filmspots.

Steve's rating: 4.5/5
Mercy's (my ten year old daughter's) rating: 5/5


  1. Newsflash: Mercy has told me that Summer Wars is now her favorite film of all time! Mercy is a young movie buff in her own right, and so this is no casual statement...

  2. After watching Summer Wars again, I think it is more than just a good time, although a good time it certainly is. I think that it is trying to show how relationships can develop through the internet, not just segregation. At first our young internet martial arts champion, Kauzma, is separated from his family, completely focused on his never-ending quest to be the best at his sport. By the end of the movie, he is completely integrated with his family.

    Mind you, the interests of the "real" world and the interests of the internet world often collide in this movie. But the internet world isn't to be discounted or rejected as insignificant. While a rotary dial phone can be as powerful as a supercomputer, as in one scene in the film, at the same time the "games" on the internet can save the world.

    Relationships can be built on the internet, just as in reality. I think Summer Wars can help all generations see that all of these levels of reality can work together.