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Summer Wars. Best. Anime. Movie. Ever (for 2009)

+ posted by njt in Anime News on Sep 12, 2009 08:39


Having been a fan of the director Mamoru Hosoda and the studio MadHouse for their work on The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (時をかける少女, Toki o Kakeru Shōjo) I had heard about the anime Summer Wars and vowed that I'd see it... yet, totally forgot about it until last week.

To help warm you up, here's the trailer:



I saw the movie in a cozy little theater in Ikebukuro observing that each viewing of it was quickly sold out. This surprised me since I wouldn't consider this to be as mainstream as, say, Ghibli.

I went in with only having seen the trailer and, for the most part, I thought it was just going to be some anime about a kid in the country and the troubles he faces there. BOY was I wrong :O. The main setting takes place in a virtual world unlike anything I've ever seen before. The world looks so well done that it's almost surprising to see we don't have a virtual world available right now. (Anyone want in on the development of the future's biggest thing?? I know I'm all for it :D. *cough* sorry for the shameless plug >.>)

The movie takes place in your typical Japan setting. The only thing extremely different is the virtual world that the characters use throughout it. Let me attempt to describe it the best I can. (I've included a video of it as well.)

First, they call this virtual world Oz. Creating an account is easy; you just register and create your avatar from an ENORMOUS selection of eyes, styles of hair, body shapes, accessories... pretty much ANYTHING you can imagine and when you're done you end up with a creature that looks like it's something that came straight out of Pokemon / Digimon.

With this creature, you can explore the Oz world and go shopping, perk up your virtual living place, get a job, participate in sports and fighting tournaments... heck you can even do your taxes!! Not only that, but pretty much everything in the real world is reliant on this virtual world. GPS maps for your car, train times, fire alerts, emergency calls and everything vital to our daily life all function with Oz, so much so that if Oz were to stop working... for instance, there could be a fire somewhere and no one would know about it or whether it's a prank (i.e., it only exists in the virtual world) without having to go to the real world location and checking. (Now you can see where problems might arise in the movie...)

You can access this network by signing in through your cellphone, computer, DS, PSP or anything with an internet connection. While connected, you gain control over the real world areas you are in charge of. Say for instance, if you were one of the higher ups for the Japan Rail lines in Japan, you would have access to the JR related areas located inside OZ which actually control the trains in the real world! Anyway, I'll stop there and let you check out the first 5 minutes:



Because Warner Bros. is the distributor of the movie, I'm thinking there will most likely be an English release of this film. If it gets released in your area, I strongly urge everyone to be sure to watch it! Actually, I like this film so much that perhaps we'll have a contest when it's released and have the movie sent to the winner :). But yeah, I'll keep you posted ;).

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Comments
#1. by soDeq05 ()
Posted on Sep 12, 2009
Plot 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 bizarre parallel world to collide with Earth, and it’s up to Kenji and his new fake family to put reality back in order.
#2. by hash899 ()
Posted on Sep 12, 2009
well if warner bros doeasnt release it in english i might think about subbing it myself. seems a little interesting lol
#3. by Shadoguardian ()
Posted on Sep 12, 2009
Is this movie being released on January the 8th, or August the 1st next year or this year? It's a little hard to understand, but it's definitely interesting, and I would like to watch it.
#4. by cloneofsnake ()
Posted on Sep 12, 2009
Been seeing that movie's posters ever since August... sound interesting... Hey NJT, may be we can organize mangahelpers offline meetups to go see movies like this!!
#5. by Don KalleOne ()
Posted on Sep 12, 2009
i like to comment that many of the human inventions come from books and movies

cellphone-star trek
rockets- "book about a canon to moon(forgot name)"
submarine-20000km underwater
etc etc...

so be patient
#6. by Loserbait ()
Posted on Sep 12, 2009
@hash899: I can help. I time, typeset and proofread :)

@Shadoguardian: Given the review is in September, I'd assume it was released on the 1st of August (and it was).
#7. by Dark-san ()
Posted on Sep 12, 2009
Good luck on subbing it, hash. =) I believe that they have a life action series modeled after this manga too.

[shameless advertising]Kono-Basho will be doing the scanlation for Summer Wars. The tankons have already been bought and due to arrive soon. Just that we might need a little bit help. ^.^ [/shameless advertising]
#8. by Raichu ()
Posted on Sep 12, 2009
Oh this movie looks really good,makes me want to watch it as well....I also hope that one day that a virtual world could exist like that too....but it takes a ton of programmers I bet.
#9. by Zeltrax ()
Posted on Sep 12, 2009
woo, virtual world.
INTERESTING !
#10. by kamex ()
Posted on Sep 12, 2009
Isn't that, what 'Second Life' wanted to be?
#11. by njt ()
Posted on Sep 12, 2009
Yea-h... leave it to the Japanese to do it right :p
#12. by Daegalus ()
Posted on Sep 13, 2009
well if anyone translates it properly, I can time/typeset/encode/qc it.
#13. by Queenofmuffins ()
Posted on Sep 13, 2009
I'd love a subbed version. It sounds awesome. :D
#14. by Seraphis ()
Posted on Sep 14, 2009
Oh, yeah, that one elevated itself to the top of my "WANTED!"-List.

@Raichu: Surprisingly it would not take that many programmers ... in comparison to the designers you would need for it.
#15. by Kuroiinu ()
Posted on Sep 14, 2009
the Oz world is similar to one in this music vid i watched a while back :D even the creatures >> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkjGn8CZ_QM <<
#16. by kagemaro ()
Posted on Sep 14, 2009
being a fan of toki wo kareru shoujo, this is a definite must for me. i've just watched the trailer and it WOWed me XD definitely the Best. Anime. Movie. Ever (for 2009)
#17. by shrimpy ()
Posted on Sep 15, 2009
After Girl Who Lept Through Time, I am seeing this film no questions asked.
Too bad we will have a wait since it just came out.

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