Summer Wars - Anime Review - Anime Jinsei

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Summer Wars - Anime Review

It's been a decade for director Mamoru Hosoda. Creating a spark in 1999 and 2000 with the debut of directing the first two Digimon films, Hosoda honed his skills over the following decade. 

Now ten years from his debut, Hosoda has returned to its humble beginnings, calling his second work "Bokura no War Game" to give the world the "Summer Wars"; awesome virtual adventures about family strengths and things power can achieve.


"Summer Wars" has already gained a position because it's "Bokura no War Game" rehash. From the growth of the Love Machine to Natsuki's 'digivolution' countdown powered by millions of other users, it shows on every side of the story. Where it breaks out when it is outside of the Internet. 

Love Machine's fight scenes were thrilling, but Summer Wars shone more than the "War Game" in addition to the large and extended family known as Jinnouchis; all very full of life and enthusiasm. 

The main character Kenji, who is suddenly immersed into this family is well-executed and while the ties of the generic relationship are at best, there is a cohesion to it all which adds a strong layer to the storyline in how these online threats closely unite the sprawling family that began with only loose connections with each other.


With such a large extended family came lots of characters, and this being an original film, it's hard to remember 25 characters that you will only know for an hour and a half. 

Of course, this film does not focus on all of them equally and most of you only really know about 5 of the 25, with 20 other characters having relatively common personalities and motives. 

What's important is that none of the 25 characters disappear completely. Because family unity is the message of the film, they all appear as long as they contribute in one way or another until the end where all their efforts become one.

Summer Wars

This relatively simple story is told on two levels; the real world and the online world. Both worlds show the best of Mamoru Hosoda's style and transcend it to the next level. 

In the real world, this anime is very reminiscent of Hosoda's latest work, "Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo", with an undisputed Miyazaki-esque character design and detailed but muted background. 

In the online world, Hosoda goes all the way with a broad and psychedelic background which essentially shows how much he has developed as a director of "Bokura no War Game". 

The two styles work well together, and although they clash sometimes, they do a fantastic job of absorbing you into the film.

The Online World of Summer Wars

"Summer Wars" soundtrack also supports a relatively good score, although the closing theme left nothing to be desired. 

Vocals shine with a variety of unique and interesting performances from many seiyuu who rarely work in anime. Their fresh attitude in the cliché characterization of the anime gave the film a strong overall ensemble performance.

For the most part, "Summer Wars" did not change the game, especially since it was a reissue of one of Hosoda's earlier works, but it's a technique that has considerably improved his good and bad points, becoming an exhilarating, funny, sad, dramatic and enjoyable movie in its own right; all the things that a good movie should be. 

Hosoda shows the world how much he has come and what he is capable of doing in the future. I'm sure many people will want to follow him for his future endeavors after seeing this film.

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