Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Aug 1, 2009
1 hr. 54 min.
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.411 (scored by 86673 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisWhen 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 (1336 to 1573), 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 fiance 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 Oz, the program that controls nearly every aspect of life to be hacked into, it's up to Kenji and his new "family" to stop the hacker before it's too late.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Summer Wars
Characters & Voice Actors
What would happen if Facebook was used to control every key factor of society? Used to govern every day to day function of our lives? Director Mamoru Hosoda answered this question in 2009 with his heartfelt standalone, Summer Wars. We live in a world that is constantly becoming more and more integrated with the technology we create; so where do we draw the line and say enough is enough?
Summer Wars takes place in two primary locations, Ueda, Japan and the virtual world OZ. The year is an alternate, but very similar 2009, where the world relies on a virtual database known has OZ. Every piece of information humanity controls and uses is stored in OZ; from personal records to nuclear launch codes. Least to say, humanity struggles to function without it (sound familiar).
The story of Summer Wars accomplishes what many other anime fail to do; teach two separate lessons and manage to give ample development to both. To add a cherry on top, the two lessons have very little to do with each other; but they meld together so well I had to remind myself that they weren't one and the same. The movie has a natural, realistic feeling about it; so the moral lessons rarely come off as childish or goofy. In addition to a great message, Summer Wars provides an interesting look into the lives of a "traditional" Japanese family. Hosoda himself said that he received inspiration from the first time he meet his wife's extended family. I'm always interested in learning about the daily lives of other cultures; even if it is through a semi-fictional movie.
However, the story of Summer Wars doesn't hit every mark correctly. Often times the older family members appear to have little to no knowledge of OZ, only to have fully fledged avatars a few hours later. All throughout the movie people seem to lose and gain knowledge of OZ, just to progress the plot and allow for exposition. In turn this makes many scenes come off as silly and unbelievable, which is one of the worst flaws for a fictional movie to have. If the viewing audience can't take the film serious, the message in question will be lost. Luckily this isn't prominent enough in SW to ruin the picture.
I have a love-hate relationship with the art direction of Summer Wars. The style used in the real world was a wonderful choice. It has a "lived in" feel; everything is worn and brimming with history, just like the Jinnouchi family. In addition to their personalities, the design of the different family members makes them very easy to relate to. Unlike most anime, they are designed with realistic proportions in a way that gives them an inviting appearance. I could feel the emotions they were expressing as if they were real people; the facial movements were wonderful. However, none of this applies to the virtual world of OZ. The art direction is goofy at best, and the 3D animations looks terrible. Not to mention the very creepy and nonsensical design of the central, social hub. The whole world is just very bizarre and I have trouble believing that this program would have worldwide success. Also what's up with the obvious Disney advertising? Disney world/land are mentioned multiple times in the movie; and the main character's avatar is literally an angry version of Mickey Mouse.
In the animation department everything is on par with your average high budget film. Nothing is particularly bad, but there isn't anything ground breaking either. The biggest highlight would be the movement of various facial features, such as lip flap, cheekbones and smiles. I can't say the "Art" for Summer Wars was poor, but it left me grasping for more.
The sound design of Summer Wars is a bit of a mixed bag. The environmental noises meet the required mark, and never show a desire to go beyond that point. For most anime series I'd let this pass, but not for a movie with such a large grossing total. By this point the anime industry is doing well enough, that budget and "expertise" issues are no longer a legitimate excuse. It's time to step up to the plate and get "sound design" under control. However, I am happy to say that the English dub for Summer Wars is of very high quality. Each voice actor matches their character's personality perfectly; and they project their emotions in a way that warms the heart.
The OST is on the same note (sorry) as the voice work. Just like life, the spice of soundtracks is variety; and Summer Wars never lets down. There are soaring trumpet blares, emotional violin pieces and funky electronic beats. It has a magical air about it, that you only find in top quality animated works. All this was especially surprising, when I found out that the lead sound director was a relatively new face. The guy doesn't even have an English wiki page, so you know he's pretty obscure. Still, he did a wonderful job; and I hope to hear more by him.
This, my friends, is where Summer Wars truly shines. This why we watch it. The dialogue between the family members and Kenji's friends is wonderfully crafted, without any of the charm being lost in translation. As a matter of fact, the translators have written in some American cultural references to give the characters even greater charisma. I've never felt more connected to a group of characters than I did with the Jinnouchi family. Every one of the members is unique; each has a memorable personality that is original and easy to identify with. I found myself comparing them with members of my own family; rekindling past "get togethers" and events.
My biggest and only complaint is the amount of screen time each family member receives. A handful were allotted large chunks of dialogue, but many were left with just a few moments in the movie. These characters still stand on their own; I just want to get to know them better.
Personal Enjoyment/ Overall:
Summer Wars is a gripping tale, that will catch hold of your heart and not let go. Even with its problems, there is just too much to love. This movie needs to go down as a family classic. I give it a rating of Must Watch on my scale of recommendation.
Try The First Couple Episodes
Run For Your Life-Worst
As usual I recommend you buy a copy, and help support our local dubbing companies and the anime industry as a whole. However, just taking the time to watch it is of greater importance.
As a final statement I recommend that you take my numerical scores with a grain of salt; as numerical scores are easily skewed and each person has their own understanding of the 1-10 scale.
There is only one word that can sum up this entire movie. Family. The whole concept of this entire movie revolves around being a cooperative and strong family. What does the word family mean to you? A group of people who are of same blood? This movie will show you the true meaning of family, a group of people who may or may not be of blood relation, but truly support each other till the death. That is what a true family is.
One spoiler in this review.
In a world where everything is connected to OZ (Imagine the internet, but with animation), OZ assists almost everything, from GPS's to maintaining water pressure to sending dispatch calls for emergency vehicles. OZ helps the world and is well protected. The movie follows Kenji as he joins his crush in a visit to her grandma's 90th birthday part. While there, OZ gets taken over by a hacker and chaos ensues.
One of the best parts of the movie is the ending, as it gave so much closure and a feeling of happiness even though it was suppose to be sad. What I was expecting in the end was a funeral for grandma, but what they showed was something truly inspiring, a birthday party. While the family was dressed in normal attire, everyone who came to visit grandma (And she knew a lot of people) dressed in normal funeral attire. This was so cute, as the grandma always wanted her family to smile and never be sad. Spoilers over.
The pacing was a bit slow in the very beginning, as much action hasn't really happened. It was a lot of introduction scenes, for the massive amounts of family members in the Jinnouchi family. This pacing picked up rather quickly and kept the quick pacing until the end which was very good due to the seriousness of the main story during the time.
The art in the anime changes form night & day rather quickly. We have a gorgeous digital world, the world of OZ, and the very scenic real world, the world of Japan. The world of OZ is a very bright world with bright shapes and designs. The real world was very normal, except with amazing backgrounds and scenery, what more do I expect from the same people who made Wolf Children?
The animation of the action scenes were amazing. The animation was fluid and very little use of transitional scenes to change the angle of the fight. I enjoyed this very much since we can see every punch thrown, every kick blocked, we do not miss a thing when it comes to a fight, and there is no confusion on what exactly happened as well.
The character designs were quite splendid as well. The designs of the avatars help compliment the artwork of OZ and are very unique. The designs of the family members were great too, different enough to separate the family members (most of the family members, there were a couple who looked similar... but they were brothers) but not too unique so they still fit in with the real world Japan.
The soundtrack is outstanding. The first song that plays is OZ, the Virtual City, a song that helped introduce the world of OZ. The song is a very simple electronic song that gives off a great feeling of happiness. This assist in sending the message of OZ being a great and helpful resource. The other songs do the exact same thing the OZ, the Virtual City, as it helps carry the message and mood through. What is the difference between normal anime background music and Summer Wars soundtrack? The use of the song in the right scene and the feeling each song brings out are both executed very well throughout the movie. If this is not a good enough reason, I may just be a bit biased on the sound then.
The family members were awesome. Everyone in the Jinnouchi family appears to be in a high ranking profession. This along with the character designs helps distinguish the family members from each other. The grandma tops it off as being the best family member with her connections to a lot of high ranking people and her optimistic attitude.
This movie had great character development in the form of Kenji. Kenji learns what it is like being in a family, what it means to support one another even if the odds are against you, and too be supported by others when facing dangers such as death.
This would have been a ten, if the slow pacing in the beginning wasn't there. The movie had amazing art, a wonderful story with a great ending, an outstanding soundtrack, and a very memorable family... It is impossible to not enjoy this movie.
My own little personal life also influenced my enjoyment of the series. This is a personal story... I am a member of a big family, something I really never cared much for. Sure I like a few cousins, but that aside, I'm not that interested in talking to my uncles or aunts since there are just so many of them. I am aware though, of a strong sense of family shared between all the members of my family, and this movie has pushed me to get to know my family more when we have another reunion. I am now more interested in the history of my family thanks to this movie... who knows, my family may have lost an easy battle to the Jinnouchi.
I feel as if Mamoru made Kenji a reflection of the people who are watching the movie. In modern society, it is safe to say a sense of strong family bond has weakened, much like Kenji's parents (Sorry about the slight spoiler). Towards the end, Kenji gains support of the Jinnouchi family as well as supporting the family and learns what it means to be part of one. This is why I say the message is about the meaning of family. I will suggest this movie to be a great movie to watch with family.
They both deal with people trying to save the world after a threat appears on the net. They also share the same director.
Same director, similar settings. The cyber world is compromised and causes great effects on the real world as well. The characters battle the villain that caused the attack to recover control over the network.
It is hard to believe that the story of Summer Wars is that disturbingly similar to a digimon movie. The entire story revolves around fighting a "virus" that went rampaging around the internet.
Very similar style, artwork and story. The worldwide computer network is taken over by an A.I., he wants to destroy the earth and uses a countdown, the characters try to fight him, and they get help from people all around the world. Kenji even has a lot of similar face expressions with Tai.
Awesome kick-ass fights to save the digital world (and the real world by extension)
Summer Wars is a modern version of Bokura no War Game, without the digimons.
basicaly same plot, and even the digital world look the smae, this would bee god for some one who has not seen digimon.This feels verry ripped off, yet this is a good movie and if you liked digimon bokua no War Game (also know as the first have of the digimon movie released in North Amarica.)
The digital getting controlled by an AI/Virus and it immediately affects the real world, Kids saving the world. I have nothing to say anymore because when I watched either one of these movies, I immediately think 'it looks like digimon/summer wars!'.
I'm sure you'll enjoy both
pretty much the same story line without the romance
-race against time
-same art style, same producer
The plot is EXACTLY the same and I'm not exaggerating here. It's not even just the basic plot elements, even the way it plays out is extremely similar.
Summer Wars = "Digimon: Our War Game" without Digimon
Summer Wars is practically a copy of this Digimon movie, but in a much more epic/animated scale without the Digimon. You might even find the movie to be entirely predictable if you saw Digimon Adventure - Bokura no War Game. The problem presented on the plot of both movies is exactly the same.
Similar villain motive, similar plan used to defeat said villain, and very similar art style used to illustrate the digital world in both movies.
The plot is exactly the same, and the art too.
virus in the wired, threaten the real world,,
epic story, epic battle, epic moment,,
this two have that similarities,,
i love them !
These movies are set during the summer where the peaceful lives of the protagonist's family and friends are interrupted by a mischievous digital being. Deviance and destruction ensues causing the net and world to fall into chaos. Nations are soon under threat as projectiles of destruction are launched. The heroes must band together in order to defeat the being and save the world before time runs out.
These two stories flow and progress similarly and will constantly remind viewers of the other movie. The digital setting is especially similar with avatars and Digimon being counterparts.
Though Summer Wars is more refined and mature, both movies are "feel goods" and are very enjoyable.
Same director, practically the same story. Told in a fun way, great fight scenes in both but Summer Wars has the better fights between the two.
good drawing/animation, unique story, similar main girl character
More obvious reasons would be same director, dynamic pace and art while less obvious both mix typical scfi elements with adolescent slice of life.
Both films have the same director and art style and incorporate sci-fi themes to a modern setting. Both are brilliant, clever fun films.
Both are great movies done by the same author and studio.
Similarities include romance between the main characters and science fiction.
Similar atmosphere and style.
the story line is just fabulous and the animation is great.
maybe the animation director is the same person,
anyway these two animes excite me very much
Same director. Story focuses on how time travel can negatively impact your surroundings, which is similar to how Summer's Wars' plot revolves around the internet being connected to the entire world and how it can impact society if in the wrong hands.
Same director however still different, harkens back to his previous works.
Both movies are "must watch" masterpieces! Both share similar animation and style, as well as "wide" and entertaining stories full of creativeness! Some other elements like comedy and romance also exist in both movies to add some spice! In general, the 2 movies have a lot in common and deserve such high ratings, so don't miss them!!!
Qoute from Archaeon "...with Hosoda's work as a director, and as good as that movie is, his latest effort, Summer Wars, would have been at least equal to it..."
The story aren't really the same but both movie are amazing and the story is interesting....
Movies that have similar art style and character design. Both movies have a light sci-fi story, with themes of family and friendship. There are also light romance development between the male and female leads.
Both are directed by Mamoru Hosoda.
Similar art styles (minus the CG in Summer Wars). Similar slow starts, but both turn into dramatic, suspenseful shows later on with some romance.
Art styles are very similar and are made by the same producers.
Very unique story and characters.
A very refreshing anime to watch.
Opening ThemeNo opening themes found, add themes.
Ending Theme"Bokura no Natsu no Yume" by Tatsuro Yamashita.
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