After the success of TokiKake (Toki wo Kakeru no Shoujo), there was quite an amount of hype over Summer Wars. However, Summers Wars doesn't live up to this hype and is decent at best.
Basically, there's this virtual world called Oz which everyone, from the government to a high school student, has an account in. Oz is heavily integrated with the actual world and a lot of things like satellites and such can be controlled from within Oz.
Then, an evil AI comes and everything in real life like traffic goes wrong due to the AI messing around with Oz, the foundation of the world and
After that, the main character averts the disaster, using his math skills.
The story may try to reflect our paradigm, where the internet is an important medium of communication and social networking sites like Facebook are used not only for the average person but for businesses. However, Oz takes several steps and bounds further by being able to control important government processes and theoretically the whole world. Not very realistic but I'll forgive that point. The main problem is the very clichéd plot of the evil AI and hackers. These overused, lame plots are best left for B movies in the west.
The art was beautiful. The scenes were picturesque and detailed; Oz was colourful and fit the theme. Even the character designs and animation had no real flaws. No complaints about the art and this was where the movie really shined.
The sound was good, not great. No really memorable tunes but no annoying ones either. Tokikake was better in this respect.
The characters themselves were pretty well developed and fairly memorable. Personalities are vibrant although slightly cliché but I still liked the characters quite a lot.
Overall, the movie is slightly better than average. There's some action, some humour, some romance, basically a bit of everything. With Tokikake in mind, I think pretty much all of this movie pales in comparison especially the plot. However, it's still an enjoyable movie and a commendable effort by Hosoda.