RT Secret Santa 2011: Summer Wars
In today’s society social media has taken the time of internet usage for millions of users. Summer Wars presents an advancement of internet usage where society’s livelihood depends the Internet. It is a Second Life dependent world! Or in the eyes of the movie’s director Hosoda Mamoru, one where famed Takashi Murakami’s inspired artwork definitely dominates his perception of what Oz looks like. Oz is the virtual world in the movie.
Alongside this virtual world is the movie’s real world where Koiso Kenji visits his Natsuki-semapi’s family home as a fake fiance from Todai. In the middle of this journey to the suburbs, and on top of his crush on Natsuki-semapi, Kenji discovers the strength and closeness of a large family. The battle in Summer Wars occur as Kenji innocently participates in solving a complex math problem, bringing about the global terrorism hacking of Oz by Love Machine, an artificial virus.
What I see as strong themes from this movie are respecting an elder’s experience, don’t give up when the going is tough, and above all, having a family is a wonderful thing. Though this is probably not a reality of many viewers, but for close to two hours, this movie was an entertaining feature. In a time where there is not as much original well done movies, Summer Wars shows a talent from the younger generation of director. It also helps to know that this is a quality movie from the Madhouse Studios.
Another aspect that I really like about this movie, was the movie’s theme song of 僕らの夏の夢, translated into English as “Our Summer Dream.” This song is performed by Yamashita Tatsurō. It is a soothing song, that has sends a nice feeling of hope for this type of movie. I guess in comparision it can feel like the theme song of “Little Wonders” from Meet the Robinsons.
Background: This is my second year participating with Reverse Thieves Secret Santas. While this might not be possible with manga as they had mentioned, this is something I try to do in keeping with a genre I adore. This year I was given three choices between Kanon (2006 Version), Magical Shopping Arcade Abenoshi, and Summer Wars. Summer Wars has been on my list of anime to watch for close to two years, so participating in this Secret Santa ultimately gives me a reason to watch this movie. Last year I happen to choose Macross Do you Remember Love.