Summer Wars Film Review: It’s a Home Run!

For many years, I have been a devoted and a fanatic of Japanese animation. In the last two years, I have been waiting to watch Summer Wars. Before my neighborhood Blockbuster closed its doors, I rented the film, Steamboy, but the disk was scratched; therefore, I was able to watch 10 minutes of the actual film before the disaster occurred. It really sucked, but the trailer Summer Wars came along and I had an excellent gut feeling it was going to be a good film. My gut feeling was on the money, yet it was better than what I anticipated.

The film opens with a futuristic risk of our world is heading with social networking magic; however, the scene switches when the beautiful Natsuki asks one of her friends to join her for a summer job. Both of her friends and computer geeks, Kenji and Takashi rejects the offer because they work  part-time for the social network, OZ as moderators. Natsuki reveals the job is actually a trip, yet the catch is that only one of the boys can join her. Natisuki and Kenji arrive to her great-grandmother’s house and this is when the film appeared to trick the audience by Natsuki telling her great-grandmother that Kenji is her fiancée.

At first, I thought this could be a cliché film; however, my gut feeling was right again because I kept on watching it. More characters appears for the birthday bash/ family reunion, but this harmony is interrupted by two unexpected events. Kenji is blamed by the media for the massive destruction of OZ and the appearance of Wabisuke. The presence of Wabisuke upsets everyone except Natsuki. He returned to Japan after a decade living in the United States. He is the illegitimate son of  Natsuki’s late great-grandfather; however, this is not the central problem of the film.

While Kenji tries to salvage OZ, Kazuma, a brilliant and quiet 13 year-old helps Kenji with the OZ problem. I am making it sound simpler, yet this film is far from simplicity because the heat increases when OZ destruction is linked with one of Natsuki’s relatives. OZ dilemma is Love Machine an AI type of virus has disrupted almost every system out there from emergency calls to bank accounts disappearing.

The lessons of this film are several and important to reflect upon. Summer Wars shows the codepedence the internet has come to play as a major role in our lives. In reality to have our entire lives via internet is not a wise idea because the film is science-fiction, but it stresses out a great point. By the way, I am not bashing the internet, yet what is wrong having a phone book or reading an actual book not through the iPad these days?

I highly recommend this film. Of course, in anime tradition there are several moments in the film that some may state, “That would never ever happen”, but keep in mind its a flick. The motion picture has all the elements for success because it has comedy, some romance, drama, and plenty of Geek-war action. Final grade 10/10

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