In Summer Wars, Dorothy Can't Hack This OZ
I realize that for many people, it's difficult to get into a feature-length animated film. If it's not Disney or Pixar, and you're not with your children, then what's the point, right. But the truth is, anime is more than just cartoons. With Japan's economy and culture, they've developed an entertainment mecca that revolves around anime. And if you believe they are all written with the same tired fantasy and sci-fi story lines, and zero plot and emotional value, you'd be dead wrong.
If that's what you were thinking, is exactly the kind of a movie to change your mind. It's the story of a world that's wrapped around an internet application called OZ, which has become the virtual expressway for everything across the world, such as power, water, emergency services, military, medicine, food, travel, television and games. OZ is basically the lifeline of the world. Summer Wars
An awkward math genius named Kenji is brought, under false pretenses, to the home of the most popular girl in school, who's name is Natsuki. While there, he receives an incredibly complex math problem on his phone, and because of his nature, he immediately solves it, sends in the answer, and then returns to bed, only to find out the next day, that he solved a formula to crack into OZ's security.
The story continues partially in the real world, and partially in the virtual world, as OZ is under attack by some kind of artificial intelligence. All the while, society crumbles as the lines of communication break down and basic necessities begin to dry up. People are forced to rely upon their family and friends for more than they otherwise would.
The finale is more or less what you'd expect. It's a battle to the death in a sci-fi style arena, but the real story behind the movie goes a lot deeper than that. It's about people coming together under crisis, and the emotional toll it can take on everyone. One of the major themes is that, in good times, simple things bother people, and it's easy to see a small disagreement between two people become a huge rift. But when a bigger problem hits, old woulds are quickly forgotten.
What's really ironic about this movie, is in the beginning, most people are defined, and viewed, as whatever their avatar is in OZ, but later, it doesn't matter. Each person's true worth begins to seep through. This is the same way I feel about anime movies in general. You can't be put off by the drawings as just cartoons. You have to let them work on you, and allow the story to seep through for what it is. If you can get past that, I know you'll have a great time watching , just like I did. Summer Wars
Background Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Artisphere1101
An epic time travelling conundrum style film filled with teenaged angst, and consequences.
A depressive journey of two children, who's children were lost to Nuclear destruction.
An exhilarating racing anime that'll keep you on the edge of your seat, so buckle-up.