Friday, 24 September 2010

Summer Wars = Summer Victories.

Remember last year when I talked about "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" by Mamoru Hosoda? Well, Mr Hosoda returns with another anime creation you simply can't afford to miss. Also coming back with Hosoda is the entire Madhouse studio to help him create truly visionary work. What am I talking about? Hosodas second full feature anime film - Summer Wars.

The story of Summer Wars is built around the fusion of two worlds. A Facebook-like social network called OZ, which not only allows people to communicate but also controls most electronic devices hooked up to the web, and the normal world in which humans lead their typical lives. That is, until one day everything goes horribly wrong and OZ gets hacked by a virus. A virus that brings chaos to both worlds.

The main character of Summer Wars, Kenji Koiso, is a mathematical genius who unwillingly gets pulled right into the middle of the entire situation. One day he recieves an Email containing a mathematical equation that only a wiz like him could solve. It turns out the equation was in fact the activation code for the virus. Now, being wanted by police worldwide, him and the upper-class family of his love interest, Natsuki Shinohara, must solve the problem and get rid of the virus before all is lost.

One thing to point out about Summer Wars is the animation, which is simply put, top-notch. I was already in love with what Madhouse Studios work on The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, but with this production they really take it to another plane. The amount of on-screen detail is beyond belief. Some of the end-film shots of the virus are breathtakingly beautiful. Even though the graphics are computer generated for most part of the feature, it still retains the classic anime feel we all know and love. It is truly the best combination of CGI and hand drawn art.

In my humble opinion, Mamoru Hosoda is the man who will take Hayao Miyazakis place atop the throne of japanese animation once Hayao is no longer with us. It is extremely reassuring that this kind of magnificent work still surfaces.

Mamoru Hosoda, I salute thee.

Read Summer Wars manga here.
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