Summer Wars

Samâ wôzu

“Richly detailed and beautifully written… Make no mistake, Summer Wars is gorgeous to look at.” — Todd Brown, Twitch
Director: Hosoda Mamoru
Year: 2009
Country: Japan
Running time: 114 mins
Censor Rating: PG - Violence

Screenplay: Okudera Satoko
Editor: Nishiyama Shigeru
Character designers: Sadamoto Yoshiyuki, Okazaki Takashi, Okazaki Mina, Hamada Masuru
Animation directors: Aoyama Hiroyuki, Fujita Shigeru, Hamada Kunihiko, Ozaki Kazutaka
Music: Matsumoto Akihiko
In Japanese with English subtitles

Voices: Kamiki Ryunosuke (Kenji), Sakuraba Nanami (Natsuki), Tanimura Mitsuki (Kazuma), Fuji Sumiko (Sakae)

Festivals: Locarno 2009; Berlin 2010

Hosoda Mamoru’s much fêted new anime pits tradition against technology when the chaos of a digital world gone awry invades a domestic idyll. His film portrays a world whose citizens are in thrall to a virtual city dubbed Oz, a carnivalesque digital playground reminiscent of the work of artist Murakami Takashi. Math whiz Kenji spends most of his life immersed online, but one day he’s whisked away to the countryside by his pretty classmate Natsuki and is soon introduced to her sprawling extended family. When Kenji unwittingly helps someone (or something) hack into Oz and wreak real-world havoc, it falls on him and his eccentric adopted family to save humanity from the sinister online threat. — MM.

“Hosoda and his team… have produced scenes of animated spectacle that, in their dazzling fluency of motion and untethered brilliance of invention, makes the usual SF/fantasy anime look childish and dull.” — Mark Schilling, Japan Times

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