Screened as part of NZIFF 2010

Summer Wars 2009

Samâ wôzu

Directed by Hosoda Mamoru

This much fêted new anime imagines an online war between a sinister hacker and a young math whiz, aided by his eccentric adopted family. “Makes the usual SF/fantasy anime look childish and dull.” — Japan Times

Japan In Japanese with English subtitles
114 minutes DigiBeta



Okudera Satoko


Nishiyama Shigeru

Character designers

Sadamoto Yoshiyuki
Okazaki Takashi
Okazaki Mina
Hamada Masuru

Animation directors

Aoyama Hiroyuki
Fujita Shigeru
Hamada Kunihiko
Ozaki Kazutaka


Matsumoto Akihiko


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


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