Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Summer Wars DVD Impression

Teenage romance and global catastrophe all on the same summer break.

The future of the internet, of online access and advanced AI? Summer Wars on DVD from FUNimation may just provide a bit of a glance at what could be in line for the future. A world where an advanced AI gets loose unleashing both virtual and real world damage. Not every great anime needs to be a long running series requiring hours of investment. Sometimes it takes just a few hours to truly enjoy what animation is all about.

Kenji is a nerd, plain and simple. Amazing with numbers and a contracted worker for the all-encompassing online community OZ. In OZ visitors manager every aspect of their lives from bills to fun creating unique avatars to represent themselves in a world as real and alive as the living breathing world. His summer break will be more time online with OZ, that is until the very pretty and headstrong Natsuki borrows him for role of fake fiancĂ©. Seems Natsuki comes from a very strong and proud family and she’s trying to sell Kanji as her fiancĂ© to get her grandmother off her back and to accomplish this all Kenji needs to do is play along at a family reunion. What was supposed to be a simple favor turns for the worse when Kenji solves a complicated equation (or does he?) to set loose a military developed AI that takes over OZ. Seems Kenji is not the only one with secrets as members of his new family reveal themselves to have larger roles in this event and OZ than anyone could have guessed. With a rogue AI taking control of very real defensive satellites the threat to the real world begins to countdown. Let the summer wars begin and be resolved by the turn of a card.

First the story in Summer Wars starts off kinda slow but gently picks up the pace with no letdown. With the size of Natsuki’s family it’s easy to identify with one and the similarities between this world and the one lived in now is very, very similar. The vision of OZ is not that far off from what is attainable now be it in more separate, disparate chunks. It’s like an MMO meets dating sim meets online bill pay and shopping … and more. Viewers will get hooked once the AI kicks into action but until then there is no lack of family drama. So the story mixes the online action with some good ol’ family drama but how’s it look and move?

The animation is sharp and vivid mixing in hand drawn animation and computer generated. The world of OZ looks very real and could be quite fun to jump into while the real world, well it’s realistic looking in every aspect. Quite a unique take and accomplishment that a movie pulls off such solid and realistic visuals while creating the exact same odd and amazing online community. Like many a summer vacation the length of Summer Wars is short but it will leave the viewer with fond memories the twill make the adventure well worth the time.

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