Summer Wars is an animated film written and directed by Mamoru Hosoda. It was released in 2009, and it is available with both Japanese and English audio and subtitles.
The story is about a popular online virtual reality simulator called OZ. Millions of new people sign up each day to create an avatar and use their account for various things, from gaming to email and banking. The entire systen is suddenly hacked one day by a rogue account, and the blame is put on a young man named Kenji, who is the furthest thing from a computer hacker.
Although the story has definite sci-fi elements to it, Summer Wars is also very much a family drama. The majority of it takes place at a 90th birthday party in the Japanese countryside, where we not only see how difficult it can be for the Jinnouchi family to communicate and relate to one another, but how they band together in the midst of a very real threat.
If you find that anime, particularly sci-fi anime, is too "out there" for you, I think this is more realistic fare for you to enjoy. It's got a lot of heart and relatability to it, and the animation is beautiful. The colours have to be some of the most vibrant that I've ever seen.
The film is rated PG and has a running time of 114 minutes.
These reviews are the subjective opinions of ChickAdvisor members and not of ChickAdvisor Inc.