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Kenji Koiso, an eleventh grade math genius, agrees to take a summer job at the Nagano hometown of his crush, Natuski. When he arrives, he finds that her family have reunited to celebrate the 90th birthday of the family matriarch. His job is to pretend to be Natsuki's fiancé. Meanwhile, his attempt to solve a mathematical equation causes a parallel world's collision with earth. Written by
There are some anime masterpieces which can be recommended as a must-see to virtually anyone, and not only fans of the genre. Movies like Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, etc.
If you know them you will understand what I mean. In addition to being visually compelling these also have an original plot with some twists here and there, and will leave you with the feeling that you have just watched something really awesome.
Let's be honest: Summer Wars will not enter this eternal hall of fame, mostly because the plot is far too conventional and straight-forward.
On the other hand, a solid plot is not necessarily a bad thing, and makes this movie suitable for a broad audience. While a real fan of anime will probably be disappointed by the lack of weirdness and original ideas, Summer Wars might be a real good starting point for a newbie.
And if you are willing to excuse the fact that the plot won't knock your socks off, apart from that Summer Wars is a really good movie. It does quite an excellent job in introducing literally dozens of characters and still managing to give every single one of them a unique personality.
The story unfolds on parallel levels (the action part about saving the world, the part about the values of a family, the dangers of relying too much on technology, a little bit of teenage love story, ...) - while each level is too obvious and shallow on its own, they blend in together nicely. Reminds me of a virtual chop suey - nothing special, yet very tasty.
The visual presentation is quite good, too. The scenes in the real world are well done, and the cyberspace world is amazing.
In conclusion, Summer Wars is OK. Not really original and far from being excellent, but good nevertheless. No unique masterpiece, yet solid work, and if you won't set your expectations too high, you will enjoy it.
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