Clinging to an unfinished letter written by her recently deceased father, young Momo moves with her mother from bustling Tokyo to the remote Japanese island of Shio. Upon their arrival, she... See full summary »
The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.
College student Hana falls in love with another student who turns out to be a werewolf, who dies in an accident after their second child. Hana moves to the rural countryside where her husband grew up to raise her two werewolf children.
A tiny mountain village in a remote woodland region. Five primary school kids have come together in this idyllic spot in order to spend their summer holidays at a camp. At first the ... See full summary »
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
'Summer Wars' is another excellent exponent of the Japanese anime genre, directed by Mamoru Hosoda, whose modest (so far) directorial cannon includes 'The Girl Who Leapt Through Time' (not to be mistaken for one of the Stieg Larsson trilogy!), which is also highly enjoyable. This film is a lively and colourful affair, nicely evoking the optimism and energy of the season, and its large cast of characters is well drawn in both senses, each one sketched with enough care and detail to be believable and interesting, and to make their own distinct contribution to the story, despite there being some twenty family members or so to deal with, no mean feat.
The plot is bedded in the technology of future, an almost ubiquitous theme for the genre, but the story's posit of a worldwide virtual network to which every financial institution, emergency service and government agency links, and indeed some cedes control of its systems, is hardly Science Fiction! Events take a turn for the worst of course, but despite the action being centred on a bright and colourful online world, and a plethora of cuddly personal avatars, Hosoda invests the conflict with a dark malevolence that is convincing, and delivers a real sense of threat.
'Summer Wars' may look at first glance like a kid's film, but don't dismiss it as 'some kind of Pokémon', the film delivers some emotional passages and a sweet central relationship that you will root for. All in all very satisfying for fans of the genre, and has something to offer those who are not. For me, the final note strays from the tone of the piece, but that is a minor quibble. Treat yourself to a dose of optimism.
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