Hello my friends. I appologize for not posting sooner, however my Grandma (who I was very close to) passed away. It has been very difficult for me and my family to deal with. However, I recently saw an anime that touched me to the point where I had to post a short review, and hopefully push more people to watch it.
Summer Wars was an anime I avoided for several years, because my Grandma had not been in the best health, and in Summer Wars [SPOILER] the great grandmother passes away [SPOILER]. It was something I initially thought I could not deal with seeing, but after my Grandma’s passing I felt it might be somewhat cathartic. I had no idea how right I would be.
There are two main characters, though I would argue the great grandmother is just as important and should be considered the third. Kenji, who is a shy math wiz, and Natsuki who is his friend, but quickly becomes his girlfriend after she asks him to pretend for her great grandmother’s sake. Along the way they work in a virtual reality that everyone belongs to, called OZ. Think .Hack but much more colorful, and when viewed from a Blu-Ray source much more vibrant and flat out gorgeous. The supporting cast size will immediately make you think Miyazaki, and it is wonderful. The film, though having few main characters, has an entire family to help it along. In all honesty, the family makes the show for me. Along with a great cast they also introduce a game I have never heard of before called Koi-Koi. It is played with Hanafuda cards and actually interested me enough that I might try to play one day. Hosoda, the director, also adds the twist of a very real peril in which not just the family will be affected, but the entire country, maybe even the world. The bottom line, in regard to themes though, is heart, caring, believing that there is good in people no matter how long it might take to get to it, and rallying behind the people you love.
One thing I want to really stress to you all. As an anime fan, I know how difficult English dubs can be to listen to sometimes. They can be absolutely brutal. However, there are a few which just work. Off the top of my head Baccano would lead the pack. The reason I bring this up is because Summer Wars needs to be watched in English. I never thought I would say it, but yes, the dubbing is that good. You hear the emotion, the sadness, the pain of every single character and you need to hear it in your native language in order to get the full effect. If I could personally go up to every single one of the English voice actors, shake their hand, then thank them I would. Please, trust me, watch the English.
It is very hard for me to be moved. Odd segway right? Wait for it. My girlfriend actually makes fun of me because of how sensitive she is with movies, and television shows yet I never get to the same level. Upon viewing this, and I am not ashamed in any way to say it, I cried. No it wasn’t once. I cried three times viewing this movie. Sure, you could say it was because of my recent loss. Maybe I was overly sensitive? No, you take my word for it. This movie, if you have a close family, if you understand love and hope, will move you to tears.
I am glad I finally sat down and watched this wonderful movie. No, I won’t call it an anime movie, it transends that sort of genre labeling with how outstanding it is from beginning to end. Buy the Blu-Ray, watch it, and appreciate everyone in your family. A+, period.
Love your family, spend time with them, and tell them how much they mean to you.