Summer Wars / サマーウォーズ

The best movie you’ve never heard of

YES

Release date: August 1, 2009
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Language: Japanese

Who should watch this movie: People who grew up watching Sailor Moon. Fans of Miyazaki. Gamers.

When should you watch this movie: In the summer. Outside if possible. 

The sell: Summer Wars is a very Japanese movie. It’s got video games, big family gathering, high school baseball and a high stakes game of hanafuda. Despite taking place over a short span of time, Summer Wars packs in a lot. This movie takes place both in the real world and in the world of an online platform called Oz, where characters use avatars to interact with each other and the virtual world. Taking full advantage of the animated medium, Summer Wars bends and twists the boundaries between “real” and “online.” What begins as a simple request ends with an intense battle in the real world and in the virtual one. In between these worlds, the movie is able to paint a loving portrait of a big family and all the complicated dynamics that come with it. This movie is easy to love and remains exciting through repeated watching. Plus, director Mamoru Hosoda is also responsible for the 2000 Digimon movie, so you know he’s good.

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