I downloaded and watched Summer Wars because it’s very highly rated on the Anime News Network’s Top Anime. It’s from director Mamoru Hosoda, who also did another highly rated Anime movie, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Frankly, I’ve watched both movies and they’re both boring as hell to me.
This one involves a geeky math guy who get’s invited by the popular girl to go visit her grandmother. Then she pretends he’s her fiance so the grandma will be happy. Oh yeah, there’s some virtual world called Oz where basically everyone conducts business and some virus is released. Math guy has to solve some advanced math equations (because all math geniuses can solve advanced cryptographic problems in their heads) and saves the world from annihilation.
Seriously though, I really don’t get this movie. You never get a real taste of what life in Oz is like because they never explore the world. They have a short narration explaining how it works and how everyone uses it. The only time you ever enter Oz is when they are fighting the virus, which basically makes it feel like a fighting sim instead of a virtual world where everyone does everything. It never draws you into the environment, despite it being extremely well animated and colorful. The main guy and popular girl get together at the end, but I don’t feel any attachment towards their relationship because they never develop the characters.
Basically, there is just a ton of crap happening and then all of a sudden the movie ends. This kind of reminds me of Spirited Away, where there is a sequence of totally random things happening and then all of a sudden the movie ends. But at least in Spirited Away I was so drawn into the world and characters that when it ended, it was like “What? Two hours just passed? Holy crap I didn’t even notice”.
Summer Wars is boring and I won’t be re-watching it ever again.