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Sunday, 2 June 2013

Here Comes The Summer













'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 Pok√©mon’, 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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