I just watched the Japanese animated film, Summer Wars. I was interested in it largely because of strong word-of-mouth as well as the fact that it’s directed by Mamoru Hosoda. In 2006, Hosoda directed The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, which in my opinion is one of the best animated films of all time. It’s also one of the best, most insightful time travel films I’ve ever seen. To say I was disappointed by Summer Wars would be an understatement. It’s quite bad as far as I’m concerned, and I fail to understand why it’s considered in any way good.
The animation and design are decent at best. The story is full of contrivances. The set-up of the film’s world is entirely illogical and displays a complete misunderstanding of how the Internet and modern technology operate. I’m convinced that if the animation style had been American and the film was released by Disney it would have been mostly crapped on for all these reasons. Instead, it’s seen as a cool, stylish animated film for “adults” from a country that actually respects the art of animation. Is it possible that we in North America simply cut foreign films like Summer Wars a bit too much slack? Click to read more.