Summer Wars

Director(s): Mamoru Hosada
Country: Japan
Language: In English
Animation | 2009 | 111 min
Genre: Anime, Drama
Recommended for ages 10+ (Parental Guidance: Strong language; avatar violence)

This suspenseful story carries a strong warning about the Internet as it is evolving today. When one computer-savvy teenager unwittingly cracks a security code to an international site that most people use every day…havoc ensues. With ingredients of uncommon-nerd heroes, Takeshi Murakami-designed internet avatars and of course, teenage crushes: This film will keep you glued to your seat, laptop, Smartphone …

Kenji, a teenage math prodigy, is recruited by his secret crush for the ultimate summer job – passing himself off as her boyfriend for four days during her grandmother’s 90th birthday celebration. But when Kenji solves a 2,056-digit math riddle sent to his cell phone, he unwittingly breaches the security barricade protecting OZ: a globe-spanning virtual world where millions of people and governments interact through their avatars, handling everything from online shopping and traffic control to national defense and nuclear launch codes. Now a malicious AI program called the Love Machine is hijacking Oz accounts, growing exponentially more powerful and sowing chaos and destruction in its wake.

This intriguingly intelligent cyberpunk/sci-fi story is a visual tour-de-force, especially the amazing world of OZ: a hallucinatory pixel parade of cool avatar designs, kung fu jackrabbits, toothy bears and a bursting rainbow of colors.


“A stunning mixture of hand-drawn and CGI visuals in an endlessly colorful world filled with grotesque, razor-sharp toothed avatars. Its thematic ambition and dazzling visual style ultimately make it one of the more rewarding anime efforts to reach these shores!” – Hollywood Reporter

“A whirlwind of a film! Further proof Japan does grown-up children’s stories better than the United States!” – The New York Times

Awards of the Japanese Academy 2010, Best Animation Film; International Cinephile Society Awards 2011, Best Animated Film; Mainichi Film Concors (Japan) 2010, Best Animation Film; Sitges – Catalonian International Film Festival (Spain) 2009, Best Animated Feature Film; Tokyo Anime Award 2010, Animation of the Year, Best Art Direction, Best Character Design, Best Director, Best Original Story, Best Screenplay, Notable Entry

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