When timid eleventh-grader and math genius Kenji Koiso is asked by older student and secret crush Natsuki to come with her to her family’s Nagano home for a summer job, he agrees without hesitation. Natsuki’s family, the Jinnouchi clan, dates back to the Muromachi era, and they’ve all come together to celebrate the 90th birthday of the spunky matriarch of the family, Sakae. That’s when Kenji discovers his “summer job” is to pretend to be Natsuki’s fiancé and dance with her at the birthday celebration. As Kenji attempts to keep up with Natsuki’s act around her family, he receives a strange math problem on his cell phone which, being a math genius, he can’t resist solving. As it turns out, the solution to the mysterious equation causes a hijacking of the social networking site through which most of the world's social and business traffic flows.
Fuji Sumiko as Jinnouchi Sakae, Ryuunosuke Kamiki as Koiso Kenji, Sakuraba Nanami as Shinohara Natsuki, Tanimura Mitsuki as Ikezawa Kazuma, Tamura Tagame as Ikezawa Kiyomi Itakura Mitsutaka as Jinnouchi Katsuhiko, Nakamura Tadashi as Jinnouchi Mansaku, Nagai Ichirou as Jinnouchi Mansuke, Morohoshi Sumire as Jinnouchi Mao, Nobusawa Mieko as Jinnouchi Mariko
The fake boyfriend and the war in cyberspace are only story devices to show off the conflicts and characters who belongto one large family. They are very well drawn, and even with all their problems they still seem like a wonderful family to belong to.
The effect Miyazaki and Studio Gibli has had over the years are evident in Summer Wars. Strong emotional values, high quality production values are all present. The art style as well. In spite of it's Digimon feel to the cyberspace of OZ, calling it a Digimon movie would be a false. They take the cliché 'fake fiancee' sketch done so many times in North American shows to a fine art. In some ways, a good alternative title for this would be My Geek Wedding though no one got married in the movie.
Date reviewed: March 13 2011
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