Summer Wars (2009)

Summer Wars by Mamoru Hosoda is one of the anime feature films that incorporates animated illustrations!

It uses the traditional cel-style in the real world and clean illustration in the virtual world. This is something quite new in the history of anime films. Prior to this, most anime films have been experimenting with 2d and 3d integration. Summer Wars simply embraces the aesthetics of flatness in design, and the results are great!

There also something else that impresses me in the film – the Chinese/Japanese family culture. Family unity has been a virtue of the Chinese and Japanese for thousands of years and this film clearly illustrates the importance of that. We would see in one scene of a huge family gathering with a complex family tree, very typical of the Chinese New Year reunion dinner situations. I can’t emphasize more of imbuing your own culture in your own films. Throw those mainstream (stereotypical) ideas out of the way!


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