An anime film inspired by the likes of Tron, Avatar, and The Social Network?
If this sounds intriguing, then this movie might be right up your alley.
It’s called Summer Wars, created by director Mamoru Hosoda (best known for The Girl Who Leapt Through Time), and it is an official candidate for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature this year.
This article from Reuters gives a good synopsis of the film:
The story begins simply enough, with young math genius Kenji accompanying his secret crush Natsuki on a trip to her family home to celebrate the 90th birthday of her great-grandmother Sakae. When Natsuki asks him to pose as her boyfriend to placate her pestering family members, he reluctantly agrees. It turns out that role-playing is something with which he’s familiar, as he spends much of his time as an avatar in the virtual social networking world known as “Oz.”
When he solves a complex math riddle that has been mysteriously sent to his cell phone, Kenji unwittingly unleashes a malicious program called “Love Machine” that threatens to unleash devastation by, among other things, hijacking nuclear launch codes.
Being set up as the fall guy for the ensuing havoc, Kenji, aided by Natsuki and her extended family, has to dive into the virtual environment to undo the damage. This leads to several extended battle sequences set in Oz, depicted via a stunning mixture of hand-drawn and CGI visuals as an endlessly colorful world filled with grotesque, razor-sharp toothed avatars.
Check out a trailer after the break.