Summer Wars follows a young mathematical genius who poses as the boyfriend to a girl he knows as a favor when she attends a family gathering for her matriarchal quasi-warlord-like grandmother’s 90th birthday in the scenic Japanese countryside. The plot of the film concerns the threat of collapse of a digital environment called “Oz” that the world has grown to depend on at the hands of a rogue AI program that has been released by the American military that is absorbing the accounts of users and gaining all of the administrative privileges of said accounts which is in turn affecting anything that the owners of those accounts could do and generally wreaking havoc in the real world. *takes a breath*
If those two sentences seem at odds with each other, I wish to state that is entirely purposeful: Summer Wars is a film about conflict as implied by the title, but it’s about a conflict of different generations, of different worlds and how as things change the basic details remain the same and all adversity can be overcome through working together. It’s a very effective and beautiful film that’s admittedly a little strange in places and it takes a while to sink in, but the short version is that I would definitely recommend it to anyone that gets a chance to see it. A good fully dubbed / subbed slightly-more-English-language-friendly version is due to be released in March.
And now for the long version.