Mimi: Summer Wars is basically Digimon Adventure: Children’s War Game, and that’s no surprise considering that they’re both directed by Mamoru Hosoda. I saw the Digimon film a long time ago and loved it, but because of that, Summer Wars feels less spectacular to me. It’s just the same thing all over again. The internet (or Oz system) gets hacked, and a special group of teenagers must restore it back to the way it was, using ‘avatars’ that look worse than the kiddiest Digimon designs. The main protagonist, Kenji, is a timid, boring little kid, save for the fact that he’s a math genius, and the plot is solved by a cheesy deus ex machina. Sigh.
But despite those drawbacks, the film is pretty neat in some aspects. The artwork is highly detailed and rather gorgeous at times, but more than anything, I absolutely loved the slice-of-life moments. Kenji visits his friend’s mansion for the summer, and he meets over a dozen of her relatives who are there to celebrate her great-grandmother’s 90th birthday. It’s a lot of fun to see how they interact with Kenji, and the characters have a very realistic look-and-feel to them. I come from a pretty large family myself (way bigger than this one, actually), so I can relate to how crazy it feels to be around them all at once. Now and then, the family members make hilarious remarks and pull off the craziest stunts ever, and I commend the film for being able to manage its large cast so well.
In the aftermath of the Oz system hack, the film does a great job in showing how ordinary people are affected, as most of them depend on it to manage everything in their lives. It’s really an “all hell breaks loose” situation. The fighting scenes in the internet world are well-animated and amazing, but you really have to suspend your disbelief to enjoy any of the ridiculous events. Unfortunately, the ending is just a bunch of nonsense and pretty colors, and none of the characters prove to be all that memorable. There’s just nothing inventive, mind-blowing, or sensible (plot-wise) about this film, but I will remember it for its portrayal of a large, crazy family, and the OST is definitely a must-have.
Mimi’s Score: 7 Meeps out of 10 (Good)