Summer Wars – This family saves us from evil Facebook

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The weather is super shitty for already a couple of days here in southern Germany. You can’t do much except for playing video games, reading some manga and watching a good movie when bed time is near. And that’s exactly what I currently do. To fit the mood I picked up The Last Of Us Remastered for my PS4 today and completely fell in love with the game. Played for a couple of hours and was blown away by the catchy story and Naughty Dog’s typical top-notch gameplay. If I just think about that breathtaking opening… It’s really been one of the best story driven games (so far) I’ve played in a very long time. But I took a little break from it to watch one of my favorite anime movies with my girlfriend tonight: Summer Wars.

I’m sure a big part of  you have already seen it but it’s one of the few titles I can watch over and over again. Much to my surprise I enjoy to re-watch most of the anime titles and usually look out to buy the “definite version” on blu-ray. Not even my latest decision to only keep the really good ones will prevent me from buying more anime in HD. Animation can profit so much by true high-definition. It’s pure joy if you can watch your favorite titles crystal clear on the big screen. That fact that you can even learn some Japanese words from watching Anime makes each purchase a small investment into your Japanese skills. So for the sake of learning Japanese, let’s buy some Anime on Blu.

In Japan Dvds and Blu-Rays are extremely expensive. 7000¥ is a normal price for an hd anime and I was always wondering if the high price tag gives you little more for your money. And it actually does at least concerning anime titles.The frame rates and so the picture quality is usually much higher then on it’s European/US counterparts. The prices in Europe are relatively expensive as well with around 30-35$ but we usually get a far inferior framerate for the cheaper price. I can only speak about the Ghibli titles where I did some research but the US releases tend to be of higher quality. No idea why not everybody is using the same masters but that’s another discussion.

Back to tonight’s movie: What makes Summer Wars so special for me is the pretty unique story about an evil version of Facebook (more evil) that goes nuts because a hacker is trying to take control over it. Math nerd Kenji and the chaotic family of his classmate Natsuki try to fix it.

I just love it when computer stuff is the topic of a movie and the close-knit family theme is something I enjoy as well. The story takes place on the Japanese countryside, 田舎 in Japanese. For quite some time such a setting was pretty rare and I remember how happy I was about Persona 4 (which has an 田舎 setting as well).

Depicting hot summers in Japan with crockets and lemonade just has a very meditative quality. If you’re in the mood for a feel good movie which has an excellent narrative and some sci-fi/computer stuff mixed in – give Summer Wars a try.

Regarding the Blu-Ray: I actually bought the German version because importing is always a bit of a hassle and I wanted to have this one fast. But the transfer of the US-Version I linked to should be the same.

  • Buy the Summer Wars on amazon.com
    (If you buy the film through my link, I’ll get a small referral fee which will be used to buy even more awesome stuff for review.)

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Summer Wars – This family saves us from evil Facebook

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  • Soong

    Hi! I recently discovered this blog and I really enjoy it!

    I have a question about the frame rate on Japanese discs. I thought animes were usually produced at 24 frames per second and anything else would also drive the animators crazy, at least if the frames are painted by hand. Could you maybe give an example of that increased frame rate? I’m really curious.

    • Thanks a lot for the compliment Soong, Really glad that you enjoy the blog :)

      I mixed things up a little. The framerate is the same on all blu rays versions. But it’s mostly not at constant 24fps. In the earlier days when everything was drawn by hand some stills were shot twice which resulted in an average frame rate of something between 8-13fps.

      But what I meant was the bit rate which is always superior with the JPN Blu-ray releases. Sorry for the mix up.

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