Hosoda Mamoru’s film, Summer Wars is a relevant piece in entertaining and providing information regarding the culture of the people from which it is derived. This animated film addresses various factors such as the power of westernization, the cultural perspectives, problems facing the young people in the Japanese society, and the manner in which trickery can inhibit one’s power. Coupling animation and reality, the movie clearly tackles technological evolution and scenes of extreme disaster with ease. This essay will discuss the social conditions that affect the Japanese people, characterization, and the manner in which solution is sort within the film.
Kenji Kioso forms the main character in this film. He is characterized by a timorous nature which makes him the perfect character to be in a relationship as he virtually does with his crush, Natuski. Kioso has special abilities in arithmetic, with his genius giving him a special passion in solving mathematical problems of whatever nature. Natuski is older, and her purpose to attend a celebration in which their family matriarch was celebrating his 90th birthday requires her to have a fiancé. As Kioso takes this virtual role, he is presented with a complex arithmetic problem on his phone. Without the knowledge of the trouble associated with the solution, Kioso passionately solves the problem, which leads to a massive collision, causing adverse effects on the entire world.
From the film, it is identified that various social conditions influence the manner in which relate. From the manner in which Natuski perceives the issue of a family gathering, in which she would meet elderly family members, it can be understood that she felt troubled. This trouble was derived from the fact that her family would expect her to be married at her age. Another social factor of concern in this film is the fact that it was perceived ethically wrong for a male individual to have an elder lady as his fiancée. This is made clear from the secret crush Kioso had upon Natuski, and the fact that he could only act to be Natuski’s lover, while that was not the perception of Natuski.
These social conditions are solved through what begins as pretence in the first occasions of seeking solution, but ends up to be the actual turn of events. Hosoda Mamoru gives these characters the willingness to interact to find solution. The role that Kioso takes as Natuski’s fiancé is yielding; evidencing that youth’s teamwork can solve various factors that appear as cultural complexities. The couple also realizes that foregoing some societal perceptions for personal benefit can be helpful in maintaining the ever important personal esteem. This is evidenced by the couple’s decision to make positive, beneficial decisions against all odds. With this, Natuski realizes an attachment with Kioso, contrary to the initial single-sided affiliation.
These problems are envisioned to be specific to Japan by the fact that the elderly are involved in contributing to these problems. The elderly of Japan, and who bear the responsibility of maintaining societal attributes make it apparent that these problems are only specific to Japan. The solutions, having been sort within the scope of the constituents’ knowledge make it apparent that the solutions also exist within the residents of Japan.
The involvement of technological advancement, which the director has directly attributed to westernization, bears considerable significance in Japan’s engagement with the outside world. In this movie, technology causes such complexity that partaking one’s hobby causes massive effect on the entire world. It is through the west’s realization of the Japanese people’s hobbies that the complex arithmetic problem was presented in a game, for Kioso to solve, leading to serious consequences. Brainwashing is therefore a notable factor of concern with focus on the Japanese relation with the world outside its borders.
The invention of the love machine, which is responsible for the great problems in this film was done in OZ. However, having been sold to the United States army, the machine turns out to be niggling, causing disaster, and subsequently contributing in the death of Sakae. Sakae, the grandmother to Natuski was a representation to the family’s success and her death implies a major blow on her family and the culture and OZ at large. Kioso’s efforts and subsequent victory over the love machine implies Japanese victory against the world using OZ’s supercomputer. The director, however, makes it apparent that this would be unachievable without the contribution of Wabisuke, who had rebelled the family in preference of the world outside Japan. As had been on Sakae’s will, Wabisuke needed to be back in the family, implying that the Japanese needed knowledge from the outside world to be able to solve the problems that presented to them.
The individuals who do not serve the critical roles in this film form the group of the ordinary people. This group is important as it gives a rough idea regarding the Japanese society. Natuski’s extended family forms these ordinary characters and gives the audience a rough idea of the young people’s obligation in respecting the elderly. The stipulation to achieve this respect is the reason behind Natuski’s search for someone to represent her fiancé. The other world’s characters are represented by unfriendly beings whose aim is to destroy the culture that distinguishes the Japanese. Evidence for this exists with the attacking forces which are attributable to the outside world’s efforts.
In Summer Wars, the director allows his main characters to interact with the fantasy characters. The purpose for this is to make the audience understand the role of the fantasy characters with relation to the main characters. From this, we learn that the fantasy character, who are represented by technologically evolved are under the control of man, and can be stopped if sufficient efforts to achieve this are employed. This movie is successful in communicating its intended message. This is attributable to the fact that it is possible to understand the role of each character, which is served with effectiveness to achieve the desired effectiveness.
Hosoda, Mamoru. Summer Wars (Samâ wôzu). 2009