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Summer Wars (Madhouse, 2009)

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This feature anime film was produced in 2009 by Madhouse studio and was directed by Manoru Hosoda, who had created The Girl Who Leapt Through Time for the same studio in 2006. When that project became an unexpected hit, Madhouse gave Hosoda free rein to create an original project. This script, based loosely on the director’s life in the real-life city of Ueda and his experiences with his fiancé, combines a slice-of-life portrait of an extended Japanese family and their fantasy adventures in OZ, a virtual gaming world that is infected by a rogue computer program.

The film was a financial success in Japan and also received much critical comment in international film festivals. It received the Japan Academy’s prize as Animation of the Year in 2010. In the Kobe Awards, Hosoda won an Individual Award for his direction, (though the film lost out to Kyoto Animation’s Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya).

Yoshiyuki Sadamoto took credit for character design, a task he carried out for The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and later repeated for Hosoda’s next film, Wolf Children. A distinguished animator, he was also Character Designer for the long-running Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise as well as the many .hack// avatars. However, the virtual world of OZ required a host of subordinate artists. Masaru Hamada, Mina Okazaki, and Takashi Okazaki were credited for helping create the huge host of avatars that inhabit this fantasy world, and four artists, Hiroyuki Aoyama, Kautaka Ozaki, Kunihiko Hamada, and Shigeru Fujita, shared the animation direction chores.

The sketches in this gallery are a rare find, as art from this work was not generally released. Given the widely shared animation tasks, it is impossible to identify the artist of these sketches, but they are high in quality. Full of first thoughts and occasionally showing erasures under second thoughts, they show how the characters in the complex fantastic virtual world were generated by the studio.

  King Kazuma closes the door (1, 2)

  King Kazuma closes the door (3, 4)

  King Kazuma closes the door (reanimation)

 Love Machine tries to batter down the door (2, 3)

 Love Machine tries to batter down the door (4, 5)

 Love Machine tries to batter down the door (8, 9)

 Love Machine tries to batter down the door (reanimation)

Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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Presentation 8.82/10   Collection 9.47/10   Overall 9.03/10   Votes 84 votes
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