An article talks about how tradition and modern technology clash in this movie. (You'll need to scroll down a bit. It's Part 4.)
Summer Wars is also a direct representation of Japanese culture. This article discusses how the film had potential to include a global culture but chose to be more narrow.
I want to talk about the family and community dynamic in this film.
The movie starts with an explanation of Oz, basically the internet. “Japanese society depends on Oz access for everything.” Buying clothes, houses, doing taxes, communicating with others to learn a new skill, everything you need can be found in Oz. It is a technological community.
When Oz goes down, no one knows how to deal with it. Cell phones go down, the internet is obviously down, and a satellite starts falling to earth. Oz controls everything from street lights to the clocks to water systems to GPS. It takes granny calling everyone she knows and banding the community together to get everything back on track. She has written phone numbers and names. All of her information is not solely found on Oz.
Family is obviously a big deal because it is upsetting when some of the members cannot make it to granny’s birthday party. They all want to be together, but the Oz situation is causing major problems.
Having the whole family together proves to be valuable in fighting Love Machine. A super computer, ice, and other devices are brought it from different family members. However, the whole family together is needed to succeed in this endeavor.
Although the men are trying hard to defeat Love Machine, they cannot do it alone. Love Machine has thousands of accounts he is drawing his power from. It seems nothing can defeat him. However, when the family comes together as a whole, Love Machine has a true challenge. And when the other members of Oz donate their avatars, then Love Machine meets his match.
Community is what makes victory a reality. No one person can defeat Love Machine (we see this many times). It takes everything the community of Oz has to ultimately win.
Also important to note (although this is ironic because I am posting this on a website), basing your life on technology is dangerous. This movie is a cautionary tale of what could happen if someone hacked into your life.
Come back next Thursday for a Disney classic!