12 Days, 12 Moments 2010: Koi Koi!

Yes, I know Summer Wars technically came out in 2009, but since I watched this fine film this year, I’m including my favorite moment from it as part of this series. It’s a moment that brought hot, sappy tears to my eyes.

I refer to the moment when the beleaguered Natsuki, almost about to lose the Hanafuda game with the AI Machine that has taken over most of the OZ social network, suddenly receives a flood of worldwide support. Starting with a German boy, millions of people around the world donate their avatars as a wager on the high-stakes game: nothing less than the world’s safety is at stake. The kindness brings tears to her eyes, and to mine.

The scene encapsulates how Summer Wars is one of the best presented parables about connection and togetherness—within a family, within a local and a global society—in anime. Nobody does anything alone in this movie, and Mamoru Hosada does a wonderful job conveying the liveliness and diversity of a real extended family throughout, as well as the way both old tech (the Grandma’s telephone book and landline calls) and new tech (OZ) can bring people together. Of course there is the requisite sci-fi warning of new tech bringing about new hazards—there should never be a Google+Facebook-like agglomoration with access to vital defense and infrastructure systems, that’s Security 101.

More important though is the message that no man is an island, that at the end of the day, in Ben Franklin’s words about the American Revolution, we either hang on together or we’ll simply get hanged together. Without preachiness, and with plenty of fun and excitement, Summer Wars does this and managed to be by far my favorite anime film I watched in 2010. How could I not include it in this survey?

The “12 Days, 12 Moments” series is part of an aniblogosphere-wide project to blog about the most memorable moments in anime for the year in the 12 days before Christmas. It was started in 2007 by CCY of Mega Megane Moe. Others participating this year include Aorii8Cprototype27Scampschneider, Borderline Hikkikomori, TWWKLandonJanettedigiboydrmchsr0doctordazzaFawkesFNSNAsuper ratsJubbzRPTheBigNJinxmefloraineCaranielglothelegendChiiValencedai1313, and bitmapchaos.

Author: gendomike

Michael lives in the Los Angeles area, and has been into anime since he saw Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1999. Some of his favorite shows include Full Metal Alchemist, Honey and Clover, and Welcome to the NHK!. Since 2003 he has gone to at least one anime convention every year. A public radio junkie, which naturally led to podcasting, he now holds a seminary degree and is looking to become Dr. Rev. Otaku Bible Man any day now. Michael can be reached at mike.huang@animediet.net. You can also find his Twitter account at @gendomike.

2 thoughts on “12 Days, 12 Moments 2010: Koi Koi!

  1. Yes on all counts. This was thematically different from Hosoda’s take on Tokikake, but the sheer sense of feelgood family fun makes it a winner for me. But really, why did you have to remind me of that moment? I’m getting all choked up again too… ;_;

  2. I love getting choked up by anime. it takes a lot for it to happen, and when it does it’s almost always a sign of quality.

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