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There are two amazing anime films screening at the 2010 HIFF Spring Showcase. SUMMER WARS and ONE PIECE FILM: STRONG WORLD have become hits in Japan winning much praise for their story and visual imagery. Kid friendly, both films prove to be fun family viewing.
SUMMER WARS takes place in both the real world and a virtual world called Oz, this charming tale has won multiple animation awards, including Best Animation in the 33rd Japan Academy Awards.
Natsuki, the most popular girl in school, hires math nerd Kenji to be her pretend boyfriend for a family celebration. While staying at Jinnouchi compound, Kenji, accidentally sets loose a malicious computer virus ironically called “Love Machine” in the virtual world of Oz. Love Machine creates havoc in the real world by giving infrastructures dependent on computer commands the wrong codes, and not only that – he is also absorbing the identities of people logged in on Oz. Kenji, Natsuki and the rest of her clan must work together to stop this virtual being before all of Oz and the real world are left in ruins.
SUMMER WARS beautifully shows how powerful social networking has become, yet reminds us that being connected doesn’t always mean being on-line. There are so many layers to this film that you could watch it more than once and still find more to think about, admire and enjoy.
For those unfamiliar with the ONE PIECE series, here is some background information to familiarize you with the film: Monkey D. Luffy is our 17-year-old hero who is on a quest to find “One Piece” a legendary treasure whose owner becomes the King of the Pirates. Luffy and his crew called the “Straw Hats” sail the seas in search of the elusive treasure and at times find themselves at odds with other pirates while also experiencing mystical adventures. In STRONG WORLD, Luffy and his crew must rescue a fellow Straw Hat, Nami, from a mysterious enemy named Shiki the Golden Lion, who has whisked her away to a floating island called “Strong World.”
ONE PIECE FILM: STRONG WORLD is the tenth film of the ONE PIECE franchise. The series started off as a manga written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda, and because of its popularity, has grown to also become one of the most celebrated television and film series in Japan. STRONG WORLD marks the tenth anniversary of the anime series, and HIFF is very honored to have the International Premiere!