Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Best Anime You've Never Seen

It won seven awards at the Tokyo International Anime Fair, including Animation of the Year. It also won an Award of Excellence from Japan's Association of Media in Digital (AMD) at the 15th Annual AMD Awards; the Gertie Award for Best Animated Feature Film at the Sitges Film Festival; an award for new media from Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; the Animation Division Grand Prize at the 13th Japan Media Arts Festival; and yet another Award of Excellence in Animation at the 33rd Japan Academy Prizes. This is Summer Wars -- easily one of the most successful and highly acclaimed anime films of the last decade. So why haven't we seen it in North America?

The brainchild of Mamoru Hosoda, Satoko Okudera and Yoshiyuki Sadamoto -- the team behind the highly acclaimed anime film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time -- Summer Wars is an epic science fiction adventure packed with wild ideas, a large cast of unique and likeable characters, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the very end. Even though Summer Wars has been received around the world with rave reviews and is slated for DVD release in many countries, it seems like North America is the last audience market to lay a claim to the film. I'm guessing it may have something to do with a conflict of licensing rights stemming from Warner Brothers' involvement in distribution of the film overseas -- something that may have prevented Manga Entertainment from securing the distribution rights to the North American market when they secured a Summer Wars DVD agreement for UK audiences.

Well, whatever arcane forces may have conspired to keep this amazing film from our shores, it can't last forever. Keep an eye out for a release date for this title -- hands down, the anime film of the decade!

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