The Art of Hosoda Mamoru’s “Summer Wars”

This art book has been sitting on top of my desk for quite some time now and I have been planning to post some pictures of it, but I figured it would be a good idea to actually watch the film first, which I finally did a couple of weeks ago.

I like Summer Wars – its an enjoyable film with an austere storyline, colorful, engaging characters, sleek animation ( I guess we can expect no less from Madhouse ), and some interesting visuals from renowned Japanese artist Murakami Takashi. Personally, the film also bought back some very good memories of my summer vacations in Gunma.

(above) The unmistakable artwork of Sadamoto Yoshiyuki, who was also the character design on Hosoda’s previous outing Tokikake, and of course the Evangelion series. (below) Character sheets for the main protaganists in the film, featuring vital information like key and “hero” poses, notes on costumes and props, etc.

(below) The clean and stylized look of the Avatar world was conceptualized by Murakami Takashi, providing a visually distinct feel from the much more detailed look of the real world.

(below) Avatars in the cyber realm of Oz, I especially like how “Love Machine” pays visual tribute to the original meaning and definition of “Avatar”, which is actually based on Hindu mythology.

(above) Layout boards, an indispensable asset in any anime production. Check out my previous posts on the amazing Ghibli Layout Designs Exhibition held in 2008. (below) Background art plates, yet another vital element in anime films. Some of these artwork ( and the film in general ) remind me so much of the amazing time I had in the summer of 2005-2007, staying over at my friend Takeshi’s hometown in Gunma prefecture.

Any thoughts on Summer Wars ?

You can purchase a copy of the artbook here.

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