In case you missed the news, Sony’s Playstation Network and associated Qriocity services suddenly went offline a couple of weeks ago. At the same time, a massive security breach exposed thousands of users’ personal info, including credit card data. Sony told everyone that it would be back up today, but it’s still DOA.
Last September, Fantastic Fest showed Mamoru Hosoda’s Summer Wars, a uniquely great anime movie in a flood of content that inspires people to say “I hate anime”. It doesn’t rely on being ultra-cutesy or super-esoteric, even though it has plenty of bits of both.
Popular girl Natsuki hires a shy guy named Kenji to pretend to be her boyfriend at a family reunion out in the country. Kenji works as an intern for OZ, an online mega-social network that’s an amalgam of Facebook, Google, and…something like Playstation Network mixed with TRON (the original, not the sequel).
People use OZ to interact via messages, games, bill payments, and so on. Everyone hides behind cartoonish avatars and anonymous IDs. It’s so ingrained into worldwide culture that governments and companies have their own identities inside OZ. For example, the President of the United States can control everything from his Twitter feed to nuclear missiles from the same login. It’s a good thing that OZ has enough security to prevent things like the fate of the planet from falling into the wrong hands.
While out in the country with Natsuki’s family, Kenji finds he may have inadvertently been responsible for handing the keys to the kingdom over to someone or something that should never, ever have them. Thousands of accounts are compromised, and what is initially an annoyance turns into a global emergency.
I don’t think PSN’s outage is going to lead to a worldwide crisis. Since it started, Osama bin Laden got offed. If that’s an indication of the productivity to come, maybe it isn’t such a bad thing.
The Summer Wars Blu-ray looks outstanding in 1080p, and it includes 40 minutes of interviews with the director and cast as extras (more than what you usually get on anime releases). Even if you hate anime as a rule, give this one a shot and prepare to be pleasantly surprised.