Hard to believe but, this year marks the 10th anniversary of Summer Wars, the second original film by the internationally acclaimed Mamoru Hosoda. Actually, the movie is pretty much a remake of a short Digimon movie Hosoda made back in the day just without the Digimon. Regardless, it’s one of the most beloved films in his growing canon of work and one that people still remember fondly. If they didn’t, the 10th anniversary fanfare wouldn’t have been rolled out like it has. Perhaps the most impressive thing to come out of this double digit birthday for the film is this interactive recreation of Oz, the virtual world that much of Summer Wars takes place in.
The real-world virtual Oz was created by pixiv. No, not artists who post on pixiv, but by the company itself with their VRoid software. VRoid is a free 3D modeling software that people can use to create avatars and then either use them for 3D animation or upload them to sites that support VRoid. You could make a virtual Youtubber with it for instance, or you can, say, recreate an entire virtual world from an anime movie. To access the recreation of Oz, all you’ll need is a smartphone and the VROID Mobile App.
It’s pretty cool to see what’s now an older movie get such a neat tribute. I remember attending the U.S. premiere of Summer Wars ten years ago with Hosoda in attendance and absolutely loving it. I did ask him during the Q&A why he remade his Digimon movie, but he wasn’t too amused with that. Summer Wars remains one of anime’s classic movies. While Wolf Children may now be Hosoda’s most critically acclaimed movie, you owe it to yourselves to go back to Summer Wars, whether that means rewatching the movie or checking out Oz for yourself with this new software.
Oz is set to release through VROID Mobile this month.