Now we move on to the fun part. If anybody was mistakenly under the impression that Digimon: The Movie was good, this is the segment that fooled them. While the story itself isn't all that great, the execution of it, with several amusing twists along with an excellent dub script, keeps it entertaining throughout.
Yes, I said the story isn't all that great. “But wait a second,” you may ask, “it's the same story as Summer Wars and that's a fantastic movie!” First off, you have good taste in movies. Secondly, you're right: recent anime blockbuster Summer Wars features not only the same basic premise as Our War Game (rogue being on the internet threatens real world), but also the same director. Whether Mamoru Hosoda lifted the concept for Summer Wars or Our War Game was always supposed to be a test run (which would certainly explain the title), the parallels are many, including several sequences cut in similar fashion and the whole “countdown to death from above” climax. The bare story is still so-so in both, but it's the flourishes and context that elevate each of them. Awesome as Love Machine and King Kazma are, it's the story of the family's triumph that makes the movie great.
Sadly, Our War Game does not have a Jinnouchi family or a fake engagement. It has a meaningless argument between Tai and Sora. That's not a bad thing: it's hilarious that the world is being jeopardized because Sora won't talk to Tai because of some stupid trifle like a hair clip. Just like it's hilarious that Mimi's on vacation, Kari's at a birthday party and Matt and TK may actually be out in the boonies with the Jinnouchis. Granted the Jinnouchi matriarch is much less senile than Grandma Ishida.
All these distractions also help focus the action a little better. With everybody else out of commission, it's just Tai and Izzy against this virus... and Mrs. Kamiya's cooking. Izzy's in top form here, both in comedy and in action, enjoying Yuuko's nasty drinks while pulling off that “cool nerd” motif that's been permeating Hollywood. He understates his epic moves the whole way through, but he uses a satellite uplink to hack into a military connection, diverts thousands of e-mails to orchestrate a DoS attack and has Mr. Kamiya's Windows PC syncing harmoniously with his laptop... which had always been portrayed as a Mac.
Tai's just along for the ride and his exasperation adds to the fun. While Izzy's doing all that, Tai can't even make a successful phone call. It takes a surprisingly dramatic game of phone tag with Matt and TK before he's able to contribute. WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon become the primary muscle against Diaboromon and his millions of clones. When a flurry of supportive e-mails bogs the system down, they are defeated until a deus ex machina lets Tai and Matt into the internet. Their support, along with all the e-mails, fuse the two Digimon together into Omnimon. It's a little cheesy, but so's the whole movie. Omnimon tears his way through the Diaboromon clones until only one remains- which is of course the one they need to kill before the nuclear bomb crashes into the harbor. Cue the DoS attack to slow him down, at which point the good guys declare koikoi.
It's a fun ride, with a pretty visualization of the internet (which clearly inspires Oz in Summer Wars), solid comedic moments and some of the best dub lines in the franchise.
But seriously, go watch Summer Wars.
My Grade: A-
- Izzy considers the discovery of a computer virus prodigious? My response to a computer virus is usually a bunch of swearing, then... well... this blog is called System Restore for a reason.
- Tai's e-mail to Sora is absolutely drenched with sap. Sora's more likely to die laughing about the “raindrops between friends” part before she even got to the “Love, Tai” line that had him so worried.
- Everybody loves Matt and TK's grandma for being completely senile, but my vote goes to Sora's mother, who tells Izzy that Sora had just arrived, then tells him he has the wrong number when Sora doesn't want to talk. Honorable mention- angry phone company recording.
- In a moment of diabolical brilliance, Infermon attacks Greymon mid-transformation sequence. And it works!
- Matt and TK are in this backwoods part of Japan, where the only place with a computer is the local barbershop... and the public PC there is equipped with a webcam?
- When the battle resumes, Infermon states that he's looking for the programmer. I think we all know who that is.
- True to the most recent episode of Zero Two, Yolei was one of the kids who e-mailed Izzy in support (way to knock his system out!). Another one? Ryo Akiyama.
- Okay, since the line ended up being way too awesome than it had any business being, altogether now: “You've... got... MAIL!”