The Art of Hosoda Mamoru’s Summer Wars

Posted By yonghow on April 4th, 2010

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.


14 Responses to “The Art of Hosoda Mamoru’s Summer Wars”


I still have yet to get the chance to watch it. Madhouse’s Hosoda Mamoru + Yoshiyuki Sadamoto + Takashi Murakami, that’s quite some names to have in a team.

I have just seen How to Train Your Dragon and I’ve kept thinking to myself, Western animations, as far as emotional in-take goes, are fairly lightweight… Entertaining sometimes, cute on some occasion but I really have never found any recent ones that’s as visually creative/emotionally engaging as the works the Japanese greats have produced.

Mamoru Hosoda’s The Girl Who Leapt Through Time alone, I’ll take any day over Princess and The Frog as far as big-name recent love-stories animation go.

I’ll cut short the tangent, maybe save it for an email if you’re interested in hearing more. Good to get another art-book update from you!


i caught summer wars on the big screen when it was out in singapore 😀 natsuki has the same birthday as me! (smiles)
i thought the characters were really emotionally evolved. mm, maybe ‘evolved”s not the right word, but it seems realistic, and the way how some characters get flushed up and embarrassed were really amusing and a joy to watch! and yes the layouts and colours were really amazing! i caught Mamoru Hosoda’s The Girl Who Leapt Through Time right after i was home from the movie, really really spooked about the whole thing..! it warms the heart! ahh ahh and even the soundtracks from Summer wars’s awesome too! (excited)


Wow i am always impressed by the talent of Japanese artist. That’s a very beautiful art book. It make me want to watch the animation. Good stuff man.


Do you still working in animation? Which project are you on now?
Hope to see some good stuff pretty soon. Keep the good work up.


weigy – I agree with you – as far as traditional animation films I don’t think any other country can match Japan these days. Let’s hope they keep them coming, but I sure wish they pay their animators better in Japan.

ashley – I think “it warms the heart” describe the essence of so many a Japanese animated film perfectly – if you haven’t yet seen any of Kon Satoshi’s films you’re in for an amazing treat !

Fabrice – Definitely, catch this one if you ever have the chance. Yes I’m currently with Industrial Light and Magic Singapore working on a new project, it’d be released early next year so watch out for it ! :]


I have yet to see Summer Wars, but I was a big fan of Tokyo Godfathers and Millennium Actress, so if it’s anything like those, I’m sure I’ll enjoy.

This looks like a fantastic book btw. Murakami is one of my favorite artists, and the background images in this book look AWESOME.

tony macaroni

i saw a comment from someone that compared it to the Digimon Movie that came out a decade ago which made me eager to see Summer Wars…
and after seeing the movie it was a total ‘adaptation’ of that Digimon movie.
I wonder if there’s an interview with the production crew talking about that.
I wonder what the point of redoing that story was.

Charles Santoso

Just finished watching this movie. Such a heart warming movie. Loving every moment of it. The phasing worked really well too in my opinion… Awesome!


I love this movie very much. It is touching.
The transition of the story/plot is seamless and not boring.
Thanks for this post, you answered some of the questions I’ve been asking about this movie.



These drawings are totaly alsome your great. Do you think there will be a nother summer wars movie? If there is I hope I’ll be
a part of it that would be coool!^_^LOL So what do you think?


  1. The Art of “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” Part I | Halcyon Realms - anime|photography|film
  2. “Carmine” Yoshiyuki Sadamoto Art Collection | Halcyon Realms - anime|photography|film
  3. The Boy And The Beast - Mamoru Hosoda Anime Trailer
  4. The Boy And The Beast Art Book Review