Next Club Meeting: December 21, 2019, at the Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Animatrix Network is an anime & manga fan club located in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. We usually meet on the fourth Saturday of each month (except when holidays or conventions coincide). The meetings are free and open to the public. Join us for a day filled with anime.

This site provides news, reviews, commentaries, and previews of the world of anime and everything it inspires, such as live-action films, comics, music, art, and other weird things to enjoy and contemplate.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Oktapodi (2007) - Oscar 2009 Animated Short Film

How adorable are these octopi? In Oktapodi, these two help each other escape the clutches of a tyrannical restaurant cook. But, even once they're out of the kitchen, their battle to stay together is not over.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Durarara!! - New Anime

Based on a light novel series written by Narita Ryougo and illustrations by Yasuda Suzuhito.

The author Narita and illustrator Yasuda Suzuhito’s “distorted love story” is set in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, and revolves around an ensemble cast including street thugs, high school students, a female radio host, an underworld doctor, a young information vendor, and a headless Irish fairy.

Narita Ryougo may be better known to English speakers as the author of the Baccano! novel series.(Source: AniDB.net)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Katanagatari - New Anime

The legendary swordsmith Shikizaki Kiki made 1000 swords in his career. The more swords a state had, the greater success they had in the wars. When the Shogun emerged victorious, he collected 988 of the swords...but those were just practice.

The final twelve swords were the pinnacle of his career. Each of them has powers so extraordinary, one man could defeat small armies.

Shogunate strategist Togame has been ordered to recover them. She first hired a ninja...but the worth of the swords is so great the entire ninja clad defected the moment they recovered one. Then she hired a swordsman...but he kept the sword for himself.

Her last hope is Shichika, the seventh and last practitioner of the Kyotoryuu -- No Sword School. He and his sister live on an island cut off from civilization -- they have no need for money. His sword school does not use swords -- he would not want the swords for himself.

So why should he help her?

"Because you will fall in love with me."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bubblegum Crisis - Live Action Movie Announced

There is a "Bubblegum Crisis" and these six nations are doing something about it! (Source: TwitchFilms.net)

It is going to take the collective power of six nations to make a live adaptation of the cyberpunk anime series Bubblegum Crisis.
The full reach of Singapore's network of international co-production treaties will be called on in order to produce "Bubblegum Crisis," a live-action adaptation of a Japanese cyberpunk anime series. Producers from six countries signed off Thursday in Cannes on an accord to make the $30 million English-language picture, which is set for delivery in early 2012. Wrangled by Benjamin Toh of Singapore's Axxis International, who acts as exec producer, the deal brings together Tokyo-based Anime International Company Australia's Arclight Films, Canada's Wizzfilms, China's Infotainment China Media Co. and the U.K.'s Latec International.
Producers from six countries? Too many chefs spoil the broth? Filming will happen in Australia and Mokko Studio in Montreal, Quebec will handle post.

Not familiar with Bubblegum Crisis? Read on... The eight-episode series begins in early 2032, seven years after an earthquake has split Tokyo in two. During the first episode, disparities in wealth are shown to be more pronounced than in previous periods in post-war Japan. Genom is a fictional corporation, shown to have immense power. Genom's main product are Boomers: artificial beings used for manual labor. While Boomers are intended to serve mankind, they become deadly instruments in the hands of ruthless individuals. The AD Police are tasked to deal with Boomer-related crimes. A recurring theme of the series is the inability of the department to deal with threats due to political infighting, red tape, and an insufficient budget. The Knight Sabers are analogues of the all-female sentai fighting teams, and as such were depicted as having tremendous combat abilities using powered armor suits. Throughout the OVA series, they battle against long odds to overcome grave threats and preserve the overall safety of Megatokyo. Wikipedia

No word on director and cast yet. A spokesman for the project said the cast will feature two male leads and a quartet of female action babes -- two Caucasian and two Asian. I wish I was more familiar with the OVA so I could shout out and start recommending potential cast members. If you're a fan of the show who do you think should be cast in it?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rocketmen

This is a cartoon web series based on the Card Game Rocketmen by WizKids. It was short-lived and never finished but still proved to be quite entertaining.

Episode 1


The Video Game

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lupin the 3rd The Last Job Trailer

Waking Sleeping Beauty - Trailer



From 1984 to 1994, a perfect storm of people and circumstances changed the face of animation forever.

Waking Sleeping Beauty is no fairytale. It is a story of clashing egos, out of control budgets, escalating tensions... and one of the most extraordinary creative periods in animation history.

Director Don Hahn and producer Peter Schneider, key players at Walt Disney Studios Feature Animation department during the mid1980s, offer a behind-the-magic glimpse of the turbulent times the Animation Studio was going through and the staggering output of hits that followed over the next ten years. Artists polarized between the hungry young innovators and the old guard who refused to relinquish control, mounting tensions due to a string of box office flops, and warring studio heads create the backdrop for this fascinating story told with a unique and candid perspective from those that were there. Through interviews, internal memos, home movies, and a cast of characters featuring Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Roy Disney, alongside an amazing array of talented artists that includes Don Bluth, John Lasseter, and Tim Burton, Waking Sleeping Beauty shines a light on Disney Animations darkest hours, greatest joys and its improbable renaissance.

An Official Selection at the 2009 Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and winner of the Audience Award at the Hamptons International Film Festival, Waking Sleeping Beauty is directed by Don Hahn, and produced by Peter Schneider and Don Hahn.

Release date: March 26, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths



Highly Recommended!

This is certainly one of the BEST of all the DC Comics Direct-to-Video releases so far. It has a story worthy of the DC Universe and character designs that don't seem out of place, like Power Girl's "anime eyes" in Public Enemies. The story takes place during the early days of the Justice League, when the primary members are Superman (voiced by Mark Harmon), Batman (William Baldwin), Wonder Woman (Vanessa Marshall), Flash (Josh Keaton), Martian Manhunter (Jonathan Adams), and Green Lantern (Nolan North). The Watchtower is nearing completion and Wonder Woman installs the final component to their teleportation pad, which Batman promptly tests on Flash to his discomfort. 



An unexpected visitor puts the entire team on alert. It appears that a being who calls himself Lex Luthor (voiced by Chris Noth) had traveled from an alternate Earth where the superheroes there are opposite of our own. An evil group of super-beings called the Crime Syndicate lead by Ultraman, Owlman, and Super Woman, is terrorizing the world, and this new Luthor is the good version of our evil Lex. He has come to ask the Justice League for their help in dealing with the Crime Syndicate. Batman is uneasy about helping someone else's problems especially since they have plenty of their own here on this Earth and not enough members to handle it all. But the others agree to fight for the peace of another world. 

All of the characters are both superbly drawn and well written. Batman, as always, seems cold and impersonal, but it hides his ever calculating mind. He can sense that there are things even more dangerous than the Crime Syndicate, such as the evil-doings of his alternate self, Owlman, perfectly voiced by James Woods.

Superman is more in charge in this movie than in any other. He makes firm decisions despite the advice of others. And his decisions are the kind that involve having his fists do the talking. Superman may be a man who tries to avoid violence, but when it comes to their evil opposites, he knows the only thing they understand is violence and he's just the man to give it to them.

I found Wonder Woman to be the most interesting character of all. In past animated versions of her, I never got the sense of just how imposing her character can be. She's an amazon, tall, beautiful, and powerful, capable of holding her own against Superman, himself. Now in Crisis on Two Earths, we get the best version of her, the way she is suppose to be. 



The Crime Syndicate has their own stars. Ultraman (voice by Brian Bloom) is as powerful as Superman (and with similar weaknesses). He is the undeniable boss of the Crime Syndicate. His mug is that of a back alley bruiser, with a personality to match. 



Super Woman (voiced by Gina Torres) is the evil opposite of Wonder Woman. She is greedy, sadistic, and malicious; beautiful, alluring and tremendously powerful. She has a thing for strong, silent men, which is why she finds herself attracted to both Owlman and Batman.




Owlman is the reflection of Batman. Both are super-intelligent, crafty, and cold. But only one of them is insane.

Because there are infinite possibilities, there are infinite Earths.  Those possibilities began when mankind made its first decision on a world called Earth Prime, the origin of all other Earths. If Earth Prime were to be destroyed, then all Reality would cease to exist. Owlman has a problem with human beings. He believes that all the sins of the world, all of the crime, poverty, wars, hatred, and violence, are due to the actions and decisions of mankind. In order to prevent evil from ever existing, he must destroy its source: Man. 

I told you one of them was insane.

And Owlman has tricked the Crime Syndicate into building for him the ultimate bomb. One made to destroy an entire planet. It was never meant to be used. It was only there as a threat, a deterrent towards their enemies, used for blackmail. But to Owlman, what good is a bomb if you don't use it. All he needs to do is find Earth Prime from amongst the infinite Earths, and the Justice League needs to stop him from teleporting there and detonating the ultimate weapon, thus killing everyone that has ever lived or will ever exist.

Click here to view the sky fight scene from the movie.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bad Apple!! PV [Stylized Shadow Art]


A highly stylized PV for the song Bad Apple!!
Animation style uses the silhouettes of several familiar characters.
Song is Copyright - Alstroemeria Records
http://www.alst.net/
Song Arrangement: Masayoshi Minoshima
Feat. nomico

Miku Miku Dance - Virtual Insanity


This is amazing!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

C2E2 - Chicago Comic Convention

at McCormick Place located at 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, Illinois.

C2E2 – short for the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo – is a convention spanning the latest and greatest from the worlds of comics, movies, television, toys, anime, manga and video games. From a show floor packed with hundreds of exhibitors, to panels and autograph sessions giving fans a chance to interact with their favorite creators, to screening rooms featuring sneak peeks at films and television shows months before they hit either the big or small screen, C2E2 brings the best of popular culture to downtown Chicago!



Rideback - Anime Music Video

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Welcome to the Space Show - Trailer

Jake and the Never Land Pirates Prepare to Invade Playhouse Disney

(Source: Wired.com)
Our children’s obsession with all things piratical is something that cannot be ignored. They love the imaginary pirate lifestyle of curved swords, chests full of gold and sailing the open seas. As a child it all seems very magical and full of whimsical fantasy. So it was only natural that the Disney Channel aim a bit younger than the Pirates of the Carribean age range (though my four year old loves the series.) They have just began production on a pirate themed cartoon for their Playhouse Disney line-up titled Jake and the Never Land Pirates.

Featuring the classic villain Captain Hook and his doting sidekick Smee, the show will introduce kids to a new hero, Jake and his crew of kid pirates. The show, similar to Dora the Explorer or Go Diego Go! will be interactive with children and animated in a mix of 2-D and CG. Also in the vein of those programs, Jake and the Never Land Pirates will emphasize teamwork. From Nancy Kanter, senior VP of Playhouse Disney Worldwide:
Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ will introduce preschoolers to the excitement of Never Land, an imaginative, engaging pirate world for kids and a wonderfully memorable one for their parents. Comedic foils Captain Hook and his well-meaning sidekick Smee will continue to amuse young kids, as the enthusiastic Jake leads his team of kid pirates on adventures that model teamwork for our young viewers.
The episodes will feature two stories with plenty of music and childlike shenanigans with Jake and his team, Izzy, Cubby and their parrot Skully (as what Playhouse Disney show would be complete without an animal sidekick?) They said aboard their ship named Bucky, on a treasure hunt throughout Never Land. The teamwork comes in when they encounter Captain Hook and Smee, who are also on the hunt for the treasure.

Jake and the Never Land Pirates features the voice talents of Colin Ford (Sweet Home Alabama) as Jake, Disney Channel star Madison Pettis (The Game Plan, Cory in the House) as Izzy and Jonathan Morgan Heit (Bedtime Stories) as Cubby. It will also feature original music from Portland based pirate rock band Captain Bogg & Salty. There is no current premiere date set, but I’m pretty sure you’ll see the promos for it on the Playhouse Disney channel when it’s ready to go.

All images ©DISNEY CHANNEL

Monty Oum's Dead Fantasy

Parts One and Two


This high quality animation movie is called Dead Fantasy featuring the hot vixens from Tecmo and Square Enix games in an all out scrap. Which was created by the Great "Monty Oum"

for MORE of his animations, and again, if you have questions for Monty, ask him there.

Dead Fantasy I is available here in both SD and HD for download.

Dead Fantasy II is also available here in both SD and HD.

Part Three




Part Four




Part Five

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Awesomeness from the "Black Lagoon"

Highly Recommended

By Jamie Tadlock (Source: Toon Zone)
Black Lagoon is a really awesome show.

Believe it or not, I’ve rewritten that sentence several times, trying to find a better, more intelligent way of putting it. But there really is nothing more to say. It is beautifully drawn, skillfully choreographed, and voice-acted by people with enormous talent. It manages to be funny, frightening, and dramatic by turns, striking the right moods at the right times without exception. The series's flaws, such as they are, are always the kind that you think of only after the credits have rolled. Its plot involves gangsters, war, and death in a way that is both over-the-top and realistic, and it manages to make it work.


The story has Rokuro Okajima, a mild-mannered Japanese salary-man, being abducted by the “delivery” company Black Lagoon in the hope that they can demand a ransom from his superiors. (Their actual assignment was to acquire the disc he was carrying, which contained details regarding his company's illegal business practices, but a certain member of Black Lagoon decides there’s nothing wrong with opting for a bonus). After effectively being told to die “for the good of the company” by his boss, Rokuro ends up getting christened “Rock” and becoming a member of the Black Lagoon group. After this, the show jumps episodically from one arc to another. This is by no means a bad thing, as the lack of a visible “end-point” allows the show to explore its setting and characters more thoroughly.  


Black Lagoon takes place primarily in the city of Roanapur, which the Black Lagoon company operates out of. It's a Gotham without a Batman. The defaced statue of Buddha that guards the city's port pretty much speaks for itself. We generally see the city as a beautiful place, from birds-eye aerial views, obviously done so that its beauty would contrast with the constant crime. The major force in Roanapur is the Russian Mafia, Hotel Moscow, headed by the scarred war veteran Balalaika. Close behind is the Chinese crime syndicate, headed by the sunglasses-sporting Mr. Chang, a master gunman. There’s also a Colombian Mafia and an Italian Mafia, and doubtless several others that remain nameless. The Black Lagoon Company works for these gangsters indiscriminately; their most common job would appear to be smuggling, but they also seem inclined to take whatever kind of work is offered to them. With the addition of Rock, Black Lagoon is made up of four people: the other members are the African-American toughie, Dutch; the Floridian technician, Benny; and the Chinese-American gun-woman, Revy.


The characters are likable and believable, despite their professions, and we want them to have happy endings even as we wonder if they deserve them. The most dynamic characters in the cast are the two protagonists, Rock and Revy (while Dutch and Benny are technically major characters, they get far less screen-time then you might think). Rock is a deliberate inversion of the usual cipher-like character that would be in his place; his angst when trying to decide whether he should return to his former, white-collar life or try to shoehorn his way into the role of a pirate is incredibly well written. It should also be noted that, despite being basically useless in a fight, Rock’s almost unconsciously committed acts of bravery still allow him to get some of the coolest scenes in the show. 

Revy is Rock’s complete opposite—foul-mouthed, sociopathic, and prone, once she’s started shooting, to have trouble stopping. She represents the criminal underworld, and all the things that tempt Rock towards it and make him shy away. There are times when she’s downright frightening—maybe the animators show her smiling at something that isn’t really all that nice, or she laughs at something that really isn’t really all that funny—but she’s a fun and interesting character all the same. She’s also by far the most memorable of all the cast. Action scenes where she blows apart an army of boats or methodically kills off a gang of yakuza are extremely riveting. In addition to being a capital B Bad-ass, there are also surprising subtleties to her character, including references to a troubled childhood, hints that she may be using that trouble childhood as an excuse for her actions, and scenes where it is obvious that she is as curious about Rock’s garden-fence world as he is about hers. These make her more relatable then she otherwise would have been.  


Black Lagoon has a unique art style, more rounded and prone to realism then other anime, but not static to the point that unrealistic aspects (such as, say, blade-crazy Taiwanese mercenaries or machine-gun toting maids) make us flinch. It also tends to give us beautiful, sweeping views of the surrounding scenery, whether it be aerial views of the city of Roanapur, shots of the wildlife inhabiting islands on the Sea of Heaven, or impressively drawn views of the Tokyo Skyline. The show's score is interestingly varied; several characters have their own themes, and Revy would appear to have several. The main theme is catchy, but also a little annoying. There’s also a surprisingly beautiful English ballad sung by one of the villains during the fifteenth episode. I’m usually not a fan of that kind of music, but this song is sung so well that I made an exception. The show’s supporting cast is as colorful as anything Dragon Ball Z or One Piece could come up with, but the show’s tone makes it work, and it should be noted that an impressive amount of thought has been put into one-off and other “un-important” characters. The voice-acting is amazing; I suppose the dub and the sub could be switched depending on your preferences, but Brad Swaile’s Rock and Maryke Hendrikse’s Revy completely over-ride any other opinions I might have on the situation.


The DVD set comes with a pair of “Extra” discs; the only extras of note contained on these are a music video for the theme song and an interview with the English voice cast. The interview is disappointingly dull and the music video is more then a little creepy, but it’s nice to see some effort for such a quality show, anyway. 

This is Black Lagoon’s first “Complete Series” set, and for those who haven’t already bought the show it’s certainly the best bargain at around $40. This is, in case you’ve forgotten what I said at the top, a really awesome show, and I strongly recommend it.

Sign On San Diego on the 2010 "Spike and Mike" Animated Film Festival

(Source: Toon Zone) Sign On San Diego has interviewed Craig Decker, the "Spike" half that founded the famous Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation, on the return of the festival after a three year hiatus (Mike Gribble, the "Mike" half, passed away from cancer in 1994). Among other topics, Decker discusses the origins of the Sick and Twisted festival, why the festival has dropped that moniker, why there was a three-year hiatus for the festival, what he looks for in animated films submitted for consideration to the festival, and what he thinks is the future of animated short films.

"A New Generation of Spike and Mike Animation" will be running at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego - La Jolla from February 13 - March 5, 2010. For more details, check out Sign On San Diego's schedule page or the festival page itself.

2010 marks the 25th Anniversary of the groundbreaking anime series Robotech

(Source: Aneheim Anime Examiner by Carl Macek)
Before 1985 it is safe to say that only a select group of dedicated American fans were aware of the scope and diversity of Japanese animation (or as it is widely called today: anime).  But all that changed with the the syndicated distribution of the animated television series Robotech, an 85-episode multi-generational saga that almost single-handedly launched an intense interest in Japanese animation among a broad section of the American television viewing public.

Bear in mind that when Robotech was first launched the Internet was in its infancy, home video had reached into less than twenty percent of all American households, and most importantly, original syndicated animation for broadcast television was generally considered kid's programming only suitable as a means to sell toys - think He Man and the Masters of the Universe and Transformers.

At the time, syndicated animation was dominated by toy-centric programming and Robotech was originally conceived as one of these billboard-type programs developed and telecast to promote a line of toys - in this case a line of plastic model kits.  Drawing footage from three unrelated Japanese animated series, The Super Dimension Fortress Macros, The Super Dimension Calvary Southern Cross and Genesis Climber Mospeada, the team that was assembled to produce the series was inspired to create an original story that re-purposed the animation far beyond the expectations of the rights holders.   The result became one of the most talked about and most watched animated program of its generation.   Due to the nature of how the series was assembled, the story of Robotech was complex - much more so than typical animated programs that were geared for a younger audience.  Set in the future, the plot revolved around an alien science and technology reverse-engineered by humans after a massive spacecraft crash lands on an isolated, unpopulated island.  Through the course of the series' 85 serialized episodes, various wars are fought against alien invaders who have traveled vast distances to recover their mysterious energy source known as protoculture.

Robotech's success was due, in part, to the fact that the mature storytelling often found in Japanese animation was not watered-down for a younger audience by its team of writers and producers.  Therefore, the characters that populated Robotech faced life-and-death situations, exhibited real emotions, and mirrored much of the personal angst faced by the targeted age group.  In any given episode a main character might face death.  But in atypical fashion, some lived to fight another day, while others lost their lives in a blaze of glory.  In many ways Robotech could be seen as the animated equivalent Marvel Comics.

While most animated television series are forgettable, Robotech managed to touch a nerve and connect with the viewing public.  Over the last twenty-five years it has remained a high-water mark for both science fiction fans as well as animation fans.  Its influence has rippled throughout much of pop culture often inspiring  fans to seek out and embrace Japanese anime.  At one point Robotech became an object of controversy when a few hard-core anime fans rejected the show claiming that it was a perversion of the three original productions.  The heated debate has long since subsided.  There are still occasional rumblings from disgruntled fans, but for the most part Robotech has been able to take its place, worldwide, as a popular and viable classic, as strong today as it was when it first burst onto the scene back when Ronald Reagan was still president..

To illustrate this point, recently Warner Brothers,working with Toby Maguire's production company, have begun plans to transform Robotech into a live-action feature film project. What's more Robotech.com, a highly trafficked web destination, has recent added twitter and facebook links to take advantage of the popularity of social networks.  Add to this the fact that even after numerous home video permutations, Robotech is still one of the most viewed properties on Hulu.com.  So it's fair to say that the future looks bright for this surprisingly satisfying story on the eve of its silver anniversary.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Secret of Kells - Nominated for Best Animated Film



(Source: AICN)
The Secret of Kells is a beautiful film, especially for those who truly love animation.


THE SECRET OF KELLS is a fantasy retelling of the origin of the legendary Book Of Kells, one of mankind’s best examples of calligraphy and a truly beautiful work of art. Transcribed and illustrated by Celtic monks the writing is the New Testament, but what sets this particular bible apart from the others is its intricate Insular art. 

Set in the abbey of Kells the movie focuses on a young Irish boy named Brendan (Evan McGuire), nephew of the strict Abbot Cellach (voiced by the great Brendan Gleeson) who is tutored by the most respected calligrapher Aiden against the wishes of the Abbot., who is doing what he thinks is best, but becomes overprotective, ditching the illuminating power of art and words for the security of cold, hard stone.

See, the Vikings are tearing up this particular part of the world and the Abbot is bound and determined to keep his village safe by erecting a wall. He leaves the scribes to their work, but everybody else spends all day constructing this giant wall. As usual, the wall proves to be just as much a cage keeping the inhabitants in as it is a protection from those without.

You can’t really blame the Abbot, though. The Vikings are shown to be inhuman behemoths, almost Satanic demons from hell…


The style of the movie is something of a mix between Genndy Tartakovsky, Hanna-Barbera and Miyazaki.

Tartakovsky in design, Hanna-Barbera in style and Miyazaki in tone… especially when we get to the section of the movie that has Brendan exploring the woods outside the wall, against his Uncle’s wishes, of course. While out there he meets a white sprite shown as either a white wolf or a little girl who has powers over the forest. Very Miyazaki.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Generator Rex: Coming Soon to Cartoon Network



From the guys that made Ben10 comes Generator Rex

Nagano Directing Anime


Mamoru Nagano, known for the elegent mecha of Five Star Stories, will be directing anime Hana no Utame Gothicmade. A preview was posted here

Amazing Sand Art

Performed by Kseniya Simonova

Japanese Candy Sculpting of a Dragon



Watch as this Japanese candy sculptor molds this ball of "taffy" into an amazing work of art.

Candy Art



This Valentine's Day treat that someone special in your life to some amazing art that you can eat!

Soothing Glimpses of Tokyo


from Sugoi on Vimeo.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

By yuffb-chan

Lessons in Love: Tip #12

If you feel your love is unrequited, proceed to beat your crush into submission.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

AMV Minis 04

Karigurashi no Arrietty Teaser Trailer



The newest film from Studio Ghibli, entitled The Borrower Arrietty. It will open in Japanese theaters on July 17, 2010

Beck - The Live-Action movie

Planet Hulk - Now on DVD



Recommended
!

The Heroes of Earth have exiled the Hulk to another world where his rage and fury could hurt no one. But the Hulk causes his spacecraft to tumble towards a different planet. So instead of a world of peace and tranquility, he is delivered unto a barren desolate rock ruled by the tyrannical Red King. The inhabitants on this planet are looking to him as a saviour. But after so many years of being persecuted as a monster, is the Incredible Hulk willing to fight for someone other than himself?

Blood will tell in this new DVD special release, now available.

Spider-Woman Music Video - Watch Your Step



Feast your eyes on the official Spider-Woman music video, "Watch Your Step," from Dan Phillips featuring Anna Abbey and the Marvel Music Group!

Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne


Highly Recommended!

(WARNING -- Contains Mature Content)


The DVD Box Collection of this incredible series is currently available. Mnemosyne tells the story of a group of immortal women who struggle to survive against the angels who wish to kill them. This anime is the cutting edge of where Japanese animation can bring us in terms of story, characterization, and action. This is definitely not for the faint-of-heart. It is bloody and violent, but with a fascinating tale of intrigue and mystery. The story revolves around Rin, a young woman gifted with immortality by the seed of Mnemosyne, a gigantic tree, invisible to human eyes. Its seeds float about the world like pollen. If they enter a human body, there is a startling transformation. They become immortal. Such a seed had entered Rin's body many years ago, granting her rapid regenerative abilities. She cannot die as long as the seed is within her. She has been alive for hundreds of years, hiding amongst the human population and trying to live a normal life. But there are those who seek her and others like her, in order to steal the seeds within them and become gods. But the seed can be a curse as well as a gift. If the seed were to enter a man, the transformation is different. They become angels, but not the good kind. They are winged monsters whose only desire is to find the immortal women, copulate with them in violent passion, and devour their flesh (literally). For the women, the sexual attraction toward the angels is so powerful, they cannot resist. But they must resist... or die. And someone has been using the angels to collect the seeds from the daughters of Mnemosyne and eliminate the immortal women once and for all. No one is safe. Every human who has ever been close to Rin has become a target. The trail of murders is leading closer and closer to its final goal. And Rin uses all of her experience and cunning in order to survive this war of the immortals. Her battles have become increasingly bloody and devastating, especially for her. She has survived gunshot wounds, knife wounds, decapitation, dismemberment, and even being blown to bits by a bomb. Each time her body draws its pieces together, reassembling, reattaching, realigning, and rebuilding Rin in painful, agonizing moments. It is astonishingly gruesome, but well worth the price of victory over her foes. As the years go by, Rin sees her human friends grow old and pass away, while she remains forever young. Her happiness is but a fleeting moment in the mortal world. Her friends, her lovers, all gone through the passage of time. But it is those brief moments that she treasures the most and those loved ones she wishes to save. For their happiness, rather than hers. How can it possibly end for Rin the immortal? Only in a way appropriate for the Daughter of Mnemosyne.
(Contains adult situations, sexual content, nudity, and violence)

Nostromo - Running Man [AKROSS Con 2008]

Friday, February 12, 2010

'Ponyo,' the missing Oscar nominee

By Michael Mirasol of Manila, Philippines


The Oscar nominees have been announced, now cinephiles everywhere have begun nitpicking amongst the nominations. Some will note those that should have and shouldn't have been nominated, but one almost criminal omission from the Best Animated Film category was the absence of PONYO, Hayao Miyazaki's latest work for Studio Ghibli.

In terms of filmmaking mastery, one can mention the name Miyazaki in the same breath as Spielberg or Scorsese. His works are beloved by animators, audiences, and critics around the world.

Pixar, America's premiere Animation Studio is known to hold his work above all else, so much so that its Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter (director of TOY STORY) himself persuaded Miyazaki to come promote the film in the US, and provided PONYO's distribution under Disney.

The film tells the tale of a young magical "fish-girl" who upon wandering near the shore winds up in the hands of a young boy. The lad, named Sōsuke, names the creature Ponyo and opts to take care of her. Having cut himself while rescuing her, his wound heals after Ponyo licks it, and soon enough she begins to develop human characteristics, such as a face and limbs.

Meanwhile Ponyo's human father Fujimoto, a scientist-wizard who has lost faith in humanity, comes looking for her and takes her back to their briny domain. He forbids her to return to the surface believing that the world of man does nothing good. But Ponyo has fallen deep in puppy love for Sōsuke and is determined to return.

When she escapes to the surface, we learn what Fujimoto fears; that Ponyo's very mystical nature will cause an imbalance of worldly proportions if she is not returned to where she rightly belongs. Her mother Granmamare, the goddess of the sea, learns of this, but is more open to her daughter following her heart. She decides that Ponyo's fate will rest on Sōsuke's true feelings.

You can see how Miyazaki has reworked Hans Christian Andersen's tale to his own nature-themed sensibilities. But here, as it is with the rest of his work, his environmentalism never feels like a lecture. The worlds which he illustrates are their own pristine invitations, drawing a sense of tender awe and longing. Sōsuke's port home town of Tomonoura has never looked so unspoiled, so lively, and inviting. His drawings of the deep sea feel absent of danger, even magical.

If you thought that women were short changed in live-action films, its also the same in most animated fare. But that'll never happen in a Miyazaki film. For the last 20 years his films have been strongly feminist, all in the voices of young women or children. It's not just Ponyo whose presence fills the screen. The lives of mothers Lisa (Sōsuke's) and Granmamare (Ponyo's) are given strong focus as they both make key decisions which decide their children's fate. Even a bunch grandmas get their due here.

Speaking of which, I can't think of any director, in live-action or animation, who has such great insight into children as Miyazaki does. The way his kids talk, interact with each other, and are treated is so refreshing that any filmmaker, would do well to learn from him. Notice what Lisa does when she finds her son has lost his fish, the way schoolmates chat when something new comes around, or how Ponyo reacts when eating Ramen for the first time. You can't fake this kind of childlike naivety.

All of these things of this would be good enough for any film, yet we are also blessed with Miyazaki's boundless visual imagination. His creatures and creations are some of the most original in film, rivaled only by Guillermo Del Toro. Yes, the animation is in 2-D. So what? Was Optimus Prime more memorable in his shiny hyper-realistic gloss or as a hand-drawn autobot? Works of art are more likely to capture our reverence when it is a stylistic likeness rather than a realized fake, and in that sense Miyazaki's renderings are some of the most simple yet beautiful in all of animation. The sequence of Ponyo running through fish-like tsunami is a "Ride of the Valkyries" moment; unforgettable. Think about it. Somebody drew it.

With a Miyazaki film you won't be taught lesson, but you'll leave changed. You'll find characters that aren't merely cartoons. You'll find conflicts not confined to just good vs. evil (Even Fujimoto has good reasons to why he does what he does). You'll want to find some place a lot greener and a lot cleaner to live (or perhaps stay for a good rest). You'll see traditional animated craftsmanship and precision at its highest level. And you'll be thanking yourself for experiencing one of the few storytellers who dares to dream.

Why on earth wasn't PONYO nominated? Did Disney not campaign enough or was the Disney name a liability? Were audiences distracted by the stars who voiced it? Or did Academy voters feel this master had won already and that's enough for a foreigner? Hayao Miyazaki once again handcrafted a classic, in a style that Hollywood seems to have abandoned. That's a shame for what might be the best animated film of 2009, and yes, even Pixar might tell you that.

Bleach the Rock Musical





Nostromo-Auriga

A super-cool music video


Member: Nostromo_vx
Title: Auriga
Premiered: 2008-07-06
Dance Songs:DJ Spoke
Watch Them Fall Down (Montano Dub)
Participation: Japan Expo 9ème Impact, Japan Expo International AMV Contest 2008 (2008-07-06)
U.S. Premiere


NYICFF 2010 opens with the scintillating new feature from emerging anime star Mamoru Hosoda, a film whose "dazzling fluency of motion and untethered brilliance of invention makes the usual fantasy anime look childish and dull." (The Japan Times) Kenji is a teenage math prodigy recruited by his secret crush Natsuki for the ultimate summer job - passing himself off as Natsuki’s boyfriend for four days during her grandmother’s 90th birthday celebration. But when Kenji solves a 2,056 digit math riddle sent to his cell phone, he unwittingly breaches the security barricade protecting Oz, a globe-spanning virtual world where millions of people and governments interact through their avatars, handling everything from online shopping and traffic control to national defense and nuclear launch codes. Now a malicious AI program called the Love Machine is hijacking Oz accounts, growing exponentially more powerful and sowing chaos and destruction in its wake.

This "intriguingly intelligent" cyberpunk/sci-fi story is a visual tour-de-force, with the amazing world of Oz as the highlight. Like the Internet as conceived by pop artist Haruki Murakami, Oz is a hallucinatory pixel parade of cool avatar designs, kung fu jackrabbits, toothy bears, and a bursting rainbow of colors.

Bad Apple!! - Stop Motion PV

One amazing video!

Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror - 1st Full Trailer

U.S. Premiere


The creators of Ghost in the Shell mix exquisitely detailed 2D backgrounds with modern 3D character designs in a dazzling animated adventure that plays like Alice’s fall through the rabbit hole into a world of topsy-turvy, anime dream-logic. When Haruka misplaces a hand-mirror that was a keepsake from her mother, she stumbles upon a portal to the subterranean world of Oblivion Island, a place where strange masked creatures gather up all the childhood trinkets humans abandon as they grow older, and attend Dream Theaters where they can watch and feel the memories locked in these forgotten objects. The land is ruled by an evil overlord, The Baron, who craves the power created by the memories locked in Haruka’s cherished hand-mirror - a power that will allow him to rise beyond his world of discards and take over the world of humans! Aided by Teo, a lowly junk collector, and Cotton, her old stuffed animal brought back to life, Haruka struggles to recapture the mirror from the Baron, and to rediscover the fleeting moments of childhood love and friendship that are among life’s most precious treasures.

Mai Mai Miracle - Trailer

U.S. Premiere


This sumptuously animated film about friendship and the passing of childhood is as "splendidly colorful and beautifully illustrated as a Monet landscape" (Hollywood Reporter). Shinko spends her days running barefoot among the endless green wheat fields in her small country village, imagining she is playing 1,000 years ago when the area was the local capital and home to a beautiful young princess kept hidden from society. Shinko gets a new partner for her games when she befriends Kiiko, a shy transfer student from Tokyo whose nice clothes and modern luxuries immediately set her apart from the other kids. Together, the two girls spend their afternoons daydreaming, building dams, chasing animals, and living an otherwise simple and idyllic life - until looming adolescent responsibility and harsh grown-up truths begin to encroach on their make-believe world of princesses and castles, and it becomes increasingly difficult to disentangle fantasy from reality. Director Sunao Katabuchi worked with Hayao Miyazaki as assistant director on Kiki’s Delivery Service, and the influences show, from Mai Mai’s stunning animation and exalting focus on nature, to the film’s happy/sad nostalgia for the endless days of summer and the tender portrayal of a young girl at the transition between childhood and adult.

Super SFIV Gonzo Super Animation Trailer


Trailer for the Super SFIV anime that will come with the SSFIV Collectors Edition. Animation done by the legendary animation studio Gonzo and directed by Kizaki Tomofumi.

Subtitles taken from the official english version available in XBox Live.

Vehicle Voltron from Toynami!


Here is the third installment of the Toynami Robot Vinyl Collection, the Vehicle Voltron!
"The newest vinyl Voltron: Defender of the Universe figure is coming soon! This new collector’s edition of the Vehicle Voltron stands approximately 9" tall, and is fully articulated. (Note: this figure is not transformable.)"
SRP $35.99, due APRIL 2010!

Eden of the East Movie II Trailer

Live-Action Gantz


Shukan Young Jump Magazine recently include a look at what to expect from the live action adaptation of Hiroya Oku's teensploitation action manga Gantz. Kazunari Ninomiya (Black in TekkonKinkreet, Letters from Iwo Jima) stars as Kei Kurono, a disgruntled teen, who upon finding himself standing next to a long separated childhood friend (Ken'ichi Matsuyama, L of Death Note) is guilted onto a subway track in an effort to save a homeless man. The would-be good deed is punished when an oncoming express graphically dispatches the two young men.
Our thinks-he's-smart teenage malcontent is carbon copied in the moment before this nasty death and reconstituted with other recently resurrected in a room with a black sphere. The mystery ball gives its subject resurrectees black, skin-tight suits, sci-fi weapons and the instructions to go hunt down one species of alien or another.

Manga creator Oku has declared himself a Die Hard fan, and Gantz pulls of a similar trick to that movie's concept of a person with regular vulnerability thrust into abject peril. In this case it's unprepared people being thrown into a first person shooter style urban bug hunt.

Shinsuke Sato (Princess Blade) will be directing the two part adaptation, scheduled for release in the spring and winter of 2011.

First Teaser for Ghibli's Borrowers

Anime Nation and Manganimation have captured the teaser for Studio Ghibli's Karigurashi no Arrietty (The Borrower Arrietty). Key animator for Hayao Miyaki's Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle and Ponyo, Hiromasa Yonebayashi will direct the anime adaptation of Mary Norton's novel. The video showcases the movie's theme, performed by Cecile Corbel. (Source: Aint it Cool News)


KnA teaser
by manuloz

Bungaku Shoujo - Full Trailer



Bungaku Shoujo is an upcoming "mysterious school comedy" anime film in the works at Production I.G, based on Mizuki Nomura's light novels of the same title. The story centers on the unusual members of a high school literary club. Touko Amano, a high school senior who calls herself the "literary girl" as the club president, is actually a supernatural creature (youkai) that devours stories - she tears pages from books to munch on them. Her club subordinate is Konoha Inoue, a second-year high school boy who writes stories every day for Amano to eat. He once wrote an award-winning novel, but he wrote it under the penname Miu Inoue so readers thought the author was a mysterious 14-year-old bishoujo novelist. The stress from the novel's fame and its movie and television drama plans turned Inoue in an introverted recluse. (ANN description)

Black Butler the Musical

WOW! A musical version of the Black Butler. This is surprisingly GOOD!


Here are some clips of the live-onstage performance of the musical version of the Black Butler, featuring all of the characters from the anime. The production looks very nice and the music sounds fantastic.

Kuroshitsuji musical song 6 " Red or Black?" (Grell and Sebastian)


Kuroshitsuji musical song 7 (Sebastian and Ciel)


Kuroshitsuji musical song 1 (Meilin, Bard, Finnian)

A Chainsaw to the Heart

Yes, really. Love can be very... weird.
Well Go USA will be releasing the live action adaptation of "Welcome to the NHK" author Tatsuhiko Takimoto’s "Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge" on March 30th.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on Adult Swim this Saturday, February 13


The Elric brothers are back! "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" will debut on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim this Saturday, February 13. Hear the English dub of Brotherhood for the first time ever. The series will air at 12:00 a.m. ET/PT each Saturday.

Can’t catch the broadcast premiere this Saturday? Not to worry fellow anime fans. FUNimation is happy to announce that we are also bringing you brand spanking new dubbed episodes of “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” every Sunday for download-to-own on PlayStation®Network and Zune Marketplace.

Watch a new episode on Saturday - buy it for your console of choice on Sunday! We anime professionals at FUNimation once again make it easy to get the shows you want, where you want, and when you want.