Next Club Meeting: May 25, 2019, at the Wood Dale Public Library from 10:00 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.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Capcom vs Marvel 3

Marvel to make movies of Dr. Strange, Luke Cage...the Dazzler??

Marvel Studios is exploring ways to adapt some of its lesser characters into movies while it proceeds to build its more famous franchises—such as the upcoming Iron Man 2—toward The Avengers.

That's the report on CHUD:
Marvel Studios is currently taking meetings with writers and directors to work on small scale movies based on some of their third tier characters. The movies would cost in the range of 20 to 40 million dollars (very small when we're talking studio films) and would allow them to take risks with less obvious characters and with interesting talent. Filmmakers are being offered their pick of characters whose names are only familiar to comic fans. Properties like Dr. Strange, Ka-Zar, Luke Cage, Dazzler and Power Pack are among the many that are being tossed around right now. And the attitude seems to be that Marvel is open to bringing any of their characters to the screen at the right price point. ...
Who knows what will be the first small film announced; Marvel has been meeting with people for some time now, and I don't think they're going to wait for The Avengers to be released before they start planning the next phase. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if a smaller film was being developed alongside The Avengers.
This could work out: I mean, whoever heard of Blade before those movies hit?

Marvel estimates it owns more than 5,000 heroes, villains, places, etc. We know we'd pay money to see a new Dr. Strange movie. Which Marvel hero would you like to see adapted to film? [Source: SyFy.com]

Summer Wars PVC Figures

Item: Moekore Plus Buddy Summer Wars PVC
Height: 16cm (King Kazuma), 15.5cm (Natsuki), 6cm (Kenji)
Series: Summer Wars
Maker: Volks
Retail price: 7,140 yen
Release date: Summer 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Twin Spica - Manga Review

Highly Recommended!

Mothers' Day is fast approaching and on May 4, the perfect gift to introduce anyone you care about to the world of manga will be released for U.S. readers to enjoy. TWIN SPICA embodies all that is good in Japanese comics... or for any comics for that matter. This particular manga touches the heart with deeply emotional storytelling about characters you will come to love and cherish. This is a definite MUST BUY for those who love stories like Grave of the Fireflies and 2001 Nights: A Space Oddessy
[- anim8trix]
Twin Spica Manga Review by Scott Green [Source: AICN.com]
So, Twin Spica... it follows the efforts of a minimalisticly rendered, cherubically illustrated thirteen year old girl as she endeavors to become an astronaut. Up until its conclusion last year, the manga was serialized in Japan in Comic Flapper, a seinen anthology for males in their upper teens (or older).

Comic Flapper does run some mecha, like the manga adaptation of Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino's anime concerning a video game champion turned mecha pilot in a post apocalyptic exodus, Overman King Gainer. It featured a recent incarnation of venerable space psychic sci-fi saga Locke the Superman. It had the manga version of risqué perfumer/secret agent Najica. But, stories about young girls for that seinen demographic are Comic Flapper's primary niche. Dark Horse published Translucent, about a shy girl who literally turns invisible, originated in Flapper. Controversial Dance in the Vampire Bund is another Comic Flapper work. I've recently been talking up Christie High Tension, Area 88 creator Kaoru Shintani's stories of Mycroft Holmes' daughter, and that's from this anthology too.

The appeal of these works to their male readership isn't generally as apparently unified as the collection of titles bundled in an anthology like Dengeki Daioh, which similarly features cute girl series. For example, the draw of Translucent was its feel-good aura and optimism about human nature. I haven't read any Dance in the Vampire Bund or seen the anime, but I've read praise for the richness of its world creation and the quality of its action.

The appeal of Twin Spica... it's a little girl working to realize her dreams of going into space. You might be in high school, or college or on the job, working toward something of dubious significance, but here's a girl giving it her all to rocket out of Earth's atmosphere. Now that's a goal with some gravity. The desire for meaning is universal. We all want our effort to take us someplace special.

I look forward to the chance to read and write about some manga. While seinen material is often what has me watching my mailbox, Twin Spica wasn't the object of that anticipation. It was a well regarded work to which I thought I'd be indifferent. Maybe due to my dislike of travel in general, though I'm a lifelong geek, space in and of itself has does little for me. Even my considerable admiration for other manga on the subject (Planetes and 2001 Nights) didn't have me itching to read the next great space exploration story. Coming of age stories aren't of particularly keen interest to me either.

Ultimately, the manga surprised me. Reading about Twin Spica's lead trying to go into space, I got choked up. 

I have reservations about seinen manga featuring young leads. It tends to open the door to iffiness. I shouldn't say that I distrust escapist manga. I certainly read enough of it. Nostalgia is ok for occasional fun, but it generally strikes me as unproductive. Mono no aware is a can of worms that I probably shouldn't open at this point. Recapturing the spirit of youth often seems to translate to thinking like a child, and that sort of regressive mindset bothers me.

It's difficult to imagine Twin Spica going in those bothersome directions. Nor will its lead journey be simply a function of determination. It's set to push the character, but instead of regular formulas, it is more sensitive and naturalistic than other space academy manga (even ones I've liked).

Twin Spica (named for the binary star system in the Virgo constellation) opens with thirteen year old Asumi Kamogawa quizzing herself on the history of space exploration. She then prompts herself to recall the three tragedies of manned space flight. You can read about the first two on Wikipedia: the Apollo 1 fire and the Challenger explosion. The third occurred when Asumi Kamogawa was one year old. In 2010, (the manga began in 2001 and ran until 2009, so this was always near future) Japan launched its first manned space flight. 72 seconds after takeoff, the liquid fuel in the rocket's boosters caught fire. The space center was unable to activate the "flight stop system" that would explode the craft mid air. As a consequence, the Lion crashed into the city of Yuigahama. 

Asumi's mother was one of the crash's civilian victims. Despite, or perhaps because of this, Asumi's dream since childhood was to fly a rocket into space. As Twin Spica opens, she's making her first steps toward realizing this hope with her entrance into the space academy that Japan set up. 

Though Asumi is evidently working as hard as possible, "dream" is the right word for her goal. The manga doesn't position it as an ambition in a heated sense. "Guts and hard work" aren't the theme here. And, while Twin Spica is attentively realistic in its handling of space, there is an ethereal quality to the manga. I didn't catch any pronounced examples in this volume, but Kou Yaginuma reportedly references favorite children's author Kenji Miyazawa's classic Night on the Galactic Railroad, about an allegorical trip into the heavens. This is haunted manga. It's explicitly subject to spirit visitations courtesy of the "Lion" apparition from the like named rocket, outfitted with a theme park mask. But, that's not the extent to the manga's ghosts. 

Asumi's mother did not suffer an immediate death in the Lion's crash. Prior to experiencing her mother's death at a young age, for a number of years, Asumi knew her mother as a mute, featureless mask of bandages. A pair of prequel stories included in the volume explore how Asumi processed those events. What's demonstrated in the chapters is that Asumi has her own way of relating to situations like her mother's, or at least that she's uninhibited and sees her visions to fruition. The preview that Vertical posted serves as an example of how emotionally devastating for the reader Asumi's efforts to bring her visions into reality can be.
Small, practical despite her big dream, occasionally taken by self doubt or trauma, Asumi is an empathy magnet. This engenders emotion that does tread dangerously close to moe territory. Yet, because the manga appears to be devoid of cynicism, it's difficult to hold its similarities to a larger trend against it.

Yaginuma finds effective ways to accentuate Asumi's significance without stacking the deck. It's apparent that a dynamic is being generated in which Asumi will have to rely on her peers and vice versa, but so far, she is her own guide. Sure, there's Jiminy Lion, but he serves to offset the ineptness of the adults around Asumi. Her father is a hard working laborer, who cherishes his daughter's dreams, but he doesn't seem to have either been well equipped or able to come up to speed in raising her alone. Beyond his domestic issues, the man hauls off and hits his daughter twice as a consequence of being unable to contain his emotions or otherwise communicate with her. Asumi's school teacher/guidance councelor is passively obstructionist towards her hopes of joining the space academy. At the space academy itself, so far, what been seen of the adults staffing the place has been questionable as well. 

Twin Spica does not rely on attachment to the character types or the subject matter involved. It speaks to a human need and that effect is compounded by the hope and sadness of its lead. Vertical's Minister of Enlightenment Ed Chavez has noted that Twin Spica's plot works a lot harder in driving the series than many other manga's. Yet, a volume in I've found it more driven by emotions. The result is a powerfully effecting manga.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"Star Wars: The Clone Wars" Season 2 Finale

Boba Fett Faces Off Against the Jedi in the Climactic HOUR-LONG Season Finale of STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARSThis Friday at 9:00 pm on Cartoon Network!

 
(click to enlarge)
Bounty hunter Aurra Sing leads Boba Fett
on a quest for revenge in the season finale
of STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS
premiering at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT Friday, April 30 on Cartoon Network.
TM & © 2010 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved

The beleaguered Jedi Knights have struggled against space pirates, zombie bugs, mind-controlling brain worms, giant monsters and more, all while dealing with the ever-present threat of attack by the evil Separatist forces – but despite all they’ve been through, their greatest threat is still before them. For future generations of Skywalker, the name of Boba Fett will live in infamy – but now, he is still but a boy bent on revenge, driven by a desire to make the Jedi pay for the death of his father. Things get personal in the heated ONE-HOUR season finale of STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS, airing at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT Friday, April 30 on Cartoon Network.

But though his motivations are cold and his plan calculated to perfection, Boba isn’t alone in his malicious machinations against the Jedi Order. Having surrounded himself with a rogue’s gallery of the galaxy’s most merciless mercenaries, he is but a pawn in a deadlier game – and his own cohorts have no compunctions with taking advantage of the young man’s naiveté. Led down the dark path by Aurra Sing, Boba will learn a thing of two about deception and deceit from his bounty hunter henchmen.
 
(click to enlarge)
“Aurra takes Boba under her wing and presents herself as a mother figure,” says Jaime King (Sin City, The Spirit), who voices Sing in the series. “I believe that she would like to groom him to be ruthless bounty hunter. She is intense, and she will do anything to get money – any job, any task – and she has no consciousness, really, about the difference between right and wrong; Aurra just wants money and power, no matter what. She won’t let anything stand in her way. I think she sees herself in young Boba – but while Jango had his son’s best interest in mind, Aurra doesn’t.”

Given his iconic image as a ruthless and inscrutable bounty hunter, it’s hard to imagine Boba Fett being manipulated by anyone. But in The Clone Wars, he is still an impressionable young man – passionate but untested, and in search of a family.

“If Star Wars has taught us anything, it’s that everyone has a back story.” says Supervising Director Dave Filoni – who wrote and directed the thrilling season finale. “In Empire, we see Boba as a bad guy – but maybe he’s just doing a job. He’s definitely got an edge, though, and we are exploring where that comes from. In Episode II, he saw his father murdered by Mace Windu, however he’s still got a long way to go before he becomes the battered bounty hunter we know so well. Aurra’s an influence, and not much of a nurturing parental figure – so that plays a part, as well. She preys on his weakness, on his desire for a family. It’s pretty dysfunctional, and it sheds an interesting light on both Aurra and Boba. Ultimately, though, Boba’s always been a mystery. As much as we reveal, we’re not going to take the mystery away from his fans. Not knowing all the answers about Boba is part of what makes him so cool.”

FUNimation Serves 8 Million Anime Views

 
"Anime Leader Tops 8 Million On-Demand Views in March" 

[Source: Mania.com; Written by Chris Beveridge] 
FUNimation Entertainment today reported an over 200% annual increase in the number of episode views on its streaming video on demand network.
In the last three months, FUNimation has seen an average monthly increase of 15 percent, cementing its status as North America’s hub for programming straight from Japan and double the number of episode views of its nearest competitor. 
Funimation.com is a free video destination offering more than 100 anime series available on-demand, at any one time, making favorite anime series just a simple click away and with new episodes and shows added weekly.
“Our significant investments in talent and infrastructure are paying off as we have successfully transitioned to be an internet company as well as a marketing, brand management and distribution company,” says Carly Hunter, Vice President of FUNimation. 
FUNimation president and CEO Gen Fukunaga attributes this explosive growth from year to year (March 2009 – March 2010) to not only the unrivaled breadth and quality of content that FUNimation offers, including English-language subtitled episodes as well as English-dubbed, but also to the company’s ability to promote and market its streaming network.
“Numbers like these show how popular anime has become among the North American mass entertainment audience as well as the value of the medium,” said Fukunaga. “We've helped redefine the viewing habits of millions of people and those figures will continue to grow as we increase our line-up and as always, offer exclusive content.”

Legends of the Dark King Upgrade Program


Legends of the Dark Kings: A Fist of the North Star Story
© Sentai Filmworks 


DVD or Blu-ray upgrade options
Similar to what was done with Clannad, Sentai Filmworks is offering up an upgrade program (form here) for their upcoming release of Legends of the Dark King. Sentai has created a new English language dub for the show so fans who purchased the subtitle only edition can now upgrade and save over 55% off the price, according tot he form. In addition to being able to upgrade on the DVD release, you can upgrade to the Blu-ray release if you so choose as well.

To participate in the program, you have to send in the two DVDs, the sleeve art and the plastic case for both the DVD and Blu-ray upgrade program. For the DVD, it will cost $20 to upgrade + $3 for shipping. For the Blu-ray, it will cost $30 for the upgrade plus $3 for shipping.  The normal retail price for the upcoming editions is $49.98 for the DVD and $69.98 for the Blu-ray. 

The upgrade program is running only from May 1st through August 31st of this year and is being handled by Right Stuf International. The offer restrictions make no mention of international shipping, though Canada must pay $6 for shipping. [Source: Mania.com]

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Anime Central Announces the Japanese Voice Cast and Crew of Soul Eater


Anime Central, in cooperation with FUNimation and Media Factory, welcomes four Japanese voice actors from the currently running Soul Eater television series.  
[From acen.org]
Ms. Yumiko Kobayashi (Black Star), Mr. Kouki Uchiyama (Soul Eater), Ms. Kaori Nazuka (Tsubaki), and Ms. Narumi Takahira (Patty) will attend the annual event on Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15 to host panel and autograph sessions.

All four actors eagerly await this year’s event. Ms. Kobayashi, Mr. Uchiyama, and Mr. Takahira are especially excited, as Anime Central marks their overseas debut. Ms. Takahira in particular can’t wait to fulfill her dream of visiting the United States.

Also attending is Mr. Masazumi Kato, producer for the Soul Eater television series. An 18-year industry veteran, he eagerly anticipates returning to America and visiting Anime Central.

Full schedules are available on Anime Central’s website, www.acen.org. The event debuted a Flash-based calendar application this year to help plan convention activities in advance. All Soul Eater- and Funimation-related panels are listed.

Anime Central (ACen) is the Midwest’s premier anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture convention. Started in 1997, Anime Central now attracts over 17,000 fans years yearly. It is held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center and the Hyatt Regency hotel in Rosemont, IL. 

Funimation Entertainment produces, markets, and distributes anime and other entertainment properties in the United States and international markets. Originally founded in 1994 by Gen Fukunaga, the company became a subsidiary of Navarre Corporation in 2005. Funimation. The company is headquartered in Flower Mound, Texas.

Media Factory is a Japanese publisher and anime distributor. Founded on December 1, 1986, the company is a subsidary of Recruit Co., Ltd. They distribute many popular anime titles, including Project A-Ko, RahXephon, Gankutsuou, and the currently running Soul Eater.

Monday, April 26, 2010

"Generator Rex": One Well-Machined Teenage Tool

By Maxie Zeus [Source: ToonZOne.com]
 Generator Rex, Cartoon Network's new action-adventure series, is a handsome and well-mounted show, made by professionals who have done a professional study of the formula and followed up with a professional job of tricking it out with every well-polished cliché that formula demands. It looks good and moves well and shows just enough imagination in its designs and action scenes to keep the viewer's attention from fatally wandering. Fans of Ben 10 and The Secret Saturdays will find Rex a worthy successor to those shows, and ratings-wise it should do very well for the network. Still, the series clearly has room for improvement. For instance, I would like it better if its main character wasn't a loathsome, bullying jerk, but possibly I just don't share the target audience's admiration for jackasses.

The jackass in question is Rex, a fifteen-year-old with amnesia and superpowers who works with a government agency to battle monsters. Rex and those monsters have the same provenance: five years previously, an accident released a cloud of micro-machines—nanites—that infected every living thing on the planet. In most people they lie dormant; in many they occasionally erupt and transform their unwilling hosts into monsters; and in a lucky few they bestow superpowers that the host can control. Rex, for instance, has the power to transform his limbs into various bits of machinery, which lets him fly and race and shoot and punch things really, really hard.

In what promises to be a running plot line, there is another batch of these mechanized mutants—the show calls them "EVOs"—who are up to nefarious ends. (You can tell they are nefarious because their leader dresses and talks like an effete British rock star.) The two episodes I watched don't make it entirely clear how this plot line will play out, though if I were up to speed on my X-Men comics I bet I could call future developments with 95% accuracy. Personal conflict comes in the form of Rex's gruff agency handler (introduced in episode 1), a potential love interest who has already gone over to the other side (introduced in a subsequent episode), and Rex's free-floating teenager itchiness (introduced before the main credits of episode 1 and gloated over in every scene that follows). Comedy relief comes in the form of a talking monkey, and male camaraderie in the form of a sidekick who is being secretly paid to be Rex's friend.

It's rarely a good idea to judge an action serial by its first episodes, especially when those first episodes feel like giant exposition dumps. There are a number of places, though, where you feel its various stitched-together elements jostling against each other. Rex has no family and no past, and exists solely as a "weapon" in an agency arsenal, which frees him from the usual "family" responsibilities. But it also means that his personality and character must be developed through conflict with his employers. In practice, this means that he is given the personality of an adrenaline junkie, a smartmouth, and a showboater, so as to contrast with the buttoned-up professionalism of his handlers. And so when he gets turned loose in a fight he has no qualms about trashing a metropolitan downtown and jokingly shrugging off the millions of dollars of damage he has caused. He is also altogether too eager to use his powers to bully anyone who gets in his way or looks at him funny. (The writers try to justify these antics by putting him up against some over-the-top beach bullies and street thugs.) Unless you are the sort of person who admires cocky, self-smitten twats and dreams of growing up to be one, you may quickly fall out of sympathy with the series' lead character.

The problems with this character are put on sharp display toward the end of "The Day Everything Changed," when Rex's boss, Agent Six, charges in and helps save Rex and his pals. Snarkily, Rex quips that he thought the agency would have sent an army. Agent Six calmly replies that they did, and the camera pans over to a field of dead soldiers. This is the kind of moment that should bring a normal, emotionally healthy human being to a cold, dead stop: it's the sight of dozens of men who willingly and without questioning their orders gave up their lives in order to save one kid—a kid, by the way, who thinks nothing of busting out and running truant, which is the very reason he wound up needing to be rescued in the first place. (And it's a trick he repeats at the beginning of "Beyond the Sea"; the series thinks he is very cute when he does this.) But neither Rex nor the story itself remark on the point. Instead, it is treated as a throwaway joke, or as just more evidence of what a gee-whiz important guy Rex is, that the government would spill blood like water in order to save his fifteen-year-old ass crack.

Now, maybe the series is going to go on to sober this kid up, and maybe it is playing him up as a selfish meathead so that the contrasting changes will have more force. I have my doubts, though, because his lame quip-a-minute patter is too-closely mirrored by that talking monkey; and so I suspect we are meant to admire and identify with his cheekiness. (To be fair, the writers do show girls reacting to his repulsively smarmy romantic advances as though he has just vomited a dead fish into their laps. But maybe they just realize that their target audience of twelve-year-olds won't react well to successful woo-flinging.) Overall, the series will have little difficulty appealing to a particular pre-adolescent sensibility: the kind of kid who (innocently) dreams of action and power and freedom from responsibility, but who also (not so innocently) dreams of the power to glory-hog and shove other people around.

So all of the above will probably pass right beneath the notice of most of the show's target audience. Instead, they will find ample dividends in its solid production work: strong if uninspired character designs, zippy if overly familiar action beats, and grotty if sometimes unreadable monsters. The series is also mercifully quick on its feet, so that it doesn't linger on the lame japery, leaden plot exposition, and ham-handed melodrama that constitute most of its dialogue. Vocal performances are tediously on the button, from Daryl Sabara's tin-eared Will Friedle imitation to Troy Baker's villainously slithy tove.

Generator Rex is a show made by people who know exactly what they are doing and exactly how to get it done, and as such makes for a masterful production reel. But it is a bit of a problem if you would prefer something a little new or a little kooky or just a little bit—just a wee little bit, please, sir—surprising. At the end of the day Generator Rex may be about nanite-powered superbeings, but it's really not much more than a machine that goes ping.
 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

THE LAST AIRBENDER 3rd Official FINAL Movie Trailer in HD


Air, Water, Earth, Fire. Four nations tied by destiny when the Fire Nation launches a brutal war against the others. A century has passed with no hope in sight to change the path of this destruction. Caught between combat and courage, Aang (Noah Ringer) discovers he is the lone Avatar with the power to manipulate all four elements. Aang teams with Katara (Nicola Peltz), a Waterbender, and her brother, Sokka (Jackson Rathbone), to restore balance to their war—torn world. Based on the hugely successful Nickelodeon animated TV series, the live—action feature film The Last Airbender is the opening chapter in Aangs struggle. Released 04.23.10 from iTunes Movie Trailers.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

GATCHAMAN - Early Promo Trailer


Twitch has posted footage of Imagi's Gatchaman project from 2007, back when TMNT director Kevin Munroe and Emmy-winning writer Paul Dini were onboard

Friday, April 23, 2010

Another Century’s Episode R Promo

Cartoon Network has announced their upcoming slate

New Series

MAD - animated sketch-comedy series utilizing a chaotic mix of animation styles.
Sam Register (Teen Titans, Ben 10, Batman: The Brave and the Bold) is the executive producer. Kevin Shinick (Robot Chicken) and Mark Marek (KaBlam! The Andy Milonakis Show) are the producers.

Robotomy: The animated Robotomy tells the story of Thrasher and Blastus, two outsider teenage droids who are only slightly less horrific than the ultra-powerful robots that populate their planet, Killglobe. Now they face their greatest challenge yet: high school. Armed with a desire to fit in (and little else), Thrasher and Blastus navigate their lives with varying degrees of success. Created by Michael Buckley (The Sisters Grimm) and Joe Deasy and co-executive produced by Christy Karacas (Superjail), Robotomy, a quarter-hour series, will be produced in New York.

Secret Mountain Fort Awesome - Created by Chowder writer and artist Pete Browngardt
The Looney Tunes Show

Young Justice - Animation and based upon characters from DC Comics. Sam Register (Teen Titans, Ben 10, Batman: The Brave and the Bold) is the executive producer. Brandon Vietti (Batman: Under the Red Hood, Superman Doomsday, The Batman) and Greg Weisman (Gargoyles, The Spectacular Spider-Man, W.I.T.C.H.) are the producers.
KROG (working title): KROG is a half-hour scripted live-action comedy pilot from Cartoon Network Studios
KROG is created by Mark Rivers (Metalocolypse, TV Funhouse).

Lords Of Bad Axe (working title): Created and written by Derek Guiley and David Schneiderman (both credited for Chasing Liberty, The Parent Trap 2), Lords Of Bad Axe, a 90-minute original movie, is a fantastical comedy for the videogame age.

My Dad’s A Pro: - NFL special

Soon To Debut Series
Unnatural History - live action mysteries to air Sunday Nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Cartoon Network beginning June 13, 2010.

Generator Rex - new adventure from the creators of Ben 10 comes Generator Rex
Generator Rex revolves around 15-year-old Rex, as he attempts to balance his duty as a soldier in a super-spy team with just being a teenager. Generator Rex was created by Man of Action (Joe Casey, Joe Kelley, Duncan Rouleau, and Steven T. Seagle) with supervising producer John Fang (Ben 10: Alien Force, The Batman) and is produced at Cartoon Network Studios. Generator Rex will air Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Cartoon Network beginning April 23, 2010.

Ben 10: Ultimate Alien - a 30-minute animated series, was created by Man of Action (Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, Duncan Rouleau, Steve Seagle) with Glen Murakami (Teen Titans) as the supervising producer and story editor Dwayne McDuffie. The series is produced at Cartoon Network Studios.

Tower Prep: A one-hour, live-action scripted series premiering this fall. The series is executive-produced and created by Paul Dini (Lost, Batman Beyond). Glen Morgan (Bionic Woman) and Bill O’Dowd (Zoey 101) serve as executive producers.

Sym-Bionic Titan: From creator Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack) comes an exciting hybrid of giant robot battles and high school comedy. Sym-Bionic Titan follows the lives of three alien teenagers who crash-land on Earth and must protect their new home from alien invaders while navigating the perils of high school life. Sym-Bionic Titan is being produced at Cartoon Network Studios and will premiere on Cartoon Network this summer.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya

Gwyneth Paltrow Gets Punched in the Face in IRON MAN 2


'Iron Man 2' Buzz Heats Up Over Rumors Gwyneth Paltrow Gets Punched In Face

Gundam Cafe Opens In Akihabara

There's no place more fitting for an official Gundam Cafe than in Tokyo's Akihabara district. Sadly Japanese maids don't draw hearts in syrup over your pancakes or put "love spells" on you like at Maid Cafes...but there are Gundam biscuits!

Akihabara News visited the cafe before its grand opening to the public this Saturday, and has a full collection of photos over on their site. I do not recommend this 29-year old Japanese man look at the site though. It'd bring back too many memories. [Akihabara News via Kotaku]

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rayearth - Unyielding Wish

Media Blasters Streams Rayearth, Funi Posts Sengoku Basara

The North American anime and manga distributor Media Blasters has posted the first 20 dubbed episodes of Magic Knight Rayearth on Hulu on Tuesday. Media Blasters is also currently streaming Mirage of Blaze, Girl's High, Ramen Fighter Miki, Kite: Liberator, and Ikki Tousen on Hulu. [Source: AnimeNewsNetwork]

The official blog of the North American anime distributor Funimation noted on Tuesday that it posted more free episodes on its own website and on the YouTube and Hulu websites this past week. Among the new titles posted are the first two subtitled episodes of Sengoku Basara and the first first episode of the previously announced simulcast, House of Five Leaves

  • Birdy the Mighty Decode JPN 7-13 + Prologue Episode
  • D.Gray-man JPN 5-6
  • El Cazador de la Bruja ENG 20-26
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood JPN 50
  • House of Five Leaves JPN 1
  • Initial D: Fourth Stage JPN 11-12
  • MoonPhase JPN 5-26
  • Nerima Daikon Brothers ENG 9-10
  • Pani Poni Dash! ENG 22
  • Birdy the Mighty Decode JPN Prologue Episode
  • Dragonaut - The Resonance ENG 23-25
  • El Cazador de la Bruja ENG 20-22
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood JPN 50 (Live Today)
  • Gad Guard ENG 1-7
  • Gad Guard JPN 1-26
  • House of Five Leaves JPN 1
  • Initial D: Fourth Stage JPN 3-4
  • Linebarrels of Iron ENG 1-5
  • Nerima Daikon Brothers ENG 10-12
  • One Piece JPN 446, ENG & JPN 112
  • Pani Poni Dash! ENG 19-21
  • Sands of Destruction ENG 7-9
  • Sgt. Frog ENG 30-32
  • Speed Grapher ENG 8-10
The Anime Network also posted a list of episodes it began streaming during the week of April 12 on its website:
Image © CLAMP/KODANSHATMS

Black Lagoon - Season 3


They're ba-a-a-a-ack!!!!
The crew of the Black Lagoon return for more adventure and mayhem.

Black Lagoon - Omake 1 - High School Life

Black Lagoon - The Magical Girl Episode

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

AKIRA Motorcycle

A-list Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio is going to produce his first feature movie, and he's going to do it in style. DiCaprio is planning to make a movie out of the very popular Japanese manga movie, Akira.

The 1988 Akira animation became famous because of it's very futuristic motorcycle, the symbol of the movie.

The original Akira was set postapocalyptic New Tokyo, 2019. The plot goes like this: Kaneda is a bike gang leader whose close friend Tetsuo gets involved in a government secret project known as Akira. On his way to save Tetsuo, Kaneda runs into a group of anti-government activist, greedy politicians, irresponsible scientists and a powerful military leader. The confrontation sparks off Tetsuo's supernatural power leading to bloody death, a coup attempt and the final battle in Tokyo Olympiad where Akira's secrets were buried 30 years ago.

DiCaprio may film the movie into two parts, so expect a sequel. It will be set in "New Manhattan", a city rebuilt by Japan.

On the Akira motorcycle front, the bike is so popular, that recently someone made a real replica of it, and it looks pretty good. [Source: Motorbiker.org]

Toonseum Exhibit of Katsuhiro Otomo's AKIRA

This May through July, Toonseum, the Pittsburgh Museum of Cartoon Art, is holding the largest exhibition of Katsuhiro Otomo's AKIRA, showing the original production art from the private collection of over 10,000 pieces by our guest curator Joe Peacock.

Come to our opening party on May 7th. You will have the opportunity to take an exclusive sneak peek at the exhibit, presentation by the collector Joe Peacock, the behind-the-scenes display of unframed pieces, and bring home a piece of the collection through our silent auction. Tickets to the party are available at $25 here: 

For more information, check out the following press release of the exhibit and the opening party.
Or visit us at: 

New Last Airbender Project Coming to Nickelodeon

New job postings at MTV Networks Careers website and from the Animation Guild have revealed that a new Avatar the Last Airbender television project is currently staffing up for production, with open postings for Storyboard Artists, Revisionists, and Supervisors; Prop and Character Designers; and a Live-Action/Animation Reference Coordinator. Nickelodeon has confirmed that the project is in production, adding that series co-creators Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko are involved and that more information will be forthcoming at a later date. [Source: Toonzone.com]

yoshitoshi ABe scribbles with iPad

Over The Future


可憐Girl’s - (Karen Girl's) Music Video

AT-AT

Monday, April 19, 2010

STAR WARS Movie on Blu-ray Coming Soon


Over the weekend, Lucasfilm minion Steve Sansweet confirmed that STAR WARS Blu-Rays are in the works, and have been for a while. 

"I won't call it the Ultimate Set because we keep finding stuff—but, a very full set of all six movies on Blu-ray with lots of extra material. We're finding all kinds of scenes from dailies that have never been seen before.
[EDIT]
it won't be in the too distant future."
[Source: AICN.com]

Tribute to a Fallen Hero


Carl Macek's significance in shaping the history of anime in North America is undeniable. He was truly a key figure in popularizing the medium.

An extensive interview from last October can be heard on ANNCast [Source: IMDB.com]

ROBOTECH.com has a special online Tribute for Carl Macek:

American Anime Producer Carl Macek Passes Away

Animation historian Jerry Beck reported on his blog on Sunday that American producer Carl Macek passed away due to a heart attack on Saturday. Macek and Beck had co-founded the anime importing company Streamline Pictures in 1988.  [Source: Anime News Network]

Macek is best known for producing Robotech, the 1985 redubbed and edited adaptation of three different anime series — Macross, Southern Cross, and Mospeada. He also worked on the dubbing of many anime projects from Captain Harlock and the Queen of a Thousand YearsCaptain Harlock and Queen Millennia) to more recently, Bleach and Naruto. His other dubbing production credits include Vampire Hunter D, Robot Carnival, My Neighbor Totoro, and Aura Battler Dunbine. Although Streamline Pictures did not dub the 1988 film Akira, it did release the film in theaters and on video tape in the United States. 

Outside anime, Macek wrote The Art of Heavy Metal (Animation for the Eighties), the 1981 book about the Canadian animated film Heavy Metal. That led to his co-writing credit on the Heavy Metal 2000 spinoff. He also developed the Lady Death film at ADV Films and wrote War Eagles, a novel based on an unproduced film treatment by Merian C. Cooper.