Next Club Meeting: April 20, 2024, at the Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Animatrix Network is an anime & manga fan club located in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. We usually meet on the third 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.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Recreating Ghost in the Shell as Live-Action

A respectful homage to Shirow Masamune’s manga and Mamoru Oshii’s seminal film “Ghost in the Shell”, this is a modernized direction that still tries to stays true to the original creator’s vision. What started as a photo tribute directed by Ash Thorp and Tim Tadder (photography), soon became a worldwide collaboration of more than 20 artists from around the world, with each and everyone coming together to help breath life into the project, resulting in the artistic interpretation you see below.

For a film that was a comment on the uber-connected society of the future, Project 2501 ended up being itself an example of how this collaborative group of creatives are so connected ourselves. Many of us never met beyond the communications provided by the vast and infinite net, but still came together to make the ultimate tribute to “Ghost in the Shell”.

Everyone of us wanted the opportunity to pay homage to a ground-breaking film that gave us so much.

We sincerely hope you enjoy our effort to capture the energy and beauty of the original film’s title sequence.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Batman: Assault on Arkham

Batman: Assault on Arkham
From DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment comes an all new animated movie set within the same universe and continuity as the bestselling Batman: Arkham Asylum videogames. Look for Batman: Assault on Arkham on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital HD in Summer, 2014.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

"X-men Days of Future Past" Movie vs. Comic

Six Ways 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' 
Differed from the Comic
In adapting the classic 1981 X-Men comics arc “Days of Future Past,” the new mega-grossing movie used its time-travel plot as an ingenious way to stitch together the flashback X-Men of 2010’s First Class with Hugh Jackman and Co.’s core crew from the original trilogy (while also conveniently erasing the troubles caused by a less-popular entry in the series). However, many changes had to be made from the source material, as certain facts didn’t jibe with liberties taken with the mythology in earlier films, along with other complicating factors. Here are the significant ways the movie diverged from the original comic. (And obviously, major spoilers lie ahead for those who haven’t seen the film yet.) 

1. Wolverine steals the show
In the comic, it’s Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page in the film), not Wolverine, whose consciousness is transported back in time: She goes back to her 13-year-old body, to a time just weeks after she joined the X-Men. But that wouldn’t work for the film, as Kitty wouldn’t have been born yet in 1973 according to the films’ timeline, which has her as a teenager in 2006’s The Last Stand. Instead, the movie has Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) go back because he’s the only one who can survive the trauma of such a big leap in time — or so they say. We all know the real reason is because since the first film fourteen years ago, Wolverine has been the linchpin of the series and Jackman its biggest star. Plus, Logan doesn’t age, so you only need one actor for the part.

2. Kitty gets a consolation prize
It’s like Musical X-Chairs: Wolverine took Kitty’s starring role, so Kitty moved over one seat and bumped another character right out of the movie. In the comic, it’s future-dwelling telepath — and eventual wielder of the Phoenix force — Rachel Summers who has the power to transport people’s consciousness back in time, but she hasn’t been introduced in the cinematic universe. Kitty doesn’t have this ability in the comics — her skill is to phase through walls — but in the movie she suddenly has been granted Rachel’s power. They don’t really bother explaining when or how she gained this secondary skill, though, but then there’s a lot of story to get to. And maybe now that Cyclops (James Marsden) and Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) are back in the picture, there’s hope for little Rachel to pop up in this series after all.

3. Further Future, earlier Past
Up until First Class, the X-Men films had been fairly coy about specific dates, with the first few taking place in “the not too distant future.” But the latest installment’s framing battle with the Sentinels can be pinned down to around 2023, as when Wolverine jumps back in time, the difference is regularly referred to as “50 years.” That puts the two sections of the story further apart than in the comic, when grown-up Kitty Pryde jumped from 2013 back to 1980. So why the ’70s? To better align with the fact that First Class was set in the early sixties — and so they didn’t have to worry about why James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender aren’t further along on their transformations into Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.

4. Souped-up Sentinels
In the comic, the Sentinels are three-story-tall, flying pink-and-purple hulks that shoot photons and can track down mutants based on their DNA alone. That kind of murderous simplicity won’t fly in the movies, apparently. Bryan Singer gave the giant mutant-killing robots an upgrade; the pilfered Mystique DNA gives them the ability to adapt to and mimic mutant powers, a talent they’ve never had before. However, the original basic Sentinels were given a brief moment in the spotlight, shown as the models Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) introduces just before the film’s climax.

5. Moving target
In the comic, the time-travel mission is stopping Mystique from killing vociferously anti-mutant Senator Robert Kelly, whose assassination prompts the implementation of the Sentinel program that leads to the dystopian future the X-Men are looking to change. But Sen. Kelly already existed in the first X-Men film, played by Bruce Davison — until the character turned into a jellyfish and exploded. In the film, Kelly is swapped out for Sentinel architect Boliver Trask (Peter Dinklage), who is one of the biggest villains in the comics and possibly more anti-mutant than Kelly ever was. In the film, mention is made of Trask being responsible for the death of a host of unseen First Class characters, including Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), Angel (Zoe Kravitz) and Emma Frost (January Jones). And of course, pay no attention to the man named Trask played by Bill Duke in The Last Stand. It’s unclear if he was supposed to be a different take on the same Sentinel-designing character, but it doesn’t really matter since that’s all been wiped from the timeline anyway.

6. The reason all should be forgiven
When the comic was published in 1981, Kitty Pryde was jumping back to what was essentially the readers’ present, with the future serving as more of a cautionary tale. But in the film, the dystopian future (and the X-Men struggling to survive it) are closer to the viewers’ now than McAvoy and Fassbender’s groovy ’70s setting. And the point of the comic seemed to be to both introduce time travel and a nightmare future full of mutant persecution that would factor in a lot in future issues as well as give readers more time with eventual fan favorite Kitty. The prime directive of the movie, however, seems to be to streamline the two X-Men franchises while undoing the damage done by Brett Ratner. A noble cause, to be sure.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The 100 Best Animated Movies

World-famous animators pick the best animated movies ever, including Disney and Pixar movies, cult movies, kids' movies, stop-motion, anime and more

Chances are the first movie you ever saw was animation. Exuberant, colorful and full of wonder, animation is the stuff of childhood. It introduces us to the magic of cinema, and there’s no doubt that, as we researched the 100 best animated movies of all time, the nostalgia factor was overwhelming.

Then again, as we polled over 100 experts in the field—from directors like Fantastic Mr. Fox’s Wes Anderson, Ice Age and Rio’s Carlos Saldanha, Wallace & Gromit’s Nick Park, to critics and hardcore fans alike—it became clear that animation doesn’t just mean kids' and family movies. Worldwide innovators have adapted the form to include action, politics, race and sex. Animation has grown up, sometimes uneasily, right before our eyes.

We know you’ll find something to love in our authoritative ranking of the best animated movies ever made. The timeless Disney classics. The best Pixar films. Brilliantly sophisticated modern works from Japan's cottage industry—anime—and especially from its Studio Ghibli. Films that make you weep, laugh, sing along and wish upon stars.

Take some time to check out our contributors' personal lists, each one an invitation to further explore avenues of stop-motion, computer-generated imagery or good old pen-and-ink fantasy.

Let us know what you think, in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter. Did we get it wrong or leave out an essential title? One thing is certain: Animation is an endless well of fun. We're sure it goes deeper.

Written by Geoff Andrew, Dave Calhoun, Cath Clarke, Tom Huddleston, Guy Lodge, Trevor Johnston, Joshua Rothkopf and Keith Uhlich.

The 100 best animated movies: 10–1


Monday, May 26, 2014

The AKIRA Project - Fan Made Film

The Akira Project is a crowd-sourced, non-profit project meant to create a live action fan trailer of AKIRA, the renowned manga-turned-anime film from the late 1980′s; a stunning example of both mediums as art forms. While Hollywood has been working on a live-action Akira movie for a few years now, we, as fans, wanted to take a shot at making our own adaptation. A chance to stick as close to the source material as possible. A chance to do Akira Justice.

We launched an Indiegogo campaign in July 2012 as part of a crowd sourcing effort to make this project come to life. Many people contributed not just financially but offered their time and talent to help the production that was shot in Montreal, Quebec from November 2-5th 2012. What started out as a simple idea between two guys having a beer (Hey! It'd be cool to see Kaneda ride his bike around Neo-Tokyo!), became a global endeavour, filled with adventures and hurdles, involving more than 40 artists in 12 different countries.

After a year and a half in post-production, we are proud to present the project to Akira fans the world over. We hope to have done justice to the timeless work of Katsuhiro Otomo and look forward to, someday, seeing the full scope of the Akira story translated to the big screen as a live-action.

For more information:
Production company:
Contact us at:

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Appleseed Alpha - Trailer

See the exclusive first reveal of this brand new, slick CG sci-fi feature film, from the creator of Ghost in the Shell.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Kingsman: The Secret Service

KINGSMAN: the Secret Service
Based upon the acclaimed comic book and directed by Matthew Vaughn ("Kick-Ass," "X-Men: First Class"), "Kingsman: The Secret Service" tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency's ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.

Friday, May 23, 2014

BIG HERO 6 - Trailer

With all the heart and humour audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, "Big Hero 6" is an action-packed comedy-adventure about robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who learns to harness his genius—thanks to his brilliant brother Tadashi and their like-minded friends: adrenaline junkie Go Go Tamago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. When a devastating turn of events catapults them into the midst of a dangerous plot unfolding in the streets of San Fransokyo, Hiro turns to his closest companion - a robot named Baymax - and transforms the group into a band of high-tech heroes determined to solve the mystery. Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring comic-book style action, "Big Hero 6" is directed by Don Hall ("Winnie the Pooh") and Chris Williams ("Bolt"), and produced by Roy Conli ("Tangled"). 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Anime Viewing Schedule for May 24, 2014

Saturday, May 24, 2014
Wood Dale Public Library

Share your ACen pics and tales!
Main Meeting Room, 10:15 am to 5:00 pm
(Click on links to view Video Previews)

10:15 - 11:05    Noragami 7-8 [Video]
11:05 - 11:55    Nagi no Asukara 8-9 [Video]
11:55 - 12:45    Captain Earth 3-4 [Video]
12:45 - 1:35      Nisekoi 5-6 [Video]
1:35 - 2:15        Club Meeting / Announcements [Video]
2:15 - 2:40        Wizard Barristers 7
2:40 - 4:40        Space PIrate Captain Harlock (CGI Movie) [Video]


ANIME DESCRIPTIONS ARE BELOW -- So what was your favorite part of Anime Central 2014? Share your stories! --

10:15 - 11:05    Noragami 7-8
Plot Summary: [Source: Wikipedia] Noragami literally means "Stray God." Hiyori Iki was a regular middle school student until she gets hit by a bus in order to save Yato's life. This incident causes her to transform into a half-phantom. Soon after she learns that Yato is a war god, and her life is never the same again.
Episode 7 "Uncertainty & Destiny": Hiyori's presence as a spirit is discovered by Kazuma, who chooses to keep this a secret from Bishamon, before telling Hiyori that if nothing is done about Yukine, Yato will die. Later that night, as Yato is helping out at a convenience store, Yukine is caught trying to steal some charity money. Just then, another phantom appears, and despite Nora's presence causing Yukine unease, Yato assures him that he is his regalia and manages to defeat the phantom with him.
Episode 8 "Over the Line": Yato and Yukine are called to Hiyori's school at the request of a bullied student, with Yato giving him a certain something to use. Whilst at the school, Yukine laments that he never had the chance to go to high school himself and make friends with others. The student is driven by a phantom to confront the bully using a knife Yato had given him, but he manages to hold himself back and disperse the phantom with his own will. Yukine, however, gives into his frustration and starts breaking the school's windows, causing Yato's blight to spread further. As Hiyori discovers this, she risks herself to try and bring him to Kofuku and Daikoku, getting blighted herself in the process. Kofuku and Daikoku shut them out with a borderline.

11:05 - 11:55     Nagi no Asukara - "A Lull in the Sea" (Episodes 8-9)
Plot Summary: [Source: Wikipedia] Long ago, human civilization had lived on the oceanfloor. However, there were many humans who wanted to live above the surface and they moved to land creating a fundamental separation between the two. After their school closes down, four middle school students from the sealand have to go to school on the mainland. This is about their lives as they adjust to a new environment and the relationships with each other.
Episode 8 "Beyond the Wavering Feelings": Hikari and Akari move to Itaru's house and after dinner, Itaru reaffirms his intention to have Akari's father and the rest of Shioshishio acknowledge their union. Miuna asks Hikari to help her look for a present to Akari and he calls the rest of his friends to accompany them to the city. At the train station, they encounter Tsumugu who later leads them around the city. They check stores around the city for an affordable necklace for Akari. In one of the stores, Chisaki and Hikari get left behind since the elevator was full. Chisaki uses this moment to discuss with Hikari his feelings for Manaka. Hikari claims that if Manaka chooses to be with Tsumugu, he will respect that. After choosing the present she intends to buy, Miuna asks her father for some extra money just to later discover that the necklace in question is sold out. Hikari and the others decides to help her search for some shells to craft a similar necklace instead. When Miuna finally gives the necklace to Akari, it starts snowing and Hikari recognizes that it is in fact saline snow, a phenomenon that supposedly only occurs underwater.
Episode 9 "Unknown Warmth": The adults of Shioshishio are assembled by Uroko who reveals that a catastrophe is coming. Meanwhile the students continue their preparations for the upcoming festival when Chisaki feels ill and Tsumugu takes her to the sea to restore her Ena. In the occasion, Tsumugu asks her if she has given up on Hikari and she decides to go home instead. Kaname accompanies her and they arrive at the village to be received by the adults carrying blue lanterns. Manaka follows soon after and when she arrives home, she is informed that from then on it is forbidden to return to the surface. In the next day Hikari learns that all of his friends from Shioshishio are absent from school and he returns to the village to find out why. Manaka informs him that they are forbidden to leave the village as a calamity is impending and expresses her will to support him. Despite knowing that Manaka only views him as a friend, Hikari does not resist the urge to embrace her and he flees after a surprised Manaka shoves him away. 

11:55 - 12:45    Captain Earth (Episodes 3-4)
Plot Summary: [Source: Wikipedia] High-school student Daichi Manatsu works for the Globe (グローブ Gurōbu) organization to pilot a giant robot called the Earth Engine Impacter (アースエンジンインパクター Āsu Enjin Inpakutā) to protect the Earth from the invading alien force known as the "Kill-T-Gang" (キルトガング Kirutogangu). from the planet Uranus.

12:45 - 1:35     Nisekoi (Episodes 5-6)
Plot Summary: [Source: Wikipedia
Nisekoi follows high school student Raku Ichijo, the son of a leader in the yakuza faction Shuei-Gumi, and Chitoge Kirisaki, the daughter of a boss in a rival gang known as Beehive. They unexpectedly meet when Chitoge hops a wall and knees Raku in the face. After she runs off, Raku realizes he has lost his locket which was given to him by his childhood sweetheart with whom he made a secret promise. After discovering Chitoge is a new transfer student in his class, he forces her to help him look for the locket. During the search, they begin to dislike each other. Upon returning home, Raku learns that the Shuei-Gumi and Beehive gangs have agreed to settle their feud by pairing their leaders' children. Raku learns that his girlfriend-to-be is none other than Chitoge. For the next three years, they must pretend to be in a relationship to maintain peace between the gangs. This turns out to be quite a challenging task, not only because of their hatred for one another, but also because Raku has a crush on another schoolmate, Kosaki Onodera, whom he secretly wishes was the girl who bears the key to his locket. Various developments complicate the situation, including Chitoge's over-protective bodyguard, a female hitman, a girl who claims to be Raku's fiancée, and the existence of multiple keys.

 1:35 - 2:15     Club Meeting / Announcements
ANIME CENTRAL 2014 Highlights!
  • Convention Coverage
  • Animation News from around the world
  • Cosplayers/Skits/Masquerade
  • Anime Music Videos
  • And other weird, interesting stuff...

2:15 - 2:40    Wizard Barristers 7
Plot Summary: [Source: Wikipedia] In 2018, humans and wizards live together in Tokyo. Police continue to protect order in society, but wizards (known as Wud) are tried according to magical law via Magic Prohibition Law, in special courts defended by wizard barristers via the Court of Magic. At age seventeen, half Japanese half Canadian Cecile Sudou, has just become the youngest wizard barrister after passing the bar exam at age fifteen, and begins work at the Butterfly Law Offices. While she hasn't realized it yet, she has tremendous magical potential.

2:40 - 4:40    Space Pirate Captain Harlock (CGI Movie) [Feature Presentation]
Space Pirate Captain Harlock
 Plot Summary: [Source: Wikipedia] In the future, mankind has discovered a way to travel faster than light and has built colonies on thousands of planets. With humanity fading and the resources of the universe starting to dwindle, some five hundred billion humans began the long journey back home. The desire to repopulate Earth starts the so-called Home Coming War, until an authoritarian universal government by the name of the Gaia Sanction declares Earth a sacred planet, and thus forbidden to humanity. In this dying universe, the space pirate Captain Harlock travels with his immensely powerful flagship, the Arcadia, to fulfill a mysterious purpose. The young Yama, brother of the Fleet Commander Isola, is chosen to infiltrate the Arcadia's crew and discover the objective of the pirate captain.