Next Club Meeting: September 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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fan-made Buffy the Vampire Slayer animated series

[Source: blastr.com] It’s been more than a decade since Joss Whedon tried to get a Buffy the Vampire Slayer animated series off the ground, and now one intrepid fan has stepped in to give him a hand. Hollywood, make this happen. Now.

Back in 2002, Whedon pitched an animated series that eventually died in development hell once they couldn’t find a network to air it. Not content with the official 10-year-old concept reel below, artist Stephen Byrne put together a fantastic, fan-made intro for the nonexistent Buffy animated series the world deserves.

Check out Byrne’s clip above. Go ahead, take your time — you’ll want to watch it a few times and revel in the awesomeness. Byrne’s whiz-bang clip, which features Buffy and the later-season gang, is the perfect pitch for just how fun and whimsical a Buffy animated series could be. Heck, considering Whedon’s cachet and the lingering love for the series, we’d argue the project could still be a hit today. Cartoon Network, you listening?

Now, we need your opinion — check out the original decade-old pitch reel below, along with Byrne’s clip above, and let us know which version you prefer.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Gotham Academy Series and Batgirl's Redesign

Gotham City's undergoing some changes in the coming weeks, and we've got a sneak peek at two of the comics responsible.

This fall, DC Comics is launching several new series -- Gotham AcademyArkham Manor and Gotham by Midnight -- that will change the landscape of Batman's hometown and give us a better look at people outside the Batman family who live their lives in the shadow of the Dark Knight. At the same time, the company's also launching new takes on longtime Batman associates Catwoman and Batgirl, the latter of which became an online sensation when her new costume design (featuring yellow Dr. Martens boots that cosplayers everywhere are snatching up from retailers right now) debuted a couple of months ago. 

USA Today unveiled new looks at these books, and we were particularly drawn in by what's ahead for Gotham Academy and Batgirl. The former, co-written by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher and drawn by Karl Kerschl, will reach out to a new wave of young readers with a spooky school setting that also just happens to be in a city dominated by Batman. 
"Imagine going to high school and then looking up at night and, oh, there's the Bat-signal when you're at band practice," Cloonan said, describing the mood of the series.
Gotham Academy has all the makings of an entertaining prep-school story, from precocious students to odd faculty members, set against the backdrop of the ever-spooky Gotham City. Growing up in Gotham has to be weird, and this series will explore that by allowing its main teen characters to solve mysteries that delve deep into the city's (and Batman's) mythology.
"These kids could eventually be crime solvers in Gotham," Fletcher said, "but right now they're just exploring the mysteries of these old buildings on this really creepy campus."
Batgirl, meanwhile, isn't relaunching with a new number one, but it is undergoing a shift in both tone and location as Barbara Gordon moves to the trendy Burnside neighborhood of Gotham, re-costumes herself with thrift shop clothes and tries to loosen up a little bit.
"She's taking her first tentative steps to experimenting with having a 'normal' life after being so involved with the crime fighting and all the darkness that's beset her," said Cameron Stewart, who's collaborating on the series with co-writer Fletcher and artist Babs Tarr. "It may not always work out the best for her, but she's trying."
Gotham Academy #1 hits stores Oct. 1, and Batgirl #35 hits stores Oct. 8.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Iron Man hugs it out with Iron Totoro

Here's a heartwarming shot of Iron Man embracing Iron Totoro at last weekend's Rose City Comic Con in Portland.  Who needs Hulkbuster armor when you've got a neighborly wood sprite sporting the crimson and gold?  Tony and Totoro forever!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Awesome Trailers for Rage of Bahamut: Genesis

Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis (Rage of Bahamut Genesis) is an anime adaptation of its Rage of Bahamut social card game. Keiichi Satou (Tiger and Bunny, live-action Black Butler) is directing this adaptation of the "sweeping visual fantasy" at the anime studio MAPPA. Naoyuki Onda (Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I - The Egg of the King, The Animatrix's Detective Story) is serving as character designer and chief animation director, and Yoshihiro Ike (Tiger and Bunny, Karas) is scoring the music.

Keiichi Hasegawa (scripts on Astro Boy, The Big O, Zoids) is in charge of the series scripts, and Takashi Hashimoto is in charge of effects animation. Goki Nakamura is the art director, and Osamu Mikasa is the color key artist. Shinya Sugu is directing the CGI. 


The game franchise already inspired a series of commercials by director Kenji Kamiyama (Eden of the East, 009 Re:Cyborg) and his Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex composer Yoko Kanno (Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne, Macross Plus/Frontier).

Friday, September 26, 2014

Big Hero 6 Movie Trailer

"Big Hero 6" is a heartfelt 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, clean freak Wasabi No-Ginger, 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 cutting-edge 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 and all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, "Big Hero 6" is directed by Don Hall ("Winnie the Pooh") and Chris Williams ("Bolt"), and produced by Roy Conli ("Tangled"). The film hits theaters in 3D on November 7, 2014.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (かぐや姫の物語 Kaguya-hime no Monogatari?) is a 2013 Japanese animated film produced by Studio Ghibli, and directed and co-written by Isao Takahata, based on the folktale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. This is Takahata's fifth film for Studio Ghibli, and his first in 14 years since his 1999 feature, My Neighbors the Yamadas.

Plot Summary: The film follows the protagonist, Princess Kaguya, from her infant years to adulthood in the human world. It also explores the "crime" she committed prior to the events of the film.

The story begins with Okina, a bamboo cutter and gatherer, discovering Kaguya in a glowing bamboo shoot in a bamboo grove. Believing her to be a divine gift, he bears her home; Okina and his wife Ona then decide to take Kaguya (simply naming her "Princess") as their child. Kaguya transforms from a miniature girl into a full-size infant, and Ona suddenly finds herself able to breast-feed. The couple remark on their new daughter's remarkable growth.

Kaguya's growth continues perceptibly, earning herself the nickname "bamboo" among the children of the village. Sutemaru, the oldest among Kaguya's friends, develops a particularly close relationship with her.

Okina later comes upon large amounts of gold and fine cloth in the bamboo grove much in the same way as he found Kaguya. He takes these as confirmation of Kaguya's divine royalty and begins planning to make Kaguya a proper princess, believing it to be her destiny. Kaguya returns home one day to find Okina and Ona packed to leave; abruptly, her life in the mountain is ended as she relocates to the capital. Kaguya finds herself in a spacious home replete with servants and fine clothes. She also finds herself saddled with a coach in femininity named Sagami, who is tasked with taming Kaguya into a prim and proper woman.

Okina holds a celebration in commemoration of Kaguya's name-day, at which an unkind overheard conversation sends Kaguya into despair; she flees the capital and runs all the way to the mountains, looking beggarly and ragged on her arrival. She inquires after Sutemaru and her other friends, but finds that they have all moved away. Kaguya passes out in the snow, only to awaken suddenly back at the party, not missed at all.

Kaguya continues to grow the whole time; her beauty ensnares suitors by the dozen, who besiege the house in hopes of being granted an audience with the Princess. Okina is delighted by the mass of prospective husbands, but Ona is less enthusiastic and Kaguya entirely uninterested. The suitor situation escalates through five men of high standing in the government; Kaguya turns them away one by one by requesting impossible things of them, rebuffing their fraudulent attempts in turn. When one of the would-be suitors is killed in his quest, Kaguya falls into depression and begins spending long periods of time tearfully playing music to the moon.

Eventually, the Emperor himself takes notice of Kaguya. When Kaguya refuses to visit him at his palace, the Emperor decides to visit her instead. Taken with her beauty, he comes up behind Kaguya and embraces her, invoking her revulsion. Kaguya then demonstrates an uncanny ability to disappear at will, surprising the Emperor somewhat. Understanding that Kaguya is not easily moved, the Emperor graciously takes his leave, determined to return and make Kaguya his.

Kaguya's melancholy worsens, worrying Okina and Ona. When pressed, she finally reveals that she comes from the Moon, which she begged for help when the Emperor made his advances. She is faced with returning to the Moon on the fifteenth night of the lunar month, during the full moon. Kaguya, realizing her attachment to the Earth, sadly confesses her reluctance to leave. Okina swears to devise protection against any celestial force and sets out to begin construction immediately. Ona returns with Kaguya to her hometown in the mountains once more. Kaguya meets again with Sutemaru and declares him to be better than all her other potential suitors; Sutemaru vows to protect her, come what may, and they run together through the mountains until they take to the air.

Their joyous flight is cut short when Kaguya sees the Moon and panics, begging Sutemaru to hold her tightly. Despite Sutemaru's best efforts, Kaguya is torn from his grasp out of the sky and down into the ocean. Sutemaru awakens alone in the meadow. Convincing himself that it had been a dream, he returns to his wife and child. Kaguya returns home to the capital with Ona.

On the fateful night of the full moon, a celestial delegation descends from the moon. Despite Okina's men's best efforts, the divine force is unstoppable as it sweeps in unperturbed, putting most in the house to sleep. A Buddha-like figure directs some sprites to ferry Kaguya to them; they enter into Kaguya's chamber through the windows and charm her. Kaguya, in a trance, glides away and out of the room, much to Ona's horror. She rises to the Moon-bound group, from which an attendant offers her a robe of forgetfulness and a crown. Kaguya puts on the crown, but is stayed from the robe by her parents' cries. She begs the attendant to grant her a last moment with Okina and Ona.

Kaguya delivers one final ode to the Earth and all its wonder, embracing her parents for the last time. The attendant then drapes the robe of forgetfulness around her, and Kaguya's expression goes blank. She resumes her seat in the entourage and they ascend to the Moon, leaving Okina and Ona distraught.

Despite her apparent detachment from the Earth, Kaguya looks back one last time, with tears in her eyes, before the group disappears into the light of the Moon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Marvel Cancels Super Sexy Spider-Woman Cover

[Source: Vox] Last month, Marvel presented the variant cover for Spider-Woman #1 which featured the superhero in an overtly-sexualized, anatomically silly pose that had her presenting her lady bits to the city below. On Tuesday, the company announced that it had canceled two covers that Milo Manara, the artist responsible for the sexualized Spider-Woman, was slated to draw.

Avengers & X-Men: Axis #1 and Thor #2 were both supposed to have Manara variant covers — collector's items that are rarer than standard covers — which will now be created by other artists, Newsrama reported.

Manara is known for his erotic comics. And the argument here isn't whether or not Manara should be allowed to draw his erotic art. The question is why Marvel, a colossal comic company that has started to position itself as a diversity and gender equality leader in the industry, commissioned Manara to create the Spider-Woman cover if what it was touting was gender equality.

Thor #2 is significant, because that's the second issue featuring the history-making female Thor, which Marvel has been touting since this past summer. If the female Thor was drawn in a similar, overtly-sexualized fashion to how Spider-Woman was drawn, the company would have likely faced the same backlash — if not an even greater one.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fifty Shades of Frozen

Were you one of the people who thought Frozen wasn’t quite kinky enough? No? Well, just in case, a delightfully twisted and inventive YouTuber mashed up the most popular animated film of all time with the most viewed trailer of the year for Fifty Shades of Grey, to give us all the (perhaps completely unwanted) gift of a much steamier Hans and Anna romance.

YouTube user Tranceart Violeta pieced together scenes from the Disney hit that fit perfectly — almost creepily so— with the trailer audio from the hotly anticipated adaptation of the S&M romance. For instance, you might not have initially noticed that the manipulative prince Hans has a lot in common with control-freak corporate titan Christian Grey. If so, prepare to be enlightened, as Anastasia/Anna says in the clip. Turns out a faster way to melt all that ice in Arendelle would’ve been to play Beyoncé's sexed-up, slowed-down version of "Crazy in Love."

Monday, September 22, 2014

POPEYE - New CGI Animated Movie

P O P E Y E
Sony Pictures Animation has posted a first-look clip, with introduction by animation legend Genndy Tartakovsky, at its upcoming CG feature adaptation of King Features’ classic Popeye. Set for 2016, Tartakovsky (who is directing concurrently with Hotel Transylvania 2) promised to make the film “as arftul and unrealistic as possible” — and it looks like he delivered.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Bloodborne

Bloodborne is an upcoming video game being developed by From Software and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 4. It is being directed by Demon's Souls and Dark Souls director Hidetaka Miyazaki. The game was announced at Sony's Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014 media briefing on June 9, 2014, where a trailer was shown. The game is set for release in Japan on February 5, 2015, and in North America and Europe on February 6, 2015.
Plot Summary: The game's story takes place in an ancient, abandoned city called Yharnam which was known for housing a medical remedy. Over the years, many travelers made pilgrimages to Yharnam seeking the remedy to cure their afflictions; the protagonist is one of these travelers. Upon arriving in Yharnam, however, it is discovered that it is overrun with a terrifying curse which has rendered most of the city's population violently deranged. The player must navigate the streets of Yharnam and defeat its insane inhabitants and horrifying monsters in order to survive.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

WAKFU - Now Free to Play on Steam

STEP INTO A LIMITLESS UNIVERSE

Touchdown in the World of Twelve and set off on a great adventure in WAKFU, an original massively multiplayer online role playing universe where humor goes hand in hand with action-packed,tactical battles.

Climb Mount Zinit in search of Ogrest, the fearsome ogre behind the cataclysm that devastated the World, or mark your own path across the archipelagos who feverishly work to rebuild their once mighty nations.

Become a warrior, politician, merchant, or craftsman, but whatever you choose...

IN WAKFU, EVERYTHING DEPENDS ON YOU!

Key Features
Turn-based tactical combat: Tired of brainlessly running through the forest pressing 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 3, on every monster that jumps on you? Discover our turn-based tactical combat system, and develop a more creative strategy to defeat monsters that will keep challenging your tactical skills.

15 original classes: No standard knight, ranger, mage and cleric here. Discover our 15 classes, each with their unique set of skills and gameplay. From Foggernauts, the robot wreckers, to Xelors, masters of time, you're sure to find the character that's right for you. 

Political life: NPCs are so yesterday… Write your own destiny and join the political dance of your Nation. Become Governor or one of his ministers, and make decisions that will impact thousands of players. The choice is yours: decide if you’d rather be a democratic, peaceful leader, or a tyrannical conqueror! 

Master the ecosystem: Respawn is a lie. When you kill something, you’d better replant it, or you might accidentally wipe out an entire species. Our unique ecosystem feature will give you complete control over mobs population. 

Build your own world: While others offer you houses, we give you worlds! Haven Worlds! Join a guild and acquire your own little piece of the world, to build and develop just as you wish. Don’t worry, in the Haven Worlds there are houses too, and so much more! 

Quests and Dungeons: Live exciting adventures, explore lots of unique dungeons, and complete hundreds of quests that will offer you to live a real adventure as a main protagonist. You’re here to save the world, after all!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Disney's Xena: Warrior Princess

NIA is the artist who decided to redesign Xena and Gabrielle in a Disney style and the results are wonderful.

Here is what NIA had to say about the characters:
"She was one of my first strong female role models growing up.Her show was considered too ‘adult’ for me to watch, but when no one was around I’d flip on over to whatever channel she was on just to see tall, dark and gorgeous kick ass onscreen.
Although at the time I didn’t understand the significance of her character in popular culture, my recent interest in reviving her is simply because right now we just don’t have those well rounded leading female characters that were so prominent in the ’90s. We need more Xenas & Gabrielles, Buffys, and Dana Scullys on the big and small screens for little girls to admire."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends

Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends,” the second installment of a two-parter about a reformed sword-wielding assassin in post-feudal-era Japan, opened at number one with $8.6 million on 717,958 admissions for the Sept. 13-14 frame. That was 55% better than the opening weekend B.O. for the previous installment, “Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno.”
 
The film’s total take for the three-day holiday weekend was $12 million.

Meanwhile, “Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno” ranked in at number seven with a cume approaching the five billion yen ($47 million) milestone. Both films are Warner Entertainment Japan productions. 
Also entering the rankings last weekend was “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which grabbed the number three spot with $2.9 million on 176,233 admissions and 595 screens. 

Bowing at number five was “Lady Maiko,” a singing-and-dancing musical by “Shall We Dance?” director Masayuki Suo. The film took just over $1 million on 91,772 admissions to rank in at number five, and is expected to pass the $10 million mark.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Anime Viewing Schedule for September 20, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014
Wood Dale Public Library
There's just no avoiding it...
Go directly to the anime meeting!
Patema Inverted the Movie @ 3:05 pm
Main Meeting Room, 10:15 am to 5:00 pm
(Click on links to view Video Previews)

10:15 - 11:05    Nisekoi 11-12 [Video]
11:05 - 11:55    Nagi no Asukara 14-15 [Video]
11:55 - 12:45    Captain Earth 11-12 [Video]
12:45 - 1:35      Aldnoah Zero 1-2 [Video]
1:35 - 2:15        Club Meeting / Announcements [Video]
2:15 - 3:05        Zankyou no Terror 1-2
[Video]
3:05 - 4:35        Patema Inverted (movie) [Video]

 

ANIME DESCRIPTIONS ARE BELOW -- We'll be showing two new anime series: Aldnoah Zero and Zankyou no Terror, plus the fantastic movie Patema Inverted! Be there!

10:15 - 11:05   Nisekoi 11-12
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.

11:05 - 11:55     Nagi no Asukara - "A Lull in the Sea" (Episodes 14-15)
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.

11:55 - 12:45    Captain Earth (Episodes 11-12)
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     Aldnoah Zero (Episodes 1-2)
Plot Summary: [Source: Wikipedia] In 1972, an ancient alien hypergate was discovered on the surface of the moon. Using this technology, humanity began migrating to Mars and settling there. After settlers discovered additional advanced technology, the Vers Empire was founded, which claimed Mars and its secrets for themselves. Later, the Vers Empire declared war on Earth, and in 1999, a battle on the Moon's surface caused the hypergate to explode, shattering the Moon and scattering remnants into a debris belt around the planet. Cut off from Mars, the remnants of the Vers Empire established several massive orbital space stations within the debris belt and a ceasefire was established. 15 years later, in 2014, an attack on the Vers princess during a peace mission causes the Empire to launch a new attack on Earth, this time determined to conquer it once and for all.

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

2:15 - 3:05    Zankyou no Terror (Episodes 1-2)
Plot Summary: [Source: Wikipedia] In an alternate iteration of the present, Tokyo has been hit by a terrorist attack that has devastated the city, with the only evidence of the culprits being a confusing video uploaded to the internet, which only spreads paranoia throughout Japan. Unbeknownst to the authorities is that the terrorist masterminds who call themselves "Sphinx" (スピンクス Supinkusu) are two teenaged boys, who go by the names Nine and Twelve, who apparently should not exist and have decided to wake up the world with their heinous plans of destruction with their fingers on the trigger.

3:05 - 4:45    Patema Inverted [Feature Presentation]
Plot Summary: [Source: Wikipedia] Patema is a princess from a civilization that lives in a system of tunnels and caverns deep underground. She likes to go exploring the world outside her village, despite being frequently warned of a mysterious danger that supposedly exists out there. While looking around in the "danger zone", Patema is confronted by a figure standing on the ceiling, upside-down. She falls into a deep pit, and finds herself on the surface world, above ground, where she meets a boy named Eiji. They discover that the effect of gravity is reversed for Patema's people; to Eiji, Patema is upside-down, while from Patema's perspective, Eiji and his entire world are upside-down, which puts her in great danger of falling up into the sky.