Next Club Meeting: October 19, 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.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Leonard Nimoy Passes Away

Leonard Nimoy Passes Away at Age 83
(1931 - 2015)
Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.

His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Mr. Nimoy announced that he had the disease last year, attributing it to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.

His artistic pursuits — poetry, photography and music in addition to acting — ranged far beyond the United Federation of Planets, but it was as Mr. Spock that Mr. Nimoy became a folk hero, bringing to life one of the most indelible characters of the last half century: a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing: “Live long and prosper” (from the Vulcan “Dif-tor heh smusma”). 
As part of the Yiddish Book Center Wexler Oral History Project, Leonard Nimoy explains the origin of the Vulcan hand signal used by Spock, his character in the “Star Trek” series.
Nimoy, who was teaching Method acting at his own studio when he was cast in the original “Star Trek” television series in the mid-1960s, relished playing outsiders, and he developed what he later admitted was a mystical identification with Spock, the lone alien on the starship’s bridge.
Yet he also acknowledged ambivalence about being tethered to the character, expressing it most plainly in the titles of two autobiographies: “I Am Not Spock,” published in 1977, and “I Am Spock,” published in 1995.

In the first, he wrote, “In Spock, I finally found the best of both worlds: to be widely accepted in public approval and yet be able to continue to play the insulated alien through the Vulcan character.”

“Star Trek,” which had its premiere on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966, made Mr. Nimoy a star. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the franchise, called him “the conscience of ‘Star Trek’ ” — an often earnest, sometimes campy show that employed the distant future (as well as some primitive special effects by today’s standards) to take on social issues of the 1960s.

His stardom would endure. Though the series was canceled after three seasons because of low ratings, a cultlike following — the conference-holding, costume-wearing Trekkies, or Trekkers (the designation Mr. Nimoy preferred) — coalesced soon after “Star Trek” went into syndication.

The fans’ devotion only deepened when “Star Trek” was spun off into an animated show, various new series and an uneven parade of movies starring much of the original television cast, including — besides Mr. Nimoy — William Shatner (as Capt. James T. Kirk), DeForest Kelley (Dr. McCoy), George Takei (the helmsman, Sulu), James Doohan (the chief engineer, Scott), Nichelle Nichols (the chief communications officer, Uhura) and Walter Koenig (the navigator, Chekov).

When the director J. J. Abrams revived the “Star Trek” film franchise in 2009, with an all-new cast — including Zachary Quinto as Spock — he included a cameo part for Mr. Nimoy, as an older version of the same character. Mr. Nimoy also appeared in the 2013 follow-up, “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

His zeal to entertain and enlighten reached beyond “Star Trek” and crossed genres. He had a starring role in the dramatic television series “Mission: Impossible” and frequently performed onstage, notably as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof.” His poetry was voluminous, and he published books of his photography.

He also directed movies, including two from the “Star Trek” franchise, and television shows. And he made records, singing pop songs as well as original songs about “Star Trek,” and gave spoken-word performances — to the delight of his fans and the bewilderment of critics.
But all that was subsidiary to Mr. Spock, the most complex member of the Enterprise crew, who was both one of the gang and a creature apart engaged at times in a lonely struggle with his warring racial halves.
In one of his most memorable “Star Trek” performances, Mr. Nimoy tried to follow in the tradition of two actors he admired, Charles Laughton and Boris Karloff, who each played a monstrous character — Quasimodo and the Frankenstein monster — who is transformed by love.
In Episode 24, which was first shown on March 2, 1967, Mr. Spock is indeed transformed. Under the influence of aphrodisiacal spores he discovers on the planet Omicron Ceti III, he lets free his human side and announces his love for Leila Kalomi (Jill Ireland), a woman he had once known on Earth. In this episode, Mr. Nimoy brought to Spock’s metamorphosis not only warmth, compassion and playfulness, but also a rarefied concept of alienation.

“I am what I am, Leila,” Mr. Spock declares after the spores’ effect has worn off and his emotions are again in check. “And if there are self-made purgatories, then we all have to live in them. Mine can be no worse than someone else’s.”

Born in Boston on March 26, 1931, Leonard Simon Nimoy was the second son of Max and Dora Nimoy, Ukrainian immigrants and Orthodox Jews. His father worked as a barber.

From the age of 8, Leonard acted in local productions, winning parts at a community college, where he performed through his high school years. In 1949, after taking a summer course at Boston College, he traveled to Hollywood, though it wasn’t until 1951 that he landed small parts in two movies, “Queen for a Day” and “Rhubarb.”

He continued to be cast in little-known movies, although he did presciently play an alien invader in a cult serial called “Zombies of the Stratosphere,” and in 1961 he had a minor role on an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” His first starring movie role came in 1952 with “Kid Monk Baroni,” in which he played a disfigured Italian street-gang leader who becomes a boxer.

Mr. Nimoy served in the Army for two years, rising to sergeant and spending 18 months at Fort McPherson in Georgia, where he presided over shows for the Army’s Special Services branch. He also directed and starred as Stanley in the Atlanta Theater Guild’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” before receiving his final discharge in November 1955.
He then returned to California, where he worked as a soda jerk, movie usher and cabdriver while studying acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. He achieved wide visibility in the late 1950s and early 1960s on television shows like “Wagon Train,” “Rawhide” and “Perry Mason.” Then came “Star Trek.”

Mr. Nimoy returned to college in his 40s and earned a master’s degree in Spanish from Antioch University Austin, an affiliate of Antioch College in Ohio, in 1978. Antioch University later awarded Mr. Nimoy an honorary doctorate.

Mr. Nimoy directed two of the Star Trek movies, “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” (1984) and “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” (1986), which he helped write. In 1991, the same year that he resurrected Mr. Spock on two episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Mr. Nimoy was also the executive producer and a writer of the movie “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.”

He then directed the hugely successful comedy “Three Men and a Baby” (1987), a far cry from his science-fiction work, and appeared in made-for-television movies. He received an Emmy nomination for the 1982 movie “A Woman Called Golda,” in which he portrayed the husband of Golda Meir, the prime minister of Israel, who was played by Ingrid Bergman. It was the fourth Emmy nomination of his career — the other three were for his “Star Trek” work — although he never won.

Mr. Nimoy’s marriage to the actress Sandi Zober ended in divorce. Besides his wife, he is survived by his children, Adam and Julie Nimoy; a stepson, Aaron Bay Schuck; and six grandchildren; one great-grandchild, and an older brother, Melvin.

Though his speaking voice was among his chief assets as an actor, the critical consensus was that his music was mortifying. Mr. Nimoy, however, was undaunted, and his fans seemed to enjoy the camp of his covers of songs like “If I Had a Hammer.” (His first album was called “Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space.”)

From 1977 to 1982, Mr. Nimoy hosted the syndicated series “In Search Of...,” which explored mysteries like the Loch Ness Monster and UFOs. He also narrated “Ancient Mysteries” on the History Channel from 1995 to 2003 and appeared in commercials, including two with Mr. Shatner for Priceline.com. He provided the voice for animated characters in “Transformers: The Movie,” in 1986, and “The Pagemaster,” in 1994.

In 2001 he voiced the king of Atlantis in the Disney animated movie “Atlantis: The Lost Empire,” and in 2005 he furnished voice-overs for the computer game Civilization IV. More recently, he had a recurring role on the science-fiction series “Fringe” and was heard, as the voice of Spock, in an episode of the hit sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.”

Mr. Nimoy was an active supporter of the arts as well. The Thalia, a venerable movie theater on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, now a multi-use hall that is part of Symphony Space, was renamed the Leonard Nimoy Thalia in 2002.

He also found his voice as a writer. Besides his autobiographies, he published “A Lifetime of Love: Poems on the Passages of Life” in 2002. Typical of Mr. Nimoy’s simple free verse are these lines: “In my heart/Is the seed of the tree/Which will be me.”

In later years, he rediscovered his Jewish heritage, and in 1991 he produced and starred in “Never Forget,” a television movie based on the story of a Holocaust survivor who sued a neo-Nazi organization of Holocaust deniers.

In 2002, having illustrated his books of poetry with his photographs, Mr. Nimoy published “Shekhina,” a book devoted to photography with a Jewish theme, that of the feminine aspect of God. His black-and-white photographs of nude and seminude women struck some Orthodox Jewish leaders as heretical, but Mr. Nimoy asserted that his work was consistent with the teaching of the kabbalah.

His religious upbringing also influenced the characterization of Spock. The character’s split-fingered salute, he often explained, had been his idea: He based it on the kohanic blessing, a manual approximation of the Hebrew letter shin, which is the first letter in Shaddai, one of the Hebrew names for God.

“To this day, I sense Vulcan speech patterns, Vulcan social attitudes and even Vulcan patterns of logic and emotional suppression in my behavior,” Mr. Nimoy wrote years after the original series ended.

But that wasn’t such a bad thing, he discovered. “Given the choice,” he wrote, “if I had to be someone else, I would be Spock.”

Leonard Nimoy's Final Tweet: 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Anime Viewing Schedule for February 28, 2015

Saturday, February 28, 2015
Wood Dale Public Library
What time is it?
Time for ANIME!!!!!
Watch "Expelled From Paradise" @ 2:55 pm
Main Meeting Room, 10:15 am to 5:00 pm

10:15 - 11:30    Nagi no Asukara 24-26 (End)
11:30 - 12:20   
Captain Earth 21-22
12:20 - 1:10      Aldnoah Zero 11-12
1:10 - 1:45        Club Meeting / Announcements
1:45 - 2:35        Parasyte the maxim 8-9
2:35 - 3:00       
Death Parade 1

3:00 - 4:45        Expelled From Paradise (Feature Film)

 
Keep watching the exciting new anime series: Aldnoah Zero and Parasyte!
ANIME DESCRIPTIONS ARE BELOW

10:15 - 11:30     Nagi no Asukara - "A Lull in the Sea" (Episodes 24-26 END)
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.

11:30 - 12:20    Captain Earth (Episodes 21-22)
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.

12:20 - 1:10     Aldnoah Zero (Episodes 11-12)
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.

 1:10 - 1:45     Club Meeting / Announcements
February 2015 Cosplay
  • Convention Coverage
  • Animation News from around the world
  • Cosplayers/Skits/Masquerade
  • Anime Music Videos
  • And other weird, interesting stuff...


1:45 - 2:35    Parasyte - The Maxim (Episodes 8-9)
Plot Summary: [Source: Wikipedia] Parasyte centers around a 17-year-old teen named Shinichi Izumi, who lives with his mother and father in a quiet neighborhood in Tokyo. One night, worm-like aliens called Parasites invade Earth, taking over the brains of human hosts by entering through their ears or noses. One Parasite attempts to crawl into Shinichi's ear while he sleeps, but fails as Shinichi is wearing headphones, and enters his body by burrowing into his arm instead. In the Japanese version, it takes over his right hand and is named Migi, after the Japanese word for 'right'; Tokyopop's version, in which the images are flipped horizontally, has the Parasite take over Shinichi's left hand and it is named Lefty. Because Shinichi was able to prevent Migi from travelling further up into his brain, both beings retain their separate intellect and personality. As the duo encounter other Parasites, they capitalize on their strange situation and gradually form a strong bond, working together to survive. This gives them an edge in battling other Parasites who frequently attack the pair upon realization that Shinichi's human brain is still intact. Shinichi feels compelled to fight other Parasites, who devour humans as food, while enlisting Migi's help.

2:35 - 3:00    Death Parade (Episode 1)
Plot Summary: [Source: Wikipedia] Somewhere is a mysterious bar known as the Quindecim, where a lone bartender named Decim works. Whenever two people die at the exact time and emerge from the bar's elevators, those two must participate in a Death Game with their lives on the line, the results of which will reveal what secrets led them there and what their fate will be afterwards.
3:00 - 4:45    Expelled From Paradise [Feature Presentation]
Plot Summary: [Source: Wikipedia] Angela Balzac is an agent at the space station DEVA, whose inhabitants have no physical bodies, their minds digitized and processed into a virtual reality environment. After failing to track down the hacker known as "Frontier Setter", who had infiltrated DEVA's systems dozens of times to gather allies for his cause with no success, she is tasked to look for him down on Earth, now a barren planet where the rest of the humans live. After being given an organic body and sent to the surface, Angela meets Dingo, her contact on Earth, who cuts off all communications with her base, in order to prevent Frontier Setter from discovering their location as well, despite her protests. Angela and Dingo's investigations lead them to an abandoned city, where they meet Frontier Setter, who is revealed to be an AI developed to supervise the construction of Genesis Ark, a ship designed for deep space travel, and somehow developed consciousness, continuing its work long after its masters perished. Realizing that Frontier Setter intends to do no harm at all, Angela leaves her body and reports to her superiors at DEVA, who order her to destroy it, fearing that it may eventually become a threat, but she refuses. Angela is then sentenced to have her mind stored into an archive forever, but Frontier Setter hacks into the system to rescue her. Once Angela returns to Earth and her body with supplies and weaponry, she and Dingo join forces to hold back DEVA's other agents long enough for a rocket to be launched carrying Frontier Setter and the final module of the Genesis Ark. Angela and Dingo then escape, while Frontier Setter starts its journey though space.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Next Club Meeting is February 28, 2015

We'll show you the way
to great ANIME!
"Umm, something tells me it's that way!"

Wood Dale Public Library
520 N. Wood Dale Road
Wood Dale, IL  60191
Main Meeting Room
Saturday, February 28, 2015
10:15 AM - 5:00 PM

Our next club meeting will be at the Wood Dale Public Library
Main Meeting Room (on your right as you enter the front doors), 
from 10:15 AM to 5:00 PM 
(until the library closes).

There is public transportation available. 
A Metra train-stop is located within walking distance. 

Please note: If you are driving, please park your car 
on the south side of the building (not the front) in order to 
make room for other library patrons.
 
A Viewing Schedule will be posted soon.
 
Hope to see you all there!

(Click below for maps