Next Club Meeting: May 25, 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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

PlayStation's POWERS Series

PlayStation's  P O W E R S
Powers is an American online streaming series adaptation of the Powers comic book series published by Marvel Comics under their Icon Comics imprint. The PlayStation Network's first scripted original programming, the series premiered on March 10, 2015. The first two episodes of the series were written by Charlie Huston and directed by David Slade. The first three episodes were released on March 10, 2015 on the PlayStation Network. The pilot episode is available for free on YouTube and Crackle.

E P I S O D E   O N E
In a world in which superpowered individuals known as "Powers" are a reality, the city of Los Angeles has a special department known as the Powers Division which polices superpowered criminals. Christian Walker, a Power known as "Diamond" has lost his powers and becomes a detective in the Powers Division. Following a routine arrest, a Power breaks free from his cell and kills Walker's partner. After the mess from the jailbreak is cleaned up, Walker is assigned a new partner, Deena Pilgrim. For their first case, they are assigned to investigate the death of the superhero Olympia, found dead in a hotel room by a young girl named Calista Secor. Walker and Pilgrim interrogate Calista, but before they can gain any real information, she is teleported out of the police station by Johnny Royale, a criminal Power thought killed many years ago. Walker and Pilgrim go to visit Walker's old friend "Big Bad" Wolfe who had been caught and incarcerated by Walker after becoming a criminal. Wolfe was thought to have killed Johnny Royale, but a conversation with Wolfe yields no new information, save for him cryptically telling Walker that he will give him back his powers if he will let him out of prison. Walker is able to track down Calista, but finds her about to leap from a building in a desperate attempt to activate powers that she hopes she has. When she jumps, Walker jumps after her, hoping that his powers will return and allow him to save her. The attempt fails, but before they hit the ground, the superhero RetroGirl saves them both.

Monday, March 30, 2015

First look at Star Wars Rebels prequel comic

K A N A N :   T H E   L A S T   P A D A W A N
[Source:] The newest Star Wars comic from Marvel is Kanan: The Last Padawan, written by Greg Weisman and illustrated by Pepe Larraz. The new series will explore the origins of Star Wars Rebels’ very own Jedi cowboy, Kanan Jarrus. The Last Padawan will explain how a young Padawan by the name of Caleb Dume survived Order 66 and eventually became the rebel hero we’ve all come to know and love.

Here is a synopsis for the upcoming new series:
Kanan Jarrus--in STAR WARS REBELS, he’s a cocky, sarcastic renegade fighting against the Galactic Empire alongside the rag-tag crew of the Ghost...but years before, at the height of the Clone Wars, he was known as Caleb Dume, Jedi Padawan under the instruction of Jedi Master Depa Billaba. Neither master nor apprentice ever suspected that the Clone Troopers they commanded would turn on them upon the issuing of Order 66—the order to execute all Jedi. How did Caleb Dume survive? How did he learn to survive on his own? And how did he become the man we know as Kanan Jarrus? Writer Greg Weisman (writer/executive producer on STAR WARS REBELS, SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN) and artist Pepe Larraz (DEADPOOL VS. X-FORCE, THOR, INHUMAN) bring us a tale bridging the years between the Clone Wars and Rebels!
Kanan: The Last Padawan will hit comic-book store shelves on Wednesday, April 1. Will you pick this one up?

Have a look at a few preview pages that show Kanan take on the separatist droid army during the Clone Wars, as well as a couple of very cool variant covers from issue #1, in the gallery down below

Sunday, March 29, 2015

SUNDAYS - Independent Short Film

S  U  N  D  A  Y  S
Mischa Rozema and PostPanic Pictures' debut film project SUNDAYS completes a first step towards its Feature Film goal with the release of this ambitious proof-of-concept short. Much-anticipated and widely-supported by the international creative community (over 50K US Dollars was donated on Kickstarter alone for the live action filming part in Mexico City), SUNDAYS is directed by Mischa Rozema.

Set in Mexico City sometime in the future and starring US actor Brian Petsos and Mexican actress Sofia Sisniega, SUNDAYS is an ambitious philosophical science-fiction proof-of-concept short.

The end of the world seems like a nightmare to Ben. A memory of a past life that doesn’t belong to him. When Ben starts to remember Isabelle, the only love he’s ever known, he realises she’s missing in his life. An existential descent into confusion and the desperate need to find out the truth begins. This reality depicts a stunning, surprising and dark world.

A world that is clearly not his.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Official Trailer for 007's "SPECTRE"

First teaser trailer for the highly anticipated 24th film in the James Bond film franchise, "SPECTRE".

A cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Star vs The Forces of Evil RETURNS!

RETURNS MARCH 30 @ 8/7c on Disney XD!
After having skirmished with a number of dangerous monsters on her home dimension of Mewni, Star Butterfly is sent to Earth by her parents. She arrives in the town of Echo Creek to live with the Diaz family. However, rather than living a normal life, Star, with Marco Diaz, continues to battle villains throughout the universe and in their high school, mainly to protect her extremely powerful wand, an object that she is still yet to master.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Amazing Fan-Made STAR WARS Anime

[Source: TheVerge] Paul Johnson's seven-minute TIE Fighter is a dialogue-free short movie that details a dogfight in space between Star Wars' Imperial and Rebel forces. Influenced by the 1994 PC game of the same name and put together by Johnson over the course of four years, the film is action-packed, beautifully drawn, smoothly animated, and — most importantly — impressively accurate to Star Wars' fiction.

The short starts with an Imperial probe droid, warbling its familiar refrain as it spots a small Rebel fleet loitering near an asteroid field (sound, as science has proven, carries in Star Wars' space). The probe's discovery summons a fearsome fleet: several Star Destroyers and a ship that looks like a particularly tubby cousin of the iconic triangular spacecraft. That bulbous ship is no Star Destroyer — it's an Immobilizer 418 Interdictor-class cruiser, and its four bulges are filled with gravity well generators that, when activated, stop nearby ships from jumping to hyperspace. The Rebels aren't attacking it because it's a fair fight. They're attacking it because they need to get away.
The ambushed fleet beats the Empire's in capital ship numbers, but the bigger Rebel craft have no hope against the Star Destroyers' turbolasers. Two Corellian Corvettes — the same ship swallowed up by the Star Destroyer at the beginning of Episode IV — are only there to guard against frigate-sized craft, and the shellfish-shaped transports are only good for carrying troops. The biggest ship on offer is a Nebulon-B frigate, a ship known best for its role as a hospital ship at the battle of Endor and its glaring structural weakness at its mid-point.

Where X- and Y-Wing starfighters are blessed with shields, life support systems, and hyperdrives, the majority of Sienar's TIE craft aren't. X-Wings can jump through hyperspace in formation with their escort charges; TIE fighters have to be scooped up and dumped out at each stop like laser-equipped ducklings. As Johnson's film shows, the Rebel fighters are tougher, able to take a number of laser salvos and shrug them off thanks to their shield. But TIE craft are both more nimble and more numerous, cheap to replace and maintain, their pilot chairs easily filled with fresh recruits.
Even the less (fictionally) plausible events in Johnson's film are explainable in Star Wars' lore. The Interdictor-class vessel is presumably able to deflect incoming torpedoes by manipulating its gravity well generators. The TIE bomber — traditionally a sluggish sitting duck of a target — is able to deploy missiles to knock off half a squadron of Rebel fighters in one strike because its pilot, as explained in the short's accompanying materials, has developed her own advanced armaments. This devotion to canon makes the film, already enjoyable for its explosions and excellently '80s hair metal soundtrack, even more satisfying.

We're used to seeing the Rebels win, but the desperate group in Johnson's film are outnumbered, outgunned, and out of time. Unable to break through a screen of screen of chaff to knock the Interdictor down, the small fleet is easy prey to TIE Fighter's anime-ified Empire — a slick and delightfully accurate Star Wars-themed game of "who would win in a fight between..."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Rebooted 'Astro Boy' TV Series

A S T R O   B O Y   R E B O O T
[Source: ToonZone] Caribara Animation has posted an official upload of the first teaser trailer for the French / Japanese coproduction Astro Boy Reboot, which is currently being developed as a 26 episode television series targeted at 8-to-12 year olds. The teaser first debuted earlier today during the event MAGIC in Monaco. The cartoon, which uses a combination of 2D and CG animation techniques, is being produced by Shibuya Productions in Monaco, Caribara Production in France and Tezuka Productions in Japan.

True to its name, Astro Boy Reboot was announced as a reintroduction of Osamu Tezuka’s  iconic creation that will mix “positive things from the past version and new elements”, in the words of Shibuya Productions founder Cedric Biscay. The creators are at liberty to tell a completely new story inclusive of original characters, and the cartoon’s storyline is to take place in a contemporary setting. The late Osamu Tezuka conceived of Astro Boy as a tremendously powerful boy robot capable of emotion, who’s rejected by his creator Dr. Tenma as a failed attempt at replicating his deceased son. However Astro is later discovered and taken in by the kindly Dr. Ochanomizu, after which he uses his abilities to fight for the betterment of humans and other robots.

The new 1 minute, 22 second teaser depicts Astro Boy taking flight throughout and beyond his home city, and also credits the following staff:
  • Director and Graphic designer: Florian Thouret
  • Animator: Michaël Crouzat (listed as Mickael Crouzat in the video)
  • Ink & paint: Jean-Luc Kol
  • Layout: Regis Vidal
  • Compositing: Agathe Urban
  • Technical Manager: Pierre Charlet
  • Producers: Fabien Baboz & Cedric Biscay
  • Co-producer: Yoshihiro Shimizu
  • Artistic producer: Marie Faucomprez
  • Music: Yuichiro Maeda
  • Voice: Chiyako Maeda

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

P  i  X  e  L  s
[Source:] We've seen a lot of enemies over the years, from an exploding giant Stay-Puft marshmallow man on the Upper West Side to an 80-foot mechanical tarantula in the wild, wild west. But of all the odd monsters in cinema, we've never before witnessed evil Pac-Man. Until Pixels

Pac-Man, one of the mainstays of my geeky childhood, is now a villain in this upcoming comedy—which will hopefully be as hilarious as the trailer, below, looks. In fact, one of the combatants against the alien overlords is Toru Iwatani (played by Denis Akiyama). You know … the creator of Pac-Man. Talk about knowing your references.

According to IMDB:
[W]hen intergalactic aliens misinterpret video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them, they attack the Earth, using the games as models for their various assaults. President Will Cooper (Kevin James) has to call on his childhood best friend, '80s video game champion Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), now a home theater installer, to lead a team of old-school arcaders (Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad) to defeat the aliens and save the planet. Joining them is Lt. Col. Violet Van Patten (Michelle Monaghan), a specialist supplying the arcaders with unique weapons to fight the aliens.
With some highly entertaining action, as well as an evil Donkey Kong and Peter Dinklage, this Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone/Chamber of Secrets)-directed comedy looks like it could be what we need to keep us occupied until Ready Player One is released. (And since RP1 is still in development, we'll need all the entertainment we can get.)
This isn't the only recent movie to take on '80s arcade nostaglia. Fans can also watch Wreck-It Ralph, Tron: Legacy, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and the fabulous documentary The King of Kong.

Pixels will hit theaters on July 24, 2015.

Monday, March 23, 2015

LEGO Jurassic Park

L E G O   J U R A S S I C   P A R K
[Source:] Jurassic Park was made in 1993 by Steven Spielberg and a massive production company and a budget of $63 million ($104.25 million in 2015 dollars). But there's a new stop-motion version of Jurassic Park, made by a father and a daughter and a few of their friends, plus $100,000s worth of LEGOs. And it's even more charming than the original.

This version, a mere three minutes long, hits all the highlights of the dinosaur adventure story—including the famed vibrating glass of water. Made by Paul Hollingsworth, a contributor to YouTube's DigitalWizardz channel, the builder explains at the end of the video, "I wanted to prove to [my daughter] Hailee we could do anything with LEGO." He certainly did.

Obviously, there's more to this production than just LEGOs; Hollingsworth leaned on some animation and greenscreen for some of the work. In fact, you can see the work for yourself. The movie even comes with a "making-of" video.

With any luck, the upcoming Jurassic World, which will be released on June 12, 2015, will be equally cool.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

'The Leviathan' Proof-of Concept Film

T H E   L E V I A T H A N
If you're a Hollywood studio tasked with giving hundreds of millions of dollars to a production company, which one would you choose? Would you choose the company with the bearded director and the storyboards, or would you choose the company with the bearded director and the slick proof-of-concept movie? If you're the makers of The Leviathan, you'll be hoping for the latter.

The Leviathan is the latest in an admittedly short list of proof-of-concept films, made to highlight the filmmaker's vision and technique. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, 300, Sin City, District 9 and Deadpool all started out as proof-of-concept short films. And although a proof-of-concept film does not guarantee a green light, it's a great deal more attention-getting than a static storyboard.

According to ComingSoon,
Robinson, perhaps best known as the first director attached to Warner Bros.’ live-action Akira remake back in 2007, used assistance from Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann to complete this tease of what he and screenwriter Jim Uhls (Fight Club, Jumper) envision for The Leviathan. 
And the plot?
“By the early 22nd century mankind had colonized many worlds. Faster than light travel was made possible by harvesting exotic matter from the eggs of the largest species mankind has ever seen. Those that take part in the hunt are mostly involuntary labor.”
The short, below, is quite spectacular-looking. But whether The Leviathan can make it as a full-length feature remains to be seen -- and produced. However, its camerawork and its large, kaiju-like creature remind us of the most recent and decent Godzilla ... which made $528 million.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Attack on Titan Live-Action Footage

S H I N G E K I   N O   K Y O J I N
[Source:] The cavalcade of colossal cannibals in the manga sensation Attack on Titan will stomp onto the big screen and storm the walls in its upcoming live-action assault. The first look at the towering skinless creatures was recently featured on a Japanese talk show's showbiz segment, where they viewed an astonishing assortment of footage from this year's peasant-plucking, farmer-devouring blockbuster.  

The transition from anime to live action appears to adapt smoothly in the faithful iteration directed by Shinji Higuchi, whose previous work on Neon Genesis Evangelion, Kill la Kill and his Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo short film is also featured in this crazy extended preview.  

Check out the charging monster emerging from the mist starting at 00:58, bent on making brunch out of the local citizens, and tell us if you're hungry for more. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Anime Viewing Schedule for March 21, 2015

Saturday, March 21, 2015
Wood Dale Public Library
Can I leave my Gundam
in the parking lot?
"Yeah, that's my ride."
Watch "Gundam: The Origin Episode 1" @ 3:30 pm
Main Meeting Room, 10:15 am to 5:00 pm

10:15 - 10:40    Yoru no Yatterman 1
10:40 - 11:55    Captain Earth 23-25 (End)
11:55 - 12:45    Aldnoah Zero 13-14
12:45 - 1:25      Club Meeting / Announcements
1:25 - 2:15        Parasyte the maxim 10-11
2:15 - 3:05        Death Parade 2-3
3:05 - 3:30        Zankyou no Terror 5
3:30 - 4:45        Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 01

Keep watching the exciting new anime series: Aldnoah Zero and Parasyte!

10:15 - 10:40     Yoru no Yatterman 1
Plot Summary: [Source: Wikipedia] A long time ago, the Yattermen were heroes of justice who fought against the evil Doronbow Gang, exiling them and bringing peace to the Yatter Kingdom. Several generations later, however, the Yattermen have since become corrupt with power while everyone else has been forced to live in poverty and despair. After losing her mother to the Yattermen's selfishness, Leopard, a direct descendant of the gang's leader Doronjo, reforms the Doronbow Gang with Boyacky and Tonzra's descendants, Voltkatze and Elephantus, to rebel against the corrupt Yattermen.

10:40 - 11:55    Captain Earth Episodes 23-25 (End)
Farewell, Captain Earth!
 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.

11:55 - 12:45     Aldnoah Zero (Episodes 13-14)
What do you mean they killed off the main characters?
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.

12:45 - 1:25     Club Meeting / Announcements
March 2015 Cosplay
  • Convention Coverage
  • Animation News from around the world
  • Cosplayers/Skits/Masquerade
  • Anime Music Videos
  • And other weird, interesting stuff...

1:25 - 2:15    Parasyte - The Maxim (Episodes 10-11)
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.

2:15 - 3:05    Death Parade (Episodes 2-3)
Plot Summary: [Source: Wikipedia] Somewhere there 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.

3:05 - 3:30    Zankyou no Terror (Episode 5)
Plot Summary: [Source: Wikipedia] In an alternate iteration of the present, Tokyo has been hit by a terrorist attack that has devastated the city. The only evidence of the culprits is a cryptic video uploaded to the Internet, which sparks paranoia across 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. Though they apparently should not exist, they have nonetheless decided to "wake up the world" with their heinous plans of destruction, with their fingers on the trigger

3:30 - 4:45    Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin 01 [Feature Presentation]
Plot Summary: [Source: Wikipedia] The plot of the manga follows somewhat closely the plot of the original series. It is the year Universal Century 0079, and the eighth month of a vicious war between the Earth Federation and a breakaway nation of space colonists, the Principality of Zeon. The story follows the crew of the ship White Base, as they fight to ferry the experimental RX-78 Gundam mobile suit to the Federation base at Jaburo.

Although for the most part faithful to the original series' plot (all of the major events unfold in mostly the same manner as the TV series, though often in different locales), Yasuhiko has taken the liberty of changing certain elements in the series universe, giving a different character to the series and the struggle that unfolds. Primary among these is the presence of mobile suits in both sides well before the conflict begins—in fact, in the flashback sequences, both the Earth Federation Forces and Zeon use Guntanks in 0068, and they and the Guncannon mobile suit are described as "obsolete" and fit for target practice in the first volume (in the TV series proper, both units were as new as the Gundam itself, designed to serve as long and mid-range fire support units).

Other differences concern the breadth of the Gundam's journey to Jaburo. Where it's implied that the White Base's journey to Jaburo in the series was pretty much a circumnavigation of the globe unconnected to many real-world locations, Yasuhiko's journey places the White Base's landfall near Los Angeles, the headquarters of Garma Zabi (in the series, Garma was based out of a generic "New York"—Origin in fact states the Zeon occupation HQ as Los Angeles City Hall, with Garma residing in Hollywood/Beverly Hills) and moves the craft steadily to the southeast, and down the South American coast—past Caracas, Venezuela and through Macchu Picchu and into Brazil, where Jaburo, the headquarters of the Earth Federation, is located. This retelling cuts out some of the more trivial encounters seen in the original series, while keeping and expanding on important characters like Garma, Ramba Ral, and the Black Tri-Stars. As a direct result the events of Operation Odessa which takes place around the Ukrainian city of the same name, occur after the events of Jaburo, as opposed to the anime where they occur before.

Yasuhiko further finally tells the entire back story of the Gundam universe in the manga. After the successful defense of Jaburo, the story diverts into a very in-depth flashback, told primarily from the viewpoints of Sayla and Char (with a secondary thread being told from Amuro's POV) recounting the downfall of Zeon Zum Deikun, the rise of the Zabi family, the construction of Side 7 and the research into Mobile Suits, and leading up through a decade until the launching of the One Year War. It also goes into detail answering many previously unanswered questions such as the appearance of heretofore unseen Zeon mobile suits prior to the MS-05 Zaku I, how Dozle Zabi received his trademark scars and even the origin of Casval Deikun/Edward Mass' "Char Aznable" identity. Volume fourteen, deals with the Battle of Loum at the beginning of the One Year War, and is the last piece of the in-depth flashback.

The story shifted back on track to the original anime's storyline, featuring the White Base's involvement in the Federation's Operation Odessa, as well as including Kai Shiden's encounter with Miharu. Afterwards, the manga deals with the end of the Odessa campaign and (in another departure from the series) takes M'Quve and his Gyan out of the picture before he has a chance to confront the Gundam.