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.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

The Latest Masterpiece from Hayao Miyazaki...

After debuting earlier this Summer in Japan, Hayao Miyazaki's latest film, The Boy and the Heron, is finally coming to the big screen in domestic theaters. As anticipation for the acclaimed director’s final animated outing, the official Fandango Twitter page has revealed the first images from the film, which promise to be another visually stunning masterpiece from Studio Ghibli. The images showcase the film’s characters in the middle of sweeping landscapes alongside a tease of fantastical elements that are typically featured in Studio Ghibli projects. Featuring the traditional art style that fans have come to love from Studio Ghibli, The Boy and the Heron is certainly shaping up to be another visually compelling animated film. Whether the film will similarly resonate with an international audience remains to be seen, but given the acclaim it has received in Japan so far, fans are likely in for another timeless masterpiece from the studio.
Three years after the war began, Mahito lost his biological mother, Hisako. His father, Katsuichi, who ran a munitions factory, remarried Hisako's younger sister, Natsuko, and Mahito was evacuated to his mother's family home. A tower where the blue heron lived had been built near the mansion where they evacuated. Mahito tried to open the blocked entrance of the tower and enter, but he was stopped by the maidservants of the mansion. That night, Mahito heard from Natsuko about the origin of the tower. The tower had been built by his great uncle, who had apparently disappeared in the tower. Also, because there had been a huge labyrinth in the basement of the tower, Natsuko's father (Mahito's grandfather) had blocked the entrance to protect it from rising water in the nearby river. On his first day at the evacuated school, Mahito did not fit in well and was assaulted by local boys on his way home. Mahito then hit himself on the head with a stone on the side of the road, inflicting severe bleeding on himself. When he was sleeping in his room, a blue heron suddenly entered through the window and attacked him, so Mahito confronted the blue heron with a wooden sword. The blue heron said, "You must not have seen your mother's body. Your mother is waiting for your help," and began to be wrapped in fish and frogs, and disappeared. Mahito made his own bow and arrow from the feathers left by the blue heron. Misunderstanding that Mahito's head injury was caused by local boys, Katsuichi got angry and complained to the school. On the other hand, Natsuko suffered from morning sickness due to pregnancy, and although she repeatedly told those around her that she wanted to see Mahito's face, Mahito could not accept Natsuko and had a curt attitude. Mahito saw Natsuko disappear into the forest one day. In his room, Mahito discovered a book of novels titled "How do you live?" with a letter that Hisako had left for Mahito, and he burst into tears while reading it. At dusk that day, while the mansion was in a panic due to Natsuko's disappearance, Mahito and his maidservant Kiriko followed Natsuko into the back door of the tower and were trapped. In the tower, Mahito got angry when the blue heron showed him a fake Hisako and shot the blue heron with an arrow made from the feathers of the blue heron, piercing the blue heron's beak. Then, the blue heron became unable to return from the half-birdman (heron man). Ordered by a mysterious person on the top floor of the tower, Mahito and Kiriko were invited to the "lower world". For the continuation of the story, please watch the movie.

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