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.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
It is going to take the collective power of six nations to make a live adaptation of the cyberpunk anime series Bubblegum Crisis.
The full reach of Singapore's network of international co-production treaties will be called on in order to produce "Bubblegum Crisis," a live-action adaptation of a Japanese cyberpunk anime series. Producers from six countries signed off Thursday in Cannes on an accord to make the $30 million English-language picture, which is set for delivery in early 2012. Wrangled by Benjamin Toh of Singapore's Axxis International, who acts as exec producer, the deal brings together Tokyo-based Anime International Company Australia's Arclight Films, Canada's Wizzfilms, China's Infotainment China Media Co. and the U.K.'s Latec International.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Waking Sleeping Beauty is no fairytale. It is a story of clashing egos, out of control budgets, escalating tensions... and one of the most extraordinary creative periods in animation history.
Director Don Hahn and producer Peter Schneider, key players at Walt Disney Studios Feature Animation department during the mid1980s, offer a behind-the-magic glimpse of the turbulent times the Animation Studio was going through and the staggering output of hits that followed over the next ten years. Artists polarized between the hungry young innovators and the old guard who refused to relinquish control, mounting tensions due to a string of box office flops, and warring studio heads create the backdrop for this fascinating story told with a unique and candid perspective from those that were there. Through interviews, internal memos, home movies, and a cast of characters featuring Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Roy Disney, alongside an amazing array of talented artists that includes Don Bluth, John Lasseter, and Tim Burton, Waking Sleeping Beauty shines a light on Disney Animations darkest hours, greatest joys and its improbable renaissance.
An Official Selection at the 2009 Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and winner of the Audience Award at the Hamptons International Film Festival, Waking Sleeping Beauty is directed by Don Hahn, and produced by Peter Schneider and Don Hahn.
Release date: March 26, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
Superman is more in charge in this movie than in any other. He makes firm decisions despite the advice of others. And his decisions are the kind that involve having his fists do the talking. Superman may be a man who tries to avoid violence, but when it comes to their evil opposites, he knows the only thing they understand is violence and he's just the man to give it to them.
I found Wonder Woman to be the most interesting character of all. In past animated versions of her, I never got the sense of just how imposing her character can be. She's an amazon, tall, beautiful, and powerful, capable of holding her own against Superman, himself. Now in Crisis on Two Earths, we get the best version of her, the way she is suppose to be.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Song is Copyright - Alstroemeria Records
Song Arrangement: Masayoshi Minoshima
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ will introduce preschoolers to the excitement of Never Land, an imaginative, engaging pirate world for kids and a wonderfully memorable one for their parents. Comedic foils Captain Hook and his well-meaning sidekick Smee will continue to amuse young kids, as the enthusiastic Jake leads his team of kid pirates on adventures that model teamwork for our young viewers.
Jake and the Never Land Pirates features the voice talents of Colin Ford (Sweet Home Alabama) as Jake, Disney Channel star Madison Pettis (The Game Plan, Cory in the House) as Izzy and Jonathan Morgan Heit (Bedtime Stories) as Cubby. It will also feature original music from Portland based pirate rock band Captain Bogg & Salty. There is no current premiere date set, but I’m pretty sure you’ll see the promos for it on the Playhouse Disney channel when it’s ready to go.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
This is Black Lagoon’s first “Complete Series” set, and for those who haven’t already bought the show it’s certainly the best bargain at around $40. This is, in case you’ve forgotten what I said at the top, a really awesome show, and I strongly recommend it.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The style of the movie is something of a mix between Genndy Tartakovsky, Hanna-Barbera and Miyazaki.
Tartakovsky in design, Hanna-Barbera in style and Miyazaki in tone… especially when we get to the section of the movie that has Brendan exploring the woods outside the wall, against his Uncle’s wishes, of course. While out there he meets a white sprite shown as either a white wolf or a little girl who has powers over the forest. Very Miyazaki.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Blood will tell in this new DVD special release, now available.
(WARNING -- Contains Mature Content)
The DVD Box Collection of this incredible series is currently available. Mnemosyne tells the story of a group of immortal women who struggle to survive against the angels who wish to kill them. This anime is the cutting edge of where Japanese animation can bring us in terms of story, characterization, and action. This is definitely not for the faint-of-heart. It is bloody and violent, but with a fascinating tale of intrigue and mystery. The story revolves around Rin, a young woman gifted with immortality by the seed of Mnemosyne, a gigantic tree, invisible to human eyes. Its seeds float about the world like pollen. If they enter a human body, there is a startling transformation. They become immortal. Such a seed had entered Rin's body many years ago, granting her rapid regenerative abilities. She cannot die as long as the seed is within her. She has been alive for hundreds of years, hiding amongst the human population and trying to live a normal life. But there are those who seek her and others like her, in order to steal the seeds within them and become gods. But the seed can be a curse as well as a gift. If the seed were to enter a man, the transformation is different. They become angels, but not the good kind. They are winged monsters whose only desire is to find the immortal women, copulate with them in violent passion, and devour their flesh (literally). For the women, the sexual attraction toward the angels is so powerful, they cannot resist. But they must resist... or die. And someone has been using the angels to collect the seeds from the daughters of Mnemosyne and eliminate the immortal women once and for all. No one is safe. Every human who has ever been close to Rin has become a target. The trail of murders is leading closer and closer to its final goal. And Rin uses all of her experience and cunning in order to survive this war of the immortals. Her battles have become increasingly bloody and devastating, especially for her. She has survived gunshot wounds, knife wounds, decapitation, dismemberment, and even being blown to bits by a bomb. Each time her body draws its pieces together, reassembling, reattaching, realigning, and rebuilding Rin in painful, agonizing moments. It is astonishingly gruesome, but well worth the price of victory over her foes. As the years go by, Rin sees her human friends grow old and pass away, while she remains forever young. Her happiness is but a fleeting moment in the mortal world. Her friends, her lovers, all gone through the passage of time. But it is those brief moments that she treasures the most and those loved ones she wishes to save. For their happiness, rather than hers. How can it possibly end for Rin the immortal? Only in a way appropriate for the Daughter of Mnemosyne.
(Contains adult situations, sexual content, nudity, and violence)
Friday, February 12, 2010
The Oscar nominees have been announced, now cinephiles everywhere have begun nitpicking amongst the nominations. Some will note those that should have and shouldn't have been nominated, but one almost criminal omission from the Best Animated Film category was the absence of PONYO, Hayao Miyazaki's latest work for Studio Ghibli.
In terms of filmmaking mastery, one can mention the name Miyazaki in the same breath as Spielberg or Scorsese. His works are beloved by animators, audiences, and critics around the world.
Pixar, America's premiere Animation Studio is known to hold his work above all else, so much so that its Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter (director of TOY STORY) himself persuaded Miyazaki to come promote the film in the US, and provided PONYO's distribution under Disney.
The film tells the tale of a young magical "fish-girl" who upon wandering near the shore winds up in the hands of a young boy. The lad, named Sōsuke, names the creature Ponyo and opts to take care of her. Having cut himself while rescuing her, his wound heals after Ponyo licks it, and soon enough she begins to develop human characteristics, such as a face and limbs.
Meanwhile Ponyo's human father Fujimoto, a scientist-wizard who has lost faith in humanity, comes looking for her and takes her back to their briny domain. He forbids her to return to the surface believing that the world of man does nothing good. But Ponyo has fallen deep in puppy love for Sōsuke and is determined to return.
When she escapes to the surface, we learn what Fujimoto fears; that Ponyo's very mystical nature will cause an imbalance of worldly proportions if she is not returned to where she rightly belongs. Her mother Granmamare, the goddess of the sea, learns of this, but is more open to her daughter following her heart. She decides that Ponyo's fate will rest on Sōsuke's true feelings.
You can see how Miyazaki has reworked Hans Christian Andersen's tale to his own nature-themed sensibilities. But here, as it is with the rest of his work, his environmentalism never feels like a lecture. The worlds which he illustrates are their own pristine invitations, drawing a sense of tender awe and longing. Sōsuke's port home town of Tomonoura has never looked so unspoiled, so lively, and inviting. His drawings of the deep sea feel absent of danger, even magical.
If you thought that women were short changed in live-action films, its also the same in most animated fare. But that'll never happen in a Miyazaki film. For the last 20 years his films have been strongly feminist, all in the voices of young women or children. It's not just Ponyo whose presence fills the screen. The lives of mothers Lisa (Sōsuke's) and Granmamare (Ponyo's) are given strong focus as they both make key decisions which decide their children's fate. Even a bunch grandmas get their due here.
Speaking of which, I can't think of any director, in live-action or animation, who has such great insight into children as Miyazaki does. The way his kids talk, interact with each other, and are treated is so refreshing that any filmmaker, would do well to learn from him. Notice what Lisa does when she finds her son has lost his fish, the way schoolmates chat when something new comes around, or how Ponyo reacts when eating Ramen for the first time. You can't fake this kind of childlike naivety.All of these things of this would be good enough for any film, yet we are also blessed with Miyazaki's boundless visual imagination. His creatures and creations are some of the most original in film, rivaled only by Guillermo Del Toro. Yes, the animation is in 2-D. So what? Was Optimus Prime more memorable in his shiny hyper-realistic gloss or as a hand-drawn autobot? Works of art are more likely to capture our reverence when it is a stylistic likeness rather than a realized fake, and in that sense Miyazaki's renderings are some of the most simple yet beautiful in all of animation. The sequence of Ponyo running through fish-like tsunami is a "Ride of the Valkyries" moment; unforgettable. Think about it. Somebody drew it.
With a Miyazaki film you won't be taught lesson, but you'll leave changed. You'll find characters that aren't merely cartoons. You'll find conflicts not confined to just good vs. evil (Even Fujimoto has good reasons to why he does what he does). You'll want to find some place a lot greener and a lot cleaner to live (or perhaps stay for a good rest). You'll see traditional animated craftsmanship and precision at its highest level. And you'll be thanking yourself for experiencing one of the few storytellers who dares to dream.Why on earth wasn't PONYO nominated? Did Disney not campaign enough or was the Disney name a liability? Were audiences distracted by the stars who voiced it? Or did Academy voters feel this master had won already and that's enough for a foreigner? Hayao Miyazaki once again handcrafted a classic, in a style that Hollywood seems to have abandoned. That's a shame for what might be the best animated film of 2009, and yes, even Pixar might tell you that.
NYICFF 2010 opens with the scintillating new feature from emerging anime star Mamoru Hosoda, a film whose "dazzling fluency of motion and untethered brilliance of invention makes the usual fantasy anime look childish and dull." (The Japan Times) Kenji is a teenage math prodigy recruited by his secret crush Natsuki for the ultimate summer job - passing himself off as Natsuki’s boyfriend for four days during her grandmother’s 90th birthday celebration. But when Kenji solves a 2,056 digit math riddle sent to his cell phone, he unwittingly breaches the security barricade protecting Oz, a globe-spanning virtual world where millions of people and governments interact through their avatars, handling everything from online shopping and traffic control to national defense and nuclear launch codes. Now a malicious AI program called the Love Machine is hijacking Oz accounts, growing exponentially more powerful and sowing chaos and destruction in its wake.
This "intriguingly intelligent" cyberpunk/sci-fi story is a visual tour-de-force, with the amazing world of Oz as the highlight. Like the Internet as conceived by pop artist Haruki Murakami, Oz is a hallucinatory pixel parade of cool avatar designs, kung fu jackrabbits, toothy bears, and a bursting rainbow of colors.
The creators of Ghost in the Shell mix exquisitely detailed 2D backgrounds with modern 3D character designs in a dazzling animated adventure that plays like Alice’s fall through the rabbit hole into a world of topsy-turvy, anime dream-logic. When Haruka misplaces a hand-mirror that was a keepsake from her mother, she stumbles upon a portal to the subterranean world of Oblivion Island, a place where strange masked creatures gather up all the childhood trinkets humans abandon as they grow older, and attend Dream Theaters where they can watch and feel the memories locked in these forgotten objects. The land is ruled by an evil overlord, The Baron, who craves the power created by the memories locked in Haruka’s cherished hand-mirror - a power that will allow him to rise beyond his world of discards and take over the world of humans! Aided by Teo, a lowly junk collector, and Cotton, her old stuffed animal brought back to life, Haruka struggles to recapture the mirror from the Baron, and to rediscover the fleeting moments of childhood love and friendship that are among life’s most precious treasures.
This sumptuously animated film about friendship and the passing of childhood is as "splendidly colorful and beautifully illustrated as a Monet landscape" (Hollywood Reporter). Shinko spends her days running barefoot among the endless green wheat fields in her small country village, imagining she is playing 1,000 years ago when the area was the local capital and home to a beautiful young princess kept hidden from society. Shinko gets a new partner for her games when she befriends Kiiko, a shy transfer student from Tokyo whose nice clothes and modern luxuries immediately set her apart from the other kids. Together, the two girls spend their afternoons daydreaming, building dams, chasing animals, and living an otherwise simple and idyllic life - until looming adolescent responsibility and harsh grown-up truths begin to encroach on their make-believe world of princesses and castles, and it becomes increasingly difficult to disentangle fantasy from reality. Director Sunao Katabuchi worked with Hayao Miyazaki as assistant director on Kiki’s Delivery Service, and the influences show, from Mai Mai’s stunning animation and exalting focus on nature, to the film’s happy/sad nostalgia for the endless days of summer and the tender portrayal of a young girl at the transition between childhood and adult.
Subtitles taken from the official english version available in XBox Live.
Shukan Young Jump Magazine recently include a look at what to expect from the live action adaptation of Hiroya Oku's teensploitation action manga Gantz. Kazunari Ninomiya (Black in TekkonKinkreet, Letters from Iwo Jima) stars as Kei Kurono, a disgruntled teen, who upon finding himself standing next to a long separated childhood friend (Ken'ichi Matsuyama, L of Death Note) is guilted onto a subway track in an effort to save a homeless man. The would-be good deed is punished when an oncoming express graphically dispatches the two young men.
Our thinks-he's-smart teenage malcontent is carbon copied in the moment before this nasty death and reconstituted with other recently resurrected in a room with a black sphere. The mystery ball gives its subject resurrectees black, skin-tight suits, sci-fi weapons and the instructions to go hunt down one species of alien or another.
Manga creator Oku has declared himself a Die Hard fan, and Gantz pulls of a similar trick to that movie's concept of a person with regular vulnerability thrust into abject peril. In this case it's unprepared people being thrown into a first person shooter style urban bug hunt.
Shinsuke Sato (Princess Blade) will be directing the two part adaptation, scheduled for release in the spring and winter of 2011.
Bungaku Shoujo is an upcoming "mysterious school comedy" anime film in the works at Production I.G, based on Mizuki Nomura's light novels of the same title. The story centers on the unusual members of a high school literary club. Touko Amano, a high school senior who calls herself the "literary girl" as the club president, is actually a supernatural creature (youkai) that devours stories - she tears pages from books to munch on them. Her club subordinate is Konoha Inoue, a second-year high school boy who writes stories every day for Amano to eat. He once wrote an award-winning novel, but he wrote it under the penname Miu Inoue so readers thought the author was a mysterious 14-year-old bishoujo novelist. The stress from the novel's fame and its movie and television drama plans turned Inoue in an introverted recluse. (ANN description)
Here are some clips of the live-onstage performance of the musical version of the Black Butler, featuring all of the characters from the anime. The production looks very nice and the music sounds fantastic.
Kuroshitsuji musical song 6 " Red or Black?" (Grell and Sebastian)
Kuroshitsuji musical song 7 (Sebastian and Ciel)
Kuroshitsuji musical song 1 (Meilin, Bard, Finnian)
Can’t catch the broadcast premiere this Saturday? Not to worry fellow anime fans. FUNimation is happy to announce that we are also bringing you brand spanking new dubbed episodes of “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” every Sunday for download-to-own on PlayStation®Network and Zune Marketplace.
Watch a new episode on Saturday - buy it for your console of choice on Sunday! We anime professionals at FUNimation once again make it easy to get the shows you want, where you want, and when you want.