Next Club Meeting: July 20, 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.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wonder Woman Costume Change Due to Outcry

Criticism Causes Stir
[Source: Yahoo! TV] When "Wonder Woman" announced that Adrianne Palicki had been cast in the title role, buzz on the superhero show quickly shot through the roof. But then fans got a look at the ill-advised costume. Outrage quickly ensued. And hell hath no fury like a comic fan outraged.

The anger stemmed from Wonder Woman's shiny, rubber-like pants and high heels. It looked like a cheap version of a "sexy" Halloween costume. Fans cried out -- this is no way for a superhero, especially one of the most beloved of all time, to dress.

The blogosphere immediately went into cynical overdrive. Commenters on EW's article speculated that the show would be canceled in a matter of weeks. SlashFilm wrote that the outfit did little to inspire confidence in the show's prospects.
Apparently the producers (among them, David E. Kelley, creator of Alley McBeal) were listening. Some photos of the actress on the set have surfaced, and eagle-eyed fans quickly spotted the changes to Wonder Woman's threads. The shiny pants have been replaced by a more natural-looking fabric. Her footwear has gone through a transformation as well. The bright boots, which were once blue, are now red. And, even more important, no more high heels.

But even though some of Wonder Woman's outfit has changed, much of it remains the same. The red bustier is still intact as are her trademark tiara and lasso of truth. Time will tell if these modest changes to Wonder Woman's threads have a positive effect on the show when it premieres on NBC this fall.

Ms. Palicki is probably best known her work on the acclaimed TV series "Friday Night Lights."  And though she isn't well known, fans seem to be pretty supportive of her taking up the tiara. That includes Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman in the beloved (and campy) TV show from way back when. Carter even liked the original outfit, saying: "What's not to like! Adrianne [Palicki] looks gorgeous."

But forget David E. Kelley's Alley McBeal-ish Wonder Woman...
Here's what the REAL Wonder Woman Should Look Like

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Kodansha President Sawako Noma Passes Away

Served as head of publishing giant for 24 years
Akira (anime)
Sawako Noma, the executive who served as the president of the publishing giant Kodansha for 24 years, passed away on Wednesday, March 30 due to heart failture. She was 67. She is survived by her oldest son, Yoshinobu, who was slated to replace his mother as Kodansha's president next month. 

In addition to running the company that produced many of the manga in Japan, she served as an executive producer on Katsuhiro Otomo's animated film adaptation of his Akira manga. [Source:]

Anime Central 2011 Announcements

The First Round of Guests Have Been Revealed!
With just two months before the convention, the first round of Guests have been announced and there's plenty of excitement growing!
More Guests to be announced soon!

Registration Deadline is Fast Approaching!
If you know you're coming to ACen this year and want to save some time and money, April 1st is the last day to purchase our badges at the $50 price! After April 1st our badges will be $55, which is the same price as purchasing a membership at the door. Also, April 1st is the last day to request to add badge mailing to your account (which is an additional $2).

We'll be accepting online registrations for a little while after April 1st; however, all badges registered after April 1st will only be available for pick up at the convention. These badges may be picked up from Registration at their will-call booths.

For more information about Registration hours and policies, visit their page on our website or contact them.

Attendee Badge Mailing has Started!
ACen has begun mailing out badges this year! If you paid to have your badge mailed to you, you may start seeing in the mail soon. There are a few things to remember when it comes to badge mailing.

Badges are mailed out in a random order. This means that just because you have ordered it first or your last name is towards the beginning of the alphabet, does not mean you will be getting your badges first.

Badge envelopes are sent out by the U.S.P.S and are sent out via First Class Mail.

Badge mailing will finish by the end of April, so if you do not receive your badge by May 1st please e-mail and they'll do their best to find out what went wrong. 

Check out the Confirmed Vendors and Artists!
Looking to get that rare figurine, cute plushie or awesome art that you can't find locally? Hop on over to the Exhibitor and Artists Alley section to see the fabulous line up they've got in store for you this year, as more vendors and are artists are confirmed, this will be the place to check.

Haven’t booked your hotel yet?
Hotel blocks are filling up, but don’t worry, there are still hotel rooms available. Here’s a list of room blocks at ACen's preferred hotels, all within walking distance of the Donald E. Stevens Convention Center and the Hyatt Regency O’Hare:
For full hotel information including: room rates, parking, contact information and more, please visit the Hotel Information page on the ACen website.

IRT would like to Remind Attendees:
No bags, purses or backpacks are permitted into concerts, dances or other major events without prior authorization for a medical need. There will not be a bag-check at the door. If you bring a bag into the line, you will be asked to take it back to your room. Camera’s will not be allowed in concert events; however, cameras will be allowed into dances at your own risk and we don’t assume liability over them. If you bring a camera into the line at a concert event, you will be asked to take it back to your room.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Clone Wars Season 3 Finale

Premiering April 1, 2011, at 7:00 PM (CT) on Cartoon Network

Click on any of the screenshots below to view full-size:

The full press information follows, including comments from supervising director Dave Filoni and CG Supervisor Joel Aron.

[center]A Very Hairy Hero Joins the Fight in the Must-See, Two-Part Season Finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars – next Friday on Cartoon Network!

In the pulse-pounding, hour-long season finale, Ahsoka Tano is taken captive and stranded on a planetary game preserve, where she finds herself on the run from merciless and sadistic Trandoshan hunting parties. With the odds stacked against her and no rescue in sight, hope for survival begins to dwindle – that is, until her escape efforts receive an unexpected boost from a friendly – and furry! – fellow captive. The chase begins with “Padawan Lost” and continues into “Wookiee Hunt” – it’s a must-see, double dose of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, airing at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT Friday, April 1 on Cartoon Network.

By now, it’s no secret that a familiar face will join Ahsoka’s private guerilla battle against the Trandoshans. After all, it’s hard to keep a seven-foot Wookiee under wraps, and Chewbacca’s certainly not one to hide in the shadows when his friends are in danger. Making his Clone Wars debut, loyal and lovable Chewie teams up with the desperate Padawan to wreak havoc on the vicious hunters’ plans – proving once and for all that it’s not wise to upset a Wookiee.

“Everybody loves Chewie, “says Dave Filoni, Supervising Director of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. “He’s like a big teddy bear, except that he’s got a temper. You want him on your side, because if he’s on your side, he’s the best friend you could ever have – and who wouldn’t want a Wookiee for a best friend? But we didn’t include him lightly. He’s such a special part of the films, and we knew that we had to do right by him. The story had to do him justice.”

Both literally and figuratively, the finale’s guest star is a big one for The Clone Wars – but even bigger than a towering Wookiee was the challenge of bringing the gentle giant to life. But the Clone Wars crew had the blessing – and the expert counsel – of actor Peter Mayhew, the man who has played the iconic role since Star Wars’ debut in 1977.

“Having Peter’s involvement was essential, and it was a major coup for the crew,” says Filoni. “We’d done some preliminary designs and some rough animation tests, but we were coming from a place of observation. He’s lived with the character for more than three decades. He is Chewie. He helped us focus in on the qualities that make Chewie live and breathe. His input helped make our version of the character that much more authentic – his mannerisms, details of his walk, facial expressions, that sort of thing. We couldn’t have done it without him; it just wouldn’t have been Chewie.”

(click to enlarge)
It’s not wise to upset a Wookiee, as Chewbacca proves
in the two-part season finale of STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS,
premiering at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT Friday, April 1 on Cartoon Network.
TM & © 2011 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.

Beyond capturing the iconic mannerisms and distinctive idiosyncrasies of everyone’s favorite “walking carpet,” the Clone Wars crew pushed the visual envelope in other areas, as well – most notably with the finale’s lush locations and impossibly rich environments. But setting the bar for TV animation is no easy task. It’s a constant uphill battle, especially considering production constraints and the level of fan expectations for the series. Helping Filoni lead the team effort is CG Supervisor Joel Aron – a visual effects veteran whose credits include two of the live-action Star Wars prequels.

“I can’t make it happen; I can only envision it. Joel is the guy who makes it come alive. He’s my right hand, my hit-man, my Vader. He’s revolutionized the show, no doubt in my mind,” says Filoni. “I really push him, and so does George [Lucas]. I’ll draw a picture and say ‘This is what I imagined’ – and he makes it happen. It’s a challenge, it’s what he wants – it’s food for him and the team. We’re taking that knowledge, applying it forward. Just look at the backgrounds in these episodes; we’ve got our characters, and now the background environment has also become a character.”

Bringing with him lessons learned at Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic, Aron inspires enthusiastic innovation, just as he struggles to strike the delicate balance between creating something completely unique and quintessentially familiar.

“My goal is always to capture the essence of Star Wars, the key elements that stick with you,” says Aron. “It’s a very specific feeling, and it’s not always completely literal. We’re in a different medium than the films, working on a different timeline with different tools. That’s a unique challenge; we have to find stylistic ways to reflect those familiar ideals – using shapes and colors, adding textures to backgrounds. But everyone on the crew is up for it, and we love it when it pays off.”

Impressive though it may be, the Season Three finale is still just a stepping stone in the show’s ongoing evolution – a jumping off point as The Clone Wars kicks into hyperdrive.

“These finale episodes are among the best we’ve produced, and it’s only going to keep getting better,” says Filoni. “This is what audiences can expect to see in Season Four. There’s still a big galaxy out there.”

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Four will launch on Cartoon Network this fall.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Anime Film Producer Seiichiro Ujiie Passes Away

Producer of most Ghibli, Inuyasha, and Death Note films
NTV Chairperson Seiichiro Ujiie passed away on Monday, March 28 in a Tokyo hospital due to multiple organ failure. He was 84. Ujiie produced most of the projects from Studio Ghibli, including almost all of the films and television specials from 1993's Umi ga Kikoeru (Ocean Waves) to 2008's Ponyo. He also produced most of the Detective Conan films from 2002's Detective Conan: The Phantom of Baker Street to 2010's Detective Conan: The Lost Ship in The Sky. His other productions include the Inuyasha films, the live-action Death Note films, two Lupin III films, the 2005 Black Jack: The Two Doctors Of Darkness anime film, the 1990s live-action special-effects Gamera films, and the first two live-action film adaptations of the Sanchōme no Yūhi - Yūyake no Uta (Always: Sunset on Third Street) manga. [Source:]

Diana Wynne Jones has passed away

Author of Howl's Moving Castle dies at age 76
Diana Wynne Jones, author of Howl's Moving Castle, dead at 76
Diana Wynne Jones

Cartoon Network's Upfront in New York 2011

So what's new for Cartoon Network in 2011?
[Source: ToonZone, written by chdr]
It's finally that magical time of year again: upfront season. While upfronts are like unwrapping Christmas presents for most of the press, the childrens' side of the spectrum usually lays low, with Cartoon Network usually being the only network to put out really surprising information out there. The other have been putting up an impressive show this year, though: Disney XD has put out some promising information on animated Marvel and TRON properties for their network, Nickelodeon has a shockingly diverse slate of originals, acquisitions (which by themselves are pretty surprising for such an insular business), and programming strategies, and I'm quite sure that the Hub will continue to shock and awe the public as consistently as they have been doing since last year. So, how does the Network's offerings stack up this year? Let's see:

The Problem Solverz
Certainly one of the network's most bizarre project to date, Ben Jones' Problem Solverz has been turning heads ever since the show was first announced. While the public's confused and at time violent reaction to the unrepentantly lo-fi and offbeat show is not a very good sign when it comes to this show's chances of success, I have deep respect for a network that would not only order something so risky and different, but also give it the support it needs to find an audience. I really do hope this experiment is a success, because the Problem Solverz is the fresh, artsy, avant-garde kick in the pants the mainstream hasn't seen in a long, long time.

Secret Mountain Fort Awesome
Each CN upfront tends to have one mysterious project where no information leaks out for long periods of time, only for said show to break the claims of vaporware by suddenly popping up the next year. Last year, it was Sym-Bionic Titan, and it seems Pete Browngardt's follow-up to the original Uncle Grandpa pilot (from the similarly mysterious failed Cartoonstitute initiative) will also creep up on the viewers. There still isn't much to talk about yet, but I've noticed that the original X-Men-ish premise of monsters coping with a world that hates and fears them being replaced by a shallower description of "crazy characters doing crazy things" that seems all too similar to CN's other shows in production, but without Adventure Time's heart, Regular Show's maturity, or Problem Solverz's audaciousness. Still, I enjoyed the original pilot, so I trust the Browngardt will come up with quality product.

The Amazing World of Gumball
Toonzone's own Huntsman has been tirelessly digging up information on this British-born show in the hopes that news of a stateside premiere would come from Turner, and they sure didn't disappoint, with news of an incoming premiere date in May and a second season order. With all of its mixed styles blending together into a colorful potpourri, Gumball really is a visual treat, and the amount of love and effort put into this show can be seen from the press photos alone. From the things I've seen about the show, it looks to be skewing younger than Regular Show and MAD, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, as CN should overlook younger children entirely. Hopefully Gumball's writers fall out of CN's mid-00's blandness trap and realize that writing for a younger audience doesn't necessarily mean patronizing older ones.

The Looney Tunes Show
I have some really mixed feelings about this show right now. On one hand, it's great to see Warner Bros. and Cartoon Network finally working together again to introduce the Looney Tunes characters to a new generation of children (bringing back the original shorts to television is a nice touch too). On the other, this isn't Looney Tunes. I'm fine with a suburban setting and Jessica Borutski's designs. I can even handle the CG Roadrunner sequences. But the clips and previews are portraying this series as a (rather poorly-executed) sitcom starring the established characters, with some uneven animation to boot. The end product doesn't look very pretty, but if it results in more awareness for the classic shorts, then I'm all for it.

Level Up
The idea of a comedic live-action movie-series combo reminds me of Out of Jimmy's Head, and the monster-hunting premise seems like Nickelodeon's the Troop. Neither lasted very long, so I don't expect stellar results for this either. The CG effects used to display the monsters aren't very good, and while I guess having obvious CG would fit for a video game coming to life, it seems to me that this could have been animated for a cheaper budget and a more convincing rogues gallery, just like last year's seemingly-aborted KROG pilot.

Untitled Ben 10 Series
A fourth one, already? While Ben's on-air presence in the US has been diminished over the past few years, the show still sells like hotcakes overseas, which is why I would guess CN is so overzealous when it comes to ordering new Ben 10 projects. Three series later, the franchise still hasn't really reached its true potential, but I give the Ultimate Alien writing crew for slowly but surely experimenting with what the franchise can do. It will be a drag to see Ben 10 without talents of the sorely missed Dwayne McDuffie, who was behind the Alien Force series and is responsible for the the franchise's current look and feel. Hopefully fourth time's the charm for Ben 10.

Nearly all of the internet has seen the images and trailers for this show now, and the bits of information we've been given so far look promising. I'm getting a definite Avatar vibe from both the interesting setting and the anime-inspired designs that don't try too hard to shallowly jump on the anime bandwagon. The idea of Thundera not being destroyed from the outset and being placed on Third Earth instead seems like an interesting change from the original that could add more depth to the show than the original.

Green Lantern: The Animated Series
As someone who is completely burnt out on Batman cartoons (as good as Brave and the Bold is), seeing an underused character like the Green Lantern get his time to shine is very welcome news from Warner Bros. Animation, who has been diversifying their production slate as of late. Something I'm also looking forward to is not just the use of Hal Jordan, but also the entire Green Lantern Corps. The Corps and their off-world surroundings always seemed very underutilized in animation to focus solely on Earth's Green Lantern, and his exploits on Earth or with the Justice League. I'm completely sold yet on the use of CGI, but hopefully Bruce Timm can pull it off.

DC Nation
If Disney's purchase of Marvel was the first rumble of an incoming television war between the Big Two comic publishers, the announcement of Cartoon Network as DC's home for series premieres and other exclusive media is the official declaration of war. To me, this is the most interesting announcement from today's presentation, if just for the sheer possibilities it entails. By launching DC Nation with a Young Justice spinoff miniseries, DC Animation seems to be taking a page out of DC Comics' book by creating special tie-in events and miniseries to turn series into events that creates a universe and a scope far broader than that of one insular series. I really hope they explore the idea of miniseries more as time goes on by giving underused characters their own miniseries to prove themselves with. This new block also seems like an ideal place to show DC's growing library of direct-to-video animated movies and shorts an outlet on television. I really look forward to seeing where CN and DC will take this new venture.

How to Train Your Dragon
Nearly everyone was shocked when Dreamworks announced that they were straying away from their usual partner Nickelodeon to make a HTTYD series for Cartoon Network, myself included. Not much information is out there, but their intent to make a series that expands the world and atmosphere instead of dumbing it down for television is an admirable one.

Total Drama: Revenge of the Island
After a super-popular first season, a less successful (and in my opinion, inferior) second season, and a quieter, but more fun third season, the once-unstoppable Total Drama series looks to be on its last legs here, as major retooling and a shorter season length doesn't inspire much confidence in the old formula by the network. I'm honestly glad they're ditching the old characters for this season; While last season's two new additions kept the game interesting again and kept it away from falling into Total Drama Action's long list of out-of-character moments, the writers have really run out of places to go with the original cast. Total Drama's fate relies on this new cast, hopefully the writers don't botch this up. (Also, what's with the radioactive campsite? Didn't they learn from last year that pointless gimmicks take away from the meat of the show?)

Redakai: Conquer the Kairu
Not much to say about this one, only that it's more toyetic fare from Marathon, and that it's pretty forgettable fodder for Saturday mornings.

Lego NinjaGo
This seems pretty harmless to me. I thought the original NinjaGo special wasn't bad, but once again, forgettable Saturday morning fodder.

Hall of Game
Probably the most surprising and baffling decisions today. After bombing spectacularly last month, Cartoon Network is gearing up for a second Hall of Game sports awards show. If CN is going to continue to try to make this work, I just hope they learn their lesson and ease up on the advertising a bit.

The one sad note about the upfront was what wasn't there: Genndy Tartakovsky's Sym-Bionic Titan, which will presumably be ending after its first season run. But other than that, this was a pretty bare-bones slate featuring a lot of old news, good news, bad news, and a whole lot to be interested in for the next year. Hopefully next week's second CN upfront in Los Angeles brings more news to the table.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

First Official Look at the New Wonder Woman in COSTUME

David E. Kelley's Shinier Wonder Woman
Lots of latex and pants instead of bare legs. Just doesn't seem right. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Awesome Collectibles

Cool Figures Coming From Japan

A 9 ½ inches tall (in 1/7th scale) bishoujo (pretty girl) based on a design by Shunya Yamashita and sculpted by Masahiro “Gill Gill” Takahashi.
srp $59.99
Available August 2011.

© 2011Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights

A third run of the popular 9 inch Star Wars chop sticks.

srp $9.99

Available in Summer in 2011,

© 2011 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM.All rights reserved.Used under authorization.


srp $9.99

Available in Summer in 2011,

© 2011 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM.All rights reserved.Used under authorization.


srp $9.99

Available in Summer in 2011,

© 2011 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM.All rights reserved.Used under authorization.


srp $9.99

Available in JUNE

© 2010 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM.


With the Jedi and Sith Lightsaber Chopsticks Kotobukiya

srp $9.99

Available in JUNE

© 2010 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM.


Commander Cody stands 7 ½ inches tall (1/7th scale) on an Utapau georama base.

The ARTFX Statue has two display modes. The first depicts the commander before Order 66 and the second portrays him in the final moment before turning on Obi-Wan. Cody looks down at a hologram of Emperor Palpatine that glows with a LED light.

srp $119.99

Available in JULY

©2010 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM.

An 8 ½ inches tall (in the current Marvel Bishoujo 1/7th scale) featuring a reinterpretation of her X-Men Vol. 2 #1 look by illustrator Shunya Yamashita

srp $59.99

Available in JULY

Marvel, Jean Grey: TM & © 2009 Marvel Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries. Licensed by Marvel Characters B.V. All rights reserved.


A 12" (in 1/6th scale) figure sculpted by Erick Sosa with a pose and concept based on an original design by the “Silva Brothers.” Other figures in th X-Force line-up include previously announced X=23 and Deadpool statuettes.

srp $199.99

Available in AUGUST

Marvel, Warpath: TM & © 2009 Marvel Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries. Licensed by Marvel Characters B.V. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Old Lady and the Spider

A Wise Aniboom Animation by Alexis De Jesus Costa
In an indian village, a young girl is scared by her nightmares of a spider and calls out to her grandmother to soothe her. The grandmother befriends a spider that lives nearby and cleverly acts as a peacemaker between the spider and her granddaughter. Translated from French by the animator.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sukki's Story

Winner of the Victorian Student Animation Festival 2005
"Sukki's Story" reflects on Thomas Leung's changing relationship with his mother when he leaves Hong Kong to start his new life in a new country.

Footage of C2E2

Video on Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tour of the Archaia Booth

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers

A New Animated Series
[Source:] Marvel Knights Animation is proud to announce Thor and Loki: Blood Brothers, an all-new four-episode series debuting on iTunes, Xbox LIVE, and PlayStation® Network on Monday, March 28th. Further episodes debut weekly on Wednesdays beginning April 6th, with each high-definition episode priced at $2.99 (standard definition is also available at $1.99/episode).

Inspired by the acclaimed graphic novel from Robert Rodi and Esad Ribic, Thor and Loki: Blood Brothers takes a powerful look inside the minds of Thor and Loki, brothers in the mythical land of Asgard and seemingly forever enemies. But just why does Loki hate his brother Thor? And could it be that this master of mischief isn't really the villain he's been branded? Loki's insatiable lust for power and his feud with Thor take on new meaning in this resonant epic.

"It's been an incredible experience developing and producing Thor and Loki: Blood Brothers," says Ruwan Jayatilleke, producer of Thor and Loki. "The source material by Robert and Esad is absolutely brilliant and works on so many different levels as a story for multiple mediums. To be honest it's been an honor -- and a blast -- to work with the talented creatives of Magnetic Dreams, Edge Studio, Underground Music, and NYAV! What we've put together as a team will further define and push the boundaries of what Marvel Knights Animation can be as well as entertain comic book enthusiasts and mainstream fans with a very compelling piece of content."

He's the Super Hero everyone's talking about and before Marvel Studios' Thor feature film debuts, experience one of Thor's most popular stories in comic history through cutting edge animation. It's Thor and Loki: Blood Brothers—and you'll never see the world of Thor the same way ever again!

For more info about Thor and Loki: Blood Brothers, go to!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Batman Arkham City

The Hugo Strange Trailer
The new Batman Arkham City trailer for the hot sequel to the first game. Watch Supervillain Hugo Strange closes the net on the Dark Knight.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"I Love Sarah Jane" - Independent Film

Love is in the Air, Despite the Zombies
Short film written by Spencer Susser and David Michôd. Directed by Spencer Susser.

Cast: Brad Ashby, Mia Wasikowska, Vladimir Matrovic, Beau South, Peter Yacoub, Richard Mueck, Anton Enus.

Ah, young love. The air seems clearer. The sun seems brighter. There's a spring in the step. Too bad about the zombie apocalypse. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

rain town

'Fumiko's Confession's' Ishida Creates New Anime Short
In this town, since who knows when, rain has never stopped. Residents moved out to suburbs and high ground around "rain town." People's memories are now deeply submerged. But into this forgotten rainy town sometimes, someone wanders. A Kyoto Seika University graduation film.

[News Source: AnimeNewsNetwork] Hiroyasu Ishida, the animation student who created a worldwide online hit with his "Fumiko's Confession" ("Fumiko no Kokuhaku") anime short, began streaming his newest anime short "rain town" online on Sunday. Ishida was studying in the Animation department at Kyoto Seika University's famed Faculty of Manga. Along with fellow student Shogo Yoshida, he worked on his "rain town" anime short as his graduation project for at least two years.

On the same day (March 6) that Ishida began streaming the "rain town" short, it won the grand prize in the 9th Independent Animation Festival (Indies Anime Festa) at Mitaka, Japan. It is the second year in a row that Ishida won the grand prize; he won last year for "Fumiko's Confession." 

Ishida also entered "rain town" in Studio 4°C and Kyoto Seika's E-ma Academix competition, which ran from February 8 to February 27. The 5th TOHO Cinemas Student Film Festival nominated "rain town" and six other works in its short animation category. The final stage of the festival will be held at Tokyo's Odaiba Cinema Mediage theater on March 13. 

Fumiko's Confession by Ishida Hiroyasu

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0's Eerie Comparison to Reality

Current Devastation in Japan Depicted in 2009 Anime

The Japanese are fully aware of the dangers they live with in a nation prone to earthquakes. So much so, that an anime TV series depicting what an magnitude 8.0 quake would do to a city like Tokyo was made in 2009 with startling similarities to the disaster that just hit Japan.
Anime Title Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 was released in 2009
[Source: Wikipedia] Synopsis: After a massive earthquake in Tokyo 25 km under the sea at a magnitude of 8.0, siblings Mirai and Yūki, who were visiting a robot exhibition in Odaiba at the beginning of their summer vacation, struggle to reach their parents in their house in Setagaya, assisted by a female motorcycle courier named Mari, who is striving to reach her own daughter and mother in Sangenjaya.

Mirai, unable to get a connection to call her parents, throws her phone away in anger. Despite promising each other that they would not separate, Yūki goes off on his own, hoping to go to the top of Tokyo Tower to see their house in order to assure Mirai that their parents are still alive. Mirai finds him just before Tokyo Tower collapses, and Yūki is struck in the head while saving Mirai from a piece of falling debris. She is worried for him, but he assures her that he is fine.

As they continue on their way, Yūki collapses and is taken to the hospital. Mirai sees him on a stretcher with a white sheet over his face, and later awakens from the apparent dream, only to see Yūki in an operating room where the surgeons tell her that they were unsuccessful. Mirai finally awakens and meets up with Yūki who is playing with other children. Later, Mirai assures a worrying Mari that they will find her mother and daughter.

They reach Mari's house, which was destroyed in the fires. At a nearby school, Mari sees two unknown bodies that she believes are her mother and daughter, and, unable to bring herself to lift the sheet to confirm it, she mourns their deaths. Yūki, however, tells Mirai that he believes them to still be alive, and he helps Mirai find Mari's daughter Hina. Mari later finds her mother, who is in a hospital with minor injuries. Mirai leaves Mari a letter saying that she and Yūki will go home by themselves. Mari expresses surprise that the letter says "Yūki and I."

Yūki and Mirai return to their neighborhood, where Yūki is always just out of sight when Mirai meets with her friend from school and later meets Yūki's friend Itsuki. Mirai protects Itsuki when his house partly collapses while they are inside. It is here that Yūki reveals to Mirai that he really did die at the hospital.

Mirai returns to her house, where Yūki's spirit departs while Mirai and her mother tearfully embrace. They meet with Mirai's father, who is in the hospital with a broken leg, and together they grieve as Mirai tells them of Yūki's bravery.

One month later, Mari visits Mirai to return Yūki's backpack, in which she finds her discarded cell phone, which Yūki secretly kept for her. Among the many emails that Mirai receives is one from Yūki that he sent from Mari's phone before his death, expressing his hope to get a phone soon, to be able to talk even when they were apart. With this, Mirai realizes that she can cope with Yūki's absence by writing to him. While watering the tree Yūki planted, Mirai resolves to move on with her life, knowing that Yūki will always be in her heart.