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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Kimagure Orange Road's Izumi Matsumoto Falls Ill

[Source: AnimeNewsNetwork] Manga creator Izumi Matsumoto revealed on his blog on Saturday that he had a relapse of cerebrospinal fluid hypovolemia (depleted cerebrospinal fluid) at the end of April and was bedridden for three months. Matsumoto began hospital treatment for the condition on Monday. 
Matsumoto said that during the several months of treatment he will not be answering messages on his PC or smartphone. According to Matsumoto, the light from screens makes the illness worse. Someone else will check his messages and, if there is mail related to work, he will respond via phone. 

Matsumoto previously gave up drawing manga in 1999 due to the same illness, but did not receive the right diagnosis until 2004. He returned to work in fall 2005 after treatment. 

Matsumoto's Kimagure Orange Road manga series ran in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine from 1984 to 1987. The 18-volume story followed a boy with supernatural powers as he dealt with a love triangle between two girls in his high school. Digital Manga Inc. successfully ran a Kickstarter campaign earlier this year to re-translate and publish the manga into English. 

The manga inspired a popular 1987-1988 television anime series, two movies, and various anime videos. AnimEigo released the television anime series, the first movie, and the later video anime series, while ADV Films handled the second movie, Kimagure Orange Road: Summer's Beginning.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Gene Wilder Dies at Age 83

(June 11, 1933 – August 29, 2016)
[Source: Yahoo.News] Gene Wilder, the blue-eyed, frazzle-haired actor who elevated panic to a comic art form in frequent collaboration with Mel Brooks (The Producers, Young Frankenstein) and Richard Pryor (Silver Streak, Stir Crazy), died on Sunday in Stamford, Conn., from complications from Alzheimer’s disease. His family confirmed the news to the Associated Press. Wilder was 83

Wilder perhaps is most fondly remembered as the captivating candy man and “Pure Imagination” crooner of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. 

Blazing Saddles, helmed by Brooks and co-written by Brooks and Pryor, and Bonnie and Clyde are two other classics among Wilder’s roughly three dozen TV and film credits. 

“I am really not — except in a comedy film,” Wilder said in 2013.
Maybe because others perceived him as an actor first as well, Wilder was the rare comedy star who was made welcome at the grownup table. He was twice nominated for an Oscar: a Best Supporting Actor nod for The Producers and a screenplay nod for his and Brooks’s Young Frankenstein.  

Wilder was previously married to Saturday Night Live star Gilda Radner, and in the wake of her death in 1989, he became a leading proponent of ovarian cancer screening and research. He’s survived by his fourth wife, Karen Webb. 

Born Jerome Silberman on June 11, 1933, in Milwaukee, the future star became a comic actor almost from the start — and for a tragic reason: His mother suffered from heart disease, and since it was feared stress would kill her, laughter was demanded. Wilder, who went on to be one of the screen’s leading neurotics, would trace his own neuroses to the experience.

“My mother was suffering every day of her life, and what right did I have to be happy if she was suffering?” Wilder told the Washington Post in 2005. “So whenever I got happy about something, I felt the need to cut it off, and the only way to cut it off was to pray. ‘Forgive me, Lord.’ For what, I didn’t know.”

Wilder’s mother survived into his early 20s; she died, as Radner would decades later, of ovarian cancer. By the time of his mother’s death, Wilder was already a veteran actor, having been drawn to the stage as a teen. His early life took the familiar course of the draft-era young man: college (University of Iowa, then England’s Bristol Old Vic Theatre), then the Army, then back to civilian life. The former Jerome Silberman marked his return with a new name: Gene, depending on the source, chosen either in honor of a Thomas Wolfe character or his late mother, Jeanne; Wilder, for the author Thornton Wilder.

Wilder began to appear on the Broadway stage in the early 1960s. The 1963 play Mother Courage and Her Children paired him with Anne Bancroft and brought him into the orbit of her then boyfriend, Mel Brooks.

Four years later, in 1967, and a few months after he’d made his film debut in Bonnie and Clyde, Wilder starred in Brooks’s The Producers. (Because the future classic was a slow starter, to put it mildly, The Producers was not released in New York and Los Angeles until 1968.) 

In Bonnie and Clyde and The Producers, Wilder played mild-mannered types driven to hyperventilation by bank robbers (the former) and a scheming Broadway impresario (the latter).  The parts arguably were his destiny: “When God saw Gene Wilder,” Brooks was quoted as saying, “He said, ‘That is prey. And we’ll put him on Earth and everybody will chase him and have some fun.'” 

In his mid-30s, and amid the “New Hollywood” revolution, Wilder was suddenly a leading man. He was not, however, suddenly everywhere, in everything. 

“I was always very selective,” Wilder said of his movie choices. “No, selective isn’t the right word.”

“Egomaniacal,” he decided, was what he was looking for.

Monday, August 29, 2016

First Glimpse of Live-Action Beauty and the Beast

Disney's Beauty and the Beast
[Source:] Ever since the trailer for Disney's live-action update of Beauty and the Beast debuted in May, we've been waiting for more clues about what the final film will look like. After all, the cast list alone is enough to make us excited: Emma Watson plays Belle opposite Dan Stevens (a.k.a. the perpetually mourned Matthew Crawley from Downton Abbey) as the Beast. Then there's Ewan McGregor as Lumière, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts—well, we could go on, but let's leave it as it's shaping up to be brilliant.
The reworked film, which spins the 1991 animated classic into a version with IRL actors (for human characters, anyway), is set to come out March 17—so we still have 201 days a long time to go. To tide us over, or maybe just to tease us, co-producer Jack Morrissey posted a few images Friday on what appears to be his Facebook page, marking one year to the day that principal photography for the film finished.

Of course, the film is still in production, so end-result details might change—especially the concept art. As Morrissey pointed out, "These designs are close but may not be final." However, the images are all included on a sneak peek of the live-action film that's going to be added on the 25th anniversary edition of the animated version—so in our mind, that means they're close enough for us to get excited about.

Check 'em out: The images feature realistic-looking concept art for Cogsworth and Lumière...

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Fantastic Feasts and How to Make Them

Blast off with Galaxy
Bread and Space Jam 
Mankind has always looked at the dark starry night sky with wonder and awe, and it’s no secret why: It’s easy to find endless inspiration in those inky depths peppered with twinkling stars.  But what about when you’re stuck at your desk and feeling the pre-lunch slump?  Where do you turn for cosmic inspiration then?

Your lunch sack! 
Say what?!

Making a fresh loaf of quick and tasty galaxy swirl bread is simple, and when you add on a heaping pile of sweet starry ginger pear Space Jam (yeah ... I went there). It’s out of this world!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Soviet superheroes fight for Mother Russia

First full trailer for Guardians
[Source: blastr] We first heard about Russian superhero movie Guardians about a year ago, and since then we’ve seen two very cool teaser trailers and a bunch of awesome character posters that got a bunch of us excited for the film. But today, we finally have the first full trailer.

The movie set to be released in Mother Russia on Feb. 23, 2017, stars Anton Pampushniy as Arsus (the bear-man dude guy), Sanzhar Madiev as Khan, Sebastien Sisak as Ler, Alina Lanina as Xenia, Valeria Shkirando as Latina, Vyacheslav Razbegaev as Dolgov, and Stanislav Shirin as Kuratov. Sure, the trailer's in Russian, but there are (at times bad) English subtitles embedded in the video below, so you can at least have some (at times hilarious) idea of what’s being said.

Here’s a new extended synopsis:
Set during the Cold War, a secret organization named “Patriot” gathered a group of Soviet superheroes, altering and augmenting the DNA of four individuals, in order to defend the homeland from supernatural threats.
The group includes representatives of the different nationalities of the Soviet Union, which each one of them have long been hiding their true identity. In hard times, they settled down to business and gather to defend their homeland.

There’s no release date for North America yet -- that is if Guardians gets to be released here at all -- but I'm living in hope it will, because it looks like a lot of insane fun. What do you guys think of the trailer?

(Note that the 2016 release date on the movie poster is no longer valid.)

Friday, August 26, 2016

First look at Spider-Gwen's animated debut

S P I D E R - G W E N
With so many cool, new characters kicking around in the comics the past few years, Marvel has started using its animated series lineup as a de facto proving ground for new characters. Up next? Everyone’s favorite new Spider-person.

IGN has the first look at Spider-Gwen’s animated debut in the Disney XD series Ultimate Spider-Man, and (not surprisingly) she looks awesome. If you’re unfamiliar, Spider-Gwen is a version of Gwen Stacy from Earth-65 who gains Spider powers after the Peter Parker from her universe dies. If you’re not reading the ongoing comic series, you should be, and it’s great to see her get a shot to jump from page to screen so soon after her comic introduction just two years ago.

The episode will be included in the ongoing fourth season of Ultimate Spider-Man, with Gwen voiced by Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie, Descendants). Along with Gwen, the episode will also bring Miles Morales back for another adventure, as part of a universe-busting “Return of the Spider-Verse” storyline. Milo Ventimiglia will also be back to reprise his role as Spider-Man Noir, along with several other alt-Spideys coming out of the woodwork.

Ultimate Spider-Man vs. the Sinister Six: "Return to the Spider-Verse" kicks off Saturday, Aug. 27, on Disney XD. Part two airs Sept. 3, part three on Sept. 10, and part four on Sept. 17 (Spider-Gwen is slated to show up in the final episode).

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Anime Viewing Schedule for August 27, 2016

Saturday, August 27, 2016
Wood Dale Public Library
"Well, nanoo nanoo to you, too!"
Main Meeting Room, 10:15 am to 5:00 pm

10:15 - 11:05    Flying Witch eps 8-9
11:05 - 11:55    Macross Delta ep 6-7
11:55 - 12:45    Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World? 1-2
12:45 - 1:35      Joker Game 5-6
1:35 - 2:15        Club Meeting / Announcements
2:15 - 3:05        Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress 9-10
3:05 - 3:55        Bungo Stray Dogs 5-6
3:55 - 4:45        Kiznaiver 5-6

All anime presented are fan-subtitled unless otherwise noted.
Start watching the exciting new anime series: Macross Delta and Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

New Disney series starring Weird Al Yankovic

[Source: blastr] With everything from Guardians of the Galaxy to Star Wars: Rebels already on the schedule, Disney XD is quickly becoming a one-stop shop for sci-fi geek-friendly animated fare. Now, they’re expanding a bit to grab attention from music geeks, as well.

The network has debuted the first footage from the new animated series Milo Murphy’s Law, which stars parody music legend Weird Al Yankovic as the voice behind a quirky kid with bad luck that runs so deep it's genetic. Milo and his pals will spend each episode dealing with daily disasters (including some time travel!) and trying to have some fun in the process. It’s a cute pitch, and with Weird Al also contributing some original tunes, it could certainly be worth checking out.

Along with Weird Al, the voice cast also includes Sarah Chalke, Ming-Na Wen, Christian Slater, Jemaine Clement, MeKai Curtis and Sabrina Carpenter. Behind the scenes, the series comes from Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, the creators of the fantastic animated series Phineas and Ferb (seriously, it’s pretty great). 

Milo Murphy’s Law is set to premiere October 3 on Disney XD.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Next Club Meeting is August 27, 2016

 A N I M A T R I X   N E T W O R K
"Long tails and ears for hats!
We know just where it's at..."

Wood Dale Public Library
520 N. Wood Dale Road
Wood Dale, IL  60191
Main Meeting Room
Saturday, August 27, 2016
10:15 AM - 5:00 PM

Our next club meeting will be at the Wood Dale Public Library
Main Meeting Room (on your far 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

Monday, August 22, 2016

ARRIVAL - Trailer

"Language can be both a weapon and a tool"
When mysterious spacecrafts touch down across the globe, an elite team - lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) - is brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.
Coming to theatres November 11, 2016.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Amazing World of Gumball - Anime Style

Nicole vs Yuki (Anime Fight Scene)  
Gumball, Darwin, and Masami watch their mothers face off in an epic anime-style showdown! Someone on that show must love 'Kill La Kill.'

Saturday, August 20, 2016

GODZILLA Anime Storms into Theaters 2017

Gen Urobuchi will write the script for Toho’s upcoming Godzilla anime movie.

Look out Bambi, you’re not the only cartoon game in town anymore. Toho announced that Knights of Sidonia studio Polygon Pictures will produce a Godzilla feature anime picture. The Godzilla anime will be directed by Kobun Shizuno, who directed the Detective Conan: The Darkest Nightmare and other Detective Conan movies, Fist of the North Star: The Legend of Kenshirô, Fist of the North Star: The Legend of Toki and Knights of Sidonia, and Hiroyuki Seshita (Blame!, Ajin). The screenplay will be penned  by graphic novel writer Gen Urobuchi (Madoka Magica, Thunderbolt Fantasy Puella Magi, Fate/Zero, Psycho-Pass).
The Godzilla anime feature is currently in the works for a 2017 theatrical premiere. The upcoming anime project will be the Godzilla's first animated feature film. The first time an anime Godzilla character appeared on Japanese television was in a crossover with Crayon Shin-chan on July 22. The Godzilla franchise inspired a western animated series from Hanna-Barbera in 1978 and one a follow-up to the 1998 Godzilla film.
Godzilla is one of the most recognizable symbols of Japanese popular culture around the world. Starting in 1954 and through 29 films Toho’s Godzilla was the face of atomic fears that gripped Japan since bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. American films about Godzilla opened in 1998 and 2014.
Japan’s movie giant, Toho has announced the production of a feature-length Godzilla animation. Simply titled “Godzilla,” it is set for release next year. Tokyo-based Polygon Pictures is handling production duties with Kobun Shizuno (“Detective Conan” series) and Hiroyuki Seshita (“Knights of Sidonia”) co-directing. Gen Urobuchi, a popular of s, light novels and...
Toho Ad Co., Ltd registered the domain earlier this month.
The latest Godzilla film, Godzilla: Resurgence (Shin Godzilla) opened in Japan on July 29. Funimation plans to release the film in theaters in late 2016.

Legendary plans to release a Godzilla sequel in 2019. Godzilla vs. Kong is scheduled to hit theaters in 2020.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Twin Spica is sci-fi with heart

Why 'Twin Spica' is the best astronaut manga you're not reading
[Source: blastr] The challenges faced by people who long to go into space should make for gripping drama, but there’s surprisingly little fiction about astronauts-to-be, and most depictions of astronauts’ training home in on the real-life space pioneers of Apollo and other NASA missions. Even away from the Big Two comic book publishers, many titles mostly focus on extraordinary characters with extraordinary abilities, but there are stories that are just as compelling and more grounded in the real world.

In contrast, Japanese manga has had two recent titles which focus on wannabe astronauts. One is Space Brothers, a series by Chūya Koyama that’s still running in Japan. The other is Twin Spica, a completed manga by Kou Yaginuma. Both are magnificent, but here’s why Twin Spica is an absolute must-read.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Trailer for animated 'Firefly' fan project

Artist Stephen Byrne has put together a teaser trailer for a Firefly animated series we really, really wish existed. The art looks great, and he does an awesome job of getting the look of the world and the characters just right. All your favorites are here, and there’s even a heartbreaking little cameo from Wash (R.I.P.). Byrne has been teasing looks at his little art project the past few years, but this is by far the most complete look he’s offered up yet.
It’s the longest of long shots, but who knows? It seems like nothing is truly dead these days, and Netflix has found some surprise success with its new animated series Voltron: Legendary Defender. Could an animated continuation be our best remaining shot for more Firefly adventures? Heck, maybe somebody can even dig that old Buffy the Vampire Slayer animated series off the shelf?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

TMNT - 'Don vs. Raph' by Jhonen Vasquez

D O N  vs  R A P H
Johnen Vasquez, the creator of Nickelodeon's INVADER ZIM, takes on the Turtles in this San Diego Comic-Con exclusive animated short! It's on! Donatello and Raphael have a score to settle and won't rest until a true victor is crowned.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Cassette Girl - Japan Animator Expo

Hiroyasu Kobayashi (Evangelion: 1.0 You Are [Not] Alone CGI director) directed this animated short based on his own original story. Shigeto Koyama (Big Hero 6, Gundam: Reconguista in G) handled the art direction and character design, while Takeshi Takakura (Macross Frontier, Aquarion Evol) took care of the mechanical design. Yoji Enokido (Ouran High School Host Club, Star Driver) wrote the screenplay and Masayuki (Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can [Not] Advance) drew the storyboards. Studio Khara's Digital Department provided the 3D animation for the film.

Monday, August 15, 2016

BLIK - Animated Short

" B  L  I  K "
This CGI 3D Animated Short Film Blik is by Polder Animation Studio. Featured on

A young boy moves to a new neighborhood and falls in love for the first time, with the much older girl next door.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Kenny Baker passes away at the age of 81

(August 24, 1934 – August 13, 2016)
[Source: HG] British actor Kenny Baker, who starred as R2-D2 in six Star Wars films, has died aged 81 after a long illness, his niece has confirmed.

Baker made his name as the robot in the first Star Wars film in 1977 alongside Anthony Daniels's C-3PO character.

Star Wars creator George Lucas paid tribute to a "real gentleman" and Mark Hamill - Luke Skywalker in the films - said he had lost "a lifelong friend". 

Born in Birmingham, Baker's other films include Time Bandits and Flash Gordon. 

After starring in the original Star Wars film he went on to appear in the sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and the three prequels between 1999 and 2005.
He later appeared at Star Wars fan conventions across the world.

Baker's agent Johnny Mans said the actor had been ill for a couple of years.
He said: "Kenny was truly a great friend, one of the nicest guys you could ever wish to meet, and a fabulous and talented performer."

Mans described him as "a one-off" saying he would "never forget the laughs we shared over the years". 

"He will be sadly missed," he added.

Lucas said: "Kenny Baker was a real gentleman as well as an incredible trooper who always worked hard under difficult circumstances.

"A talented vaudevillian who could always make everybody laugh, Kenny was truly the heart and soul of R2-D2 and will be missed by all his fans and everyone who knew him."

'Regular guy'

Baker's nephew, Drew Myerscough, said he had cared for Baker for "eight or nine years" after he developed respiratory problems.

He said his uncle, who lived in Preston, had a passion for wildlife documentaries and had "a liking for lasagne".

"He was just a normal, down-to-earth, regular guy that enjoyed life," he told the BBC.

He said the pair "rarely" discussed Star Wars, but added: "His fans worldwide kept him going and he loved nothing more than going to conventions and meeting everybody - it really gave him that extra lease of life."
The 3ft 8in (1.12m) actor began performing in 1950 at the age of 16, working as a circus clown and in pantomime.

Baker initially turned down the role of mischievous droid R2-D2, famous for his whistles and beeps. In an interview on his website he recalled telling George Lucas: "I don't want to be stuck in a robot, what for, for goodness' sake?

'Like a boiled egg'

He added: "I said, 'I'll help you out, I'll do you a favour.' George said, 'You've got to do it, we can't find anyone else. You're small, to get into it [the costume], and you're strong enough to be able to move in it,' - and they couldn't use kids.

"I could work all hours, so I was a godsend to them. They'd made the robot in rough form and I was the only one around at the time that was just right for it. 

"I got into it and they put the lid on me like a boiled egg."

In another interview, Baker said Sir Alec Guinness's decision to appear in Star Wars convinced him to sign up.

"I thought if Alec Guinness is in it, he knows more than I do about filming, that's for sure. It must be a decent film otherwise he wouldn't be in it."
Writing on Twitter, Hamill said: "Goodbye #KennyBaker A lifelong loyal friend-I loved his optimism and determination He WAS the droid I was looking for!"

Ewan McGregor, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the three Star Wars prequels, tweeted: "So sorry to hear about this. It was lovely working with Kenny."

The studio behind the original Star Wars films, 20th Century Fox, posted a still of R2-D2 and C-3PO and said: "Rest in peace, Kenny Baker, the heart and soul of R2-D2."

Actor Daniel Logan, who played Boba Fett in 2002's Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, tweeted: "So sad to hear one of my dearest friends passed away. Rest in peace Kenny Baker. Love you. Will miss you!"

In a statement on, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said: "There is no Star Wars without R2-D2, and Kenny defined who R2-D2 was and is."
Baker was a consultant on the last Star Wars production - The Force Awakens - but British actor Jimmy Vee was already lined up to take on the role of R2-D2 in the next film, due for release in 2017.

Comedy act

Despite the fame R2-D2 brought him, Baker told the BBC in 2001 that his own favourite screen role was as Fidgit in 1981's Time Bandits.

The comic fantasy about a boy who joins a group of time-travelling dwarves who hunt for treasure to steal starred Sean Connery and John Cleese.

"The director Terry Gilliam's such a nutcase, he's so enthusiastic, you can't help enjoy it. It was just a fun film to make," Baker said.

A father of two, Baker's wife Eileen died in 1993.

On his website, Baker also recalled working with comedians including Ken Dodd, Little and Large, Russ Abbot, Ben Elton, Dick Emery and Dave Allen and once meeting Laurel and Hardy.

He became part of a musical comedy act called The Mini Tones and later performed with his friend Jack Purvis in nightclubs.

Both men went on to appear in the original Star Wars film which was shot at Elstree studios in 1976, with Purvis playing the chief Jawa.

In 1978, as R2-D2, Baker put his footprints into concrete outside Graumann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

Baker also appeared on screen in Mona Lisa, Amadeus, and The Elephant Man.