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, May 31, 2018

New Pics of 'How to Train Your Dragon 3'

H  I  D  D  E  N    W  O  R  L  D
We get a look at the new aged character designs from HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3: HIDDEN WORLD. The brief plot description: “Hiccup and Toothless again team up, against a new threat, to save their home and free the dragons. Additionally, Toothless meets a love interest, a white Fury (Toothless' breed of dragon). He also finds what appears to be a luminescent new dragon world.”

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

So This is Basically Fire Emblem

F I R E   E M B L E M
Fire Emblem is a tactical role-playing game franchise developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. First produced and published for the Family Computer (Famicom), the series consists of fifteen main games and three spin-offs, that are playable across multiple game systems. Described by its creators as a "role-playing game simulation", the gameplay revolves around tactical movement of characters across grid-based environments, while incorporating a story and characters similar to those in a more traditional role-playing video game.

A noted aspect of gameplay is the permanent death of characters in battle, removing them from the rest of the game should they be defeated. In the newer titles, from Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem onwards, players get the choice between Classic mode, where characters permanently die or Casual mode, where fallen characters will rejoin in the next battle. The series title refers to the titular object, the "Fire Emblem", usually portrayed as a royally treasured weapon or shield, representing the power of war and dragons, a recurring element in the series. Development of the first game began as a dōjin project by Shouzou Kaga and three other developers. Its success prompted the development of further titles in the series. Shouzou Kaga headed development of each entry until the release of Thracia 776, when he left Intelligent Systems and founded his own game studio to develop Tear Ring Saga.

No games in the series were released outside of Japan until two characters, Marth and Roy, were included as playable characters in the 2001 fighting game Super Smash Bros. Melee. Their popularity eventually convinced Nintendo to release the next game, The Blazing Sword, in Western regions under the title Fire Emblem in 2003. Many games in the series have sold well, despite a decline during the 2000s which resulted in the series' near-cancellation. Individual entries have generally been praised, and the series as a whole has been lauded for its gameplay, and it is cited as a seminal series in the tactical role-playing genre. Characters from multiple games have also been included in crossovers with other franchises.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Happytime Murders - Trailer

[WARNING: Age-restricted video]
THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS is a filthy comedy set in the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles where puppets and humans coexist. Two clashing detectives with a shared secret, one human (Melissa McCarthy) and one puppet, are forced to work together again to solve the brutal murders of the former cast of a beloved classic puppet television show.
In Theaters August 17, 2018

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Witcher - Teaser Trailer

T H E   W I T C H E R
Mads Mikkelsen / Netflix Series
The Witcher is an upcoming fantasy drama series created by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich for Netflix based on the book series of the same name by Andrzej Sapkowski. Premise Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher and mutated monster hunter, tries to find his place in a world full of beasts and cruel people.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Christopher Robin Official Trailer (2018)

Christopher Robin
"In the heartwarming live action adventure 'Disney’s Christopher Robin,' the young boy who embarked on countless adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood with his band of spirited and lovable stuffed animals, has grown up and lost his way. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into our world and help Christopher Robin remember the loving and playful boy who is still inside.

[Source: comicbook] Winnie the Pooh is coming back to the big screen this summer in Disney's Christopher Robin, and the first full-length trailer for the film has finally been released online.

Christopher Robin stars Ewan McGregor as the titular character, who has grown up and grown away from his friends in the 100 Acre Wood. Now that he's been bogged down with the stresses of life and the real world, Christopher's old pals have returned to help remind him of who he used to be.

This means that Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, and many other characters from the animated franchise will be making their way to our world in the film. Instead of remaining cartoons in the real life, like in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, these characters will be walking, talking stuffed animals when they appear to Christopher.

On Thursday, Disney took to Twitter to announce that the trailer for Christopher Robin would debut during Friday's episode of Ellen. The announcement, which you can see below, came with the release of the official Christopher Robin poster.

Christopher Robin is stuck in a job where he is overworked, underpaid and facing an uncertain future. He has a family of his own, but his work has become his life, leaving little time for his wife and daughter, and he has all but forgotten his idyllic childhood spent with a simple-minded, honey-loving stuffed bear and his friends. But when he is reunited with Winnie the Pooh, now tattered and soiled from years of hugs and play, a spark is rekindled, and he is reminded of the endless days of childlike wonder and make believe that defined his youth, when doing nothing could be considered something. Following an unfortunate mishap with Christopher Robin’s briefcase, Pooh and the rest of the gang including Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger, step out of the forest and into London to return the crucial possessions…because best friends will always be there for you."

Directed by Marc Forster, Christopher Robin is set to hit theaters on August 3.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Emara - Episodes 1 & 2

E  M  A  R  A
Meet Emara, a young Emirati girl who harnesses a special power to fight crime across the Emirates. Animated for both English and Arabic.

Friday, May 25, 2018

'To the Moon' Gets its Own Anime

[Source: aintitcool] With the invention of the internet, things have changed in the world for both the better and the worse. When it comes to video games, it seems pretty much all around good, though. Especially for indie games, because they are able to get the attention and appreciation they deserve.

TO THE MOON is very well thought out indie RPG that you can pick up on Steam, with overwhelmingly positive reviews. This game was actually made with RPG Maker XP (that takes me back), by Kan Gao.

“The story, set in the future, follows two doctors who offer to fulfill a dying man’s last wish using artificial memories. The game features relatively few gameplay mechanics, with the player controlling the two doctors, exploring the narrative and solving puzzles as they try to reconstruct the dying man's memories in order to fulfill his wish.” 

TO THE MOON is a tear-jerker and a comedy. From what I’ve read, you actually get to travel through the dying man’s memories and see his life. Supposedly it’s only a 4-5 hours adventure, which seems worth a $9.99 price tag.

You can enjoy the trailer for the game. (Try not to cry.)

Many details about the TO THE MOON feature are so far kept under wraps, but Gao is promising in his announcement on YouTube it is in fact happening. Gao also says that they have a “significant budget” that is above YOUR NAME and some big animation players involved, how mysterious and exciting!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

'Totoro' Restaurant in Bangkok

May's Garden House Restaurant
[Source: SyFyWire] For three decades, My Neighbor Totoro has withstood the test of time as one of Studio Ghibli’s greatest anime films. The forest spirit, Totoro, has become so beloved that Studio Ghibli adopted him as their official mascot, and he remains a very popular character to this day. Now, Totoro is even getting his own restaurant in Bangkok. 
Via SoraNews24, May’s Garden House Restaurant is the first Totoro-themed restaurant officially licensed by Studio Ghibli. The restaurant isn’t officially open yet, but it’s currently welcoming hungry diners during its preview period while collecting feedback. There’s even a giant Totoro at the entrance of the dining room, which will probably be one of the most popular attractions there. 
Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki was heavily involved with the creation of the restaurant, thanks to his friendship with the proprietor, Kanyada; whose nickname is “May.” The report notes that Suzuki was so taken by Kanyada’s chicken wings and sympathetic to her business struggles that he came up with the idea for May’s Garden House Restaurant. He also created the restaurant's official logo.
While there are numerous Totoro characters placed throughout the restaurant, May’s Garden House will also be home to Colko and Peeko, two new creations made and designed by Suzuki himself. Colko and Peeko are also the restaurant's official mascots.

There are a few parts of May’s Garden House that aren’t yet completed, including a playground for children, an orchid glasshouse, a boat water pool, and more. Even the menu hasn’t been finalized yet, although it will include dishes inspired by Totoro and his spirit pals. But we’re not quite sure what this Catbus snack is supposed to be. 
May’s Garden House Restaurant also has its own official Instagram account, which will continue to entice visitors even after the grand opening later this this month.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Anime Viewing Schedule for May 26, 2018

A N I M A T R I X   N E T W O R K
Saturday, May 26, 2018
Fountaindale Public Library
"Get ready! We're flying to a new location!"

Remember! We'll be in a Different Library!
Fountaindale Public Library
300 W. Briarcliff Rd.
Bolingbrook, IL 60440

2nd Floor Board Room, 11:15 am to 5:00 pm
11:15 - 12:05   Houseki no Kuni 7-8
12:05 - 12:55   A Place Further Than the Universe 5-6
12:55 - 1:45     Violet Evergarden 7-8
1:45 - 2:20       Club Meeting / Announcements
2:20 - 3:10       B - the Beginning 5-6
3:10 - 4:50       Mary and the Witch's Flower [Movie]

All anime presented are fan-subtitled unless otherwise noted.
Don't miss the exciting anime series: B - The Beginning and Houseki no Kuni!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

ThunderCats Roar Back into Action!

The ThunderCats are coming back!
[Source: Entertainment Weekly] EW exclusively revealed that Warner Bros. Animation is bringing back the iconic cat-like aliens for new animated series called ThunderCats Roar, which will debut on Cartoon Network in 2019.

Check out an exclusive sneak peak at the show above.

The original ThunderCats show aired from 1985 and 1989, and followed the adventures of Lion-O, Cheetara, Panthro, Tygra, Snarf, and WilyKit and WilyKat, the refugees of the planet Thundera who end up on Third Earth. While ThunderCats Roar plans on staying true to the original’s premise and will feature tons of action, it will also lean into the inherent comedy of the world, too.

“I think the world that they built lends itself really well to comedy because of how silly and crazy and outlandish those ideas are and some of those settings are,” says producer Victor Courtright in the exclusive behind-the-scenes video above. “But at the same time, it wouldn’t be ThunderCats if it didn’t have super cool action elements because that’s what people came back to. It’s very much something that we want to lean on. So with the new show, we’re not walking away from the action in any bit. Every step we take towards comedy, we take two more towards really cool action scenes and explosions and lasers and actions effects.” 

Here’s the official logline for the series: “Staying true to the premise of the original series, Lion-O and the ThunderCats — Tygra, Panthro, Cheetara, Wilykat, and Wilykit — barely escape the sudden destruction of their home world, Thundera, only to crash land on the mysterious and exotic planet of Third Earth. Lion-O, the newly appointed Lord of the ThunderCats, attempts to lead the team as they make this planet their new home. A bizarre host of creatures and villains stand in their way, including the evil Mumm-Ra, Third Earth’s wicked ruler who will let nothing, including the ThunderCats, stop his tyrannical reign over the planet.”

ThunderCats Roar stars Max Mittelman (Justice League Action) as Lion-O and Wilykat, Erica Lindbeck (DC Super Hero Girls) as Cheetara and Wilykit, Patrick Seitz (Justice League Action) as Tygra and Mumm-Ra, and Chris Jai Alex (Star Wars: Battlefront II) as Panthro.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Kenichi Sonoda's Kickstarter Anime: Project BB

Today at Anime Central, Kenichi Sonoda officially launches his Kickstarter Project: Bean Bandit.

very time I am invited to events in North America, I am always left with the memory that fans want a new Riding Bean and Gunsmith Cats. One day, my friend brought me a plan for crowdfunding anime. I realized then how fun it would be to make more extreme and more profound animated works just for the fans without being bound by the opinions of publishers and editors.

That is why I started this Kickstarter. 

Our initial goal is to produce a five-minute animation. Should we receive more support, we are planning to make it longer. I would be truly happy if we gathered enough pledges to create a 20-minute anime with a slick original opening! 

I also intend to prepare an art book featuring concept art, design, and a newly drawn original color comic if possible. 

The animation, art book, and manga will be available in both Japanese and English. Additionally, the finished animation will be released on a Blu-ray disk at the highest quality. 
Visit the Kickstarter Page

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Marvel Studios' Ant-Man and The Wasp

Ant-Man and The Wasp
Real heroes. Not actual size. Marvel Studios' Ant-Man and The Wasp is in theaters July 6.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Image of New Young Justice Team Lineup

[Source: WeGotThisCovered] Anyone who loves superheroes these days seems to have that one cartoon that resonated with them, leading to an undying love for it. Children of the 1990’s will likely wax nostalgia over Batman: The Animated Series or X-Men: The Animated Series, while others who prefer the decade that followed remember Justice League Unlimited and Spectacular Spider-Man quite fondly.

This particular decade’s biggest breakout was arguably Young Justice, a series that placed the focus on sidekicks such as Robin/Nightwing, Superboy, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Miss Martian, Artemis and others who were coming of age and ready to take their place in the limelight. But it was unfortunately cut short after only two seasons due to a lack of merchandise sales – even though not much was manufactured to begin with. It was a ridiculous Catch 22, to say the least.

Since its untimely cancellation, a very rabid fanbase tirelessly campaigned for the series’ return, ultimately resulting in a third season being chosen as one of the vanguards for the upcoming DC Universe streaming service that’s really gotten people talking as of late.

As was to be expected, the next chapter in the story will see another lineup shift, which producer Greg Weisman unveiled over on Twitter:
Upon examining the image, we see Tigress, Superboy and someone who appears to be Black Lightning looming above, though it remains to be seen if this iteration of the character is indeed Jefferson Pierce. In addition to them, Nightwing can be glimpsed heading up a new band of heroes consisting of Katana, Metamorpho and three others who’ve yet to be identified.

Of course, this is but a fraction of the cast, so we’ll keep you posted when it comes to any relevant developments made between now and showtime. Let’s just hope that we see some of the villains before long because, don’t forget, season 2 left off with a handshake shared by Vandal Savage and Darkseid, so we’re definitely intrigued to see where that goes.

For more on Young Justice: Outsiders and various other shows comprising the DC Universe spectrum, be sure to click here for additional details.

Monday, May 14, 2018

'Forgotton Anne' is a game hidden inside an anime

[Source: Engadget] Forgotton Anne looks like a gentle animated feature film you can't quite remember the name of, with an art style somewhere between Studio Ghibli and those curious kids' animation series I used to watch from Europe. The charming characters, mostly anthropomorphic objects called forgotlings, make for an entertaining adventure, combined with occasionally smart puzzles and surprising gameplay twists. That said, ThroughLine Games have made a gorgeous animated story where the gameplay comes second.
It's easiest to describe Forgotton Anne in terms of other games: It's a platform game like the original, original Prince of Persia, but without the death -- in fact, I don't think you can die. It's also got some Monkey Island-esque exploration scenes, and dialog-based dilemmas crop up throughout. Then there's a generally simple, puzzle-based component to slow down exploration and eke out the story. These center on the Arca, your font of power as Enforcer of this fictional realm of forgotlings. Strapped to the palm of your hand, the gadget has the ability to draw Anima (magical sci-fi MacGuffin energy) from batteries, engines and even pesky living objects if you're feeling dark.

It'll also power your winged accessory that adds height and distance to your jump. You'll need it: Platforming puzzles typically center on the give-and-take of carrying and discharging Anima energy, while still being able to traverse the world with some wing-assisted jumps and climbs.

The world itself is a place where lost items like clothes and furniture live on, apparently waiting to be reunited with their owners in the Ether, which is framed as the world all these objects came from. However, Anne, who you play as, is one of only two humans, and the other one is a surly older man named Master Bonku, who seems to run the entire place -- what's going on?
Anne is tasked with sorting out issues between forgotlings, and the game kicks off just after a rebellious faction of scarves, shoes, mannequins and more attack facilities and shut down power. In the first few scenes, you encounter a decision about how to deal with a deceptive scarf. Without spoiling things, you can choose to end him or let him get away. While the game doesn't signpost it, most of these decisions lead to repercussions later. We're not talking Mass Effect levels of branching storylines and consequences here, but the story gives the player a bit of choice, even if Anne is kind of frustrating (and dull) as a character -- at least until later.

Fortunately, the supporting cast of talking objects is charming. The developers have distributed plenty of international accents and dialects to ensure every object you talk to feels, to be honest, far more fleshed-out than they need to be. A few examples: There's an excessively mellow lava lamp that slowly talks in a California slur, the rapier-wielding mannequin has a British accent to go alongside his rakish behavior; an old-fashioned folding camera has the wizened grandmotherly voice you might expect.
Like the voice acting, the music is suitably big-budget, combining gorgeous orchestral scores with smaller-scale musical arrangements. As you move through layers of a building or structure, the melodies will gently change to represent what's going on. A hidden underground speakeasy gets a different track as you flit between the bar, the stage and the roof rafters. It's a smart way of pointing out different characters you might not have noticed before. Similarly, the in-game camera cleverly pans out and crops to help signpost your way through early levels -- without it, you might not have realized that side alley in the beautiful background is actually where you've got to go next.

When it comes to the puzzles and negotiating platforms, you'll find that timing is frustratingly sluggish for leaps, while the puzzles (typically involving sliding parts, door switches and using Anima to power machinery) aren't going to tax your mind too much. While restoring power to the factory or navigating broken bridges, I found myself yearning for more interactions with forgotlings.

Most of the puzzles are simple, though I did get stuck on one involving a rotary dial phone, but I'm putting that down to the fact I've never touched one in my life.

There are touches of emotional heft as the story starts to coalesce: Anne yearns to know where she came from and who her mother was. Meanwhile, Master Bonku is protective of her to the point of deception. It all sounds like an animated movie, and playing it doesn't change that sensation -- it's just a shame there's not a little more depth to the parts of Forgotton Anne where you're in control.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Predator | Teaser Trailer

T H E   P R E D A T O R
From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home in Shane Black's explosive reinvention of the Predator series. Now, the universe's most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a young boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race. 
In Theaters September 14, 2018

Friday, May 11, 2018

Rick and Morty Return with More Hijinks!

Rick and Morty Renewed for 70 Episodes!
[Source: ToonZone] Aw geez! Ooo-wee! Belch! Other catch phrases! Remember when the future of Rick & Morty was up in the air? It’s finally landed, and on the good side. How many obscure fast food sauces will this cartoon be able to advertise with this kind of deal?

For months now, we’ve been told the next season of Rick & Morty has been stalled — that they weren’t even working on it. At first no one knew why, leading to paranoid speculation, but it was clarified that contract negotiations were holding things up. And now we know why the contracts were so important: if you’re going to get locked into an episode deal this massive, it better be a good deal. At least 70 more episodes are now guaranteed to air, more than doubling the current library.

Keep in mind the order is for 70 episodes, but this doesn’t mean the next season is literally going to be 70 episodes long. AS could be planning to quickly farm the next season out to the same factory that made Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, but we doubt Roiland and Harmon would have signed the contract under those conditions. It’s more likely we’re looking at a multiple-season renewal.