Next Club Meeting: May 29, 2021, 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 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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The Last Unicorn: Death and the Legacy of Fantasy

The Last Unicorn:
Death and the Legacy of Fantasy
We examine the idea of mortality in a children's classic movie, The Last Unicorn.
It took Peter S. Beagle "close to two years" to write The Last Unicorn, and he states that "it was hard every step of the way". Beagle came up with the idea for the novel in 1962 while on an "artistic retreat" in Berkshire Hills after Viking Press rejected his novel The Mirror Kingdom. He stated that though the idea for the novel was "just suddenly there", he also said that he had "read tons of fantasy and mythology" from childhood, and that his mother told him that he had shared a story about unicorns during a visit to one of the elementary school classes she taught. He also mentioned that he loved the book The Colt from Moon Mountain by Dorothy Lathrop (a story about a unicorn in Kansas) as a child, and that Spanish artist Marcial Rodriguez had given him a painting of unicorns fighting bulls when he was seventeen. Once he had the idea, he did research on unicorns at the Pittsfield Library. The 85-page manuscript that Beagle first wrote differs greatly from the current version of the book. Though the unicorn "is much the same", the story is set in modern times, and the unicorn is accompanied by a two-headed demon named Webster and Azazel. This original version was published as a limited edition hardcover by Subterranean Press titled The Last Unicorn: The Lost Version in 2006. Beagle stopped working on this initial manuscript in 1963, stating that "[i]t was a dead end", but picked the project up again in 1965.
00:00 - Intro
05:16 - Making the Unicorn
14:54 - Story Breakdown
24:20 - Memento Mori
37:09 - Deaths and Legacies
47:52 - Outro

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD

APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD
From Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci
From the producers of the Academy Award-nominated PERSEPOLIS 
Paris, 1941. A family of scientists is on the brink of discovering a powerful longevity serum when all of a sudden a mysterious force abducts them, leaving their young daughter April behind. Ten years later, April (voiced by Academy Award® nominee Marion Cotillard) lives alone with her dear cat, Darwin, and carries on her family’s research in secret. But she soon finds herself at the center of a shadowy and far-reaching conspiracy, and on the run from government agents, bicycle-powered dirigibles and cyborg rat spies. Also features a new English dub with the voices of Paul Giamatti, Tony Hale, Susan Sarandon and J.K. Simmons!
Available NOW on Blu-ray/DVD & Digital!
Follow @GKIDSFilms for the latest updates

Monday, March 29, 2021

HELLUVA BOSS - The Series

H E L L U V A   B O S S
"This underrated, independent animated series is filled with dark, twisted adult humor that deceptively hides a surprisingly deep emotional take of love, life, and everything. Plus the musical numbers are very creative! Highly Recommended!"
- anim8trix
--- WARNING: MATURE THEMES ---
Helluva Boss is an American adult animated musical black comedy web series created by Vivienne "VivziePop" Medrano. Despite taking place within the same universe as Hazbin Hotel, also created by Medrano, the series features a different cast of characters and storyline. As Medrano described it, while both shows share the same setting, Hazbin Hotel is about redemption and consequences, while Helluva Boss follows "characters and societies that already exist in Hell" with the main focus on the interpersonal relationship between characters. The pilot was released on November 25, 2019, while the first episode of the first season, produced by SpindleHorse Toons, was released on October 31, 2020. The first season was released exclusively to Medrano's YouTube channel like Medrano has done for other animations.
The series follows the employees of I.M.P. (Immediate Murder Professionals), an assassination company in Hell, on their many different jobs. The members of I.M.P. include Blitzo (the 'o' is silent), the boss of the venture, along with weapons specialist Moxxie, powerhouse Millie, and receptionist hellhound Loona. With the help of an ancient book obtained from a Goetial demon of Hell named Stolas, they manage to make getting their jobs done, and together they attempt to keep their business running.
 

The enthusiastic imp Blitzo and his subordinate employees—Moxxie, Millie (Moxxie's wife), and Loona (Blitzo's adopted daughter and the I.M.P. receptionist)—run an assassination agency called the Immediate Murder Professionals (I.M.P.). The first scene depicts the group discussing how to drum up business again after an incident in one of their missions have them a bad rep. Some backstory is provided in the form of a flashback, where Blitzo steals a book that he uses to make a portal to the living world from Stolas, one of the Goetial demons of Hell, after having sex with him. Later, the group is shown accidentally shooting a small child named Eddie while aiming for someone else. However, I.M.P. kills and dismembers Eddie after discovering he was the right target their client wanted them to kill after all, and drops off his dismembered body in a bag to his mother on live TV.

An affable kindergarten teacher named Mrs. Mayberry (Mara Wilson) video calls her husband on his birthday, only to realize that her husband has been cheating on her with another woman named Martha (Jinkx Monsoon). In a fit of explosive rage, she attacks Martha, and kills her husband with a shotgun, before committing suicide after realizing she had done so in front of her students. However, it is revealed that Martha survived and is praised as a "hero" for surviving the attack, becoming rich off of charity proceeds resulting from the publicity. Mrs. Mayberry, now a demon condemned to Hell for her act of murder-suicide, hires I.M.P. to kill Martha. During the first attempt on the assassination, Moxxie, hesitant about killing a mother and ruining a seemingly innocent family, causes Blitzo to miss his shot, alerting Martha and her family, who then reveal their true, villainous nature as Satan-worshipping cannibal murderers and proceed to chase them. Blitzo and Millie flee, but Moxxie is captured by the children. Millie attempts to kill Ralphie (Maxwell Atoms), Martha's husband, only to be knocked out. Blitzo initially evades a shotgun-wielding Martha, but his location is revealed by an unexpected and raunchy phone call from Stolas (Bryce Pinkham), and he is captured. Moxxie escapes from Martha and Ralphie's children's grasp, fatally shoots Martha from behind, and rescues Blitzo and Millie while a shocked Ralphie runs away in fear. Moxxie stays behind longer than the others in order to kill Ralphie and the kids as well. However, despite calling them monsters, he decides not to kill them and that they should still have a chance at a life and a purpose, so he instead calls the local authorities to deal with them and have them answer for their crimes. Right before he heads back through the portal to Hell, the police (who've surrounded the house) blow up the family along with their house. Moxxie witnesses all of this before being dragged back by Blitzo. Back in Hell, Blitzo, Millie, Loona, and Mrs. Mayberry celebrate over a cake, while a traumatized Moxxie sits in complete shock over causing the whole family's death.

Why Loo Loo Land is a Helluva Masterpiece!

Following a fight with his wife (Georgina Leahy) resulting from the discovery of his affair with Blitzo, Stolas, wanting to get out of the house, decides to take his daughter Octavia (Barrett Wilbert Weed) to Loo Loo Land, an amusement park that she enjoyed as a kid, and he hires I.M.P. to ostensibly serve as their bodyguards. During the trip, Blitzo takes over the first watch over Octavia and Stolas to allow Moxxie and Millie to enjoy themselves at the park, but Stolas' flirting with Blitzo irritates Octavia. Meanwhile, Moxxie tries to win "a thing" for Millie in a carnival game, but his efforts are thwarted by the game operator who attempts to woo Millie, much to Moxxie's irritation. Stolas takes Octavia to watch the show of circus performer Robo Fizz (Alex Brightman), who both Octavia and Blitzo hate due to personal reasons. Octavia, fed up by Stolas' flirtations towards Blitzo runs away from the show. Stolas follows after her, leaving Blitzo to get into a fight with Robo Fizz, interrupting Moxxie and Millie when he crashes into the game operator. Stolas follows Octavia to the funhouse ride, where they talk about how things have changed; Octavia is upset that her home doesn't feel like home anymore, and Stolas tries to explain his failing relationship with his wife but cannot find the right words to do so. Octavia expresses that she feels Stolas will leave her behind in favor of Blitzo, and Stolas assures her that that would never happen and decides it is time to leave the park, just as I.M.P.'s fight with Robo Fizz causes Loo Loo Land to burn to the ground. As a reconciled Octavia and Stolas discuss where to go next, Moxxie informs Blitzo of the park's destruction, to which Blitzo replies that it was "Worth it! That slutty toy clown had it coming!"
 

Broken In order to get his company's parking space back from his pop-star ex, Verosika Mayday (Cristina Vee), Blitzo and the rest of I.M.P. challenge her and her posse of succubi to a demon duel; if I.M.P. can kill more people than Verosika and her team can have sex with in one day, Verosika will have to return the parking space to Blitzo. With partying spring-breakers as targets, Loona disguises herself as an attractive human goth girl and lures victims to obscure spots for the rest of the team to kill them. However, she catches feelings for Verosika's hellhound, Vortex (James Monroe Iglehart), and becomes distracted by talking to him instead. Blitzo tries to intervene, only for Loona to yell at him. She tells him to stop treating her like a child and let her make her own choices. A heartbroken Blitzo becomes upset and storms off, also abandoning the challenge. Meanwhile, Verosika sings on a stage, and uses her siren-like voice to turn the attending humans into sexual deviants, which her team subsequently seduces. Moxxie and Millie take the challenge into their own hands and continue killing people, but some humans catch Moxxie and throw him into a beer barrel, getting him heavily intoxicated. As Millie rescues Moxxie from the barrel, a fish mutated by a beer can Verosika threw into the water starts attacking the beach, scaring away the humans. Millie kills the monster, and Blitzo uses the incident to blackmail Verosika into giving I.M.P. their parking space back. The episode ends with Blitzo and the others returning to Hell to reclaim their parking space once again, while Verosika and her team are arrested by the human police because of the chaos they caused on the beach, forcing them to sexually bribe their way out.

I.M.P. is hired by a crazed inventor named Loopty Goopty (Rogers) to kill his old business partner Lyle Lipton (Michael James Ruocco) for taking credit for their aging machine. Just when Lipton is about to kill himself as I.M.P. watches, the cherubs of C.H.E.R.U.B., led by Cletus (Don Darryl Rivera), come to convince him that life is worth living. However, I.M.P. sabotages every attempt in order to get their job done, much to C.H.E.R.U.B.'s irritation. In a theater, I.M.P. and C.H.E.R.U.B. fight each other for Lipton, and seeing them getting so worked up over him, Lipton decides to live only to be indirectly killed by Cletus. C.H.E.R.U.B. is then exiled from Heaven by their superior, Deerie (Vivienne Medrano) for actions resulting in the death of a human. I.M.P. returns to Hell, and just as they were about to face the wrath of Goopty for failing their job, Lipton is sent to Hell for experimenting on the poor and reconciles with Goopty. The two inventors are then hired by another inventor, Wally Wackford (Rivera), who then makes fun of Blitzo.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

The Suicide Squad - Red Band Trailer

THE SUICIDE SQUAD
From the horribly beautiful mind of James Gunn and filmed in IMAX. Experience The Suicide Squad​ in IMAX theatres, this August.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

"The Nevers" - HBO Official Trailer

THE
   N     E     V     E     R     S   
Society fears what it cannot understand. Experience the power of The Nevers, a new @HBO original series, this April 11, 2021, on HBOmax.
In the last years of Victoria’s reign, London is beset by the “Touched”: people — mostly women — who suddenly manifest abnormal abilities, some charming, some very disturbing. Among them are Amalia True (Laura Donnelly), a mysterious, quick-fisted widow, and Penance Adair (Ann Skelly), a brilliant young inventor. They are the champions of this new underclass, making a home for the Touched, while fighting the forces of… well, pretty much all the forces — to make room for those whom history as we know it has no place.

They, themselves are not called that [The Nevers] in the show. It's a phrase that's meant to evoke a sort of reaction to their oddity, to what is considered unnatural. The idea that you should never be like this, you should never have existed. Something is not the way it should be, and you don't have the right to have whatever weird power or ability that you have. And that idea, that some people are not of the natural order, is fascinating to me. I don't agree with it. But to me, it's one of those things where you take something negative, and you wear it as a badge of honor, basically. Certain things could never happen - they're happening. And the people they're happening to are taking their place in the world.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Bitch Pudding Returns in All Her Glory!

BLAM! BiTCH PUDDING'S IN DA HOUSE!
Bitch Pudding (voiced by Katee Sackhoff) - A fictitious addition to the Strawberry Shortcake universe of Robot Chicken, Bitch Pudding is a foul-mouthed, crass and violent 18-year-old girl and the former resident of Pastryville who has a penchant for insulting, tormenting, and sometimes even killing others. In Season 7, Bitch Pudding became the first of the series' recurring characters to have their own special, titled the "Bitch Pudding Special".

Thursday, March 25, 2021

B-U-S-T-E-D

 B  S  E 
Performed by Vanessa and Candice
From Disney XD Series "Phineas & Ferb"

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The Coraline Bug Theory

THE CORALINE BUG THEORY
Let's examine the entire "Bug Theme" that runs throughout the movie "Coraline" to find the hidden deeper meaning of the role of insects in this stop-motion animated masterpiece.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

What my trip to Japan was like

What my trip to Japan was like
By JAIDEN ANIMATIONS
Jaiden Animations is an American YouTuber, animator, storyteller and comedian who draws and animates various stories about her life and personality, and random things that happen in her life, especially with her pet parrots Ari, and Tofu. Jaiden was born on September 27th, 1997.
Enjoy the video... and Go Konnichiwa yourself!  ^_^

Monday, March 22, 2021

Amazon BANS More Anime Toys?!

Amazon BANS More Anime Toys?!
No Waifus for YOU!

Amazon continues to inexplicably ban anime toys, according to Twitter. Any "underage" looking toys seem prime targets to get the axe. We talk about that and the continued attack on anime and manga from an army of Karens.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Fantopia: D&D Inspired Fantasy Short Film

F A N T O P I A
A troubled child uses the roleplaying game ‘Fantopia’ to liberate himself from the real world and learn an important lesson along the way. As the players embark on their quest, we are transported to their imagined world of Fantopia.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

MASTER Official Trailer (NEW 2021)

From Spider-Verse Creator, 
Superhero Animation Movie HD
M  A  S  T  E  R

Master follows the story of Olivia, a once-promising martial arts champion who is on a journey to guide her family to what she believes is a better life. Along the way, Olivia discovers that the life she is leaving behind is the one she should be fighting for.

Friday, March 19, 2021

"Azarkant", sci-fi short animated film

A Z A R K A N T
In the future, a team of astronauts are sent on a ten year journey to a distant planet to find new life. On their way, they encounter a large, abandoned spaceship that is drifting in the orbit of a mysterious planet. They board the ship with anticipation of the great discoveries to uncover inside. However, they do not know what terrible secret this spacecraft keeps -- a nightmarish threat which is far bigger and scarier than anything they could have imagined.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

The Legend of Hei - Official Trailer

THE LEGEND OF HEI
In bustling human world, magical spirits and goblins live peacefully with mankind. Luo Xiao-Hei, the cat demon, begins his journey of wandering, because his forest home is destroyed. With his sympathetic goblin friends and earnest human master appearing one after another, Hei must solve the dilemma regarding which side will be his true attribution.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Yaphet Kotto, Bond Villain & ‘Alien’ Star, Dies at 81

YAPHET KOTTO
(November 15, 1939 – March 15, 2021)
Bond Villain & 'ALIEN' star Dies at Age 81
[Source: Yahoo News] Yaphet Kotto, an actor known for his performances in “Alien,” the James Bond film “Live and Let Die” and the television series “Homicide: Life on the Street,” has died, his agent Ryan Goldhar confirmed to Variety. He was 81.

Kotto’s wife, Tessie Sinahon, first posted about Kotto’s death on Facebook Monday night.

“I’m saddened and still in shocked of the passing of my husband Yaphet of 24 years. He died last night around 10:30pm Philippine time,” she wrote. “…You played a villain on some of your movies but for me you’re a real hero and to a lot of people also. A good man, a good father, a good husband and a decent human being, very rare to find. One of the best actor in Hollywood a Legend. Rest in Peace Honey, I’m gonna miss you everyday, my bestfriend, my rock.”

In 1973’s “Live and Let Die,” Kotto pulled double-duty portraying the corrupt Caribbean dictator Dr. Kananga as well as his drug pushing alter ego Mr. Big. Described in the novel as a monstrously obese kingpin with yellow eyes, gray skin and a head twice the size of a normal man, Kotto’s dapper version of the character dispensed with the physical grotesqueries and added a charismatic dose of stylish villainy.

Kotto also famously played technician Dennis Parker in 1979’s “Alien” and William Laughlin alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1987 action film “The Running Man.” He had a strong career in television as well, playing Al Giardello in the NBC series “Homicide: Life on the Street” from 1993 to 1999.

Kotto was born in New York City on Nov. 15, 1939, and began studying acting at the age of 16 at the Actors Mobile Theater Studio. By 19, he made his professional theater debut in “Othello,” and continued on to perform on Broadway in “The Great White Hope.” Kotto’s first few film projects included “Nothing But a Man” in 1964 and “The Thomas Crown Affair” in 1968. In 1969, Kotto held a guest-starring role as Marine Lance Corporal on “Hawaii Five-O.”

After landing the role in “Live and Let Die,” Kotto also nabbed roles in 1974’s “Truck Turner” and 1978’s “Blue Collar” as Smokey. Following his starring turn in “Alien,” Kotto went on to hold a supporting role as Richard “Dickie” Coombes in “Brubaker” in 1980 and starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1987 action film “The Running Man.” Kotto’s other TV roles include an appearance on “The A-Team” in 1983, “For Love and Honor,” “Murder She Wrote,” “Death Valley Days” and “Law & Order.”

One of Kotto’s last and longest roles was that of Al Giardello on “Homicide: Life on the Street,” for which he also holds several scriptwriting credits. He also starred in “Homicide: The Movie” in 2000, and most recently voiced Parker in the “Alien: Isolation” video game.

He is survived by his wife and six children.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Little Wolf: The Night Trail

Little W⊕lf: The Night Trail
Little Wolf: The Night Trail is a story of a young boy hoping not only to survive the terrors of the wild, but to prove his worth to his mentor and clan totem. A hybrid of CGI and hand drawn illustration, Little Wolf: The Night Trail is an adrenaline-fueled romp into the dark corners of Native American monsters and lore. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Fan-made Batman Short Film

BATMAN: Dying is Easy
A curious entry has joined the pantheon of Batman-centric cinema, hailing from well outside the bounds of the studio system. Directing brothers Aaron and Sean Schoenke have created the short film Batman: Dying Is Easy; the film’s original story derives from the decades-spanning psychic rivalry brimming between Bruce Wayne and the Joker. And while the notion of a Batman fan film, Dying Is Easy’s production value and central lineup make it worthy of note. Take a look for yourself in the film (though we’ll name drop the main players below).

Aaron Schoenke stars in the film as the Joker opposite actor Kevin Porter as the Dark Knight; however, more familiar faces line the supporting cast. On the side of the law, we have Tarantino favorite Michael Madsen and Starship Troopers’ Casper Van Dien. Madsen joins the roster as Gotham detective Harvey Bullock and Van Dien serves as Commissioner Gordon. Meanwhile, veritable shapeshifter Doug Jones plays iconic Bats villain the Riddler, and music artist Chris Daughtry plays Hugo Strange.
The rest of the lineup is no slouch either. You may recognize music artist Chris Daughtry (Hugo Strange), Deadpool stunt performer Amy Johnston, impressionist Jamie Costa, or Critical Role’s Orion Acaba. (They cameo as Poison Ivy, the Mad Hatter, and Condiment King, respectively.) As for the starring pair, Schoenke—who also wrote the film—played Spidey in the Amazing Spider-Man 2 video game; and Porter was, among many other roles, Lazer in Dodgeball.
Either way, you’ll get to know that duo’s (admittedly disguised) faces by the end of the film’s run. The bulk of Dying Is Easy is a two-hander between Batman and Joker, taking place in a holding cell. This psychological drama is the latest superhero venture produced by the Schoenke’s; their YouTube page packs a full series of projects in which mismatched comic book characters face off across publication lines.

However, Dying Is Easy seems to be their grandest foray to date. When you’ve got a half hour to spare, give it a watch!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

The Last DuckTales Adventure airs March 15, 2021

DUCKTALES:THE LAST ADVENTURE!
The future of adventuring hangs in the balance as Scrooge and the McDuck family uncovers earth-shattering secrets in a final standoff with F.O.W.L..
Noteables:
  • Half of the episode is set during Webby’s birthday.
  • This is the third time Donald is seen in his blue sailor suit in the series.
  • This 3-parter contains 3 sub-episodes with their own stand-alone title, including: Part I - A Tale of Three Webbys! Part II - The Lost Library of Isabella Finch! Part III - Tale's End (Series Finale)
  • This is the last regular appearance of the reboot's looks of the main characters. They will return for the interactive game attraction, DuckTales World Showcase Adventure at Epcot.
  • This is the second and final time in the series to have the storyline told in a three-story episode arc after Season 2's "Timephoon!", "GlomTales!", and "The Richest Duck in the World!", which the previous episodes focused on Louie and the story of how the events of his scheme in "Timephoon" would eventually lead him to briefly becoming the richest duck in the world.
  • This 3-part finale has the largest cast of characters in the show's history.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Best Gaming Music Videos

Best Gaming Music Videos [GMV's]
This video brings together some of the best In-style Alan Walker Remix, Animation Video, and EDM.

Friday, March 12, 2021

"Duel of the Fates" - Fan-made Comic

What if...
STAR WARS Episode IX used Colin Trevorrow's 
Duel of the Fates script instead of JJ Abram's 
Rise of Skywalker? One fan dared to find out...
 [Source: inverse.com]

READ THE COMIC HERE

Less than a month after The Rise of Skywalker debuted in theaters, a leaked version of Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly’s script for Episode IX hit the internet and within days it was confirmed to be genuine. Now, over a year after that thermal detonator exploded, a new fan-made comic adaptation has brought nearly every single aspect of the Duel of the Fates script to life.

From artist Andrew Winegarner, this speculative comic is an amazing undertaking and gives Star Wars fans a visual sample of what we didn’t get in Episode IX. And in all of that, there’s one pivotal scene that sticks out. Let’s dig in.

Spoilers ahead for Duel of the Fates, a movie that was not made.

The version of the Duel of the Fates script that leaked in January 2020 featured several huge differences between what we saw on screen in The Rise of Skywalker, including a Poe/Rey romance, a much bigger role for Leia, a return to Courscant, and, most chillingly, an utterly unredeemed Kylo Ren.

Following an amusing fan-made animated version of the script that popped-up last year, an impressively epic fan-made comic version of Duel of the Fates has just been released by the aforementioned Winegarner. For nearly a year, Winegarner has been working on a professional-looking comic book adaptation of Duel of the Fates, which he initially described as a kind of “Infinities” take on the unfilmed script. (Infinities was an early-aughts project from Dark Horse Comics that imagined “What If?” alternate Star Wars timelines.)

The result of Winegarner’s labor is super-compelling. (Check it all out here.) Although he hasn't released all of his fan-made comics adaptation, and much of it remains uncolored, what we can see is impressive — most impressive.

That said, seeing the entire story of Duel of the Fates rendered this way does force us to confront one very important truth: This story was going to be dark. Just how dark? As the comic’s art showcases, it would have featured a scene in which Kylo Ren slices Rey in the face with a lightsaber, and blinds her. As the script notes:

_________________________________________
 
 REY LOOKS UP CRYING BLOOD,
SHE'S BLINDED

_________________________________________

The Duel of the Fates version of Kylo Ren is a brutal monster who mutilates the sequel trilogy’s hero. No good boy Ben Solo sweater, no Ben Solo challenge, no Rey/Kylo kiss. Just a vicious villain.

By the end of this script, Rey Solana (not Palpatine!) is fully healed by the Force, but as Dom Nero of Esquire pointed out back in 2020, the thing that sticks out the most in Duel of the Fates is “the bad guys win a lot in this script.” And when you see Winegarner’s take on these scenes — lifted straight from the leaked script — it’s powerful and brutally shocking.

In various fandom circles, there’s a knee-jerk reaction to details about unmade versions of big sci-fi fantasy movies. Often, that reaction is: The unmade thing would have been “better than what we got.” In some cases, this automatic bias results in one-sided documentaries. And yet, this tendency continues in all sorts of fan circles. How do you end up with the actual release of The Snyder Cut without this pervasive phenomenon?

Overwhelmingly, this feeling became the critical consensus of the Duel of the Fates script, too. Just weeks after The Rise of Skywalker, an alternate version in which Rey wasn’t forced to adopt either the Skywalker or Palpatine names felt like a revelation. All the characters had something cool to do, and Kylo Ren was made into the worst villain of the entire saga. Plus, Rey got that sick double-bladed lightsaber we always suspected she deserved.

Now it’s over a year later, and getting upset about The Rise of Skywalker feels slightly silly compared to everything that’s happened in reality since its release. Conversely, the existence of the Duel of the Fates script is still fascinating and is easily the most compelling path-not-taken in all of Star Wars history. The new fan artwork from Winegarner isn’t just a labor-of-lo
ve — it also feels like a catharsis.

After the polarizing The Last Jedi, The Rise of Skywalker offered up a unifying “meh” response from most Star Wars fans. But can you really say that Rey getting blinded by an irredeemable Kylo Ren would have connected with audiences? Do you think little kids would have liked to see Rey get blinded by Kylo? Could we have really loved a movie in which Ben Solo goes out the villain? The notion that “Rey from nowhere” could have balanced the Force, and defeated the dysfunctional Skywalker family is still compelling. But the moment where Kylo slices Rey in the face? It feels off-brand, even for the darkest of Star Wars concepts.

Just like the rumored deleted scene in which Kylo Ren supposedly tortured Chewbacca, there’s something about Rey getting sliced in the face by a lightsaber that feels wrong. Within the context of this particular script, it works. But Star Wars is not Matrix Revolutions. Rey is not Neo. Even little kids playing with Star Wars toys know you keep lightsabers out of other people’s faces. Then again, fan artist Winegarner points out this kind of thing has its roots in ancient mythology, which Star Wars loves to crib from all the time. “Oedipus blinded himself. Samson was blinded in the Bible,” he tells Inverse. “I do think that Rey being blinded would [have] played on the big screen. The exact same thing was done to Kanan Jarrus in Rebels.”

No matter where you fall on the issue, there’s no question: Duel of the Fates is a fascinating piece of Star Wars ephemera. And the new fan-made comic book adaptation from Winegarner is cool as hell. Somewhere, in another dimension, this story and The Rise of Skywalker could have fused to give us the perfectly balanced Episode IX. Then again, maybe the Force was never supposed to be balanced...

You can read Andrew Winegarner’s

Duel of the Fates here.

 

s Post: Edit Loaded more posts.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

KAIROS

K A I R O S
"One of the best animated adventures out there is not a movie or a TV series... It is a Trailer for a Graphic Novel! As of this posting, there are no further plans to animate the entire comic. Check out the trailer below and ask if Studio Ghibli had anything to do with the making of this awesome animation!"
- anim8trix
 
In Kairos, French graphic novelist Ulysse Malassagne turns the typical damsel-in-distress narrative on its head. With stunning art, epic battle scenes, and unexpected plot twists, Kairos forces you to question where to draw the line between hero and antihero.

Nills and Anaelle are looking forward to their first night in their rustic cabin in the woods. But the couple’s idyllic vacation is suddenly thrown into turmoil when a strange flash of light bursts from the fireplace. A portal appears, and out of it spill dragon-like creatures that are armed to the teeth. They grab Anaelle and flee back through the portal, leaving a distraught Nills with a sudden decision: stay behind, or leap through after her?

He leaps. And that’s when things get really weird.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Anime Viewing Schedule for March 13, 2021

 
 A N I M A T R I X   N E T W O R K
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Fountaindale Public Library
VIEWING SCHEDULE
          11:15 - 12:05   Jujutsu Kaisen 1-2
          12:05 - 12:55   Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation 1-2
          12:55 - 1:45     Club Meeting / Zoom Simulcast
                                          (Those at Home can join us online!)
          1:45 - 2:10       Kemono Jihen 1
          2:10 - 3:00       Attack on Titan: Final Season 1-2

          3:00 - 4:48       Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul
"We are back in action!"

 

Fountaindale Public Library
300 W. Briarcliff Road
Bolingbrook, IL 60440
Meeting Room A, First Floor

From 11:15 AM to 5:00 PM


All anime presented are fan-subtitled unless otherwise noted.
 
Don't miss the exciting anime series: Kemono Jihen and Mushoku Tensei
* ANIME DESCRIPTIONS ARE BELOW *