Danganronpa: Hope & Despair from D.J. Lewis’ Point of View!

Surprisingly, I didn’t find out about this anime title until last year. While I was writing a review for it I suddenly found myself going on Youtube, and watching the whole first season of it. Before I get into the reason as to why I’m writing this filler post, I want to personally congratulate all the voice actors and staff that worked on this title! Especially FUNimation’s favorite redhead, Jamie Marchi! (You slayed it as Junko! ^.^)

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Now onto the reason for this post. Each and every one of us goes through life dealing with its high’s and low’s, ups and downs, good days and bad days. After watching the first season of Danganronpa from 2:30 to 6:45 in the morning (on a day that I didn’t have to work, thank goodness…), it got me thinking about the whole concept of hope and despair. If you’ve seen the news just recently you’ll know that just last week there was a terrible explosion that happened just after a music concert in Manchester, London. (That was later claimed by ISIS.) My heart goes out to the ones who survived, and to the families of the ones whose lives were taken from them.

When I think of despair, I think about terrorism, crime, anarchy, tragedy, depression, and all of the other nasty things that make us cry, go insane, causes our mental state to deteriorate, and breaks our hearts. Despair has no color, race, or prejudice. It’s the very thing that brings chaos and confusion to our lives without a moment’s notice. Despair can even hold us back from doing and achieving anything we set our minds to; from haters, doubters, and people who just want to see you fail. I guess this is what Hope’s Peak Academy felt like for Mokoto Naegi after looking at the DVD that Monokuma gave him; with him seeing his family in danger right before his own eyes and not being anywhere near them to save them.

Throughout the whole first season Naegi and the rest of his classmates played a murderous game of despair, while trying to figure out why Monokuma did this and what his true intent for this killing game was. It wasn’t until the thirteenth episode that I really got into (and analyzed) the show. If despair can spread like the plague, then hope can do the exact same thing!

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Hope is more than just having a feeling and inkling that everything’s going to be okay. Hope is a state of mind, a state of calmness, and a state of courage and determination. Combined with all of those things as well as FAITH and PRAYER, hope can lead you to places that you thought you’d never be. Sure, things may be a little rocky right now, and the future of the country may be just a little bit uncertain for many of us (including minorities and those who are of the LGBT community), but if there’s one thing I can tell you from writing this filler post, it’s this:

God never gave us the spirit of fear.

Despair will only win if we allow it to. Despair can take away any hope that you may have for the future if you let it. We live in a time right now where we need hope the most, and that’s the message I got from watching Danganronpa. If you guys ever get a chance, google up “Never Say Never” and listen to the whole track. Trust me, you’ll look at the series that much differently than you did before.

Faith, prayer, and hope can get you through anything life can throw at you. Naegi understood this fully after what Kirigiri told him, after helping her avoid feeling despair through Junko’s words about her father (whom she killed). The one thing despair hates more than anything, is hope.

So to all of my anime fans, continue to have hope in your hearts through these times that we’re going through. Live more, laugh more, love your family and friends more. Continue to support the industry that you love, and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do anything! Remember, prayer changes things, hope opens doors, and faith keeps you going. Never, say never! 😉

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Slash Saturday: Sorry to keep you Waiting…

Sorry for the unexpected two week hiatus with us getting this awesome segment to you guys, but there were a few things we had to handle in the ‘real world’. Now that we’re here before you, let’s get back to what made your Saturday nights awesome (other than Toonami)! We’ll continue to do our best in bringing you some awesome samurai anime titles as well as our male and female Samurai Hall of Fame inductees, for you to enjoy!

We apologize that this post is a bit shorter than most of our usual ones, but Yours Truly has been a bit exhausted during these past couple of days. Next time we’ll give you the full details of what we’ve got goin’ on for ya, until then continue to make D&A a part of you, and we’ll make you a part of us! 🙂

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Filler Post: D&A’s Top 5 18+ Anime Convention Panels you gotta check Out!

FYI, you have to be 18 and older in order to check out these anime convention panels! Well guys, last time we talked about the top ten anime convention panels to check out at an anime con, but now we’re revealing our top five panels to check out for those who are over 18. If you’re an anime fan who’s about to turn 18 next month then listen up, cuz’ you’re gonna wanna read this post! We’ve combed the web in order to find the five best 18+ panels to check out while you’re at a con, and here’s what we’ve got for ya! So sit back, relax, and enjoy the debauchery! 😉

WARNING: YOU CANNOT RECORD ANY FOOTAGE AT THESE PANELS! The people and voice actors doing them love their jobs more than life itself. Don’t be “that guy/girl” who messes everything up for the rest of us. Thanks!

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Coming in at Number 5: The Cards Against Humanity Panel! (18+)

A. Goldman and I have had the pleasure of participating in this panel first hand, and dare we say, it’s hilarious! If you’ve never played this game before with your college-aged friends, then find the nearest online store that sells this card game, and PLAY it! There’s a number of anime conventions that have this card game, and if they don’t, then you can submit your own 18 and up panel and play it among your fans, or just your friends!

Number 4: So You Think You Can Twerk Panel! (18+)

So far, this 18 and up panel can only be found at Florida Supercon. Wanna see Panty and Stocking cosplayers drop it like it’s hot to Lil’ John or T-Pain? Then you might wanna check this little 18 and up panel. The panel itself is a twerking contest to see who’s best girl (or guy) can shake what their mama gave em’, and be crowned “Best Twerker at Florida Supercon!” Yours Truly wouldn’t mind being the DJ for this panel some time in the future! 😉

Number 3 brings us…WTF did I just Watch Panel! (18+)

You think we’re the only one’s with crazy uncut commercials that can only be found on Youtube? Well think again! We’ve had the chance to go to this panel at this year’s Zenkaikon, and boy…what we saw can never be unseen. You’ll be in for some pretty risque Japanese commercials, infomercials, and music videos that will make many of us say, “Damn! WTF did I just watch?!” O.O

Number 2: Cosplay Burlesque! (18+)

Twerking cosplayer’s is bad enough, but if you want the whole nine yards then you’re gonna wanna check out this 18 and up panel. Can you imagine fangirls screaming at the sight of Death the Kid stripping down to his symmetrical jockstrap? Or at the sight of Junko Enoshima doing a striptease in front of her despairingly horny fans? Well now you can! Check out this 18+ panel if you’re in the mood for some risky business…

And Finally, Number 1…Voice Actors After Dark! (18+)

Make the necessary adjustments, cuz’ this panel is NOT filtered! It’s after 9pm and we’re pretty sure that all your favorite voice actors already had a lil’ sip of somethin’ before coming back to the con. (If you know what we mean…)

This panel is one of the greatest 18 and up panels to check out if you’re a fan of your favorite voice actor(s). They’ll tell you the uncensored versions of all of their stories and even do a few lines from some TV-MA rated anime titles, that they couldn’t do when all the kiddies were awake. Make sure that you grab your 18+ wristband early on in the day (like 4pm or so), and get in the line about 2 hours before the panel starts. (Trust us, we had to do that and actually got in, but that may not be the case if it’s a smaller con.)

So there you have it! These are the five 18+ panels that you should definitely check out at any and every anime convention, that you and your friends might happen to be going to. We can assure you, you won’t be disappointed! 😉

Throwback Thursday: Old School is the Best School!

If you remember growing up as a kid and watching anime, then you already know without a shadow of a doubt, that your childhood was EPIC and AWESOME! Your parents would probably say the same thing, if they’re familiar with Japanimation that is. Tonight we return to a time where the term ‘Anime’ didn’t come around until a few decades later. (Like the 80’s or so, but then again we could be wrong so don’t shoot us, please!)

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Samurai Boy (1964-1965)

Tonight we take a look at a classic title known as Shonen Ninja Kaze no Fujimaru, or as it’s called ‘Samurai Boy‘. This 65-episode series aired from 1964 to 1965, and is about a boy who is saved from an eagle by a samurai named Sasuke. He then takes the boy as his on disciple and trains him, and years later the boy (named Fujimaru) grows up and becomes a skilled fighter who learns how to control the wind. He learns two techniques; one named ‘multiplication’, and the other named ‘leaves’. (Both of which he uses to defeat his enemies.) His ultimate mission is to one; find his missing mother, and two, search for the ‘Ryuen Book’ in order to protect it from the master of fire techniques known as Japusai.

Well guys, we’ve got a little bit of great news! We’ve already confirmed three of our tour stops for next year’s anime convention tour. We will be returning to AniMore for a third time, only this time around we’ll be bringing in some of our official fan panels to the party! Zenkaikon was awesome for us last month, so we will in fact be returning to Lancaster, PA for a second time in 2018. We were planning on going to Anime USA this year, but due to the lack of finances we’ll push our first time appearance to next year. We do want to make our first appearance at Florida Supercon next year, so at this point we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. (Financial-wise.)

That’s all we’ve got for now as far as updates, but remember that you can talk and chat with us on all of our social media pages about anything anime, or what new pages and features we’ll soon be adding to the blog in the coming months!

Make D&A a part of you, and we’ll make you a part of us! 🙂

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Filler Post: D&A’s Top 10 Anime Convention Panels!

Anime conventions. The cornerstone of the otaku lifestyle. Some people say that these types of events are like one big anime meetup group; where hundreds of thousands of anime and manga fans fellowship and mingle with one another. (Kinda like a mixer; only with anime, manga, K-pop, J-pop, and Vocaloid fans.) Aside from meeting up with your fellow otaku and taking some pictures of cosplayers, an anime convention wouldn’t be anything without fan-produced (and fan-run) panels!

Panels at conventions can range from being seminar-like in nature, to being more interactive and fan-driven. One of the coolest things about going to one, is that you get to learn certain aspects about the anime industry you never knew before. (Like finding out how the dubbing process works in anime for FUNimation and its voice actors.) The content found in anime convention panels is like a mixed bag; meaning that it can range from a Walt Disney-style rating, to something that you’d find after midnight on HBO or Cinemax. (We’ll cover ‘those’ panels in Part 2 of this filler post.)

Without further delay, let’s begin! 🙂

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At Number 10: Ask an Anime Character Panel!

We’ll admit, we’ve seen this panel on Youtube at various cons across the U.S. but never been to one in real life. A. Goldman and I can only imagine how much fangirls “Squeeee!” whenever they see Todd Haberkorn’s character on Sgt. Frog, or how excited we get when we see Alucard or Piccolo on screen. Needless to say that this is one of the many panels that we recommend going to see if you have some questions you’d like to ask your favorite anime character. Hopefully one day D&A will get the chance to host it. (*fingers crossed*)

Coming up at Number 9: Cosplay 101 Panel!

This one can come up at various anime cons and is one of the coolest fan-run panels that we ever had the chance to go to. It’s great for beginners who are trying to figure out how to get Kakashi’s hairstyle just right, or how much mascara to add for Stocking’s makeup. This panel even show you some DYI tricks to pull off the look you’re looking for, for less. Be sure to stop by this panel if you ever find yourself at a con!

Number 8: The Crunchyroll Panel!

This panel (we believe) is only found at certain anime conventions that take place at a convention center or a huge arena. (And even Crunchyroll’s own convention.) If you’re a subscriber to their streaming site then this is a must see panel to go to! They’ll show you their seasonal lineup of all new series, movies, and OVA’s for your own enjoyment as well as your friends (if they love anime as much as you do). If you’ve never gone to their panel, go! You won’t regret it! (And if you do, then we’ll let the titans eat us. T.T)

Number 7 is…Greggo’s Game Show Panel!

These panels are actually pretty fun! You get to play games like Password, Press Your Luck, and many others. If you’re a fan of game shows then you’re definitely gonna love this panel!

Number 6: The Gundam Panel!

This one’s for all you Gundam fans! If you wanna learn the history behind this franchise then we urge you to check out this panel, ASAP! 😉

At Number 5: The Autograph Panel!

Well it’s not necessarily a panel, but more like a line that you stand in while Monica Rial or J. Micheal Tatum signs some anime memorabilia that you saved up and bought from Amazon. (Or Layaway if you’re goin’ old school.) Make sure you get to this line at least 90 minutes early, because depending on which voice actor or guest it is, you may or may not get in at all. (And that would be a crying shame. T-T)

Number 4 brings us…Music and Band Panels!

Okay, these are not ‘panels’ actually, these are more like daytime (or nighttime) concerts that you go to if you wanna hear your favorite band or singer sing your favorite anime opening to your favorite show. (Who doesn’t wanna see TM Revolution perform the hit opening to Soul Eater, right?!)

Number 3: The AMV Showdown Panel!

If you’re looking for some of the best fan-produced AMV’s from Youtube, then you’re gonna wanna check out this anime convention panel! It’s a battle to see which AMV has what it takes to make it to the finals, and eventually which AMV creator wins a trip to Japan. Even if you’re not there to compete it’s still a fun panel you get to go to.

Number 2: The History of Anime Panel!

In order to figure out how all of your favorite shows came to be, you’d have to go back several decades (even as far back as WWII). It’s like the old saying goes; “Those who don’t know their history, are doomed to repeat it. However those who know their anime history, are blessed to conserve its legacy!” (Okay the last part is just an add-on but you know what we mean, right?)

And Finally Number 1: The Voice Actor Q&A Panels!

You already know that this is our number one reason for going to anime conventions, and we’re hoping its yours as well! Who doesn’t like hearing J. Micheal Tatum talk about his octopus story, or about hilarious booth moments from Kyle Herbert, Jamie Marchi, and Crispin Freeman. (We’re pretty sure they got some stories.) All-in-all, you get to talk to and ask your favorite voice actors about their character(s), what ADR means, and what their favorite line from the show is. (Just make sure you don’t ask them anything too personal.)

Well that’s it from us for now! Next time we’ll do a filler post on our Top 5 18+ anime convention panels. Stick around for that post comin’ up! 🙂

Filler Post: The 5 Life Lessons you’ll learn from watching Anime!

Education is the most important thing to us as humans, and should not be forsaken or taken for granted. Many of us have noticed that nowadays Generation X and Baby Boomers are going back to school; not because they want to, but because with this ever changing world a lot of the things that they learned back when they were teenagers and young adults, have now evolved into something that we Millennial (Gen-Y) kids are more accustomed to.

However there are may lessons in life that are passed down from generation to generation, and a lot of anime titles that we know of focus on those exact lessons. There’s a lot of things you can learn from the generation before you (and the generation before your parents), and we’re here to give you the rundown of what life lessons you’ll learn from watching anime!

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Lesson #1: Never Give Up!

Life is hard and can be rather stressful and taxing. It can kick you right in the face without any regard of where you are and what you’re doing. Sometimes it can be good and other times it can be bad, but know this; nobody likes a quitter! Now you may not be a Saiyan born from planet earth who fought against foe after foe and came out on top (except Beerus, but you know what we mean), but what you are is an individual with a heart of gold. Mama didn’t raise no fool, and daddy didn’t raise a quitter, but just know that you’ve got friends in both high and low places that you can talk to. Let their encouraging words be the fuel that light’s your fire, so that you can get back out there into the fight that is called ‘life’!

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Lesson #2: You can be and do Anything!

Don’t let others tell you what you can and can’t be, or do. Remember, no one else has the final say over the decisions that you make in life except you. Sure, your family and friends may have a hand in influencing some of the choices you make in this life, but that’s only because they love you and don’t want to see you get hurt. If you’re passionate about something that you’ve been dreaming about since you were a kid, then go out and take all of the necessary measures needed to make that dream, a reality! Don’t see your failures as bad omens but use them as stepping stones to something greater down the line. There’s light at the end of every tunnel, so go forward and march your way to victory! 🙂

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Lesson #3: Friendships are Essential and Important!

Acting alone is fine for awhile, but nothing’s better then having some friends by your side! They are the kind of people that are like a second family to you, and always build you up during the times when you feel down. Beware however; as some people that may call you their friend, are actually plotting your downfall and plan to take away any and everything that gives you joy. (Trust us, we’ve been there.) If that’s the case, then seek out a better circle of friends who value your friendship as much as you value theirs. A true friend will be there for you no matter what!

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Lesson #4: You learn new things and gain a sense of Creativity!

The world is far too small to be stuck in a box, so go out and be just a little more adventurous! Now we’re not saying head up to the 100th floor of the Empire State Building and jump off of it, but rather do some research on various other cultures (such as Japan) and explore how their modern life is like. People such as outfit designers, artists, and some music producers travel outside of their usual “box” in order to create something unique and different. (Many of times their creative inspiration comes from other cultures outside of North America.) Life is far too short to be hermit, so don’t be afraid to go out and explore all of the new possibilities that life has for you.

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Lesson #5: BE YOURSELF!!

The best person you can be is just your lil’ old self! You don’t have to pretend to be something you’re not just to impress a group of individuals who will probably “dump” you later on. Instead be the person that you are and people will accept you. (Your friends, family, and the anime community if you love anime and manga as much as we do.) We’re all different in one way, form, or fashion, but at the end of the day we all bleed the same color; Red! (Except if you’re a Danganronpa character, in this case it’d be florescent pink.)

That will about wrap up this filler post for now. If you remember these five lessons in life, we highly guarantee that you will not be disappointed! 😉

Monday Night Updates and Lesser-Known Anime Titles!!

Before we bring you some well anticipated updates we wanna start by apologizing that we weren’t able to deliver you guys, the fans, our usual dose of samurai action titles and Hall of Fame inductees. We’re hoping that this coming weekend you’ll dig in to what we’ve got cookin’ for ya in the D&A kitchen!

Now that that’s settled let’s get down to what’s coming up next! As we mentioned before in our previous filler post, we’ll be debuting some fan panels of our own at some upcoming cons in 2018; starting with AniMore! AniMore is the birthplace of D&A Anime Blog, and was the first anime convention where we (A. Goldman and I) made our first ever public appearance. To celebrate our upcoming two-year anniversary, we’re going to bring you some awesome fans panels that we have officially created!

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Panel #1: The D&A Anime Panel! (Q&A with D&A)

It doesn’t get more simpler than that, right? It’s our official fan panel where you guys get to ask us questions about anything; from how we got started as D&A Anime Blog, to what anime titles we have seen. This panel is dedicated to all of our fans who have supported us throughout the launch of D&A Anime Blog, as well as shown us some love during our 2017 anime convention tour! 🙂

Panel #2: How to make Electronic Music using MAGIX Live!

This is our second fan panel that we hope to bring to you guys during our 2018 anime convention tour. It’ll be about how to make Electronic Dance Music using the music making software (DAW) known as MAGIX Music Maker Live! If you’re familiar with other programs like FL Studio, Reason, Cubase, Ableton, Logic, Pro Tools, or Garage Band, then MAGIX is similar in nature just like FL Studio and Ableton is. MAGIX is great for anyone at any skill level; whether you’re a novice beatmaker who’s just starting out, or a pro music producer who’s been around the block. Either way you’ll be able to do it all with the new MAGIX Music Maker Live.

Yours Truly will take on the DJ/Producer moniker Groundzkontrol, as I show you guys some tricks and tips on how to mix and master your own tracks! We’ll even put together a live demo track with the help of you guys, the fans! 🙂

Panel #3: D&A’s Live Anime Trivia Panel!

In this panel, we’ll test your knowledge of anime through a series of multiple choice questions embedded in multiple choice categories. (Using a new type of “UNO” game known as Blackjack UNO.) We pick two teams as they try to see which team has the most knowledge about their favorite anime titles and characters. There will be two phases; the Draw Phase and the Question Phase. (That’s where the UNO cards come in to play.)

The Draw Phase is where one of us will draw two cards at random, and place them in the proper hand where they belong (i.e. if a Red-3 is drawn, it will go in the Red Hand). The first team to get ’21’ in all four hands (meaning all four UNO colors) will win the game, as well as some free D&A T-shirts (and possibly a gift card.)

Also, don’t forget to check out our lesser-known anime title of the day known as Paranoia Agent! If you’ve never seen it yet be sure to check it out on FUNimation, Crunchyroll, or you can find it on YouTube! Ciao my friends! 😉

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