Hey guys n’ gals! Starting next week we’ll be changing the days our filler posts will be posted on the blog, in order to work on special projects that will be released between now and January 2019. September 3rd will kick off our new filler post schedule with our posts being posted Monday – Wednesday. This change will last until the end of the year, or at least until we’ve got enough new content produced to share with you guys. For the remainder of the week we’ll stay on schedule to deliver some more awesome posts to check out, as well as update you on our latest developments.
Month: August 2018
From Otakon to Animore: The Future Of Baltimore Anime Conventions!
It seems just like yesterday that anime was coming up in the U.S. from the Land of the Rising Sun, now it’s 2018 and globally popular all over the world. From VHS cassette tapes to DVD and Blu-Ray discs, anime has become more than just a trend, it is a subculture that almost serves as a second religion – almost. With the rise of anime came the rise of special sanctuaries where hundreds of thousands of anime brethren gather to talk about their favorite shows, characters, scenes, and voice actors. During the late 90’s the anime convention scene was in its infancy stages; where anime clubs would pull their resources together to create a place for others who share their interest in anime.
Also during this time, an anime convention that would soon become one of the largest conventions on the east coast started out in Pennsylvania. Otakon came about right around the time the 90’s boom for anime was happening, of course it wasn’t until 1999 that this small little anime convention, was going to unleash Baltimore’s nerdy side ten-fold! This would also introduce Baltimore, MD to something new that it’s never seen before; cosplay.
For sixteen years anime fans from all over the Baltimore metro area and beyond gathered at the BCC (Baltimore Convention Center) every July/August for crazy shenanigans, dance circles at rave parties, and just nerds being nerds! A. Goldman and myself (D.J. Lewis) have had the pleasure of seeing all that Otakon had to offer us in our journey to become what we are today; the founders of D&A Anime Blog. While we never really admitted it Otakon played a small part in who we became after its departure for D.C. in 2016. There are a lot of fond memories about this convention that will truly be missed; from the ‘Ice-Cold Water Guy’ to seeing just a plethora of hardcore fans just waiting to get inside from the hot July heat. Well…maybe not that last part.
Before Otakon packed up and left for the other side of I-95, Baltimore went through a dark point in time. When the riots took place during the death of Freddie Grey back in 2015, it did put a slight dent in attendance for Otakon that year. Once the announcement was made during Otakon 2016 that it was moving to D.C. the very next year, many fans had mixed feelings about it – even us. Otakon was our Home-Base anime convention where we could meet up with fellow fans and geek out, but we’ll admit, it did hurt just a little to see it leave.
So that brings us to how we came into contact with a new, but small-scale anime convention called Animore. It made its debut back in January of 2016, the very same year that Otakon was leaving. For those of you that have never been to Animore, the atmosphere is like anime conventions of old; that late 90’s laid-back morale that you’d find back when DBZ, Sailor Moon, and Studio Ghibli ran things in the anime world. You don’t have to worry about waiting in the hot sun to go in, because the convention is in a hotel – a four star one might we add.
There’s awesome vendors, great staff, and things for fans and gamers to do. While it may not be as hyped up and turned up as Otakon once was, Animore does throw some awesome dance/rave parties that bring back a little of that ‘Otakurave’ feeling. Because of its laid-back atmosphere you’ll get one-on-one encounters with some of your favorite voice actors and web artists.
Even though it’s only been around for three years Animore has treated us like family; so much so that we’re only one step away from being its ‘ambassadors’. We believe the homely feel that this convention brings will spark the rise of other small anime conventions that may want to make the move to Baltimore. Although Otakon left a giant hole in Baltimore’s special interest department, we’re hoping that more small laid-back anime conventions like Animore will make their move here, and put Baltimore (aka Charm City) back on the map in the anime convention category.
One can only hope that this will happen, but we’re gonna need more than the dragon balls to make this wish come true.
You can register and check out this awesome convention at https://animore.com
Filler Post: D&A’s Top 5 “Easter Eggs” Found in Anime Titles!
Whether it’s the production studio’s intention or its just an inside joke to get a reaction from the fans, ‘Easter Eggs’ bring a little magic to the title that they make a cameo appearance in – especially in anime! No matter what title you’ve seen or when you’ve seen it, somewhere along the line you’ve spotted either an item, person, or accessory from another show in the show you’re currently watching. These easter eggs (or references) pay homage to the respective shows that they’re parodying, and some are more noticeable than others. With that here are our Top 5 easter eggs found in anime.
Number 5: Assassination Classroom – Hidden Leaf Headband from Naruto
Have you ever watched so many Naruto episodes that something sentimental from it pops up in another show that you’ve started watching? Well if you’ve seen a particular episode of Assassination’s Classroom, you’ll find the item we’re talking about.
Number 4: Baka & Test – A Certain Vocaloid We All Know Appears
Hatsune Miku is huge right now! So huge that she’s now popping up in other shows on the way to debut in her own. Check out this little scene from Baka & Test and you’ll see what we mean.
Number 3: Cat Planet Cuties – Character Cameos From The Sacred Blacksmith
Both The Sacred Blacksmith and Cat Planet Cuties are made by the same studio (and possibly the same creator…possibly), so it’s no surprise that Luke and Cecily happen to be casually walking by during this episode.
Number 2: Major Lazer – Is That Who We Think It Is?!
A long time ago (roughly about five years or so) There was a Saturday night animation block on FOX called FOX ADHD. It had shows like High School USA and The Lucas Bros. to name a few, but there’s one show on that block called Major Lazer (not the DJ/Producer trio). Who is that we spot with our keen otaku eyes? It’s some cast members from Kill La Kill!
Number 1: Gintama – The Classic Dragon Ball Z Opening
This anime title has so many seasons, movies, specials, you name it! Of course you’ll also find a ton of references from other anime titles – especially DBZ! Here we see several cast members cosplaying as the Z Fighters that we all know and love. (This parody actually extends farther than we anticipated.)
So this post will do it for us as far as filler posts go, but there’s more to come next week on the blog! Until then; be nice to other fans, and continue making us a part of you! (In turn, we’ll do the very same!)
Filler Post: D&A’s Top 5 Ani-Villains Who Got What They Deserved!
This one was a little delayed from yesterday due to wi-fi problems that we’ve been having, but now that we’ve gotten everything back to normal, it’s high time for another Top 5 filler post! This time around we’re picking out five anime villains who have gotten their just desserts due to the foul actions that they have committed. When it comes to the world of anime there’s nothing more satisfying that seeing an antagonist (main, major, or minor) getting everything that they deserve. From killing off a major support character to slaughtering an entire village, anime villains can be the worst – which may make their death that much more justifiable when it happens.
Number 5: High School DxD (Season 1) – Raynare/Yuuma
This one might be a favorite to a handful of DxD fans. Raynare is a fallen angel who wants Aisa’s Sacred Gear all for herself, and doesn’t care who she has to kill to get it – even Aisa (which she did). Issei however wasn’t having it, and challenged her to a battle. She may have put the boots to him earlier in the battle, but Issei manages to get a couple shots in, before Rias finished the job.
Number 4: FMA Brotherhood – Envy
Many Brotherhood fans already know how the whole war got started, and the answer lies with one of the most upfront homunculi in the series; Envy. In spite of all of the horrible things that he’s done, by the time you get to the part of his death, you (almost) feel sorry for the poor humunculus.
Number 3: Naruto Shippuden – Danzo
As any Naruto fan who’s seen the fight between Danzo and Sasuke, and they’ll say that he’s had it coming for a long time. From destroying the Hidden Leaf Village to causing Nagato to become Pain, Danzo is one of the most hated villains in the series; in which fans were ever so satisfied that he got what he deserved.
Number 2: Danganronpa: The Animation – Junko Enoshima
Some love her, some hate her. Whatever side you stand on, you pretty much know what she’s about and why she’s obsessed with despair. Junko caused the most Horrific Event in High School History, brought nearly the whole world to its knees in agonizing despair, treats her subordinates like @#!$, and worst of all…killed Chiaki Nanami. We’re pretty sure that Junko’s self-execution in the name of hope made a lot of people happy.
Number 1: Dragon Ball Z – Frieza
For every DBZ fan; seeing the most arrogant, malevolent, egotistical, and cruelest villain in the DBZ universe, getting slashed and blasted to bits by a Super Saiyan from the future, is one of the reasons why this clip is our Number 1. Although defeated by Goku on Planet Namek Frieza sought vengeance against the saiyan from Earth. He retooled his body and came to earth along with King Cold and his army, but was quickly defeated by Trunks – a Super Saiyan from the future. Frieza’s pretty stubborn at dying as much as he is at being evil, and vows to one day become the emperor of the universe.
So there you have it! Our Top 5 anime villains who have gotten everything that they deserved. Most of them find some way to come back from the dead (via anime logic), but watching their deaths can be nothing short of sweet satisfaction – to most of us.
Although this post is finished up for the moment, there’s more to come later on this week! As always we thank you guys and gals from the bottom of our hearts for your love and support, and our prayers go out to the people (and anime fans) of Hawaii in the wake of Hurricane Lane. #PeaceIsWithYou 🙂
Sonikkubitodaun: A New Fanfiction Origin Story of Sonic the Hedgehog!
Hey guys n’ gals! Sorry we weren’t able to bring you our Monday night filler post, as we were feeling too good at the time. We’re doing much better now, so to make up for what was lost we’re rescheduling that post to Wednesday night, in order to keep up our awesome consistency with our fans! Throughout the months we’ve been trying to figure out a way to bring you guys some new fanfiction titles, but after a few failures we’ve decided to do something a little bit different.
This time around we’ve decided to do an all new (fanfiction) origin story of everyone’s favorite blue hedgehog; Sonic the Hedgehog! This particular origin story will take place in the city where the anime Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt took place; Daten City. Even though Panty and Stocking themselves will not be in this fanfiction story, we’ll do our best to make sure there is plenty of action, dialogue, and jokes (if possible).
This story will also contain MMORPG elements similar to SAO (Sword Art Online), as well as elements from the new Dragon Ball Super Card Game (i.e. power ratings at the bottom left of their cards). Chapters will be called Segments (styled as SEGMENTS in all caps) and will contain much more detail as opposed to just chapters. This means that 2 segments are equivalent to one chapter in the story.
Sixteen years ago, a cosmic event known as “The Great Shift” transformed all of reality on Earth into one that heavily resembled a High-Stakes MMORPG game of unknown origin. 50% of the world’s population was divided into two groups; the Players and the Supporters. during this time in a city that acts as ‘Purgatory’ between Heaven and Hell called Daten City, a young Afro-American priest finds a small basket on the porch of his church with something wrapped up inside a blanket. Upon unwrapping the blanket the priest discovers it to be a baby blue anthropomorphic hedgehog with a small silver dog tag that said “Sonic”. The preacher known as Garterbelt takes the hedgehog in and raises him as his own, in hopes of grooming Sonic to be the defender of Daten City – which soon becomes overrun by ghosts not long after reality shifted.
Sixteen years later Sonic is now the adopted teenage ‘son’ of Garterbelt, as well as the defender of Daten City. The blue hedgehog can run at supersonic speeds, has high-level close combat skills, and will go out of his way to help anyone in need. As a Player in this new reality, Sonic is able to level up his stats by defeating the various ghosts that have been wreaking havoc on the city. Right now he’s currently one of the strongest Players in Daten City.
The ghosts in the city soon become the least of his problems, as two demons who call themselves Scanty and Kneesocks; the Demon Sisters, make their way into town and establish themselves as dignitaries of the new mayor of Daten City. (Who happens to be their father, as well as a demon.) No one knows what their true intentions for coming to Daten City are, but one thing’s for sure, they’ll have to get past Sonic first!
This fanfiction crossover origin story will be given a “T-rating” on Fanfiction.net (which is their version of TV-14). It’ll have the usual; slight/moderate language and some mild suggestive content, but nothing you’re not already familiar with. We don’t have an official post date yet, but we’ll keep you posted on its latest developments! 😉
Filler Post: The 5 States In The U.S. That Have The Most Anime Conventions!
When it comes to American otaku culture, there are various elements that can be picked out if you happen to see someone who’s an anime fan; such as apparel, that Monkey D. Luffy key chain clipped to their car/house keys, and strands of their hair that happen to be a different color than what you’re normally used to seeing. Right now anime is at a really high point in the U.S. and with it comes anime conventions in various states. To no one’s surprise there are some states that have more annual anime conventions than others, and that can be based on a number of things; such as geographical location, anime fan population, and population per capita.
Nevertheless there’s an anime convention in just about every state for every otaku from all walks of life. Going to cons is always fun, but you know what they say; the more, the merrier! Here are five different states that have more annual anime conventions than any other, and just an FYI; this info is based on a 2016 observation from AnimeCons.com.
Number 5: New York (Con Total: 14)
The big apple indeed has a nerdy side! You’ll find anime conventions like Liberty City Anime Con and Anime NYC right in the downtown area, plus there are some anime/geek themed after parties hosted by Sexy Nerds, The Senpai Project, and more! New York is more than just a place that’s known for its pizza, it’s a place that knows how to have a good time – otaku style!
Number 4: Ohio (Con Total: 18)
Have you ever noticed that rural areas seem to have more concentrated areas filled with anime fans? Ohio is no exception, as it has a total of eighteen different anime/anime-related conventions that stem from college/universities, to hotels and convention centers. From Cincinnati to Cleveland you’re never too far from a con in this state.
Number 3: Texas (Con Total: 23)
Texas is the largest state in North America, but you’d think that the largest state would have the most conventions, right? Well, you’re close. Texas is the home base state for FUNimation (via Dallas/Fort Worth) and has great cons like Anime Austin and many more! It’s also convenient for the voice actors to travel to these cons as well, since most of them live in Texas and only live a couple hours away from most of them.
Number 2 and 1: Florida/California (Con Total: 36)
Both of these states are tied for first place even though we’ve labeled them as #2 and #1. The nation’s ‘pan handle’ is known for having awesome cons like Anime Festival Orlando, Florida Supercon, Anime Miami, and more! Both of these states have major geek fests on an annual basis, so don’t miss out on some of the most awesome fun you could be having with your friends, at these conventions found in these states!
So that will do it for this filler post, but there’s still more on the way! As always we thank you guys n’ gals for the love and support for the blog, as well as our mission.
Stay gold! 😉
Filler Post: D&A’s Top 5 Neutral Anime Characters!
Everyone knows the difference between good and evil, lawful and chaotic, passive and aggressive. In TV and movies its quite easy for us to pick out who the hero or villain is based on his/her actions, but what about the small percentage of characters who walk ‘the grey line’? In anime and manga there are heroes, there are villains, and then there are the neutrals; the third-party characters who walk the grey line, and can swing to either side. No matter what title you may have watched over the years, somewhere along the line you’ve come across these ‘wild cards’ of the anime universe. In this Top 5 selection we’ve got for you on this post, we’re highlighting five neutral characters from various shows that play the part – no matter the side!
Number 5: Beerus
If you ever heard of the title ‘God of Destruction’, you’d think of a villain with god-like powers capable of destroying any world, or any universe that dares to get in their way. Even though he carries this title (and uses it proudly) Beerus is actually a neutral character who observes Goku and the rest of the Z Fighters, and doesn’t get involved in any of their squabbles or affairs with other baddies. Why? Because he’s not supposed to.
Needless to say, if he doesn’t get the opportunity to eat anything (or treat) his heart desires, then Beerus WILL blow up a planet. He’s not evil…he’s a God of Destruction.
Number 4: Panty and Stocking
Believe it or not they don’t call em’ the Anarchy sisters for nothing! These two fallen angels fit the bill of being Chaotic Neutral; meaning that they play by their own rules and do whatever they want, when they want to – even if it causes collateral damage. It’s interesting how this series depicts good and evil on a biblical scale, but in this case the roles (and stereotypes) have been reversed; making the Demon sisters look like saints compared to the chaos and anarchy Panty and Stocking bring on a regular basis.
Number 3: Itachi Uchiha
The infamous brother of Sasuke, and the main reason behind everything he did. The Uchiha Clan was once one of the mightiest clans in the Hidden Leaf Village (and was also the village’s policing force), but some bad stuff went down, leading Itachi to kill his own mother and father – but not because he wanted to. He was forced to.
Sometime before Shipudden’s end, it was discovered that Itachi did not like the dark path that his younger brother was walking on. He even told him the real reason why he killed his parents as well as his own clan, and that’s because he was tricked (forced) into it. Although he carried a cold persona about him, he had to so his brother couldn’t see how he really felt about his own actions. Itachi’s not evil, just misunderstood – and might need a lot of therapy.
Number 2: Spike Spiegel
Bounty hunters come from all walks of life; some are carving out their own brand of justice while trying to rewrite their wrongs, while others are ‘hired-guns’ for the big baddies of the world. Spike Spiegel is an exception with the fact that he was a former member of a gang, but faked his own death in order to get out of it. Now he’s his own man who travels through space as a space bounty hunter with his own crew, of course being a neutral character, he’s not pro or anti. Spike does what Spike does, and no one’s gonna tell him otherwise.
Number 1: Vegeta
The Saiyan Prince was a proud product of what being a saiyan is all about! Vegeta is a classic example of a neutral character who used to be on Frieza’s side, now he finds himself fighting androids, super-powered bug creatures, and various other baddies that Goku and the crew have to face. Although he doesn’t really care for humans or the world (that much) Vegeta accepts the fact that this is now his home and has a family; but still plans on being better than Goku/Kakarot no matter how long it takes him.
And there you have it! Neutral characters make things interesting in spite of the fact that many of them are bland because of being neutral. These ‘wild cards’ can sometimes become the hidden ingredient inside a plot twist or surprise ending. Neutrals spice things up when the storyline needs a little ‘excitement’ to keep the mood going, so if you have a favorite neutral character, let us know in the comment section below.
There’s more filler posts to come later this week, so stay tuned! 😉
01.11.19: D&A Goes Premium!!
Since the end of May, we’ve been working on coming up with new ways to share with the world (and our fans) what we’re about and what we can do. We can’t thank you guys enough for all of the love and support we’ve been getting throughout the year, and although the opportunities to showcase our physical presence at anime cons have gone down, we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon! Lately we’ve been working on how we can make the blog/site more “user-friendly” to our fans, so we’ve done some redesigning on our home page via Master Links and Alternative Filler Post links in order to make finding your favorite posts easier.
The renovations don’t stop there; on January 11, 2019 we are officially making the transition over to the Premium Plan, so that it will give us the chance to add new features and continue to make the blog easier to navigate through. We’ll even be able to add a Shop page to our blog for fans that want to buy D&A merch – once we get it set up, of course! (We’ll keep you posted on when that will take place.) In the mean time we’ve got more awesome filler posts coming up next week, and when we’ll be launching our official Reddit subpage!
Until next post, stay gold anime fans! 😉
Hit or Miss: Hollywood Producing Live-Action Anime Films!
It seems just like yesterday when anime and manga were just coming up in the world (via North America) in the 80’s and 90’s. Now this ‘niche’ medium has captured the attention of the mainstream media (aka, Hollywood). With the level that anime is at now, it was only going to be a matter of time before LA came running. For some of us; Hollywood finally acknowledging the anime medium as a work of art is a blessing, while others think that giving it the ‘Hollywood Treatment’ would tarnish the image and concept of what it was truly meant to be. When it comes to anime titles going live-action, it all depends on what direction the director and the creator of the series goes with it.
Take the live-action Ghost in the Shell movie for example. Even though it didn’t get an A-grade ranking overall, many fans were happy that they got the original Japanese director involved in the process. Based on what we’ve seen and heard from other fans (and Chris Stuckmann), the movie actually wasn’t as bad as people thought it was going to be. They kept several of the scenes from the anime that had us on the edge of our seats; even that ‘one’ scene that we ALL know too well. There are some live-action titles from anime that do extremely well; case and point the Rurouni Kenshin live-action series. Although that live-action was produced in Japan, it became a box office hit upon making its way to North America; and eventually into every Kenshin fan’s DVD/Blu-Ray collection.
On the flip side however, there are live-action titles from Hollywood that not only failed terribly, but the people behind it had to apologize for what the outcome turned out to be. When it comes to a niche medium such as anime, you can’t go at it with a ‘business man’ or ‘business woman’ mindset – especially if the target audience is a community of hardcore anime fans. If Hollywood is going to take this route or wishes to continue on this path of live-action anime adaptations, they need to consider the audience that their targeting; a niche community that is very passionate about their medium.
Sure, a nice paycheck may take care of some things that you may want or need, but is it worth the hate mail of hundreds of thousands (possibly millions) of fans who are critical of every detail? Anime is completely different from comic books (i.e. Marvel and D.C.), so some people in Hollywood believe that they can give it the same treatment when it comes to live-action. Sadly, it doesn’t always work.
Fan-made live-action anime movies have been popping up all over YouTube, and that just goes to show you that (sometimes) big budgets don’t (always) bring in big results. They don’t have to be ‘fans’ of the anime title that they’re trying to make a live-action adaptation of, but if they could just see the project (movie) from the viewpoint of a hardcore fan, this would give Hollywood an idea of where to go with the task that lies before them. If Dragonball Evolution has taught us anything, it’s that Hollywood has a LOT to learn about the anime community.
Filler Post: The (Brief) History of the Dragon Ball Z Trading Card Game!
For over 20 years Dragon Ball Z has stood the test of time, and will be forever known as the G.O.A.T. of anime. 90’s fans from all over remember every detail, every fight, and every villain that Goku and the Z Fighters have come across. From the subs to the Saban/FUNimation dubs DBZ has made its mark on the anime universe, and has the most dedicated fanbase within the anime community. It is a true gem to those blessed enough to bask in its glory, and with that came something that many of us are still into even to this very day; the official Dragon Ball Z Trading Card Game!
Over the years it has gone through a few renovations and changes (depending on which series/type you have or even remember), but nevertheless it still remains as a staple in the DBZ community. For this post we’re taking you back to how the hunt for rare trading cards began…
2000-2006: Dragon Ball Z Collectable Card Game
The whole saga behind scavenging for rare trading cards goes back to 2000 when it was first released. It kicked off with the “Saiyan Saga” and had several booster packs as well. The cards themselves were created by Score Entertainment which used screen capturing, to recapture moments and fights from the anime. Sadly this version is now out-of-print, however back then it had eighteen expansions, “Subsets” and a “virtual” set, one GBA game, and promo cards.
2008-2014: Dragon Ball Collectable Card Game/DBZCCG Reboot
Just two years after the original trading card game went out-of-print, a new game (released by Bandai) followed suit. This version of the game has completely different rules from its previous incarnation, however fans dropped it quickly due to reasons that are ‘obvious in nature’. In Fall of 2014 a remake of the first trading card game was branded and created by Panini America employee/DBZCCG World Champion, Aik TongTharadol. Of course in order to stay true to the original, it brought back many of its elements plus a few new changes for more fluid gameplay. The game however changed after Super came out…
2017-Present: Dragon Ball Super Card Game
A new game with all new rules revealed itself in January of 2017. The DBSCG has every single hero and villain from every DBZ series ever produced – even the special ones! The rules are actually quite simple; drop your opponent’s Health from 8 to 0 and win! Base power levels (or points) in this game range from 1000 to 45000, but can reach 60000+ with the right kind of strategy. There are tournaments happening all over the world through this version of the game, but only time will tell how long this train ride will last.
So there you have it; our brief history of the Dragon Ball Z Collectable Card Game! The rules may have changed over the years, but our love for our favorite heroes and villains still remains true in the hearts of all DBZ fans.