D&A 411: Nerdz Podcast 25, New Studios Extras & Anime Conventions

Hey guys! Normally this would be the day where we would recap last week’s episode of our Nerdz of the Decade podcast, however we’ve ran into some technical issues regarding our post-production equipment. We hope to have them resolved by the middle of the week so we can drop our 25th episode of the podcast, but if we don’t we’ve got the next best thing; another new episode of our ‘extra thicc’ side content (or ‘sidecast’) series D&A Studios Extras. To our fans who happened to be at Zenkaikon this past weekend, we weren’t able to make it due to unforeseen circumstances. Despite that, we encourage if you happen to have taken any cosplay pictures while there, feel free to head to our Contact Us page and email them to us so that we can post them up on our Cosplay Fan Slideshow.

We know that some of our fans have been asking if we will return to anime conventions, and the answer is yes. Lately between keeping track of any new Covid variants and raising money to cover travel and lodging expenses (plus studio equipment upgrades), we haven’t been able to go to as many conventions as we wanted to in a couple years – mainly due to the pandemic. If we don’t get the opportunity to do any this year, we will come out ‘gun’s blazing’ for 2023!

The next Nerdz podcast should be up this Wednesday, but if our issue persists, then we’ll drop a new ‘extra thicc’ content episode.

That will do it for our 411 post, and as always…stay nerdy! 😉

Next time on Nerdz of the Decade!

A Founder’s Thoughts With D.J. Lewis: Being A Content Creator

Hey, how’ve ya been? It’s hard to believe that six years ago A. Goldman and I had an idea about what it would be like to have an anime blog; where we would post pictures from all of the conventions we went to, and all of the cosplayers we’ve met along the way. Now we’re taking pictures with our childhood heroes, we have an awesome podcast where we get to invite said childhood heroes, and we’re on the road to becoming (hopefully) a recognizable brand. Honestly, I never really thought I’d see myself as a content creator, but if you look at any of your favorite content creators out there, you know they all had to start somewhere. 

D&A Studios Entertainment Logo! (Yeah, I made this.)

For me it was December of 2015; I was a member of an online anime club from the UK (I forgot the name) that posted their favorite anime titles, moments from said titles, and even shared AMVs. The club was pretty fun, and I got to meet a lot of people online that I hope I would get the chance to see at an anime convention one day. Things were going great…until they weren’t. The area soon became toxic when accusations were made, death threats were being sent, and international lawsuits were being filed. I didn’t want any part of that so I got the hell outta there when I did, and found myself at home wondering if I should join a new online club – or start my own.

A. Goldman and I were tossing ideas back and forth about what to call our anime blog if we had one, and the name ‘DNA’ came up; instead we named it ‘D&A’ to represent the first letter of our names. It also was a medical term where DNA was the genetic makeup and identity of a living organism; in this case, humans. The tagline “It’s a part of you…” ties into the definition of DNA itself; since anime feels like its within the fabric of otaku culture – like its a part of it. Its safe to say that I had no idea that this passion was going to turn into something big; that it would turn me into a content creator, and that I liked it!

I’ve always been a creative person; even at a young age I like drawing some of my favorite things like sharks, snakes, and trains. As I got older I wanted to create my own music; now I’m a DJ and produce my own music. I guess if you have something special, why not share it with the world? In this case its our Youtube podcast “Nerdz of the Decade”. I’ve seen people make full-time careers out of being content creators, but I also know that its gonna take awhile to get there; cuz’ you need some kinda funding to keep it going – especially when it comes to equipment upgrades.

Who knows where this journey of content creation is going to take me, but all I can say about it, is that it all started with an idea…that turned into what you see before you today. If you have a story to tell and love being creative, why not share it with the world? You never know who you might be helping in the process of creating your content. It could brighten someone’s day, or even help them get through a difficult time in their life, or even help them to escape the troubles of reality; as you can see what the last two years have been like.

If you have a content creator that’s inspired you to make your own content, give them a shout-out and support their channel. At the end of the day, most of the best content comes from the people who are just like me, and you.

That’s my thoughts. 

D&A Studios Is Now D&A Studios Entertainment!

Our Youtube channel has moved to the next level! Don’t worry, you can still find us easily by typing “D&A Studios” in the Youtube search bar. Since we’re in the process of making advancements in our branding, we decided that our official Youtube channel would be the first place to start! When we first decided on the name of our channel, we’ve had people try to send us demo reels of their voice over work for anime and video games. (People literally thought we were a recording studio; which we are, just not for audition demos.) D&A Studios Entertainment is home to the Nerdz of the Decade Youtube podcast, D&A Studios Unboxed (which will be the new name for our remaining unboxing videos), and D&A Studios Extras; our ‘extra thicc’ side content series. That’s all we’ve got for updates and announcements, so until next post, enjoy episode 24 of Nerdz of the Decade! 😉


Isekai: I Was Transported To Another World, And Became Popular!

Anime. Everybody knows somebody in their lives who loves it, watches it, lives it, eats it, and breathes it! The consumers of this medium used to be the victims of bullying and ridicule back in the days of middle and high school, but now it is among the ranks of mainstream and has become widely accepted all across the globe. So out of all of the genres that your average otaku consumes on a daily basis, what is it about the Isekai genre?

You are SO useless!! But WHY are you so POPULAR?!

Every new anime season; there has been an influx of anime titles from this genre. Some of them are strong contenders of being ‘Fan Favorites’ like That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime, while others were trying something new but might have made a misstep somewhere. Out of all the anime genres the Isekai genre is…the most saturated. Like every genre before it there is some history as to why it became what it is today, and don’t think you’re outta the woods America; cuz’ we’ve been on the ‘isekai’ train with our own fairytales. (Alice in Wonderland, Narnia, The Wizard of Oz, does that ring a bell?)

For any history buffs out there; the concept of this genre came from ancient Japanese Literature, and the story of Urashima Taro – who saved a turtle and was brought to an undersea kingdom. (I wonder if that’s the story that inspired The Little Mermaid and Aquaman…?) Five days later he returned to his village; 300 years into the future. That story was adapted into one of the FIRST anime isekai films in 1918 by Seitaro Kitayama, but if we’re talking about modern isekai stories; there’s Warrior From Another World (1976), Aura Battler Dunbine (1983), Fushigi Yugi (1992), El-Hazard (1995), need we go on?

In simple terms; Isekai has had its foot in the anime game for a long time, and Miazaki’s Spirited Away (2001) was one of the most well-known and popular isekai anime movies of its time. (In fact, there are still fans who cosplay as that ‘spirit’ thing to this very day. We forgot its name so don’t @ us!) Also happening in the 2000’s was the popularized isekai anime title; The Familiar of Zero (2004), which popularized isekai through light novel and web novel media. This of course led to Familiar of Zero fan fiction becoming so popular on the website “Let’s Become Novelists”, that it spawned a genre of original isekai novels on that site; which led up to the creation of Re:Zero (2012) by Tappei Nagatsuki.

You guys may be hating on it now, but in 2012 Sword Art Online took isekai’s popularity to the next level. (We know Progressive is gonna fix that, but at the time it came out people couldn’t stop talking about it!) This was also the year that the term “isekai” was coined, and as anime titles like SAO became popular, it led to more web novels being written on ‘Naro’ (Let’s Become Novelists); like Mushoku Tensei (which became an anime), Saga of Tanya The Evil (which also became an anime), and TONS of others that all came afterwards. The Isekai genre got SO popular in the early/mid part of the 2010’s that fans…in both Japan and the West (i.e. the U.S.)…were SICK of it! Why do you think there’s a ‘brand new’ isekai title…EVERY! DAMN! YEAR?!

This genre got so annoying, that there was a blanket ban placed on it in 2016 due to it overcrowding the anime and manga market. Fans to this day are wondering ‘How long are they gonna milk this genre?!’, but if you ask Kadokawa (manga publisher) in 2017, they ended up banning all isekai stories in their own contest. You know this genre is oversaturated when big-name manga publishers, and isekai-churning web novel websites start banning it from any contests they host. All because of a fisherman who saved a turtle…

No matter how sick of it we are, isekai is still a popular genre in both anime, and manga. Throughout every anime season there is gonna be at least 2-3 isekai titles that will be subbed, dubbed, and dropped by fans. It’s become the genre you love to hate; which might explain why Konosuba got created. The Isekai genre has become so saturated that it’s now the butt of many jokes; even to the point where parody anime titles (like Konosuba) are made.

Something so small as a man saving a turtle and being transported to another world, has allowed this genre to ascend to a level of popularity; that it has achieved meme status in that same aspect. Isekai has gained a cult following over the years, but for some fans – at the cost of its own self-respect. Its the one genre that is both hated and loved at the same time; from its copy-and-paste storylines, to its half-assed character development. However, there have been some titles that have managed escaped this ‘curse-like’ cliché, so when some one says “Not another damn isekai!”, just know that the fisherman and the turtle started it.

Until next post, stay nerdy. 

All About The Benjamins: The Cost Of Anime!

If you’ve been an anime fan since the 90’s (or even the 80’s) then you’re already familiar with how it became so popular today. The art style, the direction, the animation, the complex stories, and the character development all encompass what the foundation of anime is for many fans of the genre. Many fans who are products of the 80’s and 90’s remember an era where it was rather expensive to buy dubbed episodes of your favorite titles of that time. In fact; if you wanted to get the first dubbed season of Dragon Ball, you had to by a set of 12 bricks (VHS tapes for Gen Z’ers who don’t know what ‘bricks’ are) that only had 2 or 3 episodes on each for $150. 2000’s kids will never have to do that now; for that exact same price, and possibly even less (maybe a third), you can get every dubbed and subbed season of Dragon Ball Z (or Kai if you want the 100% ‘true-to-the-manga’ version).

This may come as a shock to those who don’t know this, but…dubs are EXPENSIVE! Now, if you didn’t think that came as a surprise, then allow us to give you an even greater FYI. Anime…is EXPENSIVE to make! Yeah, how’s that for a surprise?

You’ll find out soon enough…

Ever heard of the phrase ‘You get out what you put in?’, yeah, that goes for Hollywood movies and Anime production. Creating Manga is one thing, but producing an anime adaptation based on its source material (the manga), is a whole other monster. The process that goes into adapting your favorite titles into anime form is more layered than you think. (Contrary to popular belief, there are those within the social media world that believe it is ‘easy’ to produce anime. To that we say…try making your own Sourdough bread and get back to us with your results!)

For this post; we’ll be going over how much it costs to produce one episode of your favorite anime title, the overall cost to make a season, and the phases that need to happen. (We’ll be going by the U.S. equivalent of Yen, so feel free to translate how much it costs in Japan.)

The Cost of 60 Seconds of 2D Animation

For anybody that’s taken animation courses, the animation part of the overall process is done in frames to simulate an action (or actions) that are taking place. This is also the part where the animators can get the most creative. If you’ve heard the word ‘FPS’ (no, not First Person Shooter) then you may have seen it whenever you render videos for Youtube. For anime in this case; it’s rendered between 24 and 30 frames per second, but for this post we’re gonna say 30 frames per second. There are 60 seconds in a minute, and with an FPS of 30, its 30 x 60 = 1800 frames per minute.

What about the cost you ask? For just 60 seconds of video, the average cost is $6000. We’re not making that up; it actually COSTS $6000 to make just ONE minute of anime! If you divide 6000 by 60, it costs $100 to make 30 frames of animation – and we haven’t even factored in the time it takes to do this! (We’ll get to that soon enough.)

The Overall Cost Of One Anime Season

So 1800 frames of a 60-second animation costs an average of $6000 (depending on the studio), so how much does it cost to produce a 23-24 minute episode? Take that $6000 and multiply it by 24, and you’re looking at $144,000; or if you multiply it by 23 you’ll get $138,000. Depending on the studio you’re looking at between $100,000-$300,000 per episode. For every 43,200 frames of animation, it costs $144,000. (Or $138,000 for 41,400 frames of animation.) You want 12 episodes? That’ll be between $1.6 Million-$1.7 Million, and in some cases up to $3.6 Million if the season is 24 episodes; the equivalent of two 12-episode runs. We’re surprised your wallet hasn’t killed you yet! XP

That number is double or triple if you’re producing an anime movie between 90-150 minutes long.

The Production Phases

Ok, we covered the money…but what about the time? Well there’s phases in the production process that have to happen before the money for said production can even be kicked out. First is the Concept Phase. You need a base or a foundation for the characters, right? Well it all starts here. The artists will create character concepts of what they want the character to look like, move like, and what their mood will be like. They then go through testing animations to get an overall feel of the character before they do a ‘final draft’ design. Sad thing about this phase is; it’s where most projects end…but not all the time.

Survived the first phase? Then the Storyboard Phase is next! This is where the ‘action’ happens as the cuts and story composition as a reference for every animation. You know all the backgrounds for all the action, rom-com, isekai, and fantasy anime titles you like? Well, this is the phase where it all comes together.

Now onto Phase 3; the Animation Phase. This. Is. The. Phase. That. Takes. The. Most. Time! Most fans get annoyed when other ‘fans’ complain about the animation of a series, but their response to that is ‘If you think it’s so easy, why don’t you try it!’ The lead artists will create the keyframes; then with the missing gaps in between, the animators will draw in the frames leading into the next keyframe the main artists have set. (Don’t forget the lip flaps, because those have to be animated too.)

Finally comes Phase 4; the Cutting Phase. All of the scenes are cut together with the colors corrected, the music produced, and the voice actors with their lines already recorded. We haven’t even factored in the cost of music and voice acting; especially if you want professionals, but this is the phases of the process in a nutshell. As for the time this process takes, you’re looking at between a couple of weeks to a few months. (A lot of studios have deadlines, so you also gotta factor that in too!)

So Big Spender, you can’t say making anime is easy, can ya? This is just the cost of producing the anime you love so much, and we haven’t even gotten into the promotional and advertisement costs, IP copyright laws and protections, overseas distribution, English-dubbing, musical composition royalties, ADR, broadcast streaming and home video release rights. ALL of this goes into the process of creating the anime that you love, and how are they able to recoup the cost? You basically BUY THEIR PRODUCTS! (Prints, Blu-Rays, DVDs, anime figures, apparel, official art books, etc.)

The next time some troll on the interweebs tells you that they think its ‘easy’ to make anime, direct them to this post and tell them to make their own Sourdough bread and post the results. Anime’s expensive, but with such a high demand for it worldwide, we don’t see it dying off anytime soon – no matter how expensive it is to make.

That will do it for this post, so until next time, stay nerdy! 😉

D&A Studios Recap (3.14.22)!

Yep, its Monday again. Whatever fun you had over the weekend has now ended; and now its time to return to the reality of bills, family headaches, and high gas prices. Sure, we’re feeling it over here too, but producing podcast episodes and other content has helped to offset some of that stress. Last week we finally achieved our goal of reaching 1000 subscribers on our D&A Studios Youtube page, and even dedicated a special podcast episode (or Nerdz of the Decade Episode 23 1/2) to our milestone. The 24th episode of our podcast will drop this Wednesday; as we talk about the visual beauty behind many of your favorite anime openings. That will wrap up our recap post this week, and as always…stay nerdy! 😉

Our 1000 Subscriber Special!
Next Time On Nerdz of the Decade…

Avidd Music Thursdays! (Yeah, Its On Thursday!)

Hey guys n’ gals! Its time for our first “Avidd Music Thursdays” post for 2022; and just like the title says we’re doing this segment on a Thursday instead of a Friday. (Because we do our podcast shoot on Fridays.) If you didn’t already know; this segment is where we highlight up-and-coming musical artists, DJs, and producers. Although this segment isn’t entirely anime-related, some of the artists have been inspired by anime. (So that counts for something, right?)

So to kick off our first Avidd Music Thursdays highlight post, we bring you something that can be seen as visually appealing by the way the music compliments the story being told. The song is entitled “A Serpent’s Lust” by the Antwerp-based band known as The Golden Glows, and it is a short anime-film by Japanese video-artist Shunsaku Matsurida. This song is from their upcoming album “On Moonlight and Rain” that will be released April 1, 2022 on all music streaming services. The mood and vibe of the song and the video animation has a dark, ominous, and ghastly feeling to it; which makes sense due to the title of the band’s album being inspired by the 1776 Japanese Ghost Book “Tales On Moonlight and Rain”, written by Ueda Akinari.

The Golden Glows album drops April 1st on all popular music streaming services so if you like their video, be sure to subscribe to their Youtube channel and pre-order their album. On that note that will do it for our Avidd Music Thursdays post this week, so until the next one…stay nerdy my friends! 😉

D&A Studios: Nerdz of the Decade Recap (3.7.22)

Well guys, its Monday again. The weekend’s over, and now its time for that morning trip to Starbucks for a double shot of ‘I-really-wish-I-didn’t-have-to-work-today-but-I-got-bills-to-pay’ coffee. We know what that’s like, but for us it just means another recap Monday of what we’ve been doing the past week for our podcast and other content. This time around we’re recapping the last three Nerdz of the Decade podcast episodes while preparing for our next one. If you like our content as well as the podcast, hit the like and subscribe button on our channel so we can keep giving you guys more nerdy goodness! Until next post, stay safe and stay nerdy! 😉

Let The Music Play: Avidd Music Fridays is Coming To Thursdays!

We love music, and we’re pretty sure you do too. Awhile back we did this segment where we reviewed and highlighted up-and-coming music artists (be it singers, songwriters, DJs and music producers) to help promote themselves and build their following. Although this segment is not something we do very often, this is kind of our way of giving back to those who are fans of music; be it anime-inspired music, kawaii bass, hip-hop, EDM, and more! For this month we’ll be highlighting and reviewing music artists every Thursday from March 10th – April 14th as this will be a Quarterly segment; meaning the third month of every Quarter. If you’re a music artist who wants to be a part of this segment, be sure to hit us up on our Contact Us page and drop us your music/social media links and bio. Until next post, stay safe and stay nerdy! 😉

I’m not just an anime blogger, I’m a DJ/Producer myself