The Big Three: Anime That Defined A Generation!

Anime. Who would’ve thought it would have this much mainstream popularity in this day and age, compared to being the underground ‘members-only’ niche medium it once was over 20 years ago. With it among the mainstream ranks; this medium has brought about a new generation of anime fans, and while that’s a great thing to a large majority of the anime community, there’s been some talk about the next wave of anime series that will sustain its mainstream dominance. In fact, there’s even a term for it; and that term is The Big Three. For many fans they’re aware of who the ‘Big Three’ are; they are three of the most popular, longest-running anime titles of their genre, and in the world. Whenever someone mentions ‘The Big Three’, they’re talking about Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece.

There will never be a ‘Big Three’ as popular as these three. Hands down.

In the 2000’s Shonen was all the rage, and in EVERY Shonen Jump magazine you’d see these three on the cover. Although Dragon Ball Z, Yu Yu Hakasho, and Rurouni Kenshin (which we like to call ‘The Gateway Three’, or ’90’s Big Three’) made their mark on anime’s rise to popularity, these three solidified themselves as mainstream mainstays due to their stories, their iconic characters, and also being the longest-running shows. During the early 2000’s anime wasn’t as widely accessible as it is now, so trying to get your hands on any type of merchandise of these three anime titles was easier said than done.

When Toonami came to town (we’re not even gonna mention the 4Kids One Piece dub even though the opening music slapped), the hype of seeing these shows along with new manga chapters in the weekly Shonen Jump magazines, was intensified. We all remember the ‘Naruto Takeover Marathon’ (Naruto Hundo) on Cartoon Network, as that’s how a majority of Naruto fans found the Orange ninja. From anime TV series, manga, video games, and movies; the ‘Big Three’ defined a generation of Shonen anime fans the world over. Even today the influence of the ‘Big Three’ is felt among the modern generation of anime fans, and contrary to popular belief, it has led to the rise of ‘The New Three’.

The success of ‘The Big Three’ paved the way for ‘The New Three’

For many fans; the ‘Big Three’ brought them into the anime community in the first place, and even led them to other shows of that genre as well. It doesn’t have to be just Shonen anime, as there could be a ‘Big Three’ of a particular genre or decade; say in our case, the 90’s. We know what our ‘Big Three’ are (as we aforementioned above) when we were growing up, but for some anime fans, it could be the three anime titles that made them become fans in the first place during their childhood; like Pokemon, Digimon, and Yu-Gi-Oh. For Mecha fans it could be Gundam, Gurren Lagann, and Evangelion. For Gen Z’ers it could be Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, and Demon Slayer.

The ‘Big Three’ is synonymous with the most popular, longest-running, and most iconic anime franchises. Like Michael Jackson (no, not the dude who looks like him in Demon Slayer in the “Smooth Criminal” outfit from the music video); there will never be another ‘Big Three’ as popular, iconic, or generational defining as Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece. If you think about it a lot of fans have those three to thank due to their success, as they have led to the rise in popularity of ‘The New Three’. Every genre has a ‘Big Three’, every decade has a ‘Big Three’, and most of all, every fan has a ‘Big Three’ that got them into anime. Who knows what the future holds for ‘The Next Three’, but for now, ‘The Big Three’ will go down in history as the ones who brought anime to mainstream.

Until next post, stay nerdy! 😉

D&A Studios Entertainment Recap (4.25.22)

Hey guys! We have returned with yet another recap post from our official Youtube channel (and subsidiary umbrella’d under D&A Anime Blog) D&A Studios Entertainment! We’re also working on some new things and advancements on our site that may include some incentives for exclusive content, and will keep you posted on when those advancements take place. In the mean time enjoy these videos we’ve got for you, and stay tuned for our 26th Nerdz of the Decade podcast; dropping Wednesday at 5pm! Until next post, stay nerdy my friends! 😉

Our review of Sonic Movie 2
A behind-the-scenes video after our 23rd podcast episode
Next time on Nerdz of the Decade!

D&A Studios Entertainment Recap (04.18.22)

What’s up guys! Yeah, its Monday again, which means its time to pull away from your weekend binge of whatever show you’re watching on Netflix or Hulu, and clock in for work. For us its pretty much the same, however we’ve also had quite a fun weekend; from seeing the 2nd Sonic movie, to uploading another  podcast episode – and then some. So if you missed any of our content last week, here’s your chance to catch up before we drop some more videos this week. That’s all we got for now, but as always stay nerdy my friends! 😉

Gotta Go Fast: The Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Movie Review!

Before we kick off this review we just wanna wish a Happy Birthday to one of the founders of D&A Anime Blog; Aaron M. Goldman! Now…its time for the reason we’re all here. Check this out…

We just saw Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in theaters – and LOVED IT!!!

It seems just like yesterday Hollywood was gonna give us that nightmare-fueled car dealership mascot-lookin’ rat with human teeth. However, Sonic fans were NOT having it, and we’re so glad they spoke up loud and clear about what they wanted from the live-action movie. These days live-action movies have been getting a bad rap ever since that abomination known as ‘DB Evolution’ found a way to exist. (I feel for you guys.) However if there is one exception to the ‘live-action curse’, it lies with Sonic. If the first movie tested the waters, then the second movie is goin’ swimmin’!

Sonic vs. Knuckles…like we’ve always wanted! 🙂

Sonic the Hedgehog (Movie) 2 picks up where the first one left off; with Dr. Eggman (Jim Carrey) stuck on the mushroom planet trying to find a way back to Earth after Sonic sent him there. Using one of the hedgehog’s supercharged quills the doctor manages to open a portal, however as he makes a mad dash towards it a shadowy figure steps out that looks quite familiar. It turns out to be…Knuckles T. Echidna (or just Knuckles) as he asks Eggman where he got the blue quill he has in his hand. The doctor tells him that he’ll be happy to tell him – if he helps him get off the mushroom planet (which looks a lot like Mushroom Hill from Sonic 3 & Knuckles).

Back in Seattle, Sonic tries to be a hero but being a first-time crime fighter didn’t come without problems. Tom tells him during a fishing trip that he still has a lot to learn about being a hero; and that its about being responsible for other people, but Sonic tells him that he hates being treated like a kid and that he can take care of himself. His moment for being a true hero was going to come; little did he know that it was going to come in the form of a certain two-tailed fox, and the return of his old nemesis.

As nightfall hit Sonic was at Tom and Maddie’s house while livin’ his best life with the family dog. Then there’s a sudden knock on the door as the doorknob was cut open with lasers, and on the other side was none other than Dr. Robotnik. (Tom and Maddie were in Hawaii at the time.) Sonic charges up his power to fight him, but gets intercepted by Eggman’s new friend; Knuckles. After a fight breaks out Knuckles gets the upper hand and pins him to a tree; telling him that Long Claw’s clan took the Master Emerald from his tribe, and decided to avenge it by killing Sonic. Suddenly the red echidna gets hit by Tom’s police car driven by Tails, as he asks Sonic to come with him. The two speed off with a pissed-off Knuckles in pursuit as they drove the car off a cliff with Tails carrying Sonic while flying in the air. Talk about great attention to detail in terms of the source material; with Tails carrying Sonic like he did in Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 (the video games), and Knuckles gliding and climbing walls like he did in Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

Now you’re already introduced (or for older Sonic fans, reintroduced) to Team Sonic in the first 30-45 minutes of the film, then Sonic discovers that he has a new mission; to find and protect the Master Emerald from Dr. Eggman and Knuckles. It was then that Sonic and Tails would forge their bond and begin their quest to hunt down the whereabouts of the emerald before Knuckles and Eggman get to it. Like the first movie this one was chalk-full of video game references; such as the Dr. Eggman logo hidden inside the Mean Bean Cafe’ (which is another reference to Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine), the Mushroom Hill and Labyrinth Zone, the opening scene with Sonic on top of a building just like in Sonic Adventure, and FREAKIN’ SUPER SONIC!!

Yes, he’s actually in the movie!

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 takes everything you loved from the first movie, and dials it up to an eleven. Movie Tails and Movie Knuckles are faithful to their video game appearances, and based their personalities to when they were first introduced; with Knuckles NOT being a doofus, but following a warrior’s code yet not very knowledgeable about cultural and social customs. Its quite amazing to see the trio we’ve grown up with since the 90’s now come to life on the big screen, and since it appears that the director and producers are on the path to making the Sonic Movie franchise into a Cinematic Universe, there’s no telling what new surprises they’ll have in store. In fact if you watch the post-credits scene, you’ll see what we mean. (No, we’re not gonna tell you what happens! Just watch and see.)

It’s one of those movies that’s so nice, you gotta see it twice! With a third movie in development as well as a spinoff origin story featuring Knuckles coming to Paramount+, the SCU (Sonic Cinematic Universe) is only gonna get bigger. Marvel got theirs, and now Sonic has his!

We give this movie a score of 9.8 / 10 (A D&A Movie score of 98.3%), so you better go fast and go see it!

Until next time, stay nerdy! 😉


Let’s Talk About It: What is a ‘True Anime Fan’?

Anime. It seems everybody’s into it. Since its rise to fame in the 90’s anime has become a BIG part of nerd culture; and eventually as we’ve already seen, mainstream culture. Anime’s influence can even be seen in a majority of American pop-culture; such as music, sports entertainment, and yes…even American live-action. (Netflix, I’m lookin’ at you!)

With the medium now apart of mainstream culture, it’s brought about the ‘wrath’ (and we use this term loosely) of original anime fans; the ones who were there when it was mocked by people who didn’t understand it – mainly bullies. Lately we’ve been hearing this term thrown around throughout the anime community, and that term is ‘True Anime Fan’. Of course for anyone that’s heard of this term before, you might recall it being said from a salty individual on Twitter; ripping into the fans of popular series that have had a spot on Toonami’s line up. Of course you guys know the titles; Demon Slayer, Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball Z, SAO, you name it.

We wouldn’t be surprised if that individual ripped into ‘this’ fandom…

The term ‘True Fan’ usually means that you’re well-versed in the material of the medium that you’re passionate about, but in anime’s case; you’ve watched ‘enough’ anime to know about what genres are trending, what series has good/bad plot and character development, and the reputation of the animation studios that produce the shows that you watch. Honestly, there’s really no set number of shows that you have to watch in order to be classified as a ‘True Anime Fan’, however to the many ‘anime specialists’ out there; if you ONLY watch anime titles that are deemed ‘popular’ or ‘mainstream’, then YOU are not classified as a ‘True Anime Fan’.

This type of mentality has garnered some rather controversial attention, which has lead to gatekeeping within the anime community (which we’ve talked about on a previous post) as well as Twitter feuds online. Sure, anime is now accessible to a casual market of consumers, but now that its among the ranks of mainstream popularity, it has brought in a whole new generation of anime fans who didn’t originally have access to it during its rise. You don’t have to watch a specific anime title to be considered an anime fan, in fact, if popular titles like One Piece or Demon Slayer brought you to the world of anime fandom in the first place (and you like it), the you ARE a ‘True Anime Fan’. Who knows; maybe that one show can lead you to underrated or hidden gems that you’d never thought you’d find.

It seems many fans forget that they too (yeah, we said it); THEY TOO, were watching one anime title that they really liked when they were growing up. (For us it was Dragon Ball Z.) As you get older within the anime community your tastes in certain genres change over time, however to the casual anime novice they’re just trying to get their feet wet into the fandom and see what shows will peak their interests. You don’t need an ‘anime checklist’ to figure out if this is the show you should be watching or not due to its popularity. If you like a show (regardless of its story, characters, etc.), the you’re a fan of that show. If that show leads you to other shows; then you’ve become not just a fan of THAT show, but the other shows as well. Basically we’ll end this post a lil’ somethin’ like this:

Watch what you wanna watch and who cares what others think!

Until next post, bye! 😉


D&A Studios Entertainment Recap (04.11.22)

Hey guys. We’ve been away for awhile as one of the founding members of D&A Anime Blog; Donte’ J. Lewis, had a family emergency via the passing of a family member. On top of that we’ve had technical issues regarding our production studio in recent weeks, which has been resolved as of yesterday. Our current release schedule for our primary content (being our podcast) on our Youtube page is Wednesdays at 5pm (Eastern) / 2pm (Pacific); with our shooting days on Fridays. Next month we’ll start releasing our D&A Studios Extras episodes on the first Saturday of each month at 1pm (Eastern) / 10am (Pacific). Since the timing of our unboxing videos are unpredictable; they’ll more-than-likely go up on Saturdays, but we’ll make an announcement on our social media pages before they go up.

That’s all for now, so until our next post, stay nerdy! 😉 

The next Nerdz episode!
The last Nerdz episode!