D&A Anime Convention Review: Zenkaikon!

Hey guys, and welcome back for some more awesome content we’ve got right here on the blog! This time we’ve got another anime convention review to share with you, and its on our first ‘out-of-state’ anime convention which was only 90 minutes from us. Zenkaikon is a three-day anime convention held at the Lancaster Marriott in Penn Square in Lancaster, PA. This year was our second time going and of course being who we are, we had a blast!

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D&A Founder A. Goldman with Hestia cosplayer
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D&A Founder D.J. Lewis with Junko Enoshima cosplayer

So basically this convention is a sci-fi/anime convention, so you won’t just be seeing anime cosplay, you’ll also encounter some Star Wars and possibly Doctor Who, as well as anime characters from the sci-fi genre (mecha, anybody?). The con itself is set in a hotel/convention center, which means that the convention center is infused with the actual hotel itself – making it easier for travel when looking for places to eat both inside and out. Zenkaikon is a mid-sized convention; meaning that you’ll get the pros and cons of both a bigger and smaller convention, nevertheless the total attendance is around 3,600 or so. One cool thing about this convention is that fact that now that have specialized panels called ‘CON-fessionals’ where its kind of like a round-table panel set in a quiet setting where you have to sign your name on the guest list, and there’s a limited number of spots available.

The outside area of the hotel/convention center’s courtyard is amazing! There’s plenty of places to do a cosplay photoshoot, plus all the eateries are only a half-a-block away! Also at this con we’ve made TONS of friends and met some of our Twitter and Facebook fans as well, so if you plan on heading to Lancaster, PA next year for Zenkaikon 2020, stop by and say ‘hi’, we’ll be there! 🙂

That will do it for this post, but as always guys n’ girls, stay nerdy! 😉

 

There’s Something ‘Despairingly’ Special In Store For 2020…

Within the past couple of weeks we’ve been on a bit of a Danganronpa kick as of late, and we said that we would be holding off on fanfiction for awhile. In a case such as this…we’ll be making a ‘slight’ exception. Since we’re pretty sure a good amount of you guys have already seen the anime and played the games, we’re also pretty sure you’ve got an inkling on what we might be getting at. In 2020 we’ve got some big plans for our fourth year being D&A, and somehow or another…’she’ just became part of them. So for all of you Ultimate Despair lovers out there, this one’s for you! We’ll be working on a 21-chapter fanfic dedicated to the ‘Harley Quinn’ of anime, Junko Enoshima, entitled Junko.

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Yep, she caused Armageddon!

What will the plot be about, you ask? Basically Junko (alongside her sister) trying to infect the whole world with despair – by any means necessary (and unnecessary). Unlike taking the whole ‘Brainwashing Video’ route as seen in Danganronpa 3: Despair Arc, Junko will be doing it the old fashion way; blackmail! (As well as other means…) It won’t be easy for her plan to follow through however, as multiple instances of interference, hilarity, and dark humor ensue. So far Junko and Muruko are the main villain protagonists of the story, with the supporting cast of Mikan, Kamakura, Mitarai, as well as the others from 77th Class (who come in later on). Finally the story takes place a little before the last episode of DR3’s Despair Arc, but with a few alternate twists.

We don’t have a post date yet for this fanfic, but we can say that it will happen sometime in either January or March 2020. That’s all we’ve got for now, but until our next post, stay gold! 😉

Filler Post: 7 Things You (May Not) Know About Piccolo!

Since 1989 We’ve seen the mighty members of the DBZ troop become who they are today; from Goku’s adventures from when he was a child, to the friends and frienemies that he fights alongside with whenever the forces of evil strike his home planet of Earth. (By way of Planet Vegeta, of course.) For 30 years we’ve seen some of the greatest battles take fold and have gone down in the Dragon Ball Hall of Fame; such as Goku vs. Frieza, Gohan vs. Cell, and Piccolo vs. Android 17. While we’re on the subject of the green man from Namek, many of us old school fans know that he wasn’t always a good guy. In fact if he kept his original persona from back in the day (considering the level he’s at now), well…he’d be a problem. (However that possibility is pretty much dead now.)

Piccolo (or Piccolo Jr.) is the son of the late King Piccolo, who indeed was an evil Namek. His dream was to dominate the Earth and crush anyone who dare oppose him, but it wasn’t until that fateful day of the World Tournament, that he came across the Earth-bound saiyan we’ve come to know and love. There’s a lot of things we know since their fateful encounter, but to some there are a few things that you may not know about the villain-turned-hero Namekian. Here are seven things you may (not) know about Piccolo.

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We’re all familiar with this duo!

7. Originally, Piccolo Was Supposed To Be A Demon!

As a fan of the original Dragon Ball when it first came out, you’d think that after hearing the name ‘Demon King Piccolo’ that the one we know was supposed to be an actual demon. Yep, according to Toriyama, Piccolo’s current design wasn’t originally part of the plan. During Goku and King Piccolo’s first encounter, the part where he was considered a demon king held up, but during the Saiyan Saga, it was bright to his attention that Piccolo was in fact a race of green slug people known as Namekians.

6. He’s No Older Than Gohan!

Well, never saw this one coming. Just by looking at Piccolo’s stature, you’d never think that he was actually a child. He looks like an adult and certainly acts like one, but technically speaking, he was really only just a toddler when he was first introduced into the series. You’d never think that after Goku’s death that Piccolo would train up Gohan and (dare we say it) actually be a better teacher/mentor/father-figure than Goku – and BOTH of them are children!

5. He’s One Of Two People To Actually Kill Goku!

Every single villain after Piccolo tried it, and every single one of them failed to do so. However Piccolo was only one of two people (the second being Cell) to actually kill the main character of the show, Goku. All out of options on how to kill Raditz Piccolo charged up his super special move that we’ve seen all throughout the franchise; the Special Beam Cannon! Goku had to hold his brother in place so he couldn’t dodge, however he didn’t have enough time to dodge himself, so Piccolo happily killed them both. Sorry, Vegeta.

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“Finally…at long last…!”

4. Namekians Only Need Water To Survive!

This one’s tricky depending on whom you ask but with Piccolo’s abilities as well as all other Namekian abilities, it seems that they only need water to survive. Why is this? It could be the fact that since his race has the traits of plants (i.e. regrowing limbs after they get destroyed) you’ll only see them drinking water as part of their diet. At other times you may have seen him eating other foods, but that could all be the work of filler.

3. He’s Had Crossovers with One-Piece!

You know how we’ve dreamed of seeing an anime crossover when we first brought up the conversation in the past? Well our Piccolo has been a part of that great convo! (Him and the VA that voices him, Chris Sabat!) With One-Piece and Dragon Ball being two of the most popular franchises ever made (next to Naruto, but he came out later on), it would only make sense that both Piccolo and Zoro would cross paths with one another and even get a crossover called Cross Epoch.

2. He’s Sacrificed Himself For Gohan Numerous Times!

As much as he hated Goku back in the day, Piccolo found himself gaining a bit of a soft spot for Gohan – to the point where he would give his own life to save him. It was pretty clear that this would be somewhat of an on-going pattern since the fight with Nappa in DBZ; where Piccolo put himself in harms way in order for Gohan to live. In Super he did the same thing when Frieza was firing a blast at Gohan. After doing this many times over the franchise, it’s pretty clear who’s the most important person in the Namekian’s life.

1. James Masters Regrets Taking Piccolo’s Role Because His Son Loves Dragon Ball!

Everyone involved in the movie title that ‘Shall Remain Nameless’ we’re embarrassed to be a part of it due to the fact that they we’re really fans. (Even the director admitted that he was looking for a paycheck rather than put more passion into a title that has been our childhood.) The only person who was an actual fan of the franchise was James Masters (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer for you 90’s kids out there), and that was due to the fact that his son is a Dragon Ball fan. He says that playing Piccolo was something that his son was proud of him for, even though the title that ‘Shall Remain Nameless’ bombed.

And thus ends our post on the seven things you didn’t know (but now know) about Piccolo. Until next post, stay nerdy my friends! 😉

D&A Gaming Review: DBZ: Attack of the Saiyans! (Nintendo DS)

Hey guys! We got another gaming review for you! This time we’ll be reviewing a title from the classic-but-still-good Nintendo DS, and its a title from a franchise that we’re all familiar with. Yes guys n’ gals this one’s a DBZ post, as we’ll be reviewing the turn-based action-packed RPG that is Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans! The game itself is based on the hit anime and manga, as the story takes place from the 5th season of Dragon Ball, to the end of the 1st season of Dragon Ball Z.

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Yamcha and the Earthlings doin’ damage!

When it comes to turn-based RPG’s you kinda know what to expect; you go through a series of ‘Overworld’ stages while collecting items and equipment to help you in battle, you encounter (or auto-encounter) an enemy, you fight said enemy, you collect loot and EXP. The controls of the game itself are rather simple, as you’re given the following commands; attack, defend, special, item, switch, flee, and ultimate. You’re given a team of three people from the start of the game; Krillin, Yamcha, and Tien (all of which will be at Level 2 or Level 3) I like that fact that you’re given a huge chunk of HP upon starting the first Overworld level (between 200-350), as the enemies there will deal anywhere between 20-35 damage per hit (higher with bigger foes).

When you kill enough enemies and level up, there are six different stats that you have to choose from; power, defense, recovery, technique, speed, and luck. Each of the six Dragon Ball heroes have different results when it comes to stat growth; like say Goku after he levels up upon winning a battle, by the time he reaches Level 60 or higher, you can already tell that he’s the strongest character in the game based on his stats. The game does give you some great challenges and the boss fights are always fun, especially the Nappa one. (Turn on Kaio-Ken and drop that bastard for killing your friends!)

Once you reach a certain level of the game (say the one right before you fight Vegeta and Nappa) you’ll be able to go on a quest for the dragon balls. Collecting all seven of course will net you some goodies, though I’m not one to spoil the surprise but I will say that one wish in particular will allow you to face a nightmarish threat. It’s such a great game and you’ll have a lot of fun, especially once you’ve maxed out all six characters and try to deal 50,000 damage or more on a slew of enemies! (Seriously, the damage numbers are high in this game!) All-in-all I would give this game…

4.2 / 5 Stars

If you still have an original DS, DS Lite, or DSi, this game is only gonna cost you anywhere between 4-6 dollars on ebay or any other online store (its a DS game so they’re incredibly cheap). On that note that will do it for us on this post as well as review.

Until next time, stay nerdy! 😉

Anime Filler: The Risks & Rewards of Sidetracking!

If you’re an anime fan, then you’re pretty much aware that just about all of the titles you’ve watched (or plan to watch) are based off its source material; the manga. When the anime adaptation of a manga has been created, it stays accurate to its source about anywhere between 60-80% of the time. Between the cost of animation (especially its budget) and the deadlines that most anime production companies have to meet, the accurate number could drop between 40-60%. This is where a little thing that we’ve experienced for decades called ‘Filler’ comes in. Filler is basically an episode or a handful of episodes (or even a whole new story arc) that takes a detour from the main story in order to make up for the lack of material…or something to that effect. To get an idea of what ‘Filler’ is, check out this Gintama clip. Afterwards we’ll break it all down!

Anime and Manga don’t run at the same speed. This is the case for about 95% of all the anime you watch, unless the title is original and not based off any source material of the same name. As mentioned above; when an anime title somehow catches up to a manga title that’s still running, it’s gotta take a detour before rejoining. There are some titles that are able to handle this process well; where the anime filler brings the same amount of excitement as the main story, or even becomes better than the main story. However there are only a select few titles that have managed to pull this off. There’s good and bad when it comes to filler, but it all depends on how its handled should one of the following risks happen:

The Source Material Gets Cancelled

There have been instances where this has happened. Since a lot of anime is based on its manga; the source material, should it get cancelled or go into a longer-than-usual-hiatus, the anime studio has to find a way to finish the anime without its source material. This means they have nothing else to rely on than ‘filler’, and if not handled properly, you’ll lose viewers.

The Source Material Ends Prematurely 

Sometimes the manga could end just as the anime is about to rejoin, and thus filler is introduced to keep the interest of the fans going. We can’t say how many titles and studios have suffered this, but sometimes great ideas can come out of a crisis.

The Source Material and its Adaption Intersect Too Early

If both the manga and the anime come together too soon, the anime has to diverge in order to give the manga more time. During this time however, another risk could happen. That risk being when the setting and characters of the anime and manga become so different from each other, they are unable to rejoin each other and end up going their separate ways. When this happens, they have no choice but to remake the anime again, and stay 100% true to the manga. We know a handful of titles that have done this, and we’re pretty sure you do too!

So there you have it, the risk and rewards anime studios take when they do and make filler episodes for anime titles. This post is not to say that having anime filler is bad, it all depends on what is being done and how its being handled. There are some titles out here where the filler arcs were better than the actual story. Just saiyan! XP

Until next post, stay nerdy! 😉

D&A Anime Convention Review: Animore!

We LOVE anime conventions! To us they’re like small meccas filled with people who are just as nerdy about anime and manga as we are. They’re the one place where you feel like you can be your true self without having the fear of being judged. The community is diverse and growing in numbers each and every day. Granted there are a few cons that may need to re-evaluate themselves in terms of the message that they’re trying to portray, but all-in-all anime cons are awesome!

Since 2008 we’ve been going to one of the largest anime conventions on the east coast known as Otakon. Back then we’ve never even heard of an anime convention, but being the anime fans that we were we decided to check it out. All the way up to its final year in 2016, we’ve been going to Otakon in Baltimore (now in D.C.) for eight consecutive years. It was also during the 2016 year that we were about to discover a new con home. After Otakon’s last ride in the Summer of 2016, we’ve set our sights on one of the best up-and-coming cons we’ve ever gotten the chance to be a part of! That con, was Animore!

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D&A with Captain Jack Sparrow! (Not really!)

With Otakon out of the Baltimore area all together, it seemed like the anime convention scene was nothing more than a dry wasteland. Though 2016 was its last year, it also gave birth to a new convention that has a more relaxed feel – a more family feel. Animore is one of those conventions that is hotel-based (meaning that everything is one one floor, but the area is huge!), treats their guests and attendees like family, and even helped get us more exposure in the convention scene. In fact Animore is the first convention where we debuted as D&A Anime Blog! One of the best memories of the con was almost getting snowed in during Snowmageddon 2016; where fans and guests alike were ‘seemingly’ trapped inside the hotel among 3 feet of snow.

It may be a small convention with an attendance of around 2,000 or so people, but there’s plenty to do as well as plenty to see (now that we’ve got inside connections of course). This is also one of the conventions that has the most creative panels that we’ve ever gone to, in fact we’ve even had the privilege of doing a few panels ourselves back during last year’s con! Although its only going on 5 years old, Animore is one of those cons that gives you that old-school convention vibe; like back in the late 90’s (early 2000’s) when anime was just starting to grow in popularity, so only a few hundred people actually attended. The hotel where the convention is held is the Hyatt Regency of Baltimore, which has gotten slightly larger since its renovation back in 2018.

Even though it may not hold a candle to Otakon’s large following and attendance, we see Animore as a convention that wants to stand out and be more inclusive of its fans, guests, and attendees. They treat them like family, and everyone these has a great time! For this review we give our NEW home convention…

4.8 / 5 Stars

The con itself is still growing, but I think it will one day turn into something amazing. There’s a certain spark about it that we can’t really put our finger on even to this day. One thing’s for sure, we will continue to establish our presence (as well as our connections) there for as long as it is in Baltimore!

That will do it for this post but until the next one, stay nerdy! 😉

Supercard Fridays: DBS Card Game (Part 3)!

Here we are again, and welcome to another Supercard Fridays segment with yours truly! We return with some more info on what to expect and look for, when playing the Dragon Ball Super Card Game. In our last segment we talked about the five different card color types and what advantages they will give you during battle. This time around we’ll be looking at some common rules of the game as well as game rulings. We’ll first start off with some keywords that you’ll find in the game.

  • [Auto]
  • [Blocker]
  • [Barrier]
  • [Swap]
  • [Over Realm]
  • [Dark Over Realm]
  • [Double Strike]
  • [Triple Strike]
  • [Quadruple Strike]
  • [Victory Strike]
  • [Bond]
  • [Dual Attack]
  • [Triple Attack]
  • [Permanent]
  • [Counter]
  • [Revenge]
  • [Alliance]
  • [Aegis]
  • [Energy Exhaust]
  • [Activate: Main]
  • [Activate: Battle]

These are just some of the basic keywords that you’ll find when playing the game. For more information about what each keyword does and how they’re used in battle, head to the Dragon Ball Super Card Game Official Website. As for the rulings on certain keyword skills of the game (as well as how to avoid making a “bad play”), check out these videos from the Supah Playaz Youtube channel!

Sorry this one’s a little short but hopefully you’ve got some good information on how to play the DBS Card Game with your friends, and hopefully get the chance to enter into local tournaments as well. That will do it for our another round of our Supercard Fridays segment! Next week we’ll be choosing a different card game while giving you a brief-yet-informative explanation of the rules. Until next post, stay nerdy! 😉