Blackbeard Needs to Be Luffy’s Final Enemy, Not Rocks!

The end of One Piece is near, no matter how badly fans may want otherwise. Mangaka Eichiro Oda recently confirmed his goal to end his legendary manga in around three years. That means that the final battle for the fabled treasure that seems to hold all the answers to the mysteries of the world will soon be upon us. On one side, we have Monkey D. Luffy, the newest Yonko and the living embodiment of fun and freedom. On the other side, we have Blackbeard, the man who slew Whitebeard and took his powers for his own. For many fans, it seemed as though Blackbeard would be Luffy’s last and greatest challenge to claiming the One Piece.

Then, we learned about Rocks D. Xebec, the greatest enemy the Pirate King Gol D. Roger ever faced. Now, fans speculate that Xebec, not Blackbeard or the World Government, will be Luffy’s final opponent. That is something that I strongly think would not be a good idea.

Rocks D. Xebec, Gol D. Roger’s Biggest Enemy

Firstly, just who is Rocks D. Xebec? According to the Marines from Garp and Sengoku’s generation, Rocks was the most feared pirate in the world before the rise of Gol D. Roger. A vicious and bloodthirsty man, Rocks sought nothing less than world domination. To that end, he delved into secrets the World Government tried to suppress. In addition, he assembled a crew of powerful pirates that wreaked havoc on a global scale. Among them were three of the future Yonko: Whitebeard, Big Mom, and Kaido. Rocks was considered to Roger’s first and greatest enemy.

Thirty years before the present day, the Rocks Pirates launched their most ambitious attack yet. On the island called God Island, they attacked the Celestial Dragons. However, they were beaten by an unlikely team up of Roger and Monkey D. Garp. After that, God Island vanished from all records, and Xebec was declared dead by the World Government.

Or is he?

The Fan Theories About Rocks Being Alive

There are rumors and theories going around the fandom that Rocks D. Xebec didn’t die at God Valley. Some fans think he might still be alive in some form, with theories ranging from being the true mastermind behind the World Government to some kind of connection to Blackbeard. Regardless, these fans are convinced that Rocks might be the final challenge Luffy must face to become Pirate King.

I’m sorry, but no. Just, no.

Blackbeard Needs to be the Final Opponent Luffy Fights

So, I will acknowledge that, regardless of his status in the present day, Rocks has an important role to play in the final stretch of the series. Oda never introduces a character or concept without planning on it playing a part down the line. I can even admit that Blackbeard might have some connection to the Captain of the Rocks pirates. However, I do not think that Rocks will be the final big bad of the series. That honor falls to the World Government and, more importantly, Blackbeard himself.

If you read my review of where the top contenders for the One Piece stand, you should know my rationale for Blackbeard.

• He and Luffy both became Pirate Captains around the same time

• Both carry the Will of D.

• Blackbeard has a Devil Fruit that cancels out other Devil Fruits.

• Both believe in freedom and fate, but have very different ideas on what that means

• Blackbeard was responsible for the events that led to Ace and Whitebeard’s deaths.

In other words, Oda has been building Blackbeard up from the start to be Luffy’s antithesis. Thus, it makes sense that Blackbeard, not Rocks, be the final opponent that Luffy must face.

My Theory: Blackbeard is the Rocks of Luffy’s Generation

While I won’t deny that Rocks is important for that finale, I believe that it won’t be Rocks himself that will play a role. Rather, it will be his will and legacy that he left behind. Oda has repeatedly talked about the idea of inherited will being passed on. In this case, what if Blackbeard chose to inherit Rocks’ will and desire to conquer all? In other words, what if Blackbeard intends to do what Rocks couldn’t and conquer the world?

We don’t know what Blackbeard’s endgame might be, but given how he’s gathering Devil Fruit powers, world domination isn’t out of the question. One thing’s for sure, though. When the final clash between Luffy and Blackbeard comes, they’ll talk about it for years.

Anime Logos: The Best, The Mid, and The Worst!

Anime (like music) has many genres; your action-packed fighters, your feely-type cryers, your parody-filled laugh out louders, and your cringe-worthy contenders. For many fans like ourselves if an anime title has a badass opening like Soul Eater (I love you TM Revolution), then you expect the anime itself to have the give you the same thrill you felt during the OP, right? Even the ones that some may consider ‘mid’ or ‘L’ in plot and character development have some decent openings. However we’re not touching on anime openings as we’ve already done that, instead we’re touching on the thing that appears during the anime openings; the Title Cards! Although they’re barely talked about if at all, sometimes title cards can give you an idea of what the atmosphere, feelings, and attitude of the show that you’re watching will be about. For this post we’ll be taking a look at some of the best, mid, and worst title cards in anime history in terms of their color scheme, and what feelings and vibes you get from them.

So let’s get started with one of the most well known anime logos! Dragon Ball!

The Dragon Ball Logo Family (without GT or Super)

Dragon Ball

Every 80’s and 90’s kid has grown up with this franchise. Goku, the saiyan of Earth fighting various villains who pose both world and universe-ending threats. Let’s kick this off with the first logo; the original Dragon Ball logo gives off a vibe of nostalgia with its drop shadow effects and retro shaded colors. It gives you a sense of adventure, excitement, and danger, as Goku begins his quest to collect the seven dragon balls from the forces of evil. The 1996 logo appears to be going through the adolescent transition that everyone has gone through once in their lives. The ‘O’ is basically the one-star dragon ball; which stays in the logos following up afterwards with its first return in the iconic Dragon Ball Z logo. There’s not a single shonen fan who doesn’t recognize this logo, and the feeling you get from it can only be described as an edgy 90’s teenager going through puberty.

When the 2010’s hit they brought back the iconic look but did a shadow gradient on the bottom, and made the one-star ball slightly bigger with a lighter circular fade in the middle. At this point they wanted to appeal to the next generation of Dragon Ball fans while still keeping the nostalgic look older fans have come to know. A few years after “Resurrection F” they replaced the ‘Z’ with Super, but still kept the iconic look of the logo. We’re not gonna talk about GT’s logo because it looks like something a high school freshman who took one graphic design class threw together. (No offense if you’re in this camp, but we’re pretty sure ya’ll can make a better GT logo than what we got.)

Shonen Anime Logos!

Shonen Anime Logos

Shonen anime is always action-packed and usually has those “never give up” type of characters that are usually the MC, but what about their logos? One Piece’s logo actually gets straight to the point because it tells you that the series is gonna be about pirates. The ‘E’ is a ship’s anchor, whereas the ‘O’ is actually the logo of the flag on Luffy’s ship; and the ‘I’ is a red silhouette of Luffy himself! FMAB made their logo look like actual metal with the word ‘Brotherhood’ being the same color as Edward’s jacket. Bleach’s logo has the flames on both sides representing the many fire-based attacks found in the show, along with Soul Reapers, Hallows, and Ichigo. Attack on Titan’s logo gives me a feeling of dread, survival, and giant naked mutant men; which is basically what the series is about! The red slash line could represent the wall that the titans are on, but that’s just our theory.

Hunter x Hunter’s logo gives me the same feeling I got when I watched Dragon Ball, and Naruto along with its Shippuden logo kinda felt like it was trying to take the Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball Z route in terms of its logo, and the attitude of the series. In a couple of ways…it did. I’m not getting One Piece vibes from Fairy Tail’s logo even though the ‘T’ looks like a hook, and Seven Deadly Sins…there’s a compass in the logo, and it definitely gives me a sense of action, demons, betrayal, magic, and booze. (Its Fairy Tale without dragons or the ‘friendship mechanic’.)

Some of these isekai logos are ok, and some are…mid

Isekai Logos

So many of these long-ass titles from this oversaturated genre are a toss-up when it comes to plot and character development. Many of them are 12 episodes long with some of them making it to season 2, but for the rest of them, it feels like they’re just copying and pasting the SAO or Log Horizon formula (for the JRPG-ish ones). In terms of logo and color scheme; a lot of isekai titles appear to go for the cooler colors as their drop shadow, or just inverse them and have a thicker black stroke to emphasize what its trying to represent. I’m not sure what I’m getting from Isekai Cheat Magician’s logo, but Konosuba’s logo gives me a feeling of laughter at Aqua’s expense. 

Ecchi logos can be just as bad as the series…with exceptions

Ecchi/Harem Logos

For a small fraction of the anime community, ecchi and harem titles are the go-to guilty pleasures that most male anime fans lament over; from your panty shots to your “baka” moments. There’s little to no plot or character development in any of these titles, EXCEPT High School DxD! That series has all the ecchi and harem that you’d find…but with a purpose. (It actually HAS a story behind it!) Shimoneta’s logo is basically the “Parental Advisory Explicit Content” sticker you’d find in 90% of Hip-Hop and Rap albums. Not. Even. Joking.

At the end of the day, its not really about the logos that give you a sense of what the anime that you’re watching is about, but the feeling you get when you watch the opening as a whole. From the music to the artistic direction that the opening video is going in, anime title cards are like the frosting on a triple layer cake; it just makes the overall product look sweet. As for which ones are the best, the mid, and the worst, we’ll leave that up to you guys (if you’re into anime logos at all). For us its not just about the logo of a title alone; but what that title brings to the table in terms of story, character development, setting, and writing. With all that being said, you’ll probably be fine with this logo!

This logo is just perfect!

God is GOOD! Panty & Stocking’s logo was just perfect with the ‘P’ and ‘Y’ being all lacey on the top, and ‘Stocking’ resembling well…striped stockings. Garterbelt was squeezed in the middle because lets face it; he’s the middle character no one in the show cares too much about, not even the angels. Hopefully they keep this logo for the second season, as well as all of the crazy zany sex jokes and adult humor.

That will do it for our take on anime logos, so until next post, stay nerdy! 😉

D&A Entertainment Weekly (09.12.2022)

Anime Logos: The Best, The Mid, and The Worst!

For many anime fans; plot and character development can make, or break a series. If that’s the case, then what about the series’ title card? The first thing you see in every anime opening before that actual episode starts, is the title or logo of the series that you’re watching. What does it say about the series as a whole? Does it give you clues as to what you’ll be in for if you decide to tune in? We break down and analyze how different anime title cards appeal to different anime watchers, and what feelings they give off as a result. Coming later this week!

Dragon Ball Super Broly’s One-2-One Analysis!

Every Dragon Ball fan knows that there are two different versions of Broly; the OG one that didn’t give a damn and blew up everything while trying to kill Kakarot, and the Dragon Ball Super reimagined version who was exiled from Planet Vegeta. The one that we’re reviewing is the DBS version, and we’ll compare the two based on the concept and development of their character. Coming later this week!

Sonic Redemption: The Rise, Fall, and Return of an Icon!

Sonic has been through a lot in the past 30 years; and with two live-action installments (with a third on the way), two new games, and a series on Netflix (if its still there), it looks like the Blue Blur wants to remind us that he’s NOT dead just yet! From his decades-old rivalry with Mario to bridging the gap between old fans and new ones (basically having one classic Sonic game and one Modern one), Sonic continues down a path of redemption after what appeared to be an inevitable downfall during his career as an icon; after making the transition from 2D to 3D. More on that later this week!

That’s all we’ve got for this issue of D&A Entertainment Weekly! Until next post, stay nerdy! 😉

A Founder’s Thought’s with D.J. Lewis: Miyazaki, and the State of the Anime Industry!

If you haven’t noticed by now, I am an anime fan. Throughout this journey I’ve had my fair share of online debates, silly squabbles, waifu wars, and toxic fandoms. However like many of us who have stepped into the world of anime during our childhood, I’ve had the chance to watch award-winning titles from the captain of Studio Ghibli himself; Hayao Miyazaki. Anyone that’s heard of him already knows what titles he’s known for; Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service, need I go on? He’s one of the most respected individuals in the anime industry to this day, but at the same time he’s also the most critical of what the industry has become. While many in the anime community may discredit his opinions about the state of the industry, others just might understand where he’s coming from. For me of course I’m not one to pick sides when it comes to controversial topics, but Miyazaki’s ‘anime was a mistake’ statement really got me thinking of what he thought would happen to this industry…

I wonder how he feels about oversaturated Isekai…?

Several months to maybe a year ago I talked about unpopular opinions about anime, and how easy it is to get into online arguments over little details about shows where the outcome wasn’t in favor of its fans. Lately it appears that the balance in the overall quality of anime, has shifted into an overproduced quantity of it in the last couple decades. I feel like if some fans took the time to read between the lines of what Miyazaki really meant, they would actually discover that his ‘anime was a mistake’ statement, wasn’t EXACTLY what he said; but rather he feels like with what anime has become in the modern age, Miyazaki thinks that the industry is full of creators who never had any real world experience when creating their characters. One of the things that drew me in to Miyazaki’s films is his way of storytelling and worldbuilding, that was different from what you’d find in most modern anime.

Honestly, Miyazaki was on a whole other level with his plot and character development; and actually took his audience on a journey that felt both heartwarming and realistic – based on the character’s personalities and traits. With modern anime its different; while there are some titles that do in fact have good plot and character development, there’s about ten others that do the complete opposite. I will say however there are some titles out there that take a page out of Miyazaki’s playbook in terms of characters with ‘real world’ personalities, issues, and how to overcome them.

Some titles do come close to Miyazaki’s level…

When it comes to character creation and how Miyazaki goes about doing it, he’s all the way old school. No amount of begging and pleading for him to try and use the modern anime method, will get him to consider it. Everything was hand-drawn; from the characters to the setting of the story itself. Miyazaki wanted his characters to be relatable; through their personalities, behaviors, and how they act and react in certain situations throughout the plot of the story. Now when it comes to how female characters are portrayed in anime, that’s where a lot of Miyazaki’s issues with the industry come from.

The biggest issue being anime tropes.

How many women have you seen in the real world just drop kick a guy for no apparent reason when he makes an honest mistake? Well, that’s one of the issues that Miyazaki has with female characters being portrayed in certain anime genres; especially the ecchi/harem ones. (Isekai, you aren’t safe either.) Its not just that though; as bland male leads, weak women, OP protagonists, panty shots, fan service, lolicons, complex characters, and airheaded male/female characters, are also big offenders in these titles. The list can go on but that’s the basis of what Miyazaki believes that anime has become, and guess what…it has.

Most anime fans would actually agree with what Miyazaki is getting at in terms with what the industry (as well as the fandom) has become. It all leads back to the word ‘Otaku’, and why Western fans have embraced the word as something positive rather than the original meaning from the Japanese. So why have we created an entire culture around a word that is viewed negatively among the country’s inhabitants? Why have we excepted the origins of this word as part of our society; even though its a derogatory term for ‘basement dwelling’ incels who obsess over fictional anime characters, and send love or hate letters to manga artists or anime voice actors? Now that I think about it; Miyazaki doesn’t truly have a problem with the anime industry as a whole, he just doesn’t like weeaboos. (Neither does most of the general public to some degree.)

The most well respected man in the anime community…doesn’t like a ‘certain group’ of the community.

Hayao Miyazaki is from a different generation of anime directors, creators, and producers. He’s by-the-book old school in terms of his style, and how he captures the beauty of his art. To him; anime is an artform that is meant to capture its audience visually and emotionally with its breathtaking scenes, relatable characters, and well put together plots. None of his movies had ‘one-note characters’, tsunderes, senpai chicks, 2D thots, bland MC’s, or over-powered saiyans (sorry DBZ fans). To some fans it feels like Miyazaki’s living in the ‘dark ages’ with his world and political views, and regardless of how the community feels about his criticism on what anime and its industry has become, fans are still passionate about the medium as a whole.

Sure its not perfect, and that fact that so many ‘wars’ and debates still find a way to rear their ugly heads from time to time (Sub v. Dub, waifu wars, etc.) is an ongoing issue, anime fans continue to show their dedication to the medium and the industry; whether they agree with Miyazaki’s criticisms, or not. As stupid as some of these tropes are, they somehow manage to find a way to crack a smile on the faces of fans from all around the West. While it took nearly 20 years for anime to become widely accepted among mainstream audiences, it still feels like it has a bit more of a way to go. Anime, its fandom(s), and the industry are always going to have issues to sort out, but when it comes to Western fans; we’re ALWAYS going to be overexcited about our favorite titles getting renewed, who best girl or best boy is, cosplaying at anime conventions, and enjoying Studio Ghibli films.

Do I personally believe anime was a mistake? No. I think if more artists and creators took the time to go out and draw inspiration from people in the real world, they would be able to tell stories with real-world influence and make their characters relatable. With the way the community is now, some fans are starting to go back and watch more Ghibli films and older anime titles that didn’t have all the crazy tropes you’d see in modern titles. I think, with the direction that the anime industry is going and what anime has become, has allowed it to ascend from the depths of being an ‘underground’ niche medium; becoming accepted from others all around the world and even among mainstream audiences. To reach its final form however, anime creators have to ditch the ‘Otaku mindset’ and get inspired by the beauty of the people and places in the outside world around them.

Until next post, stay nerdy my friends! 😉

One-2-One with D.J. Lewis: Aqua (Konosuba)

Isekai is one of the most saturated genres in anime history, and like we’ve spoken in our initial rant about it, there’s always some ‘new’ title that drops EVERY DAMN SEASON! From the people who brought you ‘The Time I Got Sucked in to Another World with my iPhone 12’, comes ‘That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Refrigerator’! Japan loves coming up with things and objects that people can be brought into another world to be reincarnated as, but despite how stupidly long these titles are; and how generic most of the protagonists can be, there are exceptions. One of those exceptions comes in the form of a parody of all of the common tropes found in isekai anime titles; including how useless party members can be. One of the biggest useless party members happens to be a goddess (if you’d even call her that) of water, and also has the personality of a fish out of water. Guys n’ gals, meet Aqua, a useless goddess.

OMG! You’re useless!!

Konosuba is one of those shows that takes the ‘norms’ that you’d find in every isekai trope, and throws it out the window. You’d think upon first glance it would be about a generic MC getting transported to another world after death, and waking up in a forest to search for the king and become a knight and fight off dragons in order to save the kingdom, right? NO! Konosuba takes all of that and tells it to go kick rocks; because Kazuma (the ‘generic’ MC) doesn’t give a damn about fighting the demon king, he just wants to party and live it up in the new world he’s in. (And even drags Aqua along for the ride.)

Aqua is basically the first person Kazuma meets and already hates her guts…and the fact that she made her panties invisible so people wouldn’t see them. (Yeah, but now they can SEE YOUR BARE ASS!) Well, as air-headed and useless as she is within Kazuma’s party, Aqua brings a sense of comic relief and joy.

Part 1: The Origin of the Useless Goddess

So, was Aqua useless from the start? Well she’s worshiped in the Axis Order in the Fantasy World, and is basically in charge of trying to get Japanese people who’ve died to be reincarnated into the Fantasy World. However Eris was the one taking one most of her responsibilities, because Aqua would rather read manga and be lazy. (No surprise there.) Kazuma wasn’t like other Japanese people; instead when he was reincarnated, he took Aqua with him as a cheat item (which she hated) and the two of them started getting odd part-time jobs in order to make a living in the Fantasy World. Eventually Aqua started getting noticed throughout the town for her abilities and also her troublemaking; which places Kazuma as the one who ends up as her “babysitter”. When it comes to responsibilities…yeah, Aqua’s pretty useless.

Part 2: How Useless Is Your Goddess?

Aqua is an unaccountable airhead with a ‘kid-in-a-candy-store’ personality, who can be really annoying at some of the worst times. Though she won’t pass judgement on push her beliefs on people, she speaks out of term and has landed herself and the rest of Kazuma’s party in hot water. As a goddess Aqua has validation issues; as she constantly seeks praises for her good deeds – only to ruin her merits moments later. Aqua is also a terrible lair, and has no concept of what a ‘lie’ is and how to tell one due in part to her honesty. Because of this its easy to trick her into doing things or even getting her to agree with you on certain topics, and while she thinks highly of herself, Aqua isn’t the brightest when it comes to business sense.

On the flipside; Aqua can be smart when she wants to be, and has been known to be a walking encyclopedia for Kazuma and the rest of the team. Although she’s a goddess, Aqua forgets just how powerful her priestess abilities actually are; and has performed feats that others would deem extraordinary. She’s not fond of toads or demons and surely hates the undead, but she’ll get along with them if she gets to know them long enough. (Not the toads though.) As far as her skills are concerned, they may seem impressive on paper, but in actual battle…they’re useless against normal people and toads. Aside from her Priestess Magic, Aqua has powerful skills like “God Blow” and “God Requiem”, but she can also bring people back from the dead, purify unclean water, cause biblical floods, lift curses from those possessed by demons, a master craftswoman, can do water bending (just a little bit, don’t get excited Last Airbender fans), has holy magic, and is also great at party tricks. I know it looks like I made Aqua not sound as useless as she seems, but in the anime only half of this stuff is seen.

Okay, so you’re not as useless…

Part 3: The Legacy of the Useless Goddess

Many supporting characters in isekai anime titles are equal in strength and intelligence to a certain degree, as for Aqua, you’re kinda rolling the dice and hoping for the best. She’s totally useless when it comes to certain responsibilities, but she also knows how to entertain a crowd with her party tricks. Perhaps she’s not totally useless at everything, she’s just more skilled in other areas as opposed to the ones most people would assume she’s good at; but they’d be wrong. While she’d be okay for quests where there’s demons and undead involved, Aqua would still need to be babysat when it comes to keeping herself from getting in trouble around town. Also, she needs to PUT SOME DAMN DRAWS ON! Nobody wants to see that booty every single day (not unless you’re a freak); ask Kazuma when he’s groaning and rolling his eyes. At the end of the day, Aqua’s gonna be Aqua, and there’s nothing you can do about that.

That will do it for this One-2-One. Until next post, stay nerdy! 😉

D&A Entertainment Weekly (9.5.2022)

Welcome To Paradise: A Baltimore Anime Con?!

Founding member Donte’ J. Lewis of D&A Anime Blog / D&A Studios Entertainment talks about his experience at AniMore; a Baltimore anime convention running from 2016-2021, and how that convention shaped the identity of what D&A is today. Could it be that he and Aaron Goldman might be trying to run an anime convention of their own? More on that story later this week on A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis.

The Most Useless One-2-One Ever!

When it comes to anime, there’s always your usual suspects; your Tsundere types, your “Notice Me Senpai!” types, and your airheaded types. This week we do a deep dive into the hallow cranium of the most useless goddess ever…Aqua. The One-2-One on Konosuba’s biggest airhead drops on Tuesday September 6, 2022.

Miyazaki: The State of The Anime Industry

“Anime was a mistake,” said one Hayao Miyazaki during a Tokyo TV interview. Many fans in the West respect this man for his amazing work on films like Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, and more. However his take on what the anime industry is like today; might be either met with either sarcastic derision, or mutual understanding. Could it be that Miyazaki saw or felt a first glimpse of what would happen to this industry years (or decades) down the road? We do a deep dive into his works, his artistic direction, and why he feels the industry is filled with otaku. Coming later this week!

If you wanna know what’s going on, follow us on the blog to subscribe to our brand new weekly newsletter! Every Monday we give you all the latest news in regards to what we’re doing, as well as other awesome things happening in the industry. Also, if you want to contribute an article to our blog, hit us up on our Contact Us page and we’ll send you an invite. On that note, that will do it for this newsletter post! 😉

D&A Studios Entertainment Unboxings Recap!

Hey there nerds n’ nerdettes! For most of you its the First Day of School, and for the rest of us its time to clock in and head into work on yet another crazy Monday. We of course are here to bring you another Monday recap of what you may have missed in the last couple of weeks! Starting September 5th we’ll be rolling out our D&A Entertainment Weekly Newsletter; that will also include our weekly recaps of unboxings, and podcast episodes that premiered on our Youtube channel last week. That’s all we’ve got for this post, so until our next one, stay nerdy! 😉

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: “The Brotherhood Treatment”!

Since becoming an anime fan back in the late 90’s (early 2000’s), I’ve gone through somewhat of a cycle; it usually starts from curiosity, and ends with ‘please let there be a season 2 of this show’. Over the last decade-and-a-half or so, I’ve heard this term for anime titles that don’t fully commit to its source material that its trying to adapt from; or even completely go in a whole different direction. Anybody that’s an FMA fan already knows what this term means, and if they’re an FMAB fan, then they already know a handful of anime titles (both old and new) that could use this sort of treatment in terms of plot, and character development. This treatment is known as “The Brotherhood Treatment”. 

FMA: Brotherhood is…a Perfect anime.

Anybody that’s seen Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood knows that this title is…a perfect anime. I say this because it is a perfect anime to start with if you’re looking to get into the anime fandom. If you’re gonna watch this series, then go for the 2009 version that is ‘Brotherhood’. The 2003 original was good…until it ‘Game of Thrones Season 6’d’ us near the end and STOPPED FOLLOWING THE DAMN LORE!! So yeah, watch 09′ if you’re gonna watch Fullmetal. Just putting it out there.

Now this series gave birth to the term ‘The Brotherhood Treatment’ around the 2010’s when the manga and anime ended, to signify how anime should be adapted 100% faithfully to its manga. If you ask any anime fan on the street if there should be an anime title out there that could use this treatment, 9 times out of 10 they’re probably going to say Rosario + Vampire – and I agree with them! I saw both seasons of the show, looked at the manga and thought that exact same thing the majority of fans were thinking:

It’s NOTHING like the manga! T.T

No, it isn’t. As much as I like goofy, ecchi stuff from time to time, I actually think that if the artists were given enough time (and the production budget was bigger), that they could’ve made the series true to its manga counterpart. Instead it became an ecchi/harem title from the 2000’s that half of the fandom loved, and the other half hated. The ‘Brotherhood Treatment’ wasn’t just about an anime adaptation being faithful to its manga source material, but not falling into the common traps that you see in modern anime today. FMA Brotherhood didn’t have ‘background’ or ‘one-note’ characters that only appeared for a short time and then never seen again. It also didn’t have any characters that ‘had’ to fit any kind of trope or plot device; and found a way to be more than just another Shonen through themes like Militarism, Religion, Faith vs. Fact, Race, and Science. Its no wonder fans call this one of the greatest anime of all time.

(I am NOT gonna talk about the “Dog” scene, okay? Do. Not. Ask!)

This series really needs the ‘Brotherhood Treatment’

So for me, the ‘Brotherhood Treatment’ is ideal for titles that the original fandom felt like its original version lacked in certain critical areas; which is usually story and character development. Any title that is going to take a world-building approach to their story if it calls for it, should try looking into how FMA Brotherhood approached it – actually…how Hiromu Arakawa approached it. The icing on the cake for this series, and why it is a perfect anime to start with on your anime journey, is the fact that it’s done!

Yeah, its done. It will not be added upon; as all loose ends have been tied up, and all characters’ missions and purposes have been fulfilled. It’s one of those anime titles where you actually leave 100% satisfied; no questions asked. What anime title out there can do that in this day and age? Not a single one! One Piece is great (do not get mad at me for this), but I do NOT have the time to sit through 1000+ episodes that will take me two or three years to get through; when I can knock FMA Brotherhood out in one week at 64 episodes. You can get through a modern anime season or series in just six hours because most of them don’t go past 11 or 12 episodes. (MHA took the seasonal route and manages to keep the quality fresh every season, so when I say you can get through a series in six hours, I mean the ‘B-E tier’ ones.)

Okay, so that will do it for me and my thoughts, but what do you guys think? Are there any titles out there that could use the ‘Brotherhood Treatment’? Let us know in the comments below!

Until next post, stay nerdy! 😉

D&A Studios Entertainment Recap (8.22.22)

So we’ve reached the final week before kids go back to school, as the unofficial end of the Summer looms near. We of course are bringing you another recap of videos that you might have missed last week, and boy did we have fun doing these. Also don’t forget that starting September 5th we’ll be starting a new weekly newsletter called “D&A Entertainment Weekly”; which will include our Youtube video recaps, and posts for the week along with what’s happening around the anime industry. Yep, that’s pretty much it. Until next time and next post, stay nerdy my friends! 😉

A plushie drinking buddy!
Goku Black’s Time Ring

One-2-One with D.J. Lewis: Junko Enoshima!

In the time I’ve spent watching anime, I’ve come across the various types of villains that you would see in specific types of anime within the medium; your action-fantasies, your isekais, your rom-coms, your mechas, and your psychological thrillers. In the spectrum of villainhood there are three types that can range from intellectually challenged, to god-tier terrifying. The first of which is your Simple Villains; your Saturday Morning Cartoon troupe kind of villains (Ginyu Force and King Dedede types). The second is your God Complex Villains; where mortal rules don’t apply and they can pass judgement on whomever they want (Goku Black and Light types). The third and perhaps most dangerous one of them all, is your Sympathetic Villains. How are they the worst? We can see a part of our selves in their actions, ideologies, and personalities.

One sympathetic villain in particular caused the whole world to fall into world-ending despair. Many are still in disbelief that this ‘Early 2000’s High School Cheerleader Valley Girl’ type of girl with a ‘Harley Quinn’ complex, is the reason the world went bat-crap crazy. Its also the reason why Danganronpa fans simp over her. She’s the Queen of Despair, Junko Enoshima.

Ah, that damnable smile…

Some time in 2018 I stumbled upon this series through Youtube, which is where I spend most of my time watching anime these days. I watched all of Danganronpa: The Animation and came to the conclusion of…why I don’t like Junko Enoshima that much. Its like you wanna punch her in the face the moment she opens her mouth; which is what my initial first impression of her was after watching the show. As the years went by this toe fungus of a woman started growing on me, which might explain why I’m even doing a One-2-One on her to begin with. The creator even stated that Junko doesn’t even have a reason to do what she does; she had no trauma-filled childhood, no abusive parents, and no negative experiences to shape who she became around her. She’s just bad because she is – and there’s not much else to it! Yeah, I know! (It’s even more crazy because of the fact that she was born on Christmas Eve.)

Junko Enoshima represents the worst of humanity, while Makoto Naegi represents the best of humanity. Its a Ying-Yang situation as the two of them clashed at the end of the series; with Junko losing, but not before committing suicide instead of surrendering to hope. I know many don’t like to think of this as a deep series, but with the psychological themes of hope and despair behind it, it’s hard not to.

Part 1: Who is The Ultimate Despair?

Okay, so I know that there are certain differences between Game Junko and Anime Junko, but for this One-2-One I’ll be focusing more on Anime Junko (but add a few elements from Game Junko). So Junko’s childhood (along with her sister) was abject to say the least, and was even homeless at one point. Her taste for despair may have started in elementary school with her friend Yasuke Matsuda; where she built a sandcastle as people watched her work, played in the school playground for a bit, then came back to find out that the sandcastle was destroyed. Upon hearing her cries Yasuke looked around for the person responsible and found no one, then while he was sitting on the bench Junko ran up to him and told him that she was the one who did it by accident (though we know that ain’t true).

As the years went by Junko was planning on something big; something that would change the whole world, and NOT for the better. She got a modeling career and was featured in all of the latest magazines and became an idol due to her extravagant tastes. Eventually she got accepted into Hope’s Peak Academy as a part of the 78th Class, and the rest was history.

Junko on her way to Hope’s Peak – lookin’ fine as hell!

Part 2: Junko Enoshima: The Ultimate Despair!

Junko Enoshima during her first appearance is pretty much like Aqua; only with a successful modeling career and NOT a useless goddess. However…her true personality is far more cryptic and unpleasant. She’s apathetic and easily bored to an unhealthy degree, and somehow got Multiple Personality Disorder in the process. Junko’s not one to keep just one ‘appearance’ for long; which makes her mentally and emotionally unpredictable, and anxiety-inducing when having a conversation with her. She values despair above anything else and wishes to ‘paint the whole world’ in it, as she believes its the great unknown, and unpredictable. As mentioned before; she has no reason to do the things she does, but she does them because that’s who she is.

Although she doesn’t look it, Junko is rather highly intelligent. (Yeah, we can’t believe it either.) She’s also cunning, violent, manipulative, impulsive, toxic as hell, and cruel. She’s also mentally and emotionally abusive to her sister and anyone associated with her. Junko even manipulates people into committing crimes and then turns around and blames them for even doing it in the first place – even though SHE’S THE REASON WHY THEY DID IT IN THE FIRST PLACE! (Yeah, I really didn’t like her when I first saw her.) Basically when it comes to despair; even if she loses, she wins. Her skills on the other hand are exactly what I aforementioned before; her analytical talent in predicting the latest fashion trends, mathematical problems, subliminal messaging, and more. Because she’s able to predict what a person will do before they do it, it lead to her boredom and why she chose despair because of its unpredictability. Also due to the fact that she’s the Ultimate Despair, she uses her talent to exploit their weaknesses and manipulate them to do whatever she commands.

I’m also gonna point out she has no physical fighting capabilities whatsoever, but if she had Goku Black’s fighting prowess she would’ve been even MORE dangerous than she is now. (*laughs*)    

Junko, despairingly beautiful…

Part 3: The Legacy of Despair!

Junko Enoshima is the embodiment and amalgamation of despair, and what it can do to people’s lives and how they feel. She’s everything you may despise about others and even yourself, and the corruption and sorrow that takes place in our world (even today); all wrapped up in the form of a ditzy high school cheerleader-looking anime antichrist. She may not have Goku Black’s power level or ‘god ki’, or even share the same philosophy that Light has (but then again, it might be on a more ‘complex’ level only she understands), but as a sympathetic villain she has the power to turn people against one another and bring out their absolute worst. Junko has no redeeming qualities whatsoever, and doesn’t believe she is even at fault for how The Tragedy turned out – because it went just the way she wanted it to go.

While I may have a love/hate relationship with this character, I kinda feel bad for her. She could’ve been anything, but she was made to be the embodiment of despair. It’s all she knows and its her destiny. Junko will probably never be anything more than what she is because that’s all she is; a person who manipulates people to do her bidding, causing people to fall in love with despair (and her), and falling deeper and deeper into the abyss of despair with no hope of returning. She’s a character that you both want to feel sorry for, but glad she ‘punished’ herself in the name of despair.

May you rot in hell you disgustingly loveable THOT! (I really don’t like this girl very much, do I? XP)