A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: Something New For November!

Whats good, anime fam! This one’s pretty much a check-in post to let you know what I’ll be doing mostly on the blog; among other things. If you’re just jumping on for the very first time, I wanna say welcome to D&A Anime Blog and hopefully you’ll have an awesome time! For those who’ve been with us since day one, I wanna say thanks for being awesome. The last 21 months have been a roller-coaster for pretty much all of us; as we make the best out of whatever you call ‘normal’ around these parts. (There’s still a lot of work to do, but I’ve got faith we’ll get there!)

In the meantime, for the month of November (aside from it being my birthday month) I wanted to try something a little different for a change – something new! I’m not quite sure how it’ll turn out but I’m gonna give it a shot, and if it turns out great, then I’ll make it a regular thing. If not, then it’ll be a one-time thing. This thing I’m gonna try is “Poetic Rants Through Comedic Circumstance”. Basically I poke fun at comedic circumstances that happen in anime (mostly Ecchi and Harem, but other genres too) with poetry and ranting. Rants are kinda 50-50 depending on what the subject matter is, but instead of me ripping on a show or genre of anime I’m not a big fan of, I take the comedic approach and turn that negative rant into a melting pot of laughter.

I feel like these days America might have lost its sense of humor in some way or form (but if I’m wrong feel free to let me know). Sure, there have been a lot of things that we’ve tolerated (especially in the media) a few decades ago, but now we gotta think twice about what we say or run the risk of getting ‘cancelled’. I hear the word ‘Cancel Culture’ being thrown around like rice at a wedding, but because its such a ‘hot button’ word considering the social climate that we live in, I usually stay away from it. I’ll say this; when you cancel something, you leave it alone. You don’t talk about it, you don’t think about it, you don’t even tweet about it. It’s dead to you. It no longer exists to you. You don’t watch it on TV or hear it on the radio. To me, that’s what cancelling something is.

Accountability and Responsibility Culture is what we really should be doing more of. There’s a lot of people out there who need to ‘Man Up’ or ‘Woman Up’ to what they’ve done to the people or person that they’ve done it to; directly or indirectly. It’s virtually IMPOSSIBLE to please everybody; cuz’ not matter what you do, there’s always gonna be one or two knuckleheads who are gonna talk crap about you. Don’t give em’ a second thought, just keep it movin’! I would go into this a little bit more, but I’ll save it for one of my ‘vent posts’.

Anyway, that’ll do it for me and my semi-rant about where we are socially. Catch ya’ll next post!

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis (10/05/21)!

Hey guys! The last 20 months have been in may ways stressful, hopeful, mentally exhausting, and optimistic all at the same time. Despite all of that I’m actually grateful for all of the awesome people that I’ve meet in the five years that I’ve been a part of D&A Anime Blog. Now that we’re in the fourth quarter of 2021 and my 32nd birthday is next month, I have the strangest combination of anxiety and optimism. Anxiety; due to the fact that while I may have achieved some of my short-term goals, there are still a few long-term ones that I haven’t gotten around to doing just yet. If there’s one thing the pandemic has done, its help me to acknowledge the fact that there have been moments when I feel like my mental health has ebbed a lil’ bit – even though I don’t show it.

Not only that but about 10 years after graduating from college, I’ve been dealing with mild swings of depression; thankfully not to the point where I need meds. In a way having the blog as well as being a music producer and a DJ has helped me cope with those bouts of depression; in fact if I can take it one step further, being an anime fan and going to anime conventions has also helped me cope with it. I wasn’t intending for this to be a semi-serious post, but I felt like this was just something I wanted to get off my chest. Rest assured that even though I’m coping, I’m super grateful for all of the awesome people that have crossed my path over the years; including my friend of 19 years as well as you guys, the fans!

I know it kinda sounds like I’m leaving the blog or something due to how this post sounds, but don’t fret, it’s not the case. It just means that instead of posting something nearly everyday (which in recent months has given me writer’s block combined with anxiety of trying to think of what to write), I’ll be posting awesome content for you guys to read every other day; three days a week tops. Some weeks it’ll be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; other weeks it’s Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. With the way the last year and nine months has been, I know I’m not the only one feeling this way; nor am I alone.

Sure, there have been some days where I’m on top of the world, and others where I’ve asked myself “What am I even doing with my life?”. All n’ all, talking and blogging about your feelings does help, plus you get to share it with other people who are in the same boat as you.

Until next post, look out for one another! 😉

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis (08/04/21)!

Hey guys! It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these posts, as if you’re unaware by now; there are hundreds of various thoughts that go on in my mind on a constant basis. I guess you can say the being on the outside looking in does have its perks; it allows you to see what life is like from another person’s prospective other than your own, and you get to analyze the quality of your own life and count the various blessings that have been given to you. Sure, everyone has problems and demons that they face on a weekly basis most of the time, but lately I’ve been getting the eerie feeling that we as humans take way too much for granted.

Many of us realize that we’re not perfect by any measure, as some try to strive for the perfection that inhumanly cannot be achieved. They say ‘practice makes perfect’ but in reality practice makes better. If there’s one thing I’ve gotten from the pandemic experience (which I’m hoping we can fully get out of sooner than later), is that we need to practice a bit harder on patience, humility, empathy, and serenity. Yeah, I know the pandemic has changed EVERYTHING; from how we socialize, to how we party, to how we work, and everything in between. Has life been any easier for us in the past 19 months? Not a bit! But we’re taking it one day at a time in hopes that we can one day end this pandemic once and for all.

There’s a lot of things in life that life is too short for; online and offline fights about who said this and who said that, being mad at someone for what they said or did 20-30 years ago, and the stress of dealing with the fact that a percentage of America will never get vaccinated for reasons that are debatable – and some that are just plain stupid. You might as well through in the fact that the once peaceful airlines have now become mile-high fight clubs for extra credit! I’m not telling anyone how to live their life but dude, maybe try making another person’s life suck a little less if you can help it.

I watch a lot of anime with characters that deal with various challenges and stressors that we as humans deal with on a daily, and even they overcome their obstacles. In a perfect world we probably wouldn’t even have to deal with half of the things that stress us out; like war, racism, sexism, homophobia, death, taxes, and turkey bacon, but this isn’t an Isekai – it’s the real world. (And it sucks half the time.)

No matter how rough life gets; when you come to a point in your life where you don’t need the world’s approval to feel like you matter, that is when you can truly start living! Friends and family are the best support system that you can have in times like these. Sure, there’s problems and haters everywhere (even online), but life is too short and you’ve got way too many brain cells to give them the time of day.

We should all practice a little more appreciation for the life that we’ve been given, and the people that are in it. Who cares about likes and social status, cuz’ when you live long enough to know your worth as a human being, you realize that you matter more than you think you do.

That’s my take.

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis! (06/16/21)

What’s good anime fam! It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these posts, so for this one it’ll pretty much be an update on what’s I’ve been doing as of late. As for what’s happening in my neck of the woods; it looks like we’re inching closer to that magical goal of 70% full vaccination not just in my home state of Maryland, but in a couple other states as well. For 15 months the thought of going to an anime convention was frowned upon due to the size of the crowd, but with the positivity rate dropping in certain states with high vaccination rates, some conventions (smaller ones) are starting to come back around. I myself have been contemplating if A. Goldman and I should take a shot at one of the returning conventions later this year; one of them just happens to be in New York. As for myself and what I’ve been up to as of late, well it’s pretty much the usual.

Due to my mixes being taken down off my Youtube and Facebook pages, I’ve decided to upload all of my DJ mixes to my official Mixcloud page. You can find me as Avidd Minddset on Mixcloud and check out a couple of my ‘Minddset Sessions’ DJ mixes! I’m also working on episode ideas for our Nerdz of the Decade podcast, and I promise that we’ll have some new episodes for you guys to check out! It’s hard to believe it’s been 17 months since my last convention, and with a few of them returning (with safety measures in place) I guess you can say that our first convention back since March of 2020 will be Anime NYC. I’ve never been to New York or Manhattan for that matter, but after being stuck in my house for a year and a half, I’m itchin’ to leave the state!

Even though I’m fully vaccinated (and shaking off the side effects) I’m probably still going to keep my mask on; or get one of those LED light-up masks that look like the one Scorpion from Mortal Kombat has on. I know it sounds like I’m rambling on, but guys, these are just the thoughts that occur in my head everyday – and I write em’ all down on this blog to share with you! The last year and a half hasn’t been easy (and I can probably say the same for you if you live in the U.S. or any other country), but D&A has kinda been my little online home away from ‘home’. I can share my thoughts, how I feel about certain things and trends, and what’s the best anime title to start with if you’re just getting into it. (Go with the classics like Pokemon, Dragon Ball, Yu-Gi-Oh, Cowboy Bebop, or Sailor Moon and work your way up to the new school titles.)

Honestly, there’s moments where I’m glad A. Goldman and I had that vision back in 2015 about creating a blog; thought it was going to be an anime convention photo album at the time. We’re five-going-on-six years in on this thing, and it’s been a fun ride! So I’m gonna end this post with more years to come for me and A. Goldman doin’ our nerdy thing on this blog, as well as getting the chance to break out my first live DJ set at an anime/gaming after party (or anywhere that wants to jam out to some music).

Until next post guys! 😉

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: Cinco De Mayo Edition!

Hey guys n’ gals! Yours Truly is back with another post about my thoughts regarding everything that’s been going on so far this year. Today of course we celebrate Cinco De Mayo; so hopefully you’re celebrating safely and responsibly since yes, we’re still in a pandemic (but we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel). Honestly the past several weeks have been kinda hard to come up with fun and creative nerdy content for the blog, but slowly and surely  I’m starting to get a little of my mojo back. Since March of last year I made the decision to jump back into the music production scene and dropped my debut EP (Minddgames), and two albums (Primetime, and Mental Vacation) under my stage name; Avidd Minddset. (I even had my first collab single with King Shabazz.) Even though the pandemic has been awful to us mentally and emotionally, it also made most of us really take a look at ourselves as well as our priorities in life. Many of us will come out of it better people than we were going into it, while others will double down on their own ignorance and toxicity towards others.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this experience (with this being my first pandemic along with thousands of others who are in the same boat), is that you never wanna take anything in life for granted! So many of us have lost loved ones through this pandemic, which has made a lot of us keep the loved ones who are still with us close to us. Sure, we got our own difference of opinion when it comes to things like ideals and politics, but when the human race is threatened on a global scale, whatever beef you got has to take a back seat and focus on what’s really important. You also gotta be mindful of who you listen to, and where you get your information from in times of great crisis; cuz’ misinformation is a dangerous thing. (As we’ve seen the repercussions.) Our return to normal is closer than we think, so if we wanna return to what we love (mine being anime conventions and DJing at clubs), we gotta get vaccinated.

Well, that’s pretty much my thoughts in a nutshell at the moment. Hopefully you guys are celebrating Cinco De Mayo safely and away from large crowds at least for now; come May 5th of 2022 we’ll be celebrating at the clubs once again! Until the next post, stay nerdy guys! 😉

D&A Anime Blog: Just One Of Them Days…

If you’re a blogger (especially an anime blogger like us), then you’ve probably encountered one of those days where you want to post something, but for some reason, you just don’t have the mental energy to do so. Its not to say that you’re not passionate about it, or even the fact that you’re burnt out of topics to talk about; but when a good chunk of your source material for your original content comes to a screeching halt…well, you suddenly start having one of those days. For us, that chuck came in the form of anime conventions; and as much as we miss them the same way that you miss them, it’s just not 100% safe to return – but we’re getting there! As far as our Nerdz of the Decade podcast is concerned, it’s STILL going to happen…even though its taking us a little longer to get the equipment we need (cuz’ of the delays due to COVID-19).

In spite of our hurdles we can’t thank you guys enough for all of the love and support that you’ve given us. D&A wouldn’t be the anime blog that it is today without the community, as well as our followers and our fans. If there’s one thing we’re passionate about, its anime, and we’re pretty sure you’re passionate about it too. (Cuz’ that’s why you’re here, right? XP) It may be one of those days for us, but with the power of God and anime at our side, we plan on bringing you some of the best nerdy content you’ll ever see! Until next post, stay positive and stay nerdy!

We’re not gonna stop!

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis (02/28/21)!

What’s good guys n’ gals! Since March of 2021 kicks off tomorrow, this ‘Founder’s Thoughts’ post is pretty much a thank you to all of the people who have supported us since our launch in 2016. The last 26 months haven’t been easy for anyone; from the start of what is currently the global pandemic, to Black Lives Matter, to the vaccine rollout as well as a new president in office. Yeah, we’ve been through a lot, but I have a feeling that many of us will have a greater appreciation about our lives as well as the lives of other people. Much like the anime community that A. Goldman and I have been a part of since we were kids, we gotta love and support one another through the roller-coaster that we call life. We may have our differences in opinion, and we may not always agree on everything, but we got to find that happy medium and common ground that brings us all together from all walks of life – like anime has done for so many of us. So from Yours Truly, we love and appreciate you guys from the bottom of our hearts. Of course once this pandemic is truly over, we can’t wait to see you all at an anime convention again! 🙂 

We’ll see you guys at cons soon! 🙂

A Founder’s Thought’s with D.J. Lewis! (01/19/21)

Hey guys! Where in the world do I even begin on this post? The last couple of weeks have been (for lack of a better word) crazy to say the least. I’m not the type of person to get political often, but a huge part of me is glad that we’re about to have a new administration (full of ADULTS) on the White House. We got a lot of work to do in these United States of America, and it starts with healing – a whole LOT of healing! Honestly I haven’t really been in the mood to do a lot of posts in the past week other than the anniversary post, but with our new podcast equipment on the way we’ll be having some fresh new content to talk about!

It’s hard to believe that I’ve written over 700 posts in the span of five years. Some of my favorites have been the breakdowns between “Geek” and “Nerd”, as well as my prospective on the “Sub vs. Dub” debate. I call it a debate as opposed to war because the ‘war-factor’ of that debate is happening on any Reddit page or anime chat room you can find. (And there’s a lot of those already!) Even though many of us in the anime community have a difference in opinion; whether you like subs, dubs, or both, we all love and respect one another – at least most (if not 80%) of us do.

The last ten months have really put us in a position where we’re either reinventing ourselves, or taking up a new passion or hobby. I’m pretty sure by now you guys are aware that other than doing posts on the blog, I produce my own music as well as DJ. Do I see that as something that may turn into a secondary source of income as well as a new passion? Of course! There are some many thoughts that go on through my mind on a daily basis; some of them are about what new anime to watch and talk about, while others have to do with where I see myself in the next five years or what new goals I want to accomplish. Who knows what the future will hold for us once we come out of this pandemic, but I can say that a new year comes a new step forward to a better and unified tomorrow! 😉

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: My Experience As An Anime Fan

From the time we’re kids to the time we become full-grown adults, we’ve all become fans of something in our lives. For many it could be professional sports or wrestling, but for a particular amount of people, it was anime. I’ve always had this saying when I was growing up; ‘Everybody, knows somebody who likes anime!’ It could be your sibling, your best friend, or second cousin twice removed, but it actuality it’s kinda true. What started as a niche medium back in the 80’s and 90’s has now grown into a culture that I’ve come to know and love. Everyone’s experience as an anime fan is different, so I’d thought I’d share my own…

Yours Truly at Thy Geekdom Con 2017 with a DRV3 cosplayer

Man, where do I begin? I’d say sometime in the Summer of 1997 (I was about 8 years old at the time) where school was out and I was in front of the TV watching many of my favorite cartoons. I was pretty much your average eight-year-old doing what kids my age at the time do, until I discovered something that would change the way I’d look at cartoons for the rest of my adolescence. Around this time I discovered a programming block called Toonami, and on it was one of the first anime titles I’ve ever watched; Tenchi Universe. Oh yeah, my first anime title was one of the OG Harem titles back in the day. At first I didn’t know what was going on, but as I continued to watch I became more enthroned.

It was something different compared to all of the other cartoons I watched (Scooby-Doo, Dexter, Etc.) because of the colorful scenes, the artstyle, and everything else. I had a feeling that this show wasn’t produced in America as it didn’t have that goofy Western style I’ve grown accustomed to. By the time I was in 7th grade everyone was talking about a new anime title that was picking up in popularity; Naruto. YouTube wasn’t even created around 2002, so the only way everyone in my school found out was from Cartoon Network promos. (Plus MySpace, cuz’ Twitter and Facebook didn’t come out until a couple years later.) Pretty soon Toonami picked it up and after my DBZ phase, I jumped into the world of Naruto – three seasons later! XP

As the years went by I consumed anime title after anime title, and even though I was now considered an anime fan, I never joined any of the clubs in middle or high school (although my high school only had one club). Ah, the irony…

Around May of 2008 (my senior year of high school) I found out about a place called an anime convention; which is a place where anime clubs from all over the state and region gather and have the time of their nerdy lives! I had a Summer job at the time, so I took the money from my paycheck and went downtown to Baltimore City, MD where I went to my first anime convention; Otakon. Let me tell ya; it felt like I died and went to Nerd Heaven! This utopia of nerds made me feel like I was home; home to other people who liked anime as much as I did. That feeling stayed with me that entire year, and was the reason I kept going back to that convention every year up until it’s grand finale in 2016; the year I started D&A Anime Blog with my friend A. Goldman!

My experience as an anime fan has been pretty cool. Yeah there were moments where it was hard to make friends while growing up because many of them didn’t know what anime was, or made fun of me for it. However since its rise into popularity, I’ve found myself having friends to go to cons with as well as an awesome blog where I get to talk about all of my favorite shows. I though being a geek was terrible; due to it being cast as the bottom of the barrel of social hierarchy in middle and high school. As I got older the level of acceptance for anime and manga grew to astronomical levels (and still is to this day).

Sure, we have our disagreements of who’s best girl, which anime is top tier, and if we prefer dubs over subs; but overall my experience with the anime community has been nothing short of awesome! Hopefully younger generations will get to experience the world of anime as I did – if that haven’t already! XP

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: Merry Christmas!

It’s Christmas Eve! Normally we would be out and about with family and friends doing some last-minute shopping, taking in a movie with that special someone, or making snow angels. That’s what we’d usually be doing in a pre-COVID world, but it’s 2020. I don’t even have to say how crazy, weird and stressful this year has been for the country, but in the mist of it all the vaccine is finally here! For many of us who are anime fans; not being able to physically go to conventions this year has given us that ‘post-con blues’ feeling after an exciting con is over. However, a lot of our favorite conventions have given us digital alternatives in order to help take our minds off the pandemic, and for that we are so grateful.

Although we’re knocking on 2021’s door and hoping that conventions will make a ‘physical’ comeback, it more than likely won’t be until the third quarter of 2021. (Cuz’ many otakus under 35 who are among the general population will be the last ones vaccinated.) As MUCH as that sucks (and believe me I know) we’ll just have to wait a little while longer. If there’s one thing that we should never take for granted and pay more attention to, its mental health. COVID has tested us in a way that we’ve never been tested before; even though we’ve gone through other viruses like H1N1 and the Bird Flu. When conventions do come back, I hope to GOD that hygiene is a #1 priority among attendees! Honestly, I don’t even wanna get started on the many smells that my nose has taken in at conventions.

Hopefully you and yours will stay safe this holiday season, and bring on 2021 (cuz we can’t wait for 2020 to be over)!