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! 😉
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…
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
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)!
Well guys, we’ve finally made it to the final month of 2020. I don’t even have to say how much of a struggle the last nine months have been since this pandemic. With vaccines on the way many of us are breathing a sigh of relief, but at the same time we’re still dealing with the absolute worst of COVID. For as long as we live none of us want to hear that word anymore as soon as its over, and I agree with you 1000%.
Although Christmas is 24 days away, most of us just wanna get to the date that really matters at this point; December 31st. At 11:59pm of December 13, 2019 I’m pretty sure millions of us already had our 2020 year planned out as to what we were gonna do, and then BAM! COVID hit us in the face like Mike Tyson. Never in the 31 years that I’ve been on this planet, have I ever seen a virus put the entire world on lockdown. There have been many pandemics to hit us like H1N1 and the Bird Flu, but COVID…man. Throughout the months we’ve all been feeling it, but the ones who are feeling it the most are the healthcare workers, the doctors, and the nurses. For the men and women out there who are on the front lines, we are all keeping each and every one of you in our prayers.
For nerds like myself and A. Goldman, COVID shutdown the convention scene. Although that happened many of our favorite cons (and yours) have found digital alternative ways to keep the morale going while staying safe. Virtual conventions have been the way to go this year thanks to the creative individuals who run these cons. Even once things do get to “normal” I don’t think this will be the last time we see virtual events. (Though in my defense there’s nothing like physically being there in order to get the full con experience!) 2020 has put humanity in a position where we can do one of two things; get our ‘ish’ together and start treating each other as human beings, or remain divided because of our differences – especially politically!
This year has been many things; horrible, stressful, merciful, eye-opening, you name it! I just hope that we’ve learned something about ourselves in this time of difficulty, and start to become better people because of it.
Man, in the past 30 days a lot of stuff has happened and judging by how everyone is feeling right now; we REALLY want this year to end. Back in January after New Year’s Eve it seemed that people already planned out their whole year; as to what they were going to do, where they wanted to go, and what goals that wanted to achieve. Then BAM! Outta the blue COVID-19 happened. We knew it was bad when it ran amok in Wuhan, and now America is looking at 12 million infected, and over 250,000+ dead. Believe me, I hate talking about this as much as anyone; especially with the holidays coming up and now being told that we may not be able to physically sit next to out-of-town family this year.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure half the country is flipping 2020 off as I speak (and they have every right to) but if there’s one thing that we need more than a haircut or a night out at the club, it’s self-care. COVID has put our mental and emotional patience to the test to see how long it would take for us to crack, and while it seems like our social lives have forcibly taken a hiatus, many of us are getting creative. Take Yours Truly for example; before COVID A. Goldman and I were ready to kick off our 2020 anime convention tour at our usual cons, but since they’ve all been canned we decided to focus on our online presence. Eight months later I officially got the DJ system I’ve always wanted, and now we’re in the process of starting our own nerdy podcast!
Right now we got to do our best to turn this lemon that is 2020, into the lemonade that will fuel our passions, aspirations, and goals in 2021 and beyond. This year was crazy (and here’s hoping and praying that 2021 will be a little less crazy), but hopefully we’ve learned something about our selves through this trying experience that we pray we don’t have to go through again – but should it happen, we’ll be better prepared.
If you haven’t in awhile, check on your loved ones by calling them or texting them. Zoom or chat with friends through Discord, or even look for something funny to watch on youtube. If you’re an anime fan, triple down on some new shows coming out or stream them on Netflix. As for me and A. Goldman, we’ll keep bringing you the best nerdy content that we can provide; and that’s a promise we intend to keep! 😉
Hey guys n’ gals! So it’s finally September, and it looks like what was supposed to be an awesome Summer that didn’t happen, is finally winding down. To be honest I feel drained; mentally and emotionally due to the country ‘seemingly’ going to hell in a hand basket. A few days ago we were given the news of the passing of the King of Wakanda himself; Chadwick Boseman (aka Black Panther) from stage four colon cancer. Marvel fans young and old from all around the world gave hundreds if not thousands of tributes to him, as he wasn’t just an actor, he was a true superhero. His work ethic even during his state was second to none, and was super humble for every opportunity and was a really cool guy.
With all of the craziness going on we should look at the type of person Chadwick was and strive to be better in our own lives. He was an inspiration to young African-Americans and other children who are fighting cancer everywhere. Although he played a superhero, he was OUR superhero. This is indeed a sad moment for the Marvel world, but if we can be nearly as half the man that Chadwick was, imagine the kind of world we’d all live in; where there was more love and humility and less hate and violence. 2020 has us seeing clearly now; how bad racism really is, and what we must do as a nation to stop it. We may not have grown up the same way, but we live on the same soil. Let’s be better ya’ll.
Hey guys! Hopefully you all are doing well and staying safe. Honestly this week has been rather crazy to say the least; starting with our beloved blog shutting down unintentionally for a week due to several technical issues regarding our domain name. Now that we’re back in full swing, we can now pick up where we left off on our posts. I’m not sure how you guys feel with where we are in the world, but like I’ve said before in my last post; I really, REALLY want this nightmare to end!
September will be here in three-and-a-half weeks, and now we’re trying to decide if we should send the kids back to school, or keep in-school learning on the ‘digital route’ a little while longer. November will be the deciding factor if we collectively come together as one nation to start a new beginning for America, or face the apocalypse of racial equality. Yeah, I’ve seen the reactions to the #BlackLivesMatter moment on twitter through many anime fans and VA’s who feel the same way that I do about racial equality.
Sadly, some of us are still asleep on the issue, while many of us have ‘cancelled’ the very people and communities that we once have called home because of where we stand. It’s funny how some fans say that they love/admire the work of their favorite VA’s; but the moment they make the choice to fight for what is right (like racial equality and anti-discrimination) by announcing how they feel about it on their socials, they drop em’ like a bad habit! I’ll say this about the anime community; 80% of us are decent human beings who believe that Black and Brown lives count for ALL lives, and that we show love and support for our passion for anime, the voice actors, and love and kindness towards one another. It’s the other 20% that you gotta look out for; many of which are in ‘You Know Who’s’ cult-driven fanbase. I’ve seen the tweets.
It’s depressing to my own heart and soul to see all that has happened since May, but I’m cautiously optimistic that our prayers will be answered. It’s hard to have hope when all you feel is despair, but these are the times where we gotta keep our friends and loved ones close. When things do return to ‘normal’, it won’t be the normal that we’re all used to. Hopefully this ‘new normal’ will allow us to come together like never before. We need to stop fighting, and start loving!
Hey guys. Honestly the last three weeks have been mentally and psychologically exhausting. Before I continue I want to say this; I love America…but not like this. About three weeks ago we all witnessed the death of George Floyd after the white police officer that I’m pretty sure we all know of, kept his knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Right now we’re in a state of emergency – a state of racial emergency. I know many of us are either too afraid or too uncomfortable to talk about race, but I’m here to let you guys know; that although it’s uncomfortable (and it can be), it is needed in this time – especially now! Whenever you see a Black Lives Matter protest, look at it this way; we are not (repeat NOT) say that ONLY Black Lives Matter, we want to be given the same fairness, the same equality, and the same opportunities in life just like our white counterparts. Black lives count for ALL lives, so we can’t say that All Lives Matter until Black Lives (and others of color) Matter!
Right now its more critical that we pay more attention to our surroundings, and ask those questions that would otherwise make most of us feel uncomfortable. I can promise you this; by talking about race and what we can do to end racism, we will become better people who are open-minded and loving to one another. When we started this blog, the number one thing is UNITY! We’ve met anime fans from all walks of life with various different morals and beliefs, and when it comes to the anime community, we’ve seen a whole lot of unity! Granted we’ve also seen a few snags as well, but that’s why we must fight for equality! I know a lot of you guys have friends who are people of color and you may feel a little confused about what you can do to help the cause, so I’d say this; have these conversations with your Afro-American friends, support Black-owned businesses including manga artists, vendors, and cosplayers. Read books and articles!
November is coming, and we know what we have to do. The “Other Side” is fighting back hard, but there’s more of us than there are of them! It’s time for a NEW United States of America; where we put the “United” in United States! This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint, but I know that we’re ready for it!
That’s all for now, so until next post…stay united! 🙂
It has been two whole months since our state (Maryland) was issued a ‘Shelter-in-Place’ order due to COVID-19. With large gatherings like festivals, sporting events, and yes…even anime and gaming conventions cancelled all around the U.S. and the world, nerds (and otaku) like ourselves have been wondering what the future of our three-day sanctuaries would look like in a post COVID world. It bummed us out after receiving word that our next convention, Zenkaikon, was cancelled after the state of PA issued its state of emergency. However, it was also nice to see that they take the safety of their con goers, staff, and potential guests seriously. With Summer knocking on the door, it’s already set in stone that con season is pretty much dead, and I can only imagine how bad the organizers and staff are feeling; having to scrap everything because you don’t want to take the chance of infecting more people, because at this rate, it seems like con season won’t have the same effect that it once did even after this year is over.
We’re not saying that you won’t have the same experiences you did back in year’s past, it just that with the mega conventions like Anime Expo, SDCC, SXSW, and E3, they probably won’t be returning next year either – at least not at the capacity they once had. There’s at least 6-8 months worth of planning that has to go into making cons that size what they are, and with COVID hanging around until Fall/Winter, that doesn’t give the organizers a lot of turn-around time to work with…which sucks! So yeah, we feel your pain, and though we can’t go to any of our favorite conventions to see you guys, many organizers have created digital alternatives to many of your favorite cons. Heck, even FUNimation has their own con!
With many of us who are FOLLOWING THE RULES AND STAYING HOME UNLIKE SOME PEOPLE WE WON’T NAME, digital conventions are the new norm – at least for now anyway. I’d say between 2021 and 2022, we’ll find ourselves back to doing what we do best; going to cons and meeting our cool friends and fans! (We’ll be hugging our super fans, and pounding fists with everyone else.) Hopefully you guys stay safe during this time, and remember, we’ve got discord and all of our other social media, so you can chat with us anytime! 😉
As promised, we now have our official D&A Superstar Blogger Award logo! For the blogs that we’ve nominated for this special award of ours, be sure to copy and paste this logo on your nomination post at the bottom of this one. Hopefully you guys are doing okay, washing your hands, and practicing social distancing amid the COVID-19 Pandemic. Until next post, stay well and stay nerdy my friends! 😉