D&A Anime Blog: What Will Cons Be Like in 2021 and Beyond?

We don’t even need to tell you how brutal 2020 has been for most of the country. In fact we’ve seen it pan out since March; from the pandemic to the protests and everything ugly and unpleasant in between. While the threat of COVID is still ramped throughout the world, many of us are trying to hold it together through any outlet of escapism that we can find. For fans of anime and manga our consumption of the medium has tripled since March (we’ve got the numbers to prove it), however that month was also the last time any fans have been to an anime convention.

As soon as COVID hit the con scene was shut down. At least 80% of the community that goes to cons (like ourselves) was devastated by the news; but at the same time, we knew how much the staff and founders of the con wanted their attendees to be safe. (The same cannot be said for a small few who decided to do the opposite.) For most conventions they don’t have ‘Pandemic Insurance’ but others decided to get a little create by going live online. Right now there’s a handful of special convention events happening online to take the edge of reality for a day or two. (We’ll keep you posted.)

So now the question is; what will conventions be like when they DO return once COVID-19 is over (via vaccination)? Well, we don’t think the ones you know and love will disappear completely, but what might happen is that many of the mega conventions like Anime Expo may cut their normal annual attendance by 50% (they average 100,000+ people a year). Sadly as a result of the pandemic the cost of badges will probably increase by 30%, but smaller convention badge prices might still retain their usual cost. If some of the bigger-name cons are unable to bring back their con in 2021, more than likely they’ll roll over to 2022. Masks will probably still be required until enough people get vaccinated; which will take 4-6 months due to the fact that it may be administered through phases (most vulnerable to least vulnerable).

We don’t see conventions going anywhere for awhile; even if Japan stops producing anime all together (we’ve got 30+ years of anime titles already, but we hope that they’ll still continue to produce). As for what they’ll be like beyond 2021, we’re seeing a glimpse of what that reality is like already thanks to the pandemic. There’s nothing like seeing cosplayers, VA’s, and fellow fans in person, and as soon as we get that vaccine, we look forward to seeing our fans and you guys again!   

D&A Anime Blog: No Halloween? No Problem!

It’s no secret that 2020 has been by far the absolute WORST! However many of us are doing whatever we can to stay positive as well as sane in an insane world. We’re pretty sure that most of us were looking forward to Halloween this year, but COVID had other plans. While many have decided to look for other ways to enjoy October 31st (which happens to be on a weekend mind you), we’ll be putting some haunting content of our own! So here’s what we’ll be doing on Halloween Week leading up to Halloween…

He’s ready…are you?

D&A’s Top 5 Anime You Should Watch For Halloween!

Since most of us will be stuck in the house this Halloween, you might as well kick back and watch some haunting anime titles. Next week we pick the Top 5 anime titles that you should check out this stay-at-home Halloween season.

He is…he really is…

Luigi’s Mansion 3’s One-Year Anniversary!

Yeah, it’s been one freakin’ year since the third installment of Luigi’s Mansion came out! We look back at everything from the speculations to the game’s trailers, and even check out a few video game raps on Youtube.

The “Scary Movie” of anime! XP

A Cult Classic: Why Ghost Stories is the “Scary Movie” of Anime!

Ghost Stories is one of the greatest dubs to ever be dubbed in the history of anime dubs! (Try saying that three times fast! XP) We run down our favorite moments from the series (as well as favorite lines from the show), and let us just say this; once you watch the show, you’ll be howling the whole way through! 😉

That’s what’s happening for Halloween Week, so until then, stay safe and stay sane guys! 🙂

From Whoohoo Hooniversity to the Beanstar Hunt: A Superstar Saga Review (pt. 4)!

What’s good, guys n’ gals? We know it seems like we’ve been away for a bit, but rest assured that we’re doing okay and just fine. It hasn’t been easy for us to put up content in a timely manner, but we’re so grateful and happy that you’ve stuck around and supported us in spite of this little obstacle. With that out of the way, here’s Part 4 of our Superstar Saga review!

The Saga Continues!

Part 4 – From Whoohoo Hooniversity to the Beanstar Hunt

If you’re still on the Beanbean Castle grounds, now is the time to stock up on items because thanks to the efforts of Prince Peasley (and a few other sources), the bros. now know of Cackletta’s whereabouts. Head back out through the eastern entrance of the castle grounds (via the castle village) then go south. If you run into a few enemies make sure the bros. are strong enough to take them on, cuz’ if you head east of that point you’ll run into some Level 25 baddies that will wreck the bros. in battle. (We made that mistake and it cost us dearly.)

Eventually you’ll run into a sign that says “Whoohoo Hooniversity” (which is where Cackletta is), so follow the arrow that points to the path to the university, and make sure that you hit the save block on the right side of the building before entering. Since most of us have either been or have gone to college, you’d expect to see the place filled with college students and future scientists. Well at Whoohoo Hooniversity, none of that is happening! As soon as Mario and Luigi walk in, a sudden earthquake shakes the building and all of the students there scatter about and run out.

You’ll find one student who’s on the floor saying that Cackletta came in and turned all of the students into monsters, and seconds later, he becomes one. Sadly you’ll have to beat him down before continuing, so strike the monster with the bros. jump and hammer skills and you should be fine.

This level is probably the most puzzle-oriented so you’ll really have to put on your thinking cap here. I would go through every single detail of how to get through all of the puzzles, but since it’s too much to remember, you can refer to a Youtube playthrough of this part of the game. I will tell you that a certain trio of viruses makes an appearance in this game, and why the Dr. Mario theme didn’t play when battling all three of them, I’ll never know! (It plays a small tune if you match two or three of the viruses together though, so I’m not too upset.)

Once you finally make through all of the puzzles and manage to level up the bros. to at least 23 or higher (having close to or over 100 HP or so), you’ll find the big Sun Door with another save block next to it. Make sure the bros. are at full HP and BP before hitting that block, and be sure to have all of the items that you’ll need. Inside the center of the university are Cackletta and Fawful as they have found the Beanstar, but next to it is three robot-looking Peach bots appearing to sing to the Beanstar in order to grant Cackletta her wish.

Sadly they didn’t take into account that their plan had one slight hiccup; the singing that the Peach bots were doing was terrible! So terrible that it caused the Beanstar to go haywire and create a gaping hole that the robots fell through along with it. Cackletta and Fawful are confused as to what happened, but then the Mario bros. come in and really make a scene. With Cackletta backed into a corner, the bros. are prepared to take her out and save not just the Beanbean kingdom, but the Beanstar as well.

Unload all of the bros. strongest attacks against the witch and don’t take too much damage. After defeating her Cackletta looks like a broken mess, but Fawful pops up from underground and absorbs her into his helmet gadget. Just as he prepares to launch a final attack against the bros. Prince Peasley comes in and launches both Fawful and Cackletta out of the building. He then tells the bros. to head down to the cellar area and get the Beanstar, however once they arrive at the location where the Beanstar landed, the bros. run into Popple and brainwashed Bowser again. Yep, this is one of those ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’ moments.

Give Popple and Bowser the beatdown you gave them back at Chucklehuck and avoid big damage as possible. After the battle one of the Peach bots lands next to the defeated duo and starts its horrible singing again; causing the Beanstar to get riled up once more. The bros. along with Popple and Bowser take a ride on the Beanstar right out of the university as their grip starts to slip; leaving Bowser to finally remember who he is at the last second before falling off as well. The Beanstar breaks into four pieces which scatter about all over the Beanbean Kingdom. This is only half the story, as here’s where the real fun begins!

That will do it for Part 4 of our Superstar Saga review. Parts 5 and 6 will go through the hunt for the Beanstar pieces leading up to Jokes End, and Part 7 will kick off the road to Bowser’s Castle. As always guys continue to stay safe and love one another! 🙂

It’s Been Quiet, But We’re Still Here…

Lately it seems like life just wants to grab hold of you and never let go; like that aunt who gives you semi-wet kisses that you hated when you were a kid. We’ll guys, we know you’ve been asking if there’s any new updates coming to the blog, and if you know us by now the answer is yes! Even though we’re in the process of crafting together what type of content we want to provide you through D&A Studios, we haven’t forgotten about the content posts for the blog. We did stumble upon some old footage of our first Otakon back in 2011; waaaay before we formed D&A Anime Blog, so we might be presenting that real soon on our Youtube page.

Aside for that we were floored by how much it was going to cost for us to get the podcast equipment that we’ll need, so we’ll be working on putting together a special “gofundme” page exclusively for our D&A Studios Podcast. We’ll also be updating our Cons Near U information, as many of the conventions listed have since been outdated. We’ll do our best to keep up with any virtual conventions that pop up for the remainder of the year, and post the links so that you’ll be able to get to them.

Tomorrow we’ll be continuing our Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga DX review with Part 4, as well as other content. Our final promo for D&A Studios will be posted on our Youtube page as well as Instagram in a couple of weeks, and we want to give a BIG shout-out to Kyle Hebert for providing his voice for our promo! As always we can’t thank our fans and fellow anibloggers enough for the support, even though it’s been kinda tough to deliver content on time due to our hectic schedules. (We’re not the only ones.)

As our title says; ‘it’s been quiet, but we’re still here!’

And we will continue to be here for you guys! 🙂

D&A Anime Blog: Fanfiction Returns in 2021!

So awhile back we were going back and forth about if we should bring fanfiction to the blog or not. Although he’s since retired from fanfiction all together, our very own D.J. Lewis who went by several fanfic names; such as djlsnegima and DJ Returns known for writing Brief & Soulfire and Sonic plus Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, is coming out of retirement with a brand new crossover fanfiction entitled Sonic Battle PSG. It is a crossover fanfiction between the Sonic the Hedgehog spin-off fighting game Sonic Battle, and of course Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. More details about the story as well as the number of chapters will come in a later post. As always anime fam, continue to stay safe in this crazy time, and look out for one another. 😉

D&A Studios Update!

Hey guys! We know it’s been nearly two weeks since our last post, but we’re here to fill you in on what we’ve been doing since then. If you haven’t see it yet we’ve released a teaser trailer for D&A Studios on our Twitter. On our Instagram page we elaborate more on what D&A Studios is and what it isn’t; and it is NOT a voice acting agency. We know it sounds like it should be, but in actuality D&A Studios is an extension of D&A Anime Blog; where fans can expect brand new original media content, podcasts, and so much more.

As of right now we’re in the beginning stages of setting up our podcast, however we need a little help of coming up with a catchy name for it regarding what we’re going to talk about. (Anime, video games, otaku culture, cosplay fashion, etc.) If you guys have any suggestions on what we should call our podcast, feel free to drop them in the comment section or submit them through our Contact Us page. More updates on our latest transition coming soon, as well as more posts on the blog.

Until then, stay safe and love one another! 🙂

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: Anime Quality and Diversity

A part of me wanted to write this post awhile back but at the time I didn’t quite know exactly how to word it. Now in 2020; the Year of Corona, there’s a LOT to talk about in terms of anime quality, and diversity. Growing up I didn’t really have a lot of friends who watched or even liked anime as much as I did. In fact it was the opposite; I never had any friends who watched or even liked anime as much as I did. When I saw DBZ for the first time (Ocean dub before FUNimation), I thought it was the coolest thing I ever saw. Yeah at the time the quality was a little grainy, but this was the 90’s; and anime was hand-drawn.

Now we’re blessed with the technology that makes it easier for anime storyboard artists to draw, and animate many of our favorite scenes from our favorite titles. Since most of the anime that we watch is based off its manga counterpart, we’ve noticed many differences between them; and this is where the ‘quality’ part comes into play. When an anime creator comes up with a series that he/she wants to animate, they need an animation studio to do it. They can’t just walk in and say they need the studio to do ‘X’ and ‘Y’ for them; they have to book time, see how much money it’ll cost to make the series and put a budget together, and they have to put a timestamp on how long it’ll take for said project.

Deadlines are a pain in the butt, and should a studio not meet them within a timely manner, the results can and will be unfavorable. (Mostly to the fans.) Don’t get me wrong; there are some great quality anime out there for many of us to enjoy, but there are a few that kinda missed the mark a bit in terms of quality. When I say anime quality, I don’t mean just animation alone; there’s the story, the character writing, the character development, the challenges that the character(s) face, and so on. A large number of fans are so critical on these key points (and rightfully so), and if creators and animation studios don’t take those key points into consideration before the process begins, WE’LL know about it!

One thing I’ve noticed since watching an absolute gem called Afro Samurai, is diversity in anime. In fact there’s diversity among anime voice actors, ADR directors and writers. Anime fans from all over come from all walks of life; not matter your race, creed, ethnicity, or beliefs. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m happy that there are more People of Color getting voice acting roles and ADR positions in anime. I guess somewhere in the midst of it all, some people are hating on the fact that there are more African-Americans getting roles in anime; due to the fact that they were ‘handed’ to them in light of the Black Lives Matter protests all across the country. Not sure why they would hate on this, but trolls will be trolls.

I think we’re in a place now where anime stories won’t be told from just one prospective. With animation studios like D’ART Shtajio, we get to hear and see anime stories from a much more diverse prospective. To me, that’s something to be proud of. With more and more People of Color become anime fans each year, I’m excited to see what new and exciting stories will be told, and what new shows we might expect to see in the near future.

Cold As Ice: D&A’s Top 5 Female Anime Characters with Ice Powers!

Every anime fan has their favorite character archetype; little sisters, edgelords, protagonist badasses, you name it! When it comes to action, shonen, or fantasy anime, many of these types also have special powers that they might have inherited through birth – or artificially. These anime women in particular give a whole new meaning to the term “cold shoulder”, as they have been given the power to control and use ice; magically, and realistically. Guys n’ gals, this is our Top 5 Female Anime Characters with Ice Powers!  

Number 5! Yukina (Yu Yu Hakasho)

Number 5: Yukina – Yu Yu Hakasho

90’s anime fans know this show, as well as many of the characters on it! Coming in at number five on the list is Yukina. she is a member of an all-female demon race known as Ice Apparitions, and is the sister of Hiei. Unlike the other members of her family, Yukina is very sweet and nurturing. Although she can manipulate ice and use it to protect herself, she’ll never use it to harm someone else unless her life is in danger. 

Number 4: Yukihime

Number 4: Yukihime (a.k.a. Evangeline A.K. McDowell) – Negima!

No matter what version you watch (be it the first or second season), many fans know who our number four pick is! Evangeline is not only a centeries-old vampire (about 700 to be exact), but she’s actually a witch who can use high levels of ice magic as well as dark magic. In season one of Negima! Eva was trapped via ‘Infernus Scholasticus’ thanks to Negi’s father; of course after UQ-Holder came about she changed her name to Yukihime and formed her own group of immortals.

Number 3: Shizuku Kurogane

Number 3: Shizuku Kurogane – Chivalry of a Failed Knight

The little sister of Ikki Kurogane, Shizuku is a skilled Blazer who specializes in water and ice-based attacks. After seeing how badly treated her brother Ikki was by his father and the rest of the family, Shizuku took it upon herself to love him more than anything (in a weirdly inappropriate anime little sister kinda way). Although she lost her battle against Tohka during the tournament, Shizuku is a master at her craft and will continue to protect and love her brother.

Number 2: Mizore Shirayuki

Number 2: Mizore Shirayuki – Rosario + Vampire

Stalking us at number two is Mizore Shirayuki! She’s a Yuki-Onna or a Snow Monster who can use her ice powers to create crystallized clones of herself, as well as freeze anyone who dare harms Tsukune. She’s a part of the Newspaper Club at Yokai Academy along with Tsukune, Moka, Kurumu, and Yukari, and during the anime you’ll either find Mizore doing one of two things; interfering in Moka and Tsukune’s moments, or stalking him every chance she gets.

Number 1: Esdeath

Number 1: Esdeath – Akame Ga Kill!

Yeah, we did it! We HAD to pick her for the number one spot. Esdeath is as cold as they come; from her ideological perspective about the strong overpowering the weak (or something like that) to her gaining ice powers by drinking the blood of a demon, Esdeath is SCARY – but she actually wants love. The only thing that could melt her cold heart was the love of a man, but not just any man; Tatsumi.

Whew! That’ll do it for now, so until next post guys n’ gals, continue to stay safe and love one another! 😉

From Chucklehuck Woods Back To Beanbean Castle: A Superstar Saga Review (Pt. 3)!

Hey guys, what’s good! We’ve returned with part 3 of our 7-part gaming review of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga DX for the Nintendo 3DS. If you’ve played the original 2003 game for the Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Advance SP, then you already know what to expect; aside from the enhanced graphics in the form of Dream Team and Paper Jam. With all of that out of the way, let’s get started!

Nothin’ like brotherly love!

If you’ve taken care of everything that you need to in order to proceed to Chucklehuck Woods, then you’ll be just fine. If you don’t feel as confident in the Mario Bros. battle skills as you should at this point, then by all means fight some more baddies! Once you’ve done that head out from the Beanbean Castle until you see a sign that says “Chucklehuck Woods (head west)”. Head west until you see two guys at a gate; show them the rose you’ve gotten from Prince Peasley, and they will let you in automatically. Follow the path to the Chucklehuck Woods museum/building where the famous Chuckola Cola is made. Now you’ll encounter a maze full of barrels that might be familiar from the Sunken Ship level in Super Mario RPG (which was the game to kick off the Mario RPG genre to begin with).

After navigating your way through the maze Mario and Luigi…wait a sec, that’s NOT Luigi! Whoever he is, this Hamburglar-knockoff figure will zip past you into the next area, as the REAL Luigi appears. The bros. head into the next room and find the figure from before; only this time his name is Popple the Shadow Thief. Despite his 1930’s gangster mannerisms, he’s actually a bit of a pain in battle – which is what happens next after he tells the bros. that he’s looking for the Chucklehuck Reserve.

Popple calls out his ‘rookie’ who turns out to be…Bowser?! Well guys; after he was shot out of the giant cannon from Stardust Fields the koopa king lost his memory, so now you’ll have to fight him AND Popple. Hopefully the bros. are at least Level 12 or higher and have around 55+ HP and 20+ Bros. points. In battle Popple rams into you and takes items and sometimes your weapons; whereas Bowser just chucks hammers at you, and eventually fireballs. If you manage to beat them both, they’ll dash off in search of the Chucklehuck Reserve.

The woods are just outside the door, but before you go you’re gonna need to visit the two Beethoven-looking guys in red and green; cuz’ there’s a couple new skills you’re gonna need before heading out into the woods. After you learn them you’ll have to put your new skills to the test and get the red and green goblets in the next room. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to head off into the woods!

Battle your way enemy through enemy and rack up that EXP. Once you’ve done that you’ll come across a giant tree that wants you to look for three kinds of Chuckola Fruit; Red, White, and Purple. What, you thought I was gonna say blue? Har-har! XP

After you’ve gotten all three types for fruit, Popple and Rookie/Bowser dash past you in order to get the Chucklehuck Reserve. Hightail after them and enter into the cave up ahead where the reserve is located, but you’d better hit that save block first; cuz the bros. are in for another battle. If Mario and Luigi’s HP and Bros. points are at least 70 and 40 (or higher), then the next boss battle will be moderately easy. Head into the cave to meet Bubbles (NOT King Kai or Michael Jackson’s pet monkey, and not even the Powerpuff Girl from the early 2000’s) and he’ll explain why the Chuckola Cola is so special.

Both Popple and Rookie got their butts handed to them by the guy dressed as a potato, but you won’t have time to laugh or mock them; you’ve gotta deal with the Chuckola Reserve “Chuckolanator”. That shield is gonna be a problem, so crack that sucker first and hit him with your new Bros. Attack; the Knockback Bros. This fight may be kinda lengthy, but if you survive you’ll get a helluva EXP boost. After the fight Bubbles gets mad and the bros. fall into the depths of the cave below. Mario falls into the barrel filled with the Chuckola Reserve in it, and drinks it all. With Luigi on his own you’ll have to fight a couple baddies before meeting up with Mario; which you’ll find him floating in the river.

Luigi will then logroll his bro towards Beanbean Castle, and they’ll both plop in front of the gate. After a semi-comedic cutscene from the two guards Mario and Luigi are now in front of the Queen Bean. Luigi jumps on Mario’s stomach and back-washes the cola into the mouth of the Queen Bean; to which in turn she burps a belch worm that turned her into She-Hulk. The Queen Bean returns to her former self as the bros. are now excited to have her back.

That will end part 3 of our continuing review on this re-imagined classic, and as always guys and girls; continue to stay safe and look out for one another. 🙂

Here’s Watz Happenin’ Next Week!

What’s good anime fam! We’ve finally made it through yet another week in 2020, and knowing you guys we can’t wait for this year to be over. With the temps cooling down and Fall comin’ full speed ahead, we’re keeping our eyes out for the latest developments happening in the realm of anime and manga. Speaking of which; here’s Watz Happenin’ next week!

Superstar Bros.

Next Week: The Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga DX Review Continues!

I know we kinda paused this series a few weeks ago, but we’ll be picking back up on it next week starting with part 3! This game is actually the remake of the 2003 original title from the Game Boy Advance; now on the Nintendo 3DS. If you’re a Super Mario fan, then you’re gonna love this!

Inuyasha’s Back…kind of…

Next Week: The Anticipated Return of “Manga of the Week”!

We’ve had so much fun doing this segment when we first brought it to the blog a couple years ago. Now we’re bringing it back; only this time we’ll be reviewing some awesome manga titles from our friends at Viz Media! If there are any titles that you think we should review or check out, let us know in the comments below!

We’re pretty sure ‘she’ is on your waifu list…

Next Week: D&A’s Top 5 Female Anime Characters With Ice Powers!

They may give you the cold shoulder, but these anime ladies are hot when it comes to using their skills! Next week we give you our Top 5 ladies who would melt Jack Frost’s heart, as well as put their haters – on ice!

Until next week ya’ll, stay safe and stay united! 😉