D&A Studios Entertainment Recap (5.23.22)

What’s good anime fam! Its just another crazy Monday, but if you happened to have gone to a con this past weekend, then today is your day off (we hope)! For us it means another recap of last week’s past videos from our D&A Studios Entertainment Youtube channel. By the way, if you haven’t heard the good news, we now have a page where fans can donate to help us expand our services in order to give back to  those who have supported us since day one. If you’d like to donate, visit our D&A Donations page and give what you can. Every little bit helps. 🙂

That will do it for this recap post, so until next we post, stay nerdy my friends! 😉

Our Top 10 Silver-haired waifus
Snacks, anyone?

GOOD NEWS EVERYONE!! D&A Now Accepts Donations!

You heard it from Farnsworth himself! Now our fans can support us directly through our brand new donations page entitled “D&A Donations“! We’ve started this nerdy adventure back in 2016, and now its grown into a full-grown brand with a mustache. With our new page fans can choose donation options that fit their budget; as they help cover operation costs to the website, allow us to produce better content, and more! We thank our fans for all of the support, and for making D&A what it is today. Until next post, stay nerdy! 😉

It’s a part of you…
Step into a new dimension…

D&A Studios Entertainment Recap (5.16.22)

It’s Monday again, so we guess we don’t have to tell you what that means; work, bills, and people that you hate most of the time (unless you have a cool job where you work with cool people). For us it means another recap from our D&A Studios Entertainment Youtube channel! We’ve been busy this past week dropping new content and a podcast episode for all of the Pokemon fandom out there, so if you’re a fan of our videos be sure to hit that like and subscribe button so you don’t miss any of our videos. That will do it for this post, but as always stay safe and stay nerdy! 😉

Gotta Catch Em’ All!
Aftermath of the podcast episode
A lost unboxing video we did 6 months ago

Pixels: The Video Game Movie Nobody Talks About!

When it comes to live-action movies about cartoons, anime, and video games; there are ‘certain’ rules by the fandom of those mediums that production companies, writers, and producers have to follow. We ALL know about the infamous ‘Human Sonic’ that Paramount was going to give the fanbase in 2019, but the fanbase wasn’t having it – like at all! Fast-forward to Present Day; we now have two installments of Movie Sonic (that are box office hits by the way) with a third on the way, and a spinoff origin story about a certain red echidna. With this year being the best time to be a Sonic fan, it seems like the movie franchise is setting the bar high for what live-action video game movies are supposed to be about. Although they don’t adapt the video games directly; the producers (God bless Jeff Fowler) and writers know what they’re doing.

On that same note, there are some live-action video game movies that seemed to have a good idea (as well as a decent budget), but the execution was a bit flawed. Its not that the movie did terrible or anything (though mostly that’s the case with a majority of them), but Hollywood seems to deviate from the source material of the video game that they’re trying to adapt; most of the time its usually the writers or directors who didn’t do any kind of research of the source material, or they’re just collecting a check. Its kinda weird that this movie didn’t live up to the expectations of many movie critics, even though they adapted the arcade video game sprites really well; and stayed faithful to their in-game appearance. The movie that we’re talking about…is Pixels.

Who’s that good lookin’ guy?

Ok, its an Adam Sandler flick, and depending if you like him or hate him, the guy’s pretty funny to a certain degree. So Pixels is a movie about a 13-year-old kid named Sam Brenner (Sandler) who went to a gaming arcade in 1982 and can study patterns in video games. During a championship match against Eddie “The Fireblaster” Plant on Donkey Kong, Sam seemingly loses and for some reason videocassette footage of the event is placed into a time capsule and headed into space. One time skip later Sam is a home-theater installer while his friend, Will Cooper, is the most hated President of the United States since (*insert worst president here*). Somewhere along the line that videocassette tape made it to a group of aliens; who mistook it as a declaration of war, and are now on the attack in the form of the video games from that footage. Now Sam, Will, and his old rival Eddie have to join forces and convince the U.S. Army to help them fight against the aliens in three different rounds (or battles) the form of 1980’s arcade games like Galaga, Arkanoid, Centipede, Space Invaders, Pac-Man (yes even Pac-Man), Duck-Hunt, and more. Although its got a B-movie plot, the renders of the 8-bit arcade video game characters are faithful to how they appeared in their games.

A LOT of money was spent making the movie (between $80-130 million), and it even had a cameo appearance from Toru Iwatani himself; the creator of Pac-Man. Despite the movie getting anywhere between a D+ and a C- based on movie critics, they nailed it with the source material of the arcade games that they were trying to adapt. Many of these games we remember playing when we were young, and if you ask any 80’s kid, they’ll tell you that they were probably just as good at these arcade games, as the characters in this movie. It brought in $245 million at the box office, so despite the cheesy storyline, it did turn some kind of profit – by $100 million at least.

Pixels was one of those movies that had an idea and stayed true to its original source material, but the reception fell kinda flat towards the general audience due to its lackluster story. (Or maybe some of theme just aren’t fans of retro video games.) For some people who saw it; it might’ve been the best movie they ever saw, ‘graphics-wise’, because they stayed committed to the original source material. Regardless of its rating we think Pixels might be one of those forgotten gems of the 2010’s that most (if not all) people never talk about, however with the Sonic movies breaking box office records; setting the tone for the Sonic Cinematic Universe, its going to be one of those movies that people will vaguely remember.

Until next post, stay nerdy my friends! 😉

D&A Studios Entertainment Recap (5.9.22)

Hiyo! Its us again with another recap post from our Youtube channel, and this time we’re recapping the last two podcast episodes and the unboxing video that we did. We’re also in the process of working on a new schedule of when we upload our content; as Wednesdays are our primary upload days for Nerdz of the Decade podcast episodes, and both Fridays and Saturdays are our shoot days. (Nerdz episode 27 drops next Wednesday.) There’s also more to come via updates so we’ll keep you guys posted on any and everything we’re planning to do, and as always, stay safe and stay nerdy! 😉

New unboxing video of a ‘Top tier’ waifu

Gotta Catch Em’ All: The (Brief) History Of Pokemon!

If you were a kid growing up in the 90’s then you might’ve been involved in the various trends of that decade; Hot Wheels, Power Rangers, Video Games, and Anime. Speaking of which; this was the decade where a lot of the franchises we’ve come to know and love when we were kids (now as ‘adults’), had their origin stories and started making their mark on the world. Mario and Sonic are prime examples of this, but we’re talking about a franchise that is still making history to this very day. 26 years have passed since this franchise started, and the fandom behind it has risen to a global level. The lore behind it is so vast that there is not enough time in the day for us to cover all of it, so we’re going to give you the brief history…of Pokemon! Que season one’s opening!

Do NOT make us sing the song! XP

To get an idea of just how influential this franchise is, we have to go back to when it all started…

February 26, 1996

In Japan the franchise began as Pocket Monsters: Red and Green for the GameBoy, of course when it was exported to America the name was changed to Pokemon: Red and Blue. The name Pokemon is actually an abbreviation of Pocket Monsters; where if you take out the letter ‘c’ and ‘t’ you get Poke’, and if you get rid of the ‘sters’ you’re left with ‘Mon’, so THAT is how we got the name “Pokemon”. The franchise was created by Satoshi Tajiri, as it focused on creatures called Pokemon, and the vast world that they live in while co-existing with the humans of that world who are called Trainers. (Not Tamers, we’ll get to that.)

The concept of how the Pokemon universe came to be actually dates back to around 1989 (the same year most of the fandom was born); where Satoshi made a hobby out of collecting insects which was a rather popular pastime of his. This became a major part of the overall gameplay experience of Pokemon; where trainers would catch wild pokemon in their region and train them up to boost their strength and abilities, so they can challenge other trainer’s pokemon and defeat them to win the championship of their region.

By 1998 Nintendo promoted Pokemon to Western audiences, but we’re a bit hesitant because they were not sure if it would be well received. However Alfred Kahn convinced them that the series was going to do well, and the person who knew that the most was his colleague; Thomas Kenney. By this time the franchise already had two video games (for the GameBoy), a Trading Card Game, and an anime series. Once the 2000’s rolled around; the franchise was a mixture of anime television series, anime movies, video game series, a trading card game, manga, and mobile games. (Which are STILL being consumed to this very day!)

Pocket Monsters TCG in Japan

Pokemon: The Anime Series

Dubbed by 4Kids Entertainment; the Pokemon anime series tells the story of Ash Ketchum, and his journey to become a Pokemon master. We’ve seen the series ourselves growing up but we’ve only watched all the way up to Diamond and Pearl. (The series has the same amount of episodes as One Piece.) Throughout the 2000’s and 2010’s the Pokemon anime series also received 23 movies, two 8-part series entitled Pokemon: Twilight Wings and Pokemon Evolutions for Youtube (the latter being in part to the 25th anniversary of the franchise), and a live action movie where Deadpool is the voice of the face of Pokemon franchise himself; Pikachu. Yeah, that yellow electrical mouse is about as iconic as the speedy blue one with two box-office smash installments (with a third on the way).

Do we even have to talk about how many Pokemon there are? If you’re wondering how many species of pokemon there are, we can tell you the answer is no longer 151. There are a grand spankin’ total of 908 different species of pokemon; each with various looks, designs, and abilities. Guess its safe to say when the Pokemon GO craze happened, EVERYBODY wanted to capture all 908 species all at the same time. (Trust us, we’ve heard the stories of Pokemon GO players – some of which range from hilarious to saddening.) The Pokemon Company International which oversees all of the Pokemon IP’s divides them into generations, and as we speak there are a total of nine generations; which are chronological divisions by release. With so many species of pokemon, of course they’re going to make appearances in the anime and video games based on what generation they’re from; and when its released. (The latest generation being Scarlet and Violet.)

Pokemon’s Pop-Cultural Influence

Just like the Big Three, Pokemon’s influence on Western audiences expanded to other forms of Western pop-culture. From being a part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade to making cameos in shows like The Simpsons, South Park, and Robot Chicken; Pokemon’s influence has even made in mark in the realm of Science. You know you’ve made it when animals are being named after Weedle and Charizard. Although Pokemon made its mark in Western media, it didn’t come without competition in the form of a rivalry; the Pokemon v. Digimon rivalry! Just like the early years of Marvel v. DC, Pokemon and Digimon fans didn’t like each other very much. To this day there have been on-going debates about which franchise came first; even though Pokemon’s first piece of media (being the GameBoy games) came out in February of 1996, while Digimon’s first piece of media released in June of 1997. (16 months between them.) Despite the fact that Pokemon’s popularity overshadowed Digimon’s influence on Western culture, the Digimon franchise has a dedicated fanbase.

In the last 26 years the Pokemon community has grown in range from 8-year-olds; to people in their 20’s, 30’s, and yes even their 40’s. With new games, new cards, new anime series, and possibly a sequel to a live action movie; Pokemon’s influence on Western mainstream media and pop-culture will only expand and grow from here on out. Its one of the easiest and most identifiable franchises to get into and be a part of; even members of the general audience who have never played any of the games are familiar with the franchise (because they know, or have people in their circle who play the games and watch the series). Pokemon is just one of those franchises that you can’t ignore; like Mario, Sonic, DBZ and Naruto, because even those franchises are recognizable by the general public, and not just by members of their fandom. They’re so popular, that they’re even in Super Smash Bros. and that says a lot when your brand is represented in another game.

For many 90’s kids growing up Pokemon brought them into a world that was different from their own. Many of the humans of that world had goals to become the best of the best in training pokemon, building friendships, and overcoming challenges and obstacles. They were able to find friends who shared their love for the franchise as much as they did, thus forming communities around the franchise which in turn created the fandom around it overall. Sure, Pokemon didn’t come without its own controversies and criticisms (some of which are dumber than others), but overall, this franchise has brought together fans and communities from all over the world. Who knows what’s next for this franchise when it turns 30 years old in 2026; a Six-Flags style theme park? A Pokemon themed hotel chain? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Until next post, stay nerdy and go catch em’ all! 😉

 

Isekai Quartet: The Super Smash Bros. of Anime!

What if. Those two little words have created scenarios and situations beyond anything our minds can fathom. Stories we never thought were possible, are possible. Dream alliances that we only thought of in the subconsciousness of our minds, are now reality. Crossovers we’ve always wanted or never knew we wanted, are happening! When I think of this particular show; it kinda reminds me of the first time I was introduced to Super Smash Bros. thanks to the 1999 commercial. (If you saw it as a kid, then you know what I’m talkin’ about.)

There have been crossovers in just about every nerdy fandom you can think of, but what about the anime fandom? Other than that one movie where Lupin the 3rd and Case Closed crossed over, there hasn’t really been an ACTUAL anime crossover series – until now! Even though it is the most saturated genre in all of anime history, Isekai has a place in all of our geeky little hearts. Sure, some of the characters may be as useless as Aqua; as Tsundere as Tanya, as sweet as Rem, or as crazy as Albedo, but NO one thought that we would see the day where all four of these women (and potential waifus) were in the same show. This is the Smash Bros. equivalent of isekai anime titles; Isekai Quartet.

All of your favorite Isekai in one place!

Just like the tagline for Smash Bros. Ultimate, everyone…is here. Isekai Quartet takes the main characters from some of the most popular isekai titles out there, and throws them into a ‘School Life’ scenario. Who would’ve thought we’d see the day where Subaru and Kazuma are friends – only to find out they’re basically the same guy based on how they got “isekai’ed”. The series took them out of their element of the show(s) that they were in, which caused them to try and adapt to the new environment around them.

The plot and premise of the story is quite simple; the main cast of Saga of Tanya, Konosuba, Overlord, and Re:Zero, find a red button in their worlds and end up pressing it. thus portals open up and they land in school, and are now in a ‘school life’ scenario. That’s it. There’s nothing more to it than that. Keep in mind when you watch this series, all of the characters are NOT going to be in the forms they were on their shows. Instead, they are chibi versions of themselves; because to make them in their original form would cost the studio way too much money. (Tanya in her chibi form looks soooo cute!)

With two seasons and a movie on the way, I think Isekai Quartet is the crossover anime series that fan fiction writers have always dreamed about; now realized into existence. They got both Texas and LA voice actors to reprise all of the roles of the characters from their original shows; now a part of this crossover series. Who knows; maybe Isekai Quartet IS the Super Smash Bros. of anime titles, and in terms of popularity, it just might be the best crossover anime of all time. To be 100% honest, this is probably just the tip of the iceberg in terms of which isekai characters will be introduced next. The Rising of the Shield Hero main cast is there, and Cautious Hero made a cameo appearance. Maybe That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime might be next, and maybe even How Not To Summon A Demon Lord. The sky’s the limit with a series like this, and if they wanted to (and possibly pull a page out of Sakurai’s handbook), they could turn this series into the greatest anime crossover franchise of all time.

One and only hope, but until then, keep watching the show or check it out on Crunchyroll if you haven’t already. Until next post, stay nerdy my friends! 😉

D&A Studios Entertainment Recap (5.2.22)

What’s good anime fans! It’s Monday again (and yes we know how you feel about them, cuz’ we do too) and to some; it means another ‘terrific’ start to the work week, but for us…it means another recap from our D&A Studios Entertainment Youtube channel! In case you’ve missed it; we’ve shot another Nerdz of the Decade podcast episode dealing with how much anime costs to produce, and the price of piracy which effects how much engineers and voice actors get paid. We’ve also got our review on Sonic the Hedgehog 2, so if you’ve missed them last week, we got you covered! On that note that will do it for this recap, and as always stay safe and stay nerdy! 😉

Anime costs MONEY! Remember that.
Sonic 2 was GOOD!!
One of our Behind-the-Scenes episodes

The Big Three: Anime That Defined A Generation!

Anime. Who would’ve thought it would have this much mainstream popularity in this day and age, compared to being the underground ‘members-only’ niche medium it once was over 20 years ago. With it among the mainstream ranks; this medium has brought about a new generation of anime fans, and while that’s a great thing to a large majority of the anime community, there’s been some talk about the next wave of anime series that will sustain its mainstream dominance. In fact, there’s even a term for it; and that term is The Big Three. For many fans they’re aware of who the ‘Big Three’ are; they are three of the most popular, longest-running anime titles of their genre, and in the world. Whenever someone mentions ‘The Big Three’, they’re talking about Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece.

There will never be a ‘Big Three’ as popular as these three. Hands down.

In the 2000’s Shonen was all the rage, and in EVERY Shonen Jump magazine you’d see these three on the cover. Although Dragon Ball Z, Yu Yu Hakasho, and Rurouni Kenshin (which we like to call ‘The Gateway Three’, or ’90’s Big Three’) made their mark on anime’s rise to popularity, these three solidified themselves as mainstream mainstays due to their stories, their iconic characters, and also being the longest-running shows. During the early 2000’s anime wasn’t as widely accessible as it is now, so trying to get your hands on any type of merchandise of these three anime titles was easier said than done.

When Toonami came to town (we’re not even gonna mention the 4Kids One Piece dub even though the opening music slapped), the hype of seeing these shows along with new manga chapters in the weekly Shonen Jump magazines, was intensified. We all remember the ‘Naruto Takeover Marathon’ (Naruto Hundo) on Cartoon Network, as that’s how a majority of Naruto fans found the Orange ninja. From anime TV series, manga, video games, and movies; the ‘Big Three’ defined a generation of Shonen anime fans the world over. Even today the influence of the ‘Big Three’ is felt among the modern generation of anime fans, and contrary to popular belief, it has led to the rise of ‘The New Three’.

The success of ‘The Big Three’ paved the way for ‘The New Three’

For many fans; the ‘Big Three’ brought them into the anime community in the first place, and even led them to other shows of that genre as well. It doesn’t have to be just Shonen anime, as there could be a ‘Big Three’ of a particular genre or decade; say in our case, the 90’s. We know what our ‘Big Three’ are (as we aforementioned above) when we were growing up, but for some anime fans, it could be the three anime titles that made them become fans in the first place during their childhood; like Pokemon, Digimon, and Yu-Gi-Oh. For Mecha fans it could be Gundam, Gurren Lagann, and Evangelion. For Gen Z’ers it could be Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, and Demon Slayer.

The ‘Big Three’ is synonymous with the most popular, longest-running, and most iconic anime franchises. Like Michael Jackson (no, not the dude who looks like him in Demon Slayer in the “Smooth Criminal” outfit from the music video); there will never be another ‘Big Three’ as popular, iconic, or generational defining as Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece. If you think about it a lot of fans have those three to thank due to their success, as they have led to the rise in popularity of ‘The New Three’. Every genre has a ‘Big Three’, every decade has a ‘Big Three’, and most of all, every fan has a ‘Big Three’ that got them into anime. Who knows what the future holds for ‘The Next Three’, but for now, ‘The Big Three’ will go down in history as the ones who brought anime to mainstream.

Until next post, stay nerdy! 😉

Gotta Go Fast: The Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Movie Review!

Before we kick off this review we just wanna wish a Happy Birthday to one of the founders of D&A Anime Blog; Aaron M. Goldman! Now…its time for the reason we’re all here. Check this out…

We just saw Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in theaters – and LOVED IT!!!

It seems just like yesterday Hollywood was gonna give us that nightmare-fueled car dealership mascot-lookin’ rat with human teeth. However, Sonic fans were NOT having it, and we’re so glad they spoke up loud and clear about what they wanted from the live-action movie. These days live-action movies have been getting a bad rap ever since that abomination known as ‘DB Evolution’ found a way to exist. (I feel for you guys.) However if there is one exception to the ‘live-action curse’, it lies with Sonic. If the first movie tested the waters, then the second movie is goin’ swimmin’!

Sonic vs. Knuckles…like we’ve always wanted! 🙂

Sonic the Hedgehog (Movie) 2 picks up where the first one left off; with Dr. Eggman (Jim Carrey) stuck on the mushroom planet trying to find a way back to Earth after Sonic sent him there. Using one of the hedgehog’s supercharged quills the doctor manages to open a portal, however as he makes a mad dash towards it a shadowy figure steps out that looks quite familiar. It turns out to be…Knuckles T. Echidna (or just Knuckles) as he asks Eggman where he got the blue quill he has in his hand. The doctor tells him that he’ll be happy to tell him – if he helps him get off the mushroom planet (which looks a lot like Mushroom Hill from Sonic 3 & Knuckles).

Back in Seattle, Sonic tries to be a hero but being a first-time crime fighter didn’t come without problems. Tom tells him during a fishing trip that he still has a lot to learn about being a hero; and that its about being responsible for other people, but Sonic tells him that he hates being treated like a kid and that he can take care of himself. His moment for being a true hero was going to come; little did he know that it was going to come in the form of a certain two-tailed fox, and the return of his old nemesis.

As nightfall hit Sonic was at Tom and Maddie’s house while livin’ his best life with the family dog. Then there’s a sudden knock on the door as the doorknob was cut open with lasers, and on the other side was none other than Dr. Robotnik. (Tom and Maddie were in Hawaii at the time.) Sonic charges up his power to fight him, but gets intercepted by Eggman’s new friend; Knuckles. After a fight breaks out Knuckles gets the upper hand and pins him to a tree; telling him that Long Claw’s clan took the Master Emerald from his tribe, and decided to avenge it by killing Sonic. Suddenly the red echidna gets hit by Tom’s police car driven by Tails, as he asks Sonic to come with him. The two speed off with a pissed-off Knuckles in pursuit as they drove the car off a cliff with Tails carrying Sonic while flying in the air. Talk about great attention to detail in terms of the source material; with Tails carrying Sonic like he did in Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 (the video games), and Knuckles gliding and climbing walls like he did in Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

Now you’re already introduced (or for older Sonic fans, reintroduced) to Team Sonic in the first 30-45 minutes of the film, then Sonic discovers that he has a new mission; to find and protect the Master Emerald from Dr. Eggman and Knuckles. It was then that Sonic and Tails would forge their bond and begin their quest to hunt down the whereabouts of the emerald before Knuckles and Eggman get to it. Like the first movie this one was chalk-full of video game references; such as the Dr. Eggman logo hidden inside the Mean Bean Cafe’ (which is another reference to Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine), the Mushroom Hill and Labyrinth Zone, the opening scene with Sonic on top of a building just like in Sonic Adventure, and FREAKIN’ SUPER SONIC!!

Yes, he’s actually in the movie!

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 takes everything you loved from the first movie, and dials it up to an eleven. Movie Tails and Movie Knuckles are faithful to their video game appearances, and based their personalities to when they were first introduced; with Knuckles NOT being a doofus, but following a warrior’s code yet not very knowledgeable about cultural and social customs. Its quite amazing to see the trio we’ve grown up with since the 90’s now come to life on the big screen, and since it appears that the director and producers are on the path to making the Sonic Movie franchise into a Cinematic Universe, there’s no telling what new surprises they’ll have in store. In fact if you watch the post-credits scene, you’ll see what we mean. (No, we’re not gonna tell you what happens! Just watch and see.)

It’s one of those movies that’s so nice, you gotta see it twice! With a third movie in development as well as a spinoff origin story featuring Knuckles coming to Paramount+, the SCU (Sonic Cinematic Universe) is only gonna get bigger. Marvel got theirs, and now Sonic has his!

We give this movie a score of 9.8 / 10 (A D&A Movie score of 98.3%), so you better go fast and go see it!

Until next time, stay nerdy! 😉