Filler Post: D&A’s Top 5 Neutral Anime Characters!

Everyone knows the difference between good and evil, lawful and chaotic, passive and aggressive. In TV and movies its quite easy for us to pick out who the hero or villain is based on his/her actions, but what about the small percentage of characters who walk ‘the grey line’? In anime and manga there are heroes, there are villains, and then there are the neutrals; the third-party characters who walk the grey line, and can swing to either side. No matter what title you may have watched over the years, somewhere along the line you’ve come across these ‘wild cards’ of the anime universe. In this Top 5 selection we’ve got for you on this post, we’re highlighting five neutral characters from various shows that play the part – no matter the side!

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Number 5: Beerus

If you ever heard of the title ‘God of Destruction’, you’d think of a villain with god-like powers capable of destroying any world, or any universe that dares to get in their way. Even though he carries this title (and uses it proudly) Beerus is actually a neutral character who observes Goku and the rest of the Z Fighters, and doesn’t get involved in any of their squabbles or affairs with other baddies. Why? Because he’s not supposed to.

Needless to say, if he doesn’t get the opportunity to eat anything (or treat) his heart desires, then Beerus WILL blow up a planet. He’s not evil…he’s a God of Destruction.

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Number 4: Panty and Stocking

Believe it or not they don’t call em’ the Anarchy sisters for nothing! These two fallen angels fit the bill of being Chaotic Neutral; meaning that they play by their own rules and do whatever they want, when they want to – even if it causes collateral damage. It’s interesting how this series depicts good and evil on a biblical scale, but in this case the roles (and stereotypes) have been reversed; making the Demon sisters look like saints compared to the chaos and anarchy Panty and Stocking bring on a regular basis.

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Number 3: Itachi Uchiha

The infamous brother of Sasuke, and the main reason behind everything he did. The Uchiha Clan was once one of the mightiest clans in the Hidden Leaf Village (and was also the village’s policing force), but some bad stuff went down, leading Itachi to kill his own mother and father – but not because he wanted to. He was forced to.

Sometime before Shipudden’s end, it was discovered that Itachi did not like the dark path that his younger brother was walking on. He even told him the real reason why he killed his parents as well as his own clan, and that’s because he was tricked (forced) into it. Although he carried a cold persona about him, he had to so his brother couldn’t see how he really felt about his own actions. Itachi’s not evil, just misunderstood – and might need a lot of therapy.

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Number 2: Spike Spiegel

Bounty hunters come from all walks of life; some are carving out their own brand of justice while trying to rewrite their wrongs, while others are ‘hired-guns’ for the big baddies of the world. Spike Spiegel is an exception with the fact that he was a former member of a gang, but faked his own death in order to get out of it. Now he’s his own man who travels through space as a space bounty hunter with his own crew, of course being a neutral character, he’s not pro or anti. Spike does what Spike does, and no one’s gonna tell him otherwise.

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Number 1: Vegeta

The Saiyan Prince was a proud product of what being a saiyan is all about! Vegeta is a classic example of a neutral character who used to be on Frieza’s side, now he finds himself fighting androids, super-powered bug creatures, and various other baddies that Goku and the crew have to face. Although he doesn’t really care for humans or the world (that much) Vegeta accepts the fact that this is now his home and has a family; but still plans on being better than Goku/Kakarot no matter how long it takes him.

And there you have it! Neutral characters make things interesting in spite of the fact that many of them are bland because of being neutral. These ‘wild cards’ can sometimes become the hidden ingredient inside a plot twist or surprise ending. Neutrals spice things up when the storyline needs a little ‘excitement’ to keep the mood going, so if you have a favorite neutral character, let us know in the comment section below.

There’s more filler posts to come later this week, so stay tuned! 😉

01.11.19: D&A Goes Premium!!

Since the end of May, we’ve been working on coming up with new ways to share with the world (and our fans) what we’re about and what we can do. We can’t thank you guys enough for all of the love and support we’ve been getting throughout the year, and although the opportunities to showcase our physical presence at anime cons have gone down, we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon! Lately we’ve been working on how we can make the blog/site more “user-friendly” to our fans, so we’ve done some redesigning on our home page via Master Links and Alternative Filler Post links in order to make finding your favorite posts easier.

The renovations don’t stop there; on January 11, 2019 we are officially making the transition over to the Premium Plan, so that it will give us the chance to add new features and continue to make the blog easier to navigate through. We’ll even be able to add a Shop page to our blog for fans that want to buy D&A merch – once we get it set up, of course! (We’ll keep you posted on when that will take place.) In the mean time we’ve got more awesome filler posts coming up next week, and when we’ll be launching our official Reddit subpage!

Until next post, stay gold anime fans! 😉

Hit or Miss: Hollywood Producing Live-Action Anime Films!

It seems just like yesterday when anime and manga were just coming up in the world (via North America) in the 80’s and 90’s. Now this ‘niche’ medium has captured the attention of the mainstream media (aka, Hollywood). With the level that anime is at now, it was only going to be a matter of time before LA came running. For some of us; Hollywood finally acknowledging the anime medium as a work of art is a blessing, while others think that giving it the ‘Hollywood Treatment’ would tarnish the image and concept of what it was truly meant to be. When it comes to anime titles going live-action, it all depends on what direction the director and the creator of the series goes with it.

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Take the live-action Ghost in the Shell movie for example. Even though it didn’t get an A-grade ranking overall, many fans were happy that they got the original Japanese director involved in the process. Based on what we’ve seen and heard from other fans (and Chris Stuckmann), the movie actually wasn’t as bad as people thought it was going to be. They kept several of the scenes from the anime that had us on the edge of our seats; even that ‘one’ scene that we ALL know too well. There are some live-action titles from anime that do extremely well; case and point the Rurouni Kenshin live-action series. Although that live-action was produced in Japan, it became a box office hit upon making its way to North America; and eventually into every Kenshin fan’s DVD/Blu-Ray collection.

On the flip side however, there are live-action titles from Hollywood that not only failed terribly, but the people behind it had to apologize for what the outcome turned out to be. When it comes to a niche medium such as anime, you can’t go at it with a ‘business man’ or ‘business woman’ mindset – especially if the target audience is a community of hardcore anime fans. If Hollywood is going to take this route or wishes to continue on this path of live-action anime adaptations, they need to consider the audience that their targeting; a niche community that is very passionate about their medium.

Sure, a nice paycheck may take care of some things that you may want or need, but is it worth the hate mail of hundreds of thousands (possibly millions) of fans who are critical of every detail? Anime is completely different from comic books (i.e. Marvel and D.C.), so some people in Hollywood believe that they can give it the same treatment when it comes to live-action. Sadly, it doesn’t always work.

Fan-made live-action anime movies have been popping up all over YouTube, and that just goes to show you that (sometimes) big budgets don’t (always) bring in big results. They don’t have to be ‘fans’ of the anime title that they’re trying to make a live-action adaptation of, but if they could just see the project (movie) from the viewpoint of a hardcore fan, this would give Hollywood an idea of where to go with the task that lies before them. If Dragonball Evolution has taught us anything, it’s that Hollywood has a LOT to learn about the anime community.

 

Filler Post: The (Brief) History of the Dragon Ball Z Trading Card Game!

For over 20 years Dragon Ball Z has stood the test of time, and will be forever known as the G.O.A.T. of anime. 90’s fans from all over remember every detail, every fight, and every villain that Goku and the Z Fighters have come across. From the subs to the Saban/FUNimation dubs DBZ has made its mark on the anime universe, and has the most dedicated fanbase within the anime community. It is a true gem to those blessed enough to bask in its glory, and with that came something that many of us are still into even to this very day; the official Dragon Ball Z Trading Card Game!

Over the years it has gone through a few renovations and changes (depending on which series/type you have or even remember), but nevertheless it still remains as a staple in the DBZ community. For this post we’re taking you back to how the hunt for rare trading cards began…

2000-2006: Dragon Ball Z Collectable Card Game

The whole saga behind scavenging for rare trading cards goes back to 2000 when it was first released. It kicked off with the “Saiyan Saga” and had several booster packs as well. The cards themselves were created by Score Entertainment which used screen capturing, to recapture moments and fights from the anime. Sadly this version is now out-of-print, however back then it had eighteen expansions, “Subsets” and a “virtual” set, one GBA game, and promo cards.

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2008-2014: Dragon Ball Collectable Card Game/DBZCCG Reboot

Just two years after the original trading card game went out-of-print, a new game (released by Bandai) followed suit. This version of the game has completely different rules from its previous incarnation, however fans dropped it quickly due to reasons that are ‘obvious in nature’. In Fall of 2014 a remake of the first trading card game was branded and created by Panini America employee/DBZCCG World Champion, Aik TongTharadol. Of course in order to stay true to the original, it brought back many of its elements plus a few new changes for more fluid gameplay. The game however changed after Super came out…

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2017-Present: Dragon Ball Super Card Game

A new game with all new rules revealed itself in January of 2017. The DBSCG has every single hero and villain from every DBZ series ever produced – even the special ones! The rules are actually quite simple; drop your opponent’s Health from 8 to 0 and win! Base power levels (or points) in this game range from 1000 to 45000, but can reach 60000+ with the right kind of strategy. There are tournaments happening all over the world through this version of the game, but only time will tell how long this train ride will last.

So there you have it; our brief history of the Dragon Ball Z Collectable Card Game! The rules may have changed over the years, but our love for our favorite heroes and villains still remains true in the hearts of all DBZ fans.

D&A Anime Blog: August Anime Cons (Part 1 of 2)!

Well guys n’ gals, we’re entering the ‘dog days’ of Summer. However there are still so many anime conventions out there that most of us have yet to attend! With that in mind we’ve got some awesome ones for you to check out, so you can head back to school or college and know that you got your geek on one more time. Our regional choices are both the Southwest and Westbound areas of the United States, so if you live in or near those areas, be sure to check out the cons happening there! 🙂

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Filler Post: 7 Myths About Voice Acting!

Whenever you go to an anime convention, the first thing you look for is which voice actor(s) will be on the guest list. It’s always an awesome feeling when you get the chance to meet the man or woman, behind your favorite characters on your favorite shows. Whenever they have a panel the number one question voice actors get is, “How do I become a Voice Actor?”

You guys and gals wanna know a secret about that particular question? It’s this; they HATE it! The only reason for this is that they’ve been asked it so many times at so many conventions – usually by the same people who ask the question. Doing impressions is nice and cool, but ‘one-trick ponies’ don’t get booked for VA gigs. The sad truth about voice acting is that not everybody is cut out for it, but for those who are serious about it, you must learn the fundamentals of A-C-T-I-N-G first!

Being a voice actor does not happen overnight (and the veteran VA’s will tell you the same), this type of career is a marathon – not a sprint. You have to be open to hearing the word ‘No’ more often than ‘Yes’, and you have to be able to handle constructive criticism. If you want to know the true about being a voice actor, here’s seven myths about being an anime VA from the guys at D&A!

1. Just Do Impressions!

As we mentioned before; impressions are nice and cool, but all they’ll do is land you a spot on ‘Amateur Nite’ at the comedy club – unless you’re a professional impressionist. (Yes, that is a real thing!) When it comes to voice acting, a lot of voice actors put a little more of themselves into whatever character they’re playing, in order to bring out the raw emotion within their character’s personality. You’ll have a better shot at getting VA gigs by coming up with your own original voice(s), or even putting your own spin to an exiting voice – like an accent.

2. The Pay Is Great!

Yeah, we’re gonna have to stop you right there. We’ve been to several conventions where we’ve learned the truth about how much voice actors get paid – and it’s not a lot! In fact, it’s $5-$10K less than what the average person makes a year on a full-time job. VA jobs are more contractual than constant, so maybe it wouldn’t be a good idea to quit that 9-5 just yet (unless you’re in IT).

3. It’s Easy To Do, and Not Stressful At All!

Tell that to the guy who voiced Courage on Courage the Cowardly Dog. Yelling through a mic for five minutes is peanuts compared to doing it for three hours! There’s a lot that one must take into account if one makes a statement such as this, and if you though doing a war cry into a mic for three hours is bad, imagine the mental, emotional, and physical toll it takes on your body. You have to know your limits before you make the decision to become one with the character you voice.

4. It’s Done In One Shot!

No, not even close. In every anime title you’ve watched there’s at least one blooper reel included in the DVD or Blu-Ray copy. In the Panty & Stocking blooper reel one VA said that he went over the same line eight times before he got it right. So yeah, perfection in the voice acting world is not done in one take.

3. You’re a One-Man Band!

Flying solo may be good for some things in life, but not everything. The same can be said about voice acting; you can’t make it on your own without the proper guidance, people, and skill set. Every VA we know is signed to an agency, has their own social media accounts, and has both a physical and digital presence on the web, and at conventions. There’s a lot you can learn from the pros and other people who’ve been in the business for decades, so don’t sell yourself short on those types of opportunities.

2. The Character You Play is Who You Are!

When you see a sexy female character in an anime title and hear her voice, you automatically assume that the voice actor playing that role, acts like that in real life. Many of us have heard beloved voice actress Monica Rial play a few dark roles in her career, but when you meet her in person, she’s the most down-to-earth, creative, and funniest lady you’ll ever met – in life! Remember that in voice acting, it’s who they are on the inside that really counts!

1. It’s NOT Real Acting!

This is the one that voice actors hate the most, and is still a prevalent stigma to this very day; especially in Hollywood. The cardinal rule of acting is making what you’re conveying believable to your audience, and like it or not voice acting IS acting! (Only with your voice!) Enough said.

And with that, these seven voice acting myths are BUSTED!

See you guys next post! 🙂

Error 404: Writer’s Block Strikes Again!

Ugh! We never thought we’d have to go down this road again, but if you’re a blogger like ourselves then we’re pretty sure you’ve went through it as well. It’s always awesome when you have a lot to post about, but every now and then your brain gets that ‘Error 404’ message just after you’ve posted something good. However this post is not a total loss; as we’ve got a small announcement for you guys regarding our linked posts, and what we’ll be doing next! On our Facebook and Twitter pages we made an announcement that from Wednesday to Next Monday, that we’ll be doing some blog maintenance and working on special projects throughout the Fall, so there wouldn’t be any blog posts coming from us after Wednesday. Well, we’ve decided to change that; our posting schedule will remain the same, however the timing of our filler posts may be slightly delayed. With that being said, we thank you guys from the bottom of our hearts for all of the love and support that you’ve given us, and we hope that you guys will continue to be a part of us – as we are with you! 🙂