‘My Clueless First Friend’ is Hilariously Endearing!

My Clueless First Friend Initial Review by RJ Writing Ink

Have you ever had that one friend that’s so different from you? You question why your friend’s in the first place. Or you’ve seen a show about a gloomy person who has a super happy and upbeat person decide to be friends with them? Better yet, have you seen fictional protagonists who can win over the most closed-off people by being so kind, no matter how dumb they are? Combine all those concepts into one, and you get the anime “My Clueless First Friend.”

The result: something so hilarious, sweet, and heartwarming that you can’t help but smile!

The Shy Grim Reaper and the Embodiment of Kindness

My Clueless First Friend revolves around Akane Nishimura, this shy Elementary School girl. Because of how creepy her eyes look, everyone makes jokes about her, saying that she’s a “Grim Reaper” and that if they hang around her, they’ll get cursed! As a result, she has no friends and is very lonely in her life. 

One day, a new transfer student, Taiyo Takada, this hyperactive, extroverted bundle of energy, shows up and hears about her nickname. His response? “THAT’S THE COOLEST THING EVER!!!!” Thus, Takada latches onto Nishimura like glue, becomes her first friend, and helps to bring her out of her lonely shell.

And for a long time, he’s convinced that Nishimura’s an actual Grim Reaper! He’s so clueless that any attempts to make him understand this go through one ear and out the other. 

Taiyo Takada, the CHAD Chuunibyo

To understand the thought process of someone like Taiyo Takada, one must understand what a ‘Chuunibyo’ is. A Chuunibyo, or ‘chuuni’, is a kid who usually acts all high-and-mighty, makes dramatic speeches about stuff, and may or may not believe they have special powers. Now, Taiyo himself would be a loose example of this. While he’s prone to being melodramatic and wears his emotions on his sleeve, he doesn’t think he has special powers. However, after hearing everyone call Akane a Grim Reaper, he’s convinced she does. And where other kids find that scary, he thinks that’s the coolest thing in the world. 

It gets even crazier from there. No matter how many times people try to bully him for hanging out with Akane, he doesn’t let it get to him. He’s so pure-hearted that he fails to grasp the idea that someone’s insulting him or Akane. As a result, he takes every bad thing someone says as a compliment, throwing said bullies so far off their game they just leave. 

In other words, Taiyo’s a clueless idiot. But he’s also the best friend anyone could ever ask to have, especially Akane. He doesn’t even realize it, but it’s clear early on that he’s gotten Akane to fall for him. I love this kid! It helps that his dub VA is Madeline Morris, who also does Rudeus for Mushoku Tensei.

Akane Nishimura, the Cutest Introvert You’ll Ever Meet

On the other end of the duo, we have Akane Nishimura, the girl everyone calls the Grim Reaper. Because of the way her eyes look, her classmates cruelly taunt her and give her that nickname, not wanting anything to do with her. As a result, she’s never had any friends, to the point where she lies to her Dad about her school life so he won’t worry. She even tries to tell Taiyo not to hang out with her since she knows everyone else will bully him for it. 

So when all the hints fly over Taiyo’s friend, and he keeps taking that “Grim Reaper” stuff as compliments, she’s thrown for a loop. And the more and more he turns those insults into compliments, the more amazed she gets. It’s pretty clear early on that she’s fallen for him because she won’t stop blushing whenever he says something nice about her. Takada takes the cruel nickname she has and turns it into a term of endearment. This is good because it’s eventually revealed that Nishimura thinks her nickname’s appropriate for sadder reasons.

*Minor Spoiler Warning to Follow*

It’s revealed a few episodes into the show that Nishimura’s Mom died when she was young. To be more precise, she died shortly after giving birth to Akane. While none of her family blames her for it and showers her with love because they know that’s what her mom would want, Akane can’t help but blame herself. She thinks she’s taken her Mom’s place, and it’s why she never liked the Grim Reaper nickname. And poor Taiyo! When he finds that out, he thinks he’s been a horrible person calling her the Grim Reaper. 

Clueless First Friend is Such a Sweet and Heartwarming Anime

This is another spoiler, but Akane eventually tells Taiyo that she doesn’t mind him calling her the Grim Reaper. Through his sheer levels of kindness, he turned the nickname she hated into one of endearment. It’s one of the sweetest things I’ve seen in anime in some time, and it’s why I love My Clueless First Friend.

The world we live in can be harsh, cruel, and unforgiving at times. That’s why it’s important that we remember to treat each other with kindness. With that in mind, I think what Akane and Taiyo have is the kind of friendship everyone should have at least once in their lives. If we had someone like Taiyo Takada in all our lives, the world would be all the better for it. My Clueless First Friend is on my watchlist for the Spring/Summer Anime season of 2023!

Ash Ketchum, Until We Meet Again

Ash and Pikachu End Their Run as the Heroes of Pokémon

Twenty six years, 1,200 episodes, three generations worth of fans, and the start of dozens of films. That’s how long the world has known Ash Ketchum and Pikachu. They have been the face of Pokémon since almost the very beginning. Ask anyone about Pokémon, and their faces are likely the first things that come to mind. However, now the franchise is entering into a new era, and Ash and Pikachu won’t be part of it as the main characters. This past Friday, the final episode of Ash and Pikachu’s journey premiered, giving millions of fans the chance to say one final goodbye to the boy and mouse that inspired so many of them.

Truthfully, though, this farewell, for now, was in the works for months. Last year, fans of Pokémon got to see Ash do the impossible: he became the Pokémon World Champion! For the boy who seemed to lose in almost every League he fought in, this was a moment many feared would never come to pass. Nintendo wouldn’t let it so they could keep sending him on adventures to promote the franchise. Yet he did it, and the world cheered.

Ash Starts His Next Journey Without Us

The only question left is, what now? Do Ash and Pikachu continue their journey, or will they rest on their laurels? The answer turns out to be a bit of both. Beginning in January, the series aired what amounted to an epilogue series. Ash and Pikachu continued their journey, Team Rocket continued their antics (though they briefly split up), and Ash reunited with his OG companions, Brock and Misty. It was the perfect way to bookend our time with Ash by reuniting the original trio for one last journey. Still, the question remains: what will Ash do now? 

When you’ve devoted so much of your life to a goal and finally see it through, a scary thing is trying to figure out where to go after you succeed. Ash has served as someone capable of teaching people the significance of never giving up on a goal despite hardship. That’s an important lesson not even some adults understand, and eventually, despite fans thinking he’d never do it, he finally does. Therefore, it’s only fitting his final episode as the MC has Ash teach us what to do after we fulfill our dreams: set ourselves a new goal in life and work at it. In his case, Ash wants to go out and befriend every Pokémon in the world. 

I wasn’t overly interested in this epilogue series, but I still consider it a fitting send-off for Ash and Pikachu for the time being. The one gripe I have is at the end of the finale where Ash sees a rainbow. In the first episode, Ash earnestly began his Pokémon journey after seeing a rainbow and the Legendary Pokémon, Ho-Oh. I think it was a missed opportunity not to have our time with him bookended by Ho-Oh returning. Regardless, it’s still a nice callback as we say goodbye to Ash for now.

And I do mean for now.

I Think We’ll See Ash and Pikachu Again Someday

Even though our travels with Ash are over, I doubt that we’ve seen the last of him. Ash and Pikachu have been the face of the Pokémon for decades, and there’s no way The Pokémon Company, Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures will let that fall by the wayside now. They’ll likely continue to call upon Ash and his Pikachu to appear in future projects for recognition purposes. In addition, they might decide to come back to the OG duo at some point.

There’s a precedent for this in pop culture. Everyone thought the Dragon Ball franchise had retired by the mid-2000s, only for the franchise to enter a renaissance with the release of Battle of Gods. The Animaniacs came back twenty years after it ended. The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder brought the Disney show to a new generation. If there’s still a big enough audience and potential stories to tell, then a brand or franchise will only stay there for a while. It’s a blessing and curse, but it might be a blessing in this case.

Until the day we see him again, though, thank you, Ash Ketchum and Pikachu. You made the childhoods of millions of people worthwhile, and we will never forget you. Sayonara, Satoshi!

A Founder’s FINAL Thoughts with D.J. Lewis…

Hey guys, this is Donte’ J. Lewis representing 1/2 of D&A Anime Blog and D&A Studios Entertainment. You probably already know the story by now of how D&A came to be; Aaron Goldman and I worked on a concept for a website where we could post our con pictures that we took, and after tossing many ideas back and forth, we created an anime blog consisting of convention pictures, and anime reviews. In 2016 we made our debut at the first annual AniMore convention; then several appearances at Otakon, Zenkaikon, Saikucon, Anime USA, and Thy Geekdom. We’ve met so many awesome people along the way during our venture, as well as many of our favorite voice actors we’ve come to know throughout the years. Saying all of this makes the next part of what I have to say really hard…harder than you can ever imagine as a blogger, and content creator.

After this post is published…I’ll be signing off from D&A.

I don’t regret ever creating D&A, and everything its done in the lives of both Aaron and I. I am more than grateful for all of the people I’ve met and had the privilege of meeting. To me; D&A is a story about dreams, and no matter what life throws at you, you should never give up on them even though the road is tough. I’ve been a fan of anime since 1997, and throughout the years and decades I’ve noticed the change in the way we consume it. With mainstream companies getting their foot into the market (and even buying anime-centric companies like FUNimation and Crunchyroll), it seems like a lot of the aspects that made anime and its community special, seem to be fading away. Anime is no longer that shy kid in the corner that was picked on in school, now its an adult with a 401K and a six-figure income.

Now it seems like my attitude towards anime has changed. While I still have a genuine love for it, I just don’t have the same level of time for it as I used to. These days IRL commitments have really demanded a lot of my attention, as well as on-going personal trials and a shift in priorities. Don’t worry, its nothing serious.

So…what happens now?

So, where does D&A go from here if I’m stepping down? That’s a good question. After an extensive discussion, Aaron and I have decided that he will be the one to take over as administrator of D&A Anime Blog. This means that contributor posts will have to be accepted by him, and only he can invite other contributors.

“If you’re leaving, what will happen to your Youtube channel?”

Our channel will be fine. Aaron will be posting content on a weekly basis, so there will always be content for you to watch. There’s also a very, very, veeeery slight chance that I’ll make a cameo appearance on our channel every once in a while.

“If you’re leaving, what will happen to convention appearances?”

That’s also a very good question. In the off-chance that Aaron does get booked for an anime convention, I will be there too. As for me, if I’m pulled out to a con as a DJ for the Friday and Saturday Night Rave, then you’ll know me as Avidd Minddset. 

Alright guys, I’m gonna leave you with this. D&A started off as a passion project between two longtime friends, who were bullied during their school years because of their love for anime. It grew into something amazing; where they got to meet their childhood heroes, awesome cosplayers, and be a part of the anime community overall. Who knows what will happen to the future of D&A, and if it will finally reach its peak in becoming one of the best blogs out there. The fact that D&A even exists at all, is an accomplishment in its self.

So from the bottom of my heart, I love each and everyone of you guys, and thank you for making D&A such a fun ride for me. Aaron will be the one taking over D&A and its affiliates, as I will be stepping down. This will not effect our friendship in any way; as many were wondering if my departure from this project would mean the end of our friendship. Now…with all of that said, this is Donte’ J. Lewis signing off from D&A.

Until next time, stay nerdy my friends…

D&A’s Checkpoint Check-In (January 2023)!

Hey guys. Well, January 2023 is pretty much over at this point, and many are wondering what will become of the future of D&A. In our earlier post (from last year) we started that we’re in a period of ‘where do we go from here?’ and what is the next step, or next phase of our journey. Regardless of what direction we go in, we’re still happy and grateful to all of the awesome fans and voice actors we’ve met during the start of our nerdy lil’ journey. The doors are still open if you’re interested in writing contributor posts to our blog, as long as you make sure your grammar is good, and you fact-checked your sources. We know this post will probably leave you with more questions than answers, so for the ones that you do have, here’s our answers to them.

Is This The End of D&A Anime Blog and D&A Studios Entertainment?

No. We’re still creating videos and content on our Youtube page for you guys to check out (we’ll leave links below), and while we may not post as often as we used to, there’s awesome reviews and articles coming from our contributors. Everyone has a dry spell at some point in their journey, this just happens to be ours.

Will D&A Make Appearances at Conventions?

This one’s been the hardest to answer; mainly due to logistical standpoints, and financial conundrums in regards to location and travel. Our convention future is up in the air; with no actual timetable of when we’ll return to them. (We probably will, we just don’t know when.) There’s periods where we even thought about hosting our own convention-like event for two days, however we would need the support of our fans and the anime community to make it happen.

Will The Nerdz of the Decade Podcast Return?

We don’t have an official timetable of when the podcast will return with new episodes, but we’ll update you on when (and if) it returns. We do want to bring more guests o the show, but we’re playing it by ear in terms of their availability.

That’s all we’ve got for now, so until our next post, stay nerdy and keep rooting for us.

Anime Training Arc=Badass Protagonists

Chainsaw Man, Ep 11 Review

When an anime protagonist wants to overcome insurmountable odds and beat an enemy that kicked their butts, what do they do? They have an anime training arc, get stronger, and then go back for a rematch. In this case, Special Division 4 has a collective anime training arc to take down the Katana Man. However, will it be enough to take down the Katana Man and his Devils?  

Yes. That’s what happens with an anime training arc.

Training Time’s Over, Time for Payback 

Having trained under Kishibe for an unspecified amount of time, Denji and Power start to show some improvement. At least, that’s what Kishibe says, since he pushes back their training to once a week. However, he also lets them know that they’re going to be launching their mission to take down the Katana Man and his rogue Yakuza the next day. The Special Division’s future rides on their success; if they fail, Denji and Power die. In other words, they shouldn’t fail.

The success of what will happen is the main source of drama for the episode, with Makima even visiting the Yakuza upper echeleons to get more intel…is what I wish she was just doing. In addition to that, she then intimidates the Yakuza into cooperating with the government or face destruction.

This moment show’s how no-nonsense Makima is about her job. When the Yakuza boss refuses to cooperate at first, saying they’re a necessary evil to keep worse gangs from outside Japan out, she doesn’t have it. She gives him a bag of eyes from their other members, their families, and more. It’s a morbid sight and one that would intimidate most people. As I’ve said before, Makima scares me. 

The Raid Begins! The Other Members of Special Division 4 Make their Debut!

The third act of the episode sees Special Division 4 start their raid on the forces of the Katana Man and Sawatari (the girl with the Snake Devil). This moment serves as a chance for us to meet the other members of their group, and most of them are either Devils or Fiends. 

It’s more apparent now why Makima’s Division is cause for concern. Most of the members are either crazy people, Fiends, Devils, or some combination of all three. Denji fits right in with all these oddballs, for better or worse. 

Aki’s Anime Training Arc Pays Off

The real highlight of the episode, though, is Aki. He made a contract with the Future Devil, who, despite it’s strange appearance, is a troll by nature. It likes to mockingly say that “the future rules,” and unlike others, it’s worked with, it barely asks for anything from Aki. All it wants is to live in his right eye, and it will let him see a few seconds into the future. 

The catch to this, though, is that it wants a front-row seat to Aki’s inevitable death, something it found very interesting. Like I said, it’s a troll. 

As I said last week, it’s pretty evident that most of these people aren’t going to live to see retirement. The implication that Aki’s death is so morbid that the Future Devil wanted a front-row seat to it makes it pretty obvious. However, it’s still disturbing to see that the series equivalent to Sasuke will likely die before the anime ends.

Regardless of the short life expectancy, it’s clear that the anime training arc’s paid off. The Yakuza are going down. The one regret that I may have is the fact that the first portion of the anime ends next episode. Here’s hoping they can finish the Katana Man Arc in that time. 

Happy Holidays everyone!

I Give “Mission Start” a 3/5

Kishibe Arrives! Begin the Anime Training Arc!

Chainsaw Man, Ep 10 Review

The first round between the Yakuza of the Katana Man and Public Safety Division 4 of the Devil Hunters has ended. Both sides have retreated to lick their wounds and mourn the dead. In this case, most of Division 4’s either dead or quit. Aki’s lost his partner, Denji got his butt kicked, and Power? She ran away like a coward. Thus, in accordance with the laws of Shonen anime, this defeat means the protagonists must train to get stronger. To do that, Makima brings in someone crazy. So crazy that he makes Denji and Power look sane in comparison: Kishibe.

Master Kishibe Pulls No Punches

With most of their members dead or quitting Public Safety to go private, Makima needs to make sure her remaining members (the main trio, Kobeni, and Madoka) are up to the task. To that end, she arranges for each of them to get stronger in some fashion. For Aki, this means forming a contract with a new Devil. For Denji and Power, though, this means training under the strongest Devil Hunter they have: Kishibe.

Kishibe only likes three things in life: booze, women, and killing Devils, and he’s good at the last one. So good, in fact, that he was Aki and Himeno’s teacher at one point. In other words, he’s as nuts as they get, and brutal to boot. When he meets Denji and Power at a cemetery, the first thing he does is attack them and beat them to near death.

While his training methods sound sadistic, there’s a method to his madness. Only the strongest and craziest people can become Devil Hunters and survive. And with his monstrous strength and lack of fear, Kishibe’s crazy and strong enough to train Denji and Power. 

The bad news? His training methods involve beating them within an inch of their lives until they can beat him. It’s brutal, Spartan, and sadistic…but effective. They do slightly better the next day.

Aki Goes Devil Shopping

As for Aki, he finds himself dealing with a different problem. After what happened with the Katana Man and that girl with the Snake Devil, he’s out of a Devil Contract. Thus, his next step is to get a new one from one of the Devils the Public Safety Division has captured. What follows is like a cross between going to buy something at the store or adopting a new pet. In this case, the “pets” are Devils that can kill him.

The one that Aki considers is the Future Devil. Considering how it represents the fear of the future (which can be pretty scary), I can imagine that such a being must be pretty strong. The uncertainty of the future scares a lot of people, thus making it very dangerous. 

I’m suddenly very worried.

None of These People Will Live to See Retirement, Will They?

The more I watch Chainsaw Man, the more I realize something bad: none of these characters are going to live to see retirement, are they? 

I’m being serious. With the rate of casualties as a Devil Hunter, I don’t think anyone of these people can expect to die in their sleep from old age. Not Denji, not Power (can she even age?) And certainly not Aki. Thanks to his contract with the Curse Devil, he only has two years left to live. He knowingly gave up his chance at a long life to get revenge on the Gun Devil. And I thought Sasuke was bad.

Regardless of their short lifespans, the trio fo Denji, Power, and Aki seem determined to live life to the fullest. Firstly, that means finding the Katana Man, and putting him in his place. And once they undergo their anime training arc, they will do so. For Himeno.

I Give “Bruised and Battered,” a 3/5

Makima Scares Me Now

Chainsaw Man Ep 9 Review

To paraphrase Wolverine from the X-Men comics, “All right, Yakuza bastards. You took yer best shot. Now it’s my turn!” 

That was the exact thing that went through my head while watching the new episode of Chainsaw Man. The Devil Hunters got ambushed by the Yakuza and seemed to be on the ropes. However, the Yakuza failed to finish the job. Now it’s their turn to hit back, and Makima’s not taking any prisoners. She’s killing them!

Round One! Winners: Yakuza

Last episode, the Devil Hunters came under attack by Yakuza working for the guy whose grandpa Denji killed in the first episode. Now that man can turn into a Katana-Devil hybrid similar to Denji, and he wants them all dead. What follows is probably the best fight in the anime to date. Chainsaws and Katana slashing, blood’s pouring, and it’s just flat out epic.

Sadly, it’s over all too soon, with Katana Man slicing Denji in half to beat him, which is also awesome. And with Aki out, Himeno dead, and Power missing, there’s no stopping Katana Man and his associates (including the girl with the Snake Devil) from taking Denji.

However, the Yakuza made one big mistake, one that a lot of villains make. When you’re out to kill your enemies, never turn your back on them until you’re sure they’re dead. 

Now it’s Makima’s turn.

Makima…She Scares Me

As someone who’s only watched the anime, I have no clue how Makima survived the Yakuza’s attempts to kill her. For now, I’ll chalk it up to plot armor/contract with whatever Devil she has in her back pocket. It doesn’t matter, though. What matters is what she does next…and it honestly scared me a little. 

So after killing her would-be assassins off-screen without batting an eye, Makima comes up to her colleagues and tells them “I’m going to need a temple and some death-row inmates.” As soon as I heard that, I knew where this was going: she was going to sacrifice them to use some terrifying powers to deal with the thugs who decided to mess with her people. 

I don’t fully understand what she does, but seeing Makima sacrifice these condemned prisoners makes the Yakuza explode! It’s like something out of Death Note, but far bloodier. It was horrifying! Seeing all those criminals blood and guts exploding is nightmare fuel.

If I didn’t have my reservations about her before, now I’m convinced: Makima is dangerous. However, what she does is one of the three best moments of the entire episode.

Where Was this Kobeni Last Arc?!?!

The last great moment of the episode comes from, of all people, Kobeni. Kobeni, who I kept saying wasn’t cut out for being a Devil Slayer, and a female version of Usopp, but less lovable, saves the day. After killing her assassin (her friend doesn’t make it, though,) she tracks down Katana Man and the snake girl. Then she manages to fight them both off and send them running for the hills. In a series already filled with badass moments, this one stood out.

When I was watching this, though, all I could think of was “where the heck was this Kobeni when they were trapped in the hotel?!? I want more of it!” 

In all seriousness, though, I was actually impressed with how badass Kobeni was in this episode. Not only did she kill her attacker, but she saved Denji. As far as I care, that makes up for her trying to sacrifice him a few episodes ago.

Let the Devil Hunt Begin

So, the episode ends with both sides regrouping following the first battle. While many Devil Hunters died, including Himeno and Arai, the Yakuza got off far worse. As for Denji, I’m sure he’ll recover. He’s regenerated from being chopped into pieces thanks to Pochita, so he should be able to grow back the lower half of his body.

This episode was by far the best one yet. I’m glad I started watching Chainsaw Man, because it’s one of the best shonen anime in this new generation of the genre. The one hang-up I have is how the action sequences end too soon. I need the chance to enjoy them, Studio MAPPA! 

Oh, and RIP to Himeno and Arai. We hardly knew ye, but the former will live on in fan-art.

I Give “From Kyoto” a 4/5

Ash Ketchum Says Goodbye in 2023

Ash Ketchum and Pikachu’s Story to End in 2023, Make Way for New Heroes

After 25 years of trying, Ash Ketchum finally did it. He became the very best like no one ever was. Sadly, this also means that our time with Ash Ketchum is coming to a close. 

The Boy Who Became the Very Best…

In November 2022, Ash Ketchum, the fictional protagonist of the Pokemon anime, set the Internet ablaze. News came out of Japan that the latest episode had seen Ash defeat the Pokemon world champion Leon in a battle that could only be described as the stuff of legends. In other words, our boy Ash was now the Pokemon champion.

Fans all over the world cheered for Ash Ketchum. After so many years of being denied, Ash Ketchum became the best trainer in the world. However, this presented a unique problem. With Scarlet and Violet about to release, would we see Ash continue his journey? The answer turned out to be no. 

In a video released on social media, the Pokémon company announced that starting in January, the next batch of episodes for the anime would close the book on Ash and Pikachu’s journey. The anime would cover a new generation of trainers in Paldea, featuring their own starter Pokémon.

…Like No One Ever Was

Thus far, fan reactions have been mixed. Ash Ketchum and Pikachu have been the face of the franchise for 25 years. Their journey’s a big part of why Pokemon got so popular and beloved by generations of children. Saying goodbye is something we all suspected could happen. It actually happening, though, is surreal.

On the other hand, fans also argue that it’s time for Ash Ketchum to rest. He did what he set out to accomplish: he became the very best like no one ever was. While I doubt that this is the last we’ll truly see of him, it’s time to let Ash go. Our boy needs to continue his adventures alone.

Ash Ketchum was the very first anime protagonist I ever met. Pokémon was my gateway to the world of anime, and without it, my life would be very different. I stopped following Ash actively after the Johto League, but he always had a place in my heart. Letting our boy go will be incredibly hard, but I’m just glad he finally became the very best. Besides, now we can debate whether the new girl is Ash’s daughter. 

RIP, Kevin Conroy. You are The Batman

Who’s the greatest person to ever play Batman? Anyone from the 1960s might say that it was the late Adam West, and some might argue that it was Michael Keaton or Christopher Nolan. But us Millenials know the truth. When it comes to Batman, the GOAT wasn’t even someone who played it live-action but left a massive impact. That person was Kevin Conroy, who, we recently learned, passed away after battling cancer. He was 66 years old.

When people thought about Batman for thirty years, his voice came to mind. Beginning in 1992, Kevin Conroy provided the voice of the Dark Knight in Batman: The Animated Series, a role that he would keep returning to for the rest of his life. The fans loved Kevin Conroy as Batman. Just something about his voice captured the essence of one of the greatest fiction heroes. It was just so dark and serious; we couldn’t get enough of it.

Kevin would continue to play Batman throughout the history of the DC Animated Universe. He was so prolific and popular that Batman made at least one appearance in every DCAU show. And when he did, people paid attention. From his days with Robin to the possible future of Batman Beyond, Kevin Conroy remained a constant for fans.

Eventually, though, the DCAU ended, but that wasn’t the end of Kevin’s tenure as the Caped Crusader. Far from it. He would reprise his role as the iconic Dark Knight in Rocksteady’s hit games, the Batman: Arkham series. His return as Batman, with Mark Hamill reprising his role as the Joker, was a big part of the game’s massive success. 

Following this, Kevin would reprise his role as Batman several times, much to the delight of his legion of fans. With his passing, fans of Batman are left absolutely devastated.

I was too young to watch Batman: The Animated Series in its heyday, and I only discovered it through either watching newer shows like Batman Beyond, Static Shock, and Justice League and later through streaming services. I became a fan of his by playing the Batman: Arkham games. I was lucky enough to meet him at NYCC several years back and get him to autograph my game copy.

And take a photo with me. 

Kevin Conroy was a great guy, and I don’t think anyone can ever hope to match him as the Dark Knight. But the fact that so many people are mourning his loss is a comforting feeling. When people think of Batman from now on, they’ll hopefully think of Kevin Conroy along with him. 

RIP, Kevin Conroy. You are Batman.

Rest In Power, Kevin Conroy (1955-2022)

Power is One Weird Devil

Chainsaw Man Episode 3 Review

I have seen a lot of oddballs in my years of watching anime. Monkey D. Luffy’s a pirate who can turn into a rubber hose god but is also very dumb. Haruko from FLCL is so weird that I can’t understand what’s happening inside her head. Then we have the likes of Power from Chainsaw Man. If I wasn’t fully convinced last week, then this week’s episode convinced me that Power is out there. That, and I think Denji would fit right in with the likes of Sanji, Master Roshi, Jiraya, and Mineta. 

Power, the Cat-Loving, Bloody Devil

After taking down a Devil at the tail-end of last week’s episode, Denji learns that much to his annoyance, he’s now partnered with Power. The only problem is that she’s a veritable cloudcuckoolander. She constantly brags about how awesome she is and how she dislikes humans or Devils. The latter of which is due to one of them taking her pet cat, Meowy (who she may have been planning on eating), and holding it hostage. The only reason she’s working for Makima is so she can get her cat back. Somehow, she ropes Denji into helping her rescue her cat…by promising to let him grope her boobs. 

Denji’s really starting to remind me of a more laid-back version of Issei Hyoudou from High School DxD

On the surface, Power seems like a very abrasive character, despite her good looks making her one of the waifu of Chainsaw Man alongside Makima. She’s proud, boastful, and thinks highly of herself. Underneath the attitude that reminds me of Vegeta, though, she’s not as bad as she acts. Despite the flashbacks saying she only adopted Meowy so she could eat it later, she does care about it. I think. 

Then again, it is revealed that the only reason she roped Denji into this was so she could sacrifice him to said Devil in exchange for her cat. So, she manipulated him the entire time.

Denji Will Stop at Nothing to Get a Girl

Denji’s quest for boobs means he won’t become a Devil’s dinner regardless of intentions. Transforming into Chainsaw Man once more, Denji pursues the Devil into a nearby city for a bloody showdown. This is also the moment where Denji reveals that he’s more anti-hero than a hero at this point. His motives are selfish, and while he’ll avoid causing civilian deaths, he won’t cry over them if it happens. Case in point, he takes a car with a man inside of it and throws it at his opponent. The guy bails, but still. 

Motivations aside, we all know why we’re here: the fighting. I said it before, and I’ll keep saying it: the animation studio’s do an excellent job blending 2D and 3D animation during the fight sequences. The result is chaotic, bloody, and a spectacle to watch. Seeing Denji standing in a pool of his enemy’s blood is just so cool to look at. Denji, you’re going to go far in this Shonen Business. As for Power, you are very weird. Keep doing you, though. You may not be on my waifu list, but I understand why people stan you.

I Give “Meowy’s Whereabouts” A 3.5/5