Here’s What’s Up For Thanksgiving Week!

Hey guys! Before we start we just want to give our thoughts and prayers to the Morrow family; as we discovered that Kirby Morrow who you may know as the Ocean Dub DBZ’s Goku, has passed away. He was also heard in the original Inuyasha and was set to reprise his role in Yashahime. It’s a big loss in the anime and voice acting community, but we remember him as being awesome to his friends, his fans, and his family. May he Rest in Piece.

This year has been crazy, and although many of us won’t be able to gather together this Thanksgiving (unless your family members don’t live very far from you), be sure to give em’ a call or chat with them on Zoom. As for us we’ll not only be serving our family’s great food n’ good turkey, but we’ve got some more content comin’ your way!

Take the Saiyan Prince for example…

Best Frienemies: D&A’s Top 5 Anime Villains Who Became Good Guys!

Every action or fantasy anime title ever made has this one particular troupe! The main character beats the s%@! out of the main villain of a story arc, and a couple arcs later they become allies and even friends. Well, we pick our Top 5 anime villains who have done this and are now fighting for justice and peace alongside the hero whom they tried to kill!

What’s out there…?

What New / Re-Newed Shows To Watch For In 2021!

You’ve probably seen several promos for new anime titles and re-newed shows making their way to the Winter 2020/2021 season. We’ll poke around the internet to discover what will be coming to your favorite anime streaming services early next year!

Step into a New Dimension!

Our New Podcast Name Revealed!!

We’ve been wrecking our brains trying to find a good name for a podcast, and after putting out several polls on our social media pages, we may have an idea on what to call our new podcast name! Next week we do the grand unveiling of our new podcast!

That’s all we’ve got for now, see you guys next week! 🙂

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis (11/17/2020)!

Man, in the past 30 days a lot of stuff has happened and judging by how everyone is feeling right now; we REALLY want this year to end. Back in January after New Year’s Eve it seemed that people already planned out their whole year; as to what they were going to do, where they wanted to go, and what goals that wanted to achieve. Then BAM! Outta the blue COVID-19 happened. We knew it was bad when it ran amok in Wuhan, and now America is looking at 12 million infected, and over 250,000+ dead. Believe me, I hate talking about this as much as anyone; especially with the holidays coming up and now being told that we may not be able to physically sit next to out-of-town family this year.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure half the country is flipping 2020 off as I speak (and they have every right to) but if there’s one thing that we need more than a haircut or a night out at the club, it’s self-care. COVID has put our mental and emotional patience to the test to see how long it would take for us to crack, and while it seems like our social lives have forcibly taken a hiatus, many of us are getting creative. Take Yours Truly for example; before COVID A. Goldman and I were ready to kick off our 2020 anime convention tour at our usual cons, but since they’ve all been canned we decided to focus on our online presence. Eight months later I officially got the DJ system I’ve always wanted, and now we’re in the process of starting our own nerdy podcast! 

DJ Avidd Minddset! My Pioneer XDJ-XZ

Right now we got to do our best to turn this lemon that is 2020, into the lemonade that will fuel our passions, aspirations, and goals in 2021 and beyond. This year was crazy (and here’s hoping and praying that 2021 will be a little less crazy), but hopefully we’ve learned something about our selves through this trying experience that we pray we don’t have to go through again – but should it happen, we’ll be better prepared.

If you haven’t in awhile, check on your loved ones by calling them or texting them. Zoom or chat with friends through Discord, or even look for something funny to watch on youtube. If you’re an anime fan, triple down on some new shows coming out or stream them on Netflix. As for me and A. Goldman, we’ll keep bringing you the best nerdy content that we can provide; and that’s a promise we intend to keep! 😉

Anime REvisited Returns With Season One of Danmachi Next Month!

What was though to be just a one-season series has now turned into somewhat of a franchise. Danmachi or Is It Wrong To Try And Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon now has three (and soon to be four) seasons, a spin-off series, a movie, and a couple of video and mobile games. This is one of our favorite series as many of you guys might have noticed and even seen our Hestia plushie in many of our Instagram videos, as well as on all of our other social media. Next month we revisit the first season of the franchise as we review it episode-by-episode; as we take you through the journey of how the Hestia Familia got started! We know this was kinda short but that’s our announcement for today. As always stay safe and stay nerdy! 😉

The first season of when Hestia became the Bestia! 😉

Shimoneta: Japan’s History of Censorship!

There comes a time in every teenager’s life where they stumble across something that arouses their interest. Depending what kind of parents they have or how they react to the thing that they’re aroused by, it’ll cause them to do one of two things; ask them about it, or explore on their own. When it comes to anime every fan has their favorite titles that they love to indulge in, however once those fans reach a “certain age” they may have stumbled across the endless fanservice pool that is the Harem/Ecchi genre.

with these type of shows pushing the envelope every day, there’s one of them that takes the envelope and sets it on fire. We’ve seen a lot of crazy over-the-top shows, but next to Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, this is one that we’re pretty sure a large percentage of the anime community has seen.

We’re talking about Shimoneta!

That’s one way to get a ‘head’ in life…XP

This is one of those anime titles that takes the history of something and kinda drops it on its head. The whole show is centered on Japan’s strict censorship through their government, and how a group of ‘rag-tag’ degenerates pretty much give em’ the finger to their laws and restrictions about what they can and cannot say, dress, or do. (Remember how the FCC used to be 20 years ago?)

Seeing that this series takes place in 2030 (about ten years from now), Japan’s strict rules on censorship go back waaaay further than that! Article 175 or the Criminal Code of Japan, covers the censorship of pornography and how it is restricted in Japan through its sales as well as digitally. This means that if you were caught in Japan selling pornographic pictures or digital content, you’d be in jail for up to two years and have to pay a fine of 2,500,000 yen (which we think is about $24,000). This also applied to the one(s) who bought the material as well.

Japan was (and still is) no joke when it came to skin flicks and booty mags. In fact the first ever film to get the wrath of the censorship police after WWII was 1965’s Black Snow (sound familiar?). The film’s director Tetsuji Takechi and Nikkatsu distributor Satoru Murakami were indeed charged with violation of Article 175 for their film depicting prostitutes in a U.S. military base near Tokyo. The film itself was ruled out as “not obscure” in 1966, but several things happened later that threw Nikkatsu and Takechi out of the frying pan and back into the fire.

The first hentai case happened in 2004; when Yuji Suwa, Motonori Kishi, and Koichi Takada were prosecuted for producing and selling off the hentai manga anthology Misshitsu. Nine years later another case involving three people from Core Magazine happened, and those three people pleaded guilty in December of 2013. Needless to say; Japan don’t play!

How does all of this tie-in to Shimoneta? If you’re able to grasp the concept of the story (somewhat), you find various fragments and elements of Japan’s history of censorship as well as its references to its movies such as Black Snow (Blue Snow). Even though this show has its fans, it also has a little history behind its conservative nature when it comes to the lewd, the dirty, and the pornographic.

That”ll do it for our lil’ history lesson for today, and as always; love one another! 😉

The Nerd Renaissance: History of Cosplay in America!

Every year (before the pandemic) nerds and geeks from all walks of life would congregate together in sanctuaries of geekdoms known as ‘conventions’. Not matter if you’re an anime, manga, or Marvel/DC fanatic, these places were basically a haven for the collectors of Pokemon Cards, the consumers of anime wall scrolls, and the seekers of rare comics. In these conventions that are so near and dear to nerd culture, we find ourselves spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on fabric, accessories, and all other things needed to create the costumes of the characters that we adore so much from the series of shows that we crave.

 

A shot of Cosplay at our home convention in Baltimore, MD (January 2020)

It is also at these conventions; that people see a parade of nerds dressed up in multicolored wigs and medieval outfits that look like something straight out of Game of Thrones or K-Pop bands. We all know that every October 31st America dresses up as pop culture icons, bugs, strippers, you name em’. For nerds and conventions; every weekend is October 31st!

One words that has popped up at every interview outside of an anime or comic-con convention is the word “Cosplay”. For those who aren’t very familiar with the word or even its origins, check it out!

Cosplay is basically the combination or portmanteau of the words “Costume” and “Play”. It’s known as an performance art in which participants (often called Cosplayers) wear costumes and accessories of the character that they’re trying to portray. The term was first coined by Nobuyuki Takahashi in 1984 at the World Sci-Fi Convention (Worldcon) in Los Angeles. Originally, the word “Masquerade” was used as the term for Cosplay until Takahashi wrote an article in the Japanese magazine entitled My Anime after the convention.

Even though the term came about in the early-to-mid 80’s, we actually have to give credit to the first cosplayers who kicked off everything that we’re seeing in cosplay now! Forrest J. Ackerman and Myrtle R. Douglas (aka Morojo) are the true pioneers of the cosplay game; kicking it of at Worldcon 1939. (Not to mention the first “rave party” happened at the same convention in 1940; of course they were called Masquerade Balls.)

Since the 1970’s cosplaying has been a fan activity for Japan, and although the term didn’t catch on at first, it wasn’t until a couple years after Takahashi wrote his article that it started trending. The trend really took off in the 90’s after exposure on TV and magazines, and in the late 90’s came what we know today as one of the first cosplay maid cafe’s promoting a video game called Welcome to Pia Carrot! (Many might remember this game.) Hard to believe that all of this started from two sci-fi fans from the 1940’s, and Takahasi who went to Worldcon in the 80’s.

We started from the bottom…now we’re here!

Even though cosplay is more popular now that ever, it did have its ‘scantily clad’ moments. Back in the 70’s there were people who ‘appeared’ naked at sci-fi conventions in America; which prompted the “no costume is no costume” rule because it was happening so frequently each year. Now, we’ve been to a LOT of conventions in the past ten years and we’ve seen our fair share of scantily clad cosplay, but if 90% of your birthday suit is showing, the rule was that you had to return to your hotel room and change into something less revealing. That rule is true especially now with a large handful of conventions being more family-friendly; at the same token there are a handful of cons just for our age group (90’s and early 2000’s kids).

The second generation of the “no costume is no costume” rule is the “Cosplay is NOT consent” rule found at every convention we go to – even our own. With the cosplay trend continuing its popularity well past the 2010’s, it came and presented it’s own share of challenges; this being one of them. In 2013 Rochelle Keyhan, Erin Filson, Anna Kegler brought the issue of sexual harassment to the mainstream; and to this day this movement continues to gain momentum.

Another issue plaguing the cosplay community is the controversial point of cosplay ethnicity; the fact that people of color are seen as ‘not authentic’ or ‘faithful’ to their cosplay by ‘detailed elitists’. Although many cosplayers in the community feel that anyone can cosplay, it becomes difficult when some argue that they’re not being respectful to the character’s ethnicity. Even now this is quite a polarizing topic among the community, but as for where we stand, we love ALL cosplayers – that it!

To cap it all off; cosplay popularity kicked off in the 1940’s with Worldcon, and continued on throughout the 80’s and 90’s all the way to present day. With anime conventions in the U.S. taking the top spot in convention popularity; beating out traditional sci-fi and comic book conventions (though some have combined with anime cons like Zenkaikon for example), cosplay in Western countries among the general public is more accepting than their Eastern counterparts. Guess we’ve got Halloween to thank for that, right? XP

From movies and documentaries cosplay has been a part of nerd culture for 70+ years, and although there haven’t been any conventions due to COVID, we’re 1000% sure we’ll see cosplay and cosplayers again! 😉   

D&A Anime Blog: Here’s What’s Coming This Week!

We gotta admit; 2020’s been something else. Before we start we just want to give our thoughts and our prayers to the family of Alex Trebek, who passed away from his on-going battle with cancer. He was the host of one of America’s favorite game shows known as Jeopardy for 30 years, and will be truly missed. It’s been quite a week for us at D&A, but we do have some posts/articles heading your way this week!

Space Dandy: An Underrated Spectacle

This series is one of our faves that doesn’t get a whole lot of credit. In fact the story and the tone of Space Dandy is different from any anime out there; no matter what genre it is. This week we dive into what makes this show special, and why it’s a ‘standout’ from all the rest.

Shimoneta: The History of Censorship in Japan

There has been a LOT of controversial/crazy anime titles to ever come out of Japan; but with a country being so conservative about its views and behavior, there’s also its history regarding its battle against anime censorship. We look at the context and the concept of this lil’ show known as Shimoneta; that highlights the very battle between censorship and lewdness in Ecchi/Fanservice anime titles that a faction of fans like. (We say ‘faction’ because not all of us are into these titles.)

Cosplay: The History Behind Why Nerds Love To Dress-Up

America dresses up once a year, nerds dress up every weekend! Evey year at every convention, outsiders unfamiliar to ‘Nerd Culture’ wanna know why 10,000+ 20-something’s and 30-somethings’ (and even 40-somethings’) dress up in cosplay that they may (and may not) be familiar with. We take a dive into the history of cosplay, and why it’s so popular among Millennials and Gen-Z.

That’s what we’ve got going on this week! As always continue to stay safe and love one another. 🙂

Sorry For The Wait, So Here’s An Update!

Hey guys n’ gals! We’re hoping that you’re all doing well and staying safe, as things for us have been a little bit hectic this week. Last weekend we were hoping that we would get the chance to drop our final promo for D&A Studios, but we’ve had several technical issues regarding post-production; so the promo will be delayed sadly. We of course will continue to do our best in bringing you some awesome content, although its taking a bit longer than it should due to our 9-to-5 schedule conflicts. (We are working out a constant weekend schedule however.) Aside from us battling tech issues we do have some updates to share.

UPDATE 1: Cross-Promotional DJ Sets with D&A Studios / Avidd Minddset

This is a new thing that we’re experimenting with since D&A’s founding member; Donte’ J. Lewis, is also a DJ/Producer under the name ‘Avidd Minddset’. We haven’t pinpointed an official date yet but we are working on doing some exclusive mini DJ sets through Instagram Live. You’ll also be able to hear new music from Avidd Minddset as well, so we’ll keep you updated when we make the decision to launch this new project.

UPDATE 2: Upcoming “Sonic Battle PSG” Fanfiction Has Been Canned

Although this one’s kinda sad, D&A’s Donte’ J. Lewis has decided to remain in fanfiction retirement. The story didn’t really come out the way that he wanted it to, and he wasn’t sure what the ‘interest’ level would be should he post it. For now he does have his earlier works from 2013-2014, so if fans are interested you can check out “Sonic plus Panty & Stocking” or “Brief & Soulfire”.

UPDATE 3: New Podcast Names

If we haven’t mentioned it before, we are working on getting some equipment for our podcast. Right now we’ve narrowed our choices down to three names; Nerdz of the Decade, The Anime Famous Podcast, and Generation Geek. We’ll put out a final poll on which of the three names we should go with on social media; and keep you informed on when we’ll drop the first official episode.

2020 has been a trying year for each and every one of us, so if you feel the way we feel, just hang in there and know we’re right here for you! That’s all we’ve got for now in terms of updates, and should any more come in; we’ll let you know right off the bat! 🙂

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

Every year on October 31st since who-knows-when; suburban America dresses up as their favorite ghost, ghoul, or goblin, and dashes from door-to-door with the greeting we all know as “Trick or Treat”. They all say that once you reach a certain age ‘Trick-or-Treating’ becomes a young man’s game, but with fans of anime and manga, every weekend is Halloween during convention season! Sadly this year COVID took away our scary-good fun and has left us inside this October 31st, however don’t despair (unlike Junko), cuz there’s some scary-good fun to be had! We’ve traveled through the internet and found our Top 5 anime titles to watch during this at-home Halloween season!

Number 5: Higurashi: When They Cry!

Looking for a psychological thriller this Halloween? Check out the trailer for this re-imagined classic. A kid named Keiichi Maebara moves into a new home in Hanamizawa Village, but everything about is isn’t…quite right. Be prepared to have the piss scared out of ya, if you dare to watch.

Number 4: Shiki

If you’re a fan of vampires and suspense, then you’re gonna love this one! There’s a lot of sad stuff that happens in this series, so if you’re gonna take a shot at this anime title, just know that it’s not for the faint of heart.

Number 3: Parasyte

Not the other one you’re thinking of, but ‘this’ one. This show was actually a part of the Toonami line up back in 2015/2016, so it’s definitely worth checking out again this Halloween season!

Number 2: Another

Another horror anime that you should check out! (See what we did, there?) This underrated classic just so happens to be a fan favorite with D&A’s A. Goldman, so if you’re on the hunt for a good thriller this at-home Halloween, be sure to watch this one!

Number 1: Hellsing Ultimate

The one that started it all; Alucard This one is a MUST watch if you love the original vampire that is…well, you should know him by now. Take it from us; this series and its OVA’s are jam-packed with all the action, violence, and gore to ever come from the undisputed King of the Vampires.

Even though these titles are the five that we’ve chosen for this post, we can’t leave out a few Honorable Mentions…

Honorable Mention: Tokyo Ghoul

Honorable Mention: Angel’s Egg

Honorable Mention: Deadman Wonderland

Honorable Mention: Serial Experiments Lain

That’s all we’ve got for now, but there’s more Halloween posts to come. Until next time, stay safe and love one another! 🙂

Fanfiction Update: Sonic Battle PSG Coming 2021!!

Hey guys n’ gals! A few posts back we mentioned that D&A’s own D.J. Lewis would be coming out of fanfiction retirement to bring you a new crossover fanfic entitled Sonic Battle PSG. Now we’re here to update you on what the story will be about, so here we go!

Title card

Deep within the Lost Realm, a group of powerful S-Rank ghosts called “The Renegades” were watching the Anarchy sisters destroy one of their brethren once again. The leader of the group known as Legend issued a declaration of war against the angels as he and the other nine ghostly members agreed. Meanwhile in Daten City Garterbelt was tending to the
garden in the church’s courtyard until he heard the sound of thunder; followed by the sound of Chuck getting shocked by lighting.

The afro preacher left the courtyard and into the backdoor of the kitchen where a fried Chuck was sitting on the table. Garter banged the dog on the head as it spat out a note that read “Renegades”. An uneasy look appeared on the preacher’s as he read the note, but the sound of Panty and Stocking crashing through the church’s front doors in See Through snapped him out of it.

Not far from Daten City lies Emerald Town, as Sonic is at the beach relaxing after foiling Dr. Eggman’s plans for world domination one month ago. Sudden the sky grew dark as grey clouds started to form, as Sonic opened his eyes before leaping away from the bolt of lightning that struck right where he was relaxing. Once the smoke had cleared he saw a pair of gloves and his signature red and white sneakers, but they had a divine glow to them. Next to them was a note as the blue hedgehog went over to pick it up. It told Sonic to put on the gloves and shoes and rally his allies, then go to Daten City for a new adventure. Sonic put the note in his pocket before putting on the glowing gloves and shoes, and sped off to Tails’ Lab.

Back at the church Garter was pissed that the angels crashed See Through into the front doors, but he reluctantly shook it off as he had bigger problems. The preacher told Panty and Stocking that a powerful group of ghosts known as “The Renegades” are coming to Daten City to wreak havoc on anybody that gets in their way. As usual the angels were off in their own little world; Panty snoring away, while Stocking was reading the latest issue of “Goth Monthly”. Before Garterbelt could yell at the angels for being the lazy-ass sluts they usually are, a sudden earthquake was felt as Panty snapped out of her slumber.

The angels and Garter went outside and saw a massive ghost causing destruction downtown, and floating next to it appeared to be one of the ghost members from “The Renegades”. Garter declared that Panty and Stocking handle the situation immediately, though little do they know; they might be receiving some unexpected help from a certain blue hedgehog and his allies…

You can find this story on Fanfiction.net in January 2021! That’s all the updates we’ve got for now, so until next post, continue to stay safe and love one another! 🙂

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! 😉

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: Anime Gatekeeping!

In middle and high school everyone was a part of a social group, and no matter how cliche’ it sounds today, the aspect of it was true for many of us. There are moments we’d love to forget and others we lament over for the rest of our lives, but when it comes to extracurricular hobbies, you were “branded” or “labeled” based on the type of hobby or activity that you take up. The one hobby-turned-lifestyle that I’m talking about is the Otaku. In Japan the original meaning of the word is another word for ‘Loser’, but in America it’s actually embraced as someone who is passionate about East-Asian culture – anime culture to be exact!

Back in the 90’s it was just finding its way into the popular scene, and was a niche medium at the time. Now 20+ years later its now become mainstream and is embraced by a large percentage of the population. However here’s where things get a little ‘interesting’; if you flashback to all of the times you wanted to be ‘cool’ just like the cool kids, you’d try and find a way to get into the parties that most of the cool kids were throwing. If history has taught us anything, nerds and geeks were NEVER in their wildest dreams invited to any of the cool kids parties. So what did we do? We created our own gatherings and invited other nerds to join us in our geekdom. Now it’s 20-something years later, those geekdoms have become the anime conventions that you see today!

But back to the interesting part; now those same ‘cool’ kids types that didn’t invite you to the parties that they threw, want to join to the party that you threw. Going from niche to mainstream doesn’t come without its challenges; you want to make the medium that you’re apart of inclusive, but you gotta worry about individuals who were never a part of the ‘revolution’ to begin with, jumping into your space.

“When something becomes too popular, there’s bound to be imitators.”

— Brian Griffin

Thinking back to how nerds were stereotyped and treated through media 20-something years ago, the ‘cool’ kids were actually the gatekeepers of popularity. Now that we’ve found our own party and our own gatherings, many of us are doing the exact same thing; keeping the ‘normies’ out. Gatekeeping is one of those things that you really have to be careful about; so much so, that you have to pick and choose your own battles when it comes to this topic. (Video games fall into this category as well.)

‘Cool’ kid types are attracted to popularity and trends, and since anime is now mainstream, that’s where many of em’ are going to go. I’m not saying that gatekeeping is a good or a bad thing, but with a niche medium like anime now among the mainstream ranks, there’s only so much you can do. We just have to remember that as anime fans, there are some people who may be just a little bit curious about it, and if so, we need to educate them on the Anime Fan Etiquette System (A.F.E.S)! (Patent pending, of course! XP)

No matter what fandom you’re in, you’re always gonna have those individuals who may become problematic; in several cases the problematic people may even be some of the fans of the fandom themselves. This is where toxicity among fans or the fandom itself becomes an issue, and we’re pretty sure you guys know which ones are right on the money. Being a part of the anime community myself; I’ve seen it at its best and also at its worst, but in spite of it all I love being a part of this growing community. No one has ever made me feel more welcome that this community, and from the bottom of my heart I want to thank you guys for that! 🙂

So to finish up this post; is gatekeeping in anime an issue? Honestly, it’s one of those questions that depends on who you ask. Many anime fans were bullied (by normies) because of their love for anime, so they feel that it’s necessary to protect what they love at all costs by keeping it strictly for them. On the other hand they wish more people were a part of the community, because anime is more fun with friends and other like-minded people. I believe that 75-80% of the community as a whole is pretty decent and awesome, you just have to avoid the 20-25% who are normies, elitists, cringe buckets, anipolitical weebs, and misogynists.

At the end of the day, you have the final say over what you’re passionate about. If you love anime and it has changed your life in some form or fashion, by all means defend it! Just make sure that the ones or the younger generation that’s curious about it, are educated through the love and passion that anime has brought to you.

That’s my take, stay safe out there guys! 😉

D&A Anime Blog: Something New In The Works For Our Youtube Page…

Hey guys n’ gals! We’ve got a quick little announcement to share with you. Although we can’t fully disclose it yet, we can say that it does have something to do with our Youtube page. Four months from now will mark our five-year bloggerversary starting January 11th, and since that day we’ve received a LOT of love from our fans and other anibloggers right here on WordPress. We know how much you guys miss conventions (cuz’ we do too), so maybe…just maybe we might have something in the works that just might help with that.

As always we hope that you guys are staying safe, masking up, and keeping a safe distance for the upcoming Fall season. We want you guys to know that we love you, and thank you for continuing to support us on our nerdy little journey. We’ll keep you updated on what new changes may be coming to our Youtube page, so until then, stay nerdy my friends! 😉

Anime Love & Hip-Hop: The Remix!

Anime, and Hip-Hop. What is it about these two cultures that seem to cross paths on many different occasions on many different platforms. From football to wrestling anime has now become mainstream, and with that comes brand new fans that you’d never thought would be anime fans. (Meg Thee Stallion and Lil’ Nas X comes to mind.) The love between anime and hip-hop has brought about the surge of anime nerdcore rappers; such as Mega Ran, King Shabazz, and many others. For some of us we remember how this relationship got started, and if you want the full story on that click here.

There’s so much that has come out of this collaboration between anime and hip-hop, that now; especially in these times filled with racial injustice against African-Americans, there are more People of Color appearing in not just anime, but also ADR directors, writers, and creators. One studio that comes to mind is D’ART Shtajio; a Black-owned American anime studio in Japan that’s really coming up in the anime production scene. If you haven’t gotten the chance to see their work, check it out here!

If you thought that was cool, this anime studio even did the animation behind the music video of the Weeknd’s new track; Snowchild!

In short; anime and hip-hop have been doin’ it big since day one, and it doesn’t look like this relationship will be souring any time soon. With anime becoming more diverse with each new series, hip-hop will always be right by its side. That’ll do it for this little remix of mine, but if you want to check out the original post that sparked this ‘remix’, the links are down below!

Anime Love & Hip-Hop: Part 1

Anime Love & Hip-Hop: Part 2

D&A Breakdown: Is Danmachi An Isekai?

If you’re an anime fan, then you might have noticed the sudden surge in Isekai titles lately. From your Cautious Heroes to your Reincarnated Slimes it seems like every season the anime creators and studios drop some new show under this genre. Has it gotten a little excessive? Yeah, but that’s another post for another day. Even though there are a lot of isekai titles out there, there’s one that stands out from the rest; so much so, that some would argue that it’s not even a full-fledged isekai. The title that we’re talking about is Danmachi or Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon.

Is Danmachi an isekai?

We discovered this awesome series a couple of years ago, and from first glance it seemed like it was an isekai at the time. For those who are wondering just what the heck an ‘isekai’ is, we’ll tell you. An isekai is an anime/manga genre where a person or a small group of people from Earth, get transported to a universe that is parallel to their own, or something completely different. We can name so many titles that fit this description, but the fact of the matter remains; is Danmachi considered an isekai?

Well guys and girls, the short answer to this question is no.

Going back to the definition of what an isekai is, Danmachi does possess a few of the elements that you’d find in your typical isekai title; a brand new fantasy world, guild members, etc. However the main reason why it’s not really considered an isekai, is that fact that the parallel world that the main character Bell is in, is not the world that he’s been transported to from his own – but the world that he’s already living in. Perhaps this is one of the main reasons why Danmachi stands out from all of the other isekai titles; because it’s NOT an isekai title in the technical sense of the definition. Sure, it’s got RPG elements like you’d find in Log Horizon or Cautious Hero, but the biggest difference between them is the fact that the world of Danmachi (or Orario), is actually the world that the cast is living in.

Final verdict; Danmachi is NOT an isekai!

Well, that will do it for this rather short anime breakdown, but even though Danmachi isn’t an isekai, it’s still an awesome series nonetheless. If you haven’t gotten the chance yet be sure to check it out on FunimationNow, Crunchyroll, or HiDive! Until next post stay safe, mask up, and love one another! 😉

D&A Anime Blog: Shifting Gears But Still Goin’ Strong!

Where do I begin with this update? Well, this week has been something else. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one feeling it but the majority of us are working hard as hell to remain positive. 2020 has been knocking us around like a pinball for the last five months and it seems every time we turn around, something else happens. None of us were prepared for this, but throughout these last five months many of us have grown to adapt to this ‘new normal’ as everyone is calling it. With that in mind we’ve decided to change gears a little bit in terms of content, so here we go!

 

Bell and Hestia…who is the bestia! XP

D&A Breakdown: Is Danmachi Considered an Isekai?

Danmachi has always been one of our favorite anime titles, but lately there’s been a lot of debate on whether or not it can be considered an isekai. So we’ll be doing some digging, comparing, and contrasting on the type of elements that you’d find in your run-of-the-mill isekai, and see if they match up with the story found in Danmachi.

Anime Love & Hip-Hop: The Remix

One of our favorite posts that we’ve done was talk about the role that Hip-Hop played in the world of anime, as well as its influence on Japanese Culture. They may seem different from the outside looking in, but both of these cultures have a lot more in common than you might think.

Then & Now: How Toonami Changed Our Lives

Growing up in the 90’s, fan’s remember when the first advertisement for this legendary block came about. Now in a time where we’re facing civil unrest and racial injustice against African-Americans, we recap how Toonami shaped the world of anime and action cartoons, as well as bring fans together from all walks of life.

So starting next week! We’ll be trying out a new format where we’ll be doing posts on three major topics of discussion; which will also include our upcoming Manga of the Week pick, and Throwback Thursday pick. (No, we haven’t forgotten about that.)

That’s all for now, so until next week, have a safe and Happy Labor Day! 🙂

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis (09/03/2020)!

Hey guys n’ gals! So it’s finally September, and it looks like what was supposed to be an awesome Summer that didn’t happen, is finally winding down. To be honest I feel drained; mentally and emotionally due to the country ‘seemingly’ going to hell in a hand basket. A few days ago we were given the news of the passing of the King of Wakanda himself; Chadwick Boseman (aka Black Panther) from stage four colon cancer. Marvel fans young and old from all around the world gave hundreds if not thousands of tributes to him, as he wasn’t just an actor, he was a true superhero. His work ethic even during his state was second to none, and was super humble for every opportunity and was a really cool guy.

With all of the craziness going on we should look at the type of person Chadwick was and strive to be better in our own lives. He was an inspiration to young African-Americans and other children who are fighting cancer everywhere. Although he played a superhero, he was OUR superhero. This is indeed a sad moment for the Marvel world, but if we can be nearly as half the man that Chadwick was, imagine the kind of world we’d all live in; where there was more love and humility and less hate and violence. 2020 has us seeing clearly now; how bad racism really is, and what we must do as a nation to stop it. We may not have grown up the same way, but we live on the same soil. Let’s be better ya’ll.

Until next post, stay united!

D&A Anime Blog: Manga of the Week Returns!!

September’s here, which means that Summer will be coming to an end sooner than we think. We know that this has been a Summer that we’re not used to seeing; with Covid still running ramped, the entire convention scene gone digital, and the fight against racial injustice still a number one goal and a priority. We know, it’s been crazy, but as always we’ll continue to give you some uplifting and awesome content for you to enjoy next month (or tomorrow rather).

After looking back at some of the segments that we’ve done over the past several years, we’ve decided to bring back an old favorite. That’s right guys! Manga of the Week is back! This time we’ve decided to do it a little bit differently, as we’ll be reviewing manga titles/volumes from our good friends at Viz Media with a sub-segment we call Manga of the Week: Viz Media Edition! Like our original segment, we’ll be reviews/overviews on manga titles both new and upcoming from Viz Media, and if you have any suggestions on what titles we should check out, send em’ in the comments below. That’s all we’ve got for now, but as always guys continue to stay safe and stay sane in this insane time we’re living in.

And know that we love you from the bottom of our hearts! 🙂

From Hoohoo Village to Beanbean Castle (via Chucklehuck Woods): A Superstar Saga Review! (Pt. 2)

Hey guys n’ gals! We’re back with part two of our lite gaming review from the 3DS remake of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. Last we chat; we ended up at Hoohoo Village coming from Stardust Fields after Bowser’s Koopa Cruiser exploded thanks to Fawful. Now the bros. are in this new village wondering where they need to go next to search for Peach’s voice’s whereabouts – and where to find Cackletta and Fawful. Let’s dive in to part two and see what happens, shall we?

Part 2 – From Hoohoo Village to Beanbean Castle (via Chucklehuck Woods)

Now that you’re in Hoohoo village, it’s time to do some exploring. If you’ve been battling a lot in Stardust Fields, chances are; you’ve got a lotta coins! Find the item shop on the bridge that’s right next to the waterfall and stock up on mushrooms and syrups (trust me, you’ll need them later), then take the bros. to the pathway under the bridge where the shop was and you’ll run into…Fawful?! Yeah, the lil’ nerd who blasted Bowser’s ship with you on it to pieces! He’ll turn to the bros. and rant on about food metaphors before dropping what looks to be a statue of ‘The Thinker’, and then flies off to meet up with Cackletta.

Now you’re probably thinking ‘This prick just dropped this thing and blocked our path! Now what do we do?’ So head back up to where the item shop was and go inside the house next to it. I honestly got lost when I first played this game back in 2003, so just poke around until you find the house I’m talking about.

Once you do, you’ll find two hammer-headed bros. Mario and Luigi tell them that they need hammers to break the statue that Fawful dropped on their path, but the material that the hammer-headed bros. need…they no longer have. Now it looks like you’re screwed, but wait…wasn’t there a bridge leading to a path that will take you to the summit of Hoohoo Mountain? Yes, there is! Luckily, you don’t have to go back and forth from the village to Stardust Fields waiting for the bridge to be fixed like you did back in 03’. It’s already ready by the time you walk out of the hammer-headed bros. home. Now it’s time to kick enemy butt n’ level up!

If you can grind all the way to level 8 or higher with the bros. the mid-level boss fight that takes place in the middle of the summit will be a breeze. Then just keep using the new skills you’ve learned from the Starshade Bros. until you reach the mountain’s summit. From there you’ll meet a pterodactyl named Blababladon (I can’t pronounce his name for crap) who gets upset because you kicked a Hoohoo Stone by his foot. As Mario and Luigi explain what happened and how they got here, the egg that Blaby was sitting on starts hatching. Out of it came some ugly-looking dinosaur, which shot a Hoohoo Stone at Blaby – sending him into the clouds far away. Now it’s time for your second REAL boss battle!

Unload all of the bros. special Bros. Attacks on Dragohoho and keep the damage to a minimum, or don’t take any at all. Like I said before; if Mario and Luigi are both at level 8 or higher this fight should be a breeze. After beating the dragon it’ll shoot another Hoohoo Stone into the air, which lands in the house of a certain hammer-headed duo. The dragon then transforms into a prince (without you having to kiss it), as the prince known as Prince Peasley thanks you for saving him. Blaby returns and joins in on the convo as Peasley gives you a special rose needed to get into Beanbean Castle. After Peasley does that anime pretty boy thing where he flips his hear and a sparking background appears, Blaby takes you back down to the village where you meet the hammer-headed bros. and get those hammers.

Once you’ve got them; head to where Fawful dropped ol’ Thinker, and smash it to bits. At this moment you’re hiking down the mountain while using the new hammers you’ve gotten, sadly there are no monsters to fight in this area, but that might actually be a good thing. The area past the cave is a ‘one-way’ only section, so you’ll have to take the bros. through the cave. You’ll find two mining carts with an old man and his dog, so if you remember the minigame from 2003, the rules are the same now as they were then. Win the minigame by collecting ten gems or more, then continue from the cave and you’ll come out to the Beanbean Outskirts. If you run into any spiked enemies, just use the hammer.

You then descend onto the Beanbean Castle grounds where the whole place got hit by war. Actually from one of the people; it got hit by Cackletta and Fawful. If you need to stock up, hit the item shop before hitting the castle. You’ll run into two guards who may or may not know who the Mario Bros. are, but flash Prince Peasley’s rose in front of them and they’ll let you in. Once you’re inside look for the Throne Room and there you’ll find the ambassador of the Beanbean Kingdom. She asks if the bros. are who they say they are, and to prove it, she drops them into the castle’s sewers to ‘fix’ the castle’s plumbing. At this moment both Mario and Luigi should have about 40 health and 25 bros. points or more, so make sure you kill all the monsters and level up like crazy, cuz’ another boss battle is one the horizon.

After you make it to the final room and fix the final pipe, you see the ambassador again with her assistant known as Lady Lima (as in Lima beans). The bros. tell her that she sent them down to fix the pipes, when in reality all they did was disable the security system that protects the Beanstar. Upon that revelation the bros. race back up to the castle, but Cackletta and Fawful already have the star in their possession. Mario and Luigi get ready to fight Cackletta, but instead you fight a possessed Bean Queen. In this fight you’d better aim for the arms cuz’ you won’t be able to deal any damage as long as she has her crown on her head; plus you’ll take damage if you jump on her too. After the fight Lady Lima tells you that the queen was possessed by a belch worm that Cackletta forced her to eat.

Now the only way to return her back to normal is to venture out and find Chuckola Cola, which can only be found in Chuckehuck Woods. Peasley shows up during the whole ordeal and you’re given a special item needed to enter into the Chuckola Museum. So the hunt is on to head to Chucklehuck Woods to find the special cola needed to end the Bean Queen’s suffering, and thus ends part two of our walkthrough review!

Until next post, stay safe and stay united! 🙂

From The Mushroom to the Beanbean Kingdom: A Superstar Saga Review (Pt. 1)

What’s good anime fam! On our last post we said that we were thinking about doing a light experiment with video game walkthrough reviews. With that in mind we’ve managed to pick up a New Nintendo 3DS XL, along with a copy of the Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga remake featuring a new adventure game called Bowser’s Minions. Although we’re not hardcore gamers both of us have played a lot of great titles; some of which are now considered as national treasures, while others leave a lot to be desired. Superstar Saga DX on the other hand is an absolute classic re-imagined from its 2003 debut on the Game Boy Advance. It’s got better graphics, stronger enemies and bosses, and stays true to its original charm and charisma that made the original game so well loved.

If you happen to have a 3DS or the New 3DS (which are hard to come by because the rage is dead thanks to the Switch Lite being the new ‘it’ thing now), I recommend picking up a copy of this game! Now, it’s time for Part 1 of the walkthrough review…

Part 1 – From the Mushroom Kingdom to the Beanbean Kingdom

Peach’s Castle!

You’ve seen it in every Mario game since Mario 64, and it’s where and how every Mario adventure game starts and ends; at least in this spin-off from the original franchise. Princess Peach is greeted by the ambassador of the kingdom next door; the Beanbean Kingdom. Everything seems to be legit until Peach gets sprayed by a purple mist smokescreen, and then the ambassador reveals herself to be the powerful witch known as Cackletta; with the meaning and pun behind her name being re-enforced by her laugh. Her underling Fawful (which might mean ‘F’n awful’ depending on who you ask) uses some weird headgear device to ‘steal’ Peach’s voice. After doing so they take off as the sky resembles Cackletta; letting the gamer know that the adventure has begun.

Meanwhile at Mario and Luigi’s house one of the toads rushes inside and past Luigi doing laundry, to look for the older and well-known Mario bro. Upon finding him in his bath robe he runs out of the shower and into a wall. He mutters that Peach is in trouble and as if he heard the magic word(s) dashes from his house towards her castle. Upon arrival he finds the king of all koopas (who couldn’t have come at a worst time) making a scene while Peach is in distress.

Mario stops in his tracks, but Luigi runs right into Bowser who turns around and charges at Mario. In the original fight Mario had 10 health and 10 bros. points. In this fight Mario has 15 health, and 10 bros. points. Unlike the original where you only attack once with the Jump attack, you get to attack twice like you would in Bowser’s Inside Story; dealing 4 damage instead of 2. After dealing 12 damage the fight ends as Bowser says that now’s not the time to fight; which is ironic cuz’ HE’s the one who started it!

After a cinematic comedic moment where it appears Peach has blown up the castle with her “explosive language”, Mario is at the courtyard on a mission to retrieve Peaches voice by going to the Beanbean Kingdom and tracking down Cackletta. You’ll be doing a lot of favors for a few people before taking off so make sure you don’t forget to do them; cuz it’ll pay off later on. After a while Mario’s on his way to Bowser’s Koopa Cruiser with Luigi seeing him off…NOT! After Bowser gets upset that his minions didn’t show up on time, he spots Luigi and ask if he wants to join up with his minions. He tried to say “no” but the Koopa king ended up taking him anyway; in another hilarious cinematic sequence.

Its nightfall and you’re on Bowser’s flying ship, so after a little more dialogue you get to play as both Mario and Luigi; with Luigi having 17 health and 12 bros. points. If you’ve played the 2003 original game, then you probably already know how to control Mario and Luigi, but I’d still take advantage of speaking to a few of Bowser’s crew members only because you might get extra mushrooms for battle. Once you reach a certain part of the ship you’re going to need to get your picture taken before setting foot in the Beanbean Kingdom, so speak to the koopa behind the old-looking camera. Once you’ve done that keep going until you find a barrel, then smash that thing to trigger a response from another koopa crew member.

Although the bros tell the koopa that they’re looking for the deck, he wants to make sure they don’t slow Bowser down – and teaches them to fight as a pair. Like I’ve said before; if you’ve played the 03’ original, you’re good on this part. Throughout the room you’ll be smashing several goomba pairs in battle, and since both brothers have more than 10 health you should be fine. Once you reach the room before the deck another scene plays out where Luigi gets mistaken for cargo and taken to the deck.

At this point one of the koopa crew members tells Bowser that they’re approaching the border between the Mushroom and Beanbean kingdoms. With Luigi as the lookout; his eyes suddenly pop out of his head as an energy ball smashes the side of the ship, causing Mario and Bowser to look around. Suddenly they spotted the source of the attacks, as it came from exactly who they thought it was; Cackletta. She tells the bros and Bowser of her plan as she commands Fawful to deal with the trio; with the underling launching a blast at Bowser putting him out of commission (or at least out of the fight). Now it’s time for another boss battle!

Hopefully both Mario and Luigi are at level 2; having at least 20 health or more, and 15 bros. points or more. After smacking Fawful around for a couple turns, Bowser asks if you want to know how to dodge Fawful’s attacks. If you already know how (since you’ve played the 03’ version), you don’t have to do this. Just keep smacking him around some more until the fight ends. Once it does Fawful will split, but not before going ‘Rambo’ on the ship and scattering the bros, Bowser, and the rest of the crew across the border. Now the Mario bros. are in Stardust Fields on the mushroom side of the border, and with every border there’s border security. Luckily for the bros they know who they are due to their star power (no pun intended) and proceeded to ask them to prove that they’re truly the legendary jumpers they say they are. After winning the challenge a little fireworks anime plays on the wall; resembling the goal from the original Super Mario Bros. game.

Now that you’re across the border, you’ll be running to a few more enemies before finding the koopa king. Beat em’ down in battle and level up some more, and then you’ll find a large cannon with Bowser tail-up inside until Mario jumps on him to flip the cannon over. Before you’re able to get him out a big green cherub-looking monster named Tolstar drops in and recognizes Bowser and the bros. You are then told to give him 100 coins or he’ll tell the entire Beanbean kingdom how Bowser got stuck in the cannon. The bros give him the coins but realize the exchange rate is only between 5-10%; meaning the bros only gave Tolstar 10 beanbean coins. That means you got to find 100 beanbean coins or you can’t continue, so Tolstar opens another pathway leading deeper into Stardust Fields.

So this is all you have to do; fight more beanbean baddies, level up, gain new skills from the Starshade Bros. cuz’ trust me, you’ll need em’! After doing all of that and being around level 4 or higher (with both bros having between 30-39 health and 21-26 bros. points), you’ll meet back up with Tolstar and give him the 100 beanbean coins that he asked for. After doing that you’d think he’d be a man of his word, but c’mon! You knew right away that he was ‘that’ kind of guy! So Mario and Luigi end up battling him as a result of his lie.

If you wanna go all out (and you probably might want to against this guy cuz’ he deserves it) use bros. attack only. After giving him a good beating, Tolstar flops right in front of the cannon where Bowser is, but the battle made so much noise that one of the Starshade Bros. appears and lights the cannon that Bowser is stuck in. He tells Mario and Luigi to find Peach’s voice without him, and that it’s all up to them. After disappearing along with Tolstar, the bros continue on their journey. They now end up in Hoohoo Village where they’re confronted by three…um, solders who claim that they’ve done something to their prince. (Dude, we just got here and we’re already being detained?!)

Before things get any messier Tolstar appears with crutches and bandages from the beating the bros gave him earlier, and clears up everything. How about that? Guess there’s some good in him after all…

Well guys that will do it for Part 1 of my Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga DX review/walkthrough. I know I’ve stated that I’ll be covering the entire game in just five parts, but because of how long this game is, we’ll be doing it in 7 parts. Part 2 will cover everything from Hoohoo Village to Beanbean Castle, so stay tuned for that!

Until next post, stay safe and stay gold! 😉

Next Week: A Superstar Saga Review!!

For those who may not have heard the news, we just picked up a New Nintendo 3DS XL! Yeah, we know we’re late to the party, but while looking for new things and segments to try out, many of our fans have been wondering if we’re ever going to do any gaming reviews on the blog. Although we’re mostly an anime/manga blog, we haven’t shied away from the idea of incorporating lite gaming reviews. So in response to demand, we’re bringing you guys a special five-part, five-post gaming review/walkthrough of the remake of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions! It will kick off next Monday and end next Friday, so if you love the Mario Bros. you don’t wanna miss this! 😉