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.

Misuzu Scares Us When She Smiles

Tomo-Chan is a Girl Ep. 4 Review

In my teen years, one of my go-to romcom anime was To-Love-Ru from the halls of Shonen Jump. Say what you want about harem anime and the fanservice, but it’s a lot of fun when it does stuff right. And one of the best things To-Love-Ru did at one point was splitting the episodes up into segments, letting them tell more stories in a single episode. Some of them didn’t even revolve around the main character; they could be about the supporting cast. Why am I talking about all of this, though? Because Tomo-Chan has reached the pointed where it can start to break each episode up into more segments and focus on the side characters. And the side characters are still pretty funny. 

Misuzu Gives Me all Kinds of Red Flags

An interesting thing about Misuzu: in the dub, she’s voiced by the talented Jad Saxton. A lot of her roles over the years have a recurring theme of being characters who are

  1. Associated with cats.
  2. Actual cat-girls.
  3. Cold & sassy tsundere’s
  4. All of the above

Going by this criteria, I’d say Misuzu was meant for someone like Jad. She acts prickly to almost everyone, and…she’s one of the best characters on the show.

The thing about Misuzu that the first short drives home is that she’s scary. Jun says that when she smiles, it’s like the Devil’s smiling at him. Even Tomo’s a little scared of her smile. However, Misuzu’s scary in a good way because you know she’s going to do something fun. 

Plus, she does care about her friends.

Misuzu Craves Tomo’s Affection

Misuzu may not say it outright, but as the next short makes clear, she deeply craves Tomo’s affection. They’ve been best friends since they were babies, and they balance each other quite well. Tomo brings out the best in Misuzu, and Misuzu keeps Tomo grounded when she lets her emotions run wild. So, when Tomo decides to become more physically affectionate with her girlfriends and winds up getting glomped by Carol all day, she gets jealous. 

Misuzu’s what we call a tsundere. Someone whose harsh to people at first but warm and affectionate to people once she’s warmed up to them. However, Misuzu’s pride also keeps her from expressing her emotions properly. Thankfully, Tomo and Misuzu’s bond is too strong to be broken by things like that.

As a side note: Jun’s a total hypocrite. When he surprises Tomo with a hug out of nowhere, it’s fine, but when she does it, it’s not cool? Either it’s cool for both of them, or it isn’t, man!

Tomo’s Parents are Just Like Her

The final short, while a bit all over the place, is also my favorite because we get to meet Tomo’s parents for the first time. After seeing them, her personality starts to make a lot more sense.

First, there’s her mom, whose just as fiery and passionate as her daughter is, to the point where she threatens Jun when he doesn’t call her by her first name. Then, we finally meet her dad, the head of the Aizawa Dojo. Despite being as much of a meathead as Tomo and Jun can be, he’s powerless before his wife. It’s clear that she wears the pants in the relationship. 

Despite what Tomo thinks of her Dad, Jun understands Mr. Aizawa a little better. He may not look cool in front of his wife and daughter, but Jun understands that he doesn’t need to put on airs in front of his family. He can be himself with them, and that’s the best thing anyone can ask for. The rest of the segment revolves around Tomo standing up to a group of bullies for her girlfriends. And when they seek revenge, Jun whups them offscreen. 

They may not have been as organized as some of the other episodes so far, but I’m still having fun watching them. Better wait for long-term for Jun to wise up to his best friend’s crush on him, though. 

I Give “The Reason for Her Smile” a 3.5/5, a “I Want to Be Playful Like a Girl” a 3.5/5, & “Heroes Fall a Lot” a 4/5

So That’s Why Misuzu Hates Jun-Kun!

Tomo-Chan is a Girl! Ep 3 Review

Another week goes by, another instance of you guys enjoying my reviews of Tomo-Chan is a Girl! I’m not sure if it’s because I’m writing it for D&A Anime Blog or watching the anime, but thank you, regardless. I’m personally still enjoying this light-hearted rom-com. Speaking of romance, the second segment for last week’s episode ended with the reveal that Jun and Misuzu used to date. Tomo wasn’t aware of this, and the three had been friends since they were kids.

Time for some good old-fashioned drama!

Why Misuzu Hates Jun So Much

After hearing about the apparent relationship between the two of them, Tomo immediately goes to Misuzu to learn more. The story went like this: one day in middle school, Jun asked Misuzu out on a date out of nowhere, and she said yes. However, his idea of a “date” was bike riding up a mountain road. Misuzu didn’t like it. At all. They did the same thing the day after that, so she couldn’t take it anymore. 

It gets funnier. Even though she wanted to break it off with him, Jun did it first. And that’s why she hates Jun so much: he hurt her pride as a woman.

Hilarity aside, it’s pretty obvious that Jun’s ideal date involves doing things that Tomo would like. Between that and how he becomes violently protective of her around other guys, it’s pretty safe to assume that he likes Tomo like that. He’s just Naruto Uzumaki levels of dense about it. Some might find it boring, but I find it funny to see how long these two will keep fumbling around like this.

Speaking of which…

An Actual Date Between Tomo and Jun!?!?

Tomo finally manages to work up the nerve to ask Jun out on a date! At least, that’s what she intends for it to be. Jun merely sees it as the two of them hanging out like they usually do. Still, Misuzu and Carol both agree that Tomo shouldn’t waste this chance, and advise her to dress slightly more feminine. The end results are pretty impressive to look at; when Tomo puts her mind to it, she looks really pretty.

Too bad Jun remains as dense as ever. As a result, the two continue to do things they normally do, like play baseball and go bowling. And sadly for Tomo, when she suggests they go do karaoke together, she’s left singing kiddie songs while Jun watches. It’s…a little sad to look at.

As seems to be the case, though, Jun slowly does start to see Tomo as more of a girl, as he privately admits that Tomo looked cute in her outfit on their not-date. 

I may not have much experience with dating (sadly), but I do know that a date doesn’t have to be exactly romantic. As long as both people are doing something they love together, then that’s also fine. 

Thus far, I’m loving this anime. I think it’s one of the funniest ones to come out of the Winter 2023 season, and I look forward to seeing how far it’s going to go. 

I Give “Best Buds” and “Let’s Go on a Date!” a 3.8/5 and 3.5/5 

Short Skirts and Cotton-Candy Girls

First off, I wanted to say thank you to all the people who liked my review to the premiere episode of Tomo-Chan is a Girl! I didn’t expect it to be so well-liked, and I appreciate it. Secondly, it’s still too early to tell, but I stand by my statement. This is going to be a slice-of-life romcom to watch in the winter 2023 anime season. This week, Tomo-Chan deals with skirts and makes a new friend who is…rather weird.

That Intro Screams Best Friends, Though!

This episode also marks the debut of the anime opening, and I have to say, I found it to be very light-hearted and charming. Seeing Jun and Tomo throw fists at each other like there’s no tomorrow and then laugh it off immediately afterward? These two have “best friend energy” written all over them and can clearly be themselves around each other. It drives home just how strong their bond really is. That, and any girl you can pal around with like this is the kind you want in your life. Get on that, Jun!

The Pros and Cons of Wearing Skirts

In the first segment, Tomo and Jun take the bus home from school when some pervert tries feeling the former up. Thankfully, Jun sees what’s happening right away and hauls the guy to the police. While Tomo could’ve done it herself, it’s sweet seeing Jun be protective of his best friend. 

He then ruins any good will he gets by dropping a bombshell: he thinks Tomo should ditch the skirt and wear shorts full-time. She’s…not happy about that since her goal is to get Jun to notice her femininity. However, she’s just as upset by Misuzu’s advice of doing the opposite: ditching her shorts underneath her skirt. Then she basically forces Tomo to do just that to get a reaction out of Jun.

If it were anyone else, Misuzu would come off as a jerk. However, it’s clear that she wants what’s best for her two friends, even if that means she has to push them to each other a little. In the end, though, Tomo and Jun both realize that it’s better to do things at their own pace. I think; besides, anyone else who tries to put a hand on Tomo will get their butts kicked by either one of them. 

Tomo Befriends The Most Popular Girl in School…Who has the Same VA Subbed and Dubbed

In the second segment, we’re introduced to Carol Olston, who’s got the distinction of being voiced by the same person. Dubbed or subbed, she’s voiced by Sally Amaki. She’s the school idol and…she’s odd. Like odd, even by the standards of anime. She mistook Tomo for a girl and then spent the whole day calling her “dumbbell.” Then, to make things weirder, she goes to Misuzu and talks her into getting advice on how to fight Tomo. Or make friends with her. She bribed Misuzu with cake, so the latter was fine with it.

Misuzu’s solution was, of course, Jun. As in, she used the whole thing to get Jun and Carol to spend time together to make Tomo jealous. And it works. Somehow, Tomo and Carol both end up being friends. However, I couldn’t help but be nervous at how Misuzu manipulates her two friends like this. It’s one thing if its because she wants them to be happy. Yet she also seems to do it to mess with them for her own enjoyment. 

That, and the final moments see Jun drop a bombshell: he and Misuzu…used to date. 

So far, this is a really good romcom slice-of-life anime. I’m enjoying it; and now I think Carol and Misuzu are also running for best girls of 2023. 

I Give “Tomo’s Skirt” a 3.5/5 and “The School’s Idol” a 4/5

Chainsaw Man Season 1 Ends on Lukewarm Note

Chainsaw Man Episode 12 Review

Himeno, thou art avenged, and with it, the curtain falls on the first season of Chainsaw Man. At least the first part of the season’s over, but that’s besides the point. The point is that the Devil Hunter’s fight with the Katana Man and his Yakuza ends, and the survivors walk away with their heads held high. That, and Denji and Aki force their enemy to endure one of the worst things any man could endure.

But does it do a good job of capping off the season? Meh.

I Must Not Fear, Fear is the Mind Killer

On Aki’s part, when faced with the Ghost Devil, the same one that worked with Himeno, he’s left terrified. Fortunately, since this is a shonen anime, all it takes is a reminder of Himeno in the form of a cigarette that she wrote on to snap him out of it. Like a true badass, Aki manages to kill the Ghost Devil, who uses fear to sense its enemies. And Aki, having committed to his path of revenge, has no fear. 

This is both equal parts badass and disturbing. I’ve already said several times that most of the Devil Hunters will die young in horrible ways. Given what the Future Devil saw, Aki’s death is going to be horrible. This should concern him, even though he already knows he has only a few years before he dies. Instead of doing something else with his life, though, he chooses revenge. 

Revenge can feel good, but it can also make things worse.

Chainsaw vs Katana is the best fight of the season.

As for Denji, he has his rematch with the Katana Man, but not before the latter tries to take the moral high ground. The Katana Man says all he wants is to avenge his grandfather; he doesn’t care if he has to turn himself in afterwards. However, his pleas fall on the deaf ears of Denji, and, hopefully, the audience itself.

Firstly, the Katana Man ignores the fact that his beloved grandpa was a Yakuza gangster who did a lot of terrible things. Denji did everything the man asked of him, and he chose to kill him anyway. Secondly, he was already a zombie when Denji iced him, so he was dumb enough to make a bad deal with a Devil. Instead of accepting that his grandad got himself killed, Katana Man tried to kill Denji, and got Himeno killed. Thus, Katana Man gets what’s coming to him.

The rematch between the two is, arguably, the best of the season. It also marked the first time in several episodes that I started to get excited about the fighting. Even though it, once again, ended too soon for my tastes, while it was going, it was fun to watch. 

The Ultimate Nut Shot

The best part of the entire episode, though, is what Denji and Aki do to the Katana Man after he gets his butt handed to him. As punishment for killing Himeno and their other comrades, they dish out the ultimate punishment: they take turns kicking him below the belt. Whoever makes him scream the loudest wins.

I honestly thought that this whole scene was hilarious. It was petty, vengeful, and unnecessary of them to do this, but it also felt like a good way for them to deal with their excessive anger over Himeno’s death. Also, you have to admit the man had it coming. Thus, the season ends with the Devil Hunters walking away with their heads held high. 

So why is it that I don’t feel fully satisfied with what happened?

Not as Fun as I Thought it Would Be

I haven’t read the Chainsaw Man manga before I started watching the anime, but I kept hearing everyone saying a ton of good stuff about it. They said that it was amazing, that it was an instant classic, and one of the best shonen manga of the next generation. And I bought it for a bit-it certainly looked cool. However, as much as I wanted to deny it, the Chainsaw Man anime…wasn’t as exciting as I thought.

I’d say I over-hyped the series in my mind after hearing what it was like, but I’m not so sure. I even read that a fan petition started to have the anime redone. I think that might be a little much, but I can’t help but think what we would get if this was animated by Studio Trigger. 

Regardless, I still think that the Chainsaw Man anime has potential. Hopefully, once I start watching it in dub form, I’ll regain my excitement. In the meantime, I’m going to be cautiously optimistic for the next season, whenever that comes out.

I Give “Katana vs. Chainsaw” a 3.5/5

2022 Was a Great Year for Anime

The Best Anime of 2022

Another year over, another year closer to anime fans achieving pop culture hegemony. All jokes aside, 2022 was a particularly good year for Japanese animation. Not only did we get some incredible films and series in 2022, but several of these ended up breaking the Internet. As the year comes to a close, it’s time for us to look back on the best anime to come out of Japan.

Full disclosure: in addition to anime series, we will also be counting movies. Considering the success that several anime films had at the box office this year, it’s justified.

Attack on Titan Season 4, Part 2

Just when you thought that Attack on Titan couldn’t get any bigger, it does just that. The second part to the hit anime’s final season premiered in January 2022, and the Internet went crazy over it. Given how this part saw series protagonist/antagonist Eren Yeager enact his plans of unleashing an army of Titans to wipe out all humanity beyond his island home, that was to be expected. In addition, when the opening for the new part, “Rumbling” went up on YouTube, it wound up trending. Given how the part ended on a massive cliffhanger, fans are chomping at the bit to see the grand finale in all its animated glory. 

Spy x Family

It’s the spy comedy that’s taken the anime world by storm, Spy x Family. Making its anime debut in 2022, Spy x Family combines all the action and escapades of classic spy films with the kind of comedy that will leave you in stitches. Set in a fictional world locked in a cold war, Spy x Family follows Twilight, an agent tasked with spying on an enemy politician to stop a potential war. To do this, he builds a fake family with a little girl named Anya and a woman named Yor. The twist is that Yor’s secretly one of her country’s best assassins, and the only one aware of this is the mind-reading Anya, whose desperate to keep her found family intact.

Even though it’s the new kid on the block, Spy x Family has already won the hearts of millions, and it’s not hard to see why: the characters are so likable. Anya’s a precious little cinnamon bun who only wants to have a real family and will go to great lengths. Despite only taking them in as part of his cover, Loid comes to genuinely care about Anya and Yor. Lastly, Yor’s dual nature as a deadly assassin but clumsy and caring housewife makes her one of the top waifus of the year. If you haven’t already watched it, you should check out Spy x Family.

One Piece

This year was a good year for One Piece, period. On the manga front, the series completed its biggest and longest arc to date, the Wano Country Arc that saw Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates go head-to-head with one of the strongest pirates in the world. Meanwhile, that same arc continues to be adapted into anime to great fanfare. When Crunchyroll posted some of the best clips on YouTube, they trended several times. 

Lastly, the series latest film, One Piece Film: Red, saw massive success in its native Japan and overseas, with its soundtrack trending on iTunes. With the series entering its final saga and Eichiro Oda promising it to be more epic than ever, now’s a good time to be a One Piece fan.

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero 

After so many years of getting the short end of the stick in favor of his dad, Dragon Ball finally made Gohan great again. When the remnants of the Red Ribbon Army come out of hiding (again) while Goku and Vegeta are away, it falls to Gohan to deal with the threat. However, Gohan’s neglecting his training again, much to everyone’s disappointment. Frustrated by this, Piccolo uses this chance to force Gohan to reawaken his fighting spirit.

Even though this movie sees the franchise use 3D animation as opposed to 2D, it doesn’t make the film less amazing. The film brings back much of the humor from the early days of the original manga while carefully balancing it with a ton of action. In addition, the film sees Gohan and Piccolo gain new forms that put them in the running for strongest characters in the franchise once more. The former gets a form that, for all intents and purposes, effectively canonizes the popular fanmade transformation El Blanco. El Blanco is canon, people!

Chainsaw Man

Yet another newcomer to the Shonen anime scene, Chainsaw Man has also taken the anime world by storm. Set in an alternate 1990’s Japan where Devils exist, the series follows Denji, a young, teenaged Devil Hunter whose life’s cut short by a group of Yakuza. However, Denji gets a second lease on life when he fuses with his Devil friend, Pochita, becoming the infamous Chainsaw Man. Now, Denji hunts down even more Devils. Not for the sake of humanity or for justice or revenge, but for the simple goal of living a normal life. That, and to get lucky with a woman.

Chainsaw Man is one of the most popular anime on the market right, and it’s not hard to see why. The characters are quirky and the series is filled with so much blood and over-the-top violence that it would leave Attack on Titan jealous. If you haven’t been watching it, then you need to be. It’s a slow burn at first, but once it picks up, you’ll see why it’s so popular already.

My Hero Academia Season 6

While the fifth season may not have been that exciting, it was just a prelude to the real show: My Hero Academia, Season 6. With the villains growing more powerful than ever, the heroes make their move to put an end to the destructive plans of Tomura Shigaraki. However, what should’ve been a decisive victory for the heroes turns into an all-out war that pushes both sides to their absolute limits. Characters die, heroes and villains unlock new abilities, and shocking revelations emerge. This is My Hero Academia at its absolute best, and the season’s only halfway over.

JoJo : Stone Ocean

Netflix ruined the hype for this. JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure is one of the greatest shonen series ever. The last decade’s seen the anime inspire countless memes as it finally achieved worldwide popularity. However, the decision to have Part 6 air on Netflix prevented it from reaching the heights it should have. Netflix made the decision to release the season in batches, which is good for streaming but terrible for building up hype. As a result, the final act in the original JoJo timeline almost flies under the radar. 

D&A’s Checkpoint Check-In (December 2022)

Hey guys, it’s finally here. With less than 30 hours until 2023, and this is our last post of 2022, we just wanna thank you guys for all of the love and support that you’ve given us throughout the year and then some. Things around D&A HQ haven’t always been smooth, but we’ve managed to persevere and continue to do what we do best. Although we’re rapidly approaching the new year, the future of D&A is still kinda up in the air; with aspects such as looking for more contributors (shout-outs to ‘JunoGuy’) to help run the ‘blog’ side of things, to convention appearances. We’ve actually had to take a step back these last few months due to burnout as well as life ‘stressors’, which meant we also had to scale back on the amount of content that we put up on our channel. We do however want to emphasize that ‘D&A’ as a blog, is not going anywhere. We are just in a period where we’re on the verge of redirecting our focus on other aspects of the blog; especially in the educational sector.

2022 has been a year of reflection, reevaluation, and revelations for D&A as a whole. What comes next can only be described as the ‘What Happens Now?’ phase of our 7-year tenure. (Kinda like the 7-year itch for marriages.) Should we get pulled out to a con, or we stumble upon some new material for our content, you’ll be the first to know – as we post or talk about on our podcast! This is pretty much it for this post, so until 2023, keep being nerdy! 😉

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

Anime Training Arc. Brought to You By Kishibe

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

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. 

D&A Anime Blog: So…What Now?

Well, 2022 is about to come to an end, and things around here have been pretty quiet. It’s not because there hasn’t been any ground-breaking anime titles to come out this season (other than Bleach and MHA Season 6), but after 900+ articles, posts, and reviews within the last 6-to-7 years, we’ve racked up some serious burnout mileage both mentally and creatively. Usually for most people, this is where you’d thank all of your fans for all of the love and support you’ve given them throughout their journey of being a blogger and content creator; followed by a tearful farewell video telling them that they appreciate you taking time out of your schedule to watch and like their content. Now before you guys get the wrong idea thinking that we’re walking away from being bloggers and content creators, we’re in more of a “what now?” situation than a “farewell” one.

We kicked off this adventure back in 2016 after making our debut at Animore in January of that year; then in 2017 we really got the ball rolling and made appearances at Animore, Zenkaikon, Nipponcon, CHS Otaku Fest, Saikucon, and ended the year at Anime USA. During the first two years we were quite active in the convention circuit as well as in the anime community, and right after our fifth appearance at Animore in 2020, the pandemic happened. Cons from all around the world were shutdown, thus causing many of them to go virtual or even on hiatus – many of which even closed their doors for good. For a lot of the major players in the convention scene, there were financial losses that caused them to downsize but not close down, while others managed to have enough in their reserves to keep them afloat until things got better.

Near the end of 2020 we decided to take a different route in terms of convention appearances by becoming full-fledged guests (contracts and all). There’s not much we can say on what’s in store for us in 2023 for a return to conventions, so we’re in a ‘wait-and-see’ period on that front. In some of our earlier posts we mentioned that we’re looking for writers and contributors for the blog, and the door is still open for those who wanna hit us up! Don’t worry about the steep 1,000-word requirements, just write whatever you want however you want it – as long as its related to the current content that we have on the blog already. We don’t have all the answers of what the next move for D&A will be in 2023; whether its downsizing our social media presence to a more manageable footprint, or redirecting our focus towards a different part of our brand. All we can say is that this is our “what now?” moment, and not a “farewell” one. 

The Katana Man Arc Unsheathes Its Sword!

Chainsaw Man Episode 8 Review

Since I haven’t read the manga yet, I don’t really know what’s going to happen as Chainsaw Man progresses beyond a few facts. However, I keep hearing that the next arc in the series, the Katana Man arc, is supposed to be really good. Several people I follow on social media insist that it is. After witnessing the start to this new arc today, I see that the hype wasn’t exaggerated. Bodies are going to start falling, people!

They Have Standards, People. They Have Standards

At the end of the last episode, Himeno brought Denji back to her apartment after getting drunk at a company party. The next thing Denji knows, he’s lying on her bed as she comes walking in wearing her underwear and offers to do it with him. If you know Denji by now, then you know that his major goal in life is to get lucky with a woman, and now he’s getting that chance. 

Thankfully, he turns her down and sleeps on the floor. 

While this may seem weird, keep in mind three things. Firstly, Denji’s focused on Makima and the promise she gave him. She has him wrapped around her fingers with the promise that what she’ll give him will be far better. Secondly, Himeno’s drunk at the time, and thus, not capable of making responsible decisions. Thirdly, she’s an adult while Denji’s a minor. She could go to jail if she went through with that! Thankfully, Denji’s puppy love for Makima saves them both from making a stupid decision, and they end up becoming friends at breakfast.

Too bad she’s not going to be around for much longer, thanks to the Katana Man.

Yakuza Revenge

Remember that Yakuza boss that tried to kill Denji in the first episode after becoming a zombie? Denji gave him some well-deserved karma via his first massacre as Chainsaw Man. However, as the latter half of this episode reveals, that old man had a grandson. And that grandson wasn’t happy to learn about his grandpa’s death. Thus, he gets all his Yakuza associates together to get revenge on Denji and the Devil Hunters.

The results speak for themselves. The Yakuza attack the Devil Hunters on all fronts, and characters seem to start dropping like flies. I’m still betting that Kobeni and Hirokazu will die soon, and this seems like the right time for that to happen.

Sadly, though, the one confirmed death we get this episode is none other than Himeno herself. As Aki fights against the grandson, now a Human-Devil hybrid like Denji (albeit with katanas), Himeno sacrifices her life to help Aki win. Thanks to the contract with her Devil, she doesn’t even leave a body behind to bury. 

I feel like this is the moment where the gloves really come off. It serves to drive home how dangerous Denji’s new life really is. Even having a contract with a powerful Devil might not be a guarantee of victory. And this is the life that Denji’s now found himself in.

This is Going to be Good

I was told that the Katana Man Arc of Chainsaw Man was going to be good. So far, it looks like it’s meeting the hype surrounding it. And this is only the first episode of the arc. With less than three episodes left for the first half of the season, I’m hoping they dedicate them to this arc. Chainsaws and Katanas clashing sounds like the most metal thing ever!

I Give “Gunfire” a 4/5

A Founder’s Review with D.J. Lewis: Stellar Con 2022

Hey. So…where do I begin with this…? Its been a month since I’ve written any article or made any blog post; only because I was going through a combination of burnout, and grief. It wasn’t until 72 hours ago that I found out another actor from my childhood had passed roughly several days after one of my favorite actors had passed. Jason David Frank, although I never got the chance to meet him, he along with Kevin Conroy played a part of my childhood – along with a lot of other 90’s kids who grew up watching Batman: The Animated Series, and Mighty Morphing Power Rangers. Both of them will be truly missed, but they will always be remembered.

So, how do I begin with this? A few weeks ago we were hoping to make our first convention appearance at an anime convention in New Jersey called DerpyCon, however that didn’t quite happen. With yet another convention cancellation my mind when back into con withdraw, and I was scrambling looking for a convention near Baltimore (where D&A is headquartered and also where I live) that I could go to. Surely enough there was a convention called Stellar Con that was located just on county away from Baltimore, in Harford County. I along with my family and a few of her clients went to this con to see what it was all about. Although it was a one-day convention, there were several voice actors, actors, and professional cosplayers there too.

My first con back in two-and-a-half years…

Right off the bat it was pretty much like Baltimore Comic-Con during its early years. There was representation from EVERY fandom; Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Anime, Video Games, Sci-Fi, Pop Culture, you name it! There were also superstar voice actors there as well; including the likes of Khary Payton and Dante Basco. I also met a few of our fans out there, and of course the vendors had some awesome stuff as well. Like every nerd convention; it had gaming tournaments, cosplay contests, autograph lines and panels. Stellar Con is hosted by Transcendent Events (who were also at Baltimore’s former anime convention, AniMore), and honestly…I actually had a fun time.

The only suggestion I would have for this convention would be to make it longer than one day, because there was a lot to do at this convention – yet not enough time to do it. I’d say make it a two-day convention and have it in a big hotel like the Marriott or the Holiday Inn & Suites. Sure the convention was held in a basketball arena next to a community college, but they give you a certain amount of time that you’re allowed to occupy that space; by 6pm you gotta go home! All in all, Stellar Con indeed lived up to its name as my first convention back since 2019, and I think it will have the potential to be even more stellar as a two-day convention; and possibly a three-day one if their budget allows. 

Here’s hoping D&A will be at the next one, until next post, stay nerdy!

Is Denji Very Lucky or Very Unlucky? I Can’t Tell

Chainsaw Man Episode 7 Review

I’m not sure whether I should call Denji lucky or very unlucky. On the one hand, he’s got cool Devil powers that turn him into an engine of bloody chaos. On the other hand, he’s working a job where making it past five years seems non-existent. Yet ever since he started working as a Public Safety Devil Hunter, he’s getting more luck with women than most people do on dating apps. Given what most of those women are like, I wouldn’t call it that lucky.

At least it’s still great for the camera.

Denji ENDS the Eternity Devil

So, after spending the last episode getting psychologically tortured by the Eternity Devil, Denji decides that the simplest solution is the best one. So like a teenage version of Alucard from Hellsing Ultimate Abridged, he dives right into the fighting like a madman. And it works. He just drinks up that Devil blood while ripping the Eternity Devil apart until he finally wins.

Like I said, Denji’s crazy enough to be a Devil Hunter. Because as Himeno’s mentor once told her, the best Devil Hunters are the ones crazy enough not to fear this job. Thus, after three days of being trapped in a hotel, everyone makes it out alive! Yay!

Now, it’s time for everyone to celebrate a successful mission with the time-honored tradition of going out to a pub and drinking the night away.

Denji: Lucky With Women or Unlucky? I Can’t Decide

Remember how I questioned how lucky Denji is? While his line of work means he’ll likely die young, I was questioning his luck with women. He did manage to get Power to make good on her promise…only for her boobs to be fake. 

The real surprise, though, is that during the work party, Himeno makes good on a promise to Denji: that if they lived through this, she’d kiss him! It was a French kiss, too; But then she ended up puking in his mouth from all the beer she had.

That, and this happened in full view of Makima, AKA the girl that he holds a candle for above all else. It’s never a good idea for someone to get a kiss from another woman in full view of their crush, even if Makima doesn’t react to it. 

Maybe I’m just overthinking this sort of thing and letting my bias get in the way. No offense, but I wouldn’t call any of the women in Chainsaw Man so far as the kind you’d want to date. However, given the dangerous nature of the job, and how bad his life’s been, I don’t think Denji has the luxury of being picky. Maybe he is lucky, in his own, weird way. After all, he wakes up in Himeno’s place…and she offers to do…that with him.

I can’t believe the mangaka got away with this in a Shonen series. 

I Give “Taste of a Kiss” a 4/5

Denji is Crazy Enough to be a Devil Hunter

Chainsaw Man Episode 6 Review

I’ve noticed a trend in the Shonen genre. Besides possessing crazy amounts of willpower, many Shonen protagonists are, to varying degrees, crazy. They either display behavior that makes most people think they’re nuts…or do things that no sane person would do. The irony’s that their crazy lets them pull off the impossible and survive things that would break others. Why am I bringing this up? Because the latest episode of Chainsaw Man confirms that Denji’s crazy. And that craziness helps him to survive a situation that the saner Devil Hunters break under.

Oh, and the same goes for Power.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure up in Here!

When we last left off, Denji and his group weren’t looking so hot. They went hunting down a Devil in a local hotel, but found themselves trapped on the 8th floor. And they can’t get out; it loops back around, like a sadistic Mobius strip. Even time’s stopped for them. In addition, they can’t call for help, so they’re trapped, unable to do anything about it.

This reminds me a lot of an enemy Stand in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. If you’ve read the manga or seen the anime, then you know some enemies can manipulate reality like this to break the heroes. It comes down to whether the protagonists can keep their heads straight and think of a way out. However, that’s hard to do when they’ve got a limited amount of food and water to ration. Once that runs out, then they either have to find a way out…or wait to die of starvation or dehydration. The latter is not a great way to die. 

Sanity Can Be a Weakness in This Line of Work

Last week, I said that two of the new Devil Hunters, Hirokazu and Kobeni, gave off “Red Shirt Energy.” They both seemed like they’d die pretty fast. While they do survive this episode, their behavior does nothing to change a simple fact: they’re not cut out to be Devil Hunters. They’re too sane to do so.

Sanity is, obviously, a good thing. It helps keep us alive and with a grasp on what’s going on around us. However, there are moments in fiction when being sane can be more of a hindrance than of help. Case in point, we have Kobeni, who’s an absolute coward. And unlike people like Usopp or Mr. Satan, it’s not played for laughs. It is genuinely sad to see her break down in their current situation and admit that she’s not cut out for this job. Her parents said it was either this, or become a sex worker to pay for her brother’s college fees! Is it really a surprise when their Devil enemy offers to let them go in exchange for killing Denji, she jumps at this chance. 

The Perks of Being Crazy, as Shown by Denji

Now compare Kobeni and Hirokazu’s behavior to that of Denji and Power. When faced with this impossible situation, what do they do? Power starts saying that when she gets out of this, she’ll win a Nobel Prize and become the Prime Minister. And Denji? He decides to sleep it off.

In other words, they’re both crazy. Aki and his partner, Himeno, don’t count in this instance, as they’ve probably dealt with crazy messes like this before. In addition, all four of these people understand that being a Devil Hunter’s the kind of job you shouldn’t take if you want to live to see old age. You either have to be very brave, very skilled, or very crazy to take it up. And Denji is crazy. We’ve already that before. So, what is their solution to dealing with this Devil?

Simple: they fight it.

This is a Shonen anime, after all—usually, the best solution in a Shonen series is to beat up the enemy even if that notion is crazy. Its this crazy willingness to do crazy things that makes Denji perfect to be a Devil Hunter. As for Kobeni and Hirokazu, they should quit this line of work while they can. Or, in Kobeni’s case, get an office job with the Devil Hunters. 

I Give “Kill Denji” a 3.5/5

Denji Finally Be Getting His Reward

Well, Denji, you might be the second anime protagonist I’ve seen whose been motivated to win a fight…just so you can get some boobs. The first was Issei from High School DxD. If nothing else, it’s been an effective motivator for him, as he not only kills another Devil, but he’s starting to make a name for himself. As for Power, underneath her tough girl exterior lies someone with more depth than we thought. Or maybe not. It’s really hard to tell with Power right now. 

Should We Trust Power?

Power has proven herself to be a loose cannon who will do whatever she wants, regardless of the consequences. She lied to Denji to try to feed him to another Devil, an act that could get her killed by Makima’s superiors. However, she did it so she could save her pet cat, Meowy. She may have only kept it to eat it at first, but it’s clear that she cares about Meowy. Even a Devil can prove capable of feeling human emotion.

As for Denji…his quest for boobs allows him to unlock another essential trait found in most Shonen protagonists: a stupid level of resolve. Even after another Devil shows up to eat Power and Meowy, chops off his arm, and he loses a ton of blood, he refuses to admit defeat. Thanks to that, Hayakawa manages to show up in time to save both of them.

Then, despite having no obligation to do so, Denji covers for Power, saving her from termination. All so that he can get a shot at that normal life he always wanted; and to get boobs.

New Reveals and New Living Situation

An interesting reveal takes place during this episode, though: the fact that Hayakawa has his own contract with another Devil. In exchange for its power, Hayakawa must sacrifice pieces of his body. The fact that the Devil Hunters work with a Devil in the form of Power is enough proof, but this reveal confirms it: for all their talk to exterminating Devils, the Hunters have to rely on their power to do so. I’m sure the irony isn’t lost on anyone. Especially Aki, who now finds himself hosting Denji and Power in his home.

Yep, after convincing Makima to keep Denji and Power with the Public Safety Organization, Makima tells Hayakama that he has to let Power and Denji stay at his place. This is so that he can keep an eye on both of them in case they go rogue. Truthfully, though, Makima probably did it because she thinks that together, they’ll make an effective team. It’s like what happened with Team 7 in Naruto. They started out with poor teamwork, but by the end of the series, they worked well enough to save the world. Plus, I get a lot of Team 7 vibes from the trio. Denji’s the perverted goofball, Hayakama’s the serious one, and Power is the one that thinks highly of herself. Together, they might make a decent team…assuming they don’t kill each other first.

As for Denji, we don’t get to see it yet, but Power keeps her promise. Here’s hoping he likes it.

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

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: Old School vs. New School Anime Fans!

Anime has been that one particular medium that has gone above and beyond in terms of garnering mainstream acceptance, and that’s due in part to the anime fandom itself. If you look back to the early days of when anime first made its mark in the West, you’d be surprised by how many geeks all around the U.S. have been bullied and made fun of at school; because of the Pokemon backpack their parents bought them for their birthday! For many older anime fans the 80’s was when anime began its walk into the mainstream, but they also know that it was the 90’s that propelled it into the forefront and thus allowed geeks of all generations to proudly state that they’re anime fans. Never had I thought I’d see the day where Goku would be flying over 34th street in New York during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, nor would I thought that mainstream anime franchises would be getting the ‘Red Carpet’ treatment. Anime has come a long way in terms of being noticed by the mainstream audience, however many feel like it hasn’t truly reached its final form yet.

If Anime was Frieza, what form would it currently be in…?

Right now there is more anime to watch than ever before on so many streaming sites than ever before. If you were a kid in the 90’s you had to by a pack of 12 bricks for $150.00 if you wanted to see the Saiyan Saga on VHS! (Kids today will never know the hustle old school fans had to go through to get anime.) As the years went by anime solidified itself as a mainstay in the mainstream, however the journey didn’t come without a few bumps in the road; quality declines, weeb culture, sub v. dub wars, you name it. Somewhere along the line there have been recent debates over what decade of anime titles were better. Sure you had your pioneers like Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon; but then you’ve got gems like Case Closed, Lupin the Third, and Gundam – oh, Gundam! Now we like in a timeline where some 12-year-old kid says that Boruto is better than Gundam SEED, and I know this because that kid was never seen on Twitter again. (He 86’d his account.)

I’m no stranger to the battle of old school vs. new school, but I feel like if older anime fans were a bit more forgiving of newbie anime fans (due to the mass amount of anime out there), it would take a lot of tension out of aggressive online debates. Older fans also gotta keep in mind that this is the first time new fans are experiencing the medium; they have no tier list, favorite waifus, best girls, best boys, shows that are fire, and shows that are ‘mid’. I also feel like established anime fans put so much pressure on newbies that if they pick a show that they don’t like only because the new fan like it, they get dunked on faster than Captain Crunch against Shaq.

As fans get older their taste in anime changes, not the feeling they have towards it. Older fans prefer more of a story with decent plot progression and plot development, but they’ll also settle for character-driven stories with character development as well. Its not to say that new school anime fans don’t want that, but if a show doesn’t grip them within the first 2-3 episodes, then it is dropped and forgotten – and older fans are the same way about newer anime. Genres have also played a part in what fans (both old and new) will watch; as isekai and harem titles have been cranked out more often than not, with ‘sliced bread’ style plots and ‘cookie cutter’ characters. There are some titles that do indeed bridge the gap between old anime fans and new ones, but when it comes to watching anime, there’s no right or wrong way to do it.

I still think this anime needs a second season.

Everyone’s entitled to like the shows they like, and with so much anime out there, there’s bound to be some that both old and new fans will like (or dislike). Trends for certain anime genres come and go, and tastes in anime will also change as well, but with the right approach old school anime fans might end up teaching new anime fans what to look for based on their tastes. A lot of the debates and squabbles I see online can come from nostalgia chasers and ‘boomer anime fans’ (me being the former than the latter), but I think older fans remember how hard access to anime was before streaming sites became the norm. They remember the days where they had to watch 1 episode of School Rumble in 3 separate videos from the same Youtube channel – in 480p!

Being an anime fan comes with a lot of growing pains, but it also came with a lot of unforgettable moments as well. We all knew how hyped we got when Goku transformed into a Super Saiyan for the first time, or when Naruto and Hinata shippers finally got the scene they wanted when Naruto and Hinata kissed. Regardless of what generation you come from as an anime fan, just know that there will be shows that you think are the best ever made, while others may think that your show is ‘mid’ or ‘trash’. Sure, old school fans are always gonna look back at the gold ol’ days; when anime titles focused more on the quality of their story and characters, than by how much anime content can be put out onto the web. Newer fans will have a different take on what’s out there; since there’s so many titles and genres to choose from. At the end of the day, if the shows you watch have value to you as a person and as a fan, then that’s all that should matter to you; regardless of what other people think.

So watch what you love, help your younger anime fans, and keep being nerdy! 😉

Denji’s Quest for Girls Begins!

Chainsaw Man Episode 2 Review

Question: what would you say if you met a beautiful but mysterious woman who asked you to come work for her in exchange for anything you wanted? Most people would say no because such an offer is very sus. When you’ve hit absolute rock bottom in your life, though, and said woman’s the first person to treat you with decency, it’s hard for common sense to win the argument. Especially when said person happens to be Denji, whose life has been so bad his only real goal is to get lucky with a girl. That’s assuming he can live long enough as a Devil Hunter. 

Denji the Devil Dog Finds a New Master…

After the brilliantly bloody origin story of the titular Chainsaw Man saw Denji break free of his Yakuza master’s, he will need a new job. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, the woman Denji met, Makima, recruits him to join the government-backed Devil Hunters she helps lead. They’ll provide room & board for Denji so long as he helps them continue to hunt down Devils using his newfound powers. If he refuses, then Makima’s allowed to kill him like a Devil. 

Some people would object to the obvious “join-or-die” choice offered or say that it’s not even a real choice. However, Denji agrees immediately because they’re offering the dream of a normal life that he’s had for as long as he can remember. That, and Denji’s head over heels for Makima. 

Some shonen protagonists have lofty goals and ambitions that drive them forward in their stories. Goku wants to be as strong as he possibly can. Naruto’s is to become Hokage. Luffy wants to become King of the Pirates and throw the world’s biggest party (that’s a big fan theory, anyway.) Denji, though? Besides getting a chance to live a normal life, Denji’s only dream…is boobs.

At Least Denji Has a Clear Goal in Life.

No, really. As he goes out on his first mission as a Devil Hunter, he decides that his next goal, now that he’s gotten close to a woman, is to get his hands on boobs. If it were most other people said this, they would get slapped and called a pervert. Yet despite how impure his dreams of scoring may sound, it’s how genuine Denji sounds when he says this stuff that can be endearing. All he wants is to have a chance at love in life, something a lot of us can relate to. Ironically, this simple desire lets Denji demonstrate the pure-hearted nature found in many Shonen protagonists. I’ve only known Denji for two weeks now, and I already like him.

Of course, no good Shonen story’s complete without its supporting cast, and we get to meet two of Denji’s new comrades this episode. Firstly, there’s Hatayama, a no-nonsense Devil Hunter who flat-out tells Denji that unless he gets proper motivation, he will not survive in their line of work. So he’s the tough-love kind of person. Then, we have Power, a Fiend, or Devil who possessed a dead human’s body. I love Power. She’s bold, loud, and exuberant, and she will ask anyone or anything to fight her. She’s perfect for Shonen Jump, in my opinion.

There wasn’t a lot of action in this second episode, but given how the first cours has a dozen episodes, I’m willing to give Chainsaw Man time to get its foot in the door. Once that happens, though, I’m looking forward to seeing if Denji can stand alongside Shonen Jump greats like Goku, Naruto, Luffy, and the Joestar Family. I’m pretty sure he can, though. I’m rooting for him in his quest for love!

I Give “Arrival in Tokyo” a 3.5/5

D&A Weekly Newsletter (October 24, 2022)

D&A Anime Blog / D&A Studios Entertainment Weekly Newsletter (October 24, 2022)

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: Old School vs. New School Anime Fans!

Since the 80’s anime has gone from being a ‘niche’ medium, to gaining mainstream attention in a matter of decades. Multiple generations have come across anime at some point of their lives, but lately there’s been a shift in what tastes these generations of anime fans have. Some studios have been accused of ‘fan-pandering’, while others are ‘rebooting the classics’. This week check out D.J. Lewis’ take and thoughts on the case of old school vs. new school anime fans.

Naruto Shippuden: The Akatsuki Tier List!

Naruto has become a worldwide phenomenon since the early 2000’s, and is one of the legendary BIG 3 of its time. The most popular villain stable on that show is the Akatsuki, and for the first time in D&A history, we rate each member on a Tier List based on their power. A 2-part post coming later this week!

Side Note: There were some articles we’ve listed in previous newsletters that we didn’t get to do, due to circumstances beyond our control. We hope to reintroduce them in later newsletter releases down the road.

D&A’s Checkpoint Check-In! (October 2022)

Hey guys n’ gals! We’re under three months away from 2023, and with that comes some changes in the form of an experiment. For the last couple of months we’ve been trying to figure out a way to implement our premium content on our blog, and it look like we might’ve figured out FINALLY how we’re going to do that! Japan is rich in so many things; from tourist destinations, to fashion, culture, cuisine, music, and of course media (anime). It was also brought to our attention that we may want to try and reinforce the educational aspect of our brand; as we’ve stated this in our mission statement. With that being said, here’s what we’ll be working on come the month of November.

Premium Content Experiment

So we’ll be working on trying to (hopefully) implement our premium content for our fans to enjoy. We know we’ve stated that we were going to do it this month and the month before, but we’re hoping this time that we have something going. As far as we know we’re leaning more towards Japanese Cuisine for our premium content; telling you its history, and where to find it. We’ll keep you guys updated on this experiment, and also when the first video drops.

One-2-One: Waifu Wednesday Edition

For the whole month of November, we’ll be bringing our ‘One-2-One’ character analysis series back; but with a heavy emphasis on waifus from various different anime genres. Some are fan favorites, while others are hand-picked by us.

That will do it for this checkpoint check-in, so until our next monthly check-in (and post), stay nerdy my friends! 😉

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: Knowing Your Worth as an Artist!

Artist. That word has taken on so many different alliterations and meanings over hundreds of years. When I think of the word ‘artist’ the first thing that comes to mind would be a painter, and that still holds true even to this day, but now the word means so many other things; like music artist (producer), filmmaker (creator), novelist, poet, content creator, voice over, voice actor, animation, comedy, stage plays, makeup, concept artist, and so on. Gone are the days of it being just about Pablo Picasso, and enter the days of creatives coming from all sides of the artistic spectrum; creating the art that they’re passionate about. With different types of art comes different types of artists; your hobbyists that do it for fun, and your professionals that do it as a full time career. Art for me will always have a special place in my heart, as it can be anything that the artist themselves views as art; basically becoming an art form.

Anime itself is an art form

Creating art is one thing, but after awhile (unless you’re a hobbyist) artists may feel that its time to go the professional route, and start to charge a fee for their art. If you’ve gone to the movies at any time during your life, then you’ve paid for tickets to the movie that you wanted to see. The combination of all national ticket sales gives you the domestic box office total, and the combination of both national and international ticket sales gives you the global box office total. Where am I going with this? Well, in the realm of the entertainment industry; art takes on the form of actors, makeup artists, CGI and SFX artists, movie props, writers, producers, directors, and filmmakers (who sometimes double as producers and directors). When it comes to the quality of art, how good the quality is depends on the artist who’s making it. Good artists are not cheap, and cheap artists are not good.

So, what about artists who are independent contractors (or just independent creators)? Well these individuals are artists who make a living from their art. They can do commissions, indie projects (for voice acting roles), produce beats for upcoming music artists, make Youtube content, become a social media influencer, and more. As an independent artist (in any form) this is where you have to take the value of your work to heart, and know your worth as a professional artist. So many people what to short-change artists; thinking that they’ll get the best quality of their art for less than the value the artist has given them. If I produce a beat and charge $99.99 for it, you’re not getting it for half of that value! It doesn’t work like that! If you’re an independent voice actor (voice over artist or vox artist) or a professional voice actor, then you would want to get paid for the value of your worth, and if the director/creator or company in charge is trying to charge you less than what you specified (especially if they signed a contract), then you DON’T do the project! 

I charge 2 hour minimums for my DJ time, not my DJ set(s)

As an artist, you have the power and creativity to make something special and maybe even change someone’s life. There is a beauty in art that makes us human, as we’re able to have a connection to it in many different ways; be it mentally, emotionally, visually, and aesthetically. There will always be people who feel like art is a waste of time, and that these people should get a real job instead of chasing some fantasy, but art is so much more than just seeing that anime couple that you shipped finally have their BIG kiss moment on screen.

The time it takes to produce quality art is something that I wish more people outside of the industry took a little more seriously; which is why I get so peeved when big corps rush projects that needed more time, underpay voice actors because they don’t value their worth, and even replace them with Hollywood face actors because they value their star power much more than they should. You don’t have to be a ‘starving artist’, you can be an artist who’s starving to creatively express themselves however they see fit. You wanna create fashions for models to wear during New York and L.A. Fashion Week? Go for it! You wanna make a name for yourself as an independent music artist? Have at it! The sky is the limit when it comes to being an artist, so never sell yourself short in your worth, and your value. Nobody can do it the way you do it, and the quality of your work should show people that you mean business.

That will do it for my thoughts on this topic, so until next post, stay nerdy my friends.

D&A Weekly Newsletter (October 17, 2022)

D&A Anime Blog / D&A Studios Entertainment Weekly (October 17, 2022)

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: Knowing Your Worth as an Artist!

D.J. Lewis of D&A Anime Blog / D&A Studios Entertainment; talks about knowing your worth as an artist in both the entertainment (Anime and Gaming) industry, and commission wise. Many measure the worth and value of an artist by the quantity of their years, instead of the quality of their work; while others don’t see the value in what they’re doing at all – and tell them to go get a ‘real job’. Happening this week!

Is Harem The Most Hated Anime Genre?

So, it appears that anime fans are not too fond of Harem anime, but why do you think that is? Could it have something to do with the main MC being bland as hell? Or the trope of where there’s always that one Tsundere chick who kicks the snot out of the main character, yet ends up being chosen as their love interest at the end of the season? We break it all down later this week!

Spooky Season is here! So here’s a spooky groovy beat from Avidd Minddset!

A Founder’s Review with D.J. Lewis: 30 Years of Mortal Kombat!

There’s something so nostalgic about being a 90’s kid; you remember what the internet looked like before social media, Blockbuster was the original Netflix, Nintendo and SEGA were trying to out-due each other during the console wars, and 90’s fighting games were all the rage! There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t remember asking my mom to drop me and my friends off at the arcade, to play all the arcade fighters that came out during this decade. Street Fighter, Tekken, Marvel vs. Capcom, you name it! Back then I wasn’t just about Nintendo and Super Mario Bros. during my childhood, I liked fighting games too. It really wasn’t until about 1998 that I found myself playing a fighting game that…seemed to hit different. It felt like a fighting game from another world; no, another realm. What my 9-year-old mind didn’t realize at the time I was playing it, was the fact that I had found a game that was going to have one of the most iconic lines in its 30 year history…

“GET OVER HERE!!”

MORTAL KOMBAT!!! (Turns 30)

Mortal Kombat is like that edgy 90’s high school kid that you didn’t wanna mess with; and that goth and emo girls were lovestruck over. It is one of the first games that I would find myself playing more of later down the road, and also watching “fatality reels” of on Youtube. The ‘tweens’ of my generation couldn’t get enough of this game (many of which still play it to this very day); not because of the fighting, but because of the FatalitiesWhen you’re a teenager in the 90’s who got bullied a lot, this is where you’d take out your frustration – and set Johnny Cage on fire as Scorpion (pretending it was you who set his/her bully on fire as the hellspawn ninja).

If you haven’t noticed by now this franchise is widely known to be the most violent and gory when it comes to finishing moves. Back in the 90’s you’d have this ‘Konami Code’ sequence of buttons and directions of where you have to tap on your controller, and because there was no cheat code you could use (not even in the game manual), you’d have to know what you’re doing by memory – and remember how to do it during your next fight. To this very day its hard to believe that this game only had four people working on it, and in 30 years its still delivering banger, after banger, after banger, after banger, AFTER BANGER!

I watch WWE from time to time…

After the success of the first game, Mortal Kombat went on to become more than just a bloody fighter; it became a worldwide phenomenon. It got so big that Hollywood wanted to make a live-action adaptation of it; while it may seem cheesy and ‘mid’ by today’s standards (and Gen Z’ers), at the time when the movie came out in 1995, it was the coolest thing I ever saw! (Although I didn’t get the chance to watch it until my 9th birthday.) The gameplay and the fatalities weren’t the only reason Mortal Kombat was so cool, during the time it came out; it was criticized by politicians who thought the game was ‘too violent’ and ‘too gory’, and tried to get it banned from being purchased or played.

In fact let me raise you up one; Mortal Kombat is the reason WHY the ESRB rating on video games exists, and could be considered as the first M-rated series ever created. Despite the fact that it got banned in several countries (even to this very day), Mortal Kombat as a whole is one of the most successful fighting game franchises out there with 73 million units sold; and counting. Oddly enough the original Mortal Kombat (the 1992 version) was released by both Nintendo and SEGA; and guess which one everyone ended up playing more of…SEEEGAAA!!

Suck it Nintendo!

Mortal Kombat walked into our lives and spiced things up; thanks to co-creator Ed Boone, along with John Tobias. While other games were playing it safe Mortal Kombat pushed the envelope past the ‘taboo territory’ and thus created the ESRB we know today. It might even be the reason why you have your Grand Theft Auto’s, your Resident Evil’s, and all of the other games with blood in them. Sure, it was hated by congressmen and politicians during the time it came out, but on the flipside Mortal Kombat became more than just a media franchise. Now you can go to any anime or gaming convention and find a section where Mortal Kombat X, or 11 is being played; in fact there is STILL cosplay of it to be found 30 years later! Like Mario and Sonic, Mortal Kombat has some serious staying power!

Although I only played the first four games from 1998-2006, I can see why MK has such a dedicated fanbase to it. The finishing moves are the best part about the game; not the story (even though its serviceable in some parts), or the character roster (Ultimate MK3 had the BEST roster), but the Fatalities! Many have wondered what Ed Boone would do now that the franchise as a whole is celebrating its 30th anniversary; would there be an announcement of MK12? Or perhaps a sequel to the 2021 live-action reboot? Also, the music. Yeah, the music slapped SO HARD back then, and STILL DOES to this day! You can’t tell me the dance remix doesn’t make you feel something; being though its jam-packed with that 90’s acid-techno flavor, that has been heard at various underground raves of the 90’s. If I had to rate the franchise as a whole, I’d give it a 4.7 out of 5 Stars (94% out of 100%). If you’re already familiar with Tekken and Street Fighter, go play any of the Mortal Kombat games (even the classic ones), and go nuts!

That’s my review, now here’s the opening theme to Mortal Kombat! Happy 30th anniversary! 😉

MORTAL KOMBAT!!

‘Chainsaw Man’ Slaps A With Bloody Series Premiere

Chainsaw Man Ep. 1 Review

A few years ago, I went to an anime convention and came across the strangest thing: there was a guy cosplaying as some character with chainsaws coming out of his arms and head. That ended up being my introduction to Chainsaw Man, the newest in the long line of hits from the house of Shonen Jump. I learned more about it in bits and pieces as time went on, but I never found the time to read it. However, that may have changed, with the highly-anticipated premiere of the Chainsaw Man anime on Crunchyroll. It’s rare for me to watch a Shonen anime without so much as a passing understanding, but if this is what Chainsaw Man is like, then I think I need to get to reading.

In a World Filled With Devils…

In the world of Chainsaw Man, Devils are a fact of life. They rise from Hell and feed on the fears of mankind to gain power, then return to Hell when they die. It’s up to Devil Hunters to slay them and protect people, and among them is the likes of Denji.

Denji is unlike many Shonen protagonists I’ve seen. He’s not insanely strong (yet), driven by incredible life goals, and he’s not a living meme. He’s, for all intents and purposes, a loser, being worked like a dog by the Yakuza to pay off the impossible debt his dead Dad owes them. When we first meet him, his major dreams consist of living a normal life and scoring with a girl at least once before he dies. If it weren’t for the fact that his best friend is a Devil dog with a chainsaw coming out of its head, he’d pass for any other down-on-his-luck teenager.

Then we have Pochita, the series mascot and one of the most adorable things since Chopper from One Piece. Pochita’s a Devil, but also a very loyal dog who wholeheartedly loves Denji. Together, this odd take on a boy and his dog make for effective Devil Hunters for the Yakuza. Too effective, it would seem. In the end, the Yakuza make a pact with another Devil to kill Denji, ending his life before he even gets a chance to live.

Except this is a Shonen Jump series, and the protagonist of a Shonen Jump series won’t die so soon into their story. The two form a pact as Denji lies dismembered in a dumpster alongside Pochita. Pochita fuses with Denji to repair his body in exchange for letting the Devil see his dreams of living a normal life. And what comes out of this fusion is a complete and utter badass.

…Chainsaw Man Reigns Supreme.

In its first major fight of the series, Chainsaw Man sets itself as a cut above a lot of Shonen anime. It’s incredibly violent and bloody, befitting the unhinged and psychotic nature Denji posseses as the Chainsaw Man. Given how the Yakuza screwed him over his entire life, though, it makes his rampage very cathartic to watch. As for the fight itself, it’s a visually impressive fusion of traditional 2D and 3D animation. It’s a testament to how far the medium’s come that it’s becoming harder to tell the two apart when combined. 

By the time the dust settles, Denji’s put the Yakuza in their place just in time to meet this cute Devil Hunter that works for the Government. She gives him the choice: he can die, or come work for the other Devil Hunters and get room and board. Denji, eager to live his dream of a normal life, doesn’t hesitate to say yes.

Overall, it looks like the hype surrounding Chainsaw Man was the real deal. I’m very intrigued with the premise of the series, and will likely add it to the list of manga I’ll read every week. As for the anime, I’m looking forward to watching it for the next three months. Rev it up, people. This is going to be good!

I Give “Dog & Chainsaw” a 4.5/5

Super Mario Bros. Movie: What We Know So Far…

Super Freakin’ Mario! Everybody knows how iconic this guy is. He’s been Nintendo’s flagship mascot for over 35 years and has a global fanbase with an equally iconic voice actor; Charles Martinet. Like many other Mario fans we’ve gotten the chance to see the new teaser trailer for the new Super Mario Bros. movie by Nintendo and Illumination (the same guys behind the Minions franchise). Also, like many other Mario fans, we’ve noticed that Charles Martinet; the voice of Super Mario himself, is NOT the character his voice is known for. That’s right, Charles ain’t voicing Mario in the new movie, Chris Pratt is.

“That’s stupid!”

Once again, its one of those moments where Hollywood chose ‘faces’ over ‘voices’. We remember the uproar the Sonic fandom gave Paramount over giving Tail’s voice actor (Collen O’Shaughnessey) her credits in the movie, but in the end not only did they fix their mistake, she got acknowledged as a voice actress in a major live-action motion picture and reprised her role as Tails in both Sonic movies. That’s Sonic, but what about Mario? While Charles has done a lot of other stuff (including being the voice of Magenta in Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero), 90’s kids know him as Mr. Mario himself; along with Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi. The movie may be going in a different direction than the video games, but at least have the original voice actor play the character that the fandom knows him for – is what we’ve heard from a lot of the Mario fandom on social media.

What we wanted vs. what we got.

We are not saying that the movie will be bad because Charles is not Mario, in fact he’s in the movie…but his role is unknown at the moment. There’s not too much known about the plot, but it will have callbacks to everything from the games; like Power Stars, Bowser, Toads, and everything in between. When you have a franchise as big as Super Mario, you’re also going to have a fandom that is very fickle and critical about Hollywood’s involvement in doing CGI and live-action adaptations. What happens a lot of times when it comes to live adaptations to anime and video game franchises, is that they have to be marketable to the general audience (non-anime and gaming fans) outside of their respective fandoms. However if “Dragon Ball Evolution” and Netflix’s “Cowboy Bebop” have taught us anything…you’d best come correct, or DON’T come at all!

To wrap things up the Super Mario movie drops in theaters April 7, 2023, and Chris Pratt is the voice of Movie Mario; and Jack Black is the voice of Bowser. Jack Black as Bowser might be the only exception for a lot of fans because he has some voice actor experience (the Kung Fu Panda series), on the same token 2023 is also the year Movie Knuckles gets his own spin-off series on Paramount Plus. Nintendo’s trying to be slick and wait until the Sonic hype died down before announcing this movie, but with Sonic Movie 3 dropping December 20, 2024, SEGA understands the assignment. That’s another post for another day.

Until next post, stay nerdy my friends! 😉 

D&A Weekly Newsletter (October 10, 2022)

D&A Anime Blog / D&A Studios Entertainment Weekly (October 10, 2022)

Flawless Victory: 30 Years of Kombat!

From Scorpion’s heavily meme’d yet iconic “Get Over Here!” line, to Shao Khan telling players how much they sucked after wasting them in battle, Mortal Kombat is turning 30 years old this year. We take a look back at what made this bloody fighter famous, and what Ed Boone plan on doing next! Happening later this week!

The Super Mario Bros. Movie: What We Know So Far…

Nintendo knew they had to wait until the ‘Sonic Hype’ of the second movie had died down, before announcing this movie. Just by the trailer alone it appears the Mario-Sonic rivalry is becoming renewed by both fandoms thanks to social media. Join us as we take a dive into what we know so far by the trailer, and what message does this send to SEGA about Sonic’s third movie.

Classic Game Reviews with D.J. Lewis: Plok! (SNES)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I am an old school retro gamer at heart! While everyone else was getting their fix with their PS4’s, 5’s and Xbox One’s n’ S’s, I went back to the old school with classic consoles like the SNES and Sega Genesis. Yep, I’ve been a Nintendo boy since 1993, and have played through five console generations; with the latest being the Nintendo 3DS. But enough about my gaming timeline, we’re gonna talk about a game that I along with a marginal base of people believe to be underrated, and underappreciated during the time that the SNES was alive and kicking. The game’s soundtrack sounded like music that you’d hear from early 2000’s Pink Floyd (and Electronica), and you’ve got the Follin brothers to thank for that. This is my review of an SNES hidden gem; Plok!

I played this game a lot as a kid!

Ok, so the story of this game is kinda weird; Plok is apparently a king on the Island of Polyesta, and dwells on Akrillic Island (his home). He wakes up to discover that his flag on top of his house is missing, and finds out that its on Cotton Island. He treks through the island; defeating enemies and finding false flags along the way (pissing him off in the process), before running into the Bobbins Brothers – who are the culprits who stole Plok’s flag. After beating them and getting his flag back, Plok returns to Akrillic and finds out that his kingdom is overtaken by fleas; and NOT the ones on your dog, but big blue fleas that have hatched and infested the kingdom. So he goes around the kingdom beating fleas, bosses, other enemies, and finally the Flea Queen herself. After all of that he returns home to sit in his green rocking chair… 

Now it’s time for the gameplay; its basically a platformer where you have to reach the end of the level on Cotton Island, while collecting shells and power-ups to help smack down your foes. You can use Plok’s limbs to attack enemies, but you have to make sure you don’t lose all four; or else you’re a sitting duck. With the SNES controller, you use the B-button to attack and the A-button to somersault into the air like Sonic. (I actually liked using the A-button more because of that.) You can aim your limbs at fruits to increase Plok’s health, but sometimes those fruits might warp you to a timed bonus stage where if you beat it, you can warp to the next level – and even skip a boss fight in the process. Honestly the Cotton Island levels are pretty much the easiest part of the game, the hardest part is getting back to Akrillic and going through about 10 levels and 4 bosses; not counting the one on Cotton Island (the Bobbins Bros.) or the final 8-ish levels of the Flea Pit.

The opening theme SLAPS!!!

The Verdict

Plok! is an underrated gem that gave you some of the BEST music I’ve heard for the time that it came out! Tim Follin is an absolute genius when it comes to composing gaming music, as he was ahead of his time when creating the music for the levels and boss fights in this game. I feel no one really talk about or even remembers this game; because they were into Mario, Zelda, and Mortal Kombat around the same time. If they did however, they’d know just how much the music slapped! Don’t believe me? Check out the tracks below! Please play Plok! if you get your hands on an SNES Mini, and unless you suck at platformers, you won’t regret it. Until next post, stay nerdy my friends! 😉

Spooky Season level! 😉

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: Chasing Numbers!

Alright guys, ever since I found this little medium called anime, my life became a lot less boring in certain parts; mainly the content creative side of things. In the digital age content creation has become such a hot commodity among Millennials (90’s Kids) and Gen Z (2000’s Kids), because they found a new way to make income that doesn’t involve being yelled at by Ken the Store Manager. (Or Karen the Store Manager.) Believe it or not there have been so many Youtubers whose channels I’ve come across over the years, who have built themselves a fandom from the ground up. Hell, you can take us for example; when we started in January 2016 we didn’t have business cards – we had half-sheets of paper with the very first logo I’ve ever made. And we made our debut at Animore; Otakon’s replacement anime convention when it moved to Washington, DC.

This leads into what I really want to talk about; how to promote yourself organically without getting caught up in the ‘numbers game’. That’s right; the game where you want to garner the attention of the Youtube algorithm so badly, that you’ll go through any kind of extremes to do so – even with the help of third party promoters. The music industry is the same way; with independent artists like myself at the mercy of the Spotify “Featured” algorithm, that I went to a Spotify promotion website (that I thought was legit) in an effort to try and boost my streams high enough for the algorithm to take notice. Sadly what creators (or music producers) don’t realize is that even if those third party promotion websites may SAY that they’ll boost your presence online, how they do it can be pretty…suspect.

My first album got botted on Spotify, so they pulled it.

Creating content or music is one thing, but when you’re marketing skills are ‘mid’, you usually pass that onto someone who’s an expert at it. The thing is; with so many bots everywhere on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, it can get get pretty dicey when you can’t tell if the follows or streams you get are coming from real people, or a bot farm. Promotions that have been around longer may have better relations with getting people to view your video, or stream your music on their playlist; nevertheless when you’re doing ALL of the promotion and advertising yourself, it means you may have to put a little more extra care into your project(s) before releasing them. People are impressionable these days, and will only engage in music or digital content where there’s some sort of takeaway from it; like a lesson learned, or a genuine feeling.

Other times its dumb luck, and your video just happens to go viral at just the right time.

Now you’re probably thinking “Um, doesn’t promotion cost money?” and yes, it does. However, you get to control how much you want to promote, and what to promote based on your budget. The Sonic movies would’ve never gotten big as they’ve gotten had they not promoted it – heavily might I add. The same can be said for Youtubers, podcasters, and content creators; people won’t know who you are if you don’t promote and market yourself, its just that you have to be mindful that if you’re promoting online, do it with third party promoters that social media platforms trust. Chasing numbers can be hazardous to your mental health; as you may feel like everyone’s content is better than yours based on the reactions, likes, and reposts that they’re getting.

STOP!

Everyone moves at their own pace, and there is no reason for you to feel inferior just because Johnny Gameright has 650,000 subscribers and you only got 80. He had to work just as hard as you to get there. Its not about the head count on your social media platform; but the quality of the people that are following you because they like what you do, and want to continue supporting you. So don’t worry about the quantity of your numbers, but focus more on the quality of the people that follow you, as well as the content you’re producing.

Hopefully you took something away from this post, and if you did, kudos! Until next post, stay safe, and stay nerdy my friends! 😉

D&A Weekly Newsletter (October 3, 2022)!

D&A Anime Blog / D&A Studios Entertainment Weekly (October 3, 2022)

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis!

D&A Anime Blog Founder and CEO, Donte’ J. Lewis shares his thoughts about a variety of topics; such as diversity in anime, the current state of the world, music, DJing, and more! This week we get a brand new post sharing whatever thoughts are going on inside the mind of the founder; happening later this week!

Classic Game Review: Plok!

Somewhere during the 90’s the SNES was in the middle of a console war with the Sega Genesis, but while their respective mascots were going toe-to-toe with one another, we find ourselves reviewing an SNES game; where its OST was ahead of its time. Join us as we turn the clock back to the 90’s, for a classic video game review of “Plok!”. Happening later this week!

The Ecchi (Degenerate) Era of Anime!

There’s this weird lil’ genre of anime called “Ecchi”, and just like “Isekai”; it is both loved and hated by the anime community. We take a deep dive into how this genre became such a guilty pleasure for a subset of anime fans (mostly the male half), why ‘fanservice’ plays a key part in it, why it may (or may not) be banned in certain countries, and WHY anime studios KEEP making it! All this and more later this week!

Here’s What You Missed Last Time on D&A Studios Entertainment!

D&A Anime Blog: New Things For The 4th Quarter of 2022!

Guys, this year has been filled with great moments as well as growing pains, and D&A has surely been on the receiving end of some of these pains. However a special individual once said: “Believe in the you, that believes in ME!” (its Kamina from Gurren Lagann), so we never gave up and continued on our quest to be the best blogs out there. Now with the seasons changing and everyone getting Pumpkin Spice fever, we’re prepping ourselves for the 2023 year; which we HOPE is filled with convention appearances! With that in mind, here’s what we’re doing for the 4th quarter of 2022 (or Oct. 1 – Dec. 31):

D&A Entertainment Weekly Returns (with a new logo)

We tried this new newsletter format for awhile, but we felt like it didn’t really have an identity all its own. We’re gonna fix that come October 3rd; so get ready for new posts, new character analysis, and new current events regarding the anime industry!

Premium Subscription Videos Will Launch The First Week of October

Never-before-seen content will be uploaded exclusively to the blog, and if you’re a Premium subscriber, you’ll be able to watch them for a monthly subscription of $5. We’ll be implementing this feature for our biggest supporters during the first week of October, and we’ll keep you updated when the Premium videos drop!

A New Music Page is Coming…

More like we’re renovating our current music page. There will be more information on it within the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

DJ Appearances will also be added to Con Appearances

Once we get the green light for conventions that we want to be “Guest(s) of Honor” at, we’ll post them on our Con Appearances page. Alongside that will be DJ Appearances by Avidd Minddset; so we’ll also be posting those appearances as well.

One-2-One Waifu Wednesday Specials Coming November 2022

Yes, we are going down this rabbit hole. Starting the first Wednesday in November we’ll be doing a One-2-One Waifu Wednesday character that we select. Yep, this is really happening.

Ok, that will do it for these announcements, so until October, stay nerdy my friends! 😉

D&A’s Checkpoint Check-In! (September 2022)

Hey guys. It’s been awhile since our last post, but lately things have been a little chaotic on the ‘outer boundaries’ of the blog (or in this case we’ve been dealing with the craziness of life outside of D&A). Guess its safe to say that our online presence has grown to a level where being just a two-man operation, might not cut it in the ‘big leagues’, in the world of new article companies. For that we’re in the process of looking for volunteers to become authors and writers on the ‘blog side’ of D&A, so if you’re interested in volunteering, hit us up on our Contact Us page. We’re also working on opening up other positions within D&A as we continue to grow from being a hobby, into a business. For now, we’re looking to build a writing staff and expand our numbers internally.

That’s all we’ve got for now, so until our next post, stay nerdy! 😉

Blackbeard Needs to Be Luffy’s Final Enemy, Not Rocks!

The end of One Piece is near, no matter how badly fans may want otherwise. Mangaka Eichiro Oda recently confirmed his goal to end his legendary manga in around three years. That means that the final battle for the fabled treasure that seems to hold all the answers to the mysteries of the world will soon be upon us. On one side, we have Monkey D. Luffy, the newest Yonko and the living embodiment of fun and freedom. On the other side, we have Blackbeard, the man who slew Whitebeard and took his powers for his own. For many fans, it seemed as though Blackbeard would be Luffy’s last and greatest challenge to claiming the One Piece.

Then, we learned about Rocks D. Xebec, the greatest enemy the Pirate King Gol D. Roger ever faced. Now, fans speculate that Xebec, not Blackbeard or the World Government, will be Luffy’s final opponent. That is something that I strongly think would not be a good idea.

Rocks D. Xebec, Gol D. Roger’s Biggest Enemy

Firstly, just who is Rocks D. Xebec? According to the Marines from Garp and Sengoku’s generation, Rocks was the most feared pirate in the world before the rise of Gol D. Roger. A vicious and bloodthirsty man, Rocks sought nothing less than world domination. To that end, he delved into secrets the World Government tried to suppress. In addition, he assembled a crew of powerful pirates that wreaked havoc on a global scale. Among them were three of the future Yonko: Whitebeard, Big Mom, and Kaido. Rocks was considered to Roger’s first and greatest enemy.

Thirty years before the present day, the Rocks Pirates launched their most ambitious attack yet. On the island called God Island, they attacked the Celestial Dragons. However, they were beaten by an unlikely team up of Roger and Monkey D. Garp. After that, God Island vanished from all records, and Xebec was declared dead by the World Government.

Or is he?

The Fan Theories About Rocks Being Alive

There are rumors and theories going around the fandom that Rocks D. Xebec didn’t die at God Valley. Some fans think he might still be alive in some form, with theories ranging from being the true mastermind behind the World Government to some kind of connection to Blackbeard. Regardless, these fans are convinced that Rocks might be the final challenge Luffy must face to become Pirate King.

I’m sorry, but no. Just, no.

Blackbeard Needs to be the Final Opponent Luffy Fights

So, I will acknowledge that, regardless of his status in the present day, Rocks has an important role to play in the final stretch of the series. Oda never introduces a character or concept without planning on it playing a part down the line. I can even admit that Blackbeard might have some connection to the Captain of the Rocks pirates. However, I do not think that Rocks will be the final big bad of the series. That honor falls to the World Government and, more importantly, Blackbeard himself.

If you read my review of where the top contenders for the One Piece stand, you should know my rationale for Blackbeard.

• He and Luffy both became Pirate Captains around the same time

• Both carry the Will of D.

• Blackbeard has a Devil Fruit that cancels out other Devil Fruits.

• Both believe in freedom and fate, but have very different ideas on what that means

• Blackbeard was responsible for the events that led to Ace and Whitebeard’s deaths.

In other words, Oda has been building Blackbeard up from the start to be Luffy’s antithesis. Thus, it makes sense that Blackbeard, not Rocks, be the final opponent that Luffy must face.

My Theory: Blackbeard is the Rocks of Luffy’s Generation

While I won’t deny that Rocks is important for that finale, I believe that it won’t be Rocks himself that will play a role. Rather, it will be his will and legacy that he left behind. Oda has repeatedly talked about the idea of inherited will being passed on. In this case, what if Blackbeard chose to inherit Rocks’ will and desire to conquer all? In other words, what if Blackbeard intends to do what Rocks couldn’t and conquer the world?

We don’t know what Blackbeard’s endgame might be, but given how he’s gathering Devil Fruit powers, world domination isn’t out of the question. One thing’s for sure, though. When the final clash between Luffy and Blackbeard comes, they’ll talk about it for years.

Anime Logos: The Best, The Mid, and The Worst!

Anime (like music) has many genres; your action-packed fighters, your feely-type cryers, your parody-filled laugh out louders, and your cringe-worthy contenders. For many fans like ourselves if an anime title has a badass opening like Soul Eater (I love you TM Revolution), then you expect the anime itself to have the give you the same thrill you felt during the OP, right? Even the ones that some may consider ‘mid’ or ‘L’ in plot and character development have some decent openings. However we’re not touching on anime openings as we’ve already done that, instead we’re touching on the thing that appears during the anime openings; the Title Cards! Although they’re barely talked about if at all, sometimes title cards can give you an idea of what the atmosphere, feelings, and attitude of the show that you’re watching will be about. For this post we’ll be taking a look at some of the best, mid, and worst title cards in anime history in terms of their color scheme, and what feelings and vibes you get from them.

So let’s get started with one of the most well known anime logos! Dragon Ball!

The Dragon Ball Logo Family (without GT or Super)

Dragon Ball

Every 80’s and 90’s kid has grown up with this franchise. Goku, the saiyan of Earth fighting various villains who pose both world and universe-ending threats. Let’s kick this off with the first logo; the original Dragon Ball logo gives off a vibe of nostalgia with its drop shadow effects and retro shaded colors. It gives you a sense of adventure, excitement, and danger, as Goku begins his quest to collect the seven dragon balls from the forces of evil. The 1996 logo appears to be going through the adolescent transition that everyone has gone through once in their lives. The ‘O’ is basically the one-star dragon ball; which stays in the logos following up afterwards with its first return in the iconic Dragon Ball Z logo. There’s not a single shonen fan who doesn’t recognize this logo, and the feeling you get from it can only be described as an edgy 90’s teenager going through puberty.

When the 2010’s hit they brought back the iconic look but did a shadow gradient on the bottom, and made the one-star ball slightly bigger with a lighter circular fade in the middle. At this point they wanted to appeal to the next generation of Dragon Ball fans while still keeping the nostalgic look older fans have come to know. A few years after “Resurrection F” they replaced the ‘Z’ with Super, but still kept the iconic look of the logo. We’re not gonna talk about GT’s logo because it looks like something a high school freshman who took one graphic design class threw together. (No offense if you’re in this camp, but we’re pretty sure ya’ll can make a better GT logo than what we got.)

Shonen Anime Logos!

Shonen Anime Logos

Shonen anime is always action-packed and usually has those “never give up” type of characters that are usually the MC, but what about their logos? One Piece’s logo actually gets straight to the point because it tells you that the series is gonna be about pirates. The ‘E’ is a ship’s anchor, whereas the ‘O’ is actually the logo of the flag on Luffy’s ship; and the ‘I’ is a red silhouette of Luffy himself! FMAB made their logo look like actual metal with the word ‘Brotherhood’ being the same color as Edward’s jacket. Bleach’s logo has the flames on both sides representing the many fire-based attacks found in the show, along with Soul Reapers, Hallows, and Ichigo. Attack on Titan’s logo gives me a feeling of dread, survival, and giant naked mutant men; which is basically what the series is about! The red slash line could represent the wall that the titans are on, but that’s just our theory.

Hunter x Hunter’s logo gives me the same feeling I got when I watched Dragon Ball, and Naruto along with its Shippuden logo kinda felt like it was trying to take the Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball Z route in terms of its logo, and the attitude of the series. In a couple of ways…it did. I’m not getting One Piece vibes from Fairy Tail’s logo even though the ‘T’ looks like a hook, and Seven Deadly Sins…there’s a compass in the logo, and it definitely gives me a sense of action, demons, betrayal, magic, and booze. (Its Fairy Tale without dragons or the ‘friendship mechanic’.)

Some of these isekai logos are ok, and some are…mid

Isekai Logos

So many of these long-ass titles from this oversaturated genre are a toss-up when it comes to plot and character development. Many of them are 12 episodes long with some of them making it to season 2, but for the rest of them, it feels like they’re just copying and pasting the SAO or Log Horizon formula (for the JRPG-ish ones). In terms of logo and color scheme; a lot of isekai titles appear to go for the cooler colors as their drop shadow, or just inverse them and have a thicker black stroke to emphasize what its trying to represent. I’m not sure what I’m getting from Isekai Cheat Magician’s logo, but Konosuba’s logo gives me a feeling of laughter at Aqua’s expense. 

Ecchi logos can be just as bad as the series…with exceptions

Ecchi/Harem Logos

For a small fraction of the anime community, ecchi and harem titles are the go-to guilty pleasures that most male anime fans lament over; from your panty shots to your “baka” moments. There’s little to no plot or character development in any of these titles, EXCEPT High School DxD! That series has all the ecchi and harem that you’d find…but with a purpose. (It actually HAS a story behind it!) Shimoneta’s logo is basically the “Parental Advisory Explicit Content” sticker you’d find in 90% of Hip-Hop and Rap albums. Not. Even. Joking.

At the end of the day, its not really about the logos that give you a sense of what the anime that you’re watching is about, but the feeling you get when you watch the opening as a whole. From the music to the artistic direction that the opening video is going in, anime title cards are like the frosting on a triple layer cake; it just makes the overall product look sweet. As for which ones are the best, the mid, and the worst, we’ll leave that up to you guys (if you’re into anime logos at all). For us its not just about the logo of a title alone; but what that title brings to the table in terms of story, character development, setting, and writing. With all that being said, you’ll probably be fine with this logo!

This logo is just perfect!

God is GOOD! Panty & Stocking’s logo was just perfect with the ‘P’ and ‘Y’ being all lacey on the top, and ‘Stocking’ resembling well…striped stockings. Garterbelt was squeezed in the middle because lets face it; he’s the middle character no one in the show cares too much about, not even the angels. Hopefully they keep this logo for the second season, as well as all of the crazy zany sex jokes and adult humor.

That will do it for our take on anime logos, so until next post, stay nerdy! 😉

D&A Entertainment Weekly (09.12.2022)

Anime Logos: The Best, The Mid, and The Worst!

For many anime fans; plot and character development can make, or break a series. If that’s the case, then what about the series’ title card? The first thing you see in every anime opening before that actual episode starts, is the title or logo of the series that you’re watching. What does it say about the series as a whole? Does it give you clues as to what you’ll be in for if you decide to tune in? We break down and analyze how different anime title cards appeal to different anime watchers, and what feelings they give off as a result. Coming later this week!

Dragon Ball Super Broly’s One-2-One Analysis!

Every Dragon Ball fan knows that there are two different versions of Broly; the OG one that didn’t give a damn and blew up everything while trying to kill Kakarot, and the Dragon Ball Super reimagined version who was exiled from Planet Vegeta. The one that we’re reviewing is the DBS version, and we’ll compare the two based on the concept and development of their character. Coming later this week!

Sonic Redemption: The Rise, Fall, and Return of an Icon!

Sonic has been through a lot in the past 30 years; and with two live-action installments (with a third on the way), two new games, and a series on Netflix (if its still there), it looks like the Blue Blur wants to remind us that he’s NOT dead just yet! From his decades-old rivalry with Mario to bridging the gap between old fans and new ones (basically having one classic Sonic game and one Modern one), Sonic continues down a path of redemption after what appeared to be an inevitable downfall during his career as an icon; after making the transition from 2D to 3D. More on that later this week!

That’s all we’ve got for this issue of D&A Entertainment Weekly! Until next post, stay nerdy! 😉

A Founder’s Thought’s with D.J. Lewis: Miyazaki, and the State of the Anime Industry!

If you haven’t noticed by now, I am an anime fan. Throughout this journey I’ve had my fair share of online debates, silly squabbles, waifu wars, and toxic fandoms. However like many of us who have stepped into the world of anime during our childhood, I’ve had the chance to watch award-winning titles from the captain of Studio Ghibli himself; Hayao Miyazaki. Anyone that’s heard of him already knows what titles he’s known for; Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service, need I go on? He’s one of the most respected individuals in the anime industry to this day, but at the same time he’s also the most critical of what the industry has become. While many in the anime community may discredit his opinions about the state of the industry, others just might understand where he’s coming from. For me of course I’m not one to pick sides when it comes to controversial topics, but Miyazaki’s ‘anime was a mistake’ statement really got me thinking of what he thought would happen to this industry…

I wonder how he feels about oversaturated Isekai…?

Several months to maybe a year ago I talked about unpopular opinions about anime, and how easy it is to get into online arguments over little details about shows where the outcome wasn’t in favor of its fans. Lately it appears that the balance in the overall quality of anime, has shifted into an overproduced quantity of it in the last couple decades. I feel like if some fans took the time to read between the lines of what Miyazaki really meant, they would actually discover that his ‘anime was a mistake’ statement, wasn’t EXACTLY what he said; but rather he feels like with what anime has become in the modern age, Miyazaki thinks that the industry is full of creators who never had any real world experience when creating their characters. One of the things that drew me in to Miyazaki’s films is his way of storytelling and worldbuilding, that was different from what you’d find in most modern anime.

Honestly, Miyazaki was on a whole other level with his plot and character development; and actually took his audience on a journey that felt both heartwarming and realistic – based on the character’s personalities and traits. With modern anime its different; while there are some titles that do in fact have good plot and character development, there’s about ten others that do the complete opposite. I will say however there are some titles out there that take a page out of Miyazaki’s playbook in terms of characters with ‘real world’ personalities, issues, and how to overcome them.

Some titles do come close to Miyazaki’s level…

When it comes to character creation and how Miyazaki goes about doing it, he’s all the way old school. No amount of begging and pleading for him to try and use the modern anime method, will get him to consider it. Everything was hand-drawn; from the characters to the setting of the story itself. Miyazaki wanted his characters to be relatable; through their personalities, behaviors, and how they act and react in certain situations throughout the plot of the story. Now when it comes to how female characters are portrayed in anime, that’s where a lot of Miyazaki’s issues with the industry come from.

The biggest issue being anime tropes.

How many women have you seen in the real world just drop kick a guy for no apparent reason when he makes an honest mistake? Well, that’s one of the issues that Miyazaki has with female characters being portrayed in certain anime genres; especially the ecchi/harem ones. (Isekai, you aren’t safe either.) Its not just that though; as bland male leads, weak women, OP protagonists, panty shots, fan service, lolicons, complex characters, and airheaded male/female characters, are also big offenders in these titles. The list can go on but that’s the basis of what Miyazaki believes that anime has become, and guess what…it has.

Most anime fans would actually agree with what Miyazaki is getting at in terms with what the industry (as well as the fandom) has become. It all leads back to the word ‘Otaku’, and why Western fans have embraced the word as something positive rather than the original meaning from the Japanese. So why have we created an entire culture around a word that is viewed negatively among the country’s inhabitants? Why have we excepted the origins of this word as part of our society; even though its a derogatory term for ‘basement dwelling’ incels who obsess over fictional anime characters, and send love or hate letters to manga artists or anime voice actors? Now that I think about it; Miyazaki doesn’t truly have a problem with the anime industry as a whole, he just doesn’t like weeaboos. (Neither does most of the general public to some degree.)

The most well respected man in the anime community…doesn’t like a ‘certain group’ of the community.

Hayao Miyazaki is from a different generation of anime directors, creators, and producers. He’s by-the-book old school in terms of his style, and how he captures the beauty of his art. To him; anime is an artform that is meant to capture its audience visually and emotionally with its breathtaking scenes, relatable characters, and well put together plots. None of his movies had ‘one-note characters’, tsunderes, senpai chicks, 2D thots, bland MC’s, or over-powered saiyans (sorry DBZ fans). To some fans it feels like Miyazaki’s living in the ‘dark ages’ with his world and political views, and regardless of how the community feels about his criticism on what anime and its industry has become, fans are still passionate about the medium as a whole.

Sure its not perfect, and that fact that so many ‘wars’ and debates still find a way to rear their ugly heads from time to time (Sub v. Dub, waifu wars, etc.) is an ongoing issue, anime fans continue to show their dedication to the medium and the industry; whether they agree with Miyazaki’s criticisms, or not. As stupid as some of these tropes are, they somehow manage to find a way to crack a smile on the faces of fans from all around the West. While it took nearly 20 years for anime to become widely accepted among mainstream audiences, it still feels like it has a bit more of a way to go. Anime, its fandom(s), and the industry are always going to have issues to sort out, but when it comes to Western fans; we’re ALWAYS going to be overexcited about our favorite titles getting renewed, who best girl or best boy is, cosplaying at anime conventions, and enjoying Studio Ghibli films.

Do I personally believe anime was a mistake? No. I think if more artists and creators took the time to go out and draw inspiration from people in the real world, they would be able to tell stories with real-world influence and make their characters relatable. With the way the community is now, some fans are starting to go back and watch more Ghibli films and older anime titles that didn’t have all the crazy tropes you’d see in modern titles. I think, with the direction that the anime industry is going and what anime has become, has allowed it to ascend from the depths of being an ‘underground’ niche medium; becoming accepted from others all around the world and even among mainstream audiences. To reach its final form however, anime creators have to ditch the ‘Otaku mindset’ and get inspired by the beauty of the people and places in the outside world around them.

Until next post, stay nerdy my friends! 😉

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: Project Paradise

Six years and nine months ago I was sitting inside our current studio with A. Goldman wondering what it would be like if we had our own anime blog. We’ve spent the last five years going to Otakon when it was still in Baltimore, while going through all of the pictures that we took of us, and other cosplayers. During the month of December 2015 I made the decision to start building our nerdy empire; a website that was going to be different from any anime blog that you would find out there in the world. It wasn’t gonna be your kid brother’s anime blog where all he’d talk about was DBZ and Pokemon all day, it was going to become an experience that you’d have to see to believe.

In January 11, 2016 we made our debut as D&A Anime Blog at a new convention that came to Baltimore known as Animore. The vibe of that convention was very much like conventions of old; where it was just about the medium and the fandom, and not about the mainstream Hollywood attention that its getting today. Right out of the gate people were excited about what we were all about and wanted to support our dreams of being one of the best anime blogs out there. We even became friends with a lot of the voice actors that were there as well; from Anthony Bowling to Tia Ballard (and eventually Steve Blum, Josh Martin, Josh Grelle, and Monica Rial). We also started doing panels during the convention’s run from 2016-2020; but also around that time we started going to other conventions like Zenkaikon, Anime USA, Saikoucon, Thy Geekdom Con, and more! Things were going great and everything was awesome…or so we thought.

Us and Crispin Freeman at Anime USA in 2018

After Animore’s 5th anniversary in January 2020, we received warnings of a possible outbreak of coronavirus we know as COVID-19, and the worst was yet to come. After March of that year; anime conventions and other mass social gatherings started getting cancelled and dropping like flies, although there were a couple defiant ones who thought they were better than everyone else, many in the anime community decided to go virtual with their convention experiences. The last two years tore me apart; from not being able to go to conventions due to Covid, to Animore closing their doors permanently because of the effects that COVID-19 did to them on a financial standpoint.

Now we’ve reached that ‘Seven Year Itch’ phase of our business where A. Goldman and I had a few speed bumps in our business partnership; and even gotten mad at each other at one point. (It’s not just married couples that go through this.) It was extremely hard on my end to not go to cons as attendees anymore; but as all-expenses paid guests with appearance fees to help us expand what we do, and give back to our fans who’ve helped us along the way. It took awhile for me to understand that; because no longer were we going to go as just ourselves, we were going to go as paid performers with a 3-panel convention entertainment experience we call “The D&A Experience”.

Project Paradise Teaser

So I started doing what all other agents do for voice actors in the anime industry; scout out bookings for anime conventions that we wanted to bring this unique experience to. You never know who’s watching, so that’s why you got to keep going if you want that dream gig or that dream experience. For me, that’s what it all came down to; a chance to get back on the road and have all of the fun at conventions like we did in the past, but now making money to help fund and expand our business. As for “Project Paradise”, well, that is still our mission to one day have own own anime convention. January 11, 2026 will be our 10th anniversary as D&A, and what better way to do that than to launch our anime convention campaign through “Project Paradise”.

I will say that once the official name of our con is revealed (probably Spring or Summer 2023), it’ll take on the convention model it was inspired from; Animore. I want to bring anime conventions back to Baltimore, but its gonna take a lot of support and money from the anime community. We’ve been on this journey of ours for a while, and from the looks of things we’re only just beginning.

Until next post, stay nerdy! 😉

One-2-One with D.J. Lewis: Aqua (Konosuba)

Isekai is one of the most saturated genres in anime history, and like we’ve spoken in our initial rant about it, there’s always some ‘new’ title that drops EVERY DAMN SEASON! From the people who brought you ‘The Time I Got Sucked in to Another World with my iPhone 12’, comes ‘That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Refrigerator’! Japan loves coming up with things and objects that people can be brought into another world to be reincarnated as, but despite how stupidly long these titles are; and how generic most of the protagonists can be, there are exceptions. One of those exceptions comes in the form of a parody of all of the common tropes found in isekai anime titles; including how useless party members can be. One of the biggest useless party members happens to be a goddess (if you’d even call her that) of water, and also has the personality of a fish out of water. Guys n’ gals, meet Aqua, a useless goddess.

OMG! You’re useless!!

Konosuba is one of those shows that takes the ‘norms’ that you’d find in every isekai trope, and throws it out the window. You’d think upon first glance it would be about a generic MC getting transported to another world after death, and waking up in a forest to search for the king and become a knight and fight off dragons in order to save the kingdom, right? NO! Konosuba takes all of that and tells it to go kick rocks; because Kazuma (the ‘generic’ MC) doesn’t give a damn about fighting the demon king, he just wants to party and live it up in the new world he’s in. (And even drags Aqua along for the ride.)

Aqua is basically the first person Kazuma meets and already hates her guts…and the fact that she made her panties invisible so people wouldn’t see them. (Yeah, but now they can SEE YOUR BARE ASS!) Well, as air-headed and useless as she is within Kazuma’s party, Aqua brings a sense of comic relief and joy.

Part 1: The Origin of the Useless Goddess

So, was Aqua useless from the start? Well she’s worshiped in the Axis Order in the Fantasy World, and is basically in charge of trying to get Japanese people who’ve died to be reincarnated into the Fantasy World. However Eris was the one taking one most of her responsibilities, because Aqua would rather read manga and be lazy. (No surprise there.) Kazuma wasn’t like other Japanese people; instead when he was reincarnated, he took Aqua with him as a cheat item (which she hated) and the two of them started getting odd part-time jobs in order to make a living in the Fantasy World. Eventually Aqua started getting noticed throughout the town for her abilities and also her troublemaking; which places Kazuma as the one who ends up as her “babysitter”. When it comes to responsibilities…yeah, Aqua’s pretty useless.

Part 2: How Useless Is Your Goddess?

Aqua is an unaccountable airhead with a ‘kid-in-a-candy-store’ personality, who can be really annoying at some of the worst times. Though she won’t pass judgement on push her beliefs on people, she speaks out of term and has landed herself and the rest of Kazuma’s party in hot water. As a goddess Aqua has validation issues; as she constantly seeks praises for her good deeds – only to ruin her merits moments later. Aqua is also a terrible lair, and has no concept of what a ‘lie’ is and how to tell one due in part to her honesty. Because of this its easy to trick her into doing things or even getting her to agree with you on certain topics, and while she thinks highly of herself, Aqua isn’t the brightest when it comes to business sense.

On the flipside; Aqua can be smart when she wants to be, and has been known to be a walking encyclopedia for Kazuma and the rest of the team. Although she’s a goddess, Aqua forgets just how powerful her priestess abilities actually are; and has performed feats that others would deem extraordinary. She’s not fond of toads or demons and surely hates the undead, but she’ll get along with them if she gets to know them long enough. (Not the toads though.) As far as her skills are concerned, they may seem impressive on paper, but in actual battle…they’re useless against normal people and toads. Aside from her Priestess Magic, Aqua has powerful skills like “God Blow” and “God Requiem”, but she can also bring people back from the dead, purify unclean water, cause biblical floods, lift curses from those possessed by demons, a master craftswoman, can do water bending (just a little bit, don’t get excited Last Airbender fans), has holy magic, and is also great at party tricks. I know it looks like I made Aqua not sound as useless as she seems, but in the anime only half of this stuff is seen.

Okay, so you’re not as useless…

Part 3: The Legacy of the Useless Goddess

Many supporting characters in isekai anime titles are equal in strength and intelligence to a certain degree, as for Aqua, you’re kinda rolling the dice and hoping for the best. She’s totally useless when it comes to certain responsibilities, but she also knows how to entertain a crowd with her party tricks. Perhaps she’s not totally useless at everything, she’s just more skilled in other areas as opposed to the ones most people would assume she’s good at; but they’d be wrong. While she’d be okay for quests where there’s demons and undead involved, Aqua would still need to be babysat when it comes to keeping herself from getting in trouble around town. Also, she needs to PUT SOME DAMN DRAWS ON! Nobody wants to see that booty every single day (not unless you’re a freak); ask Kazuma when he’s groaning and rolling his eyes. At the end of the day, Aqua’s gonna be Aqua, and there’s nothing you can do about that.

That will do it for this One-2-One. Until next post, stay nerdy! 😉

D&A Entertainment Weekly (9.5.2022)

Welcome To Paradise: A Baltimore Anime Con?!

Founding member Donte’ J. Lewis of D&A Anime Blog / D&A Studios Entertainment talks about his experience at AniMore; a Baltimore anime convention running from 2016-2021, and how that convention shaped the identity of what D&A is today. Could it be that he and Aaron Goldman might be trying to run an anime convention of their own? More on that story later this week on A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis.

The Most Useless One-2-One Ever!

When it comes to anime, there’s always your usual suspects; your Tsundere types, your “Notice Me Senpai!” types, and your airheaded types. This week we do a deep dive into the hallow cranium of the most useless goddess ever…Aqua. The One-2-One on Konosuba’s biggest airhead drops on Tuesday September 6, 2022.

Miyazaki: The State of The Anime Industry

“Anime was a mistake,” said one Hayao Miyazaki during a Tokyo TV interview. Many fans in the West respect this man for his amazing work on films like Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, and more. However his take on what the anime industry is like today; might be either met with either sarcastic derision, or mutual understanding. Could it be that Miyazaki saw or felt a first glimpse of what would happen to this industry years (or decades) down the road? We do a deep dive into his works, his artistic direction, and why he feels the industry is filled with otaku. Coming later this week!

If you wanna know what’s going on, follow us on the blog to subscribe to our brand new weekly newsletter! Every Monday we give you all the latest news in regards to what we’re doing, as well as other awesome things happening in the industry. Also, if you want to contribute an article to our blog, hit us up on our Contact Us page and we’ll send you an invite. On that note, that will do it for this newsletter post! 😉

D&A Studios Entertainment Unboxings Recap!

Hey there nerds n’ nerdettes! For most of you its the First Day of School, and for the rest of us its time to clock in and head into work on yet another crazy Monday. We of course are here to bring you another Monday recap of what you may have missed in the last couple of weeks! Starting September 5th we’ll be rolling out our D&A Entertainment Weekly Newsletter; that will also include our weekly recaps of unboxings, and podcast episodes that premiered on our Youtube channel last week. That’s all we’ve got for this post, so until our next one, stay nerdy! 😉

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: “The Brotherhood Treatment”!

Since becoming an anime fan back in the late 90’s (early 2000’s), I’ve gone through somewhat of a cycle; it usually starts from curiosity, and ends with ‘please let there be a season 2 of this show’. Over the last decade-and-a-half or so, I’ve heard this term for anime titles that don’t fully commit to its source material that its trying to adapt from; or even completely go in a whole different direction. Anybody that’s an FMA fan already knows what this term means, and if they’re an FMAB fan, then they already know a handful of anime titles (both old and new) that could use this sort of treatment in terms of plot, and character development. This treatment is known as “The Brotherhood Treatment”. 

FMA: Brotherhood is…a Perfect anime.

Anybody that’s seen Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood knows that this title is…a perfect anime. I say this because it is a perfect anime to start with if you’re looking to get into the anime fandom. If you’re gonna watch this series, then go for the 2009 version that is ‘Brotherhood’. The 2003 original was good…until it ‘Game of Thrones Season 6’d’ us near the end and STOPPED FOLLOWING THE DAMN LORE!! So yeah, watch 09′ if you’re gonna watch Fullmetal. Just putting it out there.

Now this series gave birth to the term ‘The Brotherhood Treatment’ around the 2010’s when the manga and anime ended, to signify how anime should be adapted 100% faithfully to its manga. If you ask any anime fan on the street if there should be an anime title out there that could use this treatment, 9 times out of 10 they’re probably going to say Rosario + Vampire – and I agree with them! I saw both seasons of the show, looked at the manga and thought that exact same thing the majority of fans were thinking:

It’s NOTHING like the manga! T.T

No, it isn’t. As much as I like goofy, ecchi stuff from time to time, I actually think that if the artists were given enough time (and the production budget was bigger), that they could’ve made the series true to its manga counterpart. Instead it became an ecchi/harem title from the 2000’s that half of the fandom loved, and the other half hated. The ‘Brotherhood Treatment’ wasn’t just about an anime adaptation being faithful to its manga source material, but not falling into the common traps that you see in modern anime today. FMA Brotherhood didn’t have ‘background’ or ‘one-note’ characters that only appeared for a short time and then never seen again. It also didn’t have any characters that ‘had’ to fit any kind of trope or plot device; and found a way to be more than just another Shonen through themes like Militarism, Religion, Faith vs. Fact, Race, and Science. Its no wonder fans call this one of the greatest anime of all time.

(I am NOT gonna talk about the “Dog” scene, okay? Do. Not. Ask!)

This series really needs the ‘Brotherhood Treatment’

So for me, the ‘Brotherhood Treatment’ is ideal for titles that the original fandom felt like its original version lacked in certain critical areas; which is usually story and character development. Any title that is going to take a world-building approach to their story if it calls for it, should try looking into how FMA Brotherhood approached it – actually…how Hiromu Arakawa approached it. The icing on the cake for this series, and why it is a perfect anime to start with on your anime journey, is the fact that it’s done!

Yeah, its done. It will not be added upon; as all loose ends have been tied up, and all characters’ missions and purposes have been fulfilled. It’s one of those anime titles where you actually leave 100% satisfied; no questions asked. What anime title out there can do that in this day and age? Not a single one! One Piece is great (do not get mad at me for this), but I do NOT have the time to sit through 1000+ episodes that will take me two or three years to get through; when I can knock FMA Brotherhood out in one week at 64 episodes. You can get through a modern anime season or series in just six hours because most of them don’t go past 11 or 12 episodes. (MHA took the seasonal route and manages to keep the quality fresh every season, so when I say you can get through a series in six hours, I mean the ‘B-E tier’ ones.)

Okay, so that will do it for me and my thoughts, but what do you guys think? Are there any titles out there that could use the ‘Brotherhood Treatment’? Let us know in the comments below!

Until next post, stay nerdy! 😉

D&A Studios Entertainment Recap (8.22.22)

So we’ve reached the final week before kids go back to school, as the unofficial end of the Summer looms near. We of course are bringing you another recap of videos that you might have missed last week, and boy did we have fun doing these. Also don’t forget that starting September 5th we’ll be starting a new weekly newsletter called “D&A Entertainment Weekly”; which will include our Youtube video recaps, and posts for the week along with what’s happening around the anime industry. Yep, that’s pretty much it. Until next time and next post, stay nerdy my friends! 😉

A plushie drinking buddy!
Goku Black’s Time Ring

One-2-One with D.J. Lewis: Junko Enoshima!

In the time I’ve spent watching anime, I’ve come across the various types of villains that you would see in specific types of anime within the medium; your action-fantasies, your isekais, your rom-coms, your mechas, and your psychological thrillers. In the spectrum of villainhood there are three types that can range from intellectually challenged, to god-tier terrifying. The first of which is your Simple Villains; your Saturday Morning Cartoon troupe kind of villains (Ginyu Force and King Dedede types). The second is your God Complex Villains; where mortal rules don’t apply and they can pass judgement on whomever they want (Goku Black and Light types). The third and perhaps most dangerous one of them all, is your Sympathetic Villains. How are they the worst? We can see a part of our selves in their actions, ideologies, and personalities.

One sympathetic villain in particular caused the whole world to fall into world-ending despair. Many are still in disbelief that this ‘Early 2000’s High School Cheerleader Valley Girl’ type of girl with a ‘Harley Quinn’ complex, is the reason the world went bat-crap crazy. Its also the reason why Danganronpa fans simp over her. She’s the Queen of Despair, Junko Enoshima.

Ah, that damnable smile…

Some time in 2018 I stumbled upon this series through Youtube, which is where I spend most of my time watching anime these days. I watched all of Danganronpa: The Animation and came to the conclusion of…why I don’t like Junko Enoshima that much. Its like you wanna punch her in the face the moment she opens her mouth; which is what my initial first impression of her was after watching the show. As the years went by this toe fungus of a woman started growing on me, which might explain why I’m even doing a One-2-One on her to begin with. The creator even stated that Junko doesn’t even have a reason to do what she does; she had no trauma-filled childhood, no abusive parents, and no negative experiences to shape who she became around her. She’s just bad because she is – and there’s not much else to it! Yeah, I know! (It’s even more crazy because of the fact that she was born on Christmas Eve.)

Junko Enoshima represents the worst of humanity, while Makoto Naegi represents the best of humanity. Its a Ying-Yang situation as the two of them clashed at the end of the series; with Junko losing, but not before committing suicide instead of surrendering to hope. I know many don’t like to think of this as a deep series, but with the psychological themes of hope and despair behind it, it’s hard not to.

Part 1: Who is The Ultimate Despair?

Okay, so I know that there are certain differences between Game Junko and Anime Junko, but for this One-2-One I’ll be focusing more on Anime Junko (but add a few elements from Game Junko). So Junko’s childhood (along with her sister) was abject to say the least, and was even homeless at one point. Her taste for despair may have started in elementary school with her friend Yasuke Matsuda; where she built a sandcastle as people watched her work, played in the school playground for a bit, then came back to find out that the sandcastle was destroyed. Upon hearing her cries Yasuke looked around for the person responsible and found no one, then while he was sitting on the bench Junko ran up to him and told him that she was the one who did it by accident (though we know that ain’t true).

As the years went by Junko was planning on something big; something that would change the whole world, and NOT for the better. She got a modeling career and was featured in all of the latest magazines and became an idol due to her extravagant tastes. Eventually she got accepted into Hope’s Peak Academy as a part of the 78th Class, and the rest was history.

Junko on her way to Hope’s Peak – lookin’ fine as hell!

Part 2: Junko Enoshima: The Ultimate Despair!

Junko Enoshima during her first appearance is pretty much like Aqua; only with a successful modeling career and NOT a useless goddess. However…her true personality is far more cryptic and unpleasant. She’s apathetic and easily bored to an unhealthy degree, and somehow got Multiple Personality Disorder in the process. Junko’s not one to keep just one ‘appearance’ for long; which makes her mentally and emotionally unpredictable, and anxiety-inducing when having a conversation with her. She values despair above anything else and wishes to ‘paint the whole world’ in it, as she believes its the great unknown, and unpredictable. As mentioned before; she has no reason to do the things she does, but she does them because that’s who she is.

Although she doesn’t look it, Junko is rather highly intelligent. (Yeah, we can’t believe it either.) She’s also cunning, violent, manipulative, impulsive, toxic as hell, and cruel. She’s also mentally and emotionally abusive to her sister and anyone associated with her. Junko even manipulates people into committing crimes and then turns around and blames them for even doing it in the first place – even though SHE’S THE REASON WHY THEY DID IT IN THE FIRST PLACE! (Yeah, I really didn’t like her when I first saw her.) Basically when it comes to despair; even if she loses, she wins. Her skills on the other hand are exactly what I aforementioned before; her analytical talent in predicting the latest fashion trends, mathematical problems, subliminal messaging, and more. Because she’s able to predict what a person will do before they do it, it lead to her boredom and why she chose despair because of its unpredictability. Also due to the fact that she’s the Ultimate Despair, she uses her talent to exploit their weaknesses and manipulate them to do whatever she commands.

I’m also gonna point out she has no physical fighting capabilities whatsoever, but if she had Goku Black’s fighting prowess she would’ve been even MORE dangerous than she is now. (*laughs*)    

Junko, despairingly beautiful…

Part 3: The Legacy of Despair!

Junko Enoshima is the embodiment and amalgamation of despair, and what it can do to people’s lives and how they feel. She’s everything you may despise about others and even yourself, and the corruption and sorrow that takes place in our world (even today); all wrapped up in the form of a ditzy high school cheerleader-looking anime antichrist. She may not have Goku Black’s power level or ‘god ki’, or even share the same philosophy that Light has (but then again, it might be on a more ‘complex’ level only she understands), but as a sympathetic villain she has the power to turn people against one another and bring out their absolute worst. Junko has no redeeming qualities whatsoever, and doesn’t believe she is even at fault for how The Tragedy turned out – because it went just the way she wanted it to go.

While I may have a love/hate relationship with this character, I kinda feel bad for her. She could’ve been anything, but she was made to be the embodiment of despair. It’s all she knows and its her destiny. Junko will probably never be anything more than what she is because that’s all she is; a person who manipulates people to do her bidding, causing people to fall in love with despair (and her), and falling deeper and deeper into the abyss of despair with no hope of returning. She’s a character that you both want to feel sorry for, but glad she ‘punished’ herself in the name of despair.

May you rot in hell you disgustingly loveable THOT! (I really don’t like this girl very much, do I? XP)

The Race For One Piece is On! But Where Do the Contender’s Stand?

A Look At Where Everyone Stands in the Race for the One Piece

The state of One Piece right now could best be summed up by a quote from Dr. Strange: “We’re in the endgame, now.” After 25 years of twists, turns, laughs, and tears, Eichiro Oda’s preparing to take his legendary masterpiece into its final phase. The moment the Wano Arc ends, fans should expect nothing less than a race to the finish line that is Laugh Tale. The grand prize: not just the One Piece, but the truth about the Void Century and the history of the world. It’s going to be a very tight race, though, with the most powerful pirates competing to make it to Laugh Tale first.

While the Straw Hat Pirates come out of Wano as the crew of one of the Yonko, they’re facing stiff competition from their fellow pirates. With the manga on break this week, now’s the perfect time to look at where the top contenders each stand in terms of strength, power, and how close they are to reaching Laugh Tale.

Buggy and his New Alliance Are a Major Wild Card

One of the first enemies that Luffy ever fought, Buggy seemed destined to become comic relief as the rubber wonder moved on to bigger enemies. Then came the events at Impel Down and Marineford, which outed him as a former member of the Roger Pirates, gave him instant notoriety, and earned him the title of one of the Seven Warlords. The loss of that title, though, didn’t diminish his power. Somehow, the Clown got elevated to the status of Yonko alongside Luffy and former crewmate Shanks!

Despite the world thinking he’s a mad genius, fans know that Buggy’s a joke. However, he’s a joke that’s managed to talk former Warlords “Hawkeye” Mihawk and Crocodile into working with him as part of his new group, Cross Guild. Even more brazen, though, is that his group put bounties on the Marines. That takes guts!

With the amount of power and influence that Buggy has gathered, albeit unintentionally, he could stand a serious shot at finding the One Piece. He’s also got the motivation: due to getting sick at the penultimate island, Buggy never got to see Laugh Tale. Now, he could change that, either on his own, or by forming an alliance with another Yonko.

Shanks is Throwing His Lot into the Ring.

What can be said about Shanks that hasn’t been said already? He’s a former member of the Roger Pirates, the man who inspired Luffy to become a pirate, and one of the four Yonko. After his recent display of Conquerer’s Haki in Wano, though, Shanks has elevated himself to Giga-CHAD levels of awesomeness! And this is while he only has one arm.

Until now, Shanks has shown no interest in reaching Laugh Tale or finding his former captain’s treasure. However, with Luffy now standing alongside him as a fellow Yonko, that attitude’s gone right out the window. Having thrown his proverbial hat into the ring, Shanks is setting himself up for a confrontation with Luffy. Given how his mastery of Conquerer’s Haki ranks among the strongest in the world, Luffy’s idol might also be one of his biggest obstacles to finding One Piece. Or, he might end up being a powerful ally. 

Trafalgar Law Knows Almost as Much as the Straw Hats Do.

The Straw Hats have been allied with Trafalgar Law for what’s likely been a few months in-universe. From the fan’s perspective, though, it’s been about a decade of having Law hanging out with Luffy. While the Straw Hat’s antics may annoy him at times, this alliance has been nothing but good for the captain of the Heart Pirates. Not only did he get revenge on Doflamingo, but he managed to learn almost everything the Straw Hats did about Laugh Tale and the Road Poneglyphs. 

While he may not be a Yonko, that doesn’t change the fact that Law took down Big Mom alongside Kid. That along makes him one of the toughest pirates alive. Add in the fact that he has access to at least two of the Road Poneglyph’s (three, if Luffy shared the one from Big Mom with him), and he’s got a good chance of making it to Laugh Tale. 

Kid Seems to Have His Own Lead on Finding One Piece

The last few arcs have been absolute hell for Captain Kid. His first alliance to take down Shanks ended when he got betrayed and captured by Kaido. To add insult to injury, his first mate, Killer, got force-fed a SMILE fruit, rendering him permanently smiling. No wonder he promised not to trust anyone outside of his crew again. However, that didn’t stop him from joining the Alliance that raided Onigashima, and that saw him and Law take down Big Mom. 

Law and Kid now stand on equal footing regarding power and prestige, and thanks to the former, Kid now has a copy of Wano’s Road Poneglyph. While this alone won’t be enough to get him to Laugh Tale, he already seems to have another lead in the form of someone with “flame marks.” How this will factor into the race to Laugh Tale remains anyone’s guess, though.

Blackbeard Is Luffy’s Greatest Threat

Of all the rival’s that Luffy has to face to reach One Piece, his greatest will likely be none other than Marshall D. Teach, AKA Blackbeard. It’s likely Eichiro Oda always meant for Blackbeard to be Luffy’s last and greatest obstacle to becoming King of the Pirates. After all, Blackbeard is, in essence, a natural foil to Luffy.

Let’s recap. Both Luffy and Blackbeard started forming their crews around the same time. Both kept said crew’s small in number, but filled with highly capable individuals. Furthermore, each has gone on to have a massive impact on the world in different ways. Lastly, both are now Yonko with a fleet of thousands of pirates ready to fight for them. The big difference between them is that unlike Luffy, Blackbeard seemingly wants to be the Pirate King for the power it will give him.

Given how Blackbeard’s directly responsible for the events that led to Ace’s death, it’s safe to say that Luffy hates his guts. Given all of this, a showdown between the two is coming. And when the dust settles, only one of them will be walking away.

Luffy is Closer Than Ever to Finding One Piece

The boy who will be a king, the second coming of Joy Boy, and the newest Yonko, Monkey D. Luffy. We’ve followed Luffy from the beginning, seen him go from a rookie upstart to a rubber-hosed demigod of freedom. The Wano Arc marked a turning point in Luffy’s growth as a fighter, going from not being able to lay a scratch on Kaido to besting the strongest beast in the world. He’s more than earned the right to be called a Yonko by now.

We all know that Luffy’s the one who will be King of the Pirates, but just how close is he? Crew filled with people who can go toe-to-toe with the best the World Government can throw at them? Check. Awakened Devil Fruit powers? Check. Three of the four Road Poneglyphs meant to reveal the way to Laugh Tale? Check. It’s plain for everyone to see that Luffy’s the closest to finding the One Piece right now. Should he make it past the might of his fellow Yonko, then his dream of being Pirate King will be within his grasp.  

D&A Studios Entertainment Recap (8.15.22)

What’s good, anime fam? Its another start to another week as September gets closer, and the Summer is winding down. It may be just another ‘terrific’ Monday for some, but for us it means another recap of videos that we’ve done this past weekend. Also a side note; starting September 5th, 2022 we’ll be implementing a newsletter-style format with a new name entitled “D&A Entertainment Weekly“. It will contain recap videos from our Youtube channel, new posts and articles for the week, and bi-weekly Premium videos for our VIP fans. We’re also working on a new monthly subscription tier system for our biggest supporters; $3 (Occasional Visitor), $5 (Frequent Flyer), $7 (VIP Member), $10 (D&A Super Fan). (More on that in the coming weeks.)

That’s all we’ve got for now, so until next post, stay nerdy! 😉

Our third guest! 🙂
Another Milim Nava video

D&A’s Checkpoint Check-In! (August 2022)

Hey guys! This is our second ‘check-in’ post of 2022. Posts like these are pretty much our way of letting you know what we’ll be doing next, but also letting you know where our heads are at in these modern day times. Recently, we’ve hit a few speed bumps in how we plan on implementing special features on our site, as well as overall promotion of our blog (and Youtube channel) to expand our reach to various circles within the anime community. However, our stubborn nature comes in clutch when we need it most, so we hope to be able to activate our Premium/VIP videos so that our biggest fans can check them out. Now that we’ve gotten that out the way, here’s some upcoming announcements:

Two New One-2-One Posts Drop Next Week: Junko Enoshima (Danganronpa), and Goku Black (DBS) 

The Most Interesting Villain in the World…

Anime villains are completely different compared to their Western counterparts (if you’d even call it that). Many of them became that way based on their rough childhood, while others wanted to try and overthrow their own government. Some are chaotic evil while others are chaotic neutral, and some do evil because…of boredom? You’re tellin’ me the whole reason the world went to hell, is because one chick was bored out of her mind?! That’s right, we’re doing a One-2-One on the embodiment of despair herself; Junko Enoshima. Next week!

His godly status is dwarfed by his ungodly nature…

Now, there have been so many Goku clones in this franchise that its not even funny! However unlike Turles (who is the ‘Original Goku Black’ to a small…select few in the Dragon Ball fandom), Goku Black IS Goku; just body swapped by an evil Kai known as Zamasu after a wish from Super Shenron. Although the ending to the arc was…terrible, Goku Black made for an interesting villain due to his philosophy about humans being absolute scum; that gods are better and more pure than man will ever be. (Future Trunks was having none of that!) Anyway, he’s next week on One-2-One.

Video Uploads Will Continue to Remain on Wednesdays (For The Moment)

Our Youtube schedule has been a little crazy as of late. Due to a shift in ‘certain’ priorities and aspects of our lives, video upload days could change depending on the weight and severity of said priorities and aspects. We’re not at the level (financially) where we can quit our 9-to-5’s and do this full time, cuz’ well…we gotta eat. If there’s a change in our upload schedule we’ll make an announcement on our social media pages. 

So far that’s all we’ve got for this check-in post, but as always, we can’t thank our fans for the amount of support you’ve given us. Until next post, stay nerdy! 😉

Nerdz of the Decade Recap (8.8.22)

Hiya! We’re back with another Nerdz of the Decade recap to fill you in on some episodes that you might’ve missed at some point in the last week, or so. Although we can’t name names just yet, we are in the process of booking our third guest for the podcast, and yes – its someone you know. Down below is the last three episodes of Nerdz that you might’ve missed; as our 33rd episode will center around our new guest. That’s it for this update, and as always stay safe, and stay nerdy! 😉

Pink and squishy!
Team Gogeta? Or Team Vegito?
He’s a dandy guy!

Tomo-Chan Entered Running for Best Waifu of 2023

Tomo-Chan is a Girl Ep 1 Review

We’re only a week or two into 2023, and already, we have a nominee for “Best Waifu of the Year,” not to mention one of the anime to keep an eye on. Ladies, gentlemen, and those who identify as neither, I give you our latest candidate in the hall of waifus, Tomo Aizawa, from the new anime, Tomo-Chan is a Girl.

It may not seem like it, but I have a soft spot for rom-com anime. Perhaps its because I devoted so much of my school time to myself or my studies that I never enjoyed any romance, but I’m getting off-topic. I’ve been waiting for this anime to come out for some time, and now it’s up on Crunchyroll, subbed and dubbed. There are reasons why I paid attention to it, but first let’s set everything up.

Tomo-Chan is Awesome!

Based on a manga of the same name, Tomo-Chan is about Tomo Aizawa, who is one of the biggest tomboys I’ve seen in a while. She does karate at her dad’s dojo, acts like one of the guys, and has a figure other girls would kill to have. She’s been in love with her best friend/next-door neighbor, Junichiro Kubota, for years and finally works up the nerve to confess. However, there’s one small problem:

Jun is so dense, he can’t even understand that Tomo likes him like that. He’s so dense that it wasn’t until middle school that he finally realized that Tomo was a girl! That’s how bad things were! As a result, this irritates Tomo to no end, and all she wants to do is make Jun see her as a girl. They also have another friend named Misuzu who just loves to mess with both of them.

This Show is Awesome!

Now there are several reasons why I’m paying attention to this anime. Firstly, I cannot remember the last time a rom-com had a tomboy as the female lead. I’ve always had a soft spot for tomboys who don’t mind doing guy stuff with other guys. I think it’s super cool. So, having Tomo as the main lead naturally caught my eye. 

Secondly, I love how the characters play off each other so well. Tomo is very much a tomboy who loves what she does. She’s usually confident, straight-forward and fun. However, her upbringing combined with Jun’s obliviousness, leaves her very insecure about her feminity. At the same time, the first segment hints that Jun does see Tomo as a girl; he’s just in extreme denial over it because he doesn’t want to ruin their friendship. Meanwhile, Misuzu just wants what’s best for both of them and keeps trying to take that next step. The way she does it, though, is very much like a troll or gadfly; she likes messing with them.

This is an Anime to Watch out for Winter 2023

So that’s the basic premise behind the story of Tomo-Chan is a girl, and the first two segments are pretty fun, both subbed and dubbed. The first one has Tomo continually frustrated with Jun’s idiocy, but Jun’s actions (i.e., getting jealous when Misuzu suggests she’ll get a boyfriend) show he’s not as dense as he acts. The second one sees Tomo dealing with these girls who are jealous of her hanging out with the captain of the boy’s karate club that they like. It’s all very rom-com, slice-of-life stuff. 

I am genuinely looking forward to seeing how this anime develops. If it goes well, Tomo could end up being a candidate for best girl of 2023. Now if only she could get Jun to step out of the friendzone.

I Give “Episode 1” a 4/5