A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: My Experience As An Anime Fan

From the time we’re kids to the time we become full-grown adults, we’ve all become fans of something in our lives. For many it could be professional sports or wrestling, but for a particular amount of people, it was anime. I’ve always had this saying when I was growing up; ‘Everybody, knows somebody who likes anime!’ It could be your sibling, your best friend, or second cousin twice removed, but it actuality it’s kinda true. What started as a niche medium back in the 80’s and 90’s has now grown into a culture that I’ve come to know and love. Everyone’s experience as an anime fan is different, so I’d thought I’d share my own…

Yours Truly at Thy Geekdom Con 2017 with a DRV3 cosplayer

Man, where do I begin? I’d say sometime in the Summer of 1997 (I was about 8 years old at the time) where school was out and I was in front of the TV watching many of my favorite cartoons. I was pretty much your average eight-year-old doing what kids my age at the time do, until I discovered something that would change the way I’d look at cartoons for the rest of my adolescence. Around this time I discovered a programming block called Toonami, and on it was one of the first anime titles I’ve ever watched; Tenchi Universe. Oh yeah, my first anime title was one of the OG Harem titles back in the day. At first I didn’t know what was going on, but as I continued to watch I became more enthroned.

It was something different compared to all of the other cartoons I watched (Scooby-Doo, Dexter, Etc.) because of the colorful scenes, the artstyle, and everything else. I had a feeling that this show wasn’t produced in America as it didn’t have that goofy Western style I’ve grown accustomed to. By the time I was in 7th grade everyone was talking about a new anime title that was picking up in popularity; Naruto. YouTube wasn’t even created around 2002, so the only way everyone in my school found out was from Cartoon Network promos. (Plus MySpace, cuz’ Twitter and Facebook didn’t come out until a couple years later.) Pretty soon Toonami picked it up and after my DBZ phase, I jumped into the world of Naruto – three seasons later! XP

As the years went by I consumed anime title after anime title, and even though I was now considered an anime fan, I never joined any of the clubs in middle or high school (although my high school only had one club). Ah, the irony…

Around May of 2008 (my senior year of high school) I found out about a place called an anime convention; which is a place where anime clubs from all over the state and region gather and have the time of their nerdy lives! I had a Summer job at the time, so I took the money from my paycheck and went downtown to Baltimore City, MD where I went to my first anime convention; Otakon. Let me tell ya; it felt like I died and went to Nerd Heaven! This utopia of nerds made me feel like I was home; home to other people who liked anime as much as I did. That feeling stayed with me that entire year, and was the reason I kept going back to that convention every year up until it’s grand finale in 2016; the year I started D&A Anime Blog with my friend A. Goldman!

My experience as an anime fan has been pretty cool. Yeah there were moments where it was hard to make friends while growing up because many of them didn’t know what anime was, or made fun of me for it. However since its rise into popularity, I’ve found myself having friends to go to cons with as well as an awesome blog where I get to talk about all of my favorite shows. I though being a geek was terrible; due to it being cast as the bottom of the barrel of social hierarchy in middle and high school. As I got older the level of acceptance for anime and manga grew to astronomical levels (and still is to this day).

Sure, we have our disagreements of who’s best girl, which anime is top tier, and if we prefer dubs over subs; but overall my experience with the anime community has been nothing short of awesome! Hopefully younger generations will get to experience the world of anime as I did – if that haven’t already! XP

D&A Anime Blog: Happy 5th Anniversary!!

In December of 2015 two guys had an idea; what if we had a place where anime fans and cosplayers can see some of the awesome pictures that they’ve taken with us at the anime conventions that we’ve gone to? Well guys n’ gals, that idea those two guys had in 2015, has now become one the the most awesome websites for fans, cosplayers, and people of the anime industry! On January 11th, 2016 (on this day) A. Goldman and D.J. Lewis took their love for anime culture to the interweebz and created everything that you see here; a place where fans from all walks of life can talk about their favorite titles, characters, and moments. Five years ago we wanted to create an anime blog that had a different kind of vibe to it; not because it was something to do and that we were passionate about doing it (because we were), but we wanted to bring a different perspective on anime nerd culture through the eyes of a fan.

During the five years that we’ve been doing this we’ve written over 700 articles, posts, and breakdowns from every angle of the anime industry; from hilarious to controversial. We’ve also grown during our time with the blog as it has helped change our lives in ways that we never thought we’d be changed in. In fact the blog has helped us meet many of our favorite voice actors as well as a plethora of professional cosplayers. Being an anime fan means more to us than watching anime, it means sharing this passion with other fans as well as appreciating the art of voice acting, and the moving parts of the anime industry that brings us hundreds of titles to America every year. We’re more than grateful for all of the love and support that you’ve given us these last five years, and thanks to you, we now have a special podcast called Nerdz of the Decade to help mark this special milestone in our nerdy little lives.

Here’s to another five years of awesome posts, new anime reviews, and the chance to see our fans and our favorite voice actors at a convention – once it’s safe enough to go back!

HAPPY 5TH ANNIVERSARY D&A!!!

 

Happy 5th Anniversary D&A!!!
Our OFFICIAL Nerdz of the Decade logo!!

Anime REvisited: Danmachi Season One Episode Nine Review!

Happy New Year guys!! It is now officially 2021, and with a new year (hopefully) comes new goals and aspirations! As for us at D&A Anime Blog and D&A Studios, we’ve got some upcoming grand news too, but right now we’re going to wrap up the remaining episodes from our Anime REvisited pick; Danmachi season one. Episode nine begins now!

It’s official; Bell is now a Level 2 adventurer! With that comes a boost in his stats as well as a new skill called “Argonaut” which has a backstory about a boy who wanted to become an adventurer. It is also in this episode that we meet a new member of the Hestia familia known as Welf Crozo; whose family is famous for making magic swords but no longer does. Not a lot is told about how the Crozo name became tarnished and worthless, but an event happened (sometime off screen and before the start of the series) that caused Welf’s name to end up that way; worthless and tarnished.

In spite of Welf’s reputation Bell liked his work when it came to armor and gear, so in exchange for becoming a member of the Hestia familia, Welf used the Minotaur horn that Bell got from defeating the Minotaur in the previous episode to make him a new weapon.

So in a nutshell; this episode was pretty much an introduction to Welf Crozo. He did make a cameo appearance in the very first episode, but you really don’t hear much about him until episode nine. As a blacksmith Welf is skilled with a sword himself, as he journey’s with Bell and Lily to the thirteenth floor of the dungeon at the end of the episode. Although he may not look like it judging by his personality and Jiraiya-like mannerisms (minus the pervert-ness), Welf gets along well with Bell and Lily during combat; although it might take a little while for her to warm up to him. What’s next for Bell, Lily, and Welf? That’s on the next review! Until then, stay safe and stay nerdy my friends! 😉

D&A Anime Blog: Happy New Year!!

Wow…it’s hard to believe we survived the craziness that was 2020, but here we are! With a new year comes a fresh new start; and that new start begins with some new updates we’ve got coming up real soon. It’s hard to believe that in just a few days it will be our 5-year blog anniversary! We can’t thank you guys enough for all of the love and support that you’ve given us these past five years, and we hope to continue bringing you some of the best original content and anime reviews two anime-loving fans can bring! (For the next five years, of course!) Sorry this post is a little short, but there’s more content to come! Until then, Happy New Year and stay safe! 😉

See ya 2020! Hello 2021!!

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: Merry Christmas!

It’s Christmas Eve! Normally we would be out and about with family and friends doing some last-minute shopping, taking in a movie with that special someone, or making snow angels. That’s what we’d usually be doing in a pre-COVID world, but it’s 2020. I don’t even have to say how crazy, weird and stressful this year has been for the country, but in the mist of it all the vaccine is finally here! For many of us who are anime fans; not being able to physically go to conventions this year has given us that ‘post-con blues’ feeling after an exciting con is over. However, a lot of our favorite conventions have given us digital alternatives in order to help take our minds off the pandemic, and for that we are so grateful.

Although we’re knocking on 2021’s door and hoping that conventions will make a ‘physical’ comeback, it more than likely won’t be until the third quarter of 2021. (Cuz’ many otakus under 35 who are among the general population will be the last ones vaccinated.) As MUCH as that sucks (and believe me I know) we’ll just have to wait a little while longer. If there’s one thing that we should never take for granted and pay more attention to, its mental health. COVID has tested us in a way that we’ve never been tested before; even though we’ve gone through other viruses like H1N1 and the Bird Flu. When conventions do come back, I hope to GOD that hygiene is a #1 priority among attendees! Honestly, I don’t even wanna get started on the many smells that my nose has taken in at conventions.

Hopefully you and yours will stay safe this holiday season, and bring on 2021 (cuz we can’t wait for 2020 to be over)!

Anime REvisited: Danmachi Season One Episode Eight Review!

It’s officially the first day of Winter; and Christmas is in just four days! With that said it’s high time for another Anime REvisited episode review from Danmachi season one. Hopefully you guys have been enjoying these reviews as we plan to bring more in the 2021 season. So without any more delay, let’s go!

At this point of the story Bell’s skills and abilities have been increasing at an alarming rate; so much so, that Freya ‘appears’ to be throwing another challenge his way unbeknownst to him. That challenge comes in the form of a Minotaur, but not the same one that he ran from in the first episode. Although it’s only been an episode’s length Bell has been training with Ais for a week, and now she’s on a mission with the Loki familia to be the first familia to reach Level 59. (With Ais being at Level 6 that shouldn’t be a problem, right?)

Midway through the episode Bell travels to floor nine with Lily, but something feels a bit different this time around. There are no monsters to be found anywhere throughout the level which can only mean…Bell’s in for a boss fight. Out of the shadows comes the Minotaur who appears to be carrying a long sword (which he is) as Bell is shaken up by Lily due to him being frozen in fear of the Minotaur being the same one from before (which he isn’t). During the battle Bell is on ‘survivor mode’ as he puts his life on the line to make sure that the Minotaur doesn’t go after Lily.

Eventually the bout draws a crowd in the form of the Loki familia; with one of its members known as Bet (the one who made fun of Bell at the end of the first episode behind his back for being a wimp) looking on and can’t believe that Bell is fighting a Minotaur – while cracking jokes about him and Minotaurs. It was also at this moment that Bell “man’d up” and decided that he no longer wanted Ais fighting his battles form him.

Bell squared off against the Minotaur and was actually holding his own. The climax of the fight was where Bell used everything Ais taught him and more; as he FINALLY faced his demons (or Minotaur) and defeated the beast. Bell defeated a Minotaur, and based on the expression of the Loki familia, he scored himself some street cred. This was Bell’s first adventure, and although he can now say that he’s defeated a boss, this is just the beginning.

In this episode there’s a lot of growth coming from Bell in terms of him besting the Minotaur, as well as his mission to become stronger. He’s one of the most likable main protag’s that you’ll ever meet, although when it comes to anime there’s approximately 65% of them most anime fans like. Either way, Bell’s on his way to achieving his goals!

That’ll do it for our review, but there’s more to come! Stay safe this holiday season! 🙂

Anime REvisited: Danmachi Season One Episode Seven Review!

Anime fam, you know what time it is? It’s time for another anime review from our Anime REvisited pick for the 2020 year; Danmachi season one! This episode marks the halfway point of the series which can only mean that the plot gets good from here on out. So let’s begin with our episode seven review; shall we?

So picking up right where the last episode left off; Bell and Lily are on their way back to his and Hestia’s home after saving her life back in the dungeon. Lily mentions to Bell that she’s still remorseful after the little stunt she pulled and swindled him, but Bell (being the kind-hearted, forgiving yet naïve anime protagonist that he is) assured her that everything’s cool between them. Hestia on the other hand had her reservations about Bell’s decision on keeping Lily as a supporter; mainly on the fact that she tricked him; however she compromised and told Lily that she’ll allow her to be Bell’s supporter – if she looks out for him. Yeah, in this episode, Hestia goes full on ‘jealous girlfriend’ mode.

Later on Bell meets up with Ais and as flustered and nervous as he is around her, she states that she wants to speak with him about something. Ais was a little curious as to why Bell continued getting stronger, however she noticed that Bell’s not that good at hand-to-hand combat. Who better to teach him than his crush, right?

Throughout a portion of the episode Ais teaches Bell hand-to-hand combat as well as sleeping techniques in the dungeon. Funny moments and trying to sneak a kiss aside, Bell learns how to use the skills he’s learned from Ais as he and Lily head back to the tenth floor and fight off more monsters. It’s seems like Bell was just a weakling in the first episode of the season, but with his growth accelerating at a rate that’s making Freya turned on (oh, she gets off on it), it’ll only be a matter of time until our little adventurer accomplishes his goal of catching up to Ais What-cha-ma-call-it! XP

As I mentioned before, the series gets really good as you get further down the episode track. That’ll do it for our seventh episode review, but there’s more REvisited to come!

As always, stay safe and stay nerdy my friends! 😉

Anime REvisited: Danmachi Season One Episode Six Review!

Here we are once again with yet another episode review from our Anime REvisited pick of 2020; Danmachi season one! We’re only an episode away from the halfway point of the season, so without further delay let’s get it on!

In the beginning of the episode you’ll notice that Lily is telling the viewer through her POV, as to why she hated adventurers. No matter where she went or what she did, her abusive familia always knew where she was. It was also at this time that she insisted that Bell was no different from any of the other adventurers that Lily encountered; which explains why she tried to steal his special knife from him in the previous episode. It seems like everyone else knew that something was up with Lily and the way she’s been acting, but maybe Bell sees something in her that the others may not.

Midway through the episode Bell and Lily head down to the tenth floor of the dungeon, as they face the monsters on that particular floor. Even though they were tougher than any of the previous monsters on the earlier floors, Bell was able to hold his own that’s to a sword that Lily gave him; as well as his Hestia knife. As more ogres show up Bell looks around for Lily; only to find out she stole his weapons and accessories and took off out of the dungeon. She unfortunately ran into her familia who took the accessories from her, as Lily’s familia found several giant demon ants (who killed one of the members of her familia) and used her as a decoy while they made their escape.

Just as the girl was about to be devoured Bell uses his new Fire Bolt skill and blasts several of the ants to ashes. After killing another horde of them Bell rescues Lily, but was upset that she didn’t leave her like the other adventurers did. Throughout her rant about all of the bad things she did to Bell, his response was that she (Lily) was the reason why he saved her. Hestia knew that there was something special about Bell…and he just proved it.

At the very end of the episode Bell reintroduced himself to Lily; stating that he’s looking for a supporter to travel with him to the dungeon. To that Lily responded with tears of joy, as the two of them were now OFFICIALY partners (now adding a new member to the Hestia Familia, of course). It appears things from this point on are about to get a little more interesting, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out!

Until our next review, stay safe and stay nerdy! 🙂

Anime REvisited: Danmachi Season One Episode Five Review!

Hey! We’re back with another episode review from our last Anime REvisited pick for the year; Danmachi, the first season! Later on down the road we’ll do an Anime REvisited on seasons 2 and 3, but for now, let’s get right to it!

Kicking off the fifth episode we open up with Hestia getting drunk at the tavern because she saw Bell with another woman. (If there’s one thing we know about Hestia, she can really put em’ away.) The very next morning Bell helps Hestia with her hangover from the other night, afterwards she asks him if she could hang out (which is code word for ‘date’) with him for the day. Before their date Hestia heads over to a special spa for goddesses (at least that what we can assume, but other females were there as well) before one of the women there asks if Bell is a part of Hestia’s familia.

Upon answering yes she suddenly tells the other women that he’s the one who killed the giant ape from two episodes ago; while the people watched from a distance. So what happened afterwards can only be described as Bell having a bunch of fangirls chasing after him; with Hestia HATING every minute of it!

Midway through the episode Bell comes across a book (The Book of Grimore we believe) and as he reads through the pages, the words come alive and he manages to pick up a new skill in the process – thanks to Freya (who secretly wants him to get stronger). Not long after gaining the new skill that’s called “Fire Bolt” Bell dashes into the dungeon and kills a lot of enemies while picking up jewels in the process. He eventually runs into Ais after using up his “Fire Bolt” magic but the moment he sees her while lying in her lap, Bell pulls a Sonic the Hedgehog Spin-Dash and rolls out of the dungeon. While all of this was taking place Lily had to deal with her desperate familia who see her as nothing but a useless pawn, but whenever she’s with Bell, he sees her as something more. (More on that on the next episode review.)

So far the series is pacing itself well from our view point. Thankfully it doesn’t overdue it on the fanservice and even though the series doesn’t have a main baddie, it carries out the story plot really well. That will do it for episode 5 review, but as always there’s more to come! Stay tuned! 😉

Anime REvisited: Danmachi Season One Episode Four Review!

Yo! Welcome back to another review through our Anime REvisited pick; Danmachi, the first season! We also want to say Happy Hanukkah to all of our fans who celebrate the holiday; as today marks its first day. If you haven’t heard it from our socials just yet; we’ve announced that more information about our Nerdz of the Decade podcast will be coming soon, as well as the grand unveiling of our logo. For now let’s jump into the review!

So in this episode Bell’s stats and ranks have increased ever since he got that knife from Hestia thanks to Hephaestus; so much so, that he’s considering going to Floor 7 of the dungeon. His special advisor Eina is shocked to discover that his stats have grown this much, but nevertheless she allows him to go. Before that however Eina and Bell take a trip to Hephaestus’ shop in the heart of Orario, of course Bell’s face is as red as a beet upon seeing Ina in casual wear. (A White blouse showing a fair amount of cleavage; a red skirt that a little short, and a nice pair of knee-high black boots.) While touring the shop Bell and Eina run into Hestia who works at Hephaestus’ shop to pay off her debt, and right away the goddess is jealous that ‘her’ Bell is hanging out with ‘another woman’. Oh goddess…

Later on Bell runs into a girl carrying a backpack that looks way too heavy for someone of her size named Lily. Although her intentions weren’t exactly what you call favorable, Bell was looking for a supporter in order to help him go through the trials found on the 7th floor. Things seemed to be going well for the two; even though Lily stole Bells knife and tried to sell it, only for the maids from the tavern to catch Lily in the act and return the knife to its rightful owner. So right now it looks like Lily (despite her desperate and untrusting nature) and Bell are teaming up and fighting off monsters in the dungeon, however Freya might have other plans to make things a bit more interesting…

Upon starting the series I won’t necessarily say that it’s a slow start. In fact; since Danmachi is on (or wrapping up) its third season the progression of Bell as an adventurer is fairly accurate. Even though it looks like once you get past the first season, Bell is on the path to becoming a ladies’ man due to the fact that there’s a number of women and goddesses fighting for his attention. Judging by that last sentence it appears that I’ve said more than I should have, but then again, you’ll have to watch the second and third seasons to find out.

On that note, that will do it for our episode review! There’s more Anime REvisited coming your way so stay tuned, and stay healthy! 🙂