My First Published Credit!

Good news, everyone! In about a week or two, I will be a published writer. My local newspaper agreed to publish an article I wrote about Asperger’s, and my experiences with it. I will link to the article once it is made available, so anyone who’s interested can read it. I’m honestly very excited about this, since many an hour went into it!

It was one of the projects that I feel really encapsulated me as a writer, and I hope it can inspire the many people who read it. I hope to continue getting more works published and even become a Freelance writer one day! Writing is something I am passionate about, something I feel I excel at. There’s always room for improvement, there’s no doubt about that. I look to keep improving and continue to put out well-written reviews, essays, and short stories. Thank you all for you continued support and have a great day!

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Tiger & Bunny: An Anime Deserving of Its Number 1 Spot

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What isn’t pictured in this image is the insane amount of product placement this series likes to use.

I’ve made it no secret that I love Tiger & Bunny. I don’t watch many anime, but this is a show I dig. It’s about a duo of superheroes named Kotetsu and Barnaby, who go by the alternate identities of “Wild Tiger” and… Well, Barnaby doesn’t really have a superhero name until halfway through the series. Eventually though, they do call him “Bunny” and he gets used to it after a while. So yeah, the show is about these two heroes who start off hating each other and are forced to work together. After a while, the series evolves into a rather weird and unique action show. The show is weird, awesome, epic, goofy, silly, sad, and dark all at the same time. The show really managed to handle most of its elements in an interesting and constructive way.

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So, it’s no wonder it is why Tiger & Bunny has recently been the number 1 anime in Japan. That’s right, the NHK recently released a list of the top 100 anime voted by the Japanese. Of course, this lead to some rather odd choices and placements on the list. For example, Akira is near the bottom of the list. Dragon Ball didn’t make it into the top 100 at all, in any of its iterations. Weirder still, Cowboy Bebop is ranked at 34. This is especially odd since Cowboy Bebop did terrible in Japan upon release and isn’t as well remembered as a lot of other titles. Still, it’s popularity in the west and other parts of the world probably spilled back into Japan and made it popular there too, at least that’s what I’m guessing.

It’s hard to believe that such a short series has resonated with Japanese audiences so much. The weirdest thing about this is that Tiger & Bunny has been off the air for 5 years, with the last iteration of the series coming out in 2014. Of course, there are talks to adapt it into a live-action film. Anime-to-film adaptations are usually terrible, but Tiger & Bunny is already pretty American in its style, so it would probably make for a perfect live-action adaptation. If done properly, that is. Back to the subject at hand, why did T&B score so well?

According to a friend, it’s because the Japanese tend to hold older shows in higher regard than other shows like One Piece and Naruto. Japan doesn’t cling to “fad” styled shows, and tends to enjoy series that have more staying power and click with audiences more. For example, people still hold cartoons like Spectacular Spider-Man and Batman Beyond as cult classics and examples of high quality animation in America. Japan just loves Tiger & Bunny, which is surprising considering Japan usually doesn’t take to anime with American influences. Like I said, Cowboy Bebop flopped, and Trigun didn’t do so well either.

Tiger & Bunny is one of those rare exceptions where I feel it really appeals to all audiences, regardless of where they are from or who they are. It’s not just a superhero show, a buddy comedy, a weird bromance sitcom, a character study, it’s all of these things and more. Am I saying Tiger & Bunny is better than all these other shows that ended up on the list? Of course not! That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth your attention. With all the attention T&B is getting with this list, I think it’s a good time to get into show and watch it if you haven’t.

That Sailor Moon Thanksgiving Marathon No One Ever Talks About

As much as I love the shows of the 90s, I’ll admit that not everything about them was perfect. While people like to look back at how great animation was in the 90s, we did have several stinkers. I think a good example of this was the localization of the cult classic Sailor Moon anime.

I liked this show in a “guilty pleasure” sort of way. Sailor Moon was an action show, and at the time I was all about those kinds of shows. I grew up on Arthur and The Knights of Justice, Power Rangers, and Spiderman: The Animated Series, so this seemed right up my alley.

What I got from this show wasn’t what I was expecting at all. The characters had all these American names, despite supposedly living in Japan. Not only that, but a ton of the darker elements were cut out of the broadcast. They turned a semi-dark and action-packed series into a rather toned back comedy aimed for kids, stripping away all that made it unique.

In all honesty, I’m not really a fan of the original Japanese versions of anime. If an English version exists, I’ll watch that instead. I don’t know if I could really suffer through the original English dub of Sailor Moon again, it was torture enough the first time! I mean, was “Sailor Moon Says” really a necessary addition to the show?

If I ever watch this series again, I’ll probably stick to the re-dub they did a few years back. That version sounds far more professional! If you thought the dub was bad, then you probably haven’t heard about something far: The Sailor Moon Thanksgiving Marathon. What is this marathon? Well, let me tell ya!

Around the mid-to-late 90s, DIC Entertainment was looking to cash-in on the Sailor Moon craze. Despite their dub being pretty awful, it was popular enough to garner a massive fan-base here in America. DIC wanted to create a live-action film based on Sailor Moon, despite American films based off anime usually doing bad in the box-office.

Of course, you can’t just rush into a live-action endeavor such as this. Budgeting for a film of this caliber would probably be expensive, so you’d have to test the waters first. That’s where this Thanksgiving marathon comes into play. In 1996, a weekend-long marathon of the first season of Sailor Moon was held. Normally, a marathon of something animated wouldn’t garner attention at all.

However, this special had a little something “unique” attached to it. Before the marathon and between commercials, we had live-action segments of an actress in a Sailor Moon costume. This actress was Tia Browsh, who actually regrets taking part in this terrible special. She was just a teenage actress looking for work at the time, and playing a live-action version of a popular animated character seemed like the big break she needed.

You can tell that she was certainly trying, despite the ludicrous role she was given. She was dressed as a character that was specifically designed for Japanese audiences, so the outfit she was given didn’t translate well to American television. The outfit itself was of very shoddy quality, especially those god awful hair-buns.

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I am not a huge fan of the show’s new art-style. Yeah, I know it’s closer to the manga, but I’m just not big on it.

Despite this, Tia managed to do a fairly faithful recreation of Sailor Moon’s English voice. Unfortunately, her facial expressions weren’t as spot-on. She kept eyeing up the camera as if she was going to devour it, which would make sense considering the character she’s playing.

While Tia was definitely trying her hardest, she could not save this train-wreck. The awkwardly written dialogue, combined with the horrible outfit, and the bland backgrounds just made me want to vomit. I get the feeling that this would’ve worked better as a Halloween special, considering how much of a horror show these shorts turned out to be.

By the end of this travesty, DIC got their answer on if people would want to see a live-action Sailor Moon movie. The answer was what you’d expect: A big fat “no”. Few people enjoyed the live-action segments, and others wrote in with angry letters. Years later, Tia would apologize for the special. Honestly, I legitimately feel bad for her. It wasn’t her fault that these segments were terrible, she was just doing her job.

I can’t honestly hate these segments, especially due to the amount of effort Tia was putting in. As atrocious as they are, at least the acting was decent. Would I watch it again? Probably not. Still, I think these segments are worth watching, because they form such a perfect time capsule of Sailor Moon’s popularity in the 90s.

Sadly, Tia’s career never really got off the ground. According to IMDB, she was an assistant in the second Austin Powers film, and had a bit part in a low-budget film from the mid-2000s. Now, this page may be for a different Tia, which wouldn’t surprise me considering how they don’t mention Sailor Moon at all in the article.

Speaking of movies, we never did get that live-action Sailor Moon movie. It was probably for the best, considering how these little commercials between breaks didn’t go over well. As fun as it is seeing a live-action Sailor Moon answer questions, it just did not work well at all.

Now, what would the Sailor Moon movie have been about? I have no clue on that. Little information on it exists, beyond Tia saying that DIC was interested in doing it. I’ve read a few articles that mentioned it, but never what the plot would’ve been. Regardless, we eventually did get another Sailor Moon Adaptation: A Japanese television reboot. I’ll save the discussion on that for another day though. For now, I need a palette cleanser. Perhaps I’ll watch some Ronin Warriors…

Photos From Sask Expo 2017, Featuring Syrup and Friends!

Hey guys! A couple days ago, I went to Sask Expo with some friends and had a ton of fun! I thought I’d share some photos of my friend and I at this convention. Keep in mind that he gave me full permission to share these. I’ll be sure to post pics of the convention swag I bought as well in the next few days, so look forward to that.

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Here’s a picture my friend Carter/92Days took of this epic looking Justin Bieber T-Shirt! I’m not a fan of Justin’s work, but I’m digging that metal-looking demon logo!

Resized_Snapchat-2073695182.jpegHere’s 92Days with some guy in a horse-head mask who looks like he’s drinking his problems away! I mean hey, horses do have the stomach to handle a bit of alcohol. I mean, they probably do. I barely know anything about horses, to be honest.

Resized_20170916_115418.jpegHere’s me with a pair of cosplayers, dressed up as Groot and Rocket Raccoon. I’m the dork in the blue shirt giving the thumbs up. These people are super nice and I honestly really dig their costumes! The guy in the Groot suit definitely put some hard time into his outfit.

Resized_Snapchat-2097498383.jpegHere’s the last picture I’d like to share! This is of Carter with a person in an orange-colored “Spartan” suit from the Halo video-game series. You can also see a person dressed up like one of the assassins from “Assassin’s Creed” in the background. Double the game references, double the fun!

So yeah, this is all of our pics from the convention. To anyone who attended this year and is reading this, thanks for attending! Anyone supporting nerd culture by attending these events is always welcome. Have a good, everyone, and I’ll see you all at next year’s con.

The Problem With Pop Vinyl Figures

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Toothless? More like, Soulless!

Something I really dig are bobble-heads, I can’t get enough of these things! These figurines were really cool back in the day, but now no one really buys them anymore. I can’t even recall the last time I saw legitimate bobble-head in stores. You know what has replaced the bobble-head though? Something called “Pop! Figures”.

What’s a Pop Figure? For those of you who don’t know, these are figurines with giant heads. Unlike bobble-heads, the figure is completely stationary. The head won’t move if you bop it, so it lacks some of the novelty that a bobble-head would have. Pop figures also have one large distinction: Beady little soulless eyes.

For some odd reason, about 90% of Pop Figures have these creepy beady black eyes. Can you imagine waking up in the morning, flicking on your light, and looking at your shelf, only to be greeted by these things staring back at you? That’s not my idea of a good morning!

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I don’t feel like number one right now…

The thing about Pop Figures that makes them so bad isn’t just the eyes, that’s only part of it. Most figures have the same expressionless face, which usually lacks a mouth and/or eyebrows. This makes the figures look very uncanny valley, and very generic. That’s why I tend to stay away from most Pop Figures, they just don’t look right.

I have a couple Pop Figures, but these are a bit different. Power Rangers Pop Figures tend to have visors and lack the uncanny nature the main figures seem to possess. It’s really the generic nature of most Pop Figures that I tend to dislike, but probably the biggest issue is that there is too many of them.

There’s a Pop Figure for almost every show, movie, video-game, anime, or comic book character you can think of. Heck, there’s even Pop Figures of certain Youtube celebrities! Who would buy an action figure of a Youtuber anyways? Wouldn’t kids rather have Spider-Man, or some kind of Digimon? Regardless, Pop Figures are everywhere. They show up in almost every nerd-related store or convention, and there’s usually an entire wall full of them.

Even if you don’t like them, they are still in your face constantly. Since most of them use similar molds, it allows the company making them to pump out a near endless surplus of these figures. It’s hard to go anywhere without pumping into at least a few figures. Still, they seem to sell enough to demand such a large number of them.

I’m honestly cool with people buying and collecting these figures. After all, we all bought Pokemon toys back in the 90s and everyone thought those were dumb. Like I said earlier, there are some good Pop Figures out there.

The problem is just that there are so many bland ones with boring faces, ones that lack the energy and soul of the character they are based one. So, more power to you guys if you enjoy the figures. Personally, I’ll just stick with my old “Die-cast” figurines that I bought at some obscure garage sale.

Personal Thoughts: What Makes a Great Open-World RPG?

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That horse does not look happy to be on this box-art.

I love open-world games, specifically open-world RPGs. Role-playing games just feel good with a lot of open areas to fully explore. The problem with open-world RPGs is that they have a fair bit of problems, some of which have persisted with the genre since their inception in the 90s. To be fair though, I’ve seen a ton of good examples of it being done right.

The thing that makes an open-world RPG bad is often the world itself. If you fill the world with boring side-quests, uninteresting NPCs, and uninspired dungeons, then you aren’t doing a good job of making a believable. A world needs to be interesting and full of unique and exciting things. If your epic fantasy / sci-fi world is just a more boring version of real-life, than you’ve failed at making an interesting open-world environment.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout: New Vegas managed to avoid this pitfall altogether, by having likable and interesting characters, as well as unique worlds. These two games had a ton of unique and fun side-quests, and were just generally a ton of fun. Skyrim did some things right, like making a more believable and much more visually appealing world. However, they also had a ton of really boring side-quests and dungeons crammed into every orifice of the world.

On the subject of Skyrim, another thing I don’t like about open-world RPGs is that the whole world revolves around you. In most open-world games, things don’t get done unless you are there to get them done. All the quests and dungeons in any RPG is beatable by your protagonist. While they are there for the player’s enjoyment, it breaks immersion. Most of the time, it feels like you are the only person in the world getting things done.

A game that got this right was Mount & Blade: Warband. This game was fantastic, mostly because its open-world didn’t focus solely on you the player. You start out as some random guy, with an origin you select. From there, the world is your oyster. Side-quests in this game are a bit boring and static, but the game manages to balance this out by making them timed. Some side-quests can be failed very easily, such as another army wiping out a hoard of bandits before you get the chance.

While I respect that an open-world needs to have a lot of things for the player to do, I wish that other people would be doing these things as well. Sure, you can find corpses in dungeons of people who attempted such things, but that’s about it. You’ll never encounter rival adventurers, unless they are a part of a quest itself, which is very rare indeed. Mount & Blade managed to find this good balance of making the world feel alive, while at the same time not overpowering your hero.

Another thing that open world-games have a problem with is direction. More often than not, making a game open-world often destroys the necessity to do the story at all. Certain open-world games try to keep you busy with a lot of optional content that just feels superfluous. Fallout 4 is a big offender of this. So much of the side-content in Fallout 4 just felt kind of lame. The game forces you to do a fair bit of it, such at the settlement building. Even if you don’t want to do it, the game makes you do it anyways.

I feel open-world games need more structure. Freedom is fine, but not if there’s too much freedom. That’s where games like Divinity II come into play. Divinity II balances its open-world structure by splitting its open-world between multiple zones. You’ll start in one area in the game, and move to other areas over the course of your playthrough. About 10 hours in, the game really opens up! Until this point, areas have been large, but not too large that it distracts from the plot.

Once you reach the third major area, you can basically do what you want! Plus, there are certain areas from past sections that you can return to. Another thing an open-world needs is that sense of discovery. When you’re playing a game like Kingdom of Amalur, you often don’t get that sense of discovery. As much as I love Amalur, it’s really just a single-player MMO. While it presents a truly massive world, most of the things that occur within it are pretty samey. Their aren’t as many secrets to discover, and bizarre creatures to battle as other games have.

Risen 1 is an open-world game that really surprised me. It packed its fairly large island with a ton of secrets, as well as tough enemies. I won’t forget the first time I faced down a Grave Moth and heard that terrifying shriek! Risen 1 is a game that has more problems than a grade 12 Math test, but it’s definitely more fun than it has any right to be.

So in short, I think what the perfect open-world RPG needs is:

  1. An open-world that opens up to the player gradually, instead of shoving a massive landscape to explore in your face at the start.
  2. An open-world that doesn’t revolve around the player, but instead has them as an active part of said world.
  3. A world that feels real and is packed with meaningful side content and characters.
  4. A good attention to detail, and a ton of lore and nifty little secrets to back it up.

Of course, there is a ton of other factors involved, including having good graphics and great gameplay. I think the open-world in an open-world game is just as important as the gameplay, at least in my opinion. I know that no game will ever have that perfect “open-world experience” I crave. Still, several games come close.

One thing I’d like to touch on that really annoys me with open-world games is that too many series are going open world. You have Toukiden, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Fallout. Yeah, I get that people love open-world experiences, but not every series needs to transition into that. I think it worked well for Toukiden, while the other games definitely had some dry periods. ┬áStill, these games do bring a lot of enjoyment to the table. However, I think open-world games need to start balancing their wealth of content with a more quality experience. In my eyes, an open-world should focus on being one thing and one thing alone: An actual world.

Weird Commercials From The 90s: Phantasy Star Online

Having just talking about the oddity that was the Batman OnStar commercials, I thought I’d discuss another oddball advertisement. I’m of course talking about the often forgotten original trailer for Phantasy Star Online. Back in the day when a game was coming out, you were usually given a trailer that was mostly gameplay. Nowadays, you have all these cinematic trailers for games that tell you little of the game itself, aside from the setting and plot.

However, in the 90s and 2000s, trailers for games would actually talk about the games! Wish trailers were like that nowadays. Regardless, PSO’s original trailer was really out there, and was coated in the late 90s cheese. So, today I thought I’d review a commercial and talk about the original trailer for PSO.

The trailer in question starts with that classic Phantasy Star Online music, coupled with the Sonic Team logo. Honestly, PSO’s soundtrack is so amazingly solid that it would be a crime to not attach it to every single commercial for the game. The game then has several voice actors saying random words as the appear on the screen. Most of them relate to the game, but at one point a person says “Not Fighting”. Yeah, fighting is like 95% of the game. Not fighting is never an option, unless you’re in the lobby or you’ve cleared out a room of monsters.

Still, the game seems to say it as if the option to not fight monsters is a thing, which it isn’t. One of the last keywords they say is “A New World”, which will never stop being cheesy to me. I mean, you couldn’t come up with a sillier line even if you tried! I still love the line, despite its rather awkward delivery. Speaking of awkward, time to get into the obligatory narration about how amazing the game is!

The trailer then cuts to a person hooking up a Dreamcast, while a narrator with a strangely intense voice talks about how awesome PSO is. This guy sounds really campy and over the top with his delivery, as if he’s trying to be the narrator for Dragon Ball Z or something! After a bit of narration, we cut to an explosion on the planet known as “Ragol”. I’ll be honest, the way soundtrack is framed here makes this moment fairly intense.

We then cut to the logo for the game, before getting into more over-the-top narration. This guy deserves a medal for making a Dreamcast game feel like some kind of momentous event! We are then given a jumble of concept art, intermixed with gameplay from the actual game. The narrator then refers to the game as “the world’s first network multiplayer consumer RPG”. This description makes no sense, as MMOs have existed for a long time before this. I think what he meant to say was “first massive multiplayer RPG on a home console”, which would’ve been far more accurate.

This guy goes to make more wild claims, like how the gaming population is “the entire population of the world”. This is probably one of the most insane claims ever made, especially because online gaming was such a niche market at this point. It’s more than likely a fair bit of countries didn’t have access to stable internet at this point, so online gaming on a global scale wasn’t as developed.

The narrator then tells us that he wants to us to “enter the world of ultimate network gaming”. I’ll be honest, this is one of the few claims he has said so far that have made sense. PSO is ultimate network gaming, at least in my eyes. It’s fun with friends, and certainly enjoyable. Playing online is fun too, if you can past everyone stealing your items.

However, the trailer then goes back into complete insanity. The narrator than says “we want to give you the experience of travelling to different planets”. Uh… That isn’t a thing in the game. You only ever travel to one planet, which is Ragol. You can travel to other planets, but that’s only in the spinoff “Phantasy Star Universe”. Universe itself didn’t come out for several years after this, on top of being in a completely different continuity.

The game then talks about communicating with other players for a bit, before recounting the explosion from earlier. The best line the narrator gives is this: “Just what happened here? To find out, you’ll have to communicate and cooperate with people logging in from all over the world!” Again, this is not true. You do have to figure out what’s going on, but you don’t need to team up with other players to do so. In fact, if you tried asking them what’s going on, they’d probably spoil the whole plot for you.

In fact, it’s recommend that you play the story mode in offline mode first. Why is this? Well, various logs left behind by “Red Ring Rico” detail most of the plot. You won’t see these logs if you play online, so you’re missing out on large chunks of the plot. The narrator then says “You’ll solve numerous intricate puzzles!” Wait, what puzzles? This game has puzzles in it? Well, to get certain areas, there are a few switch puzzles. Most of these are optional though, and usually just lead to extra item boxes.

The narrator then details how you have to communicate with other players again. Man, this guy really loves to stress the “communication” aspect of this game! One part I like is how the narrator details how “language barriers have broken down”. This is actually something completely true about the game, as each dialogue option you can use is translated into multiple languages. So, you can say “hello” in English and it be translated into cultural equivalents for people who speak other languages.

The line that really encapsulates this game is this: “The world of Phantasy Star Online lasts for an eternity!” This pretty much sums up the game in a nutshell. People are STILL playing the original game, and its various spin-offs and sequels. The narrator then goes back to gushing about how amazing the game is, and how you can play it for “as long as you want”. Sadly, you can’t really play the game at all anymore, unless you use private servers or have the console versions.

The narrator then proclaims the game as an “unlimited adventure fantasy”, before going over all the “groundbreaking” features of the game one more time. Then he starts talking about how PSO has an “online population open to the entire world”. Again, not everyone had dial-up at the time. So, it was mostly open to the large countries with stable internet, if you can even call DSL stable.

Our narrator finishes off the trailer with this line: “Phantasy Star Online! The gaming revolution comes in the year 2000! The door to the future, the door to freedom.” Gotta love that cheesy ending line, designed to send chills down the spine of any avid video-gamer in the late 90s and early 2000s.

So yeah, that was the original trailer for PSO. I’ll be honest, I kind of like this commercial. I like it mostly because it’s so bad it is good. It’s cheesiness is what makes it so entertaining! I’ll be honest, they seemed to get several facts of the game itself wrong. They made the game sound like it was some godly masterpiece of gaming. While it’s true that this is my favorite game of all time, it’s not the “ultimate gaming experience”. Still, the commercial did get some things right. At least it was entertaining, unlike a lot of other game trailers today…

My Favorite Series of Commercials Ever: OnStar’s Batman

It’s that time of year again, the time when we get yet another Batman film! Well, Justice League won’t be just a Batman film, but feature a wide number of superheroes. However, Batman will be a huge selling point of the film, without a doubt. In fact, Batman can pretty much sell any product. Want some proof? Well, this fictional superhero once managed to sell everyone on OnStar!

What’s OnStar? It’s a special hands-free calling service, that also offers turn-by-turn navigation. OnStar is a service that is still used today, though it’s more of a novelty now than it was back then. So, what made OnStar into a big name? It comes down to their first major advertising campaign, I’m talking about the Batman commercials!

The Batman commercials for OnStar were fairly unique, utilizing a lot of elements from the Batman movies. They forcused on Batman fighting crime, while at the same time making good use of the features that come with OnStar. The idea of Batman being able to make use of something as basic as OnStar was an interesting idea. Just having Batman in these commercials is selling point on its own.

What sets these commercials apart from other Batman commercials at the time was the amount of sets and costumes used from the films. Despite using an entirely new cast, (with the exception of Alfred who is still played by Michael Gough) these commercials managed to cast a ton of really good substitutes. The commercials take elements from both the 60s show and Tim Burton films. The guy they got playing Joker in these commercials reminds me a whole lot of the late great Caeser Romero.

Batman using OnStar was a silly concept, especially due to the fact that Batman would never need such a device. Still, the commercials were entertaining enough to sell millions of OnStar devices. What was a relatively unknown product at the time, quickly became a household name. There was even a contest held, as a sort of cross-promotion with OnStar.

The winner of said contest would be featured in the next Batman film. I even had a 10 cent Batman comic that I got at an event advertising said contest. So, who won? I have no clue. I don’t even know if that person got the promised cameo in Batman Begins, which was the Batman film that the contest was supposedly advertising for.

While the commercials were pretty badass back in the day, I wish more had been done with all the costumes and props they had borrowed from the films. It feels like a bit of a waste that they were only used for a few movies and a couple commercials, since some of them were really well put-together.

So yeah, those are my thoughts on this series of decade old commercials. They are fun little time-wasters with extremely over-inflated budgets. They sold what they intended to and were entertaining, but not much beyond. I’m still hoping that these props and costumes are still around somewhere, waiting to be utilized in some new Batman project. Even if that isn’t the case, at least we got some old awesome commercials out of it.

Looking Back At The Dragon Ball Craze of The 90s

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Now this is a crossover I’d love to see!

Yep, I’m talking about Dragon Ball again! This is series that I really can’t get enough of, though I’m not as big into it was I was in the 90s. The 90s was definitely the height of Dragon Ball’s popularity in the West. Sure, it’s still popular in North America today, but nowhere as much as it was back then. In the 90s, Dragon Ball was a powerhouse. It made millions of dollars for Funimation, and was one of Toonami’s breakout hits. We’re talking about a series that really changed how westerners viewed anime.

For those who don’t know what Dragon Ball is, I’ll give you a brief synopsis of the series: An alien warrior named Goku fights against powerful beings for the sheer thrill of it, while having the occasional adventure and saving the planet. This simple premise alone was enough to sell people on this show. Dragon Ball was one of those rare anime series that managed to get 95% of its content localized.

So much Dragon Ball stuff that was originally only Japanese exclusive was brought over here. Just think about that for a second, think of how many long-running anime have had almost all their content translated and brought over. I’m talking ALLLLL the content, not just the shows. We’ve only had a few One Piece movies dubbed, when there’s actually a ton of them only available in Japan. Likewise, OVAs of shows like One Piece and Bleach never made their way over here.

Dragon Ball has received so many games, shows, and movies that have all made their way over here to America. Sure, there are several things we didn’t get, but the amount of comment we did get was staggering. Now, back to the 90s for a second, how much content did the average cartoon at the time have? Most seasons were about 13-26 episodes long. That’s when the Dragon Ball series came along, with almost FIVE-HUNDRED episodes split between three different shows.

That’s not even including all the films, specials, and OVAs that came along too! One of the reasons I believe Dragon Ball was such a hit in the 90s, was due to just how much content was available. With all the various iterations of the franchise making their way to America around the same time, there was enough content to keep a person busy for years.

Not only that, but Dragon Ball’s focus on action and comedy also made it popular with kids and adults alike. Things like this really lead to Dragon Ball’s success! You had those cheesy toy commercials, ads for the games, and also those sweet DBZ bumpers on Toonami. Dragon Ball wasn’t as big of a craze as something like Pokemon or Tomagatchi was, but was definitely popular.

At one point, Dragon Ball even had a couple of magazines! Yes, I’m serious. There were two different Dragon Ball magazines, at least from what I can recall. They had all these promos and contests in said magazine, along with adverts for the trading card game. Surprisingly enough, Dragon Ball never really seemed to be polarizing with parents. This was surprising, as other anime at the time like Pokemon and Digimon were considered “satanic”.

Dragon Ball never got too much flack from parents (outside of it being too violent, which was a commonality at the time) and was also rarely featured on the news. I think this lack of infamy really stopped the show from progressing into an even bigger phenomenon. You see, when something like Pokemon is getting flack on the news, it’s getting advertised in some way. So, even if the newscaster is decrying it, people are gonna get interested in it regardless.

I never really saw Dragon Ball that much on the news, probably because it came out later on in the 90s. The early-to-mid 90s was more obsessed with controversy, and Dragon Ball didn’t really gain a lot of popularity until about 1998-1999. So around that time, anime such as Dragon Ball wasn’t seen as being all that bad in terms of content. So, how come Dragon Ball isn’t as popular today?

Unfortunately, like a lot of cool things to come out of the 90s, Dragon Ball was just a fad. It’s popularity died down after a while, especially after Funimation ran out of content to bring over here. For a long time, the only thing keeping the Dragon Ball name relevant in the West was the video-games. Thankfully, DB has seen a resurgence in recent years and is starting to become a fad once more.

Still, I’ll never forget the height of its popularity back in the day. I remember having the toys, posters, various episodes on VHS, as well as Legacy of Goku for the Game Boy Advance. I kind of wish Dragon Ball was bit like that again, but who knows? Maybe Dragon Ball Super and the constant flow of DB games will bring an even larger fan-base to it. The 90s was amazing for Dragon Ball and its fan-base, but I’m totally looking forward to what the future holds!

Starting My Week Off!

Hey everyone, I started my week off yesterday. I’ve been posting a lot more recently, and I hope to post a ton more over this following week. I’ve got a ton of projects planned that I want to wrap up this week, and I hope you all enjoy what I’m cooking up. I’ve got reviews, personal thought posts, and short stories on the way. This will surely be a week to remember!