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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Unofficial Sasuke Update Show #2 on Nico Nico!

After the busy month that the Sasuke Director Masato Inui had in November, Inui returns to host the 2nd installment of what he calls the Unofficial Sasuke Update Show on Nico Nico.  The first one was held back in October. This one has short notice as well as it's only a few days away.  Someone else posted the information on it with the link to the broadcast page and then finally Inui posted it on his twitter to confirm that it is indeed the case.
Saturday, December 19, 2015 - 19:30 (7:30 PM - Japan) JST
  5:30 AM (Eastern Daylight Time) (SATURDAY Morning)
2:30 AM (Pacific Daylight Time) (SATURDAY Morning)
(Please note the time for Daylight Saving)
For those who are curious.. what is Nico Nico?  This is the online streaming service that was used during the Sasuke 30 and 31 broadcasts that had commentary on the tournament while it was airing live in Japan. Over the past Sasuke 31 season, it was used often for community updates and additional content.   This particular channel is new as this is a channel started specifically by the Sasuke Director himself. I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating:  I need to reiterate something about the channel.  This is not an official channel for TBS.  This is his own personal channel and the views and impressions on this broadcast/channel are not the official views of TBS.  For those who are unaware, Mr. Inui was hired to direct Sasuke after the collapse and eventual bankruptcy of Monster 9.  He is now creative owner for the televised image of Sasuke and he serves not only as Executive Director but sole Editor of the televised show.  However, he is President of FolCom and considered to be an outside independent contractor hired by TBS.  Remember that while what he discusses about the composition of the show (which he controls), he does not serve as representative of TBS. TBS controls the license of the show and is the only one certified to announce any official plans.  He wanted to make sure everyone knew that up front and there are certain answer he is just unable to give since he has limited control of the show and cannot possibly speak for TBS in an official capacity.
Host - Sasuke (Japan) Director Masato Inui 乾雅人 ©Masato Inui
Kenji Takahashi 高橋賢次 - KONG EXPRESS ©Kenji Takahashi
Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒 ©Ryo Matachi

Tomohiro Kawaguchi 川口朋広  ©Arsenette Reiter
Shinya Kishimoto 岸本真弥  ©Arsenette Reiter
The hope was for this informal channel is to provide a monthly update on the world of Sasuke from his perspective and provide an opportunity to engage the community live.  Given the format of the first show, he will be talking to Sasuke stars and answer questions from the live chat in real time. He hopes to do this at a pace of about once a month in an informal setting.  While Inui couldn't do one in November, he more than made it up with a dozen Nico Nico videos from Indonesia.  The biggest news coming out of the last Nico Nico was the announcement of Sasuke 32 being green-lit.
First Nico Nico Broadcast - October, 2015 ©Shingo Yamamoto
I'm really excited as we've been trying to find ways to get Sasuke back into the lexicon of the Japanese youth growing up in an age where television consumption is at an all-time low.  We believe that further development of social media will help get Sasuke back out of the slump it is now.  I'm really excited that this broadcast will be monthly so we can keep talking about Sasuke even during the off-season.  I honestly believe that this will only help the situation.  I'll be blogging about the broadcast each month and hope to hopefully provide an English translated update of the topics discussed in a timely manner.  The last time the quality of the video/audio was low and it was difficult to get additional translations of what was said.  Most was obstacle talk and some stories from Sasuke's past. There were also technical problems as it was their first unofficial and first one they ran on their own without help.  It will take me some time to get all of the content translated so I ask everyone for patience for the blog after the broadcast. Again, there are some topics he cannot formally address as it's either out of his hands, political or he just doesn't know the answer.

Monday, December 7, 2015

2016 Rambling Rican Calendar is for sale!

2016 Rambling Rican Calendar Cover ©RamblingRican

As I mentioned before, I'm starting to organize a small set of fundraisers for the another trip next year to Japan.  Just like last year, my first foray into it will be the Calendar.  Thanks to everyone who helped last year, I was able fly to Japan for the 31st tournament!  My hope is to return to Japan (assuming in the Spring as the tournament date has not yet been announced) and interview as many people as I can to include in the book I'm writing on Sasuke's history.  This year I was able to get a lot of information but not enough for what I was doing.  Many changes to the format of the book occurred thanks to the trip experience.  I noticed a glaring problem I had in terms of lack of information. I need to do more interviews and while some of that lack is slowly starting to get taken care of, the main bulk is still yet to happen.  I'd have to overhaul the scale of the trip and do a better job in organizing more interviews.  I guess I call it a rookie mistake. I was quite overwhelmed and not being in a native environment I did a poor job organizing more concrete interviews.  I'm hoping to do better on the next trip in organizing those interviews in advance.

 July, 2016 snapshot ©RamblingRican

Speaking of correcting mistakes, I overhauled how I did the calendar.  I chose larger photos and removed most of the captions.  I found it was a bit cluttered when I did put the captions even if I sacrificed identifying exactly who was in the photo.  Given also that there were a lot more group photos, I had to make a choice and stick to just keeping it as clean as possible. The majority of the photos I took myself during my trip to Japan this year.  The rest come from events and get-togethers that took place in Gunma Prefecture and the Sedai event that is an annual PTA event that the city runs.  I'm happy to say that the Calendar is complete and finally up on the website!  As usual thanks to Philip (from SMF) for designing my logo! I was blessed in having a few photographers who donated their photos (Kung-Cheen Howng 洪 恭芹 (aka "Jin), Tatsuya Tada 多田竜也, Yuusuke Morimoto 森本 裕介 and Sasuke Director Masato Inui 乾 雅人.  I also added more birthdays of those involved and featured some of the Sasuke regulars (like the All-stars/Shin Sedai) to fill out the months.

September 2016 events snapshot ©RamblingRican

Full disclosure on the "fundraising part" of the Calendar Project.  I'm getting about 5-7 dollars per calendar created. All of the prices are up on their website along with a description as to how this works.  I was happy with last year's trial run and decided to use the same site again.  The calendars are only printed when someone orders them as opposed to other companies that require for a certain amount to be ordered up front.  While they also had an option to do a fulfillment drive (like they do in local schools with the sign up sheet) I chose the other route available since the amount most people would get would be much smaller.  The company will be doing the fulfillment so I don't have to be the middle person.  I won't know who orders what from as the website since they take care of that privately between the buyer and them.  So far I've had zero issues other than creative issues on my own.  I appreciated they had no set up fees (some websites can cost 100-200 bucks just to set up) and again, my experience from last year was quite positive.

I also noticed that they added a lot of other things like like photo books, cards, and even T'shirts, etc.) if people are interested in buying some sort of merchandise that will help me as well. So if you want to contribute to the kitty and get the 2016 (it comes in 2 sizes apparently although I formatted it for the smaller one) you can buy it directly on CreatePhotoCalendar's websiteThe website accepts Visa, Master Card, Checks, Money Orders, and Paypal. They ship to the USA, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Europe, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Philippines, India, Thailand, and Australia.  If you are interested in getting a calendar and it is NOT on the list that the company sells to, I am willing to mail out orders. I'd like to limit that as much as possible though as it gets complicated and expensive. All shipping costs would be paid by the person who is ordering them.  However, considering that if your area is not on the list, that means that your shipping could be quite high.  As always I am eternally grateful for your continued support throughout the years.  Hopefully I raise enough to return next year to Japan. Every little bit helps!  Please spread the word and hopefully I can sell more calendars this year!  If anyone is interested, I can create more products to put up on the store to help diversify the portfolio. ♥

Friday, December 4, 2015

Final Stage Podcast Episode 8

Edit: January 10, 2016 - Added the video of the trip to Movement Lab.

Graphic for Episode 8

Thanks to William for adding graphics of a synopsis of the episode content for this month on Final Stage Podcast!  All of our previous podcasts are now officially up on iTunes and on the hosting site of Podbean.

Episode 8 - Direct link

Just a quick update to let you know that the 8th episode for the Final Stage Podcast with William and I is out! It is actually a shorter broadcast (for us LOL)!  We are finally getting more comfortable with doing podcasts. All of our previous podcasts are officially up on iTunes and on the hosting site of Podbean.  The episode went live about an hour ago so it may take a little bit for iTunes to update with the latest episode. It is of course uploaded on Podbean at the same time it goes live on YouTube.

Published on Dec 4, 2015
It’s the last show of the year and we still have plenty to talk about! Arsenette visited the Movement Lab and talked to Chris Wilczewski about the National Ninja League. Afterwards, we talk in detail about both Let’s Go Dream Team expanding into other countries and the construction of Sasuke Ninja Warrior Indonesia.
Also, William reveals the identity of the fifth man on team USA during the X Warrior world event! It’s a good way to end the year, so check it out!

7:55 Interview with Chris Wilczewski
11:14 National Ninja League Talk
20:16 ANW 8 Update
22:55 Katsumi Yamada appeared in a new commercial. It was... interesting.
36:50 China vs USA on X Warrior! Who's the fifth man?!
52:45 Korean obstacle course/variety game show “Let’s Go Dream Team!” expanding to other countries. Could a US version work?
1:13:33 Sasuke Vietnam taping delayed
1:15:28 Ninja Warrior France announced
1:18:47 The construction Sasuke Ninja Warrior Indonesia and behind the scenes videos posted by Inui
1:49:56 Closing

Music Credits:
"Yeti Set Go!"
by: Isaac Wilkins

Note: Video for my trip to Movement lab is finally up (yes.. very late).