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A note from me concerning change to upcoming blogs.

Friday, April 29, 2016

A note from me

I've been thinking about this for a while now and given my experience doing this for 8 years and the recent turn of events over the past 2-3 months, I decided I'm going into semi retirement.  I've mentioned before that I'll continue doing this until it's no longer fun. I've now hit the stage where I have to refocus my efforts to make it fun again.  This involves shifting my focus elsewhere in order to make me happy again.

What all of this means:


What I mean is that Sasuke 32 will be the last full season I'll cover here on Rambling Rican. This means that Sasuke 32 will be my last Spoilerific Review. It will be my last tournament where I post news and happenings of the world of Sasuke. I'm going to shift focus on the book I've been trying to write but have been distracted by other things. I'll still be here but in a limited capacity starting from around August or so (whenever I'm done the Sasuke 32 blog). I'll finish all current projects but I'm not picking up new ones. The negative season has finally taken a toll and I'm no longer interested in keeping up with the spin offs and political issues going on in the world of Sasuke with NBC growing in strength and reach. I'm also tired of the constant hate mail that has besieged me over the past couple of months from ANW fans. I'm going back to basics and going back to just being a fan of Sasuke. Sometime during the past couple of years I forgot why I love this show. Writing the book will be a cathartic experience and important for me since it gives me the opportunity to thank all of those who have supported me unconditionally throughout all the years I've been doing this. This book is for them.
Girl working at the computer (cartoon, woman, flowers)©Oksana Alekseeva

What to expect:


Ultimately I'll see how things go. No one will really notice much of a difference until around the end of summer. I'll make a decision on what happens after that. In terms of SMF, I'm not going anywhere. I have to deprogram myself to responding to all information requests. However, ultimately that is my goal. To not just be a talking head or a vomiting encyclopedia of politics. In terms of news. I'm done now officially with all spin offs (which includes all regardless if it's TBS, ATS, Eccholine, NBC, etc.) since ultimately this involvement has caused the most chaos in my life. So on that aspect I'm going into FULL retirement effective immediately.  For Sasuke 32, I'll complete the full season as planned. Final Stage Podcast will continue as long as William and I want to continue though later in the summer it might change in format. That part hasn't even been discussed and Lord knows how I'm going to feel about that later. I really enjoy talking to William and people have been positive about the podcast in general. If anything it may give us the opportunity to talk more about the show sans politics. It may be a boon to the show. We'll see. William and I haven't had a conversation about it honestly.


Hope for the future:

Ultimately while I'm not going anywhere I wanted to thank you all of you for supporting me. I may not agree with all of you but you are still a part of this community and as a result a part of my life. I figured since I'm usually one of the first people to post news, etc it was important to let people know of that change. I want to encourage all of you to seek out that information on your own. On the boards, thanks to those who stepped up on the ANW side when I stepped back from that duty last year. I'm happy that continues so people can engage with the fandom in an organized manner that hopefully prevents those who are leery of spoilers to have a place to still be a fan of the show without knowing every detail. I hope the same happens next year for Sasuke.  In the meantime for long-time Rambling Rican readers, I'll still be here in some capacity. I am going to work hard on the book and I'll be posting updates on the progress in earnest here. I still plan on working on the YouTube page as a way to still get my geek out on Sasuke. But the days of the information gathering/news is officially over. I just don't have the heart for it anymore and frankly it stopped being fun.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Rambling Rican Vlog - THANK YOU!

Last night was the final night for the IndieGogo Campaign!  From the bottom of my heart, I thank every single one of you who helped contribute to my return trip to Japan for Sasuke 32! ♥ Thank you to all who helped share the campaign and raise awareness of this project. I saw all of those referrals and messages.  Thank you for the wonderful messages of encouragement throughout this campaign.

Rambling Rican Vlog - Direct Link

For those who missed the campaign but still wanted to help out there are several ways of doing it.  I have a PayPal account that I can use to sell off the final 3 Sasuke T-shirts from last year's campaign and the Sasuke 31 Keychain.  Just contact me and let me know you are interested in buying them. Also, for those who mentioned that you'd rather do something through Amazon, I'm planning on getting stuff like memory cards, sharpie pens, etc. for the upcoming trip.  Gift cards can always be sent electronically without disclosing addresses.  If you have any other ideas, feel free to contact me!

Since my last update we managed to clear the $2,000 mark and went past it!  This is extremely helpful! Thank you!  As a reminder, the campaign was a Flexible campaign (which makes IndieGogo a unique platform) so I keep what was raised even though I did not meet the goal (minus 10-15% in fees).  I'm honored that such a diverse group of individuals from all over the globe contributed to the campaign!  Thank you to residents of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Malta, Japan, Australia and Sweden!  In the upcoming weeks and months I will update you on the trip as much as possible.  As usual you can continue following this site, my Twitter, YouTube and my new Instagram!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Rambling Rican Vlog - IndieGogo, video camera unboxing and great news on flight!

7  6 days to go! - Link to campaign
The final 6 days are upon us!  Thank you to the contributions! I'm at 35%.  I'm happy to announce that my initial worries about the airfare were again taken care of.  Details on that are fluid and are being worked out but I'm relieved that I don't have to worry so much about that anymore! ♥  In the meantime, with less than a week to go I will be keeping what is being raised.  They will be used for getting your perks fulfilled (like autographed photos of the All-Stars and 3/4 Champions and limited edition Sasuke 32 T'shirts, etc..), then hotel then transportation in that order.   If anything past that is raised then I'll use that to help with the camera upgrade since I did end up getting it.

Rambling Rican Vlog - Rambling Rican Vlog - IndieGogo, video camera unboxing and great news on flight! - Direct link

I posted a video update on the flight and also in the video I show the video camera and the accessory pack that I bought in preparation for the trip that is definitely happening! So glad I got it earlier when it was on sale.. the price of it went up a lot but I didn't pay that much! Whoot! ♥ So while it seems that I won't be raising the full amount, I will be able to use the funds raised to cover your perks (Sasuke 32 Shirts, towels, autographed photos, etc.), hotel and transportation! It will be tight if I don't raise more, however thank you for the generous donations to get me this far!  I really appreciated it!  We have less than a week to go so please continue to share the campaign in hopes I'm able to get closer to at least what I received last year. Hopefully with more I can pay for the camera as well.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sasuke related news - Updates, Vlogs, Nico Nico #6

10 days to go! - Link to campaign

The final 10 days are upon us!  Thank you to the contributions! I'm at 30% but with 10 days to go I'm getting worried.  This year has been difficult raising money with the economy not doing so good. I am excited though that there are more options for perks this year like Autographed photos of the All-Stars and 3/4 Champions and limited edition Sasuke 32 T'shirts, etc..  I blogged about that earlier showing what some of this stuff looks like.

Sasuke - Direct Link

Edit: I totally forgot to post this video!  It is Part 6 of the Rambling Rican in Japan series!  I did a short video using mostly footage from friends to compliment the small amount I had of my own. I hope you like it! The video was posted on my personal channel of my trip to Japan.  For those counting at home, this is the 6th video from the series. This video features Saturday and Sunday - Sasuke 31!  Thanks to to Perry Oosterlee from the Netherlands for allowing me to use his videos again! Previous videos include, Part 5 was the rest of the day of that Thursday (same day we saw Yuuji) and onto Friday (the day before Sasuke) where we had to change hotels from Odaiba to a town called Machida, Part 4 was the rest of my Haruta Trip to see the 2-Time Grand Champion Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 (Cliffer #3) at work. In Part 3 in the series, Yuuji took us out to eat lunch and sign autographs.  In Part 2, I posted a room tour of my first (of 3) hotel stays.  Part 1 was the flight over to Japan on YouTube that all of you made possible! I don't care if I sound like a broken record, but THANK YOU so much for your support! I could not have gone to Japan without you! Hope you enjoy the video! ♥

Rambling Rican Vlog - IndieGogo and Sasuke Updates - Direct link

The latest vlog I spent a lot of time going through questions. If you have more just let me know!  I also added the most recent Sasuke news that wasn't already covered during the Final Stage Podcast.

Final Stage Podcast - Episode 12

As I mentioned before, I migrated the Final Stage Podcast to it's own website!  Episode 12 is now up and will be housed there on it's own site entirely.  Pop over there and listen to the latest podcast! It's up on iTunes, Youtube, Podbean and now on it's own page!

International competitors registered for Sasuke Vietnam - Season 2

As I mentioned before, Sasuke Vietnam Season 2 has a friendly competition between Team Japan, Team Vietnam and Team International which is coming up this week!  Stage 1 for the internationals is this Monday!

Unofficial Sasuke Update Show #6

Online Streaming Service Nico Nico (DIRECT LINK)
Saturday, April 16, 2016 - 20:00 (7:30 PM - Japan) JST
   6:30 AM (Eastern Daylight Saving Time) (SATURDAY Morning)
  3:30 AM (Pacific Daylight Saving Time) (SATURDAY Morning)

I'm happy that the Update shows are going on at a timely basis!  Previous shows (March, February, January, December and October).  November was the big month where he and Ryo were building Sasuke Indonesia and produced 13 behind the scenes videos on Nico Nico. There was an announcement this week on their new Twitter account that the next one is approaching fast. The name of the Twitter handle is S ura channel (which means Sasuke back channel).

(top to bottom) Sasuke All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟, New Star Kazuma Asa 朝一眞,  New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志, Sasuke All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 and Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 ©Makoto Nagano

It is almost time!  As is tradition here on Rambling Rican, I'm writing about the Maguro Festival again!  This year didn't disappoint with the amount of photos I was able to get within just a day or two! This year we broke the record again in photos and I didn't even post all that was available!! Thanks everyone for being patient.  For those who aren't familiar with this at all, the 25th Annual Maguro Festival 第25回串木野まぐろフェスティバル took place in Kagoshima Prefecture on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday May 1, 2016 in the city of Ichiki-Kushikino. This of course happens during Golden Week in Japan.