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Saving Gobble-con!

November 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Hi everyone,

Gobble-con was painfully bitter-sweet this year. I had fun, but the turnout was awful. So much so that Gobble-con is now in dire financial trouble. It looks doubtful there will be a third convention… unless something awesome happens soon.

So we have set up a cafepress, full of awesome Gobble-con swag: http://www.cafepress.com/gobblecon
At least have a look, and see how you can get in on being a part of saving this convention. I figure almost all of my readers have at least attended a con, and that’s all well and awesome, but it is entirely different feeling knowing that you have actively taken part in your fandom by proactively supporting a local convention.Local cons, like Gobble-con, are the answer to the increasingly corporate nature of bigger cons, and if you’re like me and gag at the mere site of MTV at conventions, then you owe it to yourself to take part in this.

I really WANT this con to come back, and want it to be bigger and better than before. There is an almost tangible “familial” aura to it that is simply not possible with bigger anime cons. It’s nice knowing the staff by name, and knowing they are doing it for the right reasons. They all have worked tirelessly to make fellow fans feel welcome, but their defeated expressions on Sunday evening were truly heart-wrenching. The issues caused by the poor turnout has drastically affected the staff both financially and personally.

If you’ve enjoyed Gobblecon either last year or this year, then please give back. Or if you simply like attending cons run purely (emphasis on PURELY, not a Gamestop/MTV/HBO/etc logo in sight) by fans for fans, then please help out.

Oh and btw….

If it does come back, please please please NOT in f’n Stamford. My GPS had a really difficult time locating the hotel, and Sunday I almost rage-quitted on going as I got hopelessly lost, struggling to manuver around roadblock after roadblock because of some silly parade and the construction being done in the area.

Again, link is here: http://www.cafepress.com/gobblecon

Let’s keep this great con alive.

– Furry Senpai Mikekun

Support Gobble-con!

November 20, 2011 2 comments

 

Recently I lamented about my experience at NY Comic Con. Again, to briefly reiterate, it wasn’t that it was a bad con, far from it. It was the epitome of what a “mega-con” should look like, which is all well and good, but for claustrophobic shy people like yours truly, it simply isn’t for them.

Instead I prefer smaller cons with staff that actually give a shit. For their second year, the Gobble-con staff has pulled it together to provide people with a con that has that “communal” spirit that’s so woefully lacking with the big boys. I just got back from day two, and really enjoyed myself thus far. Everything I wanted to do/see, I was able to do, and staff frequently circulated to help out us vendors/press/artists. I am especially grateful for the opportunity I had today to interview Tiffany Grant, the voice of Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion. This was indeed a dream, if I were to go back in time and tell my teenage self that I’d someday sit and chat, in person, with Asuka’s English voiceactor, I wouldn’t have believed it. She was a spectacular interview, and we discussed a number of Eva related things, while touching on some other areas of her lengthy professional resume, from other voice acting roles, script writing, and recent independent film projects. Be sure to look for it in our Spring Issue.


      Now I really wish that I could say that everything is going well for the staff of Gobble-con… oh how I wish I could honestly say that. I remember the heartfelt ending ceremony of last year, and how thrilled the Gobblecon staff was at the sterling turnout for their first year. This year, anticipating an even higher turnout, they moved from Milford to Stamford, into a location more suitable for their estimated attendance.

 

Sadly, the attendance this year has not been nearly as great as last year. Matters have been made worse by the douche-baggery of the hotel in charging the Gobble-con staff with extraordinary fees that were not made contractually explicit This means… that this could be Gobble-con’s final year. Everyone here at Senpai hopes that this isn’t so. We began our revolution at Gobble-con last year, as it was our very first con as a company. They gave us a shot when no other con would, and we’ve been extremely grateful to this day.

 

Senpai Magazine's very first con, at Gobble-con 2010.

 

So how can you help? Simple. Hopefully you see this sometime Sunday morning, and are up for some fun at a relatively local con. You can register at the hotel and have an awesome Sunday, Granted, registering at a con can be a pain due to lines, but I can assure you that there will NOT be a line at all… sadly.

The address: 2701 Summer St. Stramford CT. Go there, play some games (MK, Call of Duty, UMvC3, and more) for prizes, play pachinko, check out a panel or two from Tiffany Grant or Rob Axelrod (voice of THE Lord Zedd of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), and troll us ^^

If nothing else, check out their site: http://www.gobble-con.org, and contact them directly with what you’d like to see in your ideal con. They read all of their email and are extremely attentive to the fanbase. Or, if you were at the first gobble-con, post in your facebook/twitter your favorite gobble-con memory.

 

Gobble-con is a very rare type of con. It is limited in its size and resources, but has plenty of heart. Unfortunately, it may be dying before it ever really got going. As fans, we simply cannot allow this to happen. I apologize for the rambling nature of this post, it’s 1:30 am, im really really tired, but needed to rant some before bed.

Goodnight everyfur,

– Furry Senpai Mikekun

Review: Vampire Hunter D (the Game)

September 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Hi everyone,

The Fall issue of Senpai Magazine will be out very shortly. Originally, I was going to review Vampire Hunter D, Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust, and Vampire Hunter D the game. However, due to the spatial limitations of the magazine, the game review was cut. However, you can still read my thoughts about the two classic anime titles in the coming issue, and read my game review right here!

I remember enjoying Vampire Hunter D a lot when I was younger, and I still pop it in every Halloween season for a nostalgic playthrough. However, I must admit that this mediocre 3rd person adventure game has too many flaws to firmly stand on its own. Read more…

O Japan…

March 15, 2011 Leave a comment

At Senpai the mood has been bleak to say the least…  you know why.

You can donate through the New York Japan society here:

Click here to donate

When I was younger, and just getting into anime, Japan seemed like heaven on Earth. I know I’m not the only one to have felt this way, the tendency to put Japan on a pedestal is quite common among young American fans. But then it seemed to be true – EVERYTHING I liked seemed better in Japan back then. I was so innocent and firmly believed that any piece of animation from the Land of the Rising Sun was automatically better than anything made in the west.
This sentiment also included gaming, cars, cultural traditions, and even pro wrestling.

Although for wrestling, could you really blame me? In the mid 90s these two men were at their height:


Let’s compare 90s legends… One of these men is REAL AMERICAN, the other is Japanese. Both have considerable egos, both have been in trouble with the law, and both have held numerous titles around the world. However one is a walking joke, and the other still always spoken about with utmost respect. One holds the business in very high regard, and is credited for having an insanely high threshold for pain (even wrestled with a cracked skull a few times!). The other believes he made the business, and recently made newz for saying “Who cares how many fake titles you win?” Er that and for flashing his orange junk in front of his own daughter.

And martial arts too. I mean jeeze, compare the average karate blackbelt in America and Japan:

Ok ok I know now I’m being silly. I admit, Grandmaster Mas Oyama was much more than your average blackbelt, and would easily destroy Daniel-san. Nothing against wax-on, wax-off, but Mas Oyama is a martial arts icon and legend for a reason. However, I will say this… it is pretty ordinary in America to see teens (if not younger!) with backbelts, no?

Now let’s compare mid 90s gaming hardware…

Hehe alright alright, I’m sorry, I’m ranting again, back on topic…

In middle and high school I would spend most of my classtime daydreaming what it would be like to live in Japan. In my crazy-hormone mind I believed that, although I was hardly Mr. Poplularity in my lame American school, in Japan I would practically be the Fonz! Stupid Americans don’t understand me, but the Japanese, ah, they’d undoubtedly understand me and my fascination with the geeky side of their culture, everything from galge to dakimakura.

That or they’d snicker and affectionately dub me “otaku”

Of course I’ve smartened up over the years and realize that Japan is not utopia. Admittedly, it is pretty expensive and crowded. Also, I have calmed down in my fanboyishness and can admit that Dragon Ball Z is not quite on the same level of epicness as say Ben Hur, Patton, Godfather, or Lord of the Rings. I know my Middle School self would want to kill me for saying it, but it is a classic anime that’s meant primarily for kids, nothing more than that but definitely nothing less.

The point of all of this? Well, I’ve known for some time that Japan is not perfect. In fact, recently it has had more than its share of crises including terrorism and economic problems. Its history too is riddled with conflict, however if it’s one thing that has remained constant about Japan amidst the chaos is that it is incredibly resilient and capable of rebuilding itself better than it was.

The recent earthquake and nuclear catastrophe was a sobering reminder that Japan is not the heaven that I sometimes (despite losing my otaku-like innocence years ago) like to think it was.

Japan, and all of those who have been affected by this tragedy are in my prayers… and I hope this ends soon and the nation can rebuild itself stronger and better than before.

– Mike

Standing on the edge of Summer

March 3, 2011 1 comment

Another section I’ll have in the Summer issue will be dedicated to Scifi Channel’s (before Syfy) “Summer of Anime” sometime in the mid 90s. As a kid I loved Scifi Channel’s “Saturday Anime” programming and through that I was exposed to a lot of classic titles.

One summer, for a whole week, they devoted their prime-time slots to airing anime, and while this may not sound special now, back then when anime (namely anime that called itself anime, and didn’t try to pretend it was just another American cartoon) on American tv was few and far between, it was incredible. The presentation, from what I remember, was pretty cool complete with a cute host named “Apollo Smile” (she was also the voice of Ulala in Space Channel 5… wonder what happened to her) who’d tell us young American fans interesting facts and tidbits about anime.

 

 

I really look forward to sharing more of my memories with you all in the upcoming issue!

– Furry Senpai

 

 

Our lovely host this Summer, Apollo Smile

Possible Summer look at: Rio – Rainbow Gate!

So I mentioned to my fellow writers, editors, and bossman that I’ll review Rio for the Summer issue. I’ve watched a few episodes and just had a sick feeling my stomach. The show itself is pretty light and fluffy… so I wasn’t sure why I was left feeling so upset. So I rewatched the first episode and it dawned on me, there’s absolutely NO brain nor heart in this anime.

 

 

Now if you know me, you know it is not my style to nitpick. If something was not meant to be over thought, I will not over think it. This is why I consider Street Fighter: The Movie (the REAL one, not that Chun-Li movie made a few years ago) to be one of the most fun films ever made, and why I can actually enjoy movies such as Alien Resurrection, Friday the 13th Part 4, Spiderman 3, Independence Day, and The Lost Boys sequels.

However, dumb anime is  dumb.. and as much as I try, I cannot give Rio: Rainbow Gate any mercy. First of all, in the first episode, by a conservative count, there are eight closeups of her ass, and about seven devoted to her chest. Look, I like women as much as the next guy, but I really don’t need to be reminded every two minutes that Rio has boobs. My memory isn’t great, but it isn’t nearly that bad.
Secondly, what casino on Earth would ever want a dealer that is so lucky, that customers are more likely to win when she’s in the room? That’s Rio’s claim to fame (and why she’s called the Goddess of Victory), that customers’ chances increase greatly when she’s around. I could see just how that would go in Vegas…

Boss: So Rio, do we have a problem?
Rio: No sir! Out of the thirty-seven gentlemen at my roulette table, thirty of them were big winners and won so much cash from our casino.

Boss:

Rio: Isn’t that great?! Now they have more than enough money to put all of their kids through college!

Boss: *ahem* Look, about those customers-

Rio: Right! As you say, “anything for the customer!” Well, sadly seven of them didn’t win at my table… but I tracked each of them down and gave them just enough luck to hit the jackpot on the slots! So everybody won!

Boss:

Rio: They don’t call me the Goddess of Victory for nothing! *giggle wink!* I plan on doubling the amount of winners tomorrow!

Boss: You’re fired.

Now I’ve only been to casinos in America (Foxwoods, Mohegan, Atlantic City and Vegas), but never in Japan. Perhaps in the land of the rising sun it’s different? I mean, in this anime poker looks less like a boring card game and more like an episode of Yugioh that was written by David Lynch.

I was just waiting for someone to say "Heart of the Cards"

 

This will be a fun review to say the least…

– Furry Senpai

Getting organized for upcoming Senpai & excitement

February 25, 2011 1 comment

A few months ago my friend Dave and I had a conversation. It went something like this:

Dave: So we’re thinking about doing a magazine about anime, you want in? You know old games and stuff, and we could use that.

Me: … LOL!!! LOL!! Hahaha! Whew… *wipes tears from his eyes* Ah hahaha, good one!

Dave: Er.. I was being serious…

So I said “whatever” and joined the Senpai staff. Now the reason for my reaction was that anime has, obviously, been on a bit of a decline lately. It’s no longer the early 2000 anime boom, as much as we want it to be. Also magazines are so.. meh. The ONLY magazine I read regularly is TAPS paramagazine, I haven’t consulted a mag for anime or gaming news in YEARS.

A magazine is like the internet, only with an obvious slant, and you pay money for it. Why do that when I can just get news and entertaining views online for free from blogs, vlogs, and podcasts?

However, we must have done something right since I just got word that our mag is slowly going to start being carried at local retailers. Wow.. So I now realize that I need to get my ass in gear and bring my A-game. Granted, I’m fairly certain I’m not going to ever see a dime from this, and that’s fine, it’s partially a hobby, but if people are that interested in our magazine, I need to treat it like a job as well. So I recently got a huge dry-erase board which is now hanging over my computer.

 

My crappy handwriting notwithstanding, you can get an idea of how chaotic my life is lately, and how much I needed some organization. I’ve also began working with a daily schedule, where i can prescribe a certain amount of time for a game or anime. As you can see I’m still plugging away on Neptunia, and watching Level E.

No Marvel vs Capcom 3 for me today. I get angry too easily. My first online match was a bitter defeat, and I didn’t like that.. but it’s no big deal if I’m beaten by a better player. What was REALLY annoying me was that, yesterday, I kept fighting people online that seemingly had no idea how to play. Personally, I never take a game online unless I beat the single player on a harder difficulty. Once I do that, I feel like I have the basics down enough to hold my own… sadly some other players don’t share my feelings.

Look, Dante may be a cool character, but he is definitely not newb friendly at all. To play him you really need to know what you’re doing. If not, it just looks silly, and I facepalm. And EVERYONE’S using Dante… the game should be called Dante vs EVERYONE instead of Marvel vs Capcom.

Currently my team is X23, Morrigan, and Ryu, which is a bit of a switch from my old MvC2 team of Guile, Strider, and Gambit.

Whatever, the best VS game that capcom ever did is still Capcom vs SNK2.

Sadly I didn't win that arcade machine.

 

 

Sorry for this turning into a rant. The point of this post is my renewed dedication to do my best with Senpai Magazine, especially since I seem to be its harshest critic and even troll our management staff from time to time.

We’re still hammering out the March issue. I finished my stuff some time ago and am trying to help the others with their material. The issue’s theme? Magical girls! Namely Sailor Moon memories from us old guys. But there’s plenty of other good stuff in there too.

Love it/Hate it? Let me know, and thanks for reading my rambling post.

– Furry Senpai