A question we often ask at Goonhammer HQ is: “What can we do that’s different or unique in the hobby space?”, and I love to find ways to answer that question more than anything else I do here. So, when the latest bout of inspiration struck, I asked myself: What if we interviewed one of the biggest Vtubers in existence, Zentreya, about her interest in Warhammer and other hobbies? Don’t worry, dear confused reader, no one else on the editorial staff knew what a Vtuber was either. That didn’t deter me from sending out my inquiry, and graciously, Zentreya agreed to sit down and chat with me, which can pretty cleanly be described as “item off the bucket list” for this intrepid interviewer.
“But what’s a Vtuber?” you’re likely asking. Well, Vtuber is short for “Virtual Youtuber,” a term that first started getting used in the 2010s to refer to then superstar Kizuna Ai becoming a generalized term to refer to entertainers who record or stream themselves on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch through the use of an avatar in place of a live camera feed. As the trend initially started in Japan, Vtubing has a distinct anime-influenced aesthetic to it, with a majority of Vtubing avatars being handsome men and beautiful women, but the explosion of Vtubing in the post-COVID world has made it that if you can think of a theme, there is likely a Vtuber of some sort with a similar avatar.
The world of Vtubing is vast and expansive, with new performers appearing daily around the globe; a majority of Vtubers hail from Japan, the United States, or English-speaking parts of Europe, and the space contains both “Corporate” performers, belonging to companies such as Hololive Production, Nijisani, or VShojo, and “Indie” performers, who have no particular agency backing and stream on their own. If this reminds you of wrestling, dear reader, then you aren’t very far off: in many ways, Vtubers have inherited the legacy of kayfabe, where their created lore and characters become entities through which the performer can interact with an audience without some of the restrictions of personal identity, body image, or just strokes of creative flair letting performers create a vector through which to meet people from around the world.
VShojo, the agency from which Zentreya hails, is the first American based Vtubing agency, with talent from Europe, North America, and Japan under their ever-expanding umbrella. Zentreya herself started independently, with her initial streaming career starting in 2017 before joining VShojo in 2020 when the company was founded, and initially streamed through the program VRChat before moving to the more common model used in most Twitch streams today. Like many Vtubers, Zentreya’s success came from building a community, and the relationship between Vtuber and community helps build the other up, and also helps define a particular identity and “flavor” that each individual talent cultivates. Zen and her somewhat eternal on-again-off-again friendship with her chat, for example, is something that evolved over many years, and their playful banter between each other creates a unique and friendly atmosphere for viewers to indulge in. Zentreya’s use of a Text-to-Speech relay is one of the first things that stands out about her, and helps to create a deeply unique voice and personality to her streaming, as is her penchant for playing competitive or difficult, hardcore games (even having reached New Game+ in Armored Core: Fires of Rubicon before most other people had even started playing the game) and spending time with the other VShojo members.
What follows this introduction is a transcript of our SIX HOUR LONG interview on topics ranging from Warhammer, Vtubing, horror movies, Godzillas, and a tense moment of debate about regional hamburger chains. I truly, honestly hope that you, sweet reader, find yourself enjoying the vibrant energy that came from this conversation as I did during it, and I think it becomes obvious just how passionate Zentreya is for the things she loves! If after reading you’re curious to check out Zentreya’s streams, you can find her on Twitch and YouTube, or check out her Twitter, as well as that of her home agency, VShojo, and the numerous other talent who call that place home. With all that said, let’s get down to business!
Marcille: I think our first question is one of the most important, since it’s about you! If you could, please introduce yourself to our audience and tell us a bit about yourself?
Zentreya: Sure thing! Ah hello!! My name’s Zentreya, most people call me Zendaya- sorry, Zen. Force of habit, we’re not related. I am a Vtuber who is a part of VShojo, a Vtuber talent agency filled with awesome people, a few of whom LOVE Warhammer 40K as well! I am a Cyborg sent from the future, and also a dragon transported into this dimension! I know, Vtuber lore, it gets crazy. Not as crazy as Warhammer mind you. Nice to be here!
Marcille: Hah, it’s actually funny you mention the Zendaya thing, when I first reached out, one of my team-mates asked me if I was trying to interview the actress from Spider-man… I then had to double check the email I sent three times.
Zentreya: One day, if I ever meet Zendaya I will ask her to trade names for a day just to see if people notice.
Marcille: Could you tell our readers a little bit about your experiences Vtubing, for those who may not be that familiar with it? I think it would be interesting to hear your perspective on it.
Zentreya: Of course! Ah! So, a Vtuber is essentially being an entity on the screen that would take the spot of a camera/IRL feed and replace it with something of your choice, animated or not, ranging from a cat or dog to a full-on anime character or monster, or if you are feeling the Warhammer vibe, even an Ork, DAKKA! It’s a fun thing to do for those who just want to have fun instead of being on camera at all times and just do silly things. Many Vtubers range from just semi-static PNGs that cycle through simple movements, to more complex 2D models which are essentially just a moving animated character, and even full-on 3D models with a virtual world. I actually do 2D and 3D! I can’t decide, so I just do both. But it’s a lot of fun being able to just have fun with it and you can even give your community a mascot or something to interact through as well, which is what I do. I gave my community the form of an intergalactic dimensional hopping Gecko version of myself who wants to take over the world. Okay, yes, this sounds crazy. It sounds crazy when I am typing this out. But it’s funnier when you realize with all this lore and stuff, we just act goofy on stream / in videos, haha!
Marcille: I really do love the unique vibes that Vtubers create; in some ways it reminds me a bit of Luchadores, who create these entities that give them the freedom to interact with people, while also giving both sides a lot of imagination and fun to explore the space.
Zentreya: It is so funny that you mention Luchadores because I have been thinking lately that being a Vtuber, with all the Organizations and Corporations with them along with Indies, it feels like I am smack dab in the middle of a freaking wrestling show, like AEW or WWE! I would make an excellent heel might I add.
Marcille: My background with wrestling sometimes helps give me a unique perspective on things, haha! But honestly, I think you’re pretty onto something there; it really is very much like that, although instead of steel chairs and barbed wires you’re all beating each other up in Gang Beasts and Minecraft and the like! I have to agree on the heel part, by the way. It certainly suits your vibes.
Zentreya: See that’s what everyone says. It’s also just because I play off of messing with everyone, haha!
Marcille: Speaking of your chat… One of the things that I think makes your streams so entertaining is your relationship with those little rascals. Sometimes it seems like you’re at each other’s throats, then you’re incredibly wholesome. How did you go about cultivating that relationship with them over the years?
Zentreya: Oh man. The Geckos as they like being called. It wasn’t always like this, I started off incredibly small and—Okay the more I think about it this is exactly how it’s always been. Help me, Hahaha! No but I have always had a close-knit connection with my community, and I love being able to show that you can make friends with so many people across the world. We do live in a day and age where we can talk to anyone no matter where they live. I have always fostered that sentiment of no matter how far you are, there is always someone out there who wants to be your friend because they want a friend too. And the amount of people I see every day who make new friends and then meet up is so cool. I even have two of my moderators who are getting married as well, which was so cool to be a part of and see the connection between them instantly spark. Makes me feel old to be honest. Great, haha! But the vibe is a fun thing we just did one day, and I ran with it because I love being able to just…laugh! I can laugh at myself and at a lot of things and this being one of them. Can’t imagine just sitting there and having someone always complimenting me. No, I need to have someone to fight with and just tease and have fun with, it just makes things so hilarious and makes my days better (Don’t tell them that or they’ll end up getting a big head). I also think the wholesome moments come from just them knowing me and knowing just when to be supportive and it’s just…amazing to me. Wouldn’t trade doing this for any other job.
Marcille: I really do get that, though. A lot of times the internet seems so vast that it can be a little scary, but it’s also so interesting how you can instantly make connections with other people and find places to call home and meet people you’d never probably have a chance to encounter otherwise. Maybe it’s my perspective of growing up as the internet developed, but that slight veil of anonymity you get to be yourself really does take some of the stress off and make amazing things happen.
That’s so wholesome, by the way! I wish them all the best in their marriage!
Zentreya: Exactly! Big world but the internet makes it seem so much smaller!
I will! They will read this and freak out haha!
Marcille: I suppose in terms of connection, it might make sense to talk about the rest of the VShojo team for a bit. You all really give off this familial vibe in a lot of ways, or extremely close, tight friends who have known each other forever, with the way you casually drop in and out and chat with one another about almost anything. What’s your perspective on how those relationships have grown and evolved over time?
It really does feel like a family. And like all families, we go through hard times, and we come out stronger than ever. Sometimes family drifts apart and stuff happens, but in the end, it’s what you decide to do next that either makes or breaks the bond of the family. And I can safely say that these past few months have been so wonderful and fun. We just recently had two members join the group, Henya and GEEGA, and it’s been so nice to just hang out and talk. Those two kinds of glued all of us together again and we have been talking offline and just enjoying each other’s company, connecting emotionally and listening to each other and helping each other, whether that’s about content or just life things. I am thankful that all these girls have helped me so much and that we are able to just enjoy each other’s company. There are days where we just sit in a call together and just play games and just enjoy each other’s presence, and don’t need words to be said to strengthen the bond.
Marcille: By the way, it’s funny you mention GEEGA, because going back to the wrestling talk, I was just envisioning her as the sort of Heel Manager type to come out like ‘Classy’ Freddie Blassie or Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan.
Zentreya: She said she would totally be a heel too, haha!! Yes!!! I can see that totally!!
Marcille: That bond you mentioned really is kind of amazing to think about, though, since you said you’d never want to work a different job ever again; I’d have to say it certainly sounds like a dream to be able to do what you love with your community and your fellow team-members and get that sort of feeling of connection and happiness from being with one another.
Zentreya: I have worked other jobs before this, I worked retail and as a retail manager, and also just worked two jobs at the same time, from 5 AM to 11 PM. Sometimes Overnight. It was not easy at all, and I was not paid anywhere near enough to justify working those jobs again and living paycheck to paycheck, sometimes even less. Definite hard times and I definitely know how it is to work the jobs that everyone else works. It’s hard, some days are frustrating, and others tiring. So much love and respect to those who are out there on the grind every day getting by. Stay strong out there!
Marcille: Finding a job that respects your time and allows you to pursue your passions is great, and sometimes getting there can take a while; I’ve certainly had my share as well, from my days at Blockbuster Video and GameStop to what I do now, working to help make this place an amazing cornerstone of the hobby community, it feels nice to work on something you love.
Zentreya: Oh, for sure, I would actually balance streaming/video editing with my other job outside. It was so hard. But I made it work. Just don’t overload and overwork yourself like me please! And oh man, Blockbuster. Stop, you’re making me feel older! Haha!!
Marcille: Listen, if I can’t get people to remember Blockbuster with me, then I’m the only one who feels old.
Zentreya: Haha okay fair enough!
Marcille: Trips down memory aside, let’s get to what brings us here to Goonhammer today: how did you get interested in Warhammer, and what drew you to the hobby?
Zentreya: It’s so funny cause I never knew what it was years ago, and it was so crazy to look at all the stuff. Then suddenly, one day someone asked to watch a Warhammer 40K video on Youtube, and the entire chat just ignited and said “WARHAMMER 40K, WHERE??” and I had NO idea what anything was. They have been slowly telling me more and more and telling me how much each other’s faction sucks and it’s been really funny cause I just think everyone hates everyone! Haha! I can’t even say: “Oh well I think these guys look cool…” because then chat will say, “No no Zen, those guys are the WORST,” and I am just like, “WHAT??” Haha! It’s been great! So yeah, my community definitely got me into this crazy stuff! Thanks a lot, guys!
Marcille: So, it was chat’s fault after all, I was wondering! I did see you mention you’ve started buying some figures and the like, so how much of a financial mistake has Warhammer become for you so far?
Zentreya: Oh nooooo. So, they first sent me small Ultra Marines that need to be painted, the usual small ones, but then I started looking around and chat started telling me about these crazy looking larger figures and stuff and I went ahead and checked them out. Now I have definitely sunk more than I should into this hobby hahaha!!! I so far collected quite a few of the JoyToy Warhammer 40K figures, from the Ultra Marines, Blood Angels, and the Orks! Then I stepped it up and went for the larger figures that are really awesome looking which were the BANDAI Ultramarines Primaris Captain, Primaris Space Marine Intercessor, Imperial Fists, they are so CRAZY looking and awesome!!! I even have a couple of the Battle Sisters as well! Uh so yeah… maybe a bit and I still want to get more!
Marcille: Those larger figures are pretty impressive, actually! Those JoyToy ones are quite nice, and they have some amazing posability, as do the BANDAI figures. I think they’re a little harder to find now but McFarlane Toys also did a few lines of Warhammer action figures that you could get unpainted and are ready to prime and paint yourself that were really cool. It’s amazing to see how the hobby keeps growing beyond just tabletop.
Zentreya: They are really hard to find, someone told me about them on Twitter and I just went searching a couple of sites and got really lucky! So, freaking cool! I actually have a few McFarlane unpainted figures haha!!
Marcille: Have you started trying to paint any of your own yet, or considered it? I know a place that can give you some good tips on how to paint models…
Zentreya: I am in the process of trying to get like a small workstation for filming and painting so SOOOOOOON!!!! I could definitely use tips though since I think this will be my first time painting an actual figure… Can you tell me where…
Marcille: I hear this site called Goonhamer.com is pretty good for helping people learn how to paint.
Zentreya: This website sounds really awesome, will check it out… Thank you, haha!
Marcille: I’m excited for you to give it a try! Everyone remembers their first miniature I think, it’s always a really fun experience to just experiment with something new and creative like that.
Zentreya: I am 100% sure I will mess up, but I think it’s going to be a lot of fun!
Marcille: Hey, there’s no such thing as messing up your first mini. Now, your 100th… Anyway, you’ve mentioned kind of just liking Warhammer factions and such off vibes, do you have a favorite, or any group that sticks out to you in particular?
Zentreya: I started off with the Ultramarines, then Blood Angels, then kinda hopped over to the Sisters of Battles, then The Space Wolves, and then I kinda landed on the Tau. I am in a bit of a funny Ork side now just because of how funny a lot of the stories I get told are about them. And cause well … DAKKA DAKKA!
Marcille: More DAKKA always = More GOOD, and frankly, Orks are just exceptionally entertaining, and their models really give you so much cool freedom to play around with customizing ‘junk’ parts into cool looking things on the table. I’m a big Sisters of Battle fan myself! I’ve always loved the warrior nun aesthetic of them.
Zentreya: Right! I just think all the stuff I see from them and just how they just wanna fight all the time and be silly is just literally me haha! I’ve been saying DAKKA so much lately haha! Definitely love the Sisters of Battle, they have the coolest looking armor and just overall are just literally as you said, Warrior Nuns spreading the good word haha!
Marcille: Yeah, growing up as I did and dealing with nuns as a kid, I found the warrior nun thing so cool and fun to play around with, they are still by far my favorite aesthetic on the table and the newer pieces are really just gorgeous. If you are ever looking for a fun time, the Audio Drama by Gav Thorpe, Our Martyred Lady, features Saint Celestine and Sisters of Battle and is really great time, really recommend it!
Zentreya: Oh, I will look into that one, I love listening to the lore and stories, I have a lot of my Youtube history taken up by Warhammer 40K lore videos and stories haha. I can’t find my music half the time!
Marcille: Yeah, check it out! If you find an audiobook version (or just a good ol’ text one) I really like the Forges of Mars trilogy too, a really great sci-fi story. Have you ever had a chance to visit the Warhammer Citadel in Texas? If you ever get a chance, it’s pretty cool! The other big cafes are in England with Warhammer World and then Japan has a very impressive one as well.
Zentreya: There’s one in Texas??? What!! It’s so funny cause a couple of weeks ago, we were talking about the Warhammer 40K Cafe in Japan, it looks so cool!! I was hoping one day to go there and get permission to have my agency show me around, I know they are super strict though so may have to go in person! It looks absolutely amazing though from what I have seen!
Marcille: Yeah! It’s in Grapevine; I traveled there twice for the grand opening of the store. It was also the first time I got to see a Bucc-ee’s and eat Whataburger, so that particular trip is a really fond memory for me! I hope you get a chance to check it out.
Zentreya: What!! I have to go check that out then what the heck!! That sounds awesome! I was planning on a few days off in November and I’m going to have to check it out! On the side note, how was Whataburger… be careful! Haha!
Marcille: Oh, no worries, I really liked it! Except for the fact that I can’t have it again unless I travel to Texas. I think the best burger I can get in my area is Shake Shack… At least I finally have a Bucc-ee’s…
Zentreya: Still have not had Shake Shack… which would you get, Whataburger or Shake Shack?!
Marcille: Wow, that might be the hardest question I’ve had to answer in a while. Why do I feel like I’m the one on the spot suddenly?! Ok, so real talk? If I was thinking about the ‘entire’ meal, I think I really like the Shake Shack experience because their shakes, fries, and burgers really complement one another, although I will be 100% honest here, I think that’s because the shake really carries it. They do make good burgers, though. If I were just looking for a really, really satisfying burger? I really gotta hand it to the classic Whataburger. I think if you get a chance to try it, I’d be curious to know which you like better!
Zentreya: Oh, I hear a lot of good things about the Shakes from there, I will have to go find one soon then! Thank you! Haha!
Marcille: Oh, absolutely! Frankly, I think my actual favorite fast-food burger is from Cookout, but they’re SO regional it’s hard to really include them at all, sadly. They have some of the best shakes and burgers, I think. I will save us both from doing In-n-Out discourse, though. Getting back on track, are you aware of the joke of AdMech and toasters? Since they call you a toaster, I kind of had a feeling it was chat’s fault that you got into Warhammer in the first place, but I guess now I’ve confirmed it.
Zentreya: Oh my god that was one thing that made me laugh so much was the toaster and Admech meme: “Praise the Omnissiah and Toasters”. It’s so great! I don’t know too too much but I know enough to know to see that they love… toasters. Hahaha!!!
Marcille: Yeah, it was one of the first things that made me really curious, and so I was thinking… does she know? And turns out, you did!
Zentreya: I regret knowing hahahaha!!!
Marcille: I’m sorry! So, I also wanted to talk to you about Guilds and Geckos; most of what I do here is talking about board games and TTRPGs, so I found the idea of running a DND campaign and having your chat be a character SUCH an interesting idea. How did you get started with roleplaying?
Zentreya: I started a while back with VRChat and some fun little roleplay scenarios, then I did a DND session one time in VRCHAT and was like, wait, this seems really cool. We didn’t do it seriously, then a few years later me and my friends did an actual DND campaign, and it really got me wanting to make my own adventure. I actually just had a 1 Off DND session a couple of months back with DemonDice and it was really cool! That kinda made me push to just DO IT, because it was so much fun.
Marcille: That’s amazing! What did you play during the 1 shot with DemonDice? Are you also a chaotic character in your roleplay, or do you like to go a little off the beaten path? I tend towards neutral good or neutral evil, because I like playing characters that have a sort of strong belief system and then seeing how that makes problems for them during hard decisions.
Zentreya: It was called Monster of the Week, we had to investigate a site and help some guy make his YT channel famous, it was so silly. I, of course, caused problems and punched everything. Hahaha!! I like being the person who just causes chaos and makes things get hectic. I bust down the doors or throw people around even if they are compliant! And sometimes I like going and doing something by myself and seeing what happens!
Marcille: Oh! I know Monster of the Week! That sounds pretty amazing as a concept, by the way.
Zentreya: Yeah, Monster of the Week was really fun, DemonDice did an excellent job guiding the group and letting us be silly while still putting us on the path!
Marcille: I am hoping to get a chance to play it myself soon, one of my writers actually just put a review together for it and it made me really excited, so hearing your recommendation, I’m going to have to check it out for sure. So how did you come up with the idea of letting chat play along in the Guilds and Geckos campaign?
Zentreya: I had wanted the chat to feel invested into the campaign, not just watching, and I thought to myself, well, my chat is its own streamer in a way, so…. BOOM! They became a character that they get to control and make decisions with the party as well. It’s mostly them wanting to eat everyone. They even ate a skeleton mid fight. It was so funny cause the party was fighting, and they were over there just eating bones. And they got sick, too, haha!!
Marcille: Honestly that sort of problem-solving sounds about right for a ‘character’ with that many ‘brain cells’, if you catch my drift. I REALLY love the goofy double shield thing they were doing, too, I love stuff like that. Do you have anything you do to prepare for how chaotic they can be? I know you recently used a sort of polling system to let them decide, but I’m curious what your mechanisms are to give them enough agency without it being utter chaos.
Zentreya: Haha yes!!! I cannot convince them to use anything else, they like the dual shields, they refer to it as THE WALL. Just dorks honestly. I cannot figure out what they will do next, so I have to usually improvise on the spot. I wasn’t even ready for them to eat the skeleton haha. I usually have a bit of organization with the polling system and the movement system (point and click on the screen) + and usually if I feel like they may go off the hinges I kind of steer them to a more fun and manageable situation that won’t get them killed haha!
Marcille: The Geckos have their own way about things, I guess. it’s why they’re so endearing, even when they’re little troublemakers. That’s considerate of you, though! Honestly, I’m kind of surprised at how well-behaved chat is as a PC, compared to some of the interesting decisions your other guests were making during character creation.
Zentreya: Yeaaaaahhhhhh, the chat seems more levelheaded and easier to handle then the other players which is so crazy to say. Hahaha! One is even just wanting to be just pure evil. And my chat wants to eat him. Wonderful times.
Marcille: Do you prefer to play TTRPGs with a physical or virtual tabletop, so things like miniatures and maps and the like, or do you find it more enjoyable to play ‘theater of the mind’ style, where it’s all in your heads and a bigger focus on description between players and DM occurs?
Zentreya: I admit I have yet to play an actual TTRP physical edition, but I have been wanting to lately though. I have my own dice as well! But I will settle for virtual since it lets me play with my friends no matter where they are! And just have fun, you know? But I also like improv and DMing and letting the situations change up on a whim, it keeps things interesting!
Marcille: I feel you on that! I love the flexibility that virtual options give, whether it’s using text chat over voice and posting by actions, or voice calls with friends, but there is just something about the call of the dice on the table that really is a lot of fun. I hope you get to break them in soon! I’d love to see them!
Zentreya: Me too! I gotta use those dice eventually!!
Marcille: Speaking of TTRPGs, I started thinking about how similar character creation can be to things like developing Vtuber lore and identities. Did you find that connection as well?
Zentreya: Oh man I was thinking of that awhile back, and when it comes down to it, it really is. You want to make someone that you want others to see that will make them really feel some kind of connection to or even just showing them a bit of your personality through story. Endless possibilities you know! Go nuts and see where it goes!! I know when I was trying to figure out my lore, I wanted to make sure it fit but also just had lots of what I wanted and envisioned that their life would be like for others to see and maybe even go off and do something similar and have fun with it! In the end, it’s all about inspiration!
Marcille: I’ve honestly found that the part I like the most about Vtubers, is just seeing everyone’s creativity and the process and ideas that go into them. It really does harken back to what we spoke of earlier, that entity you make and want others to play with and interact with, and it’s so fun seeing just how creative people can get with it.
Zentreya: Vtubing is all about being creative and expressing yourself! Going in to make lore and videos and stuff is like the dessert after the main dish haha!
Marcille: That is so true, they’re so much fun to watch, I can only imagine it’s exciting to see the reactions from people when you reveal a new one. Speaking of creating things, do you have a particular creative process, by the way? Something you have to snack on, or listen to, or watch, while you work? I’m a habitual night owl; most of my creative work doesn’t start until late night, and I have to have all sorts of things around me to keep me interested, alternating between streams or music to prevent myself from getting distracted, and I’m never going to get work done without coffee in my hands.
Zentreya: I generally just listen to music and if I need a bit of energy I’ll go out on a walk or drum! I’m a very energetic person but also, I can’t sit still for too long unless it’s something that has my full attention! I have ADHD so half the time I’m doing something else instead of doing what I need to haha! So gotta FOCUS!!!!!
Marcille: Haha, I get that 100%, I didn’t think I had ADHD until I realized just how much I enjoyed having things like various fidget toys and stuff at my desk to play around with to increase my productivity. The coffee might help, but I just love coffee, so… either way! Alright, so the topic I’ve personally been wanting to talk to you about the most. I’ve seen the teasers for your new model, I know it’s mid Spooktober for you already, so let’s talk… Halloween! What got you into being a Halloween fan, and what do you love the most about it?
Zentreya: HALLOWEEN! I absolutely love it so much. I have always been such a huge horror fan for a long time, even as a kid. I started off with movies like The Cube, Resident Evil, Dracula, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, PumpkinHead, Halloween, and then I just couldn’t stop watching them. And the more I got into it, the more I wanted to do MORE for Halloween growing older. I of course would try to get my parents to put stuff up, but they were against it most of the time.
Marcille: You know, we’re pretty similar in that way! I grew up in a place that had seasons, so Autumn/Fall were a favorite time for me too, and Halloween was kind of right in the middle of it. I’m a huge horror fan, I love the practical effects, the creativity, the comedy of it even. It’s funny because my parents also were never big on the holiday or horror movies beyond candy and Jack-O-Lanterns, so it’s also a thing I’ve embraced more since I got older.
Zentreya: When I finally got older and was able to rent a house I decorated, sadly after 2020, a lot of people in my neighborhood didn’t want to go out anymore so Halloween did not happen. But I finally got a place I can call my own and I have been told that Halloween is celebrated, and I was like… OKAY SO GO NUTS THIS YEAR! So, I am so freaking excited just about setting up decor and such! I just love the joy everyone gets from a little spook but everyone having fun dressing up as their favorite character or monster. If you think about it, Halloween is just Cosplay Day, haha!
Marcille: You’re right though, my neighborhood also had that decline, which is a bit sad (and expected), I feel bad for kids who didn’t get to try trick or treating. I think you mentioned you even wanted to try doing some sort of haunted house style stream or similar, right?
Zentreya: Yes! We are actually going to be doing a 3D Horror Mansion where the chat can activate various jumpscares or noises in the house and freak me out! It will be my first time trying something this crazy, but being a horror fan, I gotta go all out!
Marcille: I will keep my eyes out for it then, that sounds like an absolute riot! I love the creativity; I can’t say I’ve heard of that sort of thing on a stream before! And getting back to IRL decorating, that sounds amazing, by the way, I looooove how creative people are with their Halloween decor and things lately. Spirit Halloween is a must for me now to see the decorations and costumes and everything else new every year. I hope you have a blast with decorating!
Zentreya: Spirit Halloween is fun to run around and grab some things, there’s also KILLSTAR that I just found out about, and I’ve been doin some shopping there for some really fun little decors too! Also, I have been getting a few things from Home Depot and Lowes, they have been stepping it up surprisingly with amazing animatronics!
Marcille: I don’t think I’ve ever heard of KILLSTAR! I’ll have to look into it. We have a very small local shop that sells a lot of horror memorabilia, it has a huge Jason statue right by the front door and sells ‘working’ They Live glasses, it’s such a cool little place!
Zentreya: Oh, what that sounds so cool haha!! I would love to go to a little horror novelty shop, but knowing me, I wouldn’t come out!
Marcille: Yeah, right? I have to remind myself I have to pay bills and eat food when I go in there, because I keep finding things to pick up; they even have life-sized Annabelles. Do you have a particular era of horror movies you like the best?
Zentreya: Oh my god!! So just a few years ago, I started getting into 1980’s horrors, and I gotta say, the 80’s peaked at horror. You had The Thing, Return of the Living Dead 1-2, The Blob, C.H.U.D, Halloween, Body Snatchers, Ghostbusters, They Live, Fright Night, I can go on and on haha! But I also have to say the 80’s had the BEST horror movie poster designs! Nothing beats them. I wish I had more of them! I wasn’t born in the 80’s but man it looked like a cool time to be a horror movie fan!
Marcille: Oh, I think I absolutely agree. The late 70s to 80s was a wild time for horror movies, you had so many big successes spawning so many other types of films coming out. The Thing is probably in my top 10 movies of all time, not even just horror movies, and I grew up with Ghostbusters so I can never separate that one from me. Some friends and I often do a movie night every week where we watch horror movies, and we often have the most fun with 80s movies for how wild they get. Chopping Mall is still up there for me as an absolute riot of a movie.
Marcille: I think there’s been an uptick in good horror movies lately, though, but they are certainly a little few and far between. I really liked Cobweb, have you seen it? It just came out this year, and I loved the vibe it had going for it. I also really liked Barbarian and Evil Dead Rise recently, it’s been great going to see fun movies on the big screen again.
Zentreya: Oh, for sure they’re have been some good movies! Not any like where it’s back-to-back to back year after year like the 80’s! But for sure! I enjoyed the Evil Dead Rise actually too and Barbarian! Also watched SMILE recently too and that was good!
Marcille: Oh yeah! I was pretty surprised with SMILE. I think it’s been great to see people still find new and interesting ways to tell good horror stories, and sometimes I really appreciate how horror films still use practical effects over CG sometimes! Honestly my recent rewatch of all the Halloweens, F13s and Elm Streets, I was shocked at how much more fun I had with them now than I did originally.
Marcille: Do you have a particular type of horror movie you prefer more than others? Like are you bigger into sci-fi, or slashers, or monsters?
Zentreya: I generally actually enjoy Cosmic Horror movies, like The Thing, The Void, Annihilation, Event Horizon! Something about the unknown and just not knowing the heck is happening until you see that the actual monster or being is something you can’t comprehend and is so scary!
Marcille: That makes sense, though, with why you’d probably find 40k kind of interesting! there’s certainly some links there between Event Horizon especially. I dig it. It’s a genre I’d love to see more movies explore! Also, I suppose it isn’t really a horror movie to most people, but another franchise I’ve always loved is Godzilla, and I know you’re a fan! Did you also watch it as a kid and go ‘this is rad!’?
Zentreya: Actually, okay I get a bit geeky when it comes to Godzilla, Godzilla actually started out as a horror movie in JAPAN but when it was seen overseas, it peaked interest and also the producers if I remember wanted to change it up and make him more of an anti-hero production of mankind instead, and thus we got our godzilla we know today, aside from Shin Godzilla, that was a horror movie hahaha! I always loved watching Godzilla, Gridman, Ultraman, Super Sentai / Power Rangers. Godzilla was definitely more up my alley! I loved Space Godzilla, Kiryu Mecha Godzilla, Mecha King Ghidorah, I even loved the Orga from Godzilla 2000 which I went to go see in theaters! I have figures as well of Godzilla monsters, they are the S.H MONSTERART Figures! Really amazing figures to display!! And a couple of shirts and posters. What can I say…. I love Godzilla haha.
Marcille: Ohhh, yeah no I totally get what you mean! Tsurubaya Productions is a big favorite of mine forever, and I loved all the stuff they put out with Ultraman, and then his work on Godzilla was SO amazing. I’m going to let you in on something, Zen, I’m ALSO a huge OG Girdman fan, so I’m glad that there are a few of us still around! By the time Power Rangers came out in the US I thought I was ‘too old’ for it, but I’ve since come back to loving it and the original Super Sentai versions as well. If I had to pick, though? I think Ultraman is my favorite. I spent so much time watching them and playing that terrible SNES Ultraman game that I burned it into my memory. I even have an Alien Dada cellphone stand! For Godzilla, I think I really always liked ‘good guy’ Godzilla, but Shin Godzilla was SOOOO good, I really loved the take on the series after so long!! I’m sure you’re excited for Godzilla Minus One, right? I cannot wait to see that one myself. I’m a little jealous of your MONSTERARTs, also! I don’t think I have the space for them currently, and I keep seeing Kiryu at a local store and thinking… what if….
Zentreya: Gridman was so freaking cool and theme song BABY DAN DAN was so catchy haha! Still play it! I actually have lots of the old GODZILLA games, including the one that got taken off market, the 2016 Godzilla game I believe for the PS4! I have the old SNES Godzilla as well, the one where you walk through a puzzle, fight the monster at the end, then go to the next level! So excited for Godzilla Minus One, it looks SO good!! And I am excited to see the miniseries for GODZILLA as well, the live action one! So much Godzilla, so little time!
Marcille: Geez you are SO right, YUME NO HERO is like peak 90s theme song for those sorts of shows, I love it so much. It’s a banger for sure. Oh, yes!! I also have that one, I was shocked that the game just kind of vanished… I didn’t really expect to be holding a physical copy of a game that you just cannot find anymore, it makes me a little sad cause I think the game was a lot of fun! Oh yes, Legacy of Monsters I believe (I’ll check that later)? I really do want to see that too, I really liked Legendary’s takes on Godzilla and Kong. And it really does feel like a very quiet Godzilla renaissance, the anime was really interesting too! Biolante still I think is my favorite Godzilla monster, but the Mecha Godzillas are certainly up there. While I feel like we could probably talk about Godzilla all day, let’s wind down with a few smaller questions: I think you once mentioned baking cookies, do you do a lot of cooking or baking in your free time? Is it something you enjoy doing, or do you like to use it as stress relief? Cooking and coffee making help me after a long day to unwind.
Zentreya: From Godzilla to cookies, see this is the good stuff hahaha!! I bake once in a while when I have time, or cook, like brownies, or banana pudding, or some random recipe I will find. Or maybe Chicken Fettuccine or Honey Glazed Ribs! But contrary to what my community says, I do cook, and I make a mean burger, made one myself, call it the Zurger, brioche buns, medium well burger meat, honey glazed bacon, sunny side up egg, sliced onions and chopped lettuce, topped with sweetened honey mustard and fried onion rings! I know, crazy sounding haha! BURST OF FLAVOR THOUGH!
Marcille: That sounds… awesome, frankly. I… Okay, I’m probably going to try that. I’ll let you know how it is. Zen, thank you so much for talking to me today. It’s been an absolute blast, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, and I think our audiences are going to love reading this over. Before I let you go, do you have any parting thoughts you’d like to share?
Zentreya: Oh for sure this was a lot of fun! We can go on and on about Halloween again soon, almost that time haha!! Well first and foremost, be sure to donate to your local charities to help out and spread some love! Be sure to check out myself over on Twitch, Youtube, Instagram, TikTok etc, I know you’ve all heard it before. Be sure to also check out the other VShojo members, a few of them love WARHAMMER 40K as well! Thank you so much for having me, it was a blast!! Keep rockin!
I want to give a specific and final shout out to how amazing Zen was to talk to; this interview was conducted over SIX HOURS of chatting, and it feels like we could have kept going if it hadn’t literally started becoming a different day by the time we were winding down. Zen and her team at VShojo were exceptionally graceful in letting us chat, so I wanted to give a special shout out to Tomathin, Panini, and Kenzo from the VShojo team for helping to make this special talk possible, and just know that we would LOVE to talk to anyone else who shares a passion for the hobbies we love and discuss here on the site!