Sunday, July 01, 2018

KUNOICHI 2018! Sort of Liveblog!

My apologies to the contestants tonight as I really really did not prepare for this.

Here's tonight's contestant list for you to follow along!

Former finalists Hikari Izumi and Kana Watanabe have prior commitments so they will not be here tonight!


The commercials have teased a Final Stage run. Who will it be? Trainer to the stars AYA? SASUKE-adjacent Ayano Oshima or Mika Watanabe? Or will a new star emerge?

Let's see Hikari's run and then let's get into it!

Red Stage

1. Mizuho Nagai! Is a gymnast. Rolling Hill. Slowly down the other side. And through! Pipe Hold. Does the slide. Shaking Bridge is no problem! Fishbone next. NO! Timed it wrong! Retire!

3. Yuko Ogura is a gravure idol! But is a former kid cheerleader! Will that help? I know my past as a child cheerleader has helped me in many walks of life that I've never gone down because of course I was never a child cheerleader. Through the Pipehold. And she...whoops, crotches herself on the Shaking Bridge. It happens. And then she's out quickly on the Fishbone!

4. Kurumi Miseki! Is a firefighter! SDF firefighter? Rolling Hill. Slowly but is through! Pipehold! And done. Shaking Bridge next. Yes! Fishbone. She stumbles at the end but she's through! Dragon Glider is new! And from SASUKE! So let's actually cut to the opening credits now before we know what happens to her.

Oh my god, the Tommy Lee Jones Boss coffee commercials are still going on?


Dragon Glider. Oh! She got backdropped like Steve Williams would to some poor scrub.

6. Natsumi Taoka has been here a couple times, I think.  Through the Rolling Hill. Pipehold next. She goes low. Shaking Bridge. Fishbone next. And through! Dragon Glider coming up. And she doesn't get the bar! She's dressed for the water though.

7. Karen of the CyberJapan Dancers! I don't know if this is the same girl from before or not. Rolling Hill. Her fellow Dancers cheer her on. The internet cheers her on as she goes low on the Pipehold. Not quite there. But she's through! Shaking Bridge. That wasn't pretty but she's though. Fishbone. And got it! Dragon Glider next. NO! Right at the end. Time was going red anyway but ya gotta try.

9. Maya Miyagawa! Is a model! Rolling Hill. Down slowly and is through. Pipehold. She stays up. Shaking Bridge. Haha. That was unsafe. But she got it. Fishbone. NO!

11. Toshihiro Takeda! Oh wait, no. Moeka Matsuzaki is an aesthetician at his gym. She's up next. But not until after these commercials.

Was that Yusuke Morimoto giving someone advice?

Oh, she's his niece, I believe. Already up to the Shaking Bridge while I was looking at something totally unrelated on Wikipedia because I happened to think about it.

Wow! Dangerous-esque fall as she gets thrown into the corner of the Fishbone. Lots of padding there though. That was more Shingo than Toshihiro.

13. Rena of Vanilla Beans! She was on SASUKE last year. Rolling Hill. Down slowly. Pipehold. She stays up. Shaking Bridge! No! She falls at the very end! OK, OK. I saw Solo last night (it opened in Japan this week) so I was looking at character bios.

16. Yu Takahashi! Is model! And she failed the Rolling Hill last time so this is her revenge! She stays up. And is through. Shaking Bridge. And through! Fishbone next. And through! Dragon Glider. SASUKE Spray. And she Dragon Glides her face into the water!

17. Honami Tsuboi is a former rhythmic gymnast. And she's through the Rolling Hill. She stays up. Shaking Bridge. She falls but doesn't panic and is through! Fishbone. Yes! Dragon Glider. And she's first to get it! Soritatsu Kabe. No. And she gets it on the second try. Has enough time I think. Cannon Ball. Is maybe heavier than it looks! Time is going red! And the ball slips!

 21. Yuko Mizuno! Is a KUNOICHI legend! But the reboot has not been kind to her! Here she goes! Rolling Hill. Down slowly. Pipehold. Shaking Bridge. Through! Fishbone next. Gets it! Dragon Glider. NO! She whiffs on the jump! Way too vertical!

22. Angela Mei is model too! Rolling Hill. Slowly. And through. Pipehold. She stays up. She's kind of skipping her body rather than sliding. Shaking Bridge. Fishbone next. And through! Dragon Glider. She gets the bar! But she can't hold on!

25. Kanon Miyahara is next! She's an actress in the Kamen Rider series. Pipehold coming up. Clear! Shaking Bridge. And through! Fishbone next. Gets it! Dragon Glider next. But CMs first!

Back. 24 have tried! None have cleared! She gets the Dragon Glider! Could she be the first? Soritatsu Kabe on the first try! Cannon Ball is the last thing. She has a lot of time. And that's it! She's our first tonight!

Oops. Darn twitter.

26. Ayako Rokkako is a baseball player! Already through to the Shaking Bridge because I am no professional. And through the Fishbone! Dragon Glider. NO! She either couldn't hold on or slipped.

27. Karan Matsuda! Her dad is Daisuke Matsuda, he of the A-Team theme and the backyard full of SASUKE obstacles. First CMs.

Back. Rolling Hill. Down slowly. Tonda! And through. Pipehold. I don't think her dad has one of these. She stays up. Shaking Bridge. Slowly but surely! Fishbone. And gets it! Always watch your right! Dragon Glider. NO! She missed the bar with one hand!

29.  Harahuna Yamamoto is through! She does the dreaded parkour!

30. Ayaka Sakai is a pole dancer! A former pole dance champion! Rolling Hill. Pipehold. She stays up. Shaking Bridge. Fishbone. And through! Dragon Glider next. And gets it! Soritatsu Kabe And she's through! Cannon Ball. Lots of time! And she's through!

31. Ayumi Kataoka! Is a baseball player. Rolling Hill. And through! Pipehold. She goes low. Shaking Bridge is shaky but through! Fishbone. NO!

32. Sakiko Okabe! She's a former gymnast! Rolling Hill. And through! Pipehold. She stays up. Shaking Bridge is no problem! And through the Fishbone! And through the Dragon Glider! Gets the Soritatsu Kabe in one! Cannon Ball last. She's got it! That's four!

And one more as 33. Airi Tsubuki gets digested but presses the button!

And we get a couple ffs and are now on...

40. Mio Sudo is a champion slackliner! And I'm slacking since she's already on the Fishbone! Dragon Glider coming up. She gets it! Soritatsu Kabe coming up. Gets it in one! Does she have enough time? Going red soon. Needs to hurry. Almost there! Gets it!

42. Miyu Ikeda fails the Rolling Hill and you can hear someone laughing in the background. Oh wait, that was her. She was the first person shown failing the Hill.

43. Aya Asahina! IS a model! She gets to go to Daisuke Matsuda's place and meets...Yusuke Morimoto! Oops. Matsuda did have a Pipehold. Haha.

Rolling Hill. Down slowly. And through. There's Morimoto. She stays up on the Pipehold. Shaking Bridge. Fishbone. And is through thanks to coaching by Morimoto! Dragon Glider next. And gets it! As she throws herself onto the platform like she's throwing a dropkick. Soritatsu Kabe next. And gets it in one! Lots of time for the Cannon Ball. Her height has helped her all along the way. She's got it!

No hug for Yusuke.

44. Yu Kato is a baseball player! Rolling Hill as her fellow baseball players cheer her on. She goes low on the Pipehold! And it flips! And she can't hold on!

45. Yayoi Matsumoto is a swimmer who gets ffed to her failing the Dragon Glider!

46. Kanna Asakura! Beat Rena and so now she takes her place at KUNOICHI! Well, that's just way it looks. Rolling Hill. She tries to go up on the Pipehold and slips! But she's through! Shaking Bridge is done. Fishbone. Through! Dragon Glider! Gets paused mid-air!


And we're back. To see her whiff on the bar!

47. Ayano Oshima! Has a history with the SASUKE franchise! She's already through the Rolling Hill. Goes up on the Pipehold. Already to the Fishbone. And through! Dragon Glider. Nice jump! She's through! Soritatsu Kabe in one! Cannon Ball. Lots of time! And she's through!

48. Reika Saiki is next! Rolling Hill. Slowly down. Pipehold. She sort of stays up. Shaking Bridge. How many times can the announcer say kinniku idol before she'S done? Confidently through the Dragon Glider! Soritatsu Kabe in one! Cannon Ball. And through!

And also 49. Mika Watanabe is also through!

50. Trainer Aya! She's obviously the focus of this year's show. She's just that right blend of famous and regular person they can get behind although at this point she's more celeb than reg.


Rolling Hill. Pipehold and she goes high. Shaking Bridge is no problem. Fishbone. OH! And she gets clipped at the very end!

Blue Stage

Miyahara up first. Taking a long time on the Slide Walk. Spider Walk next. Needs to hurry, I think. Not exactly the fastest pace. Inexperience coming into play. Time already going...well, not red. And that's it! Too much time on the Slide Walk will kill you.

Oh. The dreaded parkour specialist Jun Sato is there to give Yamamoto some advice. And she gets it pretty quickly! Spider Walk next. Shouldn't have much of a problem here. Hanaho, by the way. Goren Hammer is no problem. Reverse Conveyer as we go to CMs.


A struggle but she's through! Wall Lifting. One more. Clear!

That's one! The show will go on!

Sakai next. Through the Slider Walk quickly. Spider Walk. Slowly but surely. Falling gives you no chance whereas slowly keeps you alive. Goren Hammer. Reverse Conveyer but less than ten seconds. Wall Lifting. One. Two. NO!

Okabe up next. Like Sakai, she failed the last wall at the last show. Can she do better this time around? Quickly through the Slider Walk.  Through the Spider Walk AND the Goren Hammer. Reverse Conveyer. Lots of time left. Wall Lifting. And she's got it!

Septathlon athlete Tsubuki is up next! A little bit of time on the Slider Walk but through. On to the Spider Walk. Goren Hammer. Reverse Conveyer. Is there enough time? Needs to hurry. Ten seconds. Wall Lifting. Gets it!

Slackliner Sudo is up next. Through the Slider Walk. Not the greatest Spider Walk technique. Taking a lot of time. Makoto Nagano is there? Needs to hurry. She's stuck between hammers! But through! Needs to hurry! Reverse Conveyer. Time is up!

Asahina is getting ready to go. She's getting advice from Morimoto. I ship it. Stuck on the Slider Walk. But through! Needs to hurry a little. Spider Walk. She's tall it's a little awkward. She's slipping! Almost there. Save her Yusuke! Slipping. Can't hold on. NO!

Wait, when did Nagano start adding color?

Oshima next as we see Tomohiro Kawaguchi bouldering with her. But is she wearing his shoes?

Kawaguchi cheers her on as she clears the Slider Walk then blasts through the Spider Walk. Goren Hammer. Gets it! Reverse Conveyer. Wall Lifting. A lot of time left. And she's through! Nagano compliments her Spider Walk.

Saiki next. She doesn't get stuck on the Slider this time. Spider Walk but suddenly she loses her footing! Majika!

Watanabe is last up! Let's get a look at her life. Slider Walk. Losing a little time but she's through. Can probably make it up on the Spider Walk. Or not. Needs to pick up the pace. She slips right at the pad and is through! Goren Hammer. And gets it! Reverse Conveyer. Needs to hurry. Is losing strength. Time is going. And no!

Black Stage

Four are left at Makuhari Messe.

Hanaho Yamamoto is up first. Propeller Untei. Gets it! Arm Bike. No timer so no problem. Through! Sponge Bridge. At the halfway point. She almost loses it so...she goes faster! And she's through!

Next is the Planet Bridge imported over from SASUKE. It doesn't shake nearly as much. Anyway, she's through! Pipe Slider! This could be it! Ahahahaha. They fit in Yamada's failing the Pipe Slider. Last time, both Watanabe and Izumi failed the Pipe Slider. At the end. Swing time. No! Needs to keep the bar forward. She can't hang there forever. She goes for it! The slo-mo makes it look more like she was falling towards the mat than jumping.

Sakiko Okabe is next. Propeller Untei. And she gets it! Arm Bike was not pretty but whatever works! Sponge Bridge up. Halfway point. Through! Planet Bridge. Gets it! Ayano has her game face on. Pipe Slider. CMs first.


Pipe Slider. She can reach the platform with her feet! She gets it easily!

Tsubuki uses her hand on the Sponge Bridge when she loses her balance which is a DQ! She's done!

There is one person left! She gets advice from the man himself, Makoto Nagano!

Can Ayano Oshima join Okabe?

Propeller Untei. In the middle. Gets it and doesn't use too much energy. Arm Bike. No problem! If anything, the Sponge Bridge is more outside of her wheelhouse than the other obstacles which are more SASUKE than KUNOICHI.

Almost there. Gets it! Two more to go. Planet Bridge next. She's a bit shorter than Okabe so it might be more of a struggle for her. Same thing with the Pipe Slider. Can't just hang there forever. Almost there. Through! Pipe Slider coming up.



Expending a lot of energy getting the bar to the end. Time for the swing. NO! She was on and then she was off!

Only one person left standing! Sakiko Okabe will try to defeat the KUNOICHI reboot! Several had defeated the previous version of KUNOICHI. Only Hikari Izumi has had a chance at this version.

Sup Urushihara.

It's a Spider Climb so not that awkward ladder thing from before.

Here we go but first some CMs.


Time is going red! Not much time! Needs to...NO!

Her Spider Climb was awkward but she also wasn't able to use her legs on the rope climb because part of the rope was up by her neck. Still, she was close!

Congratulations to Sakiko Okabe for being the last woman standing at KUNOICHI 2018!

Monday, March 26, 2018

SASUKE 35 SASUKE 2018 Live blog!


5. Pro surfer Murata just failed the Fishbone!

7. Kohei Nosei works at a karaoke shop! He's got a superman shirt! (By the way, we saw a commercial for Last Jedi. SASUKE is canon!) Fishbone. And through! First to get to the Dragon Glider! Trampoliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine!

The regulars react!

11. Karine Maruyama played for the Japanese women's national soccer team! Through the steps! Down the hill slowly. Kore de yada! And she just gets it! Took some time though. Tie Fighter. And no!

13. Hosaka! Sorry, missed his first name. Through to the Tie Fighter! SASUKE Spray. And through! Fishbone. And he got it! Dragon Glider. And he whiffs on the bar!

16. Ryoji Ishii! Is a local announcer! Slowly at the steps. Rolling Hill next. And he just gets it! Tie Fighter and he only has half a minute left. And he can't get into the Tie Fighter. But he hits the water anyway as the time goes red!

17. Shusho Lopez! He's a former ballroom dancer turned geinojin! Get a load of that Winnie the Pooh trampoline.


Back. He's all the way through to the Dragon Glider because I was slacking. And he goes face first into the water! Sup, Hard Gay.

21. Hard Gay is next! Slowly through the Quad Steps. Rolling Hill slowly. And he slips! Get a new gimmick!

22. Ooohh, that is what a flag performer is. Hiroshi Tomioka has a giant blue SASUKE flag that I want. Rolling Hill. He just gets it! His flag performer friends are flagging him on. Tie Fighter is no problem. Fishbone. And throu...NO! At the very end! Ato ippo!

23. Frescoballer? I'll look it up later but haya sugiru as he fails the steps.

25 and 26 Sho and Yoh of NJPW fail! And 27 and 28 fail the Dragon Glider. As does 29!

31. Kan Yutaka of Golden Bomber up next. Quads. Rolling Hill. And through! Tie Fighter. Yes! Doing much better this time around. Fishbone. And he got it! Dragon Glider. He got a hand on it! Although with his form I don't know what he was planning to do.

32. Daisuke Matsuda gets the A-Team music. Because he has so many obstacles? Shouldn't he get the McGyver music instead?

Quad Steps. Rolling Hill! Tie Fighter time. And he's through! Fishbone. And he got it! Can he be the first to do the Dragon Glider? He got the bar! And NO! But he was the first to get the bar!


Mou tsukirimasu!

I guess it's an arms race between Matsuda and TBS.

33. Gets the bar too! 35 hits the steps. 36 and 37 can't get past the hill.

41. Iwamoto of Johnny's group Snow Man is up next. He gets Smells Like Teen Spirit and a past generation of mopey teens die a little inside.


Ooops, back and he's already up to the Tie Fighter. He's through though! And he gets the Fishbone! Dragon Glider next. And he slides right into the water! Usoo!

Darvish is sad for Iwamoto.

44. Sakuma Kota! Is a teacher! And he falls quickly! Kids = Ratings = Fail. Haha.

48. Satoshi Kodama is up! He's a police man? He just gets the platform on the Rolling Hill. And he's through the Tie Fighter! Fishbone. Dragon Glider is a whiff!

49. Shukan Playboy gravure tantou Ishibashi fails the Rolling Hill.

51. Karen fails. 55, 57 and 58.

60. Hioki Masashi gets the full video treatment! Can he be our first clear? Rolling Hill is no problem. Tie Fighter. Fishbone coming up. And through! Dragon Glider. And he gets it! YES! The first!



And he clears the Dragon Glider and gets a big pop from the crowd. Let's see that again! That thing looks reckless. Tackle. Lots of time left if he isn't blown up. Has time for a few tries. But he only needs one! And that's it!

Everyone congratulate Hioki for showing them the way.

Yamada Gundan Black Tiger time.

TBS loves me so they show the crying Yamada clip.

Yamada hurt his foot so perhaps his advice won't negatively affect the guys this time around.

61. Hiroshige Yamamoto is up first for the Black Tigers. And what! He failed the Rolling Hill! Wow!

62. Satoshi Obata had a miracle run last time up to the 3rd Stage. Can he do it again! Yamada decides to get out of his chair to talk to Obata.

Steps. Rolling Hill next. And he almost slipped there too! Abune! Tie Fighter. And through! Fishbone. And got it! Dragon Glider. NO! He missed the bar! Came up just short.

Kore mo SASUKE ya.

63. Seiki Takasui! He's the sort of heir to Makoto Nagano! Steps. Rolling Hill. And he's through! He's the son of the owner of Nagano's company. Through the Tie Fighter! Fishbone. And he gets it! Dragon Glider. He gets the bar! But no! Takasui ochita!

So far only Hioki has solved the Dragon Glider.

67. Araki and 68. Tada and 69. all fail the Dragon Glider!

We get to see a bit of Wataru Mori's life before we go to some CMs.

70. Wataru Mori. If he clears the steps he's better than last time. Haha. And he does! Did it sort of slowly though. Gets the Tie Fighter! Fishbone. And gets it! Dragon Glider. And he does it! Tackle next. Needs to hurry though. Maybe only one shot at the wall. Time is red. NO!

72. Hitoshi Kanno! Is a two-time daddy! And is a former finalist. But he had been hurt recently so he's here. Rolling Hill. And gets it! Tie Fighter. He's in the cockpit. Fishbone. Checking. Doesn't have THAT much time. Needs to move. And is through! Dragon Glider but does he have time? AND just shorts the landing! He can't land on the platform and hits the water. The others are shocked. I guess he kind of went off the track.

72 have tried! Only 1 has passed!

73. Ryo Matachi! Reached the final in 30 but that seems so long ago. He's failed the 1st Stage four times in a row. Through the steps. And gets the Hill. Tie Fighter. Fishbone. And he gets it! Dragon Glider. And he gets it! He can do the Tackle sort of! Still lots of time but is he blown up? He needs to go now. NO! One more try. Just needs to get up. NO!

Yuuji is really broken up. He had a good pace going but he just didn't have the power at the end.

74. The chickens are revolting while we go to commercial.


74. Shingo Yamamoto! Through the steps. Still light out. And through the Hill! With Shingo you never know. Tie Fighter. Fishbone. And no! Right towards the end. Nanda! Ahhh..mata.

75. to 79 all fail and I fail because I was taking a bite to eat as they got digested. Sorry!

We now enter our top athlete portion of the program.

81. Seito Yamamoto is a pole jumper. Steps. He might want his pole at the end of his run. Hill. Tie Fighter. Fishbone next. And gets it! Dragon Glider. But he doesn't use his momentum and gets stopped dead after the first bar!

82. Shun Yokota plays football in Japan. Steps. Rolling Hill. And he gets it! Tie Fighter. And he can't stay in the cockpit! Whoops!

83. Sho Kimura is a WBO champion! Steps. Rolling Hill up. The announcer is DYING to make a KO reference. I know it. Tie Fighter. Fishbone next. And he is out!

And now 86. Ryoichi Tsukada.

But first, the news.

85 have tried! 1 has cleared? Can we get a clear rush from now?

86. Ryoichi Tsukada. Steps. Rolling Hill. He seems to be in a rush. Needs to be careful. And he falls out of the cockpit of the Tie Fighter!

Wataru says it wasn't bad but it wasn't perfect.

He rushed it.

87. Ono and 88. Ugajin don't repeat their performances from last time!

89. Keitaro Yamamoto! Quad Steps hayai! Rolling Hill. Tie Fighter. Slips a bit but is through! Fishbone. And he gets it! Dragon Glider! Gets it! Tackle. Almost there. Does he have the stamina? Gets his legs warmed up. Maybe one shot. And he gets it! He's through! That's two!

What a run!

CMs while we all catch our breath.

90. Takeru! Is a K-1 champ! Heater at the start line cuz it's cold out there. Steps. Rolling Hill. And through! Tie Fighter. And gets it! Fishbone. NO! He stepped wrong and that's it for him!

91. Toshihiro Takeda! 90 have tried! Only 2 have passed! Can Takeda make it 3? Steps. Rolling Hill. And he gets it! Tie Fighter. And gets it! Nagano cheers him on. Fishbone. And...he stumbles at the end but is through! Dragon Glider next. NO! He didn't jump! Not much time left. Needs to get the momentum going himself, I guess. Does he have his own logo shirt? And he takes a dip. Aho!

92. Shunsuke Nagasaki is a trampoline performer! He is a new daddy to boot! Tonda! Up to the Tie Fighter. And gets it! Fishbone. Yes! Dragon Glider. And gets it! Tackle as his dad cheers him on! Still time. Maybe one shot at the wall. Needs to get reset. And he gets it! And he makes three!

93. It's Kong time! Kenji Takahashi! He's thinking that this might be his last time. He feels that it's time for him to give the young guns a chance. Steps. Rolling Hill. Tie Fighter next. And he gets it! Abunakatta! Fishbone. Dragon Glider. King Kong jump! But he is completely off the track! He leaned too much to one side.

Jibun no SASUKE ga saigo desu.

94. Yusuke Suzuki! SASUKE sensei for the newer generation. Tie Fighter. Clear! Fishbone. NO! He got tied up and that's it!

95. Yuuji Urushihara! Is a two time champion. He vowed last time that if he didn't pass the 1st Stage he would retire. Can he do it again tonight? Steps. Rolling Hill. Tie Fighter. And through! Everyone starts high and lets themselves slip a bit. Fishbone. Yes! Dragon Glider. And yes.. YES! He got it! Ike! Tackle. Will he have enough left at the end? Almost there. Maybe one shot if the others are any indication. Getting ready. NO! Time goes red. NO! Maji de. Ryo really shouldn't be talking about people having a mental block as we watch Yuuji do it one last time and lets out a yell of exasperation.

96. Kenji Darvish is up next. He's had more than enough camera time at this point. Steps. Rolling Hill. Tie Fighter. And he is through! Fishbone. And he is through! Dragon Glider. And he gets it! Tackle next up. He'll have one shot at the Soritatsu Kabe. Time going red. And he gets it with 1 second left!

96 have tried! 4 have cleared!

97. Jun Sato is next! He does the dreaded parkour. Haha. Is this the first time they've ever used a dramatization during SASUKE?

Steps. Rolling Hill. And clear! Tie Fighter. And through! He almost rolled off the platform though. Fishbone is no problem. Dragon Glider. And through! Tackle. No problem. And hits it the first time! That's five!

98. Drew Dreschel points out that in Japan the obstacles aren't as big but they are more technical. Already up to the Fishbone by the way. And through! Dragon Glider. Not much of a run up but he has no problem. Tackle. Just needs to go up the wall. And gets it!

99. Tomohiro Kawaguchi has become a climbing shoes maker. But first, a word from our sponsors.


Steps. Slight slip on the hill but he's through. Tie Fighter. Fishbone next. And yes! Dragon Glider. And through! Tackle. That was reckless on the Dragon Glider. Tackle. Maybe two shots at most next. Taking his time. He is taller than others so he doesn't have to run as much. And he's through!

100. Yuusuke Morimoto! He debuted when he was 15! And he is the man known as SASUKE-kun! No clear steps tonight.

Not exactly graceful on the steps but whatever works. Tie Fighter. And through! Fishbone next. And through! Dragon Glider next. And through! Tackle next. Just needs to do enough and preserve his legs. Maybe one shot. And gets it!

2nd Stage time! Eight are through! No big surprises tonight. Everyone still alive has been here before.

Hioki Masashi is first up.

110 seconds to clear. Ring Slider. Salmon Ladder. At the transition. Downwards. Through. Spider Walk. Spider Drop. Backstream next. Pushes off. And through! Reverse Conveyer next. And got it! Wall Lifting. 1st. 2nd. 3rd. Lots of time. And gets it!

Keitaro Yamamoto up next. Ring Slider. Salmon Ladder. At the turn. Downwards now. And good to go. Spider Walk. Wait...NO! He slipped at the very end. His left leg slipped as he was transitioning to the Spider Drop.

2 have tried! 1 has cleared!

Shunsuke Nagasaki will take his turn now. Ring Slider. Salmon Ladder. Transition. Downwards. And gets it. Spider Walk. Slowly. Maybe too slow? Tentative because of Keitaro? And he slips down too! Ryo says that the usual way should be OK. So not sure what happened. These wall interviews are new. Is that on-site?

Kenji Darvish up next but let's hit some commercials first.


Ring Slider. Through. Salmon Ladder. Transition. Downwards. Slight problem on the last rung but he's got it! Spider Walk. Not all that fast. Spider Drop is OK. Backstream. Not a whole lot of time left for him though. Can't quite reach the end. Needs to hurry. I don't know if he'll make it. Reverse Conveyer as the time goes red. Wall Lifting and the timer goes off as he's between walls!

Now who will TBS show reaction shots of?

4 have tried! 1 has cleared! Can the last four join him?

Jun Sato up. Ring Slider. Salmon Ladder. Downwards. And through. Spider Walk. Everyone is worried about the drop now. Backstream. And no problem. Lots of time. And through!

98. Drew Drechsel is through too!

6 have tried! 3 have cleared!

Tomohiro Kawaguchi is next. Ring Slider. Salmon Ladder. Up. Transition. Downwards. Spider Walk. Spider Drop is clear. Backstream next. Lots of time if he does this right. And he gets caught up in the stream! Still has time so he has to get going!


He's all the way to the middle of the tank! Needs to get going! Mada maniau! He still has time but really really has to rush. Go! Go! Time going red. YES! HE DID IT! OH MY!

That's one more to the next stage!

One man left to go. SASUKE-kun! Yuusuke Morimoto!

Ring Slider. Salmon Ladder. Transition. And through. Spider Walk. Ii tempo. Spider Drop is no problem. Backstream next. And he is through! Reverse Conveyer is no problem! Wall Lifting. 1. 2. 3. YES!

3rd Stage

Hioki Masashi is first up. And he THSOFEP! Thanks. Flying Bar. And through to the Sidewinder! 1st pole. No time limit so he can set himself.

2nd pole. 3rd poooole! Whew. That was close. One more to go. And through! It's cold out there so it's nice TBS sprung for a heater.

New obstacle time! NO! His hands slipped off!

Jun Sato is up next so let's look at a dramatization of his childhood.

Flying Bar. Sidewinder now. 1st pole. 2nd pole. 3rd pole. One more to go. Got it! Needs to get on the platform. Needs to rest. Planet Bridge but time for some CMs.

Back. First Globe. 2nd. Hand on a 3rd. Three more to go. Next one. Two more to go. Stopping. Might be struggling. But he gets it! Height is definitely a factor here.

Ultra Crazy Cliff Hanger next. He's been stopped here before. NO! Whoops, turned my head and he was in the water.

Yubi ga subeta!!!

Drew Drechsel up next! One of the most consistent competitors anywhere. Can he finally make that final step? Sidewinder. Already up to the last pole. Drew gets set before he tackles the Planet Bridge.

And quickly through! And no problem! Tomo and the rest get their minds blown as he zooms through it.

Getting ready for the Ultra Crazy. Gets the first jump! Moving next. And gets it!

Green pole of rest before he goes for the Vertical Limit. Three parts to go. First. NO! Maji ka!

Two are left.

Someone will reach the final tonight. Will it be Kawaguchi? Or Morimoto? Or BOTH?

Tomohiro Kawaguchi up first. Flying Bar. Through to the Sidewinder. Almost slips on the third! But he's up. And slips off the last onto the platform!

Planet Bridge next. Gets set. Not as smooth as Drew but he gets it!

Takes his time before going for the Ultra Crazy Cliff Hanger. At the first jump. Gets it! Moving next. YES! He got it! Green pole of rest next.

He's more of a climber than any of the others which might bode well for him.


Back. Firs..AHH!

Oops. Well, now we know what is about to happen.

That's new. "Watch yourself fail!" He didn't get his hand on cleanly before he started moving.

99 have come and gone! There is only one man to take on the course and he has already conquered it once before. Yuusuke Morimoto!

Flying Bar is no problem. Haha. The chalk is flying all over the place as he takes on the Sidewinder. He reps his company on his shirt.

Planet Bridge next. Getting set. 1st. 2nd. 3rd. 4th. One more to go. And gets it!

Ultra Crazy Cliff Hanger. He is the first to have cleared it. Looks like he is timing his start with the moving portion. First jump and he gets it! Moving part. Gets it! Green pole of rest next!

He flashes the smile that makes him a fan favorite!

Everyone left is cheering him on.

Here he goes.

SASUKE-kun versus Vertical Limit!

YES! He is at the last one! Almost there! YES! He's on the Green bar of safety! Pipe Slider next.

CMs first though.


Last area!

Here he goes.

Almost there. Swinging. Swinging. Swinging. YES! YES! YES!

It's been three years since someone has made the Final Stage!

35 have tried the Final Stage. Hey, Kane Kosugi! He is clearly the most powerful geinojin.

Final Stage. Spider Climb, Salmon Ladder, Rope Climb.

Here we go.

45 seconds to clear.

CMs first, of course.


Good pace on the climb. Salmon Ladder as the crowd cheers him on.
Almost there. Needs to hurry but he's slightly stuck. On the Rope Climb but time is going red. Needs to hurry. NO!

And he gets the lowering down of disappointment. He lost his Salmon Ladder rhythm right at the end and it caused him to lose time.

That's it for today! Thanks for watching!

Monday, January 01, 2018

2018元日 究極の男は誰だ!?最強アスリート元日決戦!Sports Danshi 2018 New Years Special Liveblog Kane Kosugi Returns!


Sorry, was there something else to talk about?

Oh, it's the Sports Danshi New Year's Special. With a returning Kane Kosugi. My heart is all aflutter.

This seems to be in separate event format: Monster Box, Power Wall and Shotgun Touch with different competitors for each, other than Kane~! doing the Monster Box and Shotgun Touch because he can do whatever he wants.

Arms crossed gentlemen!

Justin Gatlin is fast!

Wanderlei Silva will kick your head off!

Nepo Laulala is very tough!

Denis Abliazin can jump!

Kenji Fujimitsu is also fast!


Other people!

You can win a car!

And let's start off with the Monster Box!

There are only five challengers for this.

The legend! Kane Kosugi!

High jumper Hiromi Takahari!

Trampolinist Daiki Kishi!

Olympian Denis Abliazin!

Taishin Hirano!

We're starting at 13. Abliazin and Takahari have no problem!

Kane~! next. No problem! Shout out to SRO guys being the spotters again.

Hirano is through!

Note that Kane and Hirano do the sort of superman style jump to get their bodies over which helps at the taller heights later.

15 boxes.

Takahari first.

It's been 14 years since Kane~! has done the Monster Box.

On to16, Abliazin is through! And Kishi! So let's go to 17.

Abliazin first. Whoa, that was fast.

Takahari up next.

Kane~! up. And he gets it!

Hirano passes! Let's go to 18.

In a normal show, you're already down to five or so guys at this point anyway.

Abliazin soars over the box! Wow!

And Kishi is our first miss!

Abliazin's wife, Ksenia Semynova is there to cheer him on.

Takahari does it!

Kane~! now to give it a try.

CMs first though.


And he gets it!

Hirano next. No problem!

18 boxes, second try.

Only Kishi but he gets it! Guts pooooooooooooose!

19 boxes.

Hey there Naoki Iketani.

The SRO dude is impressed by Abliazin's jump.

Kishi next. He's the only one to have failed a jump so far.

But he just gets this one!

Takahari...touches the box twice! Whoops.

Kane~! to go. And he gets it!

That SRO guy is a pleasure to watch. I think that's Masayuki Kikuchi.

And Hirano has no problem!

2nd try for Takahari.

NO! Looks like he jumps too early and can't get his hands in the right spot. He's out!

20 boxes.

Four are left!

Abliazin first. Yowza.

Kishi doesn't get it on his first try.

Kane~! next. He did 20 in 2004. YES!

Hirano up. While Kane had to go deep within himself, Hirano and Ablizain are clearing with more than enough room to spare.

20 boxes, 2nd Try. Only Kishi to try.

NO! He doesn't quite get the run up right so he goes straight into the box.

21 boxes.

Abliazin first up. NO! Maybe he ran too fast?

Kane~! will try 21 now. NO! He thinks he can do it though.

Can Hirano show them the way?


Will he go for the record again tonight? He certainly cleared this with ease.

Iketani goes over to offer some encouragement.

Abliazin adapts to the culture and has THSOFEP.  But it doesn't help!

He put his hands down too early maybe?


Here we go. CMs first. Those cheers don't sound encouraging.



Everyone has the sads.

So Hirano will try for 24 to break the record.

Hirano has to THSOFEP, of course.

The shot of Kane and Iketani watching him from the side is intimidating, to say the least.

NO! He was close though!

Your winner: Taishin Hirano!

Tomas Walsh! Nepo Laulau! Silva! Nishikawa! Ibushi! Sekiguchi! Masato! Nomura!

1st Pair:
New Zealand shotputter Tomas Walsh versus Yuuki Nomura!

Umm..slight size advantage for Walsh. Nomura definitely has to THSOFEP.

And it's not contest! Walsh totally overpowers Nomura!

2nd Pair:
Battle of the MMA fighters! Wanderlei Silva versus Masato!

Both THSOFEP. Silva does a throat slash gesture and Masato slams the wall in response. Heh. A bit more contentious than usual.



Silva with the slight early lead. Almost halfway there for Silva. Masato's hope is that Silva gets gassed soon. And that might be what is happening! Masato making a push. But he can't get back to the middle. Into the last thirty seconds. Now or never for Masato. Silva just pushing with this body now. And that's it! Silva wins!

3rd Pair:
Hiroshima Carp's Ryoma Nishikawa versus Mandy Sekiguchi!

Sekiguchi THSOFEP as soon as he hits the stage.

And Mandy dominates Nishikawa!

4th Pair:
Pro wrestler Kota Ibushi versus New Zealand's All Blacks member Nepo Laulala

Ibushi need not THSOFEP as it is his common mode of dress.  Laulala keeps his uniform on.


Back. Laulala gets the early lead! And he does it! Ibushi jobs even though he didn't want to. Tsuyosugiru!

2nd Round

1st Pair:
 Walsh versus Silva

Walsh dispatched Nomura in all of six seconds. Silva's match with Masato was the only one to go the distance.

Walsh THSOFEP, as does Silva and the crowd still pops both times. They just want to see nipples, man.

Gamesmanship before the start.

Walsh with the early lead but Silva's not giving up. But Walsh moving forward now. Almost there. And that's it! Walsh is into the final!

2nd Pair:
Sekiguchi versus Laulala

Sekiguchi and Laulala had fairly easy routes to the semifinal.

Dochi da?



And Laulala dominates! Ouch, not a good day for the Spodan boys.

Consolation round:
 Silva versus Sekiguchi

Sekiguchi with the early lead. Silva got a bad jump and is pretty much standing straight up. And that's it! Sekiguchi wins!

Walsh versus Laulala

It's an all New Zealand final as the shotputter takes on the rugger!

Laulala finally gives in and THSOFEP.

Laulala with the early lead! Walsh struggling! And that's it! Laulala wins!

Your winner: Nepo Laulala!

Shotgun Touch!

I'm the fastest man on the planet.

Justin Gatlin is the current world champion in the 100 meters and...well, let's just say that there is some controversy around him right now and leave it at that.

Let's go through all our competitors!




Whit Merrifield up first. No problem.

Kenji Fujimitsu up next. And he gets it with his head! Literally, the ball bounced off his head.

Justin Gatlin to go. And no doubt there.

J-League's Kensuke Nagai next! And he clips it with his hand!

Ryoma Nishikawa is here too after his short Power Wall run. And he just gets it too!

Japanese American football player Takashi Kurihara is up! And he's through!

Gaku Sano is the current Sports Danshi Geinojin Shotgun Touch record holder at 12m80cm. And he catches the ball!

Kane Kosugi~! is next! Kane's best is 13m10cm. The overall record is Nagai's 13m60cm. And he gets it!

Everyone is through!


Two chances from here on in.

Merrifield up first. And he gets it with his arm this time.

Nagai, Fujimitus, Kurihara and Sano all pass.

Kane~! goes for a try. And he gets it!

Gatlin goes for it and it hits his back! Umm..he's pretty fast.


Nishikawa up first. And did he get it? No indication yet. Slo-mo shows he got it!

Sano next. And he catches another one! Psychological warfare on the part of Sano.

Kane~! up. No! He misses quite clearly. Someone passed in the background.

2nd Try

Do or die for Kane~!



Shingi lamp is on. NO!

That's it for Kane~!


Nagai is first up.

Kurihara needs the slo-mo but he's through!

Merrifield has THSOFEP. And he's through!

Gatlin gets the red lamp! He missed the ball pretty much due to his technique of diving into a pool.

2nd Try

Nishikawa THSOFEP. But he doesn't get it! He's done for the night!

Gatlin's 2nd try now. Can he fix his technique? And this time he hits it with his head.


Gaku Sano up first. This is his personal best. He doesn't catch so it might have gone through his arms. And he didn't touch it at all before he fell so that's his first failure!

Fujimitsu next. And he gets it!

Gatlin up. No problem although he still has that diving into the water with his head down thing going.

2nd Try

Do or die for Sano. NO! He missed the button! He's out!


Just for the record, it looks like the button can go back to a maximum of 19 meters.

Merrifield up first. Shingi lamp time. He just gets it!

Fujimitsu, Nagai, Kurihara all miss on their first try.

Again, Gatlin's form costs him. He jumps way too short.

2nd Try

Nagai is through!

Kurihara gets the Shingi lamp. If anything he JUST got it. But no! He just missed. He's done!

Fujimitsu...doesn't get it yet. But the slo-mo shows he did! He's through!

Gatlin's 2nd try is interrupted by some CMs.

The way the announcer says United States of America so dramatically made me laugh.

And again! He mistimed his jump and missed the ball!


Nagai first. He gets it with the side of his arm.

And Merrifield is through!

And so is Fujimitsu!

Fujimitsu actually overshot the ball a bit.


Soccer! Track! Baseball! Which sport will come out on top?

Nagai first up. And he's still going!

Merrifield comes up just short on his first attempt!

As does Fujimitsu.

2nd Try

Whitfield up first.


Shingi lamp on. NO! That's it for Whit!

If Fujimitsu doesn't get this, it's another win for Nagai.

Masaka no miss! Ouch, what a way to end it. Fujimitsu misses the button and that's it.

Your winner: Kesuke Nagai!

Well, Kane didn't take any events but considering his competition, he did pretty well. It may not have been the comeback he wanted but it showed he still has something left in the tank. Let's hope we can see him again!