Since 2001, I have been a big fan of SASUKE, a televised obstacle course on TBS. I have several shows on tape plus the 筋肉番付 マッスルウォーズ21 game for the PS2 which I still have never completed because it's the analog stick game from hell. Even though I tape it I watch every broadcast live because there's no better way to watch it. Actually, the only reason I ever go back to watch old tapes is usually to laugh at certain portions. Usually, I laugh at anything involving this man:
This would be 山田勝己 (Yamada Katsumi). Or as people (the broadcasters at TBS, random people and most annoyingly, Yamada himself) call him Mr. サスケ. I laugh because he hasn't been able to pass the first stage in years. He fails on a consistent basis and is basically coasting on the success he had early on in the life of SASUKE (not coincidentally this was before I started watching seriously). I mean, it's just...
Then he fails again.
I know. I know. I certainly can't pass the first stage but I can't help it. I mercilessly mock the guy whenever he shows up on my TV. I was actually scared at the last SASUKE because the announcers were teasing that someone was going to finish it for the first time in seven years. I thought it was going to be Yamada (thank god it was Nagano). I mean, what's the fun in him finishing it and realizing his dream?
Anyway, the reason I'm writing this post is to let people know that the newest version of SASUKE will be out soon (according to the Japanese SASUKE wikipedia page):
第18回大会 2007年 3月21日（「新・SASUKE2007春」として18:55～21:48の3時間放送予定
That's the 18th tournament being aired on March 21st at 6:55 to 9:48 PM on TBS.
I guess they're calling it the New SASUKE because at the end of the 17th (after 長野 誠 - Nagano Makoto - finally finished the course) they "blew up" the old final stage and debuted a new one.
Will anyone be able to make it to the new final stage?
Will all of the SASUKE All-Stars participate? Several of them considered quitting after the 17th.
But more importantly...
How will Yamada fail this time?