Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Top Ten SASUKE Moments (as chosen by SASUKE Maniac viewers)

During the run-up to SASUKE 20, SASUKE Maniac (サスケマニア) had their viewers write in their Top Ten SASUKE Moments. Here are the results.

(Taken from Japanese blog Music In Life. The following is not a translation of what they are saying but my own thoughts on each moment.)

10. Katsumi Yamada SASUKE 12, Second Stage 山田勝己 (第12回2nd)
Mr. Dumb-Ass SASUKE forgets to take off his gloves for the Chain Reaction before attempting the Spider Walk which results in a controversial DQ (no one had heard that they had to take their gloves off before that). Yamada cries. He skips the 13th SASUKE (too busy crying), comes back at the 14th but hasn't passed the First Stage since.

9. Koji Yamada, SASUKE 12, First Stage 山田康司 (第12回1st)
Yamada (Koji, not Yasushi), in his first appearance, becomes the first number 1 to clear the First Stage. He's still the only person to have accomplished that particular feat.

8. Toshihiro Takeda, SASUKE 14, First Stage 竹田敏浩 (第14回1st)
Takeda BLITZES the First Stage in 32.44 seconds. Still the First Stage record and unlikely to be broken since the present course makes such a time impossible.

7. Makoto Nagano, SASUKE 12, Final Stage 長野誠 (第12回Final)
Nagano's second straight attempt at the Final Stage and he misses by only 0.11 seconds.

6. Shunsuke Nagasaki, SASUKE 17, Third Stage 長崎峻侑 (第17回3rd)
The boy becomes a MAN. He also causes his mom to scream and look away in terror.

5. Bunpei Shiratori, SASUKE 15, 白鳥文平 (第15回)
白鳥文平がダウン Shiratori Bunpei ga down! Shiratori comes back from heat exhaustion in the First Stage to make a memorable run that unfortunately ends during the Climbing Bars in the Third Stage. Monster 9 learns that the the middle of summer is not a good time to have people running and jumping around.

4. Kane Kosugi and Jordan Jovtchev, SASUKE 8, Final Stage ケイン・コスギ, ヨルダン・ヨブチェフ (第8回FINAL)
Gaijin rule! On a rainy evening, two foreigners are the only ones left standing. Jovtchev becomes the first person to time out during the Spider Climb portion of the Final Stage. Kinniku Banzuke poster boy Kane Kosugi reaches the Final Stage only to time out during the Rope Climb. Kane's tears mix with the rain as the in-studio team looks on in stunned silence. As Kane is taken away by van little did anyone realize that as the door was being closed it was also closing Kane's SASUKE career.

3. Katsumi Yamada, SASUKE 6 and 10, Third Stage 山田勝己 (第6回3rd、第10回3rd)
Mr. SASUKE cries after failing to reach the promised land, unable to complete the final jump at the end of the Pipe Slider both times. One attempt (the 6th) actually lands but he is unable to maintain his balance and falls off the platform. His pleas to continue fall on deaf ears (he had also promised to retire at that time). Failure during the 10th prompts the clip that TBS LOVES playing where he is crying and says 俺には…、SASUKEしかないんですよ (Ore ni wa...SASUKE shikanaindesuyo) -- which basically means "For me, there is nothing else except SASUKE" (or SASUKE is everything to him). Someone at TBS must hate him a lot more than me to keep playing that clip all the time.

2. Kazuhiko Akiyama, SASUKE 4, Course Completion, 秋山和彦 (第6回完全制覇)
The first person to ever complete SASUKE. 34 people completed the First Stage in SASUKE 4, the most ever. 11 make it to the Third Stage but only one reaches the Final Stage and enters the books as the first man to complete SASUKE. And then there is a seven year wait until...

1. Makoto Nagano, SASUKE 17, Course Completion 長野誠 (第17回完全制覇)
Nagano finally realizes not only his dream, but the collective dream of the SASUKE All-Stars, a group that had been created in the 5th SASUKE and had come to represent the kind of camaraderie and dedication found in all the SASUKE competitors. It was Nagano's fourth attempt at the Final Stage and was followed by an almost complete overhaul of the course, ushering in a new age of SASUKE. The show would hit American shores which would add a new element in the form of the Michael Dudikoff Memorial Competition American Ninja Challenge and a whole new set of fans.

(Note: I had written this up on a previous site but didn't research it very well the first time so if there's a cached version of the list it's rife with errors.)


Arsenette said...

Awesome commentary to the list :) LOL I love the flair for writing you have :) Half the time I'm going "yep.. preach it bro!"

Tom said...

I agree with that list. I just saw that Kane Kosugi clip you mentioned and I felt so bad for Kane. You have to see the TBS broadcast, because the G4 broadcast doesn't do that moment justice.

tricia said...

As always, great commentary. You see through Yamada completely. Unfortunately I can see him try to coach others, first teaching them the art of tears.

Arsenette said...

LOL Tricia :)

Yeah Tom.. Believe it or not I saw the JET version of that and I cried my eyeballs out. I always like Kane and was shocked to see that ending.. it wasn't until much much much later that Ube explained why he was no longer in Sasuke (and will never be). It's a shame.. I would have loved to see him and Shane compete again.

pamwax said...

Great list and great insight as usual. One of my favorite blogs.