Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Possible SASUKE 2008 秋 / SASUKE 21回 Airdate!

The latest issue of 月刊テレビナビ (Gekkan TV Navi) that covers 8/27 to 9/30 has the following under September 17th:

SASUKE 21 Air Date

The blurb under it says 内容は未定 (naiyou wa mitei) which means details are pending. What details? Probably the names of whoever made it to the competition and the announcers and TBS trying to do some sort of foreshadowing that if you read closely enough gives away the ending or something.

September 17th! 6:55 to 10:48! Be there or be square!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

SASUKE MANIAC August 24, 2008 Sort of liveblog サスケマニア

Last week! Um. I heard something about the final stage of the SASUKE Trials!

This week! More SASUKE Trials! It's the Final Stage! Who will survive?

The Final Stage goes like this: 4 Hurdles (4連ハードル), Rope Cling (ロープクリング), Jump Ring (ジャンプリング), Shinzou Yaburi no Saka - literally the Heart Break Hill (心臓破りの坂), Danchigaubou - Uneven Poles (段違棒), Power Hanger (パワーハンガー), Final Ladder (ファイナルラダー).

The best eight will go on to the big show! At the end of last week, Kazuma Asa 朝一眞 was at the head of the class! Will he get moved out of his seat? Will Casey Cummings ケーシー・カミングス airplane his way to SASUKE 21? It's SASUKE Maniac!

I got soul but I'm not a soldier!

The pictures for this week are here.

Here we go. Clips from last week. Casey gets bumped by Mr. SASUKE pants Kazuma Asa.

SASUKE Maniac!

Hashimoto Koji 橋本亘司 is a sports instructor!

Under one minute is a safe time to get.

Hurdles. Rope Cling OK. Doing OK so far. Jump Ring. Hill. A bit ahead of the split. Final Ladder. 49"91! He's the new number two! Casey gets bumped down a spot.

Next is Takami Toshiharu 高見俊治. He's 16. So far so good. He's ahead of the split. But he must have gotten tired because he finishes at 51"89. Casey moves down again.

Next up! He's a firefighter! Is firefighting the best suited job for SASUKE? So far he's do...NO! Course out! He got to the uneven poles but couldn't stay on track.

Someone doesn't make it. Someone doesn't quite make it to bump off number 8.

Kubota Takayuki 久保田崇之. He failed at the Cliff Hanger at the last Trial. Revenge! By the way, I'm not picking on Casey. He's just the easiest to remember.

Asa's time is 48"67. Kubota is a bit behind the split so far. About two seconds. But he picks up the pace. Final Ladder. 50"26! New number 3. The older high school teacher gets bumped.

Didn't catch the next guys name. Wait, 東雅彦. Azuma Masahiko? 54"56! Yet another older guy gets bumped. Aoki is nervous!

Yamanaka farmer guy is up next! He's a buff fifty year old. The family that trains together..trains together. Yep.

The older competitors have not fared so well during this part of the Trial. Katsuo? Tatsuo? I'll check later. OK. Kazuo. 山中和男. Here he goes. Hurdles. Rope Cling. He's doing OK so far. Wait. Problem with the rope. No! Koko de ochita! He couldn't reach the platform.

Aoki is safe for now. Next guy is Sakuma. No! He missed the Rope Cling!

The host Ishibashi Yuki 石橋祐記 misses the Jump Ring. Aoki is quite nervous.

Yamazaki Daisuke 山崎大輔 is up next! He needs at least a minute three seconds. He's a bit behind the split but is on track to get under a minute.

Stamina wa dou da? 51"77! Oh my god! Aoki is out. Casey is now 8th.

Murakami 村上 is a hairdresser! His someone is there! Mom? Wife? Hudles. Rope Cling. Doing well. He's at about the right time. Poles. Power Hanger. Final Ladder. Uh oh. 49"59! Ouch. He's the new second. Murakami has a first name but for now we'll leave it at Murakami.

Bye Casey. Maybe next time. If you're reading, email me!

Still 12 people left! Including Mr. SASUKE's Assassin and all the remaining Muscle Park All-Stars.


Hey, it's Mr. Handball, Daisuke Miyazaki. He was at Muscle Park recently. Team handball seems to have made some fans in Japan this year when Team Japan tried to make it to the Olympics.

Clips of Daisuke and his teammates trying out the different events at Muscle Park. They show his autographed jersey and shoes commemorating his Sportsman No. 1 wins. Tobi key chains. They debut the Tobi handball key chain at this event.

We relive Miyazaki and his teammates runs at SASUKE. Oh. OK. Let's relive ALL of his run.

And they take a look at SASUKE Park. One of them can't handle the Salmon Ladder. Wait, two of them can't. None of them can but here goes Daisuke!

After these CMs.

Catherine Zeta-Jones wants the women of Japan to buy her shampoo.

I wonder if his teammates purposely tanked the Salmon Ladder to make Daisuke look good?

Here goes Daisuke on the Salmon Ladder. Whoops. My picture froze. But the sound says he did it!

Next week, more SASUKE Trial!

Monster 9 to hold SASUKE Matsuri 2008 prior to SASUKE 21 SASUKE 祭 2008

Monster 9 is holding an event prior to SASUKE 21 on September 6th and 7th, SASUKE Matsuri 2008.
It's the first official SASUKE event in the twelve years of the show.
The deadline is August 31st. They posted this two days ago so they're giving people about a week to apply.
Roughly translated it says that it's the first official SASUKE event in the history of the show. Of course it will be at Midoriyama (http://www.midoriyama.co.jp/index.html) and you'll get to see some things (they are vague as to what) close-up. There is also a challenge area and there will be prizes.
People have to apply in advance.

This is NOT an invitation to see the taping of SASUKE 21.


SASUKE祭 2008

SASUKE祭 2008への参加は事前の申し込みが必要です。



入 場:無 料

会 場

Also, there will be a special Muscle Musical event on the 15th of September (a Monday but a national holiday) called SASUKEオールスターズ vs MUSCLEドリームチーム or SASUKE All-Stars vs. Muscle Dream Team. No idea what that is all about.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

2008 Japanese TV Olympic Theme Songs

Japanese TV stations love theme songs. Love 'em. If there's an event, they want a new song they can play to death and pound into your head until you have no choice but to use UltraGet to grab the youtube video of the song someone uploaded go to the video store and rent the CD single to copy to your hard drive and share with a few million anonymous friends whatever. You get the point.

The Olympics are being shown on NTV, TV Asahi, Fuji TV, TBS, TV Tokyo and NHK (General and BS-1). It can get a mite bit confusing as each station covers different events and sometimes NHK broadcasts the same events as the other stations. And every station has their own theme song. This year's line-up:

TBS SMAP - この瞬間 (Kono Toki)

(thanks to youtube user ULTRAMOOMIN)

NTV (日本テレビ) 嵐 - 風の向こうへ (Arashi - Kaze no mukou e)

(thanks to youtube user johnnysmovix)

Fuji TV (フジテレビ) レミオロメン - もっと遠くへ (Remioromen - Motto tooku e)

(thanks to youtube user remio0000)

NHK Mr. Children - Gift

(thanks to youtube user kyuwheel)

TV Asahi テレビ朝日 福山雅治 - HIGHER STAGE (Fukuyama Masaharu)

(thanks to youtube user jakugi061)

Can't find the TV Tokyo theme song anywhere but it's Fly Away by Hiro of EXILE.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

SASUKE links

In the run up to SASUKE 21, we might as well get reacquainted with what we know about SASUKE so rather than do a Six Things, how about a SIXTY things? As in sixty SASUKE related links. Let me know if I missed something important or if there are any broken links in the comments. And if you are a fan site that I didn't link to, well we'll just have to see.


長野誠 Makoto Nagano site
池谷直樹 Naoki Iketani blog
宮﨑大輔 Daisuke Miyazaki site
池谷幸雄 Yukio Iketani blog
佐藤弘道 Hiromichi Sato site
高橋光臣 Mitsuomi Takahashi blog
野村将希 Masaki Nomura blog
飯島豊久 Toyohisa Iijima (very old) site
ケイン・コスギ Kane Kosugi site
中田大輔 Daisuke Nakata site
なかやまきんに君 Nakayama Kinnikun site
石丸謙二郎 Kenjirou Ishimaru site
照英 Shoei (Show-A) site
蓉崇 Takashi You site
白井涼 Ryo Shirai blog
Paul ANTHONY Terek site
諸星和己 Kazumi Morohoshi site
長州小力 Choshu Korikki and friends site
アンディ・オロゴン Andy Ologun site
Paul and Morgan Hamm site
ジェームス岡田 James Okada IMDB resume
須田竜太 Ryuta Suda blog

水野裕子 Yuko Mizuno blog
田中真帆 Maho Tanaka site
三宅綾子 Ayako Miyake blog
遊佐雅美 Masami Yusa site
藤井惠 Megumi Fujii blog
小池葵 Aoi Koike site
ユリサ Yurisa blog
Several G-Rockets members including 半澤友美 Tomomi Hanzawa and
吉浜愛梨 Airi Yoshihama have participated over the years
清宮佑美 Yuumi Seimiya http://www.glandy.net/yuumi/
泉美香 Mika Izumi (now 牧乃ミカ Mika Makino) site
山田海蜂 Miho Yamada site
中西百恵 Momoe Nakanshi (now Momoe Ooe) 大江百恵 blog
浜田文子 Ayako Hamada site
Diana Pickler blog

Some Muscle Musical members like小宮理英 Rie Komiya, 高橋博光 Hiromitsu Takahashi, 川島孝幸 Takayuki Kawashima
don't have their own sites but their profiles can be seen here
and here

Several Muscle Musical members (along with the original choreographer Ryouji Nakamura) broke off
to do their own show. This group includes people like TERU, 知幸 Tomoyuki, Ayako Miyake, 浅見清香 Sayaka Asami.
Muscle Pic members site and blog

Tokyo Bay NK Hall 東京ベイNKホール was where the 1st SASUKE was filmed
Midoriyama Studio City 緑山スタジオ・シティ is where all the other SASUKEs have been filmed
Muscle Park マッスルパーク

Muscle Musical マッスルミュージカル

TBS (Japan)

SASUKE Maniac サスケマニア
JET TV (Taiwan)

Challenge (UK)

Skai TV (Greece)

C4 (New Zealand)

SASUKE All-Star Fans
Ramblings From A Rican
Ninja Warrior Review
SASUKE Training Forum
Funny Strange

SASUKE wiki (English)
SASUKE stages
SASUKE/KUNOICHI wiki (Japanese)
KUNOICHI wiki (English)
SASUKE wiki (Chinese)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Beijing Olympics: Japan Men's and Women's National Volleyball Teams

Well, so far the men's team are winless, having just lost a five-setter to host China late last night and still have the undefeated U.S. team and a winless Venezuela. The women are 2-1, their only loss coming to the U.S. but still have undefeated Cuba and the host team in their way to the elimination round.

It looks like the men are statistically out of it. They would need to win their last two matches and have either Italy, Bulgaria or China lose all their remaining matches. And even then, I don't know what the tie-breaker would be.

The women are on better ground. If they win one more match, I believe they're in although it wouldn't hurt if Poland and Venezuela keep losing.

But hey, I don't think that people are coming here looking for results. They're looking for the pretty pretty pictures. Well, rather than right click a bunch of Reuters photos, I'll just point people in the right direction:

Japan Volleyball Association Men's Senior Team

Japan Volleyball Association Women's Senior Team
Both teams at the Mainichi Daily News
Yahoo Japan's Beijing Volleyball Photo Gallery
A lot of players play in the V. League, Japan's highest level of pro volleyball
Photo gallery of the Women's Team
Men's team member Takahiro Yamamoto
Men's team member Yu Koshikawa
Miyuki Takahashi (Shin) Livedoor photo gallery
Megumi Kurihara (Princess Megu)'s Blog
More Women's photos at Sponichi
Nikan Sports Photo gallery

By the way, Japan volleyball keeps the Japanese tradition of naming their national teams after their current coaches. Thus Japanese announcers may refer to the Women's team as Yanagimoto Japan for their coach, Shoichi Yanagimoto. Likewise, the men are Ueta Japa for coach Tatsuya Ueta.

Audio Test: The Tears of Naoki Iketani

Just wanted to see if this works (warning: it may be a bit loud so let it load and then turn down the volume first):

Monday, August 11, 2008

SASUKE MANIAC August 10, 2008 Sort of liveblog サスケマニア

This week! More SASUKE Trial (サスケ トライアル)!

The pictures are here!

While I was waiting, JSpo introduced me to this:
Orioles Magic! Did you know that you can't spell I Loser O without Orioles?

Nice fro Dante.

Here we go! SASUKEのスタートライン! SASUKE no Start Line!

Today will be the climax of the Survival stage!

And we're already starting! No names! One guy is a firefighter.

Don't forget your areas: Shuttle Run (シャトルラン), Destiny Rope (ディスティニーロープ), Jump Ring (ジャンプリング), Sandbag Lift (サンドバックリフト) and 心臓破りの坂 (Shinzou Yaburi no Saka - literally the Heart Break Hill).

And the firefighter and lawyer are through!

Ooh. The white boy is up!

Shot of Levi (hits) Meeuwenberg as they introduce Casey Cummings ケーシー・カミングス (He's a university student from Hawaii). The poor other guys don't get introductions.

Casey is in the lead. Jump Ring! Hawaii! He does the airplane run as he reaches the top! I believe the other finalist's name is Murakami 村上.

Gee Casey, way to stay humble. Well, his Japanese is pretty good. I think they said he's a transfer student?

We go to Shizuoka to watch one of our next contestants help with some rehabilitation.

Fukuda Tomoyuki 福田智之 is wearing his orange Shaolin warrior monk robe! Something Shigemasa does something at a karate dojo. A whole bunch of his students are there, always a bad sign. Sports gym instructor Hashimoto Koji 橋本亘司 and Kubota Takayuki 久保田崇之 are your next four. They are all invovled in some kind of sports.

Fukuda is going to fail on the Jump Ring by the way.

The Karate guy Shigemasa is out. Fukuda fell like I said. HA! I have magic powers! Hashimoto and Kubota are through!

The next four get their photos on the screen but no intros. Perhaps they will all fail? They're all through the Destiny Rope. And then three fail at the Jump Ring!

He's 15! Fukujima 福島? His parents are happy!

A couple of convenience store delivery men are next! They've been to Muscle Park! Wait. One of the guys is a SASUKE Park All-Stars Tomino Keita 富野恵太. Wait, there are two SASUKE Park All-Stars, the other is Kawaguchi Tomohiro 川口朋広.

All four are through the Destiny Rope. It's down to the race up the hill! Kawaguchi and one of the drivers makes it! Something happened to Tomino that I didn't catch.

The SASUKE Park guys have not been faring well.

Four guys are next! Kamekawa Sadahiro 亀川貞浩 is 44! Shirokuma Hiroyuki 白熊弘之 is a company worker! Kaneda Ryu 金田竜 is an airport limousine bus driver. Arino Kazuki 有野一起 is a Kuroneko クロネコ (Delivery service) driver.

Kaneda Ryu still has his tie on but it doesn't help!

Only one makes it through! Shirokuma is through! OK. Their whole grouping was based on animals (three of their names and one company name. Try it at home!)

Ida Koji 井田浩二 is up next! Let's go to his work place. He's a salaryman. He made it to the semi-final last time. He and his family go training at the park. Yeah, this won't end in crying children. Especially after the little girl says "Papa kakkoii."

The next four! Ito, Ida Koji, Kitakaze Yoshitake 北風好武, Matsuda Katsuki 松田一毅are next!

Shuttle Run. Destiny Rope. All four are doing fine so far and are across. Jump Ring. Only Ida is left! Sandbags! Up the incline! Yes! He's up to the Final Stage!

The next four. One is a gym instructor, Satou Tsuyoshi 佐藤毅英. Kano Takaaki 加納隆明 is an elementary school teacher? Nomura Hiroki 野村宏樹 is a company worker and Yamamoto Keitar 山本桂太郎 is a high school student with a low voice. Two are SASUKE Park All-Stars サスケパークオールスターズ. I believe this will be a high level battle as all four have participated in SASUKE 20 but failed the First Stage.

Kind of uncool of them to put them all together but I guess it's out of fairness to the others.


Dante's afro again.

After checking, I believe all of them are members or submembers of the SASUKE Park All-Stars サスケパークオールスターズ.

We're back!

Did two of them jump the gun?

Oh! The gym instructor is out at the Destiny Rope. All three are across the Jump Ring! Yamamoto can't get his sandbags up in time!

Nomura and the other guy are through! The gym instructor was in the lead but couldn't hold on to the rope.

Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 is working a corner in Odaiba. And his first customer is Mr. SASUKE!

They are meeting with the makers of the new SASUKE TV game.

People are waiting for them! They are introduced to..some applause. I think the crowd was confused.

They try the new game versus some audience members. We get some shots of the game. It looks like the new Final Stage includes at the very least a Rope Climb.

Yamada and Yamamoto talk about the game and we get some shots of the SASUKE Trial Final Stage. But that's for next week!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A quick word about the Beijing 2008 Olympics and Shunsuke Nagasaki 長崎峻侑 と 北京オリンピック

Since people (the two of them know who they are) have been coming here looking for information, I'd like to clear something up.

Unfortunately for SASUKE (Ninja Warrior) fans, Shunsuke Nagasaki (長崎峻侑) will not be in Beijing representing Japan. Japan's two men's trampoline spots went to Ueyama Yasuhiro 上山容弘 and Sotomura Tetsuya 外村哲也.

Ueyama and Sotomura are currently ranked 1st and 9th in the world respectively in the men's individual (Shunsuke is 18th) and together are ranked 1st in the men's synchro (there is only an individual competition in this year's Olympics).

G4 and TBS must have hyped Shunsuke up enough that people began to assume that he was automatically going to be competing in Beijing, thus the confusion.

Still, we should support the trampoline event because if it spreads in popularity the event can be increased to include the synchro event and give Shunsuke (and his coach, former SASUKE regular and Muscle Musical participant Nakata Daisuke 中田大輔) more chances to compete in future Olympic events.

The trampoline event (men's and women's) will be held between August 16th and 19th.

International Gymnastics Federation home page (find rankings and info there).
Broadcast schedule in Japan.
Broadcast schedule in the US.

Monday, August 04, 2008

SASUKE MANIAC August 3, 2008 Sort of liveblog サスケマニア

This week!

Mr. SASUKE's Assassin! The debut of a top university athlete! The son of a famous overseas talent! The continuation of the SASUKE Trial (SASUKEトライアル)! It's SASUKE Maniac (サスケマニア)!

Last week was the beginning of this year's SASUKE Trial. We saw four heats with four contestants each and so far seven people have made it to the next (final?) stage.

Here we go!

We start with a recap of last week. We see more letters! Look at that line! Hey! American shorts guy is there again.

Makoto Yahagi is there again. Akira something something from two weeks ago. Mr. SASUKE and his "assassin."

Here we go! No intros. One guy is from Fukushima (Saito). One is from Hiroshima. One is from. Oops. No one matters except the guy from Toyama, Azuma.

Don't forget the five areas: Shuttle Run (シャトルラン), Destiny Rope (ディスティニーロープ), Jump Ring (ジャンプリング), Sandbag Lift (サンドバックリフト) and 心臓破りの坂 (Shinzou Yaburi no Saka - literally the Heart Break Hill).

The bags are 30 kilos each and the slope is 45 degrees.

Next up is Andrew Gilbert..wait. HIS FATHER is the overseas talent? Who? Oh. The father isn't competing. Daijobu desu. Wow, they speak Japanese fairly well.

Andrew Gilbert. Action man Sawamura Kyosuke 澤村恭輔. Haiyuu Kobayashi Hirotsugu 小林広嗣. Yamazaki Daisuke 山崎大輔 is the fourth.

Here they go! Shuttle Run. Andrew is the first out! Kobayashi is in the lead. This is the first time it comes down to the incline. Kobayashi! Slips! But he gets back up! But only after Yamazaki.

Whoa. Andrew is 22. He looks a bit younger than that.

Makoto Yahagi 矢作誠, if you remember is the guy who was at both BUG IN MIKI and the Maguro Festival. He's apparently sent in several applications over the years. Revenge! It's on a not in his bedroom.

They talk to his mother.

Remember a clip doesn't equal a qualifier.

Next group shake hands. Four teachers! The first is from Shiba. Sasayama Tomohiro 篠山智宏 is next. Nosei Eigou . Katsuyoshi is the last.

Here they go! Destiny Rope. No one out yet. Jump Ring. Katsuyshi (I think that's wrong) and the older guy are through! I'm whiffing on the names tonight.

Next up. An American football player.

Oh hey there digest. The American football player Fujimoto Masashi 藤本将司 is through with no problem.

Clip of some guy and his wife. Next four. I'll have to go back and add in the names later. OK. Maybe. Ogami Teruyuki 大神輝幸 is a chiropractor. 伊里恒一 (Something Koichi), 小出 (Koide) something and the clip guy whose name is quite hard to figure out.

Shuttle Run. Destiny Rope. No one out yet. Jump Ring. Hayai! Ogami and the clip guy are through! We didn't get to see the others fall.

Next four. OH BOY. HE HAS SPRAY! Mr. SASUKE's protege. No pressure buddy! Miyagi Takuya 宮城拓也 is his name. They show him at Mr. SASUKE's home as he prepares him for the Trial. No explanation as to their relationship yet. Hey Yamada, your obstacles are out-dated. Miyagi works for a delivery company. They talk about pressure.

The next four: HAHA. Show that clip of Yamada crying TBS. Miyagi. All the guys have connections to the All-Stars. Takeda, Shiratori and Yamamoto's boys are next. Let's see who will make it. Miyagi is in the lead. Jump Ring. Miyagi is through. Miyagi and Yamamoto's boy are the two left standing! Sure, Yamada will probably try to rub this into the others faces later if his boy makes it. Oop. Takeda's boy got injured during the Destiny Rope.

Next is Yahagi's group. He works at the post office. Lift them bags! He doesn't use a chair at work. Words of support from his co-workers. His female co-worker has never seen his body so he doffs his shirt to show them.

Remember, there is still the final stage to go so even if he gets through here he still hasn't made it to the big show.


Ah. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_Gilbert

Also, http://ameblo.jp/workingkent/

We're back. Kagaya Yosuke 加賀屋庸介. Ishibashi Yuki 石橋祐記 is a host. Yahagi. Misago Kazuo. Here they go!

Yahagi and Ishibashi in the early lead. They're the only ones left!

Wha? CMs already?

Now is the time I guess to mention that Yahagi is a "submember" of a mixi group called the SASUKE Park All-Stars, a group of guys who have...hold that thought.

Back to the start of their run. Yahagi and Ishibashi. NO! Yahagi misses the ring! Ishibashi (the host) goes on to the Final Stage.

The other regulars are suitably shocked by Yahagi's failure.

Poor guy.

Next week! We actually see stuff that will spoil next weeks show!

Anyway, the SASUKE Park All-Stars (サスケパークオールスターズ) are a group of guys who have all completed SASUKE Park in the past. Some have competed on SASUKE and VIKING. Urushihara Yuji (漆原裕治) is part of the group. I guess they are not guaranteed spots on the main show. Perhaps they function like a farm team that the producers grab people from time to time.