Monday, September 29, 2008

SASUKE MANIAC September 28, 2008 Last of the liveblogs? サスケマニア

Last week! We saw a bit more about SASUKE 21! This week we'll get a bit more behind the scenes! And..the last SASUKE Maniac? Say it ain't so Joe!

It's the season of change as one of the JSpo announcers is moving on to other things! Not that I know what her name is and where she's going but OK.

Bloody Monday starts 10/11!

Aww. Why did the show with the Arashi guy change their music? Where's my Space Oddity?

Here we go!

The SASUKE All-Stars were at Muscle Park!

The All-Stars are heroes! We see their trials and tribulations over the years.

OF COURSE we get the Yamada crying clip.

And Nagano finishing the course. And the dip!


And here we are at SASUKE Fall 2008! The SASUKE Trial Qualifiers! I told you they were pushing them as a type of successor group to the All-Stars.

There was much crying that day.

SASUKE Mania! Final!

We see a recap of the SASUKE Trial for 21. From 80 to 33! From 33 to 8! Casey Cummings! We see the people who didn't make it. And the gradual movement downwards the stage of some of the competitors.

If SASUKE is going to develop new All-Stars, these guys are the ones that "fit" the profile.

Ishimaru drops wisdom! Kubota Takayuki! He slips on the Half-Pipe Attack! It would start a chain reaction that would take out all the Trial Qualifiers.

Hashimoto Koji cleared the Half-Pipe Attack but is conquered by the Soritatsu-Kabe.

And Murakami! Does the same!

Sato Jun! He's 16! He's an extreme sportsman! Unfortunately, he doesn't get all the way across for the Log Grip.

Asa Kazuma! We see a bit more of this run. He cleared the Half-Pipe Attack (iikanji says an All-Star) with no problem but times out on the Soritatsu-Kabe.

And then only three were left! Had any one of the STQers made it to the 2nd Stage it would have made for a great story but...

Matachi Ryo! He gets a bit farther than the others as he got past the Soritatsu Kabe only to fall reaching for the rope ladder to the platform on the Flying Chute.

Kawaguchi Tomohiro! He trains with his wife watching on! His wife is nervous! Oy vey man, don't talk about the button just yet!

Shingo thinks he can do it!

And then...Kawaguchi can't keep his balance after the Half-Pipe Attack. Tsugi challenge shimasu says the wife!

And of course the last was Miyagi Takuya, Mr. SASUKE's Assassin.

Mr. SASUKE dispenses a bit of advice at the end but...

He hit the Jumping Spider wrong and that was it for the STQers.

We then see them apologize for their collective failure. Tears are shed. They want to try again! Together!

Bunpei Shiratori!

A brief history of Bunpei! He made it to the Final Stage. And of course the classic comeback after getting put down by the heat.

But like the other All-Stars, he had problems after 17. And then he was too injured to participate.

Lee Yen Chi! Brian Orosco! They were the first to make it to the 2nd Stage!

Then Shingo fell! Shinji Kobayashi sighting!

Let's look at Bunpei's run again! It seemed like a struggle for him but he did it! It was a triumphant comeback!

And there were many smiles by the All-Stars!

Three made it to the 3rd Stage! We will see them next!



Miyazaki! Fell at the Devil Steps!

Takeda! Fell at the Hang Climbing!

Nagano! Fell at the Gliding Ring!

The three of them had a good time!

Next year! SASUKE 22!

108 episodes! of SASUKE Maniac!

And we see highlights from the shows over the years. Lots of cheering! Lots of tears! Lots of different stuff I've never seen before!

One last plug for the keitai game!

And that's it for SASUKE Maniac.

As it was hinted to at the top of this liveblog, tonight is the last episode of SASUKE Maniac! Why? Some will invariably point to the low rating SASUKE 21 got, a 12.2 in the Kantou area. SASUKE 20 got a rating of 14.4 which was the lowest rated SASUKE ever until, well, 21. In both cases, SASUKE ran against a Quiz Hexagon special. Quiz Hexagon is one of the most popular shows on TV right now so the decision to try to run 21 against it even after they got creamed during 20 is bizzare. Why not try to switch it with DOORS? A Sunday SASUKE might draw a bit better than doggedly sticking to Wednesdays. In any case, we don't have the full story about everything yet. For the time being though, SASUKE will recede to the background until next year.

Note: SASUKE Maniac was and has only ever been a Kanto area show. It was never broadcast on any other TBS affiliate across the country.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

SASUKE 21 2008 Fall Obstacles Third Stage

Note: These photos may contain spoilers. Please don't post these photos on the G4 website until after SASUKE 21 has aired in the United States.

Click for a larger view.

1. Arm Ring アームリング

2. Kudari Lamp Grasper 下りランプグラスパー

3. Devil Steps デビルステップス

4. Shin-Cliff Hanger 新クリフハンガー

5. Jumping Bar ジャンピングバー

6. Hang Climbing ハングクライミング

7. Spider Flip スパイダーフリップ

8. Gliding Ring グライディングリング

SASUKE 21 2008 Fall Obstacles Second Stage

Note: These photos may contain spoilers. Please don't post these photos on the G4 website until after SASUKE 21 has aired in the United States.

Click for a larger view.

(Note: I will add in a photo of the Stick Slider later.)

1. Downhill Jump ダウンヒルジャンプ

2. Salmon Ladder サーモンラダー 3. Stick Slider スティックスライダー

4. Swing Ladder スイングラダー

5. Metal Spin メタルスピン

6. Wall Lifting ウォールリフティング

SASUKE 21 2008 Fall Obstacles First Stage

Note: These photos may contain spoilers. Please don't post these photos on the G4 website until after SASUKE 21 has aired in the United States.

Click for a larger view.

1. Rokudantobi 六段跳び

2. Log Grip ロググリップ

3. Pole Maze ポールメイズ

4. Jumping Spider ジャンピングスパイダー

4A. Spider Walk スパイダーウォーク

5. Half-Pipe Attack ハーフパイプアタック

6. Soritatsu Kabe そり立つ壁

7. Flying Chute フライングシュート

8. Tarzan Rope ターザンロープ

9. Rope Ladder ロープラダー

Monday, September 22, 2008

SASUKE MANIAC September 21, 2008 Sort of liveblog サスケマニア

Last week! There was this program on TBS called SASUKE! You might have heard of it. It was pretty nifty!

This week! Why waste time with filming new footage when TBS probably has reams of the stuff laying on the floor? Yes, let's see what got cut out of the main show! It's SASUKE Maniac!

Let's start with Takeda and the Shin-Cliff Hanger! Nagano and the Spider Flip! Levi doing his flip! Miyazaki and the first stage!

It's SASUKE 2008 Another Story!

It's Moeyan! And Hiroshi Yamamoto!

Some unidentified people fail! Moeyan and Hiroshi Yamamoto discuss strategy.

Let's look at Hiroshi training. He has a boxing license, y'know. The other members of Robert ロバート and Wakky talking about his chances.

84. Hiroshi Yamamoto! 山本博! Steps. OK! Log Grip. He gets ready. Some problems with the "clinch." Here he goes! AND NO! After all that, his day is finished. Guess boxing doesn't help you hold a giant piece of wood.

Dante! He's extremely nervous! He appeared on the last Sportsman No. 1. He went in-door rock climbing to prepare himself for this day. He touches fists with Nakata Daisuke and shares words with Levi.

Dante (Carver)! Steps. Log Grip coming up. Taking some time. Here he goes. Yes! Can't see his number. Pole Maze. Uh oh. Brian says oh no! One more time! Still a bit stuck. Hey! I have to revise my information! Jumping Spider! He's up! Some problems with the Spider Walk. Taking a while. The time is going red! That's it! Time Up!

He feels exhausted! Chotto tsukareta!

Olivia! Momomi! Yuumi! Moeyan!

Yuumi Seimiya! She was there last time when she failed the Steps.

Seimiya Yuumi! 清宮佑美! Steps! She's..she almost made it! Oh well. Mata da! No revenge for you! Sugoi shock. Not really, Yuumi. Not really.

Moeyan! We saw Red during the broadcast. How did Blue do?

Moeyan Red! Ikebe Ai 池辺愛! Steps! No! Mecha hayakatta!

Oh wait. Did only one of them participate?

Momomi Yoshino! She's your Muscle Queen! We saw what happened to her too. She has her trophy! And her ball!

34. Momomi Yoshino! 吉野ももみ! Steps. No! Her foot slipped! And that's it.

Olivia Munn! Is she saying okaasan? Huh?

27. Olivia Munn! Um. She's taking time at the start. Steps. NO! Ninja Warrior! That was..what it was.

It was scary!

JFA Free Climbing Champion Onoue Aya 尾上彩! She's 12! Steps. Yes! Log Grip coming up. YES! Oh wow. Pole Maze. NO! She couldn't get it to move. Stuck on the pole. She tries to go back to the platform but NO! She falls in!

Here's some photos of Aya at the Free Climbing event they showed.

Let's see what people brought with them!

78! We don't know his name! Perhaps it is Kiritori Seijiro! 切道正治郎! He should give us a call if we're wrong. He had problems getting off his clothes! Um. OK. He failed the steps.

Maeda Ke! 前田けゑ I found his blog! He's a castanet performer! He fails the Log Grip!

Urushihara Yuuji! 漆原裕治! Remember him? He was at BUG IN MIKI!

And let's go back to Miki for BUG IN MIKI! At the time nobody could do the Shin-Cliff Hanger! Nagano gets a big ol' laugh at not doing it. So do the other All-Stars.

But Yuuji did! And let's see Mr. SASUKE give him a brief handshake then walk away! Dick.

72. Urushira Yuuji! While he was waiting, Shingo Yamamoto got stuck on the Flying Chute. Mr. SASUKE gives him advice! I hope Yuuji didn't listen to him. That All-Stars are watching! Steps. Yes! CM.


Steps. Yes! Log Grip. Yes! No problem! Pole Maze was skipped! Jumping Spider! Yes! Spider Walk! Half-Pipe Attack! Yes! Soritatsu Kabe. First time. No! Second time! Yes! Flying Chute. Yes! Wait. NO! He was bouncing around on the rope and couldn't hold on. Darn. I wanted him to do well. At least he got his day in the sun.

Men! Are! Crying! CMs.

Dark Temptation! Take a drink! Wait.

More men crying! Mr. SASUKE! Kazuma Asa! Makoto Nagano doesn't cry!

Three made it to the 3rd Stage! Will we see more behind the scenes action? Find out next week!

Friday, September 19, 2008

SASUKE 21 2008 Fall Competitor and Result List SASUKE 2008 秋

This is a list of the SASUKE 21 2008 Fall competitors in order of their numbers whenever possible. If no number is known, the competitor is where they appeared during the broadcast. If they appeared outside of the main show they appear at the bottom of the list in the order they appeared. Note: This list naturally contains spoilers.

1. Matsuno Masahiro 松野政宏 1st Stage Log Grip.

2. Passion Yara パッション屋良 1st Stage Jumping Spider

4. Oda Kenta 小田健太 1st Stage Log Grip

5. Miyamoto Yuke 宮本宥慶 1st Stage Jumping Spider

9. Wan Jen 王健 1st Stage Jumping Spider

10. Hirayoshi Toshihisa 平吉俊久 1st Stage Pole Maze

12. Higuchi-kun ひぐち君of Higedanshaku 髭男爵1st Stage Log Grip

13. Louis Yamada the 53rd 山田ルイ53世 of Higedanshaku 髭男爵 1st Stage Rokudantobu

19. Ku Honpei 1st Stage Rokudantobi

20. Torisawa Katsuhide 鳥澤克秀 1st Stage Log Grip

25. Tatsumi 龍美 1st Stage Jumping Spider

26. Kamei Norihito 亀井教人 1st Stage Half-Pipe Attack

27. Olivia Munn 1st Stage Rokduantobi

Darvish Mohammed 1st Stage Pole Maze

Brian Phillip Harlow 1st Stage Pole Maze

Iida Koji 井田浩二 1st Stage Pole Maze

Tanaka Kenta 田中健太 1st Stage Jumping Spider

Takahashi Mitsuomi 高橋光臣1st Stage Jumping Spider

29. Nomura Masaki 野村将希 1st Stage Jumping Spider

30. Ishimaru Kenjiro 石丸謙二郎 1st Stage Flying Chute

Kawasaki Yoshihisa 川崎善久 1st Stage Log Grip

Matsushita Toshiyoshi 松下俊喜 1st Stage Log Grip

34. Yoshino Momomi 吉野ももみ 1st Stage Rokudantobi

35. Luci Romberg 1st Stage Half-Pipe Attack

Ezawa Ryo 江澤諒 1st Stage Rokudantobi

Kawasaki 川崎 1st Stage Rokudantobi

Aoki Yasuo 青木保夫 1st Stage Rokudantobi

Harashima Masami 原島雅美 1st Stage Log Grip

40. Kevin Pereira ?

41. Kubota Takayuki 久保田崇之 1st Stage Half-Pipe Attack

42. Hashimoto Koji 橋本亘司 1st Stage Soritatsu Kabe Time-Up

43. Murkami Akinori 村上明範 1st Stage Soritatsu Kabe Time-Up

44. Sato Jun 佐藤惇 1st Stage Log Grip

45. Asa Kazuma 朝一眞 1st Stage Soritatsu Kabe Time-Up

46. Matachi Ryo 又地諒 1st Stage Flying Chute

47. Kawaguchi Tomohiro 川口朋広 1st Stage Half-Pipe Attack

48. Takuya Miyagi 宮城拓也 1st Stage Jumping Spider

49. Lee Yen Chi リー・エンチ 2nd Stage Wall Lifting Time-Up

50. Mark Whitmer 1st Stage Log Grip

51. Takahashi Hiromitsu 高橋博光 1st Stage Half-Pipe Attack

55. Iwanaga Sho 岩永生 1st Stage Flying Chute

59. Oya Motohide 大屋元秀 1st Stage Jumping Spider

Takei Kou 武井航 1st Stage Jumping Spider

Hiraoka Akifumi 平岡暁史 1st Stage Jumping Spider

Maeda Tatsu 前田竜 1st Stage Jumping Spider

70. Setoda Eiji 脊戸田英次 1st Stage Half-Pipe Attack

71. Yamamoto Shingo 山本進悟 1st Stage Flying Chute

Ueda Yuu 上田優 1st Stage Log Grip

Ikebe Ai 池辺愛 of Moeyan モエヤン 1st Stage Rokudantobi

Urawa Katsuyuki 浦和克行 1st Stage Log Grip

Keitaro Katayama 片山敬太郎 1st Stage Flying Chute

Haryu Norio 波立紀夫 1st Stage Rope Ladder

72. Urushihara Yuuji 漆原裕治 1st Stage Flying Chute

73. Kikuchi Shunzou 菊池俊三 1st Stage Flying Chute

75. Brian Orosco 2nd Stage Salmon Ladder

Takahashi Kenji 高橋賢次 1st Stage Jumping Spider

Kawashima Takayuki 川島孝幸 1st Stage Jumping Spider

Izuma Masakatsu 猪妻正活 1st Stage Rope Climb

78. Kiritori Seijiro 切道正治郎 1st Stage Rokudantobi

79. Shinji Kobayashi 1st Stage ?

81. Hiromichi Sato 佐藤弘道 1st Stage Soritatsu Kabe Time-Up

83. Shiratori Bunpei 白鳥文平 2nd Stage Downhill Jump

84. Yamamoto Hiroshi 山本博 1st Stage Log Grip

86. Haga Tomoya 芳賀友也 1st Stage Flying Chute

88. Nakata Daisuke 中田大輔 2nd Stage Salmon Ladder

90. Dante ダンテ 1st Stage Spider Walk Time-Up

91. Matsunaga Tomohiro 松永共広 2nd Stage Salmon Ladder

92. Henry Cejudo 1st Stage Half-Pipe Attack

93. Iketani Naoki 池谷直樹 1st Stage Flying Chute

94. Wakky ワッキー 1st Stage Jumping Spider

96. Katsumi Yamada 山田勝己 1st Stage Soritatsu Kabe Time-Up

97. Miyazaki Daisuke 宮﨑大輔 3rd Stage Devil Steps

98. Takeda Toshihiro 竹田敏浩 3rd Stage Hang Climbing

99. Levi Meeuwenberg 2nd Stage Salmon Ladder

100. Nagano Makoto 長野誠 3rd Stage Gliding Ring

Seimiya Yuumi 清宮佑美 1st Stage Rokudantobi

Onoue Aya 尾上彩 1st Stage Pole Maze

Maeda Ke 前田けゑ 1st Stage Log Grip

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

SASUKE 21 Fall 2008 The Sort of Live Blog! SASUKE 2008 秋! SASUKE 21回! 

Power! Speed! Balance!

Firemen! Fishermen! Octopus Men! Freerunners! Olympic medalists! Comedians! Comediennes! American Ninjas! Handball players! It can only be SASUKE!

It's the SASUKE 21 Fall 2008 sort of live blog!

My gosh, Sky High must have been a big ole hit back in the day in Japan. Whither thou Jigsaw?

There be spoilers from here on in if you are waiting to see the show elsewhere.

If you are from G4, DON'T POST THIS THERE.

Let's go!

We're in black and white! It's to stress the bleakness of the last SASUKE where a DAMN WHITE MAN was the only person left standing. At least Kane is part Japanese.

And the Japanese vs. the world (not just America) is an old trope in Japanese sports entertainment.

People are in line! Wakky! Passion Yara! Moeyan! Dante! Matsunaga! Henry Cejudo!

He's here to take the gold to um..go along with his other one? Did someone tell him that they don't give out medals?

Daisuke Miyazaki and his men of hands on balls!

More comedians! Higedanshaku!

Ninja Warrior! Take a drink!

Toshihiro Takeda! Mr. SASUKE NOT wearing a white tank-top!

It's an overcast but probably humid day at Midoriyama!

Survival Attack SASUKE!

1st Stage!

Hey wait, he's not supposed to be announcing. I thought he only did the Spring ones? Whatever.

Shot of the course.

1. Matsuno Flying disc guy! Steps. Log Grip. NO! He was almost there.

2. Passion Yara! He's pumped up with that red P on his shirt. It means Passion! Steps. Log Grip coming up. YES! Barely. Pole Maze. Whoa! Almost went too low there. And...he's almost..through! Yes! He's from Okinawa. Jumping Spider coming up. Passion YARAAAHHHHH!

4. Double Dutch champion Oda Kenta! Steps. He's going to fail the Log Grip. See? He was the dude in the commercial.

5. Miyamoto Yuke! He's a monk! His family is there! That's not good. Steps. Whoa! Almost fell but he held on! Log Grip! Miyamoto YUKE! Pole Maze. He's 34. Yes! Jumping Spider. Here he goes! NO! He was up then he was down. The children are too young to understand FAILURE.

9. Wan Jen! He's from the Muscle Musical! Ikimasu! OK! He's from China. Log Grip. Yes! More people are through the Log Grip early this year. Pole Maze. He does a flip onto the Jumping Spider platform. He's up! He can't hold on then goes head first into the water!

10. Hirayoshi something! He's a bodyguard! A Bae Yon bodyguard? Wait! He doesn't have his shoes on! And he's wasted tons of time! He's...methodical. Log Grip. Pole Maze. And he's stuck. And Wakky is all "comedian" pissed at the bodyguard! He tries to get back to the original platform but falls in!

12. Higuchi-kun of Higedanshaku! No! Log Grip! He was our first edit.

13. Louis Yamada the 53rd! Steps! NO! He couldn't make that final step! The All-Stars get a laugh out of that.

19. Ku Honpei? He was an Olympic trainer. Doushita! He fell on the first step! Let's see that again! Ah. He slipped off the platform. He's the first to not make a step.

20. It's the crush the apple dude! Holy Crap! He was on Sportsman No. 1! And he RAN into the Monster Box! He's got weights! He's lost his hair! Steps. Log Grip. He fell here last time I think. Well, he does this time. Maybe he blew himself lifting the weights. Torisawa? I'll check later.

My arms are sore. CM...break..needed.

26. Oops I missed his name. Kanui? Kamei I think. Steps. Log Grip. He's a sports trainer. Pole Maze! Wait. He needs to go back! Another try. Hiromichi Sato is cheering him on. He's through! Jumping Spider! YES! Spider Walk. Half-Pipe Attack coming up. Yes! NO! He landed butt first on the platform and hit the water. Mottainai!

Digest. Darvish Mohammaed, someone called Brian Phillip Harlow?, Tanaka Something, Ida Koji, Takahashi Mitsuomi (at the Jumping Spider) fail!

29. Nomura Masaki! Here he goes. Steps. Log Grip coming up! He didn't get past this last time. He gets set. YES! He's through! Yatta! Pole Maze! Stuck in the middle. He needs to move the pole over. Don't try to reach it! Oh never mind. Jumping Spider coming up! No-mu-ra! Jumping Spider! No! He didn't get high enough. Scratch that, he didn't even get up off the trampoline.

30. Ishimaru Kenjiro! He's been waiting half a year for this! Here he goes. Steps. Log Grip. Yes! Pole Maze. No...problem! Jumping Spider. Can he do it? Jumping Spider! Ishimaru dou daaa? Yes! Spider Walk is no problem! Half-Pipe Attack! Here he goes. YES! YES! YES! Soritatsu Kabe up next. FIRST TRY! OH MY! CMs.

Man, that's a lot of stuff we've been through in the first fifteen minutes. Wow.

When I think reggae I think Fukuoka!

We're back! Soritatsu Kabe! Yes! Flying Chute. Here he goes. Ye..NO! Aaah! So close. Did he have enough time anyway? Flying Chute Ishimaru! He couldn't hold on to the rope.

Damn his arms are big.

Tatsumi! No number. He's from the Muscle Musical. I think he fails the Jumping Spider. Steps was an ALMOST. Log Grip. Pole Maze. Slight hitch at the end. He's through! Jumping Spider. NO! He was almost there! Damn commercials spoiling it for everyone.

Olivia Munn gets a minimum of air time as she fails the Steps. 

More digest. Three more people meet the muddy waters of Midori-yama.

Ninja Warrior!

35. Luci Romberg! Here she goes! Steps. No problem. Log Grip! Yes! Pole Maze! Kore mo ii! Jumping Spider. YES! She's sticking it to the boys! Girl Power! CMs.

Jeez Norika Fujiwara has some long legs.

Hokuto no Ken! Pachinko!

Back! Ninja Warrior! Spider Walk. No problem! Half-Pipe Attack! Here she..NO! Luci..ROMBERG! The All-Stars react! Not the first stage but the farthest a woman has gone since Chie Nishimura.

Yoshino Momomi! She was there. I thought so. According to Yoshino's blog, Seimiya Yuumi was there too. Some kid, Aoki the creepy sculptor guy and Hang Glider guy all meet their watery doom.

SASUKE Trial Qualifier time!

41. Kubota Takayuki! The Trial guys cheer each other on! Steps. Log Grip coming up. Yes! Pole Maze. Yes! No problem. Jumping Spider. Wa..Yes! Spider Walk. He's having some problems here. Taking a bit of time. Half-Pipe Attack. NO! He slipped running up the platform!

His foot left a nifty little mark on the wall.

42. Hashimoto Koji! Steps. Log Grip coming up. OK! Yume no SASUKE! Pole Maze. OK! Jumping Spider. YES! Hashimotoooo! Spider Walk. Half-Pipe Attack da! Yes! Wait. YES! Soritatsu Kabe. NO! Try again! NO! He needs it this time. NO! Don't give up! NO! For PRIDE! The time goes red for the first time today. Soritatsu Kabe Time-Up!

Murkami Akinori also times out at the Soritatsu Kabe.

Sato Jun! He falls at the Log Grip.

Kazuma Asa times out at the Soritatsu Kabe too! Oh my.

SASUKE Trial members are falling one by one.

The last three are coming up

46. Matachi Ryo! He's 19. Steps. Log Grip coming up. Jishin ga aru! Pole Maze. Hitch at the end. Yes! Jumping Spider. Yes! Nice jump there. Hayai! He FLIES through the walk portion. Half-Pope Attack. Yes! Soritatsu "SASUKE TRIAL KILLER" Kabe. First time. NO! Second try. YES! Flying Chute! There he goes! CMs.

SASUKE for your keitai!


Flying Chute. He can't reach the ladder. Don't try..NO!

Makoto Nagano drops wisdom. Shingo Yamamoto laughs.

47. Kawaguchi Tomohiro! Let's see his entry video again. Ganbarimasu. I just noticed that the graphic is talking about the next generation of All-Stars. Foreshadowing? Steps. Log Grip. Pole Maze. Jumping Spider. Yes! He moves in a frank manner. Half-Pipe Attack. Ita! WAIT! NO! What happened? Course Out! Dammit. He lost his balance. Dammit.

48. Mr. SASUKE's Assassin! Takuya Miyagi! No wonder I didn't recognize him before. He shaved his hair. DON'T LISTEN TO YAMADA! Not having hair makes him look years younger. He's the last of the SASUKE Trial Qualifiers. Here he goes! Steps. Log Grip. Yes! Pole Maze. Yes! Jumping Spider. NO! His right foot missed.

Thus endeth the dream of the SASUKE Trial Qualifiers.

48 have tried! None have passed! YOU SHALL NOT PASS!

49. Lee Yen Chi! Or Lee Enchi. Whatever. He's back! He passed the 1st stage in his first try. But things are different now! Steps. Log Grip. Taiwan no top climber! Pole Maze. Can he be the first. That's right, he missed on the Jumping Spider his second try. But he's fine this time! Half-Pipe Attack. He looks a lot older. Yes! Yes! Soritatsu Kabe. Does he have enough time? He'll have to do it in two! He does it in one! Flying Chute. Yes! He slowed himself down tons by crouching. He's through! The first to do so! Kiroi gate! CMs. You're killing us TBS.


Let's look at what might be the best way to attack the Flying Chute - slowing down. Tarzan Rope. Can he make it? The time is going to go red soon. YES! YES! With exactly four seconds left! Cue Yagyu-Gaiden! Thank you for coming back!

Yup, by crouching he could control and time his jump better.

It's the hair.

So far the course is um..exactly the same.

50. Mark Whitmer! Ninja Warrior! Steps. Log Grip. NO! AH! Hold on! Oh no! Oh my.

I guess that was all he had to offer. He's happy. G4 WILL NOT BE!

50 have tried! 1 shall pass!

51. Takahashi Hiromitsu! Oh yeah baby. Look at that thong on the Rolling Log. Steps. I want him to pass. Log Grip. YES! Pole Maze. Stuck in the middle with you. Uh oh. Taking too much time. Finally! But he has less than 65 seconds left. Jumping Spider. Yes! He's up! Go! Go! Go! Half-Pipe Attack. UP! And no! Damn. The Muscle Musical girls are there! With pink shirts. To let you know they are girls.

55. Iwanaga Sho! He handles balls! Genius Handball Player! Steps. Neat overhead shot. Log Grip. Yes! Cut to the Half-Pipe Attack! Subarashii! He almost lost it! Soritatsu Kabe. Does he have enough time? He must have got stuck on the Pole Maze. Flying Chute as the time goes red. Flying Chuuuuuuuuuuuuto!

That's some dirty water.

59. Oya! He's the Random Muscle Park Staff Guy. He's a Muscle Park demonstrator. Potential? Steps. Log Grip. Pole Maze! Jumping Spider! NO! Demonstrator no Oyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! They don't have one of those at Muscle Park.

A bicyclist. Priest. Dante. Yamamoto Hiroshi all wipe out. So much for that.

70. Setoda! He's from the Muscle Musical. Steps. Log Grip. Pole Maze. Hitch at the end. He goes up to YES! He's through. It cost him time though. Jumping Spider. Whoa! Performance ka! Yes! I think I know why Levi did what he did. Setoda is through. Half-Pipe Attack! He looked very straight as he fell into the water. Shingo Yamamoto looks on! He did a handstand on the trampoline.

That hat! That uniform! It can only be Yamamoto Shingo! This year he started participating in SASUKE events. Only Lee Yen Chi has made it through so far.

70 have tried! ONE has passed!

71. Yamamoto Shingo! Here he goes! Our first All- Star. Steps. Log Grip. Always look for the "careless miss" with Shingo. Pole Maze. Jumping Spider. Yes! No problem! Nice form on the Walk. Half-Pipe Attack. Wait. Wait. YES! Daijouba da! Soritatsu Kabe! First Try! Yamamoto Shingo! Flying Chute. Yes! Wait for it. Wait for it. Don't rush. He's stuck. He needs to get momentum. NO. NO. Not like this! NO! His foot finally drags the water! Nandda! Shut up Yamada.

You NEED the rebound to get to the next part.

Digest. Red Moeyan. Keitaro Katayama fails the Flying Chute. Norio Haryu was SO CLOSE (he was at the climb). Damn.

75. Brian Orosco! Don't edit the wiki man! Steps. Log Grip. Yes! Pole Maze. No problem! Umaku clear! Jumping Spider. YES! He's through! Can he do it? His foot is slipping! But he's through! Half-Pipe Attack! Yes! Soritatsu Kabe. He's from California! First try! Flying Chute! Here he goes. Yes! Wait. He's stuck too. Yes! He's through! Does he have time? Tarzan Rope! GO! GO! GO! Time goes red! C'mon! CMs.



Tarzan Rope. Time is going red! C'mmon! YES! YES! YES! 0.68! Less than a second left!

He had to DIVE to the button. He almost broke the damn thing.

Man, that's awesome!

Digest. Kongo Express. Kawashima. Another of the handballers fall.

81. Hiromichi Sato and his grin!

One from Taiwan! One from the US! None from Japan! It's like the Olympics all over again!

Anyway, Sato. Japan is in a pinch! Sato. Steps. I don't really think he'll be the first native but whatever. Log Grip. Pole Maze. Jumping Spider coming up. Yes! He's through! Jumping Spider umai! Half-Pipe Attack. Yes! Abunai! Daijoubu! Soritatsu Kabe. First try! No! Second try. No! Third try. He NEEDS to get it this time. Fourth try. NO! Only one hand. Don't give up! NO! So the Soritatsu Kabe reclaims its spot as a 1st Stage killer. Time up!

82 have tried! 2 have passed! Nobody from the Land of Rising Sun!

83. Shiratori Bunpei! Steps. Log Grip. Pole Maze coming up. Hitch at the end. Shinji Kobayashi is there! Jumping Spider. Yes! That was a HIGH jump. Half-Pipe Attack coming up. YES! No problem! Soritatsu Kabe. Ikkai! Flying Chute.


Was there someone wearing just a speedo running with the All-Stars?


Flying Chute! He snags the ladder with his foot! OK. That was shirtless Yamamoto. Lots of time! Tarzan Rope. He'll be the first native! YES! 3.6 seconds left! The All-Stars are through! Japan is through! Suck on that America and Taiwan!

He lies down in exhaustion! This is the earliest the All-Stars have gotten through in the last two SASUKEs.

He looks SPENT.

86. Muscle Musical member Haga Tomoyo! He'll flip out on the Flying Chute I believe. Damn commercials. Steps. Log Grip. Iketani must be in the 90s. Pole Maze. Jumping Spider. Nice jump! Half-Pipe Attack. Yes! He's through. Soritatsu Kabe! First try! Flying Chute. Last time he fell here! Here he goes! TOO FAST! TOO FAST! He grabs then GOES OVER THE ROPE. Overcompensation, thy name is Haga.

88. Nakata Daisuke! He's been on 8 times. Made the 2nd Stage 6 times and the 3rd Stage 4 times.

One for Taiwan!
One for the U.S.A.!
One for Japan!

Here he goes. Steps. Log Grip. Yes! Pole Maze. Slight hitch but he's through! Jumping Spider! Yes! Half-Pipe Attack. Yes! He's through! Soritatsu Kabe. Yes! First full try! He tried to go straight for it from the side. Flying Chute. Here he goes!



Flying Chute. OOK. Yes. YES! Wait. He's tied up. Yes! Here he goes! Tarzan Rope! Rope Climb! Time! YES! 4.0!

Wow, I think he's the first to try to hit his legs first then his hands on the Jumping Spider.

Climax! The last ten!

Tomohiro Matsunaga! Henry Cejudo! Henry does that open his mouth to stretch his jaw thing a lot.

91. Silver medalist Matsunaga Tomohiro! Here he goes. Steps. Log Grip coming up. Yes! Sasuga something something! Pole Maze! No problem! Jumping Spider. Can he do it? Yes! Sasuga wrestling! Half-Pipe Attack. Wait. Yes! Soritatsu Kabe. Yes! The crowd is impressed. Flying Chute. Yes! Wait. No! Reach out! Yes! Lots of time! Tarzan Rope. Rope Climb. Lots of time! It didn't even go red! 10.4 seconds left!

That's five! Sasuga gin medalist!

I'm here to win!

91 have tried! 5 have passed! That's already equal to the number from the last two SASUKEs combined.

92. Henry Cejudo! Steps. Log Grip. CMs before the Pole Maze.

Dark Temptation! Take a drink!

Bad acting by kids! Camera Kitamura!


Steps. Log Grip. Ninja Warrior dai fan! Pole Maze. Stuck at the end. He's through. Jumping Spider. Henry! Ikeru! Slowly. He's not used to it. Half-Pipe Attack. Will he be outdone by Matsunaga. Henry! Henry! HENRY!

Shut up Yamada. Don't comment unless you can do it.

He...tried to hug the rope. Not grab it. And he says the same thing I just said. Biter.

I'm just glad this wasn't at the Olympics!

93. Iketani Naoki! 120 seconds to clear by the way. Steps. Log Grip. Pole Maze. Slowly. Through! Jumping Spider. High! Takai! Same thing. This is where he fell last time. Through! Half-Pipe Attack. Yes! Soritatsu Kabe. Yes! Flying Chute. NO! Same thing as Haga! He went too fast and flipped over the rope! He really really JUMPED for it and just overshot it. Neat way to go out though.

94. Wakky! Or Wacky! Whatever! Here he goes! Steps. Log Grip. They've really cut down on the comedy this year. Through! Wakky is a serious competitor by the way. Pole Maze. Jumping Spider. NO! OUCH! He got up then fell right on the trampoline. Shinjirarenai Wakky!

96. Is Mr. SASUKE! Wait. Who was 95? Go back to the list! Go back to the list! Yay! The Crying Mr. SASUKE clip! DOWN THE WHOLE BOTTLE! He hasn't passed the first stage since the 12th.

MUSASHI earns money as we hear the Mr. SASUKE theme. FALL ON THE STEPS. No. Darn.

You've really made the grade! And the..oh sorry. We're back.

Steps. I don't know what I'll do if he passes. Seriously. Log Grip. Through. Pole Maze. Through. Iiyo. Ii! Jumping Spider. He builds suspense. He's up! KE! Nagano is YELLING at him. Spider Walk. He needs to pick up the pace. He falls! Daijouba ka? I mean he fell on the platform. He's not out yet. Half-Pipe Attack. Clear! Jeez Nagano, calm down. Soritatsu Kabe. No! Wait. Did he hurt his leg when he fell? The time is going red! Time up! Time up! Whew. Is he going to cry? Cry! Cry! Nope.

97. Miyazaki Daisuke! Steps. Log Grip coming up. He looks scared as he does so but he's through! Pole Maze. Yes! Jumping Spider. Yes! Mr. Handball! Spider Walk. Bit of a slip. Half-Pipe Attack. Wait. Wait. Yes! First time I saw that happen. Soritatsu Kabe. Yes! Flying Chute coming up. Can he do it? Here he goes. Wait. Wait. Don't rush. Yes! He's through. Tarzan Rope coming Up. He has lots of time. Rope Ladder. Time is going to go red. Hurry! Hurry! YES! 0.9 seconds left! Justification for the number!

Sasuga Ace!

That's six!

Takeda up next. Let's look at his career as a fireman. He was on a poster you know. He's not done well the last three times out. Is it his time?

97 have tried! 6 have cleared!

98. Takeda Toshihiro! Steps. Log Grip coming up. Yes. Do it for the orange pants! Pole Maze. Whoa. A bit of trouble but he's through. Jumping Spider. Yes! Spider Walk. No problem. Half-Pipe Attack. Wait. Wait. Yes! Soritatsu Kabe! FIRST TRY OFF OF THE SIDE PLATFORM! Flying Chute. Wait. Yes! He's SOOOOOOOO going for the best time. Tarzan Rope. Rope Climb. Lots of time! 15.7 seconds left!

Show-off. He hit the button emphatically! See, that's the way to showboat during SASUKE. Not doing some flip or something like the Muscle Musical people did.

Cue the freerunning clips! Who else could it be? It's Levi Meeuwenberg! By virtue of his last run he gets...

99. Levi Meeuwenberg. Ahh. I see. It's the American Ace (Levi) vs. the Japanese Ace (Nagano). Here he goes. Steps. Log Grip. Freerunning is the word of the day! Pole Maze. Yes! Jumping Spider. There's the flip! He's up! No problem. Half-Pipe Attack. Yes! Soritatsu Kabe. First try. NO! Second try. Yes! Flying Chute. Yes! No problem! Another roll. Tarzan Rope. He's going to beat Takeda's time. Through! 21.5 seconds left! And he does a flip! The crowd is split between awed, cheering and just kind of watching.

Well, it was part performance and part SASUKE. That's pretty much all you can say. It's how he moves!

Does that put pressure on Nagano?

99 have tried! 8 have cleared. One is left! And he is THE ONE.

100. Nagano Makoto! Steps! Log Grip. He's so damn smooth. Pole Maze. Jumping Spider coming up. Yes! Hayai! Hayai! Half-Pipe Attack. Wait. Yes! Soritatsu Kabe. First try! Flying Chute. Yes! Tarzan Rope. Nagano says SCREW TIMES. I CAN DO THIS WITH MY EYES CLOSED! 12.9 seconds left!

Ahahaha! Shinji Kobayashi has shirt that says SASUKE BAKA on the back.

Flips are nice but casually walking through the course and still having time to get through is something only Nagano can do.

9 have passed! AND NOW THE NEWS!

We're back! America! Taiwan! Japan! 9 have passed! Freerunning! Trampoline! Handball! Firefighting! Government work! It's all there in the 2nd stage!

2nd Stage preview. Downhill Jump. Salmon Ladder. Stick Slider. Swing Ladder. Metal Spin. Wall Lifting. YOU HAVE 80 SECONDS.

Lee Yen Chi is first! Downhill Jump. No problem. Salmon Ladder. Slowly. Last one! Stick Slider time? Yes! Swing Ladder. Metal Spin. Yes! Hurry! Hurry! Wall Lifting. NO! Jikan ga nai! No! The Salmon Ladder took too long.

You can't dawdle on the Salmon Ladder.

Lee's failure puts everyone on edge.

Brian Orosco is next! Shooting Star Press! Downhill Jump. Yes. Salmon Ladder. Don't dawdle. First rung. Second rung. Third. CMs.

I think everyone is going to be split over Levi's run. Some will hate it. Some will love it. G4 will LOVE IT and replay it until it's burned into their viewers corneas. Unless he gets to the 3rd Stage again, TBS will treat it as a nice little thing. The chicks will dig it though.


Salmon Ladder. They chan...ahhhhhhhhhhh! Brian Orosco! American Ninja Warrior!

He's happy he made it this far!

Bunpei! You're up. This is a little too much padding for my tastes. Are we going to end up with a SASUKE 20 situation where we ended up with Levi: My Life in Pictures and Words.

Shiratori Bunpei! NO! He lost his balance and slipped! Miyazaki crosses himself after seeing that. Everyone is stunned. Ikinari shippai desu! Matsunaga looks like he's going to cry. Nagano has flashbacks like he's in Nam again.

Nakata Daisuke is next! He's the only one left to represent the Muscle Musical.

I'm soooooooooooooooooo hungry.

I predict...I predict a commercial coming up soon.

Nakata Daisuke! Here he goes! Yes! Salmon Ladder. CMs! YES!

Back. Uh oh. He fell on his hand. Can he even do the Salmon Ladder. First run. No. I think the fall hurt him. DON'T DO IT DAISUKE. C'mon man, it's not worth it. No. No!

He hurt himself after the Downhill Jump. I hope it's not permanent. He tried to stop from sliding off the platform and hurt his wrist.

Five are left!

Matsunaga Tomohiro! He's impassive. Downhill Jump. Yes! Salmon Ladder. Good rhythm. CMs. MORE FOOD!

This is ground control to Major Tom
You've really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
And the..sorry. Got carried away.

Back. Downhill Jump again. Salmon Ladder. Good rhythm. NO! He tried to go for the last rung and couldn't!

Miyazaki is all freaked out and stuff now.

The final three (Levi, Nagano and Takeda) go their separate ways to prepare.

Let's see Matsunaga again. Only after he's done does he break out a smile.

Miyazaki Daisuke! You're up! Obviously we have over an hour left so someone is making it to the third stage but that's still a LOT of time to fill out.

Here we go!

Downhill Jump. That is so cool. Salmon Ladder. First rung is off. But now he's back on track! Stick Slider! Swing Ladder as we go to CMs and yes, MORE FOOD.


Salmon Ladder again. Stick Slider. Swing Ladder up next. That's rickety! Not all that easy when you think about it. Metal Spin! Wall Lifting! 1! 2! 3! YES!

Cue Yagyu-Gaiden!

That's one!

Mr. Handball!

Nagano Makoto. Just chilling on the side. Takeda Toshihiro! You're up!

One of the two All-Stars! Downhill Jump! Yes! Salmon Ladder. Good rhythm. Yes! Lots of time left! Stick Slider. Swing Ladder. Metal Spin...YES! Oh my. Wall Lifting! 1! 2! 3! No problem!

The All-Stars are through!

Two are left!

Lee and Taked shake hands then realize that they don't speak the same language.

Freerunning! American Ninja! Michael Dudikoff will so sue.

Kore ga kowai!

By the way, for all those watching, no obstacle has been changed yet.

Levi Meeuwenberg is up next! American Ninja Warrior! Downhill Jump. Salmon Ladder. Uh oh. OK, back on track. NO! LEEVVVVVVVVVVVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!

"Levi," Makoto whispered to himself. He knew that if he went onwards he wouldn't be alone but Levi. Levi was Levi. Makoto couldn't believe his eyes. He didn't want to believe it. He...wait. Sorry.

Back on track!

He missed on the last rung.

Somewhere, someone is cackling to himself: "Ha! Damn foreigners!"

Olivia goes "We love you" to Levi, probably knowing that it would get her on TV.

Sorry, I got distracted by the story thing.

Well, that kills the whole "Levi is SASUKE Jesus" thing for the time being.

Nagano Makoto! You're up!

Here we go! Downhill Jump. HE'S NOT GOING TO FALL THERE AGAIN! Salmon Ladder is no problem! Salmon Ladder kampeki! Swing Ladder. Metal Spin. Yes! Wall Lifting. 1! 2! 3!

And that's three!

Let's relive the glory again.

3rd Stage!

Pad pad pad pad pad pad pad pad.

If TBS can pad, so can I!

Pad pad pad pad pad pad pad pad.

Arm Ring. Kudari Lamp Grasper. Devil Steps. Shin-Cliff Hanger。Hang Climbing is a revised Ascending Climb.

Miyazaki Daisuke is up first! No time limit. Arm Ring. CMs.


Arm Rings. OK! Nice! SASUKE SPRAY! Kudari Lamp Grasper. He's taking his time. Levi did them between his fingers but Daisuke is gripping each globe. Thr..whoa..THROUGH!

Devil Steps up next. Does he have the strength to get through? Shaky. Shaky. OK. NO!

That's it for Mr. Handball but let's give him a hand!

Kuyashii desu ne.

And then there were two.

Let's look at Miyazaki's run again.

Awkward moment as Miyazaki goes to shake hands with Takeda and Nagano feels like he should do something so he shakes Daisuke's hand too then they just stand there.



Takeda Toshihiro is up! He's never made it to the Promised Land of the Final Stage.

Arm Rings. No problem! SASUKE Spray. Nagano looks like he's a proud father or something looking on as Takeda makes his run. Kudari Lamp Grasper. Such body balance. Takeda clear!

Jishin motte!

Devil Steps coming up. Clear! No problems so far. Bunpei is all smiles. Shut up Yamada. Shin-Cliff Hanger. This is it. Soko de owarideomotte. Nagano thinks that after this is no problem for Takeda. First part is no problem. Slant. Gap coming up. CMs. Are you surprised? Really? You shouldn't be at this point. Damn n00bs.


Here we go. First part. Slant. Gap..............................YES! YES! YES! He did it!

Jumping Bar up next. SASUKE Spray time! Break it down!

One. Two. Three. Four!

Hang Climbing is next. Wait...OH. OK. You can use your feet I guess. Is he stuck? Takeda gambare! Takeda gambare! NO!

Nagano Makoto drinks label-less VOLIC water! VOLIC! The water of choice for SASUKE!

He couldn't get moving. Then he tried to cross over and missed.

And then there was one.

Is there enough time?

At least Takeda earned the distinction of the first person to pass the Shin-Cliff Hanger.

Nagano Makoto! You're up!

Here we go!

Arm Rings. No problems! Hayai! Daijoubu daijoubu! Kudari Lamp Grasper. Nagano hasn't been to 3rd Stage in a year and a half. No problems here either.

Devil Steps. No problems! And here comes the big one. SASUKE Spray time. Itai!

Shin-Cliff Hanger. Ikeru ikeru! Here we go.

First part is fine. Slant. Here comes the gap. YES! YES! YES! Not even a commercial break!

Jumping Bar coming up. Well, whenever Nagano gets around to it. Nagano wa tonda! One. Two. Three. Four! Hang Climbing up next.


Back! Hang Climbing. Here he goes! Sugei na! Through!

Spider Flip! He's at the gap. He'll have to jump across the gap. It's a 2 meter gap?

Taking his time to get set. The man knows a lot. Getting ready. Nagano tobu.

NAGANO TONDA! He's across!

Fina...Gliding Ring! He'll take his time here too.

I don't want to sound pessimistic but time is running out. The longer we sit here and wait, the less chance there is of a completion. Hurry up!

He looks so focused at this point. CMs.

Sorry. I don't think less than ten minutes is enough time to get him across this final obstacle, show a montage and then the Final Stage.


Here he goes. The ring doesn't really move by itself. He needs to get it just right for the last jump. Here we go.


Shut up Yamada.

Damn, that looks hard.

Does he have a tank-top that says "Nagano" on the back?

Ato ichi metoru.

Hontou chikai yo ne?

He didn't even get a chance to try the last jump. He lost his grip on the ring and that was it.

A hug for Daisuke, their awkwardness gone.

Well, we know that everything except the last obstacle, the Gliding Ring, can be done. And we still don't know what the Final Stage is. Still, TBS got a good show out of this. 9 people made the 2nd Stage. 3 made the 3rd Stage. G4 can only be slightly happy. JET too. Two of the bigger mainstream competitors, Matsunaga and Miyazaki got a lot of air time because of their success. And a lot of lesser way less light than we're used to.

That's it! Thanks for watching everyone! See you next time!

Monday, September 15, 2008

SASUKE MANIAC September 14, 2008 Sort of liveblog サスケマニア

We're back!

Well, what can Monster 9 and TBS show us after SASUKE Navi from this afternoon?

Here we go!

And they start with what I will dub the "Famous" commercial.

Looks like they're focusing on the famous people again.

Let's start with some SASUKE Matsur! It's fun and..pain and water for the whole family!

Let's forget those random people and move on to the main event!

Tomohiro Matsunaga! He won a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics. And the man who beat him, Henry Cejudo is there just too! Just to rub it in that Matsunaga is a loser apparently.

We see Daisuke Miyazaki and his balling posse. Wait, what?

We relive Miyazaki's run at 20. And then we relive his visit to Muscle Park.

Can you imagine what the coverage would be like if the national had made it to the Olympics?

You'd think that Matsunaga would get more coverage but actually, the women's wrestling team got more attention with Saori Yoshida dominating her division and Kyoko Hamaguchi's dad being all famous and stuff.

So far this episode is like the digest version of SASUKE Navi. Expect masked wrestlers and unknown university students to appear soon.

The Muscle Musical boys! Hiromitsu Takahashi gets his boys all riled up!

And we get a quick run down of all the celebrities who are going to appear - Hiromichi Sato, Wakky, Higedanshaku, Dante, Hiroshi Yamamoto, Moeyan. Did I miss anyone? Whatever.

It's All-Stars time! Bunpei gets a bit more airtime since he's making his return to the show.

The SASUKE staff went to visit him back in May. Back then he figures that if he thinks he's OK he'll do it.

They go back to him in July. Finally, they apparently stalk him at his home in the evening as he is training in August. He takes a couple of attempts but gets up his homemade Soritatsu Kabe. And he does his homemade Shin-Cliff Hanger.

Bunpei: The Return! Look for it in stores this October.

Let's go to Toshihiro Takeda as he looks at porn poetry on his laptop again.

We take a look at his run at 20 when he timed out on the very last obstacle of the 1st Stage.

I think his was the most surprising of the runs during 20. Yamada is Yamada and Yamamoto is prone to what the Japanese call a "careless miss" at times so Takeda having problems with the 1st Stage is slightly bewildering.

We go back to Kagoshima to invade Makoto Nagano's privacy. The way the world has built him up (both fans in Japan and the US treat him like he's some kind of god) it's wonder that there isn't a bunch of children running along with him and housewives waving to him from the clifftops.

We look at his problems with the 2nd Stage from the last time.

There's Levi! OK. He seems a little bit more smarmy this time. That's weird. I never notice that before.

Oy, there was an earthquake in Iwate just now. M4. 1 I believe.

TBS builds up The Legend of Levi, a TV special coming to you this December.

And we get to see the videos of the other ANC winners. But only after this break!

I'm used to weird commercials but a blue gorilla singing in an ad for coffee is pretty up there.

Luci wants to show that women can do the course!

Mark Whitmer can do lots of stuff! He's excited!

Brian Orosco! He's not going to worry about things as much this time!


Oy vey. It's the Axe Dark Temptation commercial again.

Is 24 the first foreign show to get it's own pachinko machine?

Bunpei is 83. Matsunaga is 91. Cejudo is 92. Wakky is 94. Yamada is 96. Miyazaki is 97. Nagano is 100!

I think the dude who fails the Log Grip is the Random Muscle Park Blog Guy. The guy who fails the Jumping Spider is from the Muscle Musical as is the guy who does the flip during the Flying Chute.

See everyone on Wednesday! The liveblog will start part way through but I'll get to it eventually!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

SASUKE Navi September 14, 2008 Sort of Liveblog! サスケナビ!

Thanks to the wonders of technology, I'll actually get to watch the SASUKE Navi for SASUKE 21/SASUKE 2008 Fall.

Who will we see? What will we know? Why do we care? It's SASUKE Navi!

Takuya Kimura ensures that I will never buy Levi jeans.

Here we go! And they already show some people falling the opening.

We see Miyazaki. Yamamoto from ロバート.

People! Are! Waiting! In! Line! Feel the excitement!

Kazuma Asa 朝一眞 has something written on his back again.

Lots of comedians. Wakky ワッキー. Moeyan モエヤン. The wine guys. Dammit, I need to figure out their names. I know who they are but don't remember. OK, they are 髭男爵 (Higedanshaku). The guy with the beard is Louis Yamada the 53rd 山田ルイ53世 and the other is Higuchi-kun ひぐち君.

Mitsuomi Takahashi gets in a few words.

Wait, are all. No never mind. Only Hiroshi Yamamoto 山本博is going to compete from ロバート. He's talking about getting his pro boxing license. There was a TV special about him trying to get his license before sometime last year. Adriaaaan!

Lookit the constant OA graphic in the left corner.

Dante! ダンテ! I hope they show him screwing up on the Shot-Gun Touch again. Instead they show his latest softbank commercial. Dante does the Monster Box from last year's Geinojin Sportsman No. 1.

He's a bit worried. He goes to a gym to do some in-door rock climbing. This is scintillating! Oh, OK. Pulling yourself up on the grips is pretty cool.

And Dante didn't know that only 2 people have ever completed the course out of 2000 tries.

Masaki Nomura 野村将希 and Kenjiro Ishimaru 石丸謙二郎 are a combined 109 years old!

Passion Yara! パッション屋良 He lifts weights!

Hiromichi Sato 佐藤弘道. In his SASUKE debut he fell to the Flying Chute. Then the Log Grip in 19. In 20 he made it to the Flying Chute again but couldn't get to the platform in time.

Wakky! He's still the current Geinojin Sportsman No. 1 since they haven't had one this year yet. He got a car for that I believe. We look at his run from 20 again. He didn't make it to the platform at the Half-Pipe Attack.

His goal this time is to complete the course!

Beijing Olympics footage! CMs.

Um. OK. Dark Temptation? Oy vey.

The actual commercial for the show shows some people wiping out and someone doing a neat little useless flip befor the Jumping Spider.

We see footage of Tomohiro Matsunaga 松永共広, who won the Silver medal in men's wrestling at the Beijing Olypics. Then we see the man that beat him, Henry Cejudo ヘンリー・セジュード arriving at the airport.

Henry calls it Ninja Warrior! Dammit man!

Daisuke "Balls" Miyazaki 宮﨑大輔 and his handball teammates, Katsuyuki Urawa 浦和克行, Sho Iwanaga 岩永生 and Masakatsu Izuma 猪妻正活!

Let's go back to the January Asia Handball championships. Unfortunately, Japan didn't make it but the team is getting ready for London '12!

They show the failures of the Miyazaki and his teammates from SASUKE 20. For those who bitch about the fact that Miyazaki has such a high number (97) the newspaper should say it all. Famous athletes bring more coverage to the show. Ratings go up. Show stays on the air.

They show footage from the handball event in Muscle Park from August. Handball looks really fun. Men and women got the hots for Daisuke!

They go into Muscle Park and do the Kick Target, the pitching one that I forget the name of - wait, it's called Struck-Out - and Kinjiro. He talks about his Sportsman No. 1 experiences. He's only the second person to win two Sportsman No. 1s.

They go into Ranking Park, which is more about agility and balance than strength.

CMs. Bad day for college football for me today. Notre Dame beat Michigan which is good but Notre Dame still has a ways to go, UH got blown out by Oregon State and a giant blimp did not smash onto the field during the OSU-USC game.

Back! Another probable commercial for SASUKE. We see Cejudo, Matsunaga, Dante, Wakky, Nagano and Miyazaki.

Miyazaki tries out one of the events in Ranking Park.

Then we see handball boys try out the Salmon Ladder in Sasuke Park.

Let's relive Koji Yamada and Yuuji Washimi's failures from 19.

It's hard for the others to do the Salmon Ladder so let's see Daisuke try! And he does! Then he goes for the Shin-Cliff Hanger. But he can't get the grip on it to start off.

And it's the Muscle Musical people!

They show them at work and Who will be there!

Hey! It's. Um. I don't know their names. One of them is Eiji Satoda 脊戸田英次. I think the next one is Tomoyo Haga 芳賀友也. Takayuki Kawashima 川島孝幸! They show his attempt at the Final Stage during SASUKE 1 in 1997.

Tatsumi? 龍美? Is that his name? He's an acrobat artist.

And there's Naoki Iketani 池谷直樹. He's been on 13 times and made it to the 3rd stage 6 times but he failed on the Spider Walk portion of the Jumping Spider.

And Daisuke Nakata 中田大輔! He's been on 8 times and reached the 3rd stage 4 times. Looks like he's in good shape. But is the arm OK?

So did they run from the theater to the...oh wait. They are training for the course. Wow, Hiromitsu Takahashi 高橋博光 is trying again. My that's a lot of them. About 12 of them? And no females this time. Hrm. Sexists.

The SASUKE All-Stars! Nagano looks like he's cut his hair. Wait, they showed Nagano, Takeda, Yamada and Yamamoto. They lied to us! They lied to us!

And there's Arsenette's Miyazaki Beach Sports event footage. Or maybe not. They show Nagano finishing the course in 17. Then they cover Takeda. I never got a chance to steal one of those posters.

OK, there they are at the beach. Takeda is white white white.

Then they say screw you Miyazaki and go to the Maguro Festival. Show Takeda and the little girl again! Haha. Takeda is such a show-off doing everything so damn fast.

Oh. There's something new. Need to look that event up.


And then they DO go to the Beach Sports Miyazaki event. They do the beach flags. There's an arm-wrestling event. Then the main event!

Swing Ladder. Pipe Slider. Rope Maze. Salmon Ladder. Whoa. Nagano is DARK. Salmon Ladder into the Jumping Bars. Old version Cliff-Hanger. So did anyone make SASUKE from here?

They go down to Kagoshima prefecture. Makoto Nagano 長野誠 is just sort of cruising around. Perhaps looking for chicks? Nagano doing the thing that he does most of the year - training. Hey, he does have another T-shirt.

They remind us that he wiped out on the first obstacle of the 2nd stage at 20.

This time he thinks he can get to the 3rd stage!

Let's go to the forests of Gifu where Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 is looking at pornography information on his laptop at work.

At SASUKE 19 Takeda timed out before reaching the Flying Chute. At 20, he was so close but he was just short.

He has a dream to reach the rope of the Final Stage. Certain jobs really do lend themselves to practicing for SASUKE, don't they?

And it's Mr. SASUKE. OK, I think that was the Random Muscle Park Guy who failed at the Log Grip. WAS THAT LEVI DOING THE FLIP?


The new SASUKE game for the keitai!

Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟! Katsumi Yamada 山田勝己! They show their past success and failures. AND OF COURSE THEY SHOW THE CLIP OF YAMADA CRYING! I love you TBS.

They re-run the Muscle Park event clips from SASUKE Maniac because they have to plug the game somehow. Nothing much new here. They show the rope part of the Final Stage. Is that all there is to the Final Stage? If someone sends me 8000 yen I can find out for sure.

Shingo seems so awkward doing public appearances.

Shingo goes to Mt. Fuji! Yeah yeah. But what about the guy who had to carry the freaking camera up the mountain?

OH WAIT. There's Bunpei Shirotori 白鳥文平. Okaerinasai! He's back!

Last time he was there he took too long on the Soritatsu Kabe and timed out at the Flying Chute.

At Narita airport! It's Levi "Hits" Meeuwenberg リーヴァイ・ミューエンバーグ! Let's show that freerunning clip again!

We look at his run from 20. Of course we know that he was the only person to make it to the 3rd stage where he failed at the Shin-Cliff Hanger.

He feels even more confident! And there are the other ANC winners.


Back to Narita. The three ANC winners! OK. It was definitely one of these people who did the flip.

Lee Yen Chi! Or Lee Enchi if you want リー・エンチ. Whatever. He's back! He WILL clear the 1st Stage! Or so he says.

And that's it! See everyone later tonight for SASUKE Maniac!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Digging deeper: Random SASUKE 21回/SASUKE 2008 秋 People

Via Rambling Rican we know some of the people who will be appearing at SASUKE 21. She posted about that here, here, and here.

The list so far is:

The G4 team of this SASUKE's ANC winners:
Brian Orosco ブライアン・オロスコ
Mark Witmer
Luci Romberg
plus Levi "Hits" Meeuwenberg (speaking of nicknames, what's with the Wiki adding in the nicknames of Brian, Levi and Luci? They're supposed to be "Ninja Warriors" not "American Gladiators." Can you imagine if everyone on SASUKE had American Gladiator nicknames?). リーヴァイ・ミューエンバーグ
Also the Attack of the Show hosts Olivia Munn and Kevin Pereira.

(Edit: For those who didn't get the joke, I gave the following people American Gladiator-style nicknames and then just kind of gave up part-way through.)

The SASUKE All-Stars:
Makoto "Captain" Nagano 長野誠,
Shingo "Gas" Yamamoto 山本進悟,
Bunpei "Slim" Shiratori 白鳥文平,
Toshihiro "Flame" Takeda 竹田敏浩
and Mr. SASUKE Katsumi "Sucky" Yamada 山田勝己.

Daisuke "Balls" Miyazaki 宮﨑大輔 and his teammates
Katsuyuki "Who" Urawa 浦和克行
Sho "Are" Iwanaga 岩永生
Masakatsu "You" Izuma 猪妻正活

Naoki "Air" Iketani 池谷直樹
Daisuke "Spring" Nakata 中田大輔
Masaki "Pops" Nomura 野村将希
Kenjirou "Gramps" Ishimaru 石丸謙二郎
Hiromichi "Smiley" Sato 佐藤弘道
Hiroshi "Gloves" Yamamoto of ロバート 山本博
Dante "Dante" ダンテ
Passion "Passion" Yara パッション屋良
Mitusomi "This is too taxing" Takahashi 高橋光臣
Wacky ワッキー

Also non-famous people via SASUKE Maniac or some other way
Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治
Yamanaka Kazuo 山中和男
Koji Ida 井田浩二
Shunzou Kikuchi 菊池俊三
Takuya Miyagi (Mr. SASUKE's assassin) 宮城拓也
Tomohiro Kawaguchi 川口朋広
Ryo Matachi 又地諒
Kazuma Asa 朝一眞
Jun Satou 佐藤惇
Akinori Murakami 村上明範
Koji Hashimoto 橋本亘司
Takayuki Kubota 久保田崇之
Lance Terpend

Some digging has also found that the following people are going to be there too:

Former J-Leaguer and now free announcer (meaning he's not connected to a TV station not that he works for free) 波立紀夫 Norio Haryu. He's been in several of the past SASUKEs but he keeps getting the digest treatment.

Some dancer dude named Ke Maeda 前田けゑ.

Comedy ladies Moeyan モエヤン (remember them from the race around Tokyo on SASUKE Maniac?)

Keitaro Katayama 片山敬太郎
from the Muscle Musical will be there.

Model/talent Ryo Shirai 白井涼 will also be there.

Also, one of your announcers will be Yuriko Takahata 高畑百合子.

And, HEY, if you live in Aichi, Gifu or Mie prefectures, enjoy the Dragons vs. Tigers game on CBC that you'll have to wait to end before you can enjoy SASUKE.

More news when it comes!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Six Things September 10, 2008

1. SASUKE 2008 秋 (or SASUKE 21) will definitely be on the 17th. TBS page is finally up here.

2. Ninja Warrior is coming to...TBS? Well, not exactly TBS. TBS Channel (TBSチャンネル) is TBS' pay cable channel. Starting from October they'll be showing the Ninja Warrior 30 minute version of SASUKE with the Japanese announcing and English subtitles. This bodes well for fans of the show in Japan since none of the competitions have been shown since their original airings. I guess Kota Honma can give his old VHS cassettes a bit of a rest come October.

3. Hoshino says he's out (it's a Japan Today link so ignore the comments). Bobby says he's ready. Aside from soccer (and even now it's back to a native coach since Oshim, how many Japan national teams have foreign coaches? A quick look at the Japanese wikipedia entry for the Beijing Olympics shows that every team had a Japanese coach. I'm not denigrating the local born coaches but if Japan wants to step up it may need to look abroad for it's leadership in the future.

4. Tom Brady. I'll just leave it at that.

5. This song irritates me (thanks a lot SaitamaKids) so I will irritate you:

I prefer this version better:

Thanks for some 江頭2:50 mudorinositajiki!

6. Something for those looking at Japanese names to reference. No real reason to put this up. I just wanted it out there.

Monday, September 01, 2008

SASUKE MANIAC August 31, 2008 Sort of liveblog サスケマニア

This week! SASUKE Trial Summer 2008! サスケトライアル2008夏!

It's the Final Stage! There are only eight slots to the big show! The final 12 competitors will try to muscle their way onto the Stage of SASUKE Hopes and Dreams. To earn a place to sit on one of the Chairs of SASUKE Trial Success and Future Glory! To put their numbers on the Boards of..OK, I'll stop now.

It's SASUKE Maniac!

Don't forget, 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).

OK. JSpo does a long segment on the San Diego Chicken. Must be a slow sports news day.

Wait. Is it an ad for..Oh OK. It is an ad for a Ferrari model.

Here we go! SASUKE Maniac!

Highlights from last week. We learned that under 55 seconds is the the minimum you need to make it to the stage.

Whoops, missed the name. Rope Cling. Jump Ring. Hill. He's a bit behind the split. Logs. NO! Majika yo! He slips into the water!

Super koukousei! Satou Jun! UH OH. WARN THE G4 FORUMS. HE'S FREE RUNNING! And right on cue there's the clip of Levi (hits) Meeuwenberg from 20. Can he do it!

He's 16! Satou Jun! Hurdles. Rope Cling. Hayai! Jump Ring. Hill. Time is ahead of the split. Logs. No problem. Power Hanger. Final Ladder. And...48"72! he's the new number two! See ya Azuma. Nice knowing you. Takami, the other 16 year old is the new number 8 and on the chopping block.

Next is a university student whose name I missed again. Hurdles. Rope Cling. Final Ring. No problems but he's behind the split. Logs. NO! All for naught as he falls into the water.

The next guy fails at the Rope Cling!

The remaining fellows are getting more and more nervous.

Asa looks more and more nervous which is weird since he's the safest at this point.

Matachi Ryo! He has lots of pictures. He must go to the events. He doesn't know what he would do if SASUKE finished, In his room he has some stuff he put together to help him train. Ahh. It's a Cliff Hanger.

Why do they keep showing Asa being nervous? Isn't he the safest at this point?

Hurdles.Rope Cling. Jump Ring. He's going through quite quickly. 48"28! He's the new top! Wow. Asa is shocked. Man that was fast. Takami is out. He does the walk of shame. He must do more training!

But we're not over yet! Kawaguchi Tomohiro! He didn't make it before so this is yet another chance at revenge! His wife helps him train.

Here he goes! Wait. Is Matachi automatically in? I think I missed something. Wow. He's going quite fast. Already at the Logs. Power Hanger. Final Ladder. Can he break 48? WHOA.


Jeez. Sugoi taimu! Yamazaki Daisuke is out. OH OK. I think I understand. It's because of the number of people left. It's mathematically impossible for the top two to be eliminated but Asa still can be eliminated.

Kanou! Nomura! They both have appeared on the big show before!

Kanou Takaaki! Here he goes! Hurdles. CMs.

We're back! Hurdles. Rope Cling. Jump Ring. Any time over Asa's guarantees a spot. Logs. Power Hanger. I don't know if he can make it over Asa. Final Ladder. No! 51"35! He barely makes it on to the stage! Border line no clear!

Asa Kazuma is IN!

Math is fun!

Five more people are left! Asa can now chill out. We get one more walk of shame.

Kanou's rival! Nomura is up next! There won't be enough time for everyone this week.

Nomura. Hurdles. Rope Cling. Jump Ring. Uh OH. He's well behind the split. Logs. Power Hanger. Final Ladder. He ain't going to make it.

NO! Not enough stamina! The super koukousei is IN!

Satou is IN! He lets out a small yell of relief. It sucks to get in at the expense of others, but what can you do?

Satou (the non-high school student one) is safe for now.

And then there were four! That we won't see this week.

But it looks like someone will either fall or not make it judging by the reactions of the audience in the preview.

Well, it looks like Mr. SASUKE's Assassin will at least make it to the Power Hanger. And Mr. SASUKE will be there! That's not a good sign though.

So, aside from Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 we have Kazuma Asa 朝一眞, Jun Satou 佐藤惇, Tomohiro Kawaguchi 川口朋広 and Ryo Matachi 又地諒 all in.

If any of the last four finish above the time of the fifth guy whose time is 49"59 they'll be in. Doesn't matter where they place. The top four are guaranteed their spots.