Monday, March 30, 2009

SASUKE 22 2009 Spring The Sort of Live Blog! SASUKE 2009春! SASUKE 22回!

Sex! Drugs! Rock and Roll! That's what a person needs to..wait, that's not right.

Truth! Justice! No no.

Say your prayers! Take your vitamins! No. That's not it either. Let me check my notes. Here we go.

Power! Speed! Balance! These are the qualities you need to beat SASUKE!

Fisherman! Firefighters! Freerunners! Swimmers! Wrestlers! Shoe salesmen! Do any of them have it in them to beat SASUKE? Let's find out!



There is everyone! In front of the Final Stage! Pump those fists! Survival Attack SASUKE!

1st Stage!


1. Shoji Tomoharu! 庄司智春! Steps! Yes! Circle Hammer (it's new!). He's just kind of floating there. And he's been there a while. Yes! OK. Log Grip coming up. He practiced this with Wakky. NO!

2. Crazy Jietai guy! Is hiding! Steps are OK. Circle Hammer. Not quite. YES! You have to take your time. Log Grip. YES! Jumping Spider coming up. Here he goes! NO! He didn't have the timing.

3. Bobby Ologun! ボビー・オロゴン! His brother did the course before. Steps. OK. Bobby is a big guy. Circle Hammer. Yeeees! Log Grip. NO! He fell the same place as Shoji.

7. Pak Bo Kyung (maybe...not sure about that spelling there)! パク・ボキュン! He's Korean. Steps! NO! Abunai! He had to put his hand up and couldn't get it. Oh well. Sell them CDs!

Yamamoto says "Oh my god."

14. Monomane specialist Yamamoto Takahiro 山本高広 does his Kane Kosugi impersonation! Can he channel the spirit of Kane to do it? He does a Kane yell. Steps. Hai hai hai...NO! He points to his gold number as fact that he is a champion already.

Muscle Musical member Inada Ayako 稲田亜矢子 has no number. Steps. YES! Circle Hammer. Spins around. Yes! Log Grip. Can she do it? Here she goes. NO! Almost there!!!

11. We've gone back in time to see monomane specialist Hori ホリ do his Takuya Kimura. Steps. OK. Circle Hammer. Yes! Log Grip...NO! And then he does his Kinpachi sensei.

Someone, a waiter, Mohammed Yone モハメド ヨネ, a taiko drummer and doctor all meet their watery dooms.

Dramatic music!

14. Kawahara Takuya! 川原拓也! Here he goes. Steps. Circle Hammer coming up. Yes! NO! YES! He almost leaned back too far. Log Grip. Yes! Jumping Spider...YES! Ikeru! Spider Walk. through! Half-Pipe Attack. Tobu! Yes! Soritatsu Kabe! First try! Here he goes. Slider Jump (it's new!). NO! He couldn't reach the net! He kind of lost control at the end. I think you have to let momentum carry you.

Nagano looks on in fear!

Kawahara is the first to the try the Slider Jump.

Nagano: "Kowai desu!"

Comedian Kojima Yoshio! 小島よしお! Here he goes! Steps. 120 seconds by the way.

And our first commercial break!

Red Cliff Part Two! Go see it!


Kojima. Steps. Yes! Circle Hammer. NO! Yes..wait. Yes! Log Grip. Can he do it? He's taking a long time. NO! He had it then he didn't. Darn. And then he gets the comedy bump of getting hit in the head by the log. Oh pa pi!

Chiro チロ is too small for the Steps.

18. Zabungle's Kato Ayumu! 加藤歩! The announcer will say kuyashii if he fails. Here he goes. Steps. WHOA! OK. Circle Hammer. They're getting all the comedians out of the way I see. YES! Log Grip. Here he goes. YES! Is he blown up already? Jumping Spider. Taking his time. UP! YES! Here he goes. Can he get through the Spider Walk. Not much time left. He goes through slowly. Stamina is not his strong point. Half-Pipe Attack. And....NO! He couldn't get the momentum. Kuyashii desu! He used to play handball. But he is NOT a man of hands on balls!

Our first All-Star sighting!

Akiyama Kazuhiko! Last time he failed the Half-Pipe Attack. Can he do it?

Akiyama has crabs!

20. Akiyama Kazuhiko! 秋山和彦! Steps are OK! Circle Hammer. Whoa...OK..wait. OK! Log Grip. Sets. No problem-o! Jumping Spider...YES! NO problem! Hayai through the Spider Walk. Half-Pipe Attack. NO! He slipped on the run up!

The slo-mo shows that he slipped coming off the platform. Damn.

Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

It's of Dangerous! It's Dangerous and Dokidoki Camp's Kishi Manabu.

Kishi Manabu! 岸学! He does a Jack Bauer impersonation. Steps. Jack Bauuuuuuuer!

The other guy in Dangerous, Yasuda Kazuhiro 安田和博 fails the Circle Hammer.

Nocchi up next! ノッチ! Here he goes. Can he? Steps. Yes, we can! Circle Hammer. Yes, we can! Log Grip coming. O-ba-ma! NO! No, you cant!

KUNOICHI finalist and Muscle Musical member Komiya Rie! 小宮理英! Steps! OK! Circle Hammer. OK! Log Grip. Short prayer. Yes! Jumping Spider. Pumping herself up. Yes! NO! WAIT! She falls back. Ah. OK. That's why she wasn't wet. I guess she coursed out.

26. Haga Tomoyo! 芳賀友也 Damn you scnoi, you were right. Here he goes. He's another Muscle Musical member. Steps. OK. Circle Hammer. OK! Log Grip coming up. Yes! Is it me or does the Log Grip go farther this year? Jumping Spider. Yes! Spider Walk is no problem. Half-Pipe Attack. YES! Soritatsu Kabe. First try! The Muscle Musical members must have trained. Slider Jump. Can he be the first. Setting himself. YES! NO! He couldn't hold on to the net! The All-Stars are scared of the new obstacle.

30. Kasuga Toshiaki of Audrey! 春日俊彰! Can he do it? So far Kato is the comedian who has gone the farthest. TBS has done the most hyping Kasuga. Can he live up to it? It's been a while since a legit talento has reached the 2nd Stage, right? Muscle Musical people don't count.


Take a drink every time you see the Hyper Variety Week commercial!

That's one!


Kasuga! He does his slow walk! Steps...NO! He tried to hold on for dear life and then...

Ah, the classic TBS/Monster 9 misdirection. See: Yamamoto, Hiroshi

Luci Romberg! Can she be the 2nd woman to clear the 1st Stage?

Here she goes! Steps! OK! Circle Hammer. Yes! Log Grip. Always a dangerous place. Yes! Luci!!! Jumping Spider. Yes! NO! She had it and There's a new wind-up chat thing when people get ready to do the Jumping Spider. Doushita Luci!!!

Just didn't get high enough. Darn.

Shimada Hiroyo! 島田裕代! She's from the Muscle Musical too! She was a gymnast. Steps! Yes! Circle Hammer. Yes! Log Grip. Can she do it? The women have bee doing well this year. Yes! Jumping Spider. Yes! She's up! Spider Walk. Half-Pipe Attack. NO! She didn't really have the speed. Darn. She can't swim! She can't swim!

Yet another Muscle Musical member. Ishikawa Kiichi! 石川 輝一! Here he goes. Steps. OK. Circle Hammer. Wait. Yes! Log Grip. Here he goes. Whoa. OK! Jumping Spider. Yes! Wait..he was slipping a bit but on to the Half-Pipe Attack. Yes! Soritatsu Kabe. He's taking his time. Yes! First try! Slider Jump. Yes! He did it!

And of course CMs.

That's two Hyper Variety Week commercials! You better be drinking along!


Let's look at him doing the Slider Jump again. He has to go through the net. Tarzan Rope coming up. Does he have time? The time is going red! Go! GO! GO! NO! The net took too long.

Ishimaru Kenjiro! 石丸謙二郎! He almost made it the last few times. Can he do it (and be the oldest to finish the 1st Stage?) Lots of chanting this year.

Here he goes! Steps. Smooth. Mondai arimasen. Circle Hammer..wait. Yes! Log Grip. Yes! Clear! Jumping Spider. Yes! NO! He couldn't hold on! I think if you touch the ramp under the trampoline you are out. That's why Rie couldn't go on (in case you were wondering).

Miho of Cherry Pie. チェリー☆パイのみほ! Some other dude. A TBS announcer and Sakamoto Issei 坂本一生 go out. Yoshikawa Yasuaki 吉川泰昭 and Tatsumi 龍美 of the Muscle Musical are out via Slider Jump. And Izuma Masakatsu 猪妻正活 of Miyazaki's team.

31. Shingo Yamamoto! It's been a while for Shingo. Can he regain the glory? Here he goes! Steps. Circle Hammer. Take your time, Shingo. Take your time. OK! Log Grip. OK! Jumping Spider. He's fallen here before. YES! No problem! And now the Half-Pipe Attack. Up and yes! AND NONONONONO! Careless miss!


Ba..wait. Stupid fake-out. It was just Nagano running along to Shingo's run. More CMs.

Back for real. And yes, there is a slight incline and narrow plank from the Half-Pipe Attack to the Soritatsu Kabe. And Nagano was pissed. Isoi sugi!


Hang glider guy!

32. Kawashima Masami! 原島雅美! Steps! Ye..NO!

33. Aoki Yasuo! Sculptor guy! 青木保夫! Taking his time. And...he falls in the middle of the 3rd and 4th steps!

34. Kuramochi Minoru! 倉持稔! Or Octopus guy. Taka-tencho. Iku! Steps! NO!!!! The gap was too wide I guess. Or perhaps having an octopus stuck to his face took a bit more out of him than we thought.

Zannen deshita!

34 (supposedly) have gone! None have passed!

46. Sato Hiroki! He's an STQer (SASUKE Trial Qualifier). Our first. Steps. Circle Hammer. OK! Sorry, missed his number at first. Had to go back. Log Grip! Clear! Jumping Spider. YE...NO!!!!

Woo. Clips of him training. SASUKE training only! Kanno Hitoshi? 菅野仁志! Steps! OK! Circle Hammer. OK! Log Grip. YES! He's another STQer. Jumping Spider. Yes! A little unsure but through the Spider Walk. OK! Half-Pipe Attack. You can hear Yuji Urushihara in the background. Soritatsu Kabe! First try! Slider Jump. Yes! He goes the under. Watch your feet! Whoa! Almost! Yes! Tarzan Rope. Lots of time! Kanno! Kanno! Go! Go! Go! Hurry! Hurry! YES!!!!!!!! Cue Yagyu-Gaiden! With 3.7 left!

Shots of the crowd. The other STQers are going nuts. Yamada looks..salty.

50. David Campbell! Ninja Warrior! Steps. OK! If the commercials are right, he'll have a slight challenge on the Slider Jump. Circle Hammer...Log Grip. OK! Jumping Spider..Yes! A little unsure on the initial grip but OK! Half-Pipe Attack coming up. Yes! Can he make it two in a row? Soritatsu Kabe. First try! Slider Jump....Takes his time. Needs to hurry. YES! WHOA!!! He almost fell but held on! Hurry! Hurry! Yes! GO GO GO! Hurry! Time is going to go red! HURRY! HURRY! HURRY! HURRY! Jikan ga nai! NO!

Good job David!

So close. He underestimated the cardio!

88. Nakao Akiyoshi! He practiced with Mr. SASUKE. Will that matter? It didn't help Miyagi last time. Steps! Yes! Jeez. Jump the numbers why don't you TBS. Circle Hammer. Yes! Log Grip. Here he goes. Yes! Jumping Spider. Did Mr. SASUKE help him?



Jumping Spider...And of course Mr. SASUKE did nothing to help him. He whiffs completely.

Well, at least it was dramatic.

STQers Nomura and Kawahara and Hashimoto Koji 橋本亘司 and Kawaguchi Tomohiro 川口朋広 all fall. Wow.

77. Urushihara Yuuji! 漆原裕治! Steps! Yes! It seems like he's the de facto STQ leader. Circle Hammer and Log Grip are OK. Jumping Spider. Yes! Yes! I bet he has the right shoes for this. Half-Pipe Attack. Yes! What does it say on his shirt? Soritatsu Kabe. Yes! Slider Jump! Yes! Up and over! Lots of time! Almost no problems! Tarzan Rope! Yes! Rope Ladder! Lots of time! Go! Go! Go! YES! YES! 7.5 seconds left!

All-Stars 0
STQers 2

Kanpeki na performance!

I won't make fun of his voice. I won't make fun of his voice. I won't make fun of his voice.

And shots of the high numbers! Jeez. Did people between 50 and 80 do absolutely nothing?

82. Miyashita Junichi! 宮下純一 He was a bronze medalist swimmer at Beijing. Steps.


Take another Hyper Variety drink!


82. Junichi Miyashita! Steps! OK! Circle Hammer. OK! Log Grip. Takes his time. Yes! Jumping Spider. NO! He whiffs mid-air! Oh well.

79. Lee Yen Chi! リー・エンチ! Can he bring glory to Taiwan? Their baseball team sure didn't (!). Steps. Circle Hammer! Girigiri Safe! Log Grip. Jumping Spider..Yes! Uh OH..OK! Half-Pipe Attack. Lee Yen Chiiiiiiiii! Ikemen Rock Climber. Soritatsu Kabe. OK! Slider Jump. Yes! Don't take your time man! Hurry up! UH OH. Having problems on the net. HURRY! Go! GO! Tarzan Climb. GO! GO! YES! 2.6! That's three!

He was moving very confidently up until he got messed up in the net.

I have a theory that Slider Jump with the net is there to slow down people from...running around freely if you get my drift.

HERE WE GO! Mr. SASUKE! OH good. It's the kid again. OK, he's not currently dying so I believe Yamada is fair game.

81. Jeez. Hurry up.

81. Mr. SASUKE Yamada Katsumi! 山田勝己! Here we go! FALL! I mean...GO! Steps! And of course...



81. Yamada Katsumi! Steps! I won't begrudge him if he passes this time. If only because of the child. Circle Hammer is unfortunately OK. Log Grip. OK. Yeah yeah. Jumping Spider as the crowd chants his name...YES! I mean NOOOOOOOOOOO! YAMADA HAS KILLED A CHILD!

Wow, if Yamada couldn't do it for a sick child, who can he do it for? He was up and then down again on the Jumping Spider. Sheesh. Do it for the hot dogs Katsumi!

84. Okuyama Yoshiyuki! 奥山義行! Here he goes. Steps! He's all dressed up this time. Circle Hammer. OK! Log Grip. Jumping Spider. YES! A little giri giri but yes! Through. Half-Pipe Attack. YES! Soritatsu Kabe. Time is OK. First time! Everyone is OWNING the Soritatsu Kabe tonight. Slider Jump. Yes! He goes the under. Watch your feet! Tarzan Rope. Lots of time. Tarzan Climb. And...the time is going red! Hurry! Yes! 3.3 seconds left!

You have a choice. Going over is safer but going under takes less time.

Takahashi Mitsuomi 高橋光臣 and Ryo Shirai 白井涼 (at the Tarzan Rope) go out. And K-1 fighter Watanabe Kazuhisa 渡辺一久.

Wakky wants to be the first celeb to get through.

89. Wakky of Penalty. Steps! OK! Circle Hammer. In the world of Monster 9, Wakky is a proven commodity. Log Grip is OK! In the world of non-Monster 9 programming SASUKE fans, Wakky is unproven. Jumping Spider. He's up! Really high! But he couldn't hold on! No!

Miyazaki and Hiromichi Sato are nervous.

Clips of Sato. He's arafo - around forty. Can he do it? I think there will be no cuts from here on out as...

90. Sato Hiromichi! 佐藤弘道 And his grin! Wait, he's not arafo..he's forty. Steps. Circle Hammer. Yes! Log Grip coming up. Readies himself. OK. Jumping Spider. Yes! A bit unsure on the Spider Walk though. OK! Half-Pipe Attack. Attack!! Yes. Soritatsu Kabe. This is his killer. First time! Jeez, is the wall lower or something. Slider Jump. Yes! Can he do it? He'd be the first legit celeb in ages. And...



The Slider Jump! Yes! He goes the over. Does he have time? Here he goes. Tarzan Climb...time is going red...Hurry! YES! 1.5 seconds left!

That's five! Heh, Shingo looks a little pissy in the background there.

And White SASUKE Jesus is waiting.

More clips of Sato actually doing something for once and earning his number.

91. Levi Meeuwenberg! He's the last hope for G4 today. JET got theirs man, JET got theirs.

The clips of Levi doing freerunning and meeting Nagano.

Here he goes. Steps. OK! Circle Hammer is OK. Log Grip. OK! Flip. Jumping Spider is no problem. Slightly awkward Spider Walk. Half-Pipe Attack is OK. Soritatsu Kabe. First try! Slider Jump. NO!!!!!!

Wow. He looked really confident going into that part. was my theory correct? Ouch. Cue the overly dramatic music.

And it all makes sense now. G4 delays the broadcast and adds a live event to draw away from their overall showing in SASUKE 22.

He can't believe this happened. Most people can't. Wow. The crowd is really subdued.

92. Takeda Toshihiro! 竹田敏浩 Steps! Heh. Cocky guy.


And we're back! Wait. We're not. More teaser. They point out that three of the five All-Stars have failed and Takeda at the Jumping Spider.



Takeda! Step. OK! Circle Hammer. whoa...OK! Log Grip. He'll get through this no problem. Jumping Spider. Breath. ES!NO !NO!N!O!NO! I mean..NO! Wow.

Ah..He didn't get a clean jump. He was up...then he wasn't. Cue the dramatic music!

Ishimori Taiji 石森太二(NOAH) and Matsunaga Tomohiro 松永共広(silver medalist) and Iketani Naoki 池谷直樹 and Kawashima Takayuki 川島孝幸 (Muscle Musical) all fall to SASUKE.

96. Kitagawa Tomoki! He's a rugby player. Steps. Circle Hammer. Whoa....OK! Need a slight tug there. Log Grip. Yes! Jumping Spider. YES! He's up! And...Slowly...He's not used to this I think. Her..NO! He didn't have it.

Next up. Paul ANTHONY Terek! It's time for some revenge! Terek should come to Japan as pro wrestler or something.

98. Paul ANTHONY Terek! Here he goes! Steps. Circle Hammer. Whoa..OK. Log Grip. Yes! Jumping Spider! Yes! Man, he's too big for that thing. Slowly. He has on tabi. Half-Pipe Attack. Yes! Soritatsu Kabe. NO! YES! Slider Jump coming up. Taking his time. Ye...NO! I guess he lost control at the end.

I guess it was time for SASUKE's revenge.

Slider Jump = White man killer. Damn racist.

Alright, I admit, I said double digits going to the 2nd Stage. I stat cursed SASUKE.

Clips of Mr. HANDBALL! By the way, did we see his teammate Sho Iwanaga?

Cue the King Kull music! It's Miyazaki Daisuke!

99. Miyazaki Daisuke! 宮崎大輔! Steps. Circle Hammer...whoa. OK. Log Grip. Yes! Jumping Spider. Yes! Here he goes. The walls must be slippery or something. Through. Half-Pipe Attack. Wow. Kind of a low run. Wait..He swings back and forth. Only once chance here. And he does the Soritatsu Kabe! Slider Jump. Yes! He goes that a tactical mistake? Go! Hurry! He doesn't have much time. Tarzan Rope. Daijobu kanaa? Masaka! Masaka! Masaka!

Dammit. Miyazaki times out.

The Half-Pipe Attack took time but DO NOT GO OVER THE NET IF YOU DON'T HAVE TIME. It takes too long.

Apparently I missed Levi asking why he timed out. Um. OK.

Highlights and privacy invasion of Makoto Nagano's life.

The All-Stars are in a bad spot! Once again, Nagano is their only hope!

There's over an hour left, one person on the 1st Stage left and possibly three more stages to go. Interesting.

100. Nagano Makoto! 長野誠! Here he goes! Steps. OK. Circle Hammer is OK! Log Grip. Yes! Jumping Spider. Yes! Wow, he just kind of floated in the air there. Cool. Only he knew what he would do. Half-Pipe Attack. Yes! Soritatsu Kabe. Yes! Wow, only Terek missed it the first time (of those shown).



Here he goes...SlidinNO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have a joke here written down about something blue and something about balls helping Nagano first attaining Kanzen Seiha that I will refrain from using out of respect to him.

Wow. He just missed getting a hand on the net.

Arsenette totally called it by the way.

2nd Stage!

Hrm..If Okuyama = Yes, then Nagano = No. Interesting.

A look at the stages. Nothing much changed yet. Let's see lots of people failing the Salmon Ladder. OK. The thing hasn't changed at all. 80 seconds to clear.

Here's the first! Kanno Hitoshi! 菅野仁志!

Wow. Sato and no All-Stars. Downhill Jump OK. Salmon Ladder. YES! No problem! Swing Ladder. OK! Metal Spin. Whoa..OK! YES! More than enough time! Wall Lifting. Yes! Yes! Yes! Wait...YES! He's through!

Wow, that was easy.

Shoes! It can only be Urushihara Yuji! 漆原裕治!

Wow, the crowd is super pumped up.

Downhill Jump is OK. Salmon Ladder. Slip. But re-aligns. No problem! Swing Ladder coming up. Metal Spin. OK! Wow, this is FAST! Wall Lifting. Hurry! Can he do it! YES! STQers represent!

Lee Yen Chi is up next! リー・エンチ! It's time for his revenge. Downhill Jump is OK. Salmon Ladder. He can get through this but he took too long last time. Yes! Damn, I think having the STQers there brings the energy level. Metal Spin. Yes! Wall Lifting. YES! YES!

That's three for three! Taiwan REPRESENT!

Wow. The STQers and Lee Yen Chi say "All-Stars who?"

I'm saying wow a lot. This maybe what SASUKE needs - the STQers are bringing such energy that everything feels..fresher. It's like Urushihara and Kanno are treating the course like it's SASUKE Park. Something you just do. Not something you obsess over (although they obviously do).

Next up! Okuyama Yoshiyuki! 奥山義行 Can he make it four for four?

Downhill Jump is OK. Salmon Ladder. YES! Swing Ladder. Still has lots of time. Metal Spin. YES! WOW! Wall Lifting. YES! YES! YEEEEEEEES! Four for four!

And now...Hiromichi Sato. 佐藤弘道 One of these things is not like the others.

Downhill Jump is OK. Can he do the Salmon Ladder? Halfway now. Oh wow. He did it! I'm amazed. Seriously. Swing Ladder. And break time.


OK, the four who have made it through have maybe less than fifteen tries at the course total between them (Yamada has 21. Yamamoto, 22). This is crazy.


Metal Spin coming up. NO!!!!!!!!!! Whew, I needed someone to disappoint children. In that category, Hiromichi Sato did not LET ME DOWN!

Let's kill some time and look at his run again.

Wow, four of five move on.

3rd Stage

Arm Ring. Kudari Lamp Grasper. Devil Steps. Shin-Cliff HangerJumping Bar. Hang Climbing. Spider Flip. (Not so) Gliding Ring. No time limit. Wow. absolutely no shots of the All-Stars at all.

The Final Stage is waiting!

菅野仁志 Kanno up first. Arm Rings. OK. Kudari Lamp Grasper. Clip. I guess he needed another can of SASUKE Spray. Good rhythm. And OK! Looks a little shaky.

Devil Steps. This took out Miyazaki last time. Here he goes. At the turn. OK. NO problem! Rest time. Shin-Cliff Hanger. Here he goes. At the slant...Going for the jump. He'll make it. YES!


OK, his Shin-Cliff Hanger attempt was in a commercial (one of the commercials) so that shouldn't have been a surprise. But I guess since no one knew who he was, most probably dismissed it.


Shin-Cliff Hanger. Yes! Jumping Bar coming up. Lee Yen Chi looks on! His family is pumped! I'm sorry but this is the most excited I've seen a crowd in ages.

Jumping Bar. One. Two. Three. Four. Hang Climbing coming up. OK. OK. OK. Ikeru! Ikeru! Yes! Spider Flip coming up. Daijobu! Some time getting set.


COURSE OUT!!!! NOO!!!!!! He was pretty much spent.

Once he put his legs on the bar, he was out. But hey, he's in the company of the All-Stars. And even surpassed Takeda.

Shoes. Shoes. Shoes. Shoes. Muscle Park. He lives with his mom! It's Urushihara Yuji! 漆原裕治!

UNCLI represent! Arm Rings. No problem. Hahaha. His UNCLI shirt has the kanji for shoes on the sleeve. He's the No. 3 Cliffer.

Kudari Lamp Grasper. OK! Devil Steps coming up. Good - really freaking fast - Devil Steps rhythm. Wow. Hey, that teenager is there. Shin-Cliff Hanger coming up. At the slant. YES! NO PROBLEM! Wow. He totally pwned that thing as the kids say.

Is our hero of the new age Urushihara Yuji? Lee Yen Chi? Okuyama Yoshiyuki?


He hits the Shin-Cliff Hanger like he went to some indoor amusement park and practiced it over a dozen times!

Rest as he gets ready for the Jumping Bars. One. Two. Three. Four! Hang Climbing coming up. I guess you can use it like a rock climb. Spider Flip coming up. Don't touch the poles man! He's up. Getting ready. Ikeru yo! Resting. Or praying. Hard to say. Getting ready again. He changed his shoes I think. Yeah, he has different shoes on. Only Nagano has passed this. Here he goes. YES! The jump is not the point. It's that you have to get down and get ready later. Gliding Ring! Wow. This is awesome. Here he goes. It glides! JUMP! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Final Stage here we come!

The SASUKE Park All-Stars and Ultimate Cliffers jump for joy as Katsumi Yamada looks on. Heh.

OK, see, this is the thing. Because Nagano did it for the All-Stars. Urushihara is doing it for a bigger, just as dedicated group of people. That's why this is so emotional.

Poor Lee Yen Chi and Okuyama Yoshiyuki don't have much time to do their thing.

JET has to be happy about this. Lee Yen Chi! リー・エンチ!

Arm Rings. Kudari Lamp Grasper. He looks more ripped than usual but can he do it? Does he have it in him? A bit hangy, as opposed to the other two. But he's through! Devil Steps. He'll rest and spray up here. Up. Yes. At the turn. Yes! This the big one. Shin-Cliff Hanger. Here he goes. At the slant. Whoa...OK. Here he goes. Wait...NO!

He wasn't set. Still, JET has to be happy. Let's give him a hand!


He wants to do this again!

Okuyama! 奥山義行! We have about twenty minutes left and we know that someone is moving on. I'll be frank, it doesn't look good for Yoshiyuki.

Arm Rings are no problem. Can he make his children happy? Or will THEY GO HOME IN TEARS! Kudari Lamp Grasper. No problem! Yoshiyuki impresses me and then we go to commercials.


OK, it's those stupid Baby Cokes. Hurry up!


Kudari Lamp Grasper is no problem. Here comes the Devil Steps. Getting set. Up. Methodical. At the turn. And he's through!

Shin-Cliff Hanger...Everyone is waiting...At the slant...Here he goes. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the kids are surprised. The girl is on the verge of tears...stay on her! Stay on her! No. Darn it. Kuyashii node mata ganbarimasu!

It's like his real Olympic dream!

Urushihara Yuji is the first man to make the new Final Stage! And Mr. Yamada drops his two cents. Let's see...there wil be a montage and then what?

Rope Climb for 4. Spider Climb to Rope Climb for 17. But since one. We don't even know what it is.




The New FINAL STAGE: Heavenly Ladder to the G Rope. 45 seconds? Yeesh.

BUG IN MIKI footage. And then shots of him training at a playground. Can he be the third man to finish SASUKE?

Woooooo..Okuyama is PIMPING in that jacket.

I've never liveblogged a Final Stage before. It's uncharted territory for everyone!

Jeez. That's high.


And he has the support of the STQers. The Unlimited Cliffers. The SASUKE Park All-Stars. If he does it. It's for them.

Here we go!

Up the Heavenly Ladder.

10 M mark.


Of course.

Don't complain. You knew it was coming.


Here he goes. Heavenly Ladder. At the 10 Meter mark. At the G Rope! GO MAN GO!


Time is going red! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!



To tell the truth, I thought going in he was going to make it.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. The only thing I can do is laugh.

That is awesome. TBS led me on and got me thinking someone was going to finish tonight.

You know what? Whatever. We just saw a "new hero" born. A dark horse whose group seemed to bring a lot more energy to the later stages than the last few shows.

Is this the turning point? This isn't like 20 when Levi was the last man standing and the All-Stars crapped out. Naturally, this is better if only for the number of people moving on. This isn't even like the All-Stars return to form in 21. Sure it was emotional but this was fresher. Different. It wasn't just because of a new group of faces. Only Kanno was going through his first try at SASUKE. And yet, it didn't suffer at all with the lack of All-Stars. TBS and Monster 9 have been looking for their new stars and really, I've never understood why they've never given Urushihara's group more chances. They have to know who they are. They know that they are at the Trials. That they send in letters and videos. That they are at Muscle Park. And now one of them has gone farther than anyone else in the last five shows. They are the future of SASUKE if it wants to stay alive in Japan. Give them a chance Monster 9.

As far as this SASUKE was concerned it was STQers that stole the show from the All-Stars and maybe that's how it's going to be from now on.


Anonymous said...

Nice post. I too thought Urushihara was going to make it when they cut to that final commercial. Overall, quite an enjoyable program this time, and I hope you're right that this will change the dynamic of future SASUKE competitions. I'd definitely like to see more surprise competitors in the future - makes me wonder if the next competition will end up being a veterans vs. new blood kind of thing.

Arsenette said...

100000% agreed on the last end. (both the TBS wtf and the direction it took this time). Which is why I loved Sasuke Trials. Which is why I love the Muscle park kids. Heck I'm STILL waiting for Moody. Maybe they will invest more time in Sasuke Trials. I noticed they gave them more airtime in Navi now that Sasuke Mania is gone.

I know people will be dissapointed with the result because they are used to the usual suspects. I for one didn't pass as much popcorn but was happy with the turn of events... (except Sato.. /sigh).. hopefully this will envigorate the franchise.

pamwax said...

Great blog Ube and now I know the name of the almost winner. I really thought he was going to make it.

Time marches on as it is suppose to. Stars pass the torch to the new kids. It happens in every sport and it is happening in Sasuke. I am happy to see new fresh faces succeed.

But still...there is only 1 Nagano-san. There might come along a better athlete but no one will replace him in my heart. His spirit and heart make him unique.

Some Kinda Wonderful said...

Great blog post Ube. I was really cheering for Lee Yen Chi this time. I was hoping it was he who made it to the final stage. Alas... it was not to be. Maybe next time. Thanks Ube. It was an exciting show. What do you bet g4 takes out all the really good stuff when they edit their shows?

Lizzy said...

What do you mean by JET got theirs?

ugh so disappointed with levi's run. they will let him come back next year, right???

Anonymous said...

JET got theirs, as in they got some good stuff from Lee Enchi's performance.

It seems like a pretty sure bet that Levi will be back for SASUKE 23, he's got at least one more exemption for his performance in 20, and his name continues to be dropped next to the All-Stars and other pro-athletes (how many times did we hear that in the last hour...). Of course, he'll need to beat Stage 1 next time to keep his standing, to show that his SASUKE 20 result wasn't a one-time thing. With Urushihara as a new face, along with Kanno's strong performance, it'll be even more crucial, I'd say. If the course remains the same as in 22, I'm pretty sure that Levi, Takeda, Nagano, and the other top-ranked competitors will pass to Stage 2. It was kind of funny though - Levi's failure sent a shockwave through the remainder of the final ten such that none of them ended up beating Stage 1.

Urushihara did put on a good show, that Gliding Ring jump was excellent. I have a good feeling about him, hopefully he proves to be a consistent performer for future competitions.

Milner said...

As always, a wonderful summary! Thanks.

chaki said...

Very good point made about UNCLI. Because no qualifier had ever made it past the first stage before, everyone just dismissed all of them.

Arsenette once pointed out that Takeda must have been staring straight at them when he made the comment about "It's important NOT to practice too much for Sasuke. It's about performing under pressure."

But Kanno and Urushihara has proven everyone wrong PLUS AND you can only pass Shin Cliffhanger if you have practiced it at Sasuke Park (or a home version)

And having competed against these kids(LOL), I love them all! Like they are on TV, just pure fun and enthusiasm. If the trials were open and held at Muscle Park, I would have gone to cheer them on.

When others do well, it takes pressure off the All-stars, especially Nagano who has told me that he hates wearing 100. "In the 90s are the best, but 100 is just so much pressure."

So yeah, it was a fun one! I missed the first 30 mins. but with your recap, I feel no need to watch it. Thanks!

snowy said...

Thanks for the blog as always, Ube. It was an interesting competition, to be sure. I was happy to see some of the old faves get air time again: Mr. Octopus, Hang Glider Dude, and Creepy Little Model Maker (after all this time, I still don't know their proper names). It seems Lee Enchi and Okuyama are taking off where Shinji Kobayashi and Kenji Takahashi left off (be still, my hormones).

The Sasuke Trials guys might even be a new wave of AllStars, and makes me wonder if some of the current AllStars might hang it up. I get the feeling Yamamoto is heartily sick of it all. And Yamada's going to need a brassiere if his moobs get any pudgier. Now THERE'S an unattractive visual for you!

But congrats to the new guys, especially Urushihara (Daffy Duck voice and all). See, I made fun of his voice for you. I'm allowed since I didn't make any snide remarks about playing the Kid Card. You did a masterful job on that: "Yamada just killed a child." Just had to see that again.

Thanks again, Ube!

joemello04 said...

This was my 2nd live Sasuke--21 was awesome because it was my first, and this was awesome because the show was awesome. Hell, the Ninja Warrior promos can practically write themselves--"Everything you knew about Ninja Warrior will be changed forever" or some such.

However, there's this thing nagging in the back of my head, and it keeps saying the same thing over and over again: As Nagano goes, so goes SASUKE. I really hope there wasn't a flood of channel changing after Stage 1 because that would be unfair to the show and its participants. Plus, I think the setup of the course is nearly ideal. The Slider Jump looks like it will continue to be the equalizer for at least 1 or 2 more tournaments, which means there's a level of suspense and more reason to tune in.

The key to Sasuke's future will (obviously) be in the next tournament. Barring oddities, there should still be only single-digits going to Stage 2, but I think someone has to get into Final Stage again in order to not discourage the viewers. With ratings at an all-time low, the contestants cannot go backwards so visibly.

Final note: Urushihara really really really needs to hit puberty. Either that or start a career in anime voice acting.

merimask said...

Ube! Fantastic job as always! Your Sasuke play-by-play is the highlight of your blog for me. ^_^

I can help you with some of the Muscle Musical people's names since I worked with them & recognized them all. The fellow with cool hair who went before TV personality Ishimaru Kenjiro is actually Ishikawa Terukazu (we all call him "Ishi")...he's on the far right in this picture:
I'm still sort of in shock that NO AllStars and NO G4 people made it through stage 1...that's pretty amazing. It's like the exact opposite of Sasuke 21 with two AllStars in the third stage (& two ANC kids making it to the second). It's not disappointing, though. Urushihara tried so hard for so long to compete in Sasuke...I'm glad he had such an impressive run. Good for him! Good for Sasuke too; it needed to demonstrate that it's something any average citizen can hope to attain & I think 22 did a good job of showcasing that. SHOES!!

xdarkskylightcloudsx said...

Love your blog been following for a while and I agree on that last part, The Muscle Park All Stars and qualifiers are the future of SASUKE, also I hope Muscle Musical members go far in the next tournament because they too are the future of SASUKE.

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