Monday, November 14, 2011

Monster 9 Applies for Bankruptcy

According to Sankei Biz, Monster 9, the production company who created and produces (or in some cases produced) SASUKE, the Muscle Musical, KUNOICHI, Sportsman No. 1, Kinniku Banzuke and VIKING applied for bankruptcy on the 11th of this month.

The company is 35億6600万円 (3,566,000,000 yen) in debt. The debt is split between Monster 9 (18億600万円) and Digital 9 (17億6000万円). Some of the articles note that there may have been some accounting fraud going on. Update: Maybe not fraud but definitely window dressing (粉飾決算), which I'm not sure is illegal or not.

An article on Sanspo says that SASUKE's future is uncertain right now (there was currently no show scheduled to be made).

Earlier in the year, the Muscle Theater in Shibuya, the home of the Muscle Musical, was shut down due to fire hazard violations and the Muscle Park in Chitose, Hokkaido was shut down (it is now open under new management).

Currently, the Monster 9 and  Muscle Musical (update: it seems like some of the member sites are still up but the ones with the musclemusical in their addresses are gone) sites are down. The SASUKE Mania site is still up but any contact information has been removed.

Monster 9 was first created in 2005 and in 2008 it's profits reached 31.5 billion yen.

Update: Creditors have until December 16th to file and there will be a meeting on March 12th, 2012 at 1:30 PM. The lawyer who will act as the trustee is one Shuuji Kitagawa (北川秀二).

Quick clarification: For those asking about the type of bankruptcy in this situation, refer to here. All the articles refer to 破産 (hasan) or more specifically 自己破産 (jiko hasan) which is voluntary liquidation. See section IV of the link provided.

Update: List of known Monster 9 creditors. I don't think the list is complete. All numbers are in the 10,000s.

Other articles:

IT Media News
NetIB News
ANN News
Nico Nico
Yahoo Japan

Monday, October 03, 2011

SASUKE 27 The Sort of Live Blog! It's SASUKE2011秋!

Tonight! It's been a while but it's SASUKE 2011秋 or SASUKE 27 for those of you who like it that way!

While the title of tonight's show is SASUKE 2011 Fall, the show was taped way back in July of this year. The 18th to be exact. At the time Japan was still reeling (and still is in many ways) from the effects of the Tohoku disaster. On the 17th of that month Nadeshiko Japan, Japan's national women's soccer team,  shocked the United States to take the Women's World Cup. It was widely seen as a big pick-me up for Japan. Will SASUKE do the same?

It won't but hey, that's what they were trying to say in some of the promotional material (but they didn't make the direct Nadeshiko comparison).

Yeah, I was blathering. Anyway, a few more commercials to go...

2600! Have tried! Takeda! Bunpei! Kane! Yamada!

Only three have ever conquered "Mount Midoriyama!" Akiyama! Nagano! Urushihara! Tonight! Will we see a fourth?

Let us watch some wipe outs (no, not that show) first to get us warmed up.

153 countries! That's a lot of places to be broadcasted! The Americans are invading! And so are the Malaysians! Well, one Malaysian. But they got to meet the (world's?) strongest fisherman Makoto Nagano.

Someone got 24! Kazuma Asa's back! My hands are sore! I didn't warm-up!


1st Stage!

1. Hitoshi Kanno! Whoa! What the heck? Here he goes! Step Slider. Rolling Escargot up next..he failed this before. And.....He does it! Giant Swing next. Yes! Good form! Jumping Spider...YES! Could we be going 1 for 1? Half-Pipe Attack. Here he goes. WHOA! Had to go back. He's got it! Soritatsu Kabe on one try! Commercial before he completes the next obstacle!

CMs. Promotion for stupid Kimura Takuya drama. I hear it was expensive to make.


He clears the wall. Spin Bridge..He falls! But he's up again! Yes! Tarzan Rope! He's going to do it! Redemption! Redemption! Time is going red but he's already up! 6.5 left. Yes! Take that! What a way to start!

7. Kyohei Hara is next! He can lift 12 futons! That's strong. Skip ahead to the Rolling Escargot. Yes! Hara Kyoheeiiii! Giant Swing STRAIGHT INTO THE WATER! Ohhh...that was a new transition (a giant SASUKE just did a wipe across the screen).

Masaaki Akata! He should be 24..oh wait.

24. Masaaki Akata! He has glasses! Step Slider. Rolling Escargot coming up. He has kids cheering for him. NO! Shachoooo! The kids in red are his child slave laborers. Work dammit!

13. Umm..Katsuhide Torisawa! He always blows up at the start line! And this time??? He blows the bottle opening schtick. Here he goes. Gets the Step Slider! Crowd is dead because he blew the trick! Rolling Escargot...he takes a header right at the end! Yikes. He cut himself opening the bottle. And he went face first into the platform.

Daichi Hashimoto! He's the son of legendary wrestler Shinya Hashimoto. But he goes pretty much straight into the water!

Daisuke Morikami! He's with the Muscle Musical but he's a pro MTB rider! He just timed out last time! He's number 6 by the way. Here he goes. Through the Slider really fast. Rolling Escargot...Clear! Giant Swing.YES!  Jumping Spider...YES! We will have 50 clears tonight! Half-Pipe Attack...YES! Soritatsu Kabe. First try! Oh my. Spin Bridge. YES! He's going to do it! Tarzan Rope. Unless he inadvertently hangs himself with the rope. 25.6. That's two!

Next up...Is a famous person!

Kenjiro Ishimaru! Can he finally do it? Step Slider. He had the most mellow theme song ever. Rolling Escargo...he lost his footing! He's done! Damn.

Yukio Kikuchi! Is a lawyer! Step Slider. Whoops. Not quite. And now he's through. Rolling Escargot. Skin head! And that's it!

QTaro Suzuki is up next! Some schtick first. Burping (and shotgunning a cola) is the key to SASUKE success. Here he goes! And his feet hit the water! So he goes in anyway!

Satomi Kadoi! She's from the Muscle Musical. She completed KUNOICHI! Step Slider. Rolling Escargot...this might be tough. YES! Giant Swing...YES! Jumping Spider. YES! But she's going slowly. She needs to pick it up to clear. Half-Pipe Attack. She looks tired. And that's it!

Lots of people but no results! Will get to this later. That's like five people.

Yoshio Kojima fails the Step Slider as we get back to business.

22. Taizou Sugimura will be up after these messages.



22. Taizou Sugimura! And he wipes out on the first obstacle! Impeach! Impeach!

Oh wow, hey, it's the Ebay winner!

He's from Universit of Central Florida! He paid...three thousand dollars for the right to fail the Rolling Escargot! Thanks for the cash!

Up next is Hidenori Sasaki. He is from Iwate prefecture, one of the areas hit by the tsunami. Step Slider! His SASUKE set was wiped out by the tsunami. And he tries to hold on to the Rolling Escargot but he can't! Great story though.

65. Yosuke Kaneko! He's from the Muscle Musical too. Las Vegas version. Step Slider. He gets a face graphic because he's an M9 boy. Through the Giant Swing! Wow! Jumping problem! Half-Pipe Attack. Yes! Soritatsu Kabe..First try! Can he be three? Spin Bridge..YES! Tarzan Rope. Lots of time. YES! 34.8!

Kinnkun is up next! He's been away from SASUKE for a long time! He gets to practice on Hidenori Nagasawa's set!

30. Kinnikun Nakayama! He's all buff. Step Slider is no problem! But the Rolling Escargot is! Whoops. Thanks for coming.

Kenji Takahashi! Fails the Spin Bridge!  Nagasawa fails the Half-Pipe Attack! As does another female Muscle Musical member!

Our first non-paid for foreigner! Let's look at the coverage SASUKE Malaysia got because 50 percent of the people under 30 are fat! Nagano was there too!

52. Mohammed Farid Isham! He's your SASUKE Malaysia winner! The Cat! Step Slider! Rolling Escargot...Whoops! That's it for Malaysia. Darn. Still. Getting there is the first step!

Aw yeah...Kazuma Asa! He's angry! He's a former SASUKE Trial guy. I love them. Ooohh..Old school Trials. SASUKE ai (love)! He's got passion! Wait...he failed but got picked anyway! Yes!

55. Kazum Asa! Step Slider. Rolling Escargot...YES! Giant Swing. Good job! Jumping Spider. YES! SASUKE Tamashi! Half-Pipe Attack. Whoa! But he's through! Soritatsu Kabe killed him before. First try. NO! Second. NO! One more. YES! C'mon! Kouji Hashimoto sighting! Can he do it? After a word from a sponsor we will find out!

Back. He's gotten past the wall. Spin Bridge! YES! YES! GO MAN GO! Tarzan Rope. Lots of time. YES! 12.1 left! He collapses! He's about to cry. Oh wait..he is crying.

David Rodriguez! He's our first of ten Amercan Ninja Warriors! He's got a mask! I He's all flippy-floppy. Crowd and announcer are a bit subdued. Was doing something else during this part so I'll fill it in later. Sorry David! He's through! 17.3!

Nobody asked you or your opinion Yamada.

An elementary school teacher and someone else I should know fail the 1st Stage!

Paul Kasemir is through1 As is Ryan Stratis! But you knew that! Almost all of them are through! Lots of fast forwarding here...

That's OK because it means we get a Ryo Matachi fluff piece!

62. Ryo Matachi! Step Slider! He's a house painter! He has paint! Rolling Escargot. YES! Giant Swing! Revenge of the UNCLI! Spider Jump. Half-Pipe Attack. YES! He's mom is excited! Soritatsu Kabe. NO! One more try. Taking his time. And gets it! Spin Bridge. Through! Tarzan Rope. Time is going to go red soon...Can he do it? Celebrating before the end zone gets him a 5.92! Flag on the play!

Masami Harashima! Gets set. And he GETS PAST THE STEP SLIDER. Rolling Escargot. WHOA! He loses it but can't do it! Tako-tencho with a zannen!

Hey, it's the world's most famous tako-tencho. Mr. Octopus. Hahaha. Visual joke! Taking his time. Even he knows he won't pass. Slowly on the Step Slider. But he can't get the rope! It's OK! The world loves you anyway.

Okada and the car powered Rolling Escargot! Not eco-friendly if you ask me. But you didn't.

68. Yuichi Okada! His wife is there! Step Slider. Clear! Rolling Escargot...Slowly. Slowly. YES! Training pays off! Giant Swing! Jumping Spider. No problem! Half-Pipe Attack next. The platform throws everyone's timing off. Soritatsu Kabe...first try is a no go. One more time. NO! One more time. A cut brings us to the time going red. His wife is in tears. He'll have to ride the Rolling Escargot home by himself.

Whatever Nagano says, listen to. Whatever Yamada says, do the opposite.

50. Daisuke Naito! He's a former boxing champion. If you do anything on a world stage you will always have something to do in the world of Japanese entertainment.  But we got some commercials for you first.


50. Daisuke Naito! Annnnnnnnnnd...why practice the Escargot when you're just going to fail like that?! Nagano thinks the same. Shingo laughs at someone, as always.

Kouji Hashimoto! Gets a fast forward! As does Naoya Tajima! and Setoda from the Muscle Musical. AND LOTS OF OTHER PEOPLE! RYOMA KATOU M9 forgives you! YOU CAN BE ON TV NOW!

16 out of 80! Yikes!

The chickens...are they revolting? They are! it's Shingo Yamamoto. Or High-Octane Man. Since every SASUKE nickname is either Mr. Something or Something Man.

81. Shingo Yamamoto! Step Slider is OK! Rolling Escargot goes slowly. Takeda sighting! Giant Swing. Hat is still on. Jumping Spider. His shoes are all neon and stuff. Half-Pipe Attack. YES! Soritatsu Kabe. YES! Nagano is HAPPY! Spin Bridge. Lots of time. NO! HE SLIPS AT THE END! Nagano is sad! Why did you rush!

Mottainai. Mata ka yo.

82. Cross country skier Yuichi Onda! He has medals. Step Slider. YES! Let's cut to Yamada for some reason. NO! He lost his grip on the Rolling Escargot!

Oh boy. Katsumi Yamada up next. Hey, his Soritatsu Kabe is high! Like he'll get that far

Alright Yamada, we'll call a truce. If you pass this time, I won't mock you as much anymore. OK?

91. Katsumi Yamada. Here he goes. Step Slider. Yeah. Rolling Escargot. And he's through. Giant Swing. Clear. Jumping Spider. He's up. And is going..but we need a shochu commercial first. I agree TBS. We all need alcohol to get through Yamada.


Back. Jumping Spider. Ho-hum. Nagano wastes energy cheering him on. Getting set for the Half-Pipe Attack. Misses the platform..But he's got it. OH. MY. GOD. Soritatsu Kabe. No. Again. He's already getting that body language. Again. Time is running out. Nope. Time is going red. Hey, at least he tried until the end this time.

92. Wakky! His goal is to get past the 1st Stage! His dream is to complete SASUKE! Kue the Kull the Konquerer music! Step Slider. Rolling Escargot next. He played soccer in university. He's through! Giant Swing. Yes! Hmmm..Jumping Spider. YES! A bit slow though. Needs to pick it up. Half-Pipe Attack. Getting set. Yes! Soritatsu Kabe.YES! Hey, he's taller than I expected. Nagano is excited! Yamada! YOU'RE OUT! Wakky is in!


Back. He's up the wall! Spin Bridge. YES! HE'S GOING TO DO IT! Tarzan Rope! He needs to hurry a bit though. Time going red soon. Dude, hurry up. YES! 4.28! He's happy!

More athletes fail! Hey! The football guy! Ice Hockey! Naoki Iketani and Ishikawa and Okuyama all cleared sometime during the day! There are four left! Taiwan, Nippon, America!

97. There are eagles. And eagle shooting heroes! It's Lee En Chi. NO! OH MY GOSH! HE HIT THE WATER!

He's too tall!

24 have passed! It's all Americans and Japanese this time around!

98. David Campbell! He's the American Ace! Man, the Rolling Escargot is butt-tastic. Sorry I thought about that line during your run David. Jeez. The TBS announcer is a bit...subdued. Commercials.

Yikes. David just blasts through the course. 44.32! I bet Takeda regrets not competing.

99. Yuuji Urushihara! He's done it before! But he finds interesting ways to fail every time! Step Slider. Rolling Escargot. Move Sport getting lots of promo time tonight. Giant Swing is no problem! Jumping Spider is no problem. He's failed the next before. But he's got the Half-Pipe Attack this time! Soritatsu Kabe on the first try! Not rushing. Spin Bridge! Tarzan Rope coming up. Lots of time left. 15.08! Yes! Effortless.

There is only one left! The man with the most success at SASUKE. The 2nd man to finish the course and de facto spokesman for the show. Makoto Nagano. He's been around the world! Unfortunately, his father passed away recently. Nagano would like to do it for him. He gets the Takeda back slap! Commercials first though.


There is a battle. It's the last one!

100. Makoto Nagano! Thank You For Supporting Japan! Step Slider. Rolling Escargot. Yes! Jumping Spider. Yes! More Move Sports! Half-Pipe Attack...YES! Soritatsu Kabe. Yes as the crowd chants his name! Gets set. Asami can't look. YES! Tarzan Rope. Lots of time left. He can catch his breath. 9.55! He's through! The wife and everyone else is happy!

2nd Stage!

9 Americans! David's goal is not to be the fastest! 18 Japanese have gotten through! That's a lot of people. I'm sure they will edit the heck out of the next stage.

27 for 27! The fix is in!

Lets get all fiery and stuff.

Hitoshi Kanno is up first. Uh oh. Looks like he hurt himself on his fall. And that's it. Hrm. He already had tape on his arm. Yuuji says stop. And he does.

Daisuke Morikami is up next! Double Salmon Ladder. He misses a rung. But is back on track! At the switch. YES! He's the dark horse! Unstable Bridge. He's already used half the time limit. Announcer talks about his potential. At the 2nd board. He's through! Needs to hurry though! Balance Tank. Needs to go fas...oh wait...Metal Spiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin! That's the classic though. Falling on the Metal Spin due to rushing.

29. Naoya Tajima! They edited him before! He turns and twists stuff! Here he goes. NO! Whoops. Hrm. Ryoma Kato was already in his street clothes.

David Rodrigues is next! He has a mask! And is jumpy! Here he goes! Whoops! There he goes too! The announcer is quite concerned about the mask!

20. Kouji Hashimoto! He's waiting! He's made the final before. He failed the Metal Spin last time. Will he be the first Japanese competitor to make it through? Here he goes! To the Double Salmon Ladder. At the switch. YES! Unstable Bridge up next. At the gap. YES! 2nd board. Through! Balance Tank. Got it! Metal is worried. Here he goes. YES! Needs to hurry! Time going red soon. YES! That's one!

45. Yousuke Kaneko of the Muscle Musical is up next! He was the fastest of the Japanese competitors! Double Salmon Ladder. At the switch. NO! He missed it! That was quite dangerous. Rookies, I tells ya.

Let's look at all the writing on Kazuma Asa's back!

55. Kazuma Asa! Aw yeah! Slider Drop is clear! Double Salmon Ladder. Misses a rung. Back on track. At the switch. YES! Two more rungs. NO! He missed the top right rung! Yuuji and Ryo are concerned!

Let us fast forward through the people having trouble with the Double Salmon Ladder! We've got painting to do!

Ryo Matachi! Can he break the curse of the Double Salmon Ladder? At the switch. YES! Needs a few tries to get to the top. He's through! Unstable Bridge. YES! Balance Tank. Whoa. YES! WHOA. Metal Spin. Slowly. Yes! Wall. One! Two! Three!...Time going red. He's going under! YES! YES! 3.4 left! He couldn't get the wall up but he got enough to get under it! That's two!

James McGrath! He's tall! Double Salmon Ladder already! At the switch! Yes! Unstable Bridge. He's blazing through! Relatively. Balance Tank. Metal Spin. YES! Here he goes! Walls. One. Twooo...Three! 18.84! He's through!

By the way, the corner graphic says tonight there will be the 4th Kanzenseiha.

Brent Steffensen is next! Double Salmon Ladder. Yes! Unstable Bridge...clear! Balance Tank...He almost lost it! But he got it back in time! ONLY TO FAIL THE METAL SPIN!

Let's see more people fail the Metal Spin! Ryoma!

92. Wakky is next! He passed the 1st Stage for the first time tonight. Can he do the same here? He's the most famous person left! Double Salm...wait. Commercials.

Back. Wakky getting ready to do the Double Salmon Ladder. Dunno if he can do this. NO! He had it uneven and couldn't get back on track!

87. Terukazu Ishikawa! He failed the Metal Spin at 24! Can he do it this time? Double Salmon Ladder. At the switch. Yes! One more rung to the Unstable Bridge. Struggling a bit. 2nd Board! YES! Balance Tank. Yes! Metal Spin coming up. This is the big one. YES! Time going red soon though. Can he do it? One! Two! Three! YES!..WHOA! 0.06! He cuts it close!

Ryan Stratis finally gets some SASUKE love! BECAUSE HE'S THROUGH DAMMIT! As are some other Americans!

Naoki Iketani fails the Double Salmon Ladder. Six have cleared! 23 have gone! There are four left!

Yoshiyuki Okuyama finally gets some fluff! He's busy during the day so he has to train at night!

96. Yoshiyuki Okuyama! Shingo claps him on! As do Okuyama's kids. Double Salmon Ladder. At the switch. Yes! One more rung. On the Unstable Bridge now. Going to the 2nd board. OK! False landing! He's through! Balance Tank! Metal Spin before the commercial.


Metal Spin. YES! Lots of time! One! Two! Three! 9.65! That's another one! That's why he has his own facebook page!

Three left! The two finishers and the American Ace.

About an hour and twenty minutes left in the show by the way.

98. David Campbell! Double Salmon Ladder is no problem for this artist musician David Campbell! 2nd Board...false landing. Through! Balance Tank! Ikimashita! Metal Spin. YES! Lots of time left! One! Two! Three! Artist Musician David Campbell!

There are two left! They are nervous!

99. Yuuji Urushihara! He is the leader of the New Generation! Double Salmon Ladder. Up quickly. At the switch. Yes! Unstable Bridge coming up. 2nd Board. YES! Balance Tank. Slowly but surely. Yes! Metal Spin. Lots of time! Yes! One! Two! Struggled there. Three! Time going red but he's through! 7.17!

Nagano rocking the Ninjapan shirt. Yuuji wants to go to the 3rd Stage with Nagano!

100. Nagano has had problems with the Metal Spin before. Let's go over that. Here we go! Slider Drop. Double Salmon Ladder. Up quickly. At the switch. Through! Unstable Bridge. 2nd Board. False landing. Yes! Balance Tank. Slowly. Not a lot of time though. Metal Spin. Needs to hurry. But we don't because we have a commercial!

Lots of SASUKE stuff trending on Japanese twitter but as the sumo special showed us, trending on twitter doesn't always translate into ratings.


Taking his time. YES! The crowd cheers him on! Time going red! He knows how to do this part! 1.6 left!

3rd Stage.

Ten have reached this far. Can anyone go further?


Cue some dramatic music! It is the 3rd Stage people.

Kouji Hashimoto is up first. He disappointed his parents before! Can he make them proud this time? Arm Bike is easy for him. Flying Bar. No time limit here. And through! Ultimate Cliff Hanger next. Getting set. First slant. Second up to the first flat. First gap. Second Gap. YES! Third gap! HAHAHAHA! He did it! And he made it look easy! Commercial.

Back. He did it this time too! Whoops. First ring. Second ring. Gets to the Chain See-Saw. That looks...complicated. NO! Holy crap that looks hard to do. You need to make sure you have balance and distribute your weight. This might favor a lighter competitor.

James McGrath. Arm Bike. Flying Bar. 1st. 2nd. Clear! Ultimate Cliff Hanger next. Slants. First gap. Got it! Second gap..Swinging...NO! Stratis close-up of pain!

Ryan Stratis gets some digest non-love. At the first gap of! He fails the Ultimate Cliff Hanger!

It's Ryo Matachi up next. They clearly did not film enough footage of him since we keep seeing the same stuff over and over. Arm bike is no problem. Flying Bar next. One. Two! Safe! Ultimate Cliff Hanger next. Will he be the second? Through the slants quickly. First gap. Yes! Second. YES! One more to go. YES! He's the second to do it! Jumping Ring next. Second ring. On the ladder of safety. Chain See-Saw next. Here's where Kouji failed. He got it! On to the next ladder of safety. Rope Climb. Here we go. Can he do it? Bar Glider is the last one. Oh boy...At the end...swinging...swinging....swinging...YES! YES! YES! YES!

Let's look at it again. Wow...he just got the Chain See-Saw.

Well, that won't put pressure on everyone else.

Terukazu Ishikawa has reached the 3rd Stage before back in SASUKE 14. Can he join Ryo? Arm Bike. Flying Bar. Whoa! He overswung! Flip into the water! Well, I guess no one thought you could do that.

Paul Kasemir next! He got one hand on the second gap of the Ultimate Cliff Hanger!

Okuyama up next! That looks kind of unsafe training above all that gym equipment. He's been so consistent as of late.

Yoshiyuki Okuyama! Arm Bike. Is no problem! Flying Bar next. NO! He misses the first one! He is suitably shocked. As is the crowd.

Cue some SUPER dramatic music for the last three!

Artist Musician David Campbell! He's the last American left! Arm Bike. Flying Bar. Some SASUKE Spray (tm ME). Ultimate Cliff Hanger. Slants. First Gap. YES! Cross shita! Second gap! America Number One! Almost there..gets a foot on the platform...NO!

And then there were two...

Yuuji Urushihara is up next! Arm Bike. No problem. Flying Bar next. First. Second. Safe! Ultimate Cliff Hanger coming up. Can he be the third to do it? Can he join Ryo? Slants. First a commercial though.


Slants. Flat. First gap. Second gap coming up. YES! Third. YES! Clear! More pressure on Nagano! Jumping Ring next. Here he goes. To the ladder of safety. Chain See-Saw. YES! He got it! Kanepeki Bal...abunai! The announcer just gave me a heart attack. Rope Climb next. Needs to get to the Green Bar of Safety. Yes! Can he do it? Taking a breather. Here he goes. Up to the second level. Swinging...swinging...swinging...YES! YES! YES! YES! UNCLI RULES THE WORLD.

Sorry. Took off to get overexcited on twitter.

There is one left! He is Makoto Nagano! He is, for many, THE MAN. Can he show these youngsters he's still got what it takes?

Makoto Nagano! Is last! Arm Bike is no problem. Lee has a sasukefan shirt on. 10/10! Flying Bar next. Yes! Ultimate Cliff Hanger up next. He's never attempted this before. Yamamoto and Yamada shout from the sidelines. Slants. Commercials first though.


Slants. Flat. First gap. Second gap. NO! I think of all...that second gap is the one you need to practice. No interview for him though. It's right into the Final Stage.

Ryo Matachi! Yuuji Urushihara! Will one of them do it?

Let's review the past Final Stages. It's a 20 meter Rope Climb for the Final Stage!

Ryo Matachi is up first. 40 seconds. Here he goes! Commercials.


5 meters at ten seconds. Looks like he's losing it though. Halfway up. Can he do it. Ten seconds. I don't think he can make it. Needs a burst. No. Almost. NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!!

Was it pressure? Did he not have enough left in the tank? He needed five more seconds I think.

Ryo and Yuuji confer as we get a bit of Yuuji TV love. Oh goodness, the rubber boots thing again.


Here we go.

What a great shot going down the tower.


Yuuji Urushihara! Here he goes! But we have eight minutes so a commercial first.


Here we go (again). Faster pace than Ryo so far. He's halfway up! Can he do it? Time isn't going red yet. YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! 6.7 left! Everyone cheers him on! My goodness.

And there it is...the first person to ever do it twice.

Here's hoping that Yuuji starts to get attention and respect he deserves.

UNCLI bitches.

SASUKE 27 Competitors and Results SASUKE2011秋 出場選手 結果

An ongoing process

1. 菅野仁志 Hitoshi Kanno 2nd Stage Double Salmon Ladder (Retire)
2. 山内悠誠 Shusei Yamauchi (Beach Soccer Player) 1st Stage Unknown (1st Digest)
6. 守上大輔 Daisuke Morikami (Muscle Musical/Pro MTB Rider) 2nd Stage Metal Spin
7. 原恭平 Kyouhei Hara (Bedding Cleaning Service Worker) 1st Stage Giant Swing
11. 橋本大地 Daichi Hashimoto (Zero1 Wrestler) 1st Stage Step Slider
13. 鳥澤克秀 Katsuhide Torisawa 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
15. 高橋賢次 Kenji Takahashi 1st Stage Spin Bridge (2nd Digest)16. 佐藤信一 Shinichi Satou 1st Stage Unknown (1st Digest)
17. 岸本真弥 Shinya Kishimoto 1st Stage Soritatsu Kabe
20. 橋本亘司 Kouji Hashimoto 3rd Stage Chain See-Saw
22. 杉村太蔵 Taizou Sugimura (Former politician turned talento) 1st Stage Step Slider
24. 赤田真朗 Masaaki Akata (graduate of Konan University) 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
29. 田島直弥 Naoya Tajima 2nd Stage Slider Drop
30. なかやまきんに君 Kinnikun Nakayama (Comedian) 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
46. Apollo Brother (Muscle Musical)
50. 内藤大助 Daisuke Naito (Former WBC Flyweight Champion) 1st Stage Step Slider
52. モハメド・パリド・イシャム Mohammed Farid Isham  (Sasuke Malaysia Winner) 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
54. Drew Drechsel 1st Stage Soritatsu Kabe (Retire)
55. 朝一眞 Kazuma Asa 2nd Stage Double Salmon Ladder
56. 上遠野裕也 Yuuya Kadono (Mobile Phone Salesman) 2nd Stage Double Salmon Ladder
57. ジェームス・マクグラス James McGrath 3rd Stage Ultimate Cliff-Hanger
62. 又地諒 Ryo Matachi Final Stage Time-Up 63. ライアン・ストラティス Ryan Stratis 3rd Stage Ultimate Cliff-Hanger
65. 金子陽祐 Yosuke Kaneko (Muscle Musical) 2nd Stage Double Salmon Ladder
68. 岡田祐一 Yuuichi Okada (Company Worker) 1st Stage Soritatsu Kabe Time-Up
70. 脊戸田英次 Hidetsugu Setoda (Muscle Musical) 2nd Stage Slider Drop
71. トラヴィス・ファーラニック Travis Furlanic 2nd Stage Metal Spin
79. ブレント・ステフェンセン Brent Steffensen 2nd Stage Metal Spin
81. 山本進悟 Shingo Yamamoto 1st Stage Spin Bridge
82. 恩田祐一 Yuichi Onda (Olympic Cross Country Skier) 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
85. 横山直樹 Naoki Yokoyama 2nd Stage Double Salmon Ladder
86. 榎戸崇人 Hayato Enokida (Pro bodyboarder) 1st Stage Giant Swing
87. 石川 輝一 Terukazu Ishikawa 3rd Stage Flying Bar
88. 里見恒平 Kouhei Satomi 1st Stage Unknown Time-Up
90. 加藤僚馬 Ryouma Katou (Gym Instructor) 2nd Stage Metal Spin
91.  山田勝己 Katsumi Yamada 1st Stage Soritatsu Kabe Time-Up
92. ペナルティのワッキー Wakky of Penalty (Comedian) 2nd Stage Double Salmon Ladder
95. 長谷川恒平 Kouhei Hasegawa (Amateur Wrestler) 1st Stage Giant Swing
96. 奥山義行 Yoshiyuki Okuyama 3rd Stage Flying Bar
97. リー・エンチ Lee En Chi 1st Stage Step Slider
98. デイヴィッド・キャンベル David Campbell (Artist Musician) 3rd Stage Ultimate Cliff-Hanger
99. 漆原裕治 Yuuji Urushihara Final Stage Kanzenseiha
100. 長野誠 Makoto Nagano 3rd Stage Ultimate Cliff-Hanger

No Number (In Order Shown On SASUKE Navi)

平井孝明 Takaaki Hirai (SDF member) 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
濱田真 Makoto Hamada (Aichi Masters Bodybuilding contest 2nd Place) 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
長澤拓夢 Takumu Nagasawa (Son of Hidenori Nagasawa) 1st Stage Giant Swing
増山聴介 Toshiyuki Masuyama 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
青木保夫 Yasuo Aoki 1st Stage Step Slider

No Number (In Order Shown On Main Broadcast)
石丸謙二郎 Kenjiro Ishimaru (Actor) 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
菊地幸夫 Yukio Kikuchi (Lawyer/Talento) 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
ハイキングウォーキングの鈴木Q太郎 QTaro Suzuki of Hiking Walking 1st Stage Step Slider
門井佐登美 Satomi Kadoi (Muscle Musical/KUNOICHI Kanzenseiha) 1st Stage Half-Pipe Attack
山上暁之進 Akinoshin Yamagami (Teenage magician) 1st Stage Unknown (1st Digest)
山本祐揮 Yuuki Yamamoto (Arm wrestling champion) 1st Stage Unknown (1st Digest)
中和也 Kazuya Naka (Pole dancer) 1st Stage Unknown (1st Digest)
栗田佳織 Kaori Kurita (Karate champion/Talento) 1st Stage Unknown (1st Digest)
ハイキングウォーキングの松田洋昌 Hiroaki Matsuda of Hiking Walking 1st Stage Step Slider (1st Digest)
権藤博行 Hiroyuki Gondou (Baker) 1st Stage Rolling Escargot (1st Digest)
漆原裕次 Yuuji Urushibara (Driver) 1st Stage Rolling Escargot (1st Digest)
愛川ゆず季 Yuzuki Aikawa (Idol/Pro Wrestler) 1st Stage Step Slider (1st Digest)寺田広樹 Hiroki Terada (Dance Instructor) 1st Stage Giant Swing (1st Digest)
長坪卓也 Takuya Nagatsubo (Ramen Shop Worker) 1st Stage Jumping Spider (1st Digest)
小島よしお Yoshio Kojima (Comedian) 1st Stage Step Slider
ティモシー・クームス Timothy Coombs (University of Central Florida Professor/Ebay Auction Winner) 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
佐々木博紀 Hidenori Sasaki (Iwate Prefecture Fisherman) 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
中山友貴 Yuuki Nakayama (Racing Car Driver) 1st Stage Rolling Escargot (2nd Digest)
持永新 Shin Mochinaga (Tokyo University Graduate Student) 1st Stage Giant Swing (2nd Digest)
長澤秀則 Hidenori Nagasawa 1st Stage Half-Pipe Attack (2nd Digest)
島田裕代 Hiroyo Shimada (Muscle Musical) 1st Stage Half-Pipe Attack (2nd Digest)
デイヴィド・F・ロドリゲス David Rodriguez 2nd Stage Slider Drop
三好真史 Masashi Miyoshi (Elementary School Teacher) 1st Stage Jumping Spider (3rd Digest)
日置将士 Masashi Hioki 1st Stage Giant Swing (3rd Digest)
ポール・キャゼミア Paul Kasemir 3rd Stage Ultimate Cliff-Hanger
ジェイク・スミス Jacob Smith 2nd Stage Double Salmon Ladder
トラビス・ローセン Travis Rosen 2nd Stage Double Salmon Ladder
原島雅美 Masami Harashima 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
倉持稔 Minoru Kuramochi 1st Stage Step Slider森本裕介 Yuusuke Morimoto 2nd Stage Metal Spin
城下麗奈 Rena Joushita (Hurdler) 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
尾野貴之 Takayuki Ono (Ice Hockey Player) 1st Stage Giant Swing
池谷直樹 Naoki Iketani 2nd Stage  Double Salmon Ladder

Said To Be There But Not Shown On Broadcast
榊原徹士 Tetsuji Sakakibara (Shinsengumi Rian)
小宮理英 Rie Komiya (Muscle Musical member)
Tadanori Osugi (Kurashiki University)

1st Stage Clear:
1. 菅野仁志 Hitoshi Kanno
6. 守上大輔 Daisuke Morikami
20. 橋本亘司 Kouji Hashimoto
29. 田島直弥 Naoya Tajima
55. 朝一眞 Kazuma Asa
56. 上遠野裕也 Yuuya Kadono
57. ジェームス・マクグラス James McGrath62. 又地諒 Ryo Matachi 
63. ライアン・ストラティス Ryan Stratis65. 金子陽祐 Yosuke Kaneko
70. 脊戸田英次 Hidetsugu Setoda
71. トラヴィス・ファーラニック Travis Furlanic 79. ブレント・ステフェンセン Brent Steffensen
85. 横山直樹 Naoki Yokoyama
87. 石川 輝一 Terukazu Ishikawa
90. 加藤僚馬 Ryouma Katou
92. ペナルティのワッキー Wakky of Penalty
96. 奥山義行 Yoshiyuki Okuyama
98. デイヴィッド・キャンベル David Campbell
99. 漆原裕治 Yuuji Urushihara
100. 長野誠 Makoto Nagano
デイヴィド・F・ロドリゲス David Rodriguez ポール・キャゼミア Paul Kasemir
ジェイク・スミス Jacob Smith
トラビス・ローセン Travis Rosen森本裕介 Yuusuke Morimoto
池谷直樹 Naoki Iketani

2nd Stage Clear:
20. 橋本亘司 Kouji Hashimoto 
57. ジェームス・マクグラス James McGrath
62. 又地諒 Ryo Matachi 
63. ライアン・ストラティス Ryan Stratis
87. 石川 輝一 Terukazu Ishikawa
96. 奥山義行 Yoshiyuki Okuyama
98. デイヴィッド・キャンベル David Campbell
99. 漆原裕治 Yuuji Urushihara
100. 長野誠 Makoto Nagano
 ポール・キャゼミア Paul Kasemir

3rd Stage Clear:
62. 又地諒 Ryo Matachi 
99. 漆原裕治 Yuuji Urushihara

Final Stage Clear:
99. 漆原裕治 Yuuji Urushihara

Sunday, September 25, 2011

SASUKE2011秋ナビ SASUKE 2011 Fall Navi and some SASUKE2011秋 Competitors

The next SASUKE is on October 3rd, which is an unfortunate date in terms of getting information since most of the TV magazines start at the beginning of the month. But there is some information out there. The TBS website has  SASUKE2011秋ナビ on October 2nd from 16:00 to 16:54 JST. This is only for the Kanto area. Other areas get nothing.

For some reason, some other sites have SASUKE2011秋ナビ listed as 明日7時SASUKE (literally SASUKE Tomorrow at 7:00).

The Yahoo TV Guide has the most information so far. It has a partial list of some of the famous people appearing on the show. The usual entertainers, some new, some old. And a couple of odd choices. Here is what they have below:

内藤大助 Daisuke Naito (Former WBC Flyweight Champion)
石丸謙二郎 Kenjiro Ishimaru (Actor)
杉村太蔵 Taizou Sugimura (Former politician turned talento)
ワッキー(ペナルティ) Wakky of Penalty (Comedian)
ハイキングウォーキング(鈴木正志・松田洋 昌) Hiking Walking QTaro Suzuki and Hiroaki Matsuda (Comedy duo)
小島よしお Yoshio Kojima (Comedian)
なかやまきんに君 Kinnikun Nakayama (Comedian)
菊地幸夫 Yukio Kikuchi (Lawyer/Talento)
池谷直樹 Naoki Iketani
恩田祐一 Yuichi Onda (Olympic Cross Country Skier)
長谷川恒平 Kouhei Hasegawa (Amateur Wrestler)
城下麗奈 Rena Joushita (Hurlder)
栗田佳織 Kaori Kurita (Karate champion/Talento)
愛川ゆず季 Yuzuki Aikawa (Idol/Pro Wrestler)
長野誠 Makoto Nagano
山田勝己 Katsumi Yamada
山本進悟 Shingo Yamamoto

橋本大地 Daichi Hashimoto (Zero1 Wrestler)
榊原徹士 Tetsuji Sakakibara (Shinsengumi Rian)
山上暁之進 Akinoshin Yamagami (Teenage magician)
小宮理英 Rie Komiya (Muscle Musical member)

藤本つかさ Tsukasa Fujimoto (Pro wrestler)*
高橋賢次 Kenji Takahashi
モハメド・パリド・イシャム Mohammed Farid Isham  (Sasuke Malaysia Winner)
奥山義行 Yoshiyuki Okuyama
リー・エンチ Lee En Chi
デイヴィッド・キャンベル David Campbell
Yuuji Urushihara

*Might have only attended Trials

Here's the Yahoo TV Guide page for the show along with a picture.

Front row left to right: Yoshio Kojima, Kinnikun Nakayama, Wakky, Daisuke Naito, Makoto Nagano, Katsumi Yamada, Taizou Sugimura (?)
Back row left to right: Yukio Kikuchi, Kenjiro Ishimaru, Hiking Walking (Suzuki, Matsuda), Unknown, Unknown, Unknown, Naoki Iketani

Friday, September 09, 2011

SASUKE 27 (SASUKE 2011秋) Airdate Announced



SASUKE 第27回大会【SASUKE2011 秋】の放送日が決定いたしました。

19時00分~22時48分 TBS系列


Or in other words October 3rd, 19:00 to 22:48 JST on TBS.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The All-Stars go to facebook, twitter, Virtual 9 creates Ninjafan, Ninjapan or Ninja Nation or whatever the name is of their new site

Via the SASUKE Maniacs board (and user andy810625):

SASUKE All-Stars Official facebook page open!
"SASUKE All-Stars Official facebook pages have released!  We will publish videos, images, and news which seen only there in addition to messages from All-Stars.  We'd like to exchange by using official facebook pages with everybody who loves SASUKE."

There is no one page for the All-Stars. Each has his own page (1) in addition to a twitter account (2):

Makoto "King of SASUKE" Nagano 長野誠 (1) (2)
Shingo "High-Octane Man" Yamamoto
山本進悟 (1) (2)
Toshihiro "Really, just Firefighter?" Takeda
竹田敏浩 (1) (2)
Katsumi "Mr. Something-Something" Yamada
山田勝己 (1) (2)
Kazuhiko "First Conqueror" Akiyama
秋山和彦 (1) (2)
Bunpei "Hometown Hero" Shiratori
白鳥文平 (1) (2)
Mr. "Mr. Octopus" Octopus
たこ店長、倉持稔 (1) (2)
Ushio "I'm the boss so I get one too" Higuchi
樋口潮 (1) (2)

It seems like only Higuchi's account is being run by him. I highly doubt that Shingo tweeted that he posted a new video to his facebook account yesterday.

There is also a new
website, Ninjafan (according to the url) or Ninjapan (according to the logo) or Ninja Nation (according to somewhere else on the website). The site is being run by Virtual 9, yet another spinoff of Monster 9. Currently there is nothing there but (you can find this picture if you click on on any of the above facebook pages):

The site right now is just a terms of service plus a link to join for a mere $29.99.

Overall, this is a positive step forward but it's hard to tell who their target audience is. Facebook can be accessed by fans from all over the world but so far the tweets are in both Japanese and English. Facebook is only now starting to gain popularity in Japan. However, the Ninjafan site seems aimed exclusively towards non-Japan fans.

People will no doubt get confused by the fact that none of the All-Stars seem to be actually running any of their accounts. It could be M9 trying to push the All-Stars to be more active themselves but overall, aside from the new site, this is all pretty much the same thing the old keitai mobile site was: photos and videos with very little input from the All-Stars themselves.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Monster9 offically accepting applications for SASUKE 27

Full text (Japanese) via the SASUKEmania site.



本選 2011年7月予定
予選 2011年6月予定


氏名・年齢・職業・連絡先・住所・スポーツ歴・出場への意気込みをご記入のうえ 「写真」もしくは「VTR」などを必ず同封して下記あて先までお送りください。  

〒107-0061  東京都港区北青山3-11-7 Ao 13F  
(株)モンスター・ナイン  「SASUKE」出場者募集係まで

The quick and dirty is that they thank the fans for their patience.
The actual show is scheduled for July.
The preliminary selection period is scheduled for June.
They are looking forward to the many applications. Send them in!
Send in your personal information, sports history, photos, videos et al to:
〒107-0061 Tokyo-to Minato-ku Kitaaoyama 3-11-7 Ao 13F

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Wrestling Dontaku 2011

Just got back from New Japan Pro Wrestling's Wrestling Dontaku 2011 in Fukuoka. 
Quick and dirty results.

Nakanishi/Honma/Takahashi d. Jado/Gedo/Killer Rabbit
Taichi/Taka Michinoku d. Tiger Mask/Kushida
Yano/Ishii/Iizuka d. Fale/Tenzan/Inoue
Jushin Liger d. Mascara Dorado to retain the CMLL middleweight title.
Taguchi/Devitt d. Romero/Richards to retain the IWGP Jnr. Tag Titles
Anderson/Bernard d. Naito/Takahashi to retain the IWGP Tag Titles
Goto/Tonga d. Hashi/Suigura
Nagata d. Tanaka
Makabe d. Kojima. After the match Kojima was attacked by Taichi and Taka who were then joined by Minoru Suzuki. Makabe made the save.
Tanahashi d. Nakamura to retain the IWGP title. After the title presentation Goto came to the ring and floored Tanahashi with a punch. A backstage interview (shown on a video screen to the audience) set up Tanahashi/Goto for the next IWGP title defense.
Jushin Liger won the CMLL Middleweight title at Wrestling Dontaku last year when he beat Negro Casas.
Giant Bernard and Karl Anderson (Bad Intentions) were in a IWGP tag title match at the last Wrestling Dontaku but failed the win the titles. They eventually won them in June.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

SASUKE 27 Update: SASUKE 27 to be shown primetime on NBC?

Edit: For some reason, the Variety article is gone. What is below was the article in full though. Arsenette also found a Tokyograph translation of the Manichi article as well as an Entertainment Weekly article:
G4′s cult favorite American Ninja Warrior is getting a huge platform boost thanks to NBC.
The broadcast network will air a two-part season finale of the extreme obstacle course competition this fall after the show returns for its third season on G4 in August. The move represents the first major on-air commitment by NBC to spotlight a program on Comcast’s cable channel group since the companies merged earlier this year, and it’s quite cool that it’s Warrior that’s getting the exposure — the series long has been in the shadow of ABC’s comic version of the same concept, Wipeout.
Wipeout has its success, but American Ninja Warrior is a true competition to find a real athlete to conquer a course that has only been conquered by three people over 2,600 tries — that’s what makes this drama interesting,” G4 president Neal Tiles told EW. 
In the third season, the show will head to Japan and touts the biggest prize yet for the show, a $500,000 K-SWISS endorsement deal and marketing campaign. Also, G4 and the Tokyo Broadcasting System will auction off a chance for a fan to compete with the 10 finalists to benefit American Red Cross relief efforts in Japan. Production starts next month.
Warrior has really come a long way and nurtured its cult-like status, and this American Idol-like prize structure takes an amateur athlete and elevates them to professional status,” Tiles said.

Via Variety.

TOKYO -- NBC has skedded the hit Tokyo Broadcasting System sports gameshow "Sasuke" for a fall primetime spot, TBS announced on Wednesday.
The show, which launched in 1997, has been a consistent ratings winner ever since. Broadcast as a special on TBS, "Sasuke" challenges contestants of various sports backgrounds (or none at all) to clear a fiendishly difficult obstacle course.
It has been broadcast, in different versions, in 153 countries on five continents.
Known in the U.S. as "Ninja Warrior," the show bowed on the G4 cable station in October 2006 and became a cult hit. It generated a spin-off, "American Ninja Warrior," whose third incarnation is skedded for airing on G4 in 10 episodes starting in August.
NBS, however, is planning to broadcast the climax of 27th Japanese "Sasuke" on a yet unspecified date this fall.
Also, TBS and G4 are partnering to present "Ninja Warrior Japan Relief," a 50-hour marathon show for Japanese disaster relief skedded from April 29 to May 1, featuring the New Year's "Sasuke" show.
The Variety article is essentially a translation of the TBS press release which has various permutation. Some are variations or copies of the Mainichi News story. All links are in Japanese:
Original TBS release
Ameba News
Mainichi News
Asahi News
Mantan (Mainichi News)

Some notes:

None of the articles have airdates. Everything is vaguely "in the fall." In general, a fall SASUKE is around September/October between drama seasons. We'll just have to wait and see. The part about the show being broadcast during primetime was taken from the Japanese articles. And it's unclear how everything will work out. The show is still being treated as TBS property so I assume that it will air in Japan first and then in NBC in a different (read: Ninja Warrior) form.

And no, while this is interesting news to hear, it doesn't necessarily mean that SASUKE has been given a second chance that many have been hoping for. It could be that SASUKE in Japan as we know it has finally run its course and everything will be Ninja Warriorized from here on out.

And in the fall? NBC has the NFL night games on Sundays. It's possible that SASUKE is being used for either a) a World Series schedule conflict or b) emergency programming if there is no NFL season. Neither will help build up the show in the states. But I guess that's keeping in tradition with the way TBS uses SASUKE as holiday cannon fodder.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

PRAY FOR EAST: A charity movement from Yamaguchi Prefecture

PRAY FOR EAST is a charity movement from the various cities in Yamaguchi Prefecture. In some cities there are calls for donations and in others they are having charity events to raise money.

Ube 宇部
Sanyo-Onoda 山陽小野田
Shimonoseki 下関
Nagato 長門
Tabuse 田布施

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Following Quake Coverage

NHK World
NHK World on Ustream
NHK World on Niconico
NHK (Japanese)
NHK on Niconico
TBS (JNN) on Ustream
TBS (JNN) on Youtube
Yokoso News
(All of the above links are live streams)
TV Asahi News Network on Youtube (Not live but they put up updates at intervals)

AJW by the Asahi Shimbun on facebook
The Japan Times Online
The Stars and Stripes
Government Quake Information
NHK Updates on Fukushima Daiichi and Daini (Japanese)
People I'm following on Twitter:
Michael Gakuran
Tokyo Reporter
Roy Berman (Mutant Frog)
Noriyuki Shikata (Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Relations, Director of Global Communications at Prime Minister's Office of Japan)
Matt Alt
Hiroko Tabuchi

Twitter has yet again proven to be an invaluable resource for getting the latest news. All of the accounts I've listed are tweeting in English but they are taking their information straight from Japanese news.

In Yamaguchi news, the first Disaster Medical Assistance Teams have come back after assisting in Iwate.

Also, The Chugoku Electric Power Company (Energia) has decided to temporarily halt construction of their nuclear power plant in Kaminoseki at the request of the local government. They had recently started a reclamation project in the area.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Yamaguchi Information

Some information about my part of Japan:

The quakes didn't reach this area so things seem to be proceeding like normal. However, people living near the Seto Inland Sea and the Japan Sea are still under a tsunami advisory. Ube got 30 centimeter waves. Shimonoseki seemed to have gotten the highest waves.

Flights between Yamaguchi-Ube Airport and Haneda Airport resumed as scheduled from this afternoon. A total of three flights had been canceled.

The train lines are still operating as normal except for possibly the Shinkansen to Tokyo. Today was supposed to be the start of the Sakura Shinkansen but all the events scheduled to celebrate it's initial run have been canceled.

Across the nation, 32 university entrance exams have been canceled but Yamaguchi University and Yamaguchi Prefectural University are holding their exams as scheduled.

DMATs (Disaster Medical Assistance Team) from four hospitals have been sent to assist in disaster areas, as have the Red Cross and the police.

Quake News

Via NHK:
142 confirmed dead in the quake
One-hundred-and-forty-two people are confirmed dead and more than 500 are missing across several prefectures hit by Friday’s earthquake.
The scope of the devastation is not clear. Police say 200 to 300 unidentified bodies have been found in Miyagi Prefecture. They say victims may have been hit by a tsunami.
At least 57 people are dead in Iwate Prefecture. Police there say many people are missing in coastal areas.
Forty-eight people have been confirmed dead and more than 370 are missing in Fukushima Prefecture.
More than 10 people are reported to have died in Tokyo and neighboring prefectures.
Japan’s Self Defense Forces say fire is spreading across wide areas of Miyagi Prefecture, engulfing houses and apartment blocks.
Saturday, March 12, 2011 02:00 +0900 (JST)

I'm not sure when or if any of these will switch over to regular programming but if you want to see the Japanese coverage you can use these links:

Most of Hawaii has been issued the all clear but it's doubtful that it will be a normal day in the 50th State plus they haven't assessed the damage (if any) yet. The West Coast is still in warning mode.

The aftershocks haven't stopped.

Meanwhile, people are anxious about the state of the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Massive Earthquake Strikes Northeastern Japan

From the NHK World News flash:

The estimated magnitude of the massive earthquake that struck northeastern Japan on Friday has been revised upward to 8.8, generating tsunami that hit wide areas of the Pacific coast.  The quakes reportedly caused many injuries and fires.  The Meteorological Agency says the initial quake struck at 2:46 PM on Friday, off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture.  Major tsunami alerts for waves of up to 10 meters have been issued from Hokkaido in the north to Tokushima in the west.  In Miyagi Prefecture, the quake caused tremors with an intensity of 7 -- the maximum level on the Japanese scale of 0 to 7.  Strong tremors were also felt in many parts of the country, including Tokyo.   

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii issued a broad tsunami warning for countries and regions at 07:30 UTC on Friday.  They include Japan, Russia, Taiwan, Australia, Mexico and Peru.

The government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says no abnormal levels of radiation have been reported at four nuclear power plants in the quake-hit Tohoku region.

Here is an NHK feed via Al-Jazeera.

I'm not sure how effective this is but some people on twitter have tweeted about this. It is in Japanese and English.

There is already a wikipedia article with information.

The Japan Meteorological Agency has the following warning up on their site:

Issued at 16:08 JST 11 Mar 2011

Major Tsunami and Tsunami have been issued.
Tsunami attentions are in effect at some of the other coasts now.

Tsunami Advisory


Tsunami Advisory --> Tsunami Warning
Evacuate from the seashore immediately to the safe places near the above coasts.

Tsunami Warning --> Tsunami Warning
Major Tsunami>

At the following coasts (* marks) tsunamis are
expected to arrive right away.

*******Tsunami forecast now in effect********




***********About Tsunami Forecast************

Tsunami height is expected to be 3 meters or more, Keep careful watch on tsunamis.

Tsunami height is expected to be up to 2 meters, Keep watch on tsunamis.

Tsunami height is expected to be about 0.5 meters, Pay attention to tsunamis.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ube Bird Flu Update

This is sad (via NHK):
Local authorities in southwestern Japan are culling hundreds of birds at a park after bird flu was detected in a black swan there.

Ube City in Yamaguchi Prefecture decided to destroy 400 mute swans, black swans and ducks that had been kept on a lake in Tokiwa Park when the H5 strain of the bird flu virus was detected.

City officials began work to kill the birds on Wednesday night.

Ube Mayor Kimiko Kubota says it was a pity to lose something so valuable and adored by the citizens, but that she hopes people will understand they had no choice if they were to prevent the spread of the virus.
The birds in Tokiwa Park were not only one of the main attractions in the park. For many years they, particularly Katta-kun who died in 2008, served as a symbol for the city.

Thanks to user makoto on the flutrackers forum for all the updates.

Ube Nippo Article.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Ube comes down with the (bird) flu?

Workers in Tokiwa Park put up a warning sign (via Ube Nippo)
Video from KRY

On the 6th of this month, a dying duck was found in Tokiwa Park, one of Ube City's main attractions.  Preliminary tests have been made and although the bird has tested for the Influenza A virus, it is unknown whether or not the bird died from the H5N1 virus that has hit Miyazaki prefecture. The bird has been sent to Tottori University for testing and it will take about a week to get the results.

Certain facilities in Tokiwa Park such as the rest house and sports areas are still open to the public while others will be closed for the time being.

Ube Nippo
Information from Ube City

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Probable End of SASUKE


The long and short of it:
SASUKE is another victim in a series of cuts by TBS that includes other longtime shows such as Tokyo Friend Park and Kinpachi Sensei. (I thought TBS was canceling Mito Komon too but I guess not). Plus, the annual K-1 New Year's Eve event Dynamite!! is probably over as well. TBS, which has been lagging behind the other networks for years, is probably realizing something along the lines of what this blogger said last year.

I wish I could find it but someone on a 2ch thread said pretty much everything being said in the article above back in early January: That they had sold off the Sportsman No. 1 set (to who?) and that the last SASUKE show would be in March of this year. Since that was all spot on, I'd like to add that the person also stated that the last show would be a retrospective so we may have already seen the last SASUKE competition and not even known.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Obic Seagulls beat Ritsumeikan Panthers, 24 - 0 to win 64th Rice Bowl!

The Rice Bowl is the annual game between the winners of the Koshien Bowl (甲子園ボウル) and the Japan X Bowl (ジャパンXボウル). The Koshien Bowl determines the national collegiate champion and the Japan X Bowl is for the X League championship. The Rice Bowl, then, is a kind of plus one to determine the best team in Japanese football for 2010.

You'd think that the corporate teams (i.e. the X League and it's predecessor) would have the advantage over collegiate teams and for the most part it's true. Since 1983, the corporate teams have won 16 (including this year) Rice Bowls to the college teams 12. Still, the last two years have been close and one of today's participants won the Rice Bowl in 2008.

This year, however, it wasn't even close. The Ritsumeikan Panthers 立命館大学パンサーズ were never able to mount much offense against the Obic Seagulls オービックシーガルズ. The Panthers were able to get consistent pressure on the Obic quarterback and force him out of the pocket but he was often able to use his legs to get out of trouble and even scored a touchdown out of a busted roll-out. Both teams couldn't force any turnovers until the fourth quarter where Ritsumeikan recovered a fumble and Obic got three interceptions. The Ritsumeikan quarterback could not get the ball downfield at all. He only threw ten to fifteen yard passes at the most, not what you want when you are down by 24 points.

Congratulations to the Obic Seagulls!

SASUKE 2011 Competitors and Results List SASUKE 26 出場選手 (第26回大会)

1. Takayuki Nishida 西田隆維 1st Stage Step Slider
3. Shobun Setsu 薛翔文 1st Stage Failed Rolling Escargot
4. Tomohiro Satou 佐藤友弘 1st Stage Failed Step Slider
5. Kazutaka Miyazawa 宮澤和隆 1st Stage Failed Hazard Swing
7. Katsuhide Torisawa 鳥澤克秀 1st Stage Failed Step Slider
8. Shinya Kishimoto 岸本真弥 1st Stage Failed Rolling Escargot
9. Carlos カルロス 1st Stage Failed Rolling Escargot
12. Hiroaki Hioki 日沖裕晶 1st Stage Failed Step Slider
14. Kazunari Ookubo 大久保和也 1st Stage Failed Rolling Escargot
15. Ryousuke Mokumoto杢元良輔 1st Stage Failed Jumping Spider
16. Tomoyuki Suzuki 鈴木智行 1st Stage Failed Step Slider
17. Ruka Serizawa 芹沢流華 1st Stage Failed Step Slider
18. Eiko Kanno 狩野英考 1st Stage Failed Rolling Escargot
22. Ayumu Satou 佐藤歩 1st Stage Failed Hazard Swing
23. Hideo Tokoro 所英男 1st Stage Failed Step Slider
24. Kouhei Mori 森公平 1st Stage Failed Jumping Spider
25. Tetsuji Sakakibara 榊原徹士 1st Stage Failed Half-Pipe Attack
27. Minowaman ミノワマン 1st Stage Failed Hazard Swing
29. Takuya Kawahara 川原拓也 1st Stage Rope Ladder Time Up
46. Masami Harashima 原島雅美 1st Stage Failed Step Slider
61. Paul Kasemir ポール・キャゼミア 1st Stage Clear, 2nd Stage Clear, 3rd Stage Failed Doorknob Grasper
62. Brent Steffensen ブレント・ステッフェンセン 1st Stage Clear, 2nd Stage Clear, 3rd Stage Failed Ultimate Cliff Hanger
65. Daisuke Morikami 守上大輔 1st Stage Rope Ladder Time Up
69. Takaki Ishida 石田剛規 1st Stage Failed Rolling Escargot
76. Masumi Yagi 八木真澄 1st Stage Failed Step Slider
84. David Campbell デイヴィッド・キャンベル 1st Stage Clear, 2nd Stage Clear, 3rd Stage Failed Ultimate Cliff Hanger
85. Terukazu Ishikawa 石川輝一 1st Stage Clear, 2nd Stage Failed Double Salmon Ladder
87. Naoki Iketani 池谷直樹 1st Stage Clear, 2nd Stage Failed Double Salmon Ladder
88. Daisuke Miyazaki 宮崎大輔 1st Stage Failed Rolling Escargot
90. Katsumi Yamada 山田勝己 1st Stage Failed Jumping Spider
91. Hiromichi Satou 佐藤弘道 1st Stage Failed Jumping Spider
92. Brian Orosco ブリアン・オロスコ 1st Stage Clear, 2nd Stage Clear, 3rd Stage Failed Roulette Cylinder
94. Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 1st Stage Failed Rolling Escargot
95. Lee En Chi リー・エンチ 1st Stage Clear, 2nd Stage Clear, 3rd Stage Failed Ultimate Cliff Hanger
97. Yoshiyuki Okuyama 奥山義行 1st Stage Clear, 2nd Stage Clear, 3rd Stage Failed Ultimate Cliff Hanger
98. Koji Hashimoto 橋本亘司 1st Stage Clear, 2nd Stage Failed Metal Spin
99. Makoto Nagano 長野誠 1st Stage Failed Jumping Spider
100. Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 1st Stage Failed Half-Pipe Attack

No number (in order shown).
Yoshio Kojima 小島よしお 1st Stage Failed Hazard Swing
Yuuko Aoki 青木裕子1st Stage Failed Step Slider
Mai Demizu 出水麻衣 1st Stage Failed Step Slider
Minoru Kuramochi 倉持稔 1st Stage Failed Rolling Escargot
DaiGo 1st Stage Failed Step Slider
Dancho Yasuda 団長安田 1st Stage Failed Hazard Swing
Yuu Tejima 手島優 1st Stage Failed Step Slider
Echigo 越後 1st Stage Failed Rolling Escargot
Tomoki Fujiwara 藤原倫己 1st Stage Failed Rolling Escargot
Rie Komiya 小宮理英 1st Stage Failed Rolling Escargot
Vanessa Aya 亜耶バネッサ 1st Stage Failed Rolling Escargot
Kenjirou Ishimaru 石丸謙二郎 1st Stage Failed Rolling Escargot
Youichi Nishimori 西森洋一 1st Stage Failed Step Slider
Kenji Oobayashi 大林健二 1st Stage Failed Step Slider
Mari Okamoto おかもとまり 1st Stage Failed Step Slider
Ayano Fukuda 福田彩乃 1st Stage Failed Step Slider
Akimasa Haraguchi 原口あきまさ1st Stage Failed Step Slider
Masaki Nomura 野村将希 1st Stage Failed Hazard Swing
Yasuto Honda 本田泰人 1st Stage Failed Hazard Swing
Takurou Mori 森拓朗 1st Stage Failed Rolling Escargot
Eiichi Sekiguchi 関口栄一 1st Stage Failed Half-Pipe Attack
Travis Furlanic トラヴィス・フュアラニック 1st Stage Cleared, 2nd Stage Failed Balance Tank
NAOTO 1st Stage Failed Half-Pipe Attack
Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志1st Stage Failed Rolling Escargot
Kenji Takahashi 高橋賢次 1st Stage Failed Rolling Escargot

Shown during SASUKE Navi
Ayaka Suzuki 鈴木彩香 1st Stage Failed Rolling Escargot
Tabito Okayasu 岡安旅人 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
Yasuo Aoki 青木保夫 1st Stage Step Slider

Sunday, January 02, 2011

SASUKE 2011! The Sort of Live Blog! SASUKE 26 (第26回大会)

SASUKE 2011! At the last SASUKE Yuuji Urushihara was all like "Dude, I got a new car!" And the All-Stars were all like "Dude, we totally got schooled by those kids."

What will...wait, what? There was a SASUKE between last January and now? I don't remember...oh. That's weird, I don't remember that one at all.

Let's start again...

SASUKE 2011! At the last SASUKE..stuff..umm..happened. No one got past the Ultimate Cliff Hanger. The All-Stars were frustrated once again as the New Stars proved that they belong in any discussion about who will be the next person to complete SASUKE, regardless of what people on the street think.

Oh, and Mr. SASUKE is back. He should have come back under a mask. That would have been mildly interesting...

While we're waiting for these commercials to finish let's go over the competitors list again...

Here we go!

0.12% Only 3 out of 2500 have ever finished SASUKE! Tonight, we will add one more? It's NAOTO 2011...I mean SASUKE 2011!

Oh gee, don't spoil too much during the opening TBS. Well, we already know what happens to the guy from Savanna.

Hey, we only have two and a half hours. Don't waste time with this stuff now! That's what Navi was for!

Let's look at all the different types of people who will take on SASUKE! I enjoy that TBS announcer is a category with stuntman and MMA fighter.

Fists raised! Black power!

1. Nishida Takayuki! He is a running coach! Here he goes! Steps. NO!

7. Torisawa Katsuhide blows all his energy smashing drinks! FACE FIRST INTO THE WATER after the steps!

8. Shinya Kishimoto bends a frying pan for your pleasure! Here he goes! Step Slider...YES! Hazard Swing..Itta! And our third new obstacle...the Rolling Escargot...NO! Head first into the water! THE FRYING PAN IS AVENGED!

Yoshio Kojima is up next! Do your schtick! Steps. YES! HE DOESN'T TRY THE BRIDGE! And he face plants!

17. Charisma host has his charismatic friends with him! Into the water after the steps!

18. Eiko Kanno! Uh huh. Steps, I bet. He kills time. He defies my expectations! Slowly on the Haazard Swing. And he actually gets it! On the Rolling Escargot...GOOD NIGHT! Not that we expected him to get very far.

We go back to number 9. Carlos from the Muscle Musical! He's a pro juggler. Steps! Yes! Hazard Swing. I bet he's there to say that SASUKE has representatives from whatever country he is from. He got the swing. And he loses his grip on the Rolling Escargot! Shingo is scared!

TBS announcer Yuuko Aoki 青木裕子! She doesn't reach the ropes!

TBS announcer Mai Demizu 出水麻衣 doesn't either!

Tsukiji sushi shop manager Hioki 築地すし鮮の日沖店長 goes out on the steps too!

Sorry, fell behind a bit!

23. Hideo Tokoro! NO! Didn't even get to the rope! The crowd gets down on him!

Minoru Kuramochi 倉持稔 is up next! And he's wearing a octopus costume! Here he goes! This time we won't see his butt! Steps. Slowly..YES! WAIT...He's still swinging...YES! NO! YES! He got it! Small Victories! Better than Hideo Tokoro! Slowly on the Hazard Swing...swinging...YES! He got the rope! Can he do it! Wait, he's blown up! Oh crud..He's going to DIE here. Rolling Escargot..Slowly. NO! Sorry, tweeting and watching at the same time...

Metal artist Daigo fails the steps! And so do some other people I know! I'll get them later.

14. Karate guy fails the Rolling Escargot.

Several people fail the Rolling Escargot including Rie Komiya and Kenjirou Ishimaru!

15. He's a cheerleader! Step Slider. Yes! Hazard Swing. Slowly. YES! Rolling Escargot...will he be the first..YES! Jumping Spider up next...NO! Ochitaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

24. Kouhei Mori of Shinsengumi Rian is up next! Steps. Yes! Hazard Swing...YES! Rolling Escargot up...YES! The next is the farthest any member o...never mind. He just failed the Jumping Spider.

25. Tetsuji Sakakibara of Shinsengumi Rian! Steps and Hazard Swing are fine! Rolling Escargot..Daijoubu! Jumping Spider. He practiced this. He's up..YES! Can he do the Walk though? Let's take a commercial first.

Back...Half-Pipe Attackuuuuu!!!!!! NO! Thanks for playing! Well, he got the farthest so far today.

27. Minowaman is up next! Steps! He almost stumbles but he's through! Hazard Swing...slowly...THE PEOPLE ON THE STREET KNOW NOTHING! NOTHING

Both members of Monster Engine fail the Steps!

As does Mari Okamoto! And Ayano Fukuda! And Akimasa!

Masaki Nomura fails the Hazard Swing! As does soccer player Honda!

29. Takuya Kawahara of the Muscle Musical! He's buff! Steps and the Swing are no problem! Neither is the Escargot! Jumping Spider..YES! Walk and on to the Half-Pipe! YES! Soritatsu Kabe..1st try. NO! 2nd Third time is the charm! We see him do the Giant Swing but it's time for a commercial!

Back! He's running out of time! NO! The Near Miss Kid strikes again! THE CLOCK HATES TAKUYA? WHY YOU HATE TAKUYA, CLOCK?

Whoa, kind of fast forward. 60 have already failed!

61. Paul Kasemir. He's from America! He's a software engineer! And he does Parkour! He's here to represent G4! Oh..he's doing his run now. Whoops. Ummm..Steps, Swing, Escargot all yes! Jumping Spider...YES! Hey, Yuuji and Kongo! It's like a weird buddy film! Half-Pipe Attack...YES! He looks tall. Soritatsu Kabe in one try! Giant Swing..YES! He goes over. Aw man, I want to see Yuuji and Kongo do a buddy film so badly right now. Lots of time as he goes to the Tarzan Rope. Rope Ladder. The time is going red...YES! 0.8 left!

62. Brent Steffensen! He's a stuntman! And he gets fast forwarded to his finish at 8.2 seconds!

65. Daisuke Morikami of the Muscle Musical! He's a pro MTB rider! Steps and the Swing are no problem! Rolling Escargot...Slowly....YES! Jumping Spider...Itta! Kind of shaky on the Walk but he's through. Half-Pipe Attack! Yes! Can he be the first from Japan? Soritatsu Kabe on the first try! Giant Swing..on the second try! Needs to try to not get caught up in the net. Lots of time though. Here he goes. YES! Time is going red...needs to hurry...FOR THIS COMMERCIAL!


On the Rope Ladder...jikan ga nai! Hurry! YES! NO! Dameeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Even more of a jump...80 have tried! Two have cleared!

"Sure, you Americans have two but our REAL guys are coming up soon."

84. David Campbell! Look at him rip on his guitar! And on his homemade set! Here he goes! Steps. Yes! It's like watching Christopher Daniels running SASUKE. Swing and the Escargot are no problem! And neither is the Jumping Spider. David Campbell Attack! Hahaha. The announcer actually said that. Soritatsu Kabe is no problem! Giant Swing! Yes! Lots of time. Here he goes! High up! I wonder why more people don't try to do that. YES! 21.5! No problems at all! Go David go!

76. Masumi Yagi of Savanna will fail the Steps here. AND THE COMMERCIALS DON'T LIE!

Mori and Ishida fail the Rolling Escargot! And a gymnast fails the Half-Pipe Attack.

Travis Furlanic clears the 1st Stage! No Japanese have cleared yet!

85. Terukazu Ishikawa of the Muscle Musical is up next! Steps, Swing and Escargot are no problem! Neither is the Jumping Spider! Can he be the first from Japan? Half-Pipe Attack! Kabe in one try! Giant Swing...YES! Enough time? Enough time. Tarzan Rope...Rope Ladder..he was a bit low. But no problem! Yes!  9.2! Let's see the replays!

87. Naoki Iketani! He hasn't done well at SASUKE recently. Here he goes! Steps. Yes! Swing. OK! His child is there. That's not a good time. Rolling Escargot...Slowly...YES! Jumping Spider. YES! He had problems on the Walk before..but not today! Half-Pipe...Whoops! OK! Did it cost him? Needs to reset. Kabe..YES! Does he have enough time? GIant Swing...YES! He needs to hurry. He might not make it...He needs to go. Tarzan Rope. 30 is usually safe but he's under that. Up to the platform. YES! 4.3! Wow! I did not expect that.

Daisuke Miyazaki is up next! He hasn't been to SASUKE in a year and a half! Cue the Kull Music!

88. Daisuke Miyazaki! Steps. Yes! Hazard Swing. People can lose time here. Yes! Rolling teammates for him this time. Whoa! It STOPPED! AND HE LOST IT! Oh wow. Well, back to handball success, endorsements and TV appearances.

Oh hey, it's Katsumi Yamada. Mr. Something or other. He wrote a sad sad letter to ask to come back to SASUKE.

The crowd chants his name as Genya starts to play (pay Musashi now!)

90. Katsumi Yamada. Hey, if he clears here, whatever. Steps. Swing...DARN! I mean, YES! Rolling Escargot...Slowly. He loses his footing! But he's OK! He's limping? Jumping Spider. He's UP! AND THEN HE'S DOWN. It actually took Nagano by surprise. Dude, have you even watched the last few years?

Well, at least he got on TV.

91. Hiromichi Satou! Here he goes. Sorry, I missed his soft focus piece. Steps and the Swing are OK! Rolling Escargot...YES! His wife is excited. Jumping Spider...NO!

NAOTO of EXILE is up next! He's the leader of J Soul Brothers, who are there to cheer him on. Steps! YES! Swing is OK! Rolling Escargot...He's got it! Jumping Spider is next. Yes! He needs to do the Walk...CMs first though.

Back! He's on the Walk now...A bit slow though. Will he have time? Half-Pipe Attack. NO! Thanks for lending your face to all the promotion though!

NAOKI fully expected NAOTO to fail the 1st obstacle.

Two from Japan! Four from America!

92. Brian Orosco! He ZOOMS through the Steps and Swing. Rolling Escargot is no problem for the man with the mustache. Mr. Ninja Warrior! Mr. USA! Hahaha. Jumping Spider and the Half-Pipe Attack are no problem! Kabe on the first try! Giant Swing...he's the first to go under! Lots of time! YES! 20.5 No heart attack for us this time! He's the American ace!

That's five! Pretty good for G4!

"The what are revolting?" "The chickens, sir! The chickens are revolting!"

94. Shingo Yamamoto! Here he goes! Steps is no problem...He needs to be careful. Swing is OK. Rolling Escargot...NO! It spun too fast at the end! Everyone is suitably shocked! Is this the earliest an All-Star has been knocked out? Cue the dramatic music.

Hitoshi Kanno..IS OUT AT THE ESCARGOT, TOO! And so is Kongo!

95. Lee En Chi! Can he redeem the New Stars? Steps and Swing are no problem! Rolling Escargot! OK! Tobimasu! Jumping Spider is OK! Half-Pipe...He has to swing back! Soritatsu Kabe...first try..NO! Second try...YES! Giant Swing...he needs to hurry though. He won't have much time. Time will go red soon...Can he do it? Go! GO! GO! YES! 1.3!

Yoshiyuki Okuayam is up next! But let's kill some time first.


97. Yoshiyuki Okuyama! Steps! Yes! Swing is no problem. And neither is the Rolling Escargot. Jumping Spider is a go! And so is the Half-Pipe Attack! Soritatsu Kabe on the first try! Giant Swing! He wastes time in the net. Needs to hurry. Rope Ladder...time is going red. hurry up man! YES! 2.5!

98. Koji Hashimoto gets the fast forward treatment but he's through and he didn't even take off his t-shirt!

Focus Nagano! He carries the weight of the All-Stars on his back!

99. Makoto Nagano! Here he goes! Steps. He always looks smooth on here. CMs.


Makoto Nagano! Steps. Hazard Swing. Rolling Escargot coming he goes. YES! Jumping Spider. He had problems here last time. YES! WHOOPS! I JINXED IT!

Everyone is shocked. Not as shocking as it used to be to see Nagano fail but still and all...

100. Yuuji Urushihara! He's the leader of the New Stars!'s not that much time left. Here he goes. Steps! YES! Hazard Swing. YES! Rolling Escargot...this is scary...He loses time as he loses his footing but he's through. Jumping Spider. YES! NO! Wait..he can still do it! GO GO GO! YES! He's through but does he have time? Half-Pipe Attack...NO!

Well, almost every problem you could have on the obstacles, Yuuji just did. He landed on the platform wrong on the Half-Pipe Attack and that was it.

2nd Stage

There are five Americans, four Japanese and 1 Taiwanese. And about fifty minutes left.

61. Paul Kasemir is up first! Slider Drop is OK! Double Salmon Ladder coming up. At the switch. YES! Unstable Bridge next. 1st board. 2nd board! YES! Balance Tank up next. YES! Metal Spin! Needs to hurry though! Wall Lifting YES! 2.5!

62. Brent Steffensen! Is fast forwarded! YES! 21.6!

Naoki Iketani is suitably impressed!

Travis Furlanic fails the Balance Tank!

David Campbell is through! That's three out of four! Koji Hashimoto feels the pressure!

Terukazu Ishikawa is the first Japanese competitor! Slider Drop. YES! At the Double Salmon Ladder. At the switch. NO!

Naoki Iketani is next! But first, some commercials.

87. Naoki Iketani! Slider Drop. Is this his first Salmon Ladder? Make it a double! He misses a rung! Back on track! At the switch. NO! Ahhh..zannen.

Brian Orosco gets through in fast forward!

Lee En Chi is the hope of Taiwan! Slider Drop! YES! Double Salmon Ladder and the Unstable Bridge are no problem! Balance Tank. YES! Metal Spin...He's had problems here before. YES! Wall Lifting. Enough time? Yes! And he's through!

Koji Hashimoto! He's the last of two! Can he do it? Slider Drop is no problem. Double Salmon Ladder too. The Unstable Bridge is..OK! Balance Tank. Yes! Metal Spin...NO! He had it then lost it! Wait. He never had it.

Yoshiyuki Okuyama is Japan's last hope!

The All-Stars are all gone. The New Stars are all gone. It's down to the man who is neither an All-Star nor a New Star.

Yoshiyuki Okuyama! Slider Drop is OK! Double Salmon Ladder. YES! Unstable Bridge. Slowly. YES! Whoa...not much time. Metal Spin. He reaches the Wall Lifting with 7 seconds left! But let's cut the drama with some CMs.


At the Metal Spin. Time is going red. Go! Go! GO! GO! G! YES! YES! YES! YES! 0.3 left! Wow! Everyone is suitably impressed.

3rd Stage

Paul Kasemir  is up first! Roulette Cylinder. Slowly. No time limit but still, hanging on to something like that for too long will sap your strength. Doorknob Grasper next. NO!

David Campbell is up next! Roulette Cylinder...wait. CMs first.

By the way, the unwritten TV rules of SASUKE state that there probably won't be anyone reaching the Final tonight. There's only 20 minutes left.

Back. He's past the Roulette Cylinder. Doorknob Grasper next. Slowly. Methodically. YES! New area, the Cycing Road. Yes! Ultimate Cliff Hanger up next. YES! He's at the first gap. Tries to pull himself up..NO!

Nagano and the others who stuck around are shocked.

Brent Steffensen doesn't get to the gap! He failed the Ultimate Cliff Hanger too.

Brian Orosco fails the Roulette Cylinder! And that's all the Americans!

Now, Taiwan's hope, Lee En Chi is up! Roulette Cylinder. Slowly. He can't quite reach the Doorknob Grasper he does. Whoa! He almost loses it! But he's through! Cycling Road next. He uses his momentum to take him up and then he's through! Ultimate Cliff Hanger up next. Will he be the first to do it? He doesn't go all the way up the first slant. First gap. YES! Going for the next...NO!

Yoshiyuki Okuyama is not just Japan's last hope. He is our only hope left to defeat the Ultimate Cliff Hanger! But hey, we only have less than ten minutes less. Let's waste time with videos and music!

Roulette Cylinder. He loses a hand! OK. Back on track. Doorknob Grasper. Slowly. But he's through! America versus Japan! Cycling Road is no problem. Here he goes...

Ultimate Cliff he goes. He gets up to the straight bar. First gap. YES! At the second gap but a commercial first.

Back! Here he goes...NO! He didn't even get into the jump motion! And that's it! Thanks for coming everybody!