Thursday, December 27, 2012

SASUKE 28 The Sort of Live Blog! It's SASUKE RISING!

Hey, we're back!

It's a been over a year so bear with me.

Our story thus far: At SASUKE 27, Yuuji Urushihara conquered the course once again to become the KING OF SASUKE, which is much better than being a Mister of SASUKE, if you ask me.

And then!

Well, there were some problems, the show's future was in doubt and a year later the show is back on track and tonight we will see what a (sort of new) team will bring to the show. Tonight, they promise that it will be the last stand of the All-Stars but will Katsumi Yamada really go quietly! I fear they may have to put him down.

Hey tys news guy, that tie sort of clashes with that shirt.

Here we go! Lets look at some past shows and the claim that the show is broadcast in 157 countries and territories. America! Malaysia! Singapore! Taiwan!

And then it gets all dramatic...we start with the web trailer.

Here we go! Sorry, got distracted.

Oops. Commercial.

Let's start in the studio with Jay Kabira and someone else! The All-Stars in suits! Let's talk to some people promote their shows!

Let's look at the course!

1. Yuuya Fukuda! He's up first! Godantobi is no problem! Rolling Escargot up next. NO! Didn't even get started. Not that lucky!

3. Yoshio Kojima is up next! Godantobi is OK. Rolling Escargot....NO! Not that I expected much.

9. Katsuhide Torisawa! BLOWS UP lifting weights! Godantobi. YES! Rolling Escargot...Almost there! Can he??? YES!

Torisawa warrants a commercial!

Tekken does a commercial!


Torisawa takes a massive wipeout on the spin bridge! That was a nice one.

10. Rafting guide Masashi Toyoda! Swings his oar! Steps are no problem. Rolling Escargot..slowly...slowly. YES! Spin Bridge next. Almost! He didn't quite reach the last ball.

24. Yuusuke Suzuki has supporters! That's never a good sign. Steps. Rolling Escargot..Mawaru..mawaru..Clear! Spin Bridge...will he be the first? YES! or NO! Wait...ANOTHER commercial?

Back! Wait...he's holding on...NO! The crowd is shocked I guess.

After 30 none have cleared!

31. Darvish Kenji is up next! Let's see some Golden Bomber footage before we go to a commercial.

Back! Steps is no problem. Rolling Escargot. NO! Oh well. Enjoy your chart success!

32. Kazuki Shimizu is an actor! He's next! Steps! Yes! Rolling Escargot...NO!

33. Nana Suzuki is up next. She JUST makes it through the steps. Rolling Escargot. Can she do better than our l...oh, I guess not.

34. GENERATIONS Mendy Sekiguchi! Steps is no problem. Rolling Escargot...slowly...very slowly. And it doesn't help! Oh Mendy!

36. Arata Horii of D-Date! Steps. OK! Rolling Escargot. NOT OK! Yes yes, you thought you could do it.

Shingo and the new stars hang out.

37. Hiroyuki Gondou does push ups! Slow start because of a wardrobe malfunction. Steps is fine though. Rolling Escargot  WHOA! He just jumped off! Can he do that? He touched the water. Spin Bridge.  YES! Oh well. Jump Hang Kai! Makes its first appearance. NO! Oh well.

Takeda is cold.

40. Kouji Hashimoto! Is up next! Will he be our first? The new stars encourage him. Steps! Rolling Escargot...Good form! Spin Bridge coming up. NO! Nagano says uso! Well that was a surprise.

The vets are surprised too. And a bit worried.

41. Rina Sawayama! She's a pro figure skater. Godantobi clear! Rolling Escargot...And that's it for her! Good thing she has that DVD coming out soon.

42. Takashi Murakami! Works for Yoshinoya! And has a hat! Steps..clear! NOPE! Sorry Yoshinoya! No free advertising for you!

44. Kouki Someya is up next! He's an athlete of sorts. Steps. Rolling Escargot as his thighs jiggle. YES! Spin Bridge next. YES! Can he be the first to clear the Jump Hang? YES! He goes right. Not sure about the time at this point. Niren Soritatsu Kabe next. First Wall! Second wall! Twenty seconds left. Tarzan Rope. Does he have enough time? It's going red. Hurry! CMs.

Back! Does he have time...CAN HE! YES! HE CAN! With 00.3 on the clock! Our first clear!


Well, that was exciting.

45, 46, 47 all fail! And 48 too! He couldn't hold on after the Spin Bridge!

Let's go back to the studio!

51. Joji Amano gets the most exposure of his career! I believe he is the guy in the police hat.

Steps. Rolling Escargot! He's stuck! And that's it!

53. Minoru Kuramochi! Is up next. Whoops! That was fast!

54. Drew Barrybarrymore! NO! Well! OK then.

58. Kazuma Asa is up next! He gets a full on montage...hrmm...Last time he cleared the 1st Stage. Can he do it again? The sun has set. TONIGHT THE ALL-STARS RETIRE. Whoops. That's the corner graphic.



Here he goes. Godantobi. Rolling Escargot...SASUKE Tamashii! YES! Spin Bridge. No problem! Jump Hang. He goes right. Lots of time. First wall is no problem! Second wall on the first try! Tarzan Rope with a lot of time! At the net...Over twenty seconds. YES! With 16.2 left!

That's two!

Kinnikun checks out the course.

61. Taizou Sugimura next. Hurry up man. Umm..He clears the steps and showboats. Will probably fall here. And he goes head first into the water!

62. Takeo Seto! He's a comedian! Godantobi is OK. Rolling Escargot is NOT!

His combi partner is shocked.

63 fails the steps.

64, 65, 66 fails the jump hang. 68 fails the Jump Hang too. 70 fails the Spin Bridge!

76. Naoki Iketani! He's back! He cleared the 1st Stage last time! Let's promote the SRO! He flips! But can he clear? Steps. Rolling Escargot. Slowly. Slowly. NO! His wife is shocked!

So far we have two!

Let's train with Nakayama Kinnikun!

Wakky and Kinnkun do a bit of comedy.

81. Nakayama Kinnikun! Steps! OK!  Rolling Escargot...And he's through! Spin problem! Jump Hang...Kinnkunnnnn! He goes right. No one has gone left so far. First wall! Second wall..NO! And again..NO! NO! Needs to hurry...time going red soon. If he doesn't do it no...wait...nope...TIME UP!

82. Mika Watanabe up next! She's a KUNOICHI finalist. She's a ripped homemaker. She has had her kids with her. Not a good sign. Steps. Rolling Escargot next. Loses a foot! And that's it! Her son reacts!

83. Taiwan's Li En Zhi is up next! He gets hugs and props from Nagano. Last time he had the biggest surprise fail when he let his foot drag the water. It's time for revenge! Steps. No problem. Rolling Escargot. YES! Spin Bridge. Masaka! Masaka!

85. Wakky is up next! He cleared last time. Let's montage him first though. Godantobi is fine. Rolling Escargot next. Slowly. Slowly. Should jump. He does! Spin Bridge. Needs to go fast. YES! Jump Hang up. He goes right! Almost falls! But he holds on. Needs to hurry though. Niren Soritatsu Kabe. Needs to do it quick. First wall is clear but time is still going. Gets set. YES! Can he do it? It's going to be close. CMs first though.


Time is running out. He's at the net but the time has gone red! not going to do it! Looks like the Rolling Escargot took too much time.

87. Ryo Matachi! UNCLI in the house! Montage. Steps. Rolling Escargot next. Note the guy in the white jacket that makes him look like a researcher in the back. Spin Bridge! Clear! Jump HANG! He goes right! He's through! First wall! Second wall! Tarzan Rope next. Lots of time. At the net. Time going red soon though. Needs to hurry. YES! 1.4 left!

Note how Ryo goes through the Rope Hang net like he's doing a 3rd Stage obstacle.

88. The King of SASUKE is up next! He has a lot of pressure on him. He's the only man to clear the course twice. Montage. Steps. YES! Rolling Escargot. YES! Spin Bridge. YES! Although he almost slipped on the last ball! Yuuji does the same as Ryo, goes right and climbs. Walls. Yes and yes! Tarzan Rope. Onto the net! Lots of time! Yes! 21.3!

Yuuji is pumped!

Nagano longs for his youth!

89. Hitoshi Kanno is up next! Yuuji and Ryo give him advice! Well, shout advice at him. Don't know if he was listening. Check them guns! Steps! Rolling Escargot. My hands are cold. YES! Spin Bridge! Yes! Gingerly. Jump Hang. He goes right and is through. Wall next. First is no problem. Second on the first try! Lots of time! Tarzan Rope. Rope Ladder. Takes his time. 10.2 left!!

The All-Stars are under the gun now.

91. Tomoko Hagiwara! She is a swimmer! She's next! And she's done! Masaka masaka!

95. Kouki Sakamoto is an Olympic gymnast! Steps! Rolling Escargot. Spin Bridge up next He's through! Jump Hang...slowly. May have lost time. Niren Soritatsu Kabe. On the second try on the first wall. Second wall. NO! Not even close. Another try. NO! May not make it. Needs to do it here. Time is going to go red soon. And that's it!

And it's time for the All-Stars!

Kazuhiko Akiyama, the first man to ever complete SASUKE is up first! Let's take a look at his past.

96. Kazuhiko Akiyama! Steps! Yes! Rolling Escargot. YES! Spin Bridge. NO! He lost his footing and that was it.

He passes on the torch to the young guns. He's trying to not break down. And he does when he's finished.

Hugs from Yamada. Handshakes from the others.

97. Toshihiro Takeda is next! Let's take a look at his history. And then go to a commercial!


Steps! No problem. Rolling Escargot. He jumps for it...but touches the water! The crowd can't believe it. Takeda looks...relieved.

98. Shingo Yamamoto! He's the only man to have attended every SASUKE. Let's take a look at his life. 97 have tried! Five have cleared! The chickens are revolting! It's Shingo Yamamoto! Steps! OK! Rolling Escargot...dangerous time here. A little slow. But he's through! Spin Bridge. He's still alive! NO! He slipped and held on to the rope but no. Of course the crowd is shocked.

Shingo looks forward to his new life. His wife is in tears. She probably hopes his new hobby is something like stamp collecting.

99. Katsumi Yamada. The Mister of SASUKE. The sight of his rusted up set is..sad. Here we go! Wait...commercials first.

Back. The crowd is chanting his name! Steps. Rolling Escargot. Slowly. Umm..if he takes that long there is no way he's going to have time to clear. Spin Bridge! Yes. Jump Hang...He gets it! He went right. Slowly going. Not going to have time at all. First wall. Almost impossible by now. NO! Time has gone red. Gets it. But after the time has gone!

Yamada addresses the crowd but doesn't cry (which is OK because Kazuma Asa does for him). Note: It looks like Yamada was the only one who held the microphone himself. Perhaps he was going to regale the crowd with a song?

There is only one All-Star left standing. Makoto Nagano! Let's look at Nagano's life. He is the de facto SASUKE ambassador abroad.

He doesn't want to lose to those whippersnappers!

100. Makoto Nagano! 105 seconds to clear by the way, in case I didn't note it earlier. Steps. Rolling Escargot. Yes! Spin Bridge. Yes! He always moves so smoothly. Jump Hang! He goes right! Clear! Niren...First wall! He's showing those damn punks! GET OFF MY LAWN! Second wall. NO! One more try. But a commercial first.

Back. NO! Time is going to go red...don't give up! NO! You can see Yamada's freaking teeth in the background. And that's it. No speech for Nagano.

Let's go back to the studio for some reactions. You know, saying stuff like All-Stars zenmetsu is the kind of stuff that makes them want to stop having all this pressure on them.

Let's look at the Second Stage. If you can't swim you are screwed! 135 seconds to clear.

That looks fairly crazy.

44. Someya up first! Cross Slider! Yes! Swap Salmon Ladder next. Slowly. Don't know how things play it yet though. Five parts to the Swap Salmon Ladder...and he doesn't get the fifth one! Good effort for your first try!

Yuuji and Ryo examine things in the way only people who LIVE SASUKE can. Kanno just laughs it off.

58. Kazuma Asa next! Cross Slider. Swap Salmon Ladder next. But a few words from our sponsors first!

And a news break!

Back. Are you informed now?

Cross Slider. Swap Salmon Ladder. Gets through all five! And may I note that the Cross Slider is clearly named because of the position. Whoops. He's through the Back Stream! Passing Wall! 30 kg! 40 kg! 50 kg! He's through! That's one!

87. Ryo Matachi next! Cross Slider...ahaha. Swap Salmon Ladder. 1st. 2nd. 3rd. 4th. YES! Unstable Bridge next. Needs to swing. Did he check with the others? Or look at the clock? Spider Walk..gets set. Kind of slow. But he's clear! Don't know about his time though. Back Stream next. Needs to hurry, I think. He's through! Walls next. 30 Kg. Having trouble. Needs to hurry, NO! Time is going red. NO! I think his strategy was off. He took too long during the Spider Walk.

88. Yuuji Urushihara! He finds new and interesting ways to fail! Cross Slider..bwahahaha! Swap Salmon Laddder. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, yes! Unstable Bridge next. Yes! Spider Walk. Needs to hurry. A bit slow. Back Stream now. Yes! Lots of time! Passing Wall. And he's through! And he looks a bit irked that he had to swim!

89. Hitoshi Kanno is up next! And last! Cross Slider..Swap Salmon Ladder..Yes! Unstable Bridge up next. Clear! Spider Walk up. Yes! Back Stream! No problem! Passing Wall. Last one. YES! He's through! That's three!

Third Stage!

It's the Crazy Cliff Hanger in the studio! Inui sighting. Let's take a look. Iron Paddler? Well OK. Vertical Limit looks crazy. And the Pipe Slider is back!

Yuuji is impressed by the tester.

58. Kazuma Asa is up first! This is first 3rd Stage attempt. Rumbling Dice first. No time limit here. He's through! Iron Paddler. He examines the technology. YES! That looked hard for him. He'll be the first to take on the Crazy Cliff Hanger. But a few words from our sponsors.


Crazy Cliff Hanger. But some prepping by Asa first. On to the 2nd ledge. 3rd ledge..needs to do the jump he goes....NO! He couldn't hold on!

88. Yuuji Urushihara! He is the only man to defeat SASUKE twice! He touches his wood at home a lot. So much that it changes color.


Back! Rumbling Dice. YES! Iron Paddler next. He takes a short break. Slowly. He's having some problems getting it to move. NO! DON'T LET IT ROLL BACK! carried away there. And...he's through! Crazy Cliff Hanger next. Here he goes...into this commercial!

Back...quickly across...AND NO! He was there but couldn't get his grip! He ALMOST had it. Damn.

And only one was left standing!

89. Hitoshi Kanno! Rumbling Dice first. Through! Iron Paddler...He almost loses it at the end! But he's through! Needs a breather first. And so does the show as we go to CMs.

First ledge. Second ledge. the jump now...NO! And that is it!

Back to the studio. Our three last men standing take a bow!

And that's it! The All-Stars have their last stand. The New Stars shine with the spotlight on them! Will there be another show? We can only hope so!

Have a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

SASUKE Rising Competitors and Results List 出場選手

Official list here:


1. Yuuya Fukuda 福田裕矢 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
2. Tsuyoshi Aoki (?) 青木強 1st Stage
3. Yoshio Kojima 小島よしお 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
4. Miyu Soya (?) 征矢未有 1st Stage
5. Ranmaru Yoshimi (?) 吉見嵐丸 1st Stage
6. Takuya Inoue (?) 井上卓也 1st Stage
7. Kouji Masumura (?) 増村耕治 1st Stage
8. Tetsuya Yamada  山田哲也 1st Stage
9. Katsuhide Torisawa 鳥澤克秀 1st Stage Spin Bridge
10. Masashi Toyoda 豊田将士 1st Stage Spin Bridge
11. Mystera ミステラ 1st Stage
12. Hidekazu Inoue (?) 井上英和 1st Stage
13. Hiroshi Miyamoto 宮本啓史 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
14. Fukutarou Umemoto 梅本福太郎 1st Stage
15. Kouta Iiyama 飯山輝太 1st Stage
16. Seitaro Sasaki 佐々木誠太郎 1st Stage
17. Yuuma Matsumoto (?) 松本勇真 1st Stage
18. Kyousuke Kawakami (?) 川上恭介 1st Stage
19. Takashi Tamura (?) 田村崇 1st Stage
20. Kosei Itou (?) 伊藤耕世 1st Stage
21. Mitsuteru Tanaka 田中光昭 1st Stage
22. Benkei 忍者 1st Stage
23. Kazuhiro Saitou 齋藤和宏 1st Stage
24. Yuusuke Suzuki 鈴木祐輔 1st Stage Spin Bridge
25. Yuudai Tamaya (?) 玉谷雄大 1st Stage
26. Jung-Pil Cho (?) 趙俊弼 1st Stage
27. Hiroyo Shimada 島田裕代 1st Stage Spin Bridge
28. Shinichi Okamoto  岡本慎一1st Stage
29. Ryou Yasuda (?) 安田亮 1st Stage
30. Shusaku Yamanaka 山中周作 1st Stage
31. Kenji Darvish 樽美酒研二 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
32. Kazuki Shimizu 清水一希 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
33. Nana Suzuki 鈴木奈々 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
34. Mandy/Mendy Sekiguchi 関口メンディー 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
35. Nichiro ニッチロー
36. Arata Horii  堀井新太 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
37. Hiroyuki Gondou (?) 権藤博幸 1st Stage Jump Hang
38. Noriaki Yogo 余語憲明
39. Yuusuke Hino (?) 日野雄介
40. Kouji Hashimoto 橋本亘司 1st Stage Spin Bridge
41. Rina Sawayama 澤山璃奈 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
42. Koushi Murakami (?)  村上公志 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
43. Tasuke Kumagaya (?) 熊谷太助
44. Koki Someya 染谷幸喜 2nd Stage Swap Salmon Ladder (fifth rung)
45. Kumu Suzuki (?) 鈴木久夢 1st Stage
46. Kazutaka Miyazawa 宮澤和隆 1st Stage
47. Yasuhiro Yamazaki 山崎泰宏 1st Stage Jump Hang
48. Kei Masaki (?) 正木圭 1st Stage Spin Bridge
49. Yuusuke Miyashita 宮下佑輔
50. Tsuyoshi Yamada (?) 山田剛

51. Joji Amano 天野ジョージ 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
52. Mana Nogami (?) 野上麻奈

53. Minoru Kuramochi 倉持稔 1st Stage Godantobi
54. Drew Barybarymoabetta ドリュー・バリバリモアベター 1st Stage Godantobi
55. Takuma Oyamada 小山田卓馬 1st Stage Spin Bridge
56. Shingo Sakamoto (?) 坂本眞吾
57. Yasuhiro Iida (?) 飯田康弘
58. Kazuma Asa 朝一眞 3rd Stage Crazy Cliff Hanger
59. Akinori Murakami 村上明範
60. Taiga Hoshikawa 星川大我 1st Stage Niren Soritatsu Kabe
61. Taizou Sugimura  杉村太蔵 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
62. Takeo Seto 勢登健雄 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
63. Ryuichi Ohura 大浦龍宇一 1st Stage Godantobi
64. Kenji Yoshizaki 吉崎研二 1st Stage
65. Tatsumi Mikado (?) 御門辰巳 1st Stage
66. Shunsuke Tanaka 田中俊輔 1st Stage Jump Hang
67. Hiroyuki Egawa 恵川裕行
68. Hisashi Kashima 加島久士 1st Stage Jump Hang Kai
69. Toshiharu Takami 高見俊治
70. Koji Fujinami 藤波浩司 1st Stage Spin Bridge
71. Yasutaka Nakamura (?) 中村康隆
72. Joseph Lobeck ジョセフ・ロベック
73. Isaiah How イサイア・ハウ
74. Masakazu Yokoyama (?) 横山政和
75. Ryuichi Nakao (?) 中尾龍一
76. Naoki Iketani 池谷直樹 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
77. Osamu Hososhima 細島理
78. Sho Okamoto (?) 岡本星
79. Hideki Hamamoto (?) 濱本秀貴
80. Tomoya Yasuda (?) 安田智也
81. Nakayama Kinnikun なかやまきんに君 1st Stage Time-Up Niren Soritatsu Kabe
82. Mika Watanabe 渡邉美香 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
83. Li En Zhi リー・エンチ 1st Stage Spin Bridge
84. Seiya Kusano  草野誓也
85. Wakky ワッキー 1st Stage Time-Up Rope Ladder
86. Fifty フィフティー
87. Ryo Matachi 又地諒 2nd Stage Time-Up Passing Wall (30 kg)
88. Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 3rd Stage Crazy Cliff Hanger
89. Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 3rd Stage Crazy Cliff Hanger
90. Yousuke Kaneko 金子陽祐
91. Tomoko Hagiwara  萩原智子 1st Stage Godantobi
92. Farid Isham ファリド“キャット”イシャム
93. Alan Jan (?) アラン ジャン
94. Will Dodd ウィル・ドッド
95. Kouki Sakamoto 坂本功貴 1st Stage Niren Soritatsu Kabe (Second Wall)
96. Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦 1st Stage Spin Bridge
97. Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 1st Stage Rolling Escargot
98. Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 1st Stage Spin Bridge
99. Katsumi Yamada 山田勝己 1st Stage Time-Up Niren Soritatsu Kabe (First Wall)
100. Makoto Nagano 長野誠 1st Stage Niren Soritatsu Kabe (Second Wall)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sports Danshi Grand Prix! A not really live at all liveblog! 究極の男は誰だ!?最強スポーツ男子頂上決戦

Well, it's been a while so let's just get to it without getting too bogged down in the details as to whether or not this is related to SASUKE Rising (doesn't look like it) or if this is a TBS reboot of Sportsman No. 1 without all that icky Monster 9 stuff getting in the way (probably).

Anyway, this is a Geinojin Sportsman-like competition featuring members of EXILE, DA PUMP and probably other people in music groups that use all caps. Not familiar with most of the names so bear with me...

A new history! Screw you Higuchi!

Hey, remember how Sportsman used to give you the giant finger erupting out of the ground? This is the opposite of that.

Men in tight shirts. Arms crossed. This looks like som...OK. I'll stop.

That giant head thing in the background better do something interesting sometime during the night.

You get a Toyota Auris! You get...wait, only the winner gets a Toyota Auris.

So the host Alisa Mizuki is there to do what? They've also populated the audience with your typical Japanese variety show audience - young women who know how to cheer and coo and whatnot on cue.

Just to help you, here is a video that will do a better job of explaining the events than I will:

1st Event! Mountain Flag! You use a rope to go up a 10 meter long incline and try to be the first to grab the flag at the top.

1st Race: KENCHI (EXILE), Kwang Soo (K-pop guy), KENTA (Yu Darvish's younger brother), Seiya (acrobat actor).

Damn, everyone gets some background theme but I can't make out the songs clearly.

Set...GO! Kwang Soo in the lead...he gets it easily!  The guys sitting are impressed.

OK, there are two parts to the incline. The first part is just running up and then you need the rope for the rest.

2nd Race: KEIJI (EXILE), Shintaro Yamada (former soccer player), Tomoya Warabino (actor) (who has the Eye of the Tiger, BTW), Gaku Sano (another former soccer player)

OK. Set...GO! Everyone up fast. KEJI..Sano! Sano gets it. Yamada got out of the blocks slow. Warabino didn't do well during the climbing portion.

3rd Race: TETSUYA (EXILE) (0 for 2 so far), KENZO (DA PUMP), Shinya Taniuchi (Lead) (band name not capitalized), Wataru Mori (HEY, I KNOW HIM FROM SASUKE)

GO! But first, a commercial.


Set...GO! All fast up...Mori..Mori MORI! Just gets it from KENZO! Ah, I see. You can grab the rope whenever you want.

Slow mo shows that Mori was just an arms length ahead.

4th Race: Akiyoshi Nakao (He was in SASUKE too), JUNO (guy), Taishi Nakagawa (14), Yukihiro Takiguchi (actor)

Set...drama building...GO! JUNO in the lead. But no! He falters at the top and EVERYONE gets to the top at the same time. But it's Takiguchi who comes up with the flag. Nakao faltered near the top too. Nakagawa at the bottom. Takiguchi won basically by running the most consistent race.

EXILE guys are 0 - 3. The narrative of the night!

Now on to the final. Can Mori's triathlon background help him (I don't know why - I'm just biased towards him).

Final Race: Kwang Soo, Gaku Sano, Wataru Mori, Yukihiro Takiguchi

I wish they timed the races. Get all sabremetricky.

Here we go...START! GO! Sano RACES up. In the lead...all the way! And your first event winner is Gaku Sano.

Sano gets a 100 points for winning. The other finalists 60. The others get 30 for showing up.

2nd Event. Hammer Crush. Some 007 music explains that a carnival game is now a part of a Japanese variety show. Hit the board hard enough with the hammer to make the ball reach the required height.

1st height: 5 meters. KENCHI of EXILE up first. No problem! You have to make it go through the paper I guess. That must be very time consuming to change and boring for the live studio audience. Sano gets it.

KENZO, KENTA and Nakao all clear.

14 year old Nakagawa next. He doesn't break the paper! Ooohh..there is a accuracy part to it, too. Kwang Soo...Misses too!

And they are the only two out.

2nd height: 6 meters 50 centimeters. Yamada blows it! And so do five others. Figure it out later folks.

3rd height: 7 meters. KENCHI up. AND THE SHIRT IS OFF. THOR! And he does it!

KEIJI up next. NO! Bad hit man, bad hit.


KENZO next. With authority! It actually shot past the structure

Akiyoshi Nakao is neither single-named nor capitalized. The paper doesn't break..Or does it? It wasn't a clean hit. He's done.

Our final is Seiya and he cleared. Good for him!

4th height: 7 meters 40 centimeters. Four contestants left. The ladies are there to ogle the guys. Good for them!


He blows it.

Bad hit as the ball doesn't go straight.

TETSUYA is next.Set. NO! Just goes to the side at the end! Not a clean enough hit. The ball JUST missed.

KENZO next.He means business. Set. THOR! NO! Perhaps they should consider giving them more than one chance.

Seiya is our only hope. If he makes it, is he the WORLD HAMMER CRUSH CHAMPION? Is h..CALL THE GUINNESS BOYS! He does it!

Seiya is now second because he sucked at Mountain Flag. Sano is still at the top. Mori is third. Various capitalized names are after.

3rd event: Monster Box!

1st (shown) height: 1m86cm 11 boxes. KENCHI clears and then some commercials because sure, why not?

Back. KEIJI next. No problem. Who will be our first show-off, by the way? TETSUYA. Barely clears. Bad form. Oh wait. He didn't clear.

AND Wataru Mori is our first flipper! Cool beans. Our lady host is impressed.

Shintaro Yamada is through. As far as I know, no one tonight has ever been on Sportsman. Sano also flips the flip of youth. No one has shown truly good form yet, i.e. no former gymnasts yet.

12 boxes now (1m96cm). KEIJI mounts the box in a bad way and he is out. Now, who will be our first run right into the box guy?

JUNO's first show jump. No problem. I'm wondering if Kwang Soo (WHO GOES SHIRTLESS) has the right form to go far? Not really. It's only 12 boxes man, chill out. Naoki Iketani can do this while eating a bowl of cereal.

Akiyoshi Nakao next. Slow run up...but it is just enough! Nakagawa up again. And he's our run into the box guy! He hit the trampoline too late.

13 boxes (2m6cm or a small truck). KENCHI first. Yes! KENZO next. Barely! Oh wait. No! Hes out.

Kwang Soo next. He has chalky handprints on his nippular area. And he hits the box. Nakao next. Will he do it? YES!

14 boxes (2m16cm). Wataru Mori up first. He has the best form so far. And he clears! We see Takiguchi for the first time here. Yes! Not pretty but it worked. JUNO barely! Warabino...Yes!  Taniuchi...JUST clears!

Nakao again. NO! He's done. As is Yamada. Here is KENTA. Who looks older than his brother. Yes! His butt just gets through.

Sano is still in the lead but if he falters here someone could overtake him. Yes! With room to spare.

15 boxes (2m26cm or a phone booth). KENCHI will try to make a call. Here he goes. YES! They might as well just call the show EXILE Presents Sports Danshi Grand Prix.

Mori passes. Juno..sorry, JUNO up next. That awkward run somehow gets it done. His groin just cleared! Warabino does the Monster Box shuffle and fails. KENTA'S butt doesn't clear this time.

Sano is going for it. Here he goes. YES!

Seiya is in second. And he keeps pace with Sano!

16 boxes (2m36cm). Seven are left. KENCHI up. Yes! He had to angle himself at the end but he did it!

Wataru Mori up next. He passed last time. More than enough! Someone watched Sportsman growing up.

Sano to keep his lead. Yes! Can Seiya keep up? If not, Mori will pass him. Slo-mo says yes!

Takiguchi and JUNO both clear! And Taniuchi! That's everyone!

17 boxes (2m46cm). And let's hit a commercial as KENCHI hits the trampoline. They are really relying on the old M9 style music cues by the way.

Back. And KENCHI hits the box!  He has another chance though.

Wataru Mori up next. He's in third. He gets it!

Takiguchi and JUNO AND Sano fail their first try.

17 boxes second try. Do or die time. KENCHI...the last hope of EXILE...IS OUT! Couldn't get the height.

Takiguchi...doesn't have it either. done. Taniuchi..NO!

Sano needs to keep going to keep his lead. SO THE SHIRT IS OFF. Eh, I'll wait until someone rips off their pants.

Here he goes...NO! He is in tears. You're not done yet though!

Seiya...if he doesn't do it here Wataru is the wi...He does it! Just barely but he does it!

18 boxes (2m56cm). Only two are left! Mori! Seiya!

Wataru up first. AND THE SHIRT IS OFF. Here he goes..YES! NO! And he knows it. Ah..the old butt grazes the platform.

Seiya next. NO! I'd think an acrobat wouldn't be doing the old shuffle step but he did.

18 boxes second try.

Mori was the closer of the two on the first try. YES!

The pressure is on Seiya now. Whoever is the winner will be in the driver's seat. CMs first though.

Seiya's shirt is off too. Here he goes...NO!

Wataru Mori is your Monster Box number 1 with 18 boxes!

The bottom six are out so say good night to Nakagawa, Kwang Soo, Yamada, KENTA, Warabino and KEIJI.

Sano did well enough to hold his lead but now Mori and Seiya are only twenty points behind him.

4th event - Power Wall. This will be in tournament form. Sano and Mori get byes to the 2nd round.

1st match: Nakao versus TETSUYA. FIGHT! 90 seconds to see who moved the wall the most. Nakao in control. 30 seconds left. TETSUAY is still fighting though. Back at a stand-still with 10 seconds. Back and forth. And TETSUYA takes it! Nakao lost his balance and that gave TETSUYA his chance.

2nd match: JUNO versus Taniuchi. FIGHT! No one in control yet. JUNO has the look of someone who has to exercise or else his body will just balloon up. He's in control now. Thirty seconds. Last ten. JUNO in the lead. And he's the winner!

3rd match: KENCHI versus Takiguchi. Takiguchi (who was losing anyway) slips and loses.

4th match: Seiya verus KENZO. Seiya took the Hammer Crush so he has power. But was KENZO just unlucky then? Or is he really the stronger of the two? Um...Yeah. He is. A walkover.

1st Quarterfinal: Sano versus TETSUYA. FIGHT! CMs!

Back. Sano in early control. At a standstill but Sano has the lead. And back to the middle! TETSUYA in control now. But Sano hasn't given up yet. Fifteen seconds but it looks impossible for Sano. And TETSUYA takes it.

2nd Quarterfinal: JUNO versus Wataru Mori. JUNO takes it, setting up an all caps semifinals. It's just not an event for the smaller guys. Can't be helped.

1st Semifinal - KENCHI versus TETSUYA. EXILE collides! And the shirts are off! CMs.

Back and KENCHI is in the lead early. TETSUYA looks like he is in trouble. But he fights back bit by bit. Halfway point. KENCHI has a slight weight advantage. Under thirty seconds. Ten seconds. Too late for TETSUYA! KENCHI is into the finals!

2nd Semifinal - JUNO versus KENZO. FIGHT! Whoa. KENZO takes a big early lead. JUNO is losing it. KENZO just can't put him away yet. JUNO coming back bit by bit. Ten seconds. KENZO just holds on for the win!

Final - KENCHI versus KENZO. FIGHT! Standstill but now KENZO takes a slight lead. KENCHI is struggling. KENZO is almost there. Halfway over. Last thirty seconds and unless KENZO loses his balance KENCHI is done. AND KENZO GETS HIM OVER THE LINE!

Winner - KENZO

After four events the bottom four are dropped so say goodbye to Nakao, Taniuchi, Takiguchi and TETSUYA.

KENCHI is in the lead with 280, KENZO and Sano are next with 240 apiece and Mori, JUNO and Seiya at third with 220.

Final Event: Shotgun Touch.

JUNO is out because he got hurt. So we are down to five.

You have three tries and well, since I'm not doing this live, I'll break down the scores they show on the screen:

10m50cm is the minimum. You get 5 points for that. It increases by intervals of three for every extra 10 centimeters so at the other end of the scale, you get 80 points for making a 13 meter attempt.

1st Try

Remember, timing is important at the beginning and at the end. Not hitting the button is the cardinal sin of the Shotgun Touch.

Seiya up first. He goes for 11m70cm for 41 points. He gets it! He's now in second.

Wataru Mori next. He goes for 11m10cm for 23 points. But he misses!

Gaku Sano goes for 12m for 50 points It would give him the lead. Did he do it? YES! He's in the lead now.

KENZO goes for 11m20cm. He's playing it safe for 26 points. Yes! And he did it easily. He's in third now.

KENCHI is still in 2nd but it's his first try. He is going for 11m50cm for 35 points to put this away early. Not sure if that is a good idea. Here he goes. NO! He just misses it. Now the pressure is on Sano to maintain his lead.

Aw yeah, Shotgun Touch math.

Wataru Mori goes for a safe 11m and picks up 20 points.

Seiya tries to hit a home run with 12m40cm, the longest attempt of the night, and comes up a hand short.

KENZO still has a chance for the win. He is going for 11m30cm for 29 points. That would give him a five point lead.

Set. Yes! He is now in first.

Sano should go for a mid 11 or so. No sense going deep just yet.

KENCHI is going for 11m50cm. Same as before. I still don't know about that. Here he goes. Set.

And he misses the button! Not the prettiest way to lose.

Sano up next. He's going for 12m again. I think he should go just a bit shorter since he knows he can do this and doesn't NEED 50 points since KENZO hasn't shown that he is going to go super deep.

Here he goes. He has the speed...but no! Just misses.

KENZO in the lead going into the last attempt.

ARE YOU STUPID SANO? He wants to go 12 again. KENZO is thinking 11m50cm. Sano wants to put pressure on KENZO.

Wataru Mori gets 11m10cm for 23 more points which points him ahead of Seiya by two points.

Seiya is going for 12m30cm for 59 points to put himself into the lead. A big gamble. But no! That means Wataru Mori finishes 4th and Seiya 5th.

KENCHI up next. He's going for 11m50c for 35 points. Shotgun Touch has always been a matter of pride - you don't want to go too small even if you are in the lead because it looks unseemly.

This would give him the lead.


It's down to Sano and KENZO now.

Sano first. He's going for 12m. If he makes it will put major pressure on KENZO.


Here he goes...after a word from our sponsors.

Doesn't look like he's going to make it though.


Whoa! Did he do it? YES! Whoa.

KENZO has to go for 11m90cm to win it. And he will. Oh he will.

Sano in the awkward position of having to wish for someone else to fail in order to win.


Here he goes.

Set. NO! Not even close. It just wasn't in his range.

And Gaku Sano is your inaugural Sports Danshi Champion!

And he gets a Toyota Auris!

Well, it was pretty much Sportsman No. 1 with a few tweaks (the live audience, the host who didn't really add anything to the live event). Time will tell if the re-branding will help keep it around.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Like, I guess a phoenix or something like that, SASUKE (Tentatively) RISING: TBS looking for SASUKE 28 competitors!

Update: A wee bit of new information at the bottom of this post.

Wow. M9 went bankrupt. Not me.

Anyway, aside from other versions of SASUKE that I (legally) can't view here in Japan, no news of note (or nothing noteworthy of notifying people about) had come out since M9 filed for bankruptcy.

Until today. SASUKE Maniac Forums member elephant52 broke the news that TBS had put up a page for something called (tentatively) SASUKE RISING.

The application process is from September 27th 5:00 PM to October 14th 23:59 PM.

It's the usual "send us a video of you that we will keep forever, the truly bad ones being used to humor us during end of year parties" but there is also a questionnaire of sorts added to it.

That can be found here. (All in Japanese. Note: There is nothing that explicitly says (as far as I can tell) that non-Japan residents can't enter.

There will be auditions/try-outs in Tokyo (Sunday, October 21st) and Osaka (Saturday, October 20th). That is an interesting piece of news because recently, almost all trials and try-outs had been strictly Tokyo-based, regardless of where you were from. This deepens the field that much more. Definitely a good move.

TBS also released  some..releases. In Japanese. And in English.

I am lazy so here is some copy pasta from the SMF (my comments) after the jump.