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.
More news as it comes.
A general comment:First off, I think it's pretty clear that this will not be your father's SASUKE. It reads like TBS is trying to keep the name alive but also distance itself from the M9 era. Will that be good or bad? Who knows?
If they really want to shake things up, they should make EVERYBODY go through the qualification process. That includes Nagano and Yuuji.
About the guy listed as the chief producer:The guy mentioned as chief producer, Hiroki Kikuno is a long time TBS producer, not a guy with a direct connection to Monster 9. However, he worked on Kinniku Banzuke and the later iterations of the show, both as a part of TBS and as a part of Dreamax Television. Dreamax came out of the TBS Sports Division and they produced several SASUKE and Sportsman No. 1 shows before Higuchi formed M9. (As a side note, I can't remember if Higuchi was at Dreamax or not).
When I put his name and Higuchi's name together in google, I get two things: information about ZONE, a sports documentary show Dreamax did and one random comment on 2ch which is hard to parse but it seems that Kikuno was a director for Kinniku Banzuke during the time of the Power Island accident (don't know if he was the actual director of the segment or not).
So, he has experience with sports variety, especially the TBS type, but it was a long time ago.
No other names seemed to be tied to the show yet.
From that info (head producer is an in-house guy) it seems like TBS owns SASUKE or if not, is in control of most of it. Also, until the Muscle Musical came along and sucked his attention away, Higuchi seemed a bit more hands on. Kikuno may have the same background (although he is Higuchi's junior) but he's been doing baseball and documentary stuff for a while. Hopefully Kikuno will bring in more recently experienced guys to help him. Hey, Katsumi Yamada needs a job.
According to this tweet, Sato Inui 乾雅人 of production company FOLCOM will be directing SASUKE 28. Inui was a part of Dreamax until 2004 until he started FOLCOM, the company that produced DOORS. Inui took part in SASUKE, Kinniku Banzuke and Sportsman No.1 from those programs beginning until 2004. It has been eight years since he has done a SASUKE.