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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sasuke Maniac - April 13-14

Sasuke Maniac - A 1/2 hour show that runs every Sunday night (into Monday) on TBS in Japan featuring Monster 9 events. TBS changed their site and showed they were going to give a new Sasuke Mania including not used footage from Sasuke 20. I returned to my trusty program to watch Japanese TV and enjoyed news and documentaries I can’t understand. :)

(Levi Meeuwenberg (or LEVI MeUUUENBAAARGU if you listen to the announcer scream his name in Sasuke 20!) - Sasuke 20's New Hero according to TBS LOL - a friggin' Godsend for G4 if you ask me. Go go Levi!)

Checked during the week again and they mentioned “American” .. which means they were going to show Sasuke again… what they would show I had no idea so I was about to check! I expect Levi Meeuwenberg (American Ninja Challenge 2) love.. Might see Brian Orosco (ANC2) and Brett Sims (ANC1) but not sure. LOL having fun with the whacked out Japanese commercials…. About these whacked out commercials.. Ragaeton SHOULD NOT BE IN JAPANESE.. okay.. there I said it… I don’t like it in Spanish.. but something about Japanese people sitting around in a dinner table bopping their heads and waving their arms to Japanese Ragaeton is just.. wrong.. utterly and completely wrong.. Oh.. and why do I keep hearing Olivia Newton John’s Xanadu?

(TBS monitering USA blogs and caught that there was much anticipation across the pond for Sasuke 20)

Had a harder time trying to find the channel since they changed a few channels around and descriptions. Knowing what they showed the last time (thanks Ube) helped. Ran around trying to find the - JSpo program that usually airs before it.. “okay.. looking for baseball”.. crap.. 2 channels showing baseball… hang on.. waiting.. it’s 11:18 my time.. waiting.. checking again.. hmm I think I found it.. in the meantime got half hour.. oooh figure skating on the other channel.. mmmmmmmm waiting.. back to baseball.. lemme make sure this is the right channel before I get pissed and miss it…. OH I see the announcers.. yeah it’s JSpo.. okay don’t move.. only 20 minutes to go.. Wow they so heavy on fluff pieces.. good Lord.. and what’s with the totally inappropriate use of music that doesn’t fit.. oh well.. at least it’s pretty music.. even if it doesn’t fit the theme :p Okay.. I heard “if you want my body and you think I’m sexy c’mon baby let me know…” .. in .. Japanese.. Oh… and a commercial with “It’s a small world afterall”.. whistled.. digressing again… 3 more minutes.. Oh Mao Asada commercial.. MediClean toothbrushes.. Shocked my video feed is stable today! Don't have to keep restarting it to cue up with sound..

(American Ninja Challenge Final 3 for G4's Ninja Warrior competition - Brian, Russelis and Levi)

Okay.. started.. 11:50 am my time on Sunday (12:50 am Monday Morning in Japan – a lot later than usual but the TV lineup in the TBS site helped - ) – Ube told me before they are getting back to the Dramas so they are adding the episodes and pushing everything else later in the night. Ube can't blog his tonight so I'm taking a crapload of pictures as he wanted me to... Took 124 pictures.. only putting up 41 today :p

(Shout out to Blackie Chan! Russelis my man.. I wish you could have gone.. stupid Cliffhanger up against a box...) TBS loved you baby.. there was much love for the man tonight!)

Okay.. they proved that TBS/Monster 9 DO read American blogs and websites. They were quoting from one of the websites about how they were really looking forward to Sasuke 20. (no it wasn’t G4’s site) Looks like it’s Levi’s experience in Sasuke Maniac.. LOL they are now referring to him as the new Hero! Okay looks like ANC’s experience in general. They showed the winners of ANC1 (the obligatory dazed and confused look of Clueless Colin in the AOTS set).. Back to showing the Sasuke 20 wipe outs (because showing this before Sasuke 20 somehow doesn’t show spoilers BEFORE you watch it.. yeah.. okay digressing).. now they are going over ANC’s history with a lot of clips from ANC2. Paul ANTHONY Terek (and his runs through Sasuke and Sportsman #1 clips) and now oh.. top 6 siting! Yay! :)

(See now Nagano got his arms right on the real Cliffhanger.. see how the American boy Levi doesn't do it right.. watch.. here's the comparison.. he needs much work says TBS)

The runs on ANC.. hey Russelis siting! Sorry.. I wish he could have gone too.. wow.. they showed the entire run of Russelis winning his heat.. Brian’s run cut down.. Levi’s fluff piece.. then his run (almost all of it). Russelis fluff piece! Now Brian’s fluff piece (much shorter).. now the top 3 doing the last run around the .. box.. sorry didn’t like that last challenge.. the only thing “killer” about it was how badly they skimped on production value.. Digressing badly but they did a synopsis of it. LOL they did a comparison between Nagano’s cliffhanger and Levi’s and talking about the arms LMAO!!! I swear they read the blogs and G4 website.

(Arrived at Narita Airport in Chiba, Japan - and formerly known as New Toyko airport)

Okay.. they arrived in the airport! All 3 arrived with each other (Brian, Levi and Brett). Obligatory interview .. They asked Brett why he’s back and he said he was asked to come back to get a second chance. Sounds like it was G4 that did it.. not TBS.. Hmmmm.. sorry Russelis my man..

(ANC guys enjoying themselves in a private Muscle Musical show)

ANC guys went to see Muscle Musical. Interviews after that. One of the Muscle Musical guys (couldn’t tell who it was.. sorry) did a push up with his legs in the air in the lobby of Muscle Musical.. Brett did it just as good as the Muscle Musical guy and actually held the position longer. Go go Brett. Levi can’t do it though :p Don't think they showed Brian trying. I didn't see him in the lobby.

(Hello Mr. Octopus guy :) - Ah you do me much honor coming to my restaurant - actually I'm happy they did I've never seen it. He looks like a great host!)

They met Minoru Kuramochi (Mr. Octopus), at his restaurant. They all learned how to do his headband and continued to wear it all throughout dinner. They all pretty much think he's an essentric old guy. Uhm.. duh!

(Muscle Park in Tokyo Bay is a cool place I'd like to go to at some point..)

On to Muscle Park now. The ANC guys try their hand at the Sasuke course (4 obstacles - Arm Bike, Salmon Ladder, Cliff Hanger and Pipe Slider) Brett beats the Salmon Ladder and Brian failed the pipe slider .. so did Levi. Interviews.. They were surprised how much relies on finger strength “lots of fingers” and it’s a lot more fatiguing than they expected.

(Death by Pipe Slider.. ANC Style.. I think this is Levi.. who knows.. they showed both Levi and Brian failing almost the same way)

Both deaths by Pipe Slider were almost identical. Both swung to the end only to slide almost all the way back to the middle.. to slide back to the end.. to try to jump off only to slide back and land straight down.. No forward momentum.

(Outside of where they met Shunsuke Nagasaki to learn how to use a trampoline)

Gym with Shunsuke Nagasaki! First TBS relived the past failures of both ANC guys (Colin and Brett) and how they both failed the trampoline and ultimately the Jumping Spider.

(Shunsuke Nagasaki giving pointers to Brett, Levi and Brian on that stupid trampoline)

I'm sure Brett was going "oh I could have used this tip last year.. but oh well.. " So they have Shunsuke, Prince of the Trampoline, teach them how to do it.

(Shunsuke shows them how it's done. Go Mr. Olympian and show these guys how to jump this stupid thing!)

Looks fun :) He looks great too! Good luck in the Beijing Olympics!

(Shunsuke showing them.. so.. Jump in the air.. forward momentum.. stick legs out.. and pray you stick.. the first time)

Dinner again.. oooooh.. All Stars dinner. Toshihiro Takeda, Makoto Nagano (yay), Katsuhito Akiyama and Katsumi Yamada (with a crying video.. thanks TBS..) Most of the Allstars (Bunpei of course missing because of back problems and Shingo missing because he never does anything outside of Sasuke itself)

(ANC Guys.. meet All Stars.. All Stars.. meet ANC guys - btw.. Nagano loves that New Mexico shirt.. 3rd time I see it - fan who gave it to him must be over the moon!)

Lots of awe and wonder on the part of the ANC Guys (looks I mean.. you call tell they were awestruck) Mr. Sasuke himself Katsumi Yamada offers a toast and everyone is happy!

(Yamada offers a toast to this joyous occasion. I guess it fits him right.. even if I don't like him anymore LOL.. btw.. he wore that stupid armband to this??)

Beer time! Is Brett even old enough to drink? Just kidding :D

(CHEERS! Looks like a great atmosphere.. even if I am a cheap date.. /sigh I'd be so out of place in that room.. )

The next bit is hysterical. The G4 crew brought video of Brian and Levi's entry videos - specifically the Free running.. omg did he just jump a building videos.

(Nagano watching from a small screen given to him (that's his hand).. mmm.. that looks yummy what they are eating.. it's not fish... oh that's right.. Nagano hates sushi LMAO)

All watching the videos of Freeruning and are all amazed. They spent a few seconds showing in a little corner of the Screen what was being shown to them to a chorus of “ooooooh” at the building jumping.

(Aww that's cool they moved the monitor (and Akiyama moved) so that he could see the screen better.. they look like they are having a ball!)

That was hysterical all going the obligatory “omfg you’ve got to be nuts faces” They seemed to think they were completely nuts..

(Toshihiro Takeda enjoying the videos.. he's just as awestruck at the brazeness in display)

For those who want to know what they were watching - some of you recognize both Brian's Videos Brian's Video and Levi's Video on YouTube.

(Nagano looks like he's going through pain watching these freerunning videos..)

Nagano looked like he was going through pain watching these crazy Americans jumping off buildings!

(You seriously think with a blog about the ANC guys I'd ignore Nagano? You've got to be insane.. :p)

(A round of applause by the All-Stars to the crazy ANC guys' videos)

Now the advice thingies..

(Dude.. we are so boned.. we have to think of something insightful.. hmm.. let's just hold our hands over our chins to make us look adult like.. yeah.. let the translators make up something.. yes.. quite..)

Why is Yamada giving advice.. sorry :p Digressing.

(I am Mister Sasuke.. listen to me.. yes.. listen to me :p I'm insightful and the camera loves me)

Okay.. enough of the All-star dinner. They Arrive to Sasuke 20 by private bus and get greeted by Nagano himself.

(Nagano meeting the 3 ANC guys as they come off the bus and into the media storm)

Commercials – no Bones this week.. Maybe they finished their make-goods.. sorry.. Advertising term :p

Oh Michael Milner siting! Michael they showed you in the stands cheering on the Americans! Brett’s turn, Brian, more wipe outs .. now Levi’s run. They made sure to show all passed the Jumpingu Spidah.. thanks Shunsuke Nagasaki! High fives with the Allstars at the end of Levi’s run.

(Had to show this picture for my buddy Snowy.. Kenji Takahashi siting Snowy dear :) Look.. talking to Akiyama in the background!)

On to Stage 2. They show Nagano dunk himself with full speed into the Midoriyama's septic sludge while Levi tears course up. Yamada in awe.. I can do it.. Yeah.. sure you can.. Sorry.. channeling my inner Ube.. he’s here in spirit :p Nagano is happy. A bunch of Levi talking to Nagano.

(Nagano laughing at something while talking to Levi just before Stage 3)

Okay my favorite part of Sasuke.. Stage 3 Rings section. Nagano is watching Levi go through his mental visualisation of what he's going to do on the globe grasp.. Nagano sees something he doesn't like...

(Makoto Nagano sees something he's not comfortable with.. No no Levi.. not like that.. plenty have fallen with that hand grip..)

He starts to call out to Levi.

(Makoto Nagano yelling "LEVI LEVI LEVI" .. look... like this.. fingers forward!)

He yells his name three times. The fingers shot of Nagano and then Takeda showing Levi how to do the descending globe grasp.

(Toshihiro Takeda now realizes the mistake as well and joins Makoto Nagano in the arm gesture..)

Levi listens!

(Levi changing his grip... "Like this?" hmm.. okay!)

He easily makes it through just fine thanks to the advice and his own physical ability.

(Levi going through the descending globe grasp with the new grip - he clears!)

On to Cliffhanger.. Bastage that hasn't been beaten by anyone yet..

(Hmm.. so this is the mighty Cliffhanger.. totally different than that mock up in Muscle Park.. has eaten a total of 3 people so far in Sasuke 18.. no one got here in Sasuke 19... I'm the only victim in Sasuke 20..)

He starts to go across...

(Levi going accross the top section of the Cliffhanger.. going down to the 3rd section.. long gap.. tries to jump it but his arms give out and down into the sludge he goes..

(Daaaagnabit say Takeda and Nagano as they see Levi dunk into the water off the Cliffhanger)

Commercials.. Beer.. Pizza.. nice combination even if I can’t drink beer.. I’m such a friggin’ cheap date.. Biore for the ladies underarms.. it’s a small towel.. ooookk…. Oh.. kitty commercial! Having a Kitty attack.. LMAO I love this cat beating up his master to wake him up  Kal Kan commercial. I hear Xanadu again.. Softbank commercial.. might have been Cameron Diaz.

(Makoto Nagano yells and cheers Levi's attempt at Stage 3.. even if he didn't get to the Heartbreaker/Spider Flip..)

(ANC love all around. Good job man.. you made us proud.. hey now.. they look like they are going to dance..)

They are back.. interview with Levi. Nice interview. Thanks to Nagano. Aww Nagano says “Gomen Nasai” (I’m sorry) to Levi. Back slap from Nagano.

(Awww.. pat pat pat.. better luck next time.. you got further than me.. that's awesome!)

Same cutaway shot from Sasuke 20 where they stare at Stage 4 and credits roll.

(Tower looming in the darkness.. Yeah.. you'll get yours.. I promise..)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sasuke Maniac - April 6th/7th

Sasuke Maniac - A 1/2 hour show that runs every Sunday night (into Monday) on TBS in Japan featuring Monster 9 events. TBS changed their site and showed they were going to give a new Sasuke Mania including not used footage from Sasuke 20. I returned to my trusty program to watch Japanese TV and enjoyed 2 hours of news and documentaries I can’t understand. :)

(Handabol guys enjoying the spectacle that is Sasuke 20! - Daisuke Miyazaki is the guy on the left.. trust me you will see more of him..)

Checked during the week again and they mentioned Daisuke Miyazaki .. which means they were going to show Sasuke again… what they would show I had no idea so I was about to check! Incoming Bablefish disaster.. "Reverse side close adhesion and heroical anecdote of [sasukemania] intense fighting! Handball Japanese typical Miyazaki Daisuke never conclusion just something?" So .. what does that mean? I was aiming to find out! LOL having fun with the whacked out Japanese commercials….

Okay.. started.. 11:20 am my time on Sunday (12:20 am Monday Morning in Japan)

(American Ninja Warrior competitors - Levi and Brian (ANC2) and Brett (ANC1) all watching the staff of Sasuke show them how to do Stage 1 of Sasuke 20)

Looks like it’s Daisuke’s experience in Sasuke Maniac.. Yep the whole team's experience of Sasuke 20. First part was him watching with the rest of the contestants how the Sasuke crew did the first stage. Next was his win in Sportsman #1. Bio of how he got there, how the handball guys trained (trampoline and all) Was funny seeing them all trying to do the Jumping Spider jump and spread legs into a wall.. LOL Naoki Iketani talks to him - (Shingo in the back with Yamada walking behind him)

(Kewpie to Handabol guy.. remember .. I won Sportsman number one waaaay before you so don't get on a high horse.. I may look like I sway in he wind now.. and you are buff.. but I can still kick your butt..)

Rehashing the day's events as they saw them. Akiyama run.. Miyazaki looks dazed.. Dude.. that was totally the guy that won this thing first.. first handball guy.. (death by Jumping Spider).. got hurt in the run “check my arm”. More people going down.. Hey they showed Swat guy again! Yay! Sorry Michael it went by too fast and my screenshot trigger finger is much too slow.. Handball guys looking like they are having fun.. next handball guy.. (death by Half pipe attack.. he’s the one that swung back to the wall and still missed the platform back.. ) guys loved it..

(The Handabol guys having waaaay too much fun laughing at the fate of their fellow handball guy... Your turn is coming..)

Shingo’s run.. now Miyazaki is getting worried.. he’s now warming up in the parking lot.. more interviews.. he’s pacing..Iketani drops from the jumping spider wall.. serves him right.. eh.. what's up with his skeleton body this timea round anyway? Miyazaki now really worried.. third handball guy.. (death by log grip) Miyazaki now in shock..

(Dude that hurt.. Miyazaki in shock over the loss of his fellow handball guy..)

Now they show the first 2 guys through to second stage.. back to another interview with Miyazaki.. Takahashi down.. Takeda times out.. more of them time out and fall.. Miyazaki now freaked.. back to running sprints in the parking lot.. push ups.. another interview.. he’s antsy.. swaying.. a lot during the interview.. getting ready for his turn.. intro.. he starts..

Commercials.. Buy Bones on DVD.. (yes the American show..)

We are back with his run.. (death by Halfpipe attack) lost of replays of how he overshot the platform..

(Notice he landed a bit too far over.. and already started to lean back over the water..)

(From opposite angle.. you see the lean really evident.. poor Daisuke.. no way to save this..)

(He does a mad jump across to see if he can somehow make it to the opposite platform.. nope.. doesn't make it.. )

Utter disgust .. another interview.. Then interview with team on their experience. All bowing in thanks.

Commercials again.. Dammit buy BONES!!!!! Oh.. and Prison Break and 24.. AGAIN! Buy Bones! Twice in one Commercial break.. they really mean it!

Back to interviewing Miyazaki again.. Poor guy… long day.. another interview staring at the Stage 4 tower.. credits roll. Off they roll into the night..

Remember always Ube does a MUCH better job (See his blog.. it rocks.. - link always on the top left side of my blog or Lost in Ube blog link .. Also.. my previous Sasuke Posts can always be accessed through the tags under Sasuke or Sasuke Mania ;)