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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Official Sasuke Website Run by Monster 9


After what seems like years in development.. Monster 9 has finally posted something the fans have been clamoring for .. an official Sasuke website! September 17, 2009 marks the launch of Sasuke Mania which happens to be the official fan page for Sasuke run by the creators of the my favorite show Sasuke, Monster 9. It's a work in progress and you can tell it's still under construction but it looks well so far!

It is a step in the right direction but it's a shame for anyone living outside of Japan, it's virtually impossible to understand the text past the pictures. They are cute though! The text is in flash format as a picture so it's not like we can run it through translators to know what the kanji means. In terms of competitors and what not we still have to rely on pages like the fan-compiled Sasuke Maniacs Fansite and of course this blog (for recent ones shown on TV) and Lost in Ube. Despite that, it is cute that they put an animation of someone running up the Final Stage Tower to victory as the website loads for the first time.

This is the page that greets you when you first sign on. I can assume as new competitions are added the main splash page will change and of course all official information including air dates and special events will/should be posted here on the "what's new" section. My hope is that it will be at least Bilingual Japanese/English. The GOOD thing for now is that when you hit the actual links to the news.. it does come up in a little box I can cut and paste the kanji into a translator to see what was written. Not all pages are like this though.

As you navigate the website you do see a few things of note. First is the huge History section which to this point is largely vacant. You can see the official TBS airdates for each of the 23 Sasuke's and it's conveniently categorized by year for easy viewing. It's also cute because they have the official logos they used for each year and a picture of the start line for each of the Sasuke's they covered. So far they have 20-23. To my knowledge - these are the only Sasuke's that actually had the numbered years for Sasuke on the actual course.

Once you click on each Sasuke specifically you see a few options available. They show the course obstacles with a few pictures of someone tackling them. The other is the "Data" section that shows the last people to survive that Sasuke mentioned. It's set up the same way as the old wiki with just the last ones standing (like in Sasuke 23 the last guys in Stage 3 and 4) but it doesn't have the full list of competitors to run the course like the fan-compiled Sasuke Maniacs Fansite. Obviously if they plan to do that in the future it's going to be a massive undertaking and I doubt they will invest the time to give a full competitor list the way the fans created the page. Also, it's all in Kanji so unless you know the names ahead of time in Romanji.. the names and obstacles in Kanji will not make sense since you can't run it through a translator.

It's nice they have a Completed page. It's rare I see Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山 和彦 in any of the official pages for Sasuke so as a fan I'm happy to see BOTH the champions of Sasake (Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山 和彦 (Sasuke 4) and Makoto Nagano 長野誠 (Sasuke 17)) prominently shown ;) Here is hoping that the space for one more person next to Nagano is a good omen .. there's plenty of space up top at that tower and on this page! I'm so excited for Sasuke 23!!

One page that is noted as "Item" is in fact the merchandise page. This makes me very excited but also pessimistic. It's very unlikely though that the merchandise will be available for anyone overseas. I am HOPING that it's a sign that in the future they plan to sell Sasuke Merchandise to all the fans around the world.. not just Japan. Keep your fingers crossed and pray that this is a good sign.. because I want that towel!!!

The final page I'm covering is the "Download" page. It's the Sasuke wallpaper page for Mac and Windows users. I hovered my cursor over the Sasuke 21 wallpaper just to show how it lights up when you hover your cursor over it. There's plenty of space for which I assume will be Sasuke 23 wallpapers in production. I know I will be downloading them all :)

All in all I like the fan page. It's the first time Monster 9 has gone all out to appeal to the fans and create a page designed just for them. It's an arduous process to put these pages up so I'm happy they are doing it. It also eases the tension for those in the Monster 9 office (Lord knows we have been emailing them a lot for information) from answering questions that can be easily transmitted via a website such as this. Now we can check here for our Sasuke related questions!!

I encourage you to email Sasuke Mania and THANK THEM for putting up a fan website. I will be doing that shortly. I'm also going to be emailing them in hopes that they add merchandise that is available for worldwide fans.. not just Japanese. We would LOVE to pay for Sasuke merchandise and are not averse to paying international shipping. Please support this site and please email them letting them know of your willingness to pay for Sasuke merchandise. It would be WONDERFUL if they shipped worldwide so that ALL the fans can share in the excitement of this wonderful show.

Inquiry/email questions can be found here:

当サイトに関するお問合せは (Site inquiries)
までメールにてお問合せください。 (Please inquire by email)

Tell them Rambling Rican sent ya ;)

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