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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Post Sasuke 23 aftermath

All-Stars Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 enjoying a BBQ in Nobeoka, Japan during the weekend of October 3, 2009 ©ken-ken-b Blog

Since the epic blog of Sasuke 23 (In 17 parts not including Navi)... I've been taking it easy. Upcoming are 3 sets of blogs (possibly 4). I wanted to take a break before my brain melted.. I'm waiting back to hear the responses to the Luci's blog for Sasuke 22 (Sorry no more questions - she has the list right now) and awaiting the translation of the questions to be sent to Hidenori Nagasawa 長澤 秀則 (Sasuke 10-17 and 23). Kunoichi 8 I'm thinking of doing and every time I get my brain to start doing it .. I tense up.. LOL The last blog might be a Nagano blog. 2 things are upcoming - the long awaited update promised by Takasui (poor guys have been up to their ears with with and with the opening of both Hotel ZeroCity and the Restaurant KonpiraMaru it's been hellish busy - also the long awaited Yodaraji interview (the last one was held in April). I'm not sure on both dates but they do assure me it's coming. That and of course any news on Sasuke 24's rapidly approaching tournament.. Geez.. feels like we just finished Sasuke 23.. wait.. we just DID! LOL

長野 (Nagano) 塊王 (Kaiou) (or my favorite meaning in Hiragana かいおう) (Around October, 2009) ©ken-ken-b Blog

While I take a break I love going to read the Japanese blogs. Nagano's childhood friend adores posting (if you don't believe me.. follow his site.. he posts at least 4 times a day... LOL) and even puts all of his pictures as he gets them.. sometimes within seconds.. ahahhaha Anyway. Seems Nagano and Takeda were in the neighborhood. He's posted a bunch of photos before of him (wedding pics, birth announcement and so on. Even him arm wrestling with Yamada and of course the guys recovering from Alcohol poisoning after the wedding..). I had to look at the baby picture like 10 times.. even compared it but yep.. that's baby Kaiou alright.. he's growing fast.... Seems he was caught just as he spit up.. Poor thing. Lord knows that cute little pudge (oh I want to EAT him he's so cuuuuuuuute) is already used to being photographed..

Makoto Nagano posing for website pics ©Makoto Nagano/Takasui

In the meantime a bunch of us online have been sharing information and trying our darnest to find anything on Sasuke 24. I got an email the other day from our friends in Taiwan (Wretch Blog). (Got a correction from Wretch) Seems a Graduate Student of Art made a tribute doll for Nagano. It's kinda eerie, cool and freaky all at the same time! Seems the actual design was inspired by the pictures he put on his site.

The doll itself is not for sale. Seems he wanted to make it in tribute to him and he hoped he would actually see it. I'm sure by now he either saw it or will see. Lord knows a few fans might have already sent it (cough.. I did too ... cough). It's funky how he inspires people to do totally different things, huh?

The detail even on the pictures is funky. The whole background and lighting to match both the 1st stage Starting line and the pictures of him posing as if he were posing for his website pics was really a cool touch. I'm sure he'll be shocked when he see it but feel honored that someone would want to make a tribute to him. Hope he writes them a letter somehow.

Mori, Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 and Kobayashi having fun in the sound studio ©森渉 Mori Wataru

Meanwhile.. right in the middle of my Sasuke 23 blogging I saw that Mori had done a radio interview (or something similar) with his friends from Sasuke. For those who might remember him.. he was one of the guys I was following on my Japan Training Blog from back in August. Mori is an actor that has competed in Sasuke twice (most recent was Sasuke 21).

Mori, Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 and Kobayashi having fun in the sound studio ©森渉 Mori Wataru

We all know who Kanno is by now but Hiroshi Kobayashi is an actor and has competed in previous Sasuke Trials (including the one I blogged on last last summer) and has made frequent visits as well to Sasuke Park in Muscle Park. In fact I remember one quite recently...

Kanno and Kobayashi getting ready for interview ©森渉 Mori Wataru

Either way I'm not sure if it was ever made available online like our friend in Nobeoka do with Yodaraji but it seems they had a lot of fun. Nice to see Kanno get some notoriety!

P.S. JUST as I uploaded this the Takasui pics started to come up.. Ahahahahaha dang I can time these things :)

Asami, Kaiou and Makoto Nagano posing with Hotel Zerocity Staff ©Makoto Nagano/Takasui Corp.

Btw.. His jeans look fab! Asami is looking great! And little Kaiou is growing a mohawk! LOL j/k :) He's so cuuuuuuuute!

Kaiou and Makoto Nagano posing in the first floor of the Restaurant KonpiraMaru ©Makoto Nagano/Takasui Corp.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sasuke 23 - Spoilerific Review - Part 17




Sasuke spoilerific review ;) Warning.. incoming blog of Sasuke 23.. if you don’t want to know.. you have been warned :D Please sign the Sasuke DVD Petition! I'd love for EVERYONE to be able to have their own copy of Sasuke to watch at their leisure. For a preview of this event.. Please see SASUKE NAVI FALL 2009 (1 hour review of Sasuke 23 with fluff pieces of all the major players in the upcoming Sasuke!) Oh.. and as Ube says: If you are from the G4 Forums, DON'T POST THIS THERE. They expect everyone to stick their head in the sand and pretend it doesn't exist..


(Massive thanks to Ube for his help on the names in English and Japanese of all the competitors!!)

Last 2 men standing in Sasuke 23 are! Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志

and All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠

WHOOT! BACK TO BACK FINAL STAGES! This time we have TWO!! New Star vs. Hero!!

Kanno gets his interview first - this is his 1st Final Stage!

Nagano looks bored.. LOL This is his 5th Final!

Showing the history of the Final Stages counting the 1st ever win - Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山 和彦
The numbers represent that from September, 1997 to October, 1999 there was just 1 winner.

2nd winner was Makoto Nagano 長野誠
only the 2nd winner from March, 2000 - October, 2006!

And then there was 1 final ever after Nagano's win - March, 2007 it was Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 who got very close but did not win.

And again with the following tournament.. we are back to the Final Stage!

The guys get strapped into their safety gear!

While they do that.. it's time for fluff pieces!!

We start off with Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志's Sasuke wall of fame!

There are several dozen pictures of him with Sasuke Trial friends and of course of the many encounters with the Sasuke All-Stars. (this one with Nagano and Takeda)

Looking at home with.. wtf.. is that a dorm room I'm looking at? I see a microwave, a cooking pot, a guitar.. Food and Music.. I like this guy!

Mom and Dad and unidentified chick.. so.. was the drama queen replaced?

Uhm.. This doesn't seem right...

Uhm.. Dude.. watch your hands.. those are my private parts...

Ignoring.. ignoring.. it will all be over soon..

Meanwhile they show Nagano's training for the final stage.

Video from SASUKE NAVI where he was discussing that seeing the kids is making him want to keep up..

Then he changes his mind..

He changes "keep up" with "push himself more"..

Nagano family - Asami with son Kaiou... wait.. is she holding Nagano's cigarettes and cell phone? LOL!!!!!

Okay.. this is PRICELESS.. Read Shingo's shirt.. "Surrender the Booty"..

Looks like they both showered and changed completely. Heck they even blow dried their hair! (Yes.. they have those in Mount Midoriyama :p )

Geez.. looks they had like 4 changes of clothes each! LOL Though still perplexed by Takeda's sun visor..

Last tournament's finalist Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 (Cliffer #3) standing next to Matsuda (Cliffer #1) while all of this is taking place.

Kanno's cheering section.. wait.. I see her.. 2nd from the left.. I guess they are downplaying her? or I guess no longer going out? I just work here :p

Cue dramatic music! It's a view from the top!

Nagano and Kanno prepared to take on the FINAL STAGE!!

Oh look.. it's the idiot announcer I can't stand.. Wataru Ogasawara 小笠原 亘

The view from the high Boom camera...

The announcer that I much prefer Satô Fumiyasu 佐藤 文康 is up at the top waiting for the guys.
As Ube points out "Unlike before, there is a male reporter at the top. Will it make a difference in our competitor's motivation?" LOL

From the top to his right he can see the first stage...

if you look to the far center you see the second stage

and just below him is the third stage

Fall 2009 - Sasuke 23's finalists!
Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 and Makoto Nagano 長野誠

Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 is up first!

Nagano teaches him manners :)

One last good luck hand shake and off you go son!

And then it's my turn...

Kanno is looking last minute nervous.. yeah no kidding.. it becomes all too real at this point..

Cliffers #3 (Yuuji), #1 (Matsuda) and #2 (Ryo).. I think that's Lee Yen Chi in the far left with the glasses

Dramatic music and camera as they do last minute preparations

Last thing.. the connection to the bungie cord they tie him to in case he falls

Holy crap that's a LONG way up.. as he seeks refuge in the Sasuke Spray..

Nagano already a pro at this is already making his mental preparation for his run

LOL.. they look bored.. Hmm.. Takeda has Nagano's towel now.. kinky..

Last minute prayers...

Starting position.. everything turns quiet..

And off we go!

...... but first.. (oh come on.. they always do this in the middle of the run)..

What seems like 45 minutes of commercials later.. they reintroduce the Final stage and mention the side of the final stage. 23 meters. First part comprised of the "Heavenly Ladder" (made of Rope just like Sasuke 22).

He's going at an even pace but doesn't seem the same speed as Yuuji the tournament before.

Connection to the 2nd part of the last Stage is a bit sloppy...

But he gets it.. this is the G.. Rope.. (not the grope ya'll.. ) and that is 10 meters long.

Moving WAAAAY too slowly.. he's crawling up the rope!

Nowhere near the exit and he's already almost out of time!

Final 8 tenths of a second left!!

And there it is.. he's done! Wow that's pretty far down..

Unlike other Sasuke's.. he is not mercifully dropped.. which could be good .. because a) that would hurt like HELL if he straddled that ladder .. (soprano...) and b) they can torture him as he dangles in mid air.. LOL

Parents unphased

Yep that's her.. she's relegated to 2nd fiddle in the Friend section. Either that or TBS made it up (shock.. no really?)

Meanwhile in Naganoland™

Shingo: You ready for this?
Nagano: One last hit of the spray man...

Shingo: So old man.. what's with the chair..
Takeda: yeah.. you usually stand for this..
Nagano: STFU I'm friggin 37 ya'll and I just ran the course TWICE!...

Meanwhile still in Limbo.. Poor Kanno is just left to sulk in the middle of nowhere...

Finally someone feels sorry for the poor lad and wedgies.. er.. hauls him up by the rope connecting him.

Poor guy.. he has to be brought up by someone else
Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 - Death by groping.. er.. Time up on G-Rope.

Friends still yelling support

Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 being interviewed after his demise.

That.. was embarrassing.. I need to practice more on the rope technique..

This sucks to get this close!!!

TBS showing the connection between the two

Ouch .. this is as far as he got.. That's.. a long way..

Nagano's reaction to the last few seconds...

Ouch.. I was never that bad.. but yeah.. that still sucks...

Kanno's last good luck handshake to Nagano before his run as Shingo and Takeda look on

Please.. do it for me!!!

Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 feels a certain pride.. "I got closer! HA!" (j/k)

Aww man...

For the love of.. fine.. this is the last one after all.. Customary Ritual Caning..

LOL at Takeda's 1980's wristband.. ehem... Nagano is preparing for a big ass thump..

.. because Takeda is smiling .. waaaaaaay too much right now...

Oh crap.. yeah.. he is smiling a lot..

oh oh.....

just noticed.. NO TOWEL!!

LMFAO... LOOK AT TAKEDA!!!!!!!!! He put his weight into it that BASTARD!!

.. Don't.. read.. lips...

.. ow....

LOL he has his lips sealed as if to hold the whimper!!

.. did he hit his back with the metal ring there??????? Oh Sasuke 24 is going to be uber payback time.. mark my words...

One of the 2 banners from Takasui for Makoto Nagano 長野誠

These seem to be new additions

have to check translations later :p

LOL they look bored.. we know Yamada is around there somewhere but interesting that TBS is not showing him.. in fact they haven't showed him at all in earnest since giving his Mr. Sasuke name to Nagano...

ANW watching as Levi looks dazed

Asami with Kaiou.. looks like baby is awake!

Dramatic overhead shot.. geez the love getting friggin' crane shots! Looks cool though :p
Nagano's final stage preparation theme is the theme to 1998 movie Man in the Iron Mask! (YT Link)

Nagano's wife Asami

And their 2 month old son Kaiou

Makoto Nagano 長野誠 getting ready for his 5th Stage 4 run.. and his FIRST Shin-Sasuke final!

Yeah.. no pressure or anything...

Makoto Nagano 長野誠 - Last man standing in Sasuke 23!

LOL He's asking the director when it's ready for him to go.. he's ignoring the announcer.. ahahhaha what a pro!

Dramatic with this music.. LOL

Kanno looking on...

Nagano getting last minute set up taken care of..

And the final adjustment.. the connection to the safety cord..

Oh God just hurry this up...

Okay here we go...

One last picture...


Connection made .. wow .. was that faster than Yuuji in 22??

Geez already to 16 secs and no commercial break...


Okay we are back and Nagano's yelling his start again!

Okay.. on the rope!!

Definitely faster than Kanno...

He's looking for the button...

So close.. so close.. c'mon!!!!!!!

3 seconds.. c'mon!!!!

2!!!!!!!!! He can see through the opening!!!



NOW he sees it..

He reaches for it because he can.. but he was leaning in the wrong direction anyway...

Obviously I would have wanted the original 45 seconds that Yuuji had.. (if so he would have won easily..) but 40 seconds is a better final time..

Still frustrating because I want him to win again...

Gaaaaaaaaaaaah.. he feels it!

He's 1/5 now in finals! Geez.. people would kill for that record....

He just laughs it off..

I feel your pain man!!

ANW reaction

Kanno looking at the clock then back up top.. then back at the clock..

And realizes how close he was.. much closer than him..

Takasui/All- Star /Wifecam™

Takeda is all animated and Shingo is staring at the monitor

LOL they take turns looking at the monitor with the time and looking up to see him go

And there goes the time!

LOL everyone is dropping to their knees in stages.. LOL

Shingo can't believe how close he got...

Takeda does nothing when he see Asami go down.. LOL


Shingo looks over but half of Takasui is on the ground too.. LOL!!!

Nagano's most likely going through all the minute details of the run thinking where he could have gone faster..

Oh he's pacing.. he's so frustrated..


I.. was right there....

Oh yeah.. replays..

At this point I think he thought he could make it..

And this is where it all ended... (P.S. for an interesting look at how close this was in comparison..)

Man.. I was close....

Aww.. all the screaming and rocking of Asami having kittens must have woken up the baby.. oh KAWAAAAAIIIIIIIIIII

Wow he's a good baby. Not a single sound from him all tourney (at least on camera.. LOL) - Asami waving hello to her husband


.. er.. the baby not Asami's.. LOL

Kanno wishing he was as fast.. LOL
Must be thinking "man.. if an old guy like that can kick my butt so soundly.. wtf.. "

Incoming TBS set-up.. but hey I don't care this is cuuuuuute!

Nagano putting on his towel as Asami brings his baby to him

*cough* Money shot *cough*


This is where my HQ video stopped.. LOL

Final shots of Sasuke 23 is Nagano's glorious Stage 1 part Deux run!

This was definitely an exciting highlight of the whole tournament!

That.. was a great tournament! There was something for everyone! It's too much to go over what I just wrote but in a nutshell I'm so happy for 3 All-stars to do so well and not all of them were here! I'm happy so many new people got a taste of victory! 16 people passed! Holy cow! Nice to see how experience did trump inexperience! LOL SO much of this course is mental and it took the experience of the guys who have been there before to harness their emotions long enough to compete. I had Sasuke Porn, babies, hot bods.. geez.. this was a great tournament!

And thanks for watching! Have a coke!

Phew and there it is! I'm surprised I didn't hit 20 blogs! I really really really want to thank a few people. Lost in Ube for oh geez.. the list is long. Outside of my inspiration for even DOING this blog in the first place just over a year and a half ago... He definitely helped me the couple months leading into Sasuke 23 with finding blogs and names and mentions of people coming up for this tournament. And then of course his Live blog which I abuse constantly when creating my own. I honestly believe a lot of people really don't realize how hard it is to do these things (especially his live blog) and how time consuming it is to find all the names and kanji spellings, etc. M9 doesn't make it easy for us to find it.. VxJasonxV for the Sasuke Navi and Sasuke 23 feed he provided from his paid subscription of WIST. Without that I don't think half the community would have even SEEN the tournament! Also made for a riot during chat. We also had a copy of the tournament we could watch at all thanks to TVAnts not broadcasting Sasuke 23 live (mental note.. sign my petition folks.. this is why we want this stuff..). Scnoi from the Sasuke Maniac Boards for doing a great job in herding cats! First time chat with him. It was a riot with us 4 in chat.. mostly administration crap during watching the broadcasts but still managed to have fun. Between looking for information, creating the updated wiki, and helping keeping everyone provided with their Sasuke wants and needs.. it's been nice to see the community band together and watch and share our Sasuke passion. Thanks for chaki, colindesu, and Ube for their help with Japanese names, translations and general knowledge for us folks that just don't know Japanese! It's far more helpful to get the jokes, comments and whatnot when we can understand what is going on! Outside of the technical glitches it was one of my favorite Sasuke tournaments ever. Thanks to the community for being patient when I got the blogs up and for READING them! (Heck.. even proofreading LOL). Without anyone to share it with.. this would be kinda boring. I'm happy people find enjoyment in them as much as I enjoy creating them.

Looking forward to Sasuke 24 in THREE MONTHS! Holy cow!!