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Monday, December 24, 2012

Sasuke Rising (28) Navi - Part 2

(Left to right) Sasuke All Stars Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦, Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟, Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩,(Mr. Sasuke) Katsumi Yamada 山田勝己 and Makoto Nagano 長野誠

  All Star Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦

This is part 2 of Sasuke Rising Navi.  A 1 hour preview show on the upcoming Sasuke Rising (or what we know as Sasuke 28) coming to TBS (Japan) on Thursday!  We now got to the portion of the show where they review one last time the backgrounds of the remaining Sasuke All-stars who are going to be retired at the end of this tournament.  Yep.. this is the LAST tournament with the Sasuke All-Stars.

LOL so rare to see Akiyama yelling something.. he's usually so reserved on camera!  Maybe he's screaming SCREW THIS I'M FRIGGIN' COLD!  I mean seriously.. there's snow on the ground and he's nekkid.. wtf.. he's blind not stupid!

So when we first met Akiyama he was was very young!  15 years have past folks!

By now you all know he can't see very well. (He has degenerative retinoschisis)

However he was an avid wrestler.

And fisherman!  He fished for hairy crab! Think Deadliest Catch.. but in Hokkaido!

and no for the last time.. HE CAN'T WEAR GLASSES.. I get that question a lot... THINK a little.. if he could benefit from wearing them.. don't you think he WOULD HAVE?  /facepalm

I swear his hair gets higher when I see him..

What he's known for - a string of hairy crab (those things are actually expensive.. I suspect people would want to steal the line when he's done.. LOL)

And of course we all know he was the very first winner of Sasuke.

But after his victory.. he started to suck..

aaaaaand suck some more..

and.. suck even more..

But dude kept training hard

and continue to change his look

and still rocking those rock hard abs

and I swear he's plucking those eyebrows a weeeeee bit too thin these days..

TBS drilling the point home he's blind as a bat at night..

Hmm.. first the snow on the ground with the running and now with the log.. are we channeling Rocky IV?

So here we are at Midoriyama with the highest hair yet!

and the thinnest of eyebrows ever..

This is the last tournament for Akiyama as he runs into the history books..

TBS posted this as part of their countdown to Sasuke Rising

Up next we have Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟

Way back in an indoor arena was this crazy spin off from Banzuke

Some 23 year old sporting short shorts and wild flowing hair took stage where the graphics were high tech at the time!

And cleared the first stage!

Unbeknownst to him he would be in EVERY single tournament

awkwardly clearing stages and winning fans worldwide

We chronicled his entire career as he started as a gas jockey all the way to Area Manager

Today he is now retired from the gasoline industry and moving on with his life in a new direction.

Shingo at the bottom of the steps of his home in Tokyo.

He never has to wear that shirt again.

I love looking at him. He's gets really animated!

This part cracks me up. He's told to do a run up stairs but he's all "wait I don't want to get run over... lemme make sure a car isn't coming first!"

So after a quick look he goes up the stairs!

He's like a little kid who can't sit still and botches the pictures.

At first I thought this was the commercial again LOL but it seems this was his warm up shot.

He actually does his final run, for the first and last time, wearing a Descente Shirt (take a drink)

Wow.. he's falling apart! He's trying not to cry!

Give it up yo!  Perfect Attendance will be done as of today!

Man I'm going to be crying during his run if he's crying while doing this..

Meanwhile the only man that can pimp a double 80's high collar.. it's All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 who is back from retirement JUST FOR THIS SHOW!

When we first met him he was a fireman.

We followed his career up the ladder (sometimes literally)

An intensely competitive guy that always tried to run faster than anyone.

Takeda still holds the record for 3rd Stage appearances - a total of 13 times, including 7 consecutive times.

But holds the infamous title of the most consistent All-star never to reach the Final Stage.

A title he's never comfortable with and wishes he could break.

I swear he's the only man that swaggers while he jobs.. Double collar up to boot!

He came back to this tourney after retiring when he changed careers.

After years of training and commendations he earned the right to be a Heavy rescue helicopter jumper.  A small tight-nit elite group.  It was because of this change that he didn't want to risk an injury during Sasuke that he retired.

I wondered if he was going to wear this uniform in Sasuke.

But he didn't.  Underarmor Fire Rescue EMS FTW!

And no orange pants.

So glad we got to see him one last time to say Good-bye!

We know who's next after the commercial break..

Did I explain how many times they played this commercial?

Meanwhile it's time for Sasuke All-Star (Mr. Sasuke) Katsumi Yamada 山田勝己

He's been the embodiment of Sasuke obsession for well over a decade.

Take a drink.. it's Yamada crying..

(Thanks to Lost in Ube) Failure during the 10th prompts the clip that TBS LOVES playing where he is crying and says 俺には…、SASUKEしかないんですよ (Ore ni wa...SASUKE shikanaindesuyo) -- which basically means "For me, there is nothing else except SASUKE" (or SASUKE is everything to him).

Many people forget that Sasuke was NOT his first foray in Banzuke (as he takes off his shirt)

No that's not porn on your screen.. the insert was from his many Banzuke episodes where he first became famous. (note the high number in Sasuke 1)

His potential was almost rewarded when he got to the Final Stage.

After his failure he never let up and continued to train relentlessly.

Stock footage from one of the jobs he was fired from..

And currently now selling beer at baseball games during baseball season.

Wait.. why are we at Okada's house? It's not even the same prefecture..

Hmm could he have helped? Or just showing an example of shoving as many obstacles in one tiny yard? LOL

Yamada is known also for his Sasuke set in his tiny front yard.

Where he kept adding real obstacles

back at home to continue training

At it's height. This was the jewel of Yamada's life.

But it seemed the weight of the title ミスター (Mister) Sasuke was too heavy.

Now he sits at home surrounded by his old and busted course next to the elevated train.

Man TBS loves doing dramatics don't they? LOL

Still though you can't knock them for pointing out the obvious metaphor here..

His front yard is littered with the remnants of his past.  A broken cliffhanger he never fixed.

A rusted Rumbling Dice that hasn't been relevant in Sasuke in over 7 years.

A rusted Warped Wall that's .. strangely reminiscent of the ANW wall I can't stand.. LOL (flat bottom)

Everywhere you look.. it's "old and busted"

Dude.. it's your front lawn.. you could have done something about it..

Meanwhile because TBS are bastards they make this aging 47 year old hike up the same hill again

He was a bit more spry at the age of 35 when he was at the top of his game.

But 12 years is a loooong time and it takes a toll on the body.

Still, He presses on (btw.. Jason was right.. This is a friggin' awesome panoramic shot)

Still though, I wonder what he's going to do with his life now that Sasuke is over for him?

But wait there's more.. LOL TBS hitting the final nails in the coffin as they roll out the suckitude reel.

Not sure what this chyron is.  He's failed the first stage 13 times in a row.. not 8.  Hopefully I'll get an explanation when someone who reads kanij can figure it out for me!
 Edit: The '8 年間' during the Yamada segment means 'in a period of 8 years', during which he failed the first stage. (Thanks Robin Yeoh)

Either way this was the most dramatic of the more recent failures.  It was during this run where he retired.

This time without having to beg he's back for one.. last.. run.

Almost melancholic he starts to tear up right before his run.

The crowd starts to cheer loudly for him.

Well.. for Japan that is :) thehheheheh

He acknowledges the crowd as his name is called and everyone is losing their marbles.

And off he goes!

As part of the Countdown to Sasuke Rising, TBS posted this pic yesterday.

Finally the last All-Star to be profiled is the Legend Makoto Nagano 長野誠

He's been a mackerel fisherman for the entire time we've known him

Ah yes.. the scene that did not exist in real life.. the picture that was super imposed..

The set up shot that wasn't even in his ship.. His original ship didn't even HAVE that room LOL

While Nagano technically was in Sasuke 7 (where he timed out at the wall but was cut)

His first television appearance was in Sasuke 8

They chronicled his potential as he got closer and closer to complete domination.

LOL the many "training" videos TBS makes people do that they normally wouldn't.

Hey at least when he did his .. he had a realistic chance of really mangling himself if he missed.. LOL

And after he got his new teeth he won Sasuke! The 2nd man ever to do so!

And there was much rejoicing!

I miss him.. Sasuke All-Star Bunpei Shiratori 白鳥文平

And the All-star suckitude reel!  I half expected clown music to be playing when Shingo did this!

And Akiyama goes into the drink..

LOL and what I come to enjoy.. Takeda and Nagano losing their marbles..

and simultaneously bending down expressing their shame..

okay that washed image is freaking me out..

Nagano (cough with Okuyama and Urushihara) visiting the USA

TBS reminding us that they are up to 157 countries that get G4's version of Ninja Warrior.. too bad nobody is going to see Sasuke Rising because G4 is now dead and NBC couldn't give a rats a$$ about Japan's Sasuke.. /sigh /bangsheadonwall

Oh yeah and Nagano's a superstar for meeting the Prime Minister of Malaysia

And because NBC are tools.. very few people knew Nagano was even IN Vegas to meet him. Luckily he's instantly recognizable and he was properly welcomed by the hardcore fans in the USA.

Insert TBS dramatic eyeballs shot

Because I can.. wha.. I don't have much more time left to do this!

Nagano acknowledging the crowd with a reaaaally stern face!

And.. off he goes.. one.. last.. time..

Edit:  TBS' Countdown to Sasuke posted this on Christmas Eve

Edit:  TBS' Countdown to Sasuke posted Christmas Day

Thus ends the tale of the Sasuke All-Stars

Speaking of old and busted.. when we return to Sasuke Navi.. "New Hotness" (sorry.. Men in Black reference). Here is the new lineup for the 新世代.
Shin Sedai (新世代) literally "New Generation"


RiderLeangle said...

I believe the 8 refers to how he's been failing stage 1 for 8 years straight now.

Brian said...

Wow thanks so much for covering this for us who missed the broadcast. Funny and insightful as always.

I love Shingo's ability to mess up a group shot. Just curious, what is his occupation now?

That photo of Yamada on the Spin Bridge makes me cringe! Do we know if that's after or before the Warped Walls (don't yell at me for calling them that). If it's after then I'd be like 1000x more excited for him.

Can't wait to bid a final, proper farewell to them, especially Takeda (my all-time favorite competitor). Thanks again and ahhhhhh it's only like 2 days away!!!!!

Arsenette said...

LOL Rider we can talk about that on the boards :p

Hey Brian :) I'm not sure but I think Shingo said he was a personal trainer now? I know he took December off since he's basically never had any extended vacation in over 17 years..

LOL I call them WW took :p I believe the Spin bridge is before the walls (like right before).

Yes 2 days away! Squeee!

I should get part 3 (I think of 3) up by tomorrow.

Merry Christmas everyone!

VenusHeadTrap said...

It's interesting you mentioned Rocky around the same time I made my "Sasuke meets Rocky IV" video. Though Akiyama was carrying a log in the snow so the reference was practically inevitable. Still, you watched my video didn't you? :D

Arsenette said...

LOL no Akiyama is a die hard Rocky Fan and I've known about that for years. ;)

VenusHeadTrap said...

I'm aware of that. :P
Happy Holidays!

Arsenette said...

3 hours to gooooooooo :)

Robin Yeoh said...

The '8 年間' during the Yamada segment means 'in a period of 8 years', during which he failed the first stage. I read Chinese and this kanji is also seen in chinese writing. I believe the meanings are the same across the two.

Really excited for Sasuke Rising!

Arsenette said...

Thanks! I'll edit that in. Working on main tourney as we speak :)