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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Official Sasuke 29 announcement!

Sasuke 29 Official Announcement!

Tonight we got confirmation for what we've been hearing brewing for the past couple of months.  A new Sasuke tournament is returning!  Director Masato Inui 乾雅人 is returning to direct another tournament.  Returning to numbers after a break calling it Sasuke Rising, Sasuke 29 is officially slated for "Summer".  At this early date we are still not sure when it will be recording in Japan.  That said, it's good to confirm a few things.  TBS created a page for Sasuke 29 on their website.  The tournament name IS "Sasuke 29". There was quite a bit of confusion when Sasuke Rising title came out for Sasuke 28.  They are not using Sasuke Rising for this but will be returning to "Sasuke".  If history repeats they will just call it Sasuke 2013 in all of the saddle-cloths.  TBS website officially calls it Sasuke 29 so all is good!

 Yoshiyuki Okuyama 奥山義行, Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒, Kouji Hashimoto 橋本亘司, Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 (Cliffer #3) and Kenji Takahashi 高橋賢次 ©Kouji Hashimoto

Invites for this tourney will be different than last time. You may remember I was angry with a few notable veterans, like Finalists "Kongu" Kenji Takahashi 高橋賢次 and Yoshiyuki Okuyama 奥山義行 not being invited to the show in Sasuke 28.  I hope that doesn't happen again.  Fans like myself want to see our favorites return!  No new information as to how they are going to sort this out.  Once I find that part out I'll post it as well.  All the current information is being updated on the TBS Page.

Sasuke Champions!
Sasuke All Star Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦, 2-Time Grand Champion Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 (Cliffer #3) and Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠  ©Yuuji Urushihara

I also hope the Sasuke All-Stars will make a return. Even if their presence and focus of the show is different than in the past.  They don't have to be the focus of the show.  However, they should be invited again.  Ratings showed people were angry with the forced retirement so I hope they get to decide when THEY want to leave the show. For those All-Stars who want to return (like Shingo, Takeda and Nagano who've publicly stated they want to return) I hope they are allowed to do so. Fans want to see them!  Either way, details to come later on their website as to how they are going to handle the entries.

One MAJOR point of note that is both interesting and exciting.  Sasuke 29 will be the Japanese Qualifier for the Sasuke ASEAN Open Cup in November in Malaysia (that's actually friggin' exciting news!!). I'm really happy they are going to be a part of this!  This also elevates the competition at the Sasuke ASEAN Open Cup to have Japan in there too!!!  Ooooooh if I find out more details on the other country qualifiers you better believe I'll post on it!

One final note.  We know USA is not going to participate in the Sasuke ASEAN Open Cup (which celebrates South East Asia friendship with Japan). NO idea how or if Americans will participate in Sasuke 29. Given that NBC boycotted Sasuke Rising, it is entirely possible NBC is not interested in the Japanese franchise anymore now that they have ANW.  For now I'm treating ANW5 as a separate event. If that information changes I'll post it, but for right now NBC has made no announcement on ever sending Americans to Japan ever again.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sasuke fans are definitely the best fans in the world!

Sasuke viewing part in Ottawa, Canada ©Ted/Scott/Matt

March is a very special month here on Rambling Rican.  March marks the anniversary of this blog!  I can't believe it.. FIVE years have gone by since I started this blog! I would never have dreamed how much impact Sasuke would have been in my life. How many lives it has touched.  How many people have come together as a result!  I've met truly extraordinary people through the internet and this passion of mine:  Sasuke.  The above photo is very special to me.  I got it last month but I didn't post about it until now (Sorry!  Health was a bit wonky.. same as usual so no worries).  It was from a Sasuke fan in Ottawa, Canada.  What I find amazing about this picture is that so many people are there in the photo! It was a fan get-together so they can watch their copy of Sasuke Rising!

Here's the back story.  One of the guys found SASUKE years ago with his dad and spread the gospel.. er.. love of Sasuke with his friends.  Every year since a huge gang of people get together, and everyone cooks Asian or Asian-inspired dishes for a big potluck while they watch Sasuke on the big screen; everything from fried rice to garlic bok choy, spring rolls to pad thai! Then they all watch the broadcast while they drink Sapporo and Hakutsuru - it's a blast! The first broadcast they watched was SASUKE 23 ... and there were just three of them on the couch for five hours. This year, they got 17 people out - and it keeps getting bigger! Everyone is itching for SASUKE 29...

Now the funny part.. I.. didn't.. read.. the.. sign.. LOL!!!!!!!! I just assumed it was Sasuke viewing in Ottawa.. I've been told before they were getting together in January to do this and so when I got the mail I was going "aww that's cute!".. I mean.. I read the middle.. Sasuke.. I even read the last line.. from Ottawa.. but I DIDN'T read the TOP LINE.. LMFAO... I'm such an idiot..  Now the "Hi Arsenette" sign is almost a Sasuke meme.. First used by Matt Iseman then onwards to fans on vacation in Japan.  Each time I was rendered speechless!  Still though, I was floored.. again.. After I composed myself from the embarrassment of not noticing my own name and the endless teasing from my husband reminding me how much of a flake I've become.. I was in tears.  THIS is what Sasuke Fandom is.  Sharing a niche passion with each other!  They look like they are having a blast!  And I couldn't believe they took the time to say hi to me.. from 450+ miles away!  As the sender said.. the power of social media is amazing.  This long-time Rambling Rican reader managed to spread his love for Sasuke to an ever growing community in a country that doesn't even HAVE Ninja Warrior. To think that I was even remotely involved in that group in another country as a result of this blog is.. amazing. 5 years ago I was searching through the net for anything about Sasuke and found bits and pieces and a fragmented community.  Now.. we've come from all corners of the globe to celebrate how wonderful this show really is and stand with a united voice.  I'm happy in the 5 years Rambling Rican has existed that so many fans have come to enjoy Sasuke... and spread that love into their communities to be manifested into wonderful displays of friendship.