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 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.