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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sasuke Related News - Trials and Maguro Festival

 All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟

As I mentioned before, the Trials for Sasuke 29 in Japan were this weekend!  At the site of the original Sasuke (Midoriyama Studios) there was a 2 day qualifying event (Saturday, April 27 and Sunday April 28) comprised of Interview and running of a course.  There were 200 people chosen to be part of this event (out of at least a couple thousand as it usually is with every application process).  They were blessed with gorgeous weather!

The course itself was a modified first stage you would see in Sasuke. I appreciated that they finally had a real event. It's been a few years since they have done something like this.  Heck.. the last time I saw an event like this was waaaaaaaay back in 2008.  Sure we can say that the Sasuke 27 trials were like that but TBS never aired that event.. I'm still waiting to see it even though it was promised.. /cries

We won't know the results until the broadcast as all decisions are made by TBS behind closed doors.  I'm not going to bother worrying about that.. however.. I WANT THIS MERCHANDISE!!!!!!  Ooooh nice towel and shirt.. me wants it precious!! /cries I hate that they don't sell Sasuke merchandise outside of Japan.. They'd make a LOT of money if they allowed international shipping.

All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and All Star Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦 (left) with Nagano's son Kaiou 塊王 with All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 (right)

Also this weekend is the 22nd Annual Maguro Festival 第22回串木野まぐろフェスティバル in Kagoshima, Japan (Sunday, April 28 and Monday, April 29).  I was a bit upset about the timing (of trials in particular).  This event is the same weekend every year for 22 years. In the past TBS has sent a television crew to Kagoshima to record the events and broadcast it on Navi.  Since Rising, TBS has ignored this event.  What made it worse this time around was that Trials for Sasuke 29 were the same weekend forcing the All-stars to split allegiances.  Nagano couldn't go even if he wanted to (he's contractually bound to the Festival and even his PICTURE was on the official Festival Poster..).  Nagano and Akiyama did NOT do trials making fans fear that they are not shut out of Sasuke 29. I hope this is NOT the case. I haven't had luck in clarifying the confusion behind this. Yamada and Takeda competed in Trials but chose to back out of the Maguro Festival (where they originally were confirmed to be participating).  Shingo was the ONLY one to do both events.  As you noticed in the first photo you had Shingo at Trials on Saturday. He took a flight immediately afterwards and arrived in Kagoshima the same night where Nagano and Akiyama were waiting for him (and where this dinner picture was taken). I commend Shingo for being supporting of both events. I'm still upset that TBS did not give consideration to the All-stars when it came to Trials.  For many fans around the world and in Japan.. Sasuke = All-stars.  TBS can hate Monster 9 all they want but if they want ratings they will need to understand that the fans don't care about internal politics.  To us Sasuke is not Sasuke without the participation of the All-stars. I hope to see them in Sasuke 29 where they belong.  I'll post about the festival in a few days when I get more pictures.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sasuke Related News

Edit 4/1/13 - Edited Maguro Festival participation
Edit 4/2/13 - Edited Application information for Japan Qualifiers.

Maguro Festival 2013 Poster ©ichiki-kushikino city

The 22nd Annual Maguro Festival 第22回串木野まぐろフェスティバル will take place the end of this month in Kagoshima Prefecture on Sunday April 28 and Monday April 29, 2013 in the city of Ichiki-Kushikino. This of course happens during Golden Week in Japan. This is a local Tuna event for the port city of Kushikino. It's pretty much a county fair including games for kids, music, food and other activities for the whole family.

All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩, All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟, All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and Mister Sasuke All-Star Katsumi Yamada 山田勝己 ©Konpiramal
(Photo from the 2011 Maguro Festival)

The past few years the company Nagano works for, Takasui Corp. has participated in the event (since they also use this fishing port) and they have Nagano design and build a Sasuke set where he could demonstrate his skills along with a few of his friends to the local crowd. More information can be found at the city website.  No word on exactly which All-stars will be participating this year during the 2 day event. (Edit: Seems at least Shingo Yamamoto will be returning per Facebook comment)

As you know already, Sasuke 29 has been officially announced to be taking place this summer.  Plans are underway (but not yet released) to have a large qualifier to participate in Sasuke 29.  I managed to get some clarification on it and I received a tweet from Sasuke Director Masato Inui:

Inui Tweet
players are exempt from qualifying proven. 200 will participate in the qualifying round after the application documents

I asked if the All-Stars were going to Sasuke 29 and he mentioned he wasn't sure. Then we read from Shingo Yamamoto's Facebook page that he was training hard for Sasuke qualifications (So was Takeda) and so I asked if any of the New Generation Stars (Yuuji, Ryo, Kanno and Asa) would be forced to re-qualify and he said no (with the tweet above). That's good! I'm happy they are rewarding their great showing in Sasuke Rising.  Currently, it is unknown if the qualifier will be in the same style as the Sasuke 13 Trials that was previously televised on TBS back in 2003. I asked if this will be televised but as of now we don't know. Also, as was announced earlier, Sasuke 29 will double as a qualifier for the November inaugural Sasuke ASEAN Open Cup taking place in Malaysia.

Edit: Since the post yesterday the update on the trials has been done on the TBS website with more application news.  Remember.. this is ONLY for Japan qualifying for Sasuke 29.

○ 緑山スタジオ上段広場(神奈川県横浜市青葉区)

Application closes in a couple short weeks:  April 19, 2013.  The qualifiers are going to be held at Midoriyama Studios (where they tape Sasuke) on April 27 and April 28, 2013.  Women are asked not to apply.. Anyone under the age of 18 now needs a guardian.  The only problem I see is the first post above.. That's the SAME WEEKEND AS MAGURO FESTIVAL... Stay tuned.

After the inexplicable absence of American Ninja Warrior from Sasuke Rising (Sasuke 28) that taped in November and aired in December, 2012 on TBS Japan we still don't know if the Japanese "Ninja Warrior" will ever return to the States.  That said ANW5 is well underway.  Matt Iseman tweeted the dates for the 4 Regional Tryouts.  Venice Beach (California) April 5-6, 2013.  Baltimore, Maryland April 19-20, 2013.  Miami, Florida May 4-5, 2013.  Denver, Colorado May 19-20, 2013.  The finals are still in Las Vegas, Nevada June 10-17, 2013.  All of this airs on NBC and the new Esquire TV channel at a later date during the summer.