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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

American Ninja Warrior expands and why I don't blog about it

I've gotten a Loooooooot of questions about the "Sasuke type" international shows that are expanding across Europe but almost nothing on the blog.  There are several reasons actually.. mostly.. no one ever writes back about it when I email because they know me as a "Sasuke" person and not an "Ninja Warrior" person. That.. is actually correct!  Also, because the current spin offs are off of AMERICAN Ninja Warrior (I show I honestly can't stand) and NOT Sasuke Japan's version.. then yeah. I'm not blogging about it. It does nothing to support Sasuke in Japan.  It only supports NBC's new format of the show (who's rules are whichever the wind is blowing that day..) as they are hiring them to create the show, build the obstacles and recreate THAT version of the show. I don't support ANW so that's why I don't blog about it.  It's already painful looking at the ANW vs. World rewriting of history when it doesn't suit them (Only because the Japanese are there and I was asked to do it for them). I don't need an international version of that disaster.  This is what Ninja Warrior Europe is evolving into sadly. My biggest problem is because of the spirit that is prevailing in the shows already taped (Sweden and omg especially the disastrous Turkey show where contestants were trained on the obstacles and ran them over and over until they passed.. /facepalm) is actually turning worse as each new country touches it.  I'm happy that the UK (Long suffering fans for all of my blog career) is finally getting something, but I wish it was the Sasuke version. I think the fact that ITV picked it up and not Challenge was my clue that it was the wrong version.  I suspect that Challenge just didn't want to spend money more importantly why it was the American version and not the Japan version that is already popular on Challenge.  That's the only reason why ITV has it.  I don't have high hopes for the show.  The only other show that fits the mold of spin off from Sasuke is Sasuke Vietnam that is coming in early 2015. Provided it gets aired in some way and doesn't implode like Malaysia, I'll have something on it on the blog.

The Calendar project is up and running and thanks for the support!  I get a kick out of people letting me know they bought it and the Japanese are fascinated by something they've never seen before! LOL  Starting in the first week of January, I will be putting up a huge fundraising project on Indigogo to help fund a trip to Japan.  I hope to be able to put it up in time for the rebroadcast but we'll see how difficult it is to set up during the New Year.  Please look forward to that as I will need your help to get to Japan to help supplement the book I'm already writing. I'll most likely have that blog before the Sasuke 30 broadcast update.

And speaking of... a reminder Sasuke 30 reairs on January 3rd with new footage and an announcement!  And I can tell you.. it's not what you think it is!  I'll see what gets added to the program and will blog on the additions.  So far it's mostly 4 runs in the First Stage and 2 in the 3rd.  Should be a quick blog! LOL Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holiday Fun 2014 - ElfYourself!

ElfYourself Sasuke Style!

Soooooo.. yeah.  Not since 2008 have I come up with something goofy for the holidays!  I blame a Vlogger (Dael Kingsmill) whom I frequent often for giving me the idea. I mean.. I've seen it before in previous years.. but brain started thinking about it after I saw her video.  I thought of redoing the old 12 days of Sasuke from 2008 but this was much simpler.

And yes there's only 5 of them since that's all the website would allow and since I'm not a Yamada fan.. well.. he had to go! Mwahahahhahaah ehem.  Enjoy! Oh!  Btw as a reminder Sasuke 30 reairs on January 3rd with new footage and an announcement!  I'll see what gets added to the program and will blog on the additions.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sasuke 30 Rebroadcast and Sasuke related updates

Back on December 5th I saw a re-tweet of a talent agency post (for Kenji Darvish) announcing something I wasn't sure was actually real.  A FULL rebroadcast of Sasuke. To my knowledge there has only been 2 rebroadcasts of Sasuke (Sasuke 23 and Sasuke 24) and both were in the Monster 9 era.  Of note, the two times Sasuke has seen any reruns, Sasuke was heavily edited and cut to either 1/2 or even 1/3 it's original broadcast size.  The complete opposite thing is happening this time. It's actually LONGER than that original broadcast (by approximately 40 minutes).

Sasuke 30 tester demonstration/walk through ©Kikaku TVGuide

「SASUKE 2014」再放送のお知らせ!
スペシャルアンコール「SASUKE 2014」を放送します。

"Sasuke 30th Anniversary"
Saturday, January 3, 2015
9:30 JST (9:30 AM local time in Japan)
Station: TBS (Japan)

7:30 PM (Eastern Standard Time) (FRIDAY Night)
4:30 PM (Pacific Standard Time) (FRIDAY Afternoon)

Additional time conversion

Finally posted on the Sasuke TBS Page and on their Facebook confirming what we found out earlier in the week.  If you notice, the broadcast time is longer than the July official broadcast. I'm very happy about that. I also confirmed that there will be no Navi this time.  It's not really necessary anyway as we know the full results by now. I'm just happy that Sasuke will have some sort of presence now that there is a year break between Sasuke 30 and Sasuke 31 coming in 2015.

 Sasuke Producer Hiroki Kikuno 菊野浩樹 (left) and Sasuke Director Masato Inui 乾雅人 (right) just before Sasuke 30 ©Kikaku TVGuide

In response to the longer air time, Director Inui tweeted said that he is indeed reediting the show to include some runs that were previously cut in the July 3rd broadcast to fill out the new broadcast time on January 3rd.  For most of us who love watching the First stage runs it was a great announcement that some new runs will be shown from the 1st, 2nd and even 3rd stages that were previously cut or severely edited!
Yuuichi Okada 岡田祐一, Shinya Kishimoto 岸本真弥, New Generation Star Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒  and Keita Tomino 富野恵太 (Cliffer #4) ©Ryo Matachi

The news of the longer time and the Inui involvement in re-instituting some cut runs meant GREAT news for people like Shinya (more remember him as the guy that bends frying pans).  From all reports his run was both funny, exciting and stressful all at the same time.  To remind people, his run, albeit a clear, was cut completely and was part of the infamous 7 person Clear Chart™.

The Nagasaki Brothers!
Takamasa Nagasaki 長崎 剛政 and Shunsuke Nagasaki 長崎峻侑 ©Shunsuke Nagasaki

While not confirmed, it also gives hope that we will see at least one of the stages that Shun participated in.  Along with Lee, he was one of the guy that got his runs triple fast-forwarded. Yes.. ALL THREE STAGES. Here is hope we get to see at least complete one!  I hope many will chose to watch Sasuke during the New Year.  We know that Sasuke has zero chance to win it's timeslot despite the hour simply because they will be going up against a ratings juggernaut in "Hakone Ekiden" on NTV.  (Last year their rating was 27.. yes... 27)  They are under no illusions they will win. I just hope they at least have a respectable showing and provide an alternative for those who don't want to watch the New Year marathon. AIM FOR SILVER!  LOL

Sasuke All Stars Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 and Makoto Nagano 長野誠  ©Masato Inui

Because I can.. ehem.. actually this is relevant.  Those following Nagano's Facebook will know that Nagano has built a brand new family home during this year.  Not only has construction been completed but he had a special ceremony done to commemorate this occasion.  Takeda made the trip to help christen the house and even Inui showed up to film the event. Our hope is that we see it in Sasuke 31's Navi since we know that Sasuke 30's rebroadcast will not feature a new navi.
An update on the Calendar and other projects in Rambling Rican.  Starting in the first week of January, I will be putting up a huge fundraising project on Indigogo to help fund a trip to Japan.  I hope to be able to put it up in time for the rebroadcast but we'll see how difficult it is to set up during the New Year.  Please look forward to that as I will need your help to get to Japan to help supplement the book I'm already writing.  Thanks to Philip again for making my brand new logo! I should have the new logo incorporated into the blog and will be cleaning up the sides and banner in the next couple of weeks. Most likely after the holiday season.

And finally, I forgot to mention on the blog (so sorry about that) but back in September I noticed (and posted on Twitter) that Rambling Rican broke the 1,000,000 views mark!  Actually now I'm at 1,030,000+ now. LOL  Thank you everyone for your continued support these past 6 years. I'm still amazed people come to the site to read anything here!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

2015 Rambling Rican Calendar is for sale

Cover for the Calendar ©RamblingRican

As I mentioned before, I'm starting to organize a small set of fundraisers for the big trip next year to Japan.  (crossing fingers) My hope is to be able to go to Japan in the Spring and interview as many people as I can to include in the books I'm writing on Sasuke's history.  The first of the projects was a Calendar with STQ'ers in 3 different locations celebrating the 6 years I've been doing this blog.   The locations just happened naturally and would have happened regardless if the photos were not used for this calendar.  Miska Sutela from Finland was over in Japan visiting and the STQ'ers just naturally got together to train with him.  Even Morimoto flew up from the South of Japan to take part in the festivities. That event was in Yamagata.  The Sedai event is an annual PTA event that the city runs.  Jin and Tada were invited to participate and brought their cameras to that as well. Sasuke Director Inui even showed up there out of nowhere shocking everyone! LOL  The Gunma event was a small local hangout that I got a couple of bonus photos from. I'm happy to say that the Calendar is complete and finally up on the website!  Thanks also to Philip (from SMF) for my brand-spanking-new logo! I even added a cat from the Create Calendar site and perched it on the monitor! LOL

 December 2015 Events Snapshot ©RamblingRican

I was blessed in having a few photographers who donated their photos.  The large majority came from "Jin" Kung Cheen-Howng 洪 恭芹 and Tatsuya Tada 多田竜也 with a handful of photos from Yuusuke Morimoto 森本 裕介 and even Sasuke Director Masato Inui 乾 雅人!  I also added the birthdays of those involved and featured with some of the Sasuke regulars (Like the All-stars) to fill out the months. I didn't get them all of them but I hope to be able to expand on that next year with their permission.  I wanted to add more but just started with this for now and see how people like it. I also had a cultural lesson about Japan. They have never done a fundraiser before.  I'm not kidding. This idea is completely foreign to them!  Just the calendar itself was a confusing thing.  I remember being on Skype with a few of them explaining what a car wash, girl scout cookies, candy bar sale, spaghetti dinner, and even a lemonade stand was!  It was quite the experience.  I appreciate all of those who participated in this having NO IDEA what this could possibly accomplish! They were so confused... (some still are even though I have their permission!)  Seems it's quite an American invention. (wait until the crowd-fund project... that's going to blow their minds! LOL)

 April 2015's snapshot ©RamblingRican

I have to admit I had a difficult time with the format though.  I originally had less photos and no captions.  I did one of those normal photography type calendars with single or double photo pages.  The quality of the photos I had were absolutely awesome (and I had over 500 photos to chose from) so I was able to do that if I wanted. However, I ran into a distinct problem.  Without the captions no one knew who the heck anyone was.  Ultimately that’s what people had the most issue with. The photos were awesome by themselves but it didn’t have any impact on them because honestly only a hard-core (like myself and possibly most of SMF) would know who the heck anyone is anyway. LOL Heck some people wouldn't recognize what they look like but would recognize nicknames like "Moody" or "The Lucky Bastard that got Bunpei Shiratori to speak at his wedding" but they would be damned if they knew what they looked like in photos with other people in it.  Also, most Rambling Rican readers go to my blog to hear what I have to say about photos rather than the photos themselves.  (and trust me I'm forever grateful for that!)

 A snapshot of the creation process

I had a hard time trying to find fonts and colors to fit without screwing up the design. I originally was going to do captions in the Events section (where the dates, numbers are in one of the empty blocks).  Then scratched that idea quickly.  Then decided under the pics to at least mention WHO was in each particular photo.. but that really screwed up the format. I had chat bubbles and that really made it look worse (and cheap..).  I had blocks where I had the captions IN the photos but for the smaller photos they basically cut off the photos making them even smaller. So I settled with this one alternating between black and white font in hopes it didn't blend too much into the background.  One of my longtime Sasuke friends (Thanks Cathi!) suggested to add my own Rambling Rican captions like I do on the blog offering my own thoughts on some of the photos.  Hubby toned down some of my more wtf moments (he did say and he's right.. this is a family friendly calendar that can be put in any home with children present) so he took out some of my lines and acronyms.  Oh future editing projects will be fun and I have to put my ego in check!  He is right though as painful as it is to admit it.  I moved photos around, took some out, added some in, changed format, order.. heck  I fought with the damn thing for 3 straight days!  If in the future people want pristine photography photos (like a photobook – which this site also does) then the only marking on the photo would be a copyright.  I'm more than amiable to expand on that in the future.  But for now this will work.  The first year with any project is the most difficult to create.   I can change it for next year if I get too many complaints but so far this is the direction I got from my longtime readers (and the most approvals). I know that I won't be able to please everyone sadly but that is the nature of varying opinions.  Especially when money is involved as it is in this case.

May, 2015 Snapshot ©RamblingRican

Full disclosure on the "fundraising part" of the Calendar Project.  I'm getting about 5-7 dollars per calendar created (not sure if I get hit with back end fees like most companies do these days - if not it's 7 bucks at the top end). All of the prices are up on their website along with a description as to how this works.  This is the first time I'm using this website and hope the experience is positive.  The calendars are only printed when someone orders them as opposed to other companies that require for a certain amount to be ordered up front.  While they also had an option to do a fulfillment drive (like they do in local schools with the sign up sheet) I chose the other route available.  They will be doing the fulfillment so I don't have to be the middle person.  I won't know who orders are from as the website takes care of that privately between the buyer and them.  So far I've had zero issues other than creative issues on my own.  I appreciated they had no set up fees (some websites can cost 100-200 bucks just to set up) and their reviews are overwhelmingly positive (yes I checked outside websites and Googled their names).  Consider this a test run. If this year works out well I will continue to do this and even expand on any of the other stuff they offer (like photo books, cards, etc.) if people are interested in buying some sort of merchandise that will help me as well. So if you want to contribute to the kitty and get the inaugural calendar (it comes in 2 sizes apparently although I formatted it for the smaller one) you can buy it directly on CreatePhotoCalendar's website!  The website accepts Visa, Master Card, Checks, Money Orders, and Paypal. They ship to the USA, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Europe, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Philippines, India, Thailand, and Australia.  As always I am eternally grateful for your continued support throughout the years and I hope to continue by expanding and reaching that ultimate dream of writing about Sasuke at it's source:  Japan!

Edit: 12/9/14

Lena Horn posing with my calendar! ©Lena Horn

One of my friends (who is also an Author - Forgotten Fox (Book 1 of The Celestial Saga) shown here) was nice enough to send me a photo of her holding a Calendar she bought.  That is the standard size 8 1/2 x 11 calendar. I also got a few of them (to mail out to the guys as thank you's) and having never worked with the company before, I have to say, the calendars are a reaaaaally nice quality!  The calendars are actually heavy stock and really hefty for their size!  I wasn't sure the quality of product but I'm quite pleased!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Special Projects and whatnot for Rambling Rican

Some of you already know about this, however for the most part I've kept this fairly quiet until I was about ready to do something about it.  For those of you who have been following me for a while now, you know by now that I love researching the background of this show. I adore reading about the show's past (most of which I've missed coming in later into the series - Post Sasuke 17) and reading about the stories from a competitor's point of view. Earlier this year I had the opportunity to do a presentation about Sasuke in an anime convention.  It was at that time I realized the scope of the history and that I didn't even have a HOPE to fit all of that in an hour. LOL  What startled me most though is how much people didn't know about the original show.  Even recent stuff.  Granted, it's obvious now with the death of G4 and NBC dropping the show, but even so, the history of how we got here is just about lost in time.

Over the past year I've been talking to several people whom I rely on support, insight and information along with the opportunity to bounce ideas back and forth on the many ideas that pop into my head. I laugh because I know I have the most patient friends on the planet! LOL  One of the ideas that has been in the forefront for a few years now was writing a book.  This idea has been around for as long as I've been blogging.  It has morphed into various forms from a coffee table photobook to an all-out historical retrospective. I decided somewhere in between.  The scope of the book is already starting to get larger and larger so I've decided to break that into 2 different books. The first book is about the first 30 tournaments spanning 17 years of history focusing on the how and why it got started to how it survived 2 cancellations to be the show it is today.  The second book (provided the first is received well) would be about the many many many competitor stories and anecdotes that give me a smile every time I hear them.  I wanted to break them into 2 different books because the first was going to be so large as it was and having funny competitor stories overwhelming the historical account was starting to make the book into friggin' War and Peace in size.  Also, as I've been doing Skype interviews of late with the Japanese competitors and even the Director of the show, it's really come to my attention how much interesting historical information gets lost if it's not written down. So I've decided to do that starting next year.

In the coming months I plan to start working on what I have so far and then do an ambitious crowd-fund project to see if I can get to Japan in 2015. My hope for the Japan trip is to be able to meet the production staff, interview as many people as I can (including long-time Sasuke competitors), take my own photographs and get a behind the scenes on how Sasuke has managed to survive this long.  There is only so much I can get from a Skype interview with a couple of people. My hope was to go there and try to get a personal view from as many people as I possibly can.  I plan to start that crowd-fund project early next year (which in all actuality is only a couple of months away). I'm hoping it works as I'm worried it's going to be an expensive trip.  Most of you know I'm unemployed and have been for a few years now.  I would be traveling with my husband (inventor of the Shingo Hat Theory™) who has taken care of me whenever I go out and knows the first signs of when I'm not feeling well. I would be relying on him a lot to keep me on track as well and not get over-committed and sick with my trying to fit as much as I can should I get there. So the only way I can get to Japan and supplement the book will be with everyone's help. I wanted to give you guys a heads up when the posts start coming in. There's a lot going on in the background but I haven't been posting lately.

Girl working at the computer (cartoon, woman, flowers)©Oksana Alekseeva

I've already started working on the book in earnest and as of now am working on the financing part of this project.  The first little project for fundraising will be a Rambling Rican 2015 Calendar that will be ready sometime in December.  I want to open up a small little store where I can sell Calendars, knickknacks, competitor photos, mugs and whatnot with the new Rambling Rican Logo that's currently being worked on (no it's not the image above LOL). I'm trying to find ideas help with people that want to contribute and take something with them in the process. A few of the competitors in Japan volunteered to allow me to do a calendar using their image in a celebration of 6 years of Rambling Rican.  They hope people will be interested in both helping the project and supporting the new and upcoming generation in Sasuke. That will help with the fund to start paying for the book project with it's many moving parts. Everything from licensing issues to production fees that are in all book writing ventures.  I hope people will be looking forward to it.  I'm excited if not a little anxious about the whole thing. Feel free to leave comments if anyone is interested in what I'm doing. I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

USA vs World - NBC ANW6 Special - Part 5

This is my Part Four Blog of the USA vs The World - ANW 6 Special that aired on Monday, September 15, 2014.  For those who are confused when this happened.. it was the Final day (Sunday) of the Las Vegas taping of American Ninja Warrior 6 back in June 15, 2014.

Been an interesting few days on the boards with this event and I hadn't even finished the blog! LOL  Okay so, for clarification (and this was also in the comments. Thanks Z) - At this particular point we should be either at 6/6/6 (three way tie between all the countries in the final IF BOTH Ryo and Morimoto were given the win (the Morimoto win was not unanimous) - They would have received 6 points and would have tied the event) or 9/6/3 The more likely scenario btw (Europe winning in the 3rd stage) - because Ryo won his heat - that was unanimous by all sources.. and by a lot. 

But we all know that couldn't happen because zomg they had to have that final. ANW newbies keep yelling at NBC to get a Final on US soil (espcially after propagating the false narrative that no American has ever gotten to the final) and voila we got a final.  However, NBC changed the results and now we are at  9/9/0 going into the Final.  Take a good look at the trophy. You won't see it for long. (more on that later LOL) 

..and just to remind people that there WAS AN AMERICAN IN THE FINAL.. the Southern California born (Los Angeles) and raised Kane Kosugi ケイン・コスギ  lost the Final in an epic rain-soaked Sasuke 8. Okay. I feel better now.  I know there's a lot of new people who are reading my blog for the first time so just making sure we know who the first American in the Final of Mount Midoriyama was.

 Oooooooh Canadaaaaa..

Sasuke 27 veteran - Travis Rosen トラビス・ローセン

Mmmmmmilk that helicopter rental!

This is the same length if not a smidgen shorter than the CURRENT Sasuke 30 Final. However it is shorter than the Single Rope Final that Yuuji won back in Sasuke 27 (because of that huge walk up steps thing they added it cut the original length).

Fluff piece of the previous Sasuke Finals.  They started with Ryo's from Sasuke 27. Seems they didn't want to touch Sasuke 30's footage for some reason even though NBC already stole Sasuke 29's footage for Morimoto. LOL

The first single Rope Final win - Sasuke All-Star Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山 和彦 This was televised on TBS in October, 1999 during Sasuke 4 in Japan.

This win from Sasuke All-Star Allstar - Makoto Nagano 長野誠  was a Spider Climb to single Rope combination.  This was televised on TBS on October, 2006 during Sasuke 17 in Japan.

The first of the wins from Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 (Cliffer #3) was a rope ladder to single Rope combination.  This was televised on TBS on January, 2010 during Sasuke 24 in Japan.

The second of the wins from Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 (Cliffer #3) was the last time there as a single Rope Final.  This was televised on TBS on October, 2011 in Japan.  I laughed at Matt Iseman's "a recent Final".. when they omitted Sasuke 30 that had TWO people in the Final. And that was taller than this version.

 Sasuke 27 veteran - Travis Rosen トラビス・ローセン

Shoutout to Bernardo, McGrath, Strat and Bret Sims!

Okay RIGHT off the bat.  One rule was already broken.  The rule was that no team can run a single competitor more than twice.  Travis only ran the 2nd Stage so he's fine.  (No one else for team USA would have qualified since they all ran twice).  Sean, however ran the 2nd and 3rd stages already.  (Eligible ones to run would have been Miska since everyone else ran twice) He should not have been in the Final.  (If Japan ran the only one eligible person would have been Shingo)

Fluff piece on Travis

Showing his years of training on rope climbing

I still find it awkward to see the Japanese standing there for absolutely no reason. LOL

Interview with the pretty robot lady

Yeah .. I don't know why you are here either. LOL
Matt Quotes™: "Well Everyone in the crowd is on their feet including the Japanese team".. of course.. you propped them there for absolutely no reason.. If they were eliminated why are they even there??

Sean already ran.  Yes.  I said that.  SEAN ALREADY DID STAGE FOUR.


Symbolic fondling of the rope™ (note there's no harness on him).  Sean ran first and put up a nice fast time.  So again, NBC fudging with the order for television purposes.  I'll explain later.

So.. having already run the Final, he's seeing if Travis is going faster.  Remember, there is no timer. They are going by visual inspection and counting on their own.

NOW he has a harness..

Here we go. Just FYI... there was an audible sound but it was more of a .. buzzer? like in basketball (at least that's the sound that I equate it to)  but longer than the youtube video example I just posted. It was not the sounds you hear on television.

Using his arms exclusively for the first part

 Finally switching to his legs when he starts to run out of gas

Remember, at this point Team Europe is watching to see if he's slower than Sean.

So Sean and Tim's reaction is directly due to seeing Travis slow down.

Travis not giving up but considerably slower than when he started.  Still though that's friggin' amazing to do that so quickly and a MUCH longer rope climb.

he actually whiffed the first time he tried touching the red button. (I'll show that on replays)

Everyone kinda stood there hoping it was fast enough.

Sean is thinking he was faster at this point but it's not confirmed, however that was important to note because at this point he thinks he won based on that. It explains his posture and Tim's total mugging.

LOL Da Beast doesn't know either.  He probably was counting as well. LOL

So he celebrates at the top not knowing what his time was.  Nor Sean's for that matter as there was no timer nor announcement of actual times.

So the confusion goes on for 20-25 MINUTES.

replay of him finally changing to his legs.

And the initial miss of the buzzer

Everyone kinda standing around confused.

Sean and the rest of Europe going "wtf.. what's the hold up".. They literally stood there for 20-25 minutes until NBC finally realized they LOST the final they sacrificed the Japanese for.  I'm happy at least cooler heads prevailed and they didn't rob Sean of the win when he was clearly ahead. Given that they already broke the rule in putting their invited guest star on the Final .. I think they didn't want to piss them off by stealing HIS win on top of everything else that has transpired so far.

So while everyone waits for what seemed like an eternity..

Travis goes to greet his family

And celebrates with Team USA hoping it was fast enough.  The wait was agonizing.

Meanwhile, we go magically back in time to show Sean's interview

His fluff piece is a replay of his Stage 2 heroics

and Stage 3 fail that should have disqualified him from running the final. (The 2 runs only rule that each country had to abide by)

So again, he's running FIRST and not second.

Symbolic fondling of the Rope™  (no harness)

and suddenly he's got a harness.

First competitor to run the Stage Four Final in America!

Watching Sean go up knowing that Travis has to be faster

Sean going at a steady pace clearly faster.

starting to slow down a little

and Sean actually 2-4 seconds faster (yes yes.. ignore the timer)

Random Crowd shot™

Random Crowd Shot™

no idea when this was taken. Travis hasn't even gone yet so no friggin' clue when this happened.

Well Everyone is still looking up so it's not when it was announced.

They are just celebrating thinking he did a good job.

I think the reason they put it in this order, was because they had no way to justify why there were TWO celebrations at the top of the tower. LOL  Sean went first. Celebrated.  Travis went second and he celebrated too!

Raise your hand if you're Sure!

Ultimately Canad.. er.. "Europe" won twice.  They should have won in the 3rd stage when Stefano won his heat.

Okay that's a cool and scary shot of being waaaay up there. .. wait. oh wow I see what happened. Okay lemme walk you through this.  Someone told me that the sun was starting to come up and they weren't sure if the video was darkened to still make it look like it was night.  THAT is important for what is about to happen.

A weird side by side comparison but not at the right zoom.  Probably because they were hiding the fact that the sun was starting to come up.  Also, they are making it look like it's closer than it is when indeed Sean was faster (I personally counted 3 seconds)  by 2-4 seconds depending on who you talk to.

NBC trying to say it was close because Travis whiffed his hand the first time.

Sadly though, that only bought him a Second.  Sean was already inside the tower by the time Travis even got to the button.

you wouldn't be hoarse if you didn't scream everything Matt.. Akbar isn't hoarse because he didn't yell!

And the WTF / LMFAO moment of the night.

This SHOULD look weird. This is a baaaaaaaaad Photoshop. LOL

You see.. the sun was completely out. Everyone left (hell the Japanese were probably already at the hotel as Morimoto confirmed - they never saw a trophy presentation) and NBC probably went OMFG we never did the trophy celebration! LOL

(thanks there anonymous tip!) I assume they did this in the parking lot after everyone was gone? If I get confirmation I'll update this. LMFAO

So we end with a nice funny eye opener. This was the most screwed up rewriting of history that NBC has EVER done. Even down to the photoshop darkening of the video, insertion of the crowd, slowmo pan to show a ceremony that never existed! LOL  I'm sure NBC was seeeeething that after all that fixing they couldn't come up with the win.  This last Photoshop just encompassed the futility in everything NBC did.  What was wrong with showing a sun coming up ceremony?  Heck it could have been epic to say "hey this awesomeness took us to the dawn of a new day!" or something like that (like one of Sasuke's final where they embraced that the sun came up on the recording).  I'm still checking to see when this was taken or if the video is even real! The arms looked weird but not sure if it was because hey were trying to superimpose the crowd in the background or because they artificially made the arms go up?  Not sure.  I think it's just the superimposition of the background.  I don't even know since none of my contacts even saw this so it didn't happen within the context of the competition. Wow.. So yep.  That sums it up!  Shoutout to Morimoto who encouraged me strongly to write this. He also wanted me to post a note to the international fans.
USA vs. World backstage photo ©Yuusuke Morimoto

日本チ ームのメンバー,対戦チーム,アメリカのANWファンのみんなに感謝します!

He's basically super thankful for the opportunity to participate and he was super happy to clear the 3rd stage which he saw as more difficult than the Japanese 3rd stage.  Also he was super happy that everyone (Japanese, American etc.) was happy and cheered when he cleared the 3rd stage.  Despite losing, everyone gave it their all and that's enough for him.  If he gets invited again he will do his best to make it a good match up and he will do his best to train for that day.  He's very thankful to everyone (Japanese team, American team, European team, and the ANW fans)

Yuusuke and Sean before the event ©Yuusuke Morimoto

Morimoto kept assuring me that he's okay.  He knows it's a fictional show. He appreciated and understood my furor.  Not everyone was happy.  However, he's just jazzed that he cleared the 3rd stage and was the furthest out of all the Japanese in the 2nd stage.  He was afraid he wouldn't hold his weight being the rookie of the team replacing the 2-time Champion Yuuji. Especially with the pressure from Sasuke 30 (where he wore #3000), he was so happy to deliver when it counted. Even if his loss was controversial (for the record he thought he was slower but had no data to back it up since there were no visible timers on the course). He's proud that in every international competition (ASEAN and now ANW) he delivered. I hope by now people will see him as a serious contender and a clutch performer. He was worried that others wouldn't think he was and that's why he was so proud of what he did. And ultimately why he wanted to convince me to write so the rest of the world this blog so they would know it too.