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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

USA vs JAPAN - NBC ANW5 Special - Part 2

This is my Part Two Blog of the USA vs JAPAN - NBC ANW5 Special that aired on Monday, January 13, 2014.  For those who are confused when this happened.. it was the Final day (Sunday) of the Las Vegas taping of American Ninja Warrior 5 back in June 23, 2013.

And we are back with the Second Stage.  So different looking than Sasuke's swamps.. this water is friggin' BLUE! Long live swimming pools!

Going over the obstacles that I recognize.  This is The Wall Lift (Wall Lifting ウォールリフティング in Japan)

The Balance Tank バランスタンク

The Unstable Bridge アンステーブルブリッジ

The Double Salmon Ladder サーモンラダー

Not sure what this is.. (checking video.. it's not there)
(Checking boards) "Hang Slider" (checking PM - thanks Rider)

Okay am I the only one annoyed that they don't take the time to actually say what the obstacles are?  At least with Sasuke they show it once with the title right on there and never have to repeat it again.  I assume since they are treating this as an extension of ANW5 they expect everyone to have watched that crap show?

The Metal Spin メタルスピン

NBC telling TBS that they can put the Second Stage on fire too!

Stock footage!  Ehem.. Team Japan commiserating.

And Team USA commiserating.

Next match up.. sorry NBC.. Brian Arnold is the furthest American in ANW.. not Sasuke.

First out of the gate is New Generation Star Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒

Note the shirt!  Ryo is Cliffer #2 (Yuuji is #3)

.. The Super Fan? NBC seriously.. STOP IT..

Ryo is on the right

Ryo on the left

Sports Day I'm sure. (white cap)

I see he's been dying his hair a looooooong time.

I had to have this explained to me. THIS is his mother's house. Yes.. that's his mother. Her name is Miki. Young isn't she?.. she could be my age.. shudders the thought that I'm old enough to be Ryo's mother too.. LOL   Btw this is important.. and might be long.. but.. his parents are divorced. Ryo lives with his father (remember that room we know? that's his Dad's house). THIS is his mother's house.  Why is this important? Because in Japan when you divorce.. you don't ever have contact with the other person who left.. including children. So it is HIGHLY unusual to see his mother at his events over the years. We haven't seen Nagano 2 sons in some years..  Sasuke 27 was so important for Ryo to keep the tie with his mother even though society in Japan accepts one parent disappearing from the children's lives after a divorce. Ryo seems to not accept that term and has kept his tie with his mother and include him in everything tied to Sasuke.

Btw this is in his father's house where he lived. (He's since moved out)

So the fact that he's sitting in his father's house in this video talking about how important it was for his mother to be there for him is.. friggin'.. huge. A massive cultural difference that had I not known about that archaic divorce laws in Japan, I would have missed.

This again from 27 since NBC still owns that broadcast by default since Comcast owns both G4 and NBC now.

Again Sasuke 27 where Ryo made it to the Final stage.

And right there was his mother waiting for him to congratulate him on getting to the Final stage for the first time.

LOL A mother totally worried he'd do something stupid overseas.

I wonder what on Earth she was worried about?  Wait.. they were going to Vegas... yeah..

Where the last time someone came here they came back with a kid.

And he is by far the baby of the team at only 24 years old.

K back to the broadcast.  He's waiting at the top.

I wonder if they lowered this to adjust for his .. lack of height?

Whoa that sucker spins..

Okay this seems weird to me.  On a timed course they have to wait to be ferried to the obstacle. LOL

Okay an obstacle I recognize even if it's tweaked.

And apparently Ryo couldn't make the adjustments in the tweaked obstacle.

So disappointing seeing them fail like this.

To say he's disappointed is the understatement of the year.

And Team Japan just crapped a collective brick.  Except Kanno who's cheesing.

Frustrated smack on the water.
Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒 - Death by Double Salmon Ladder

NBC circling where it went wrong.

Shingo thinking they are screwed, this is Ryo's specialty and trains on this constantly.

Yuuji in an unhappy place right now.

Up next to best Ryo's 2nd run disaster is Brian Arnold.

Sorry sweetie, you haven't gone the furthers on NW.. ANW yes.. but not NW/Sasuke.

This is something Comcast hates to remind people since it disrupts the rewriting on history that destroys the mystique of ANW (which was a qualifying event to Japan's Sasuke for most of it's history). Reminder to NBC that there WAS AN AMERICAN IN THE FINAL.. uhm.. anyway.. sorry.. just had to point out that the Californian born and raised Kane Kosugi ケイン・コスギ lost the Final in an epic rain-soaked Sasuke 8.  Dude didn't even speak Japanese until his adult life. He was a southern California boy for all of his youth and part of his adult life.

Brian has been the furthest in ANW. An awesome feat in it's own right, especially given how many steps it takes to get here with all the weeks of qualifying, etc. etc.  There's no mistake that it's a huge accomplishment, but I have an issue with NBC mixing the two distinct tournaments together.  They are separate events and have been for a long time and especially NOW continues to be.  Right now several Americans share the tie with ANW sent Americans to Sasuke going just as far (including from this event in Brent Steffensen, Paul Kasemir and James McGrath).

I'm happy Brian is proud of his accomplishment but aware that he didn't get to the final. It's a healthy attitude to have. I know NBC is forcing him to say certain things to fit with the narrative they want to keep, so I don't fault him.

Kane got there first on Sasuke on the Midoriyama television lot 12 years ago.  Brian got to the last obstacle on the ANW "Mount Midoriyama" course in Las Vegas. These are treated separately by not just fans of both shows, but history.  NBC can do what they want, they can't rewrite it and expect to get away with it.

Kudos to Brian though for being a friggin' nice guy and not a showboating smack. It's refreshing to see someone representing my generation (He's 35 and I'm 41) in such a rigorous event.

Dude that's totally giving me the friggin' willies.. no rope and climbing up a sheer rock wall?  In his JEANS??  Wtf.. he's got cojones of steel!

That's such a weird obstacle but hey here we go!

Whoa 360 on that LOL

And just like that Ryo is defeated. I .. don't like the head to head.

USA takes the first match as Ryo dejectedly watches on.

Kudos to Brian for going.  He doesn't give a crap that NBC has this as a head to head. He's competing against the course.  Take THAT NBC.

Clear on the Unstable Bridge

Hey I didn't like the short balance tank on Sasuke and I don't like it here either.. LOL

Clear on Metal Spin.. is that .. lower than Sasuke?

Clear on the walls

Nice time.. though I like descending numbers.. not ascending. Again, personal preference and I don't prefer this.

Ryo acknowledging the clear

USA team celebrating

Up next is Yuuji. I'm terrified to find out wtf is his moniker since the others were ridiculous so far.  It's bad enough that they eluded to him being an Iron Chef by asking if he will reign supreme.. I mean that's MY joke line.. but not for an official broadcast.  Especially when they have been "serious" so far.

We are back from commercials.  This is Las Vegas, Nevada if you haven't figured it out by now.

Team Japan in a ditch not having won a single point in this scoring system

Btw anyone annoyed at how when the announcers speak they seem to be screaming? That can't be good for the larynx.  And what is this with the David and Goliath crap?

 Another of the Sasuke 27 vets - Travis Rosen トラビス・ローセン

Sorry.. had trouble trying to get a good screencap but NBC loves to wash out and flicker a lot of clips together.  I swear I'm happy I don't have epilepsy or this would be painful.

 Travis Rosen トラビス・ローセン

Incoming fluff piece!  Still kicking ass at 38 years old!  Representin'

Reminding us of the last time NBC actually held ANW as a qualifier to Sasuke - way back in 2010.  And unlike what NBC just said, he made it to Sasuke (Midoriyama TV studios) once and "Mount" Midoriyama (ANW) twice.

Travis passed the first stage on his only try at Japan's Sasuke 27.

Yikes, the fluff piece mentioned that since then he was training as usual hanging by the rafters and fell off..

Breaking his elbow..

And having surgery..

He made it back for ANW5

Awww he has a BEAUTIFUL family :)

He's been rehabbing with the support of his family to get back in competition shape.

Okay I find this adorable :) She's such a cutie!!!!

He made it back to ANW5 through the Miami Regionals

And cleared the 2nd stage in ANW5.

Wife and one of his kids here cheering him on

And more commercials..

Yuuji in the constant state of wtf

Travis methodically going through the double salmon ladder about to reverse to the other side.

 Successfully  making the transition

And clearing the Unstable bridge. Btw does the 2nd one not spin like the one in Sasuke?

 Yuuji crapping a brick

and this is why I don't like the shortened Balance tank (either version usa/japan)

On the Metal Spin

Tipped toe on the platform

Whoa he totally missed it! I often wondered if this was possible.. most people just fall when they miss the platform

LOL James jumping up and down trying to will Travis to rotate the Spin part to get back around

He's trying so hard to do so.. inching.. his way around.. 

Oh.. and foot touched the water. So it's over.  You hear that TBS?  You aren't supposed to be in the water in the 2nd stage!

Travis Rosen トラビス・ローセン - Death by Metal Spin

K up next is the 2 Time Champion of Sasuke

Okay, not a stupid name but .. kinda redundant?  Especially because we have 2 more with that title (cough Akiyama and Nagano)... oh wait.. these are the same people that named their course "Mount" Midoriyama. Moving on..

2-Time Grand Champion Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 (Cliffer #3)

Al Bundy is a shoe salesman Haruta Shoes in Tokyo

Who won Sasuke 27

sorry ignoring the stupid fluff piece..

Seriously.. if nothing else this is reminding me to skip the Olympics Coverage because this is crap.

and Sasuke 24

A reminder to G4 who always screws up his competition history..

 Man he talks so fast..

Shout out to the last ANW competitors (Ryan Stratis, David Campbell, Paul Kasemir, Brent Steffensen and James McGrath) ever to compete openly in Japan (back Sasuke 27.. almost 3 years ago..).

James who saw Yuuji's latest victory live talks about him.

This was in 2011.

NBC asking about how they feel about Yuuji.

 A reminder to those who have followed him over the years.. 

The more TBS has snubbed him..

The more he's had to stand up for himself.. as a result though... 

He's become conceited. At least that's my latest observation. Others have seen it earlier. It's quite blatant now.

OH SHUT UP MATT ISEMAN.. he is not here for the first time on American Soil.. DAMN this is annoying. And if Mount Midoriyama is the same course that should be taken at the same time as Sasuke's course.. then he's been here before as well and beat it twice!

 Youtube of Yuuji's run ©AnthonyJdeLeon  
In an effort to cleanse ANW of all things "Japan" and try to make this event "special" they are liberal in their rewriting on history.  First they commandeer results when it suits them, then they delete results when it suits them.. now they try to trump up appearances because it suits them?  WTF IT WAS YOUR SHOW - AMERICAN Ninja Warrior!
  Current Sasuke Champion Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治, Yoshiyuki Okuyama 奥山義行 and All-star - Makoto Nagano 長野誠 ©Ninja Warrior

GOD this is annoying.  Matt was around for this so STFU and get your damn facts straight.  Yuuji was here for ANW2 with Okuyama and Nagano.  Maybe the fact that it was 2010 and their extreme ADD prohibits them from remembering THAT far back.  God forbid over 3 years ago.. But, it was in their damn broadcast. It was all over the website, and Facebook and everywhere.  So Matt Iseman should check his brain, fire your interns since NBC is too cheap to actually pay for research assistants and stop saying stupid things. I thought you were smarter than that.
I still find this .. wait for the ferry .. funny.
 And onwards to the Double Salmon Ladder that took out Ryo.

....... is that a repeat?

WHYYYYYYYYYYY (as there are a few audience shots of the disbelief)

Yuuji can't believe he's in the water..

The last time he failed the Double Salmon Ladder was on Sasuke 25 where the bar had stoppers and one of them got stuck on the rungs.  Here in ANW they didn't have the stoppers so he went straight into the water.

and.. Dogs everywhere are howling at the shriek.

So far the only Japanese to actually show up for this event was Kanno.

Asa wondering wtf is going on since the 2 specialists just went out .. early..

And we all know Yuuji hates the water with a passion.

And a nervous giggles since he talked some serious smack before the tournament started.

Oy vey Karma's a bitch isn't it?

NBC being PC with their question. I would have posed the question differently. LOL

Maybe he didn't have his heart in it? (coining his phrase in the fluff piece)

2-Time Grand Champion Yuuji Urushihara 漆原裕治 (Cliffer #3) - Death by Double Salmon Ladder

 Strategy going on to the 3rd stage since this stage is pretty much botched...

Asa needs a hug

 Ryo still shell shocked

 Travis doing a victory lap

 Team USA up 2 matches (best of 5) in the 2nd stage

Japan needs to win the next 3 face offs for a chance to salvage this stage.

Up next is da beast vs .. sorry I can't say it.. I'll use my term.. "The Spazz"

Poor Asa looks like he's going to cry.

THIS is what I'm used to.  Asa screaming with authority and passion. This is why I called him the Spazz for quite a number of years now.

He out of all of them looks the most overwhelmed by this entire overseas trip.

It's funny though that they only showed Asa's Sasuke 27 footage (the one where he failed the Double Salmon Ladder) just short of the fail because they didn't want to use the Sasuke Rising footage they never bought..

 up next is Kazuma Asa (emphasis on KAH.. not Zoo)
New Generation Star Kazuma Asa 朝一眞

 Asa spinning in the air almost twice..


.. already sideways..

Okay already better than his teamates by getting to the top of the first set.. now to turn around and jump

 ... ouch maybe they have been training too long on the Swap Salmon Ladder? Or just a classic case of choking under pressure?

Yuuji can't even look he's crushed

Just not Japan's day.  Asa is out as well

Handing the USA a virtual win on Stage 2

Wow.. his voice is trembling from anger and frustration.

 He also sounds like he's trying not to cry (which he's done on numerous occasions on camera)

They mention that Stage 3 is their strongest event so Japan has a chance.

To which instead of giving him hope.. it instead heaped on more pressure on his already fragile psyche.  He's really struggling on this interview.

He just walks away shell shocked and trembling... and alone.
New Generation Star Kazuma Asa 朝一眞   - Death by Double Salmon Ladder

Up next is da beast - James McGrath ジェームス・マクグラス

Okay I guess they don't adjust it as his elbows bend when touching the handles. LOL

and as expected, since James has been very consistent, he's up the rungs and over with no issues.

Cementing USA's win on this head to head competition/best of five set up that I really don't like.

 .. stock footage? (look at Yuuji)
Second Stage was worth 2 points for the team and with the Stage 1 victory the points are 3 to USA and 0 to Japan

Just like Brian, James is finishing Stage Two on his own even though he's already defeated Asa in the head to head.  Take that NBC!

Clearing the Unstable Bridge

Yuuji watching James

Balance Tank

Metal Spin

Oh.. having a little bit of issues on the first wall

Overall clear though.

James McGrath ジェームス・マクグラス - SECOND STAGE CLEAR!


Unknown said...

Thoroughly enjoying this coverage. (And thankful that I don't have to watch the show to get the lowdown.) :)

ClifferMarc said...

As always, superb reviews. I especially liked how u complained about TBS and NBC. Let Sasuke back in the US...

ClifferMarc said...

Like you I hate NBC's format. I just spend my days watching old Sasukes. Because I'm extremely new with this blog, I love your creative name for Kazuma Asa cause he totally is one.