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Friday, January 17, 2014

USA vs JAPAN - NBC ANW5 Special - Part 4

This is my Part Three 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.
So NBC has listed the 3rd match being Brent vs. Shingo  (even though this was the first match... but I'm digressing again aren't I?)

Sasuke All-star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟

I really don't like the nickname..

LOL The crowd again giving him a standing ovation 

and he stops to acknowledge them.

And immediately onto the Roulette Cylinder since he knows he's timed.

I don't like the name of this obstacle.. LOL

Whoa he totally slipped off that door knob and no Akbar it's not nerves.. it's called sludge.. from all that previous Sasuke Spray

Shingo actually struggling here.

Making noises and such trying to hang on to the knobs as they turn.

Still managing to get through as he's eyeballing how far he can jump

And safely through

ahahahaaha he's complaining as if it was a Muscle Park poorly maintained obstacle :p  as he wipes the crap from his hands with a towel that's provided.

(remember this shot..)

He's now taking his time eyeballing the thickness of this door

 Finally.. he gets on the first board

 and he's slipping just trying to grab onto the 2nd board

Trying to grab onto the 2nd board with his feet now

and down he goes..

and Asa is not happy

Replay of where he tried to move his legs.. maybe since he wiped off all the spray from his hands he felt he couldn't grip the top part hard enough? Who knows.

Sasuke All-star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 - Death by Floating Boards
and not a single Shingo interview either.. First Ryo and now Shingo.. that's annoying.

Up next according to this broadcast Brent Steffensen ブレント・ステッフェンセン is up next

During ANW4 he cleared Stage 3's UCH even though they gave him an edited pass on Stage 2 that he didn't clear in time.. Despite the magic of television on Stage 2's gift he has been to Stage 3 in Sasuke so I find this not only plausible but expected. Good for him.  Still NBC.. this is not Sasuke, it was ANW4.

But after he beat the UCH he failed on the Hang Climb.  In ANW5 he failed on the 2nd Stage. I wonder if he will legitimately beat that stage one day without the help of NBC.

Back to the next day on the same lot.  Spikey Droppy Bally Thingie of Doom..

So.. is he allowed to actually MOVE the ball thing past the first track before he even jumps onto it? Uhm.. isn't the whole point of the obstacle to actually be ON the thing when the ball drops on the 2 tracks? You know.. like everyone else? /facepalm Someone should have flagged him for this but then again no one flagged him in Stage 2 in ANW4 either so wtf NBC.

transition to the doorknobs

No problems here

Safely landed

As Shingo looks on

NBC reminding us that all Brent has to do is get on the 2nd door and he's done


And right there

Team USA congratulates getting on the board on the first match.. er.. 3rd.. er.. whatever.. 

Shingo disappointed

Knowing the order and seeing this on screen bugs me.. I mean the overall results haven't changed.. but.. well you know.. I hate creative editing.  Still, USA up 2 matches to 1 even if it wasn't at this exact time.

 And cleared on the Floating boards as he's going up against the course to seek revenge on the Hang Climb from 2 years ago.

No problems on the UCH so far.

Again he's good on this thing so I have no issues. 

I actually wonder which one of this ledges had to be glued back together? I mean when Brian Arnold ripped one of them off on his run in ANW5 and had to rerun it again. LOL

 And another ANW UCH clear. Zero in Sasuke but that's not his fault, that's NBC's fault for not sending former 3rd Stage Sasuke American Vets back to Japan.

wow that wind is pretty wicked.. LOL

Finally on to the thing that took him out 2 years ago.

and not doing much better..

I'm not a rock climber so I can't dissect what is going on but it's obvious he's got a mental block on this. Which is really common with competitors from both sides of the Pacific.

Nope.. down again on the same obstacle.

But he doesn't care.. he beat Shingo and in this competition that's all that matters.
Brent Steffensen ブレント・ステッフェンセン - Death by Hang Climb

USA happy with their first.. er.. second with on the Third stage.

 So. he's down to his underwear?

uhm.. no one asked for your wet pants..

which is fine.. because no one wants your dirty laundry.

That.. was special.. wtf is he doing? Only in America..

 So through the power of television we are at 2 matches to 1.

Time for our second match.. er.. 4th..

Time for Paul Kasemir ポール・キャゼミア

Onwards to the door knobs

Nice and methodical

and clear with no issues

Team USA cheering on

All eyes on Kanno who's up next

 Now for the doors that had their knobs pulled

nice and slow

carefully reaching for the board that's swaying in this wind

aaaand safe

LOL is that emotion from a normally stoic Paul?

And we've got bare feet! (for the record we have seen bare feet in Sasuke.. just not in the middle of the 3rd stage)

and his revenge chance at the UCH.. the last time he faced a version of this was in Sasuke 27. He hasn't been to it in ANW before.

Doing good so far

no issues

Nice transition

and would you look at that! LOL his face is priceless. I don't ever see emotion from him.

Kanno now has to pass the UCH

man that wind..

nice and slow with no problems

no issues on the Hang Climb

no issues here

onto the Heartbreaker Spider Flip

slowly getting himself into position

stop calling this a World Championship morons.. there's only 10 people from 2 countries here.

Paul up on the Spider Flip

ready to jump

and successfully across

 LOL that's all the emotion you get out of me folks. I'm winded!

USA cheering on the 2nd match.. er.. 4th.. 

(stock footage.. go back to "remember this shot" earlier in this very blog entry)

that one leg thing.. 

First jump successful

second.. noooooo.. (remember this was before the Ryo/Brian match up)

Paul Kasemir ポール・キャゼミア - Death by Flying Bar

USA happy with that super human effort it's okay.. you will see it again shortly.. back to back oh wait.. we saw it.. nvm.

Sedate Kanno.. especially since we have NO bloody clue when this picture was actually recorded.

Paul did awesome though! I just wish for more impact it was 2nd.. the way it was originally. I don't understand this editing decision.  And the need to voice over everything accordingly.

side view of him doing the exact same thing that Ryo/Brian would do moments after.

Kanno's turn even if the match up as a whole was technically earlier.

Kanno: me for real?
Ryo: Sup man.. go for it. I'm not getting out from under this towel.. it's friggin' cold here in the desert.

A very dry and nonchalant Yuuji sitting on the bench. He hasn't gone yet..

Former Sasuke Finalist and New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志

Uhm.. where's Ryo?  See? I can't even trust NBC to give me the right screenshots for reaction shots..

Shingo: mmm.. comfy warm bed soon..   om nom nom...

So.. the reason I'm not happy about how NBC edited this.. this.. is not.. the final match.

Ryo didn't start the 3rd stage (he went after Kanno)

And the "fate of Team Japan" didn't rest on Kanno either.. I mean why go through the WHOLE thing of looping the commentary to make it look like it? No wonder it took them 4 months to air this thing.

Anyway past the 1st 2 obstacles

see I don't even trust these shots either.

or this one

On to the floating boards (remember as far as Kanno was concerned.. Shingo just failed this in the previous match)

 carefully placing his feet

slipping.. but still hanging on because he's got ridiculous grip strength

 hanging on to dear life

brute strength is the only thing keeping him on this obstacle right now

He's here a looooong time.. he's determined to not fall..

he's doing everything he can not to let go.. 

swaying back and forth as his hands are struggling to hang on.. he's sliding

gaaaaaaaaaaaaah.. he's falling..

he's hanging on to dear life..

and FINALLY off the obstacle..

yeah no kidding he's exhausted..

he looks spent..

I'm now calling everything stock footage..

stock footage

finally up the UCH

This is not the Ninja Warrior World Championship.. 

 You took the time to re-edit these lines after the fact?

Oh yeah Kanno is tired.. his arms are waaaaaaaay stretched out

and not surprisingly he fails the UCH
New Generation Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 - Death by Ultimate Cliffhanger

But through the magic of television.. he's back on the bench! (notice.. James's reaction they just saw Yuuji fail in the final match up)

and because they need stock footage of Kanno's fail.. here we are.

regardless of how they edited this.. the results were the same.

USA legitimately winning 3 matches to 1 in the 3rd stage. If anything the flags were USA/USA/JAPAN/USA

The impact though was lost.  Yuuji failed his final match (the James vs Yuuji match up that was incorrectly listed as Match 2)

which is why they are celebrating with James who squeaked out the win with both of them failing on the doors

Notice how this is.  James who is crushed/relieved to have won but under those circumstances walked up to Shingo who was met immediately with smiles by both Shingo and Kanno (you know..the one that just lost on the broadcast?)

These are Sasuke vets talking to each other.  They know each other and respect each other. Even if NBC does this stupid rivals crap that doesn't exist.

again.. why did NBC do this?  THIS would have been a HUGE impact scene.  Yuuji just lost to James and even though James won.. he's visibly crushed for Yuuji.

They share a bro moment and NBC had to totally screw it up.  THIS would have been the epic shot of two Sasuke veterans not caring about the "rivalry" but truly being engaged in each other's performace against the actual adversary.. the course!

So as the recap clips roll and my new-found disdain for Matt Iseman, the NBC lackey, has been brewing I find myself more disgusted than angry at this botch of a broadcast.

First NBC broadcasting pirated video from the Sasuke community instead of manning up and buying the broadcast to actually SHOW Sasuke Rising on American television. I guess since they have no intention of ever showing Sasuke Rising (which is Sasuke 28 and 29) on American television they found it worthy of airing pirated video instead of actually paying for the rights to those videos from TBS who own the video.

Then INEXPLICABLY editing the matches out of order lessening the impact and surprise of the results as each stage was presented.  Seriously.. why did the First and Third Stage have to be edited out of order? Who were they trying to protect?

NBC co-opting  Sasuke results in the vain effort to give legitimately to their own television show since they can't even figure out if they are a spin off show, a trials show or a bad copy. ANW 1, 2, 3 and 4 ALL had different formats.  1-3 the prize was going to Japan and 4 they ditched TBS when they outlived their usefulness.

I spent the rest of the week reading how most viewers thought this show as rigged and Japan was paid to fail.  I was FURIOUS at even the idea that anyone on either USA or Japan's lineup were so vain as to throw their matches.

NBC may be that petty, but true Sasuke fans know the true Sasuke competitors. And no one on this show took bribes or tanked their matches for the sake of television.  They had their own personal quest to beat the course.  THAT is the spirit of Sasuke.

And while NBC tried to make a rivalry out of this.. you had the Sasuke vets (from both sides) compete against the course and themselves rather than each other.  Another fail by NBC.

So again, I was frustrated with how NBC loves to contort things to their own liking.  I mean it didn't even make sense.  So what was this special anyway?  Was it just an extension of ANW5? Especially since they did nothing to actually explain the obstacles beforehand to someone who didn't watch ANW5.

And why on earth they decided to change the order around diminishing the suspense?  It only helped fuel the conspiracy theorists that something happened on the course that wasn't legit (like Stage 2 in ANW4 for example).

From all reports the special was taped without incident (outside of Paul getting financially rewarded the "win" for the overall Stage 3 clear (and awarded a trophy) instead of sharing it with Japan's Ryo since they both failed in the same obstacle).

I already had my own problems with how the Japanese were mistreated by their own Japanese handlers. NBC didn't bother telling people ahead of time that the Japanese were coming to the USA so they didn't get a chance to meet their fans face to face. (as they did in past ANW's)  They were instead reprimanded for daring to actually see people that recognized them. Overall it was a horrible trip for the Japanese and they were happy to return home to Japan after the horrible treatment they received in the USA.  Worse off was that it wasn't their fault, nor their fans. It was all television politics that created the hostile environment.

So even after all of this. I'm proud of the USA team for legitimately earning their win here in this made-for-tv event.  They don't control the politics of television so they can't be faulted for any of the problems of this production.  They are subject to the same problems and are victims themselves. So hats off for an amazing competition. They truly deserved the praise despite the format I personally didn't like.
Matt congratulating the USA team for their victory while praising Team Japan's efforts in the event.

What's funny about this is the fact that they never had interpreters so they had no idea wtf was going on.  Yuuji still soaked from his loss on the Floating Boards is visibly upset he 'lost' the championship on his watch.

Again.. we lose the impact of this occasion because NBC had to be asshats and reorder the entire event for no good reason.

Team USA clapping to the Japan team

As a light-bulb just turned on in Shingo's head and realized it was Team Japan they were clapping to!

Then the unmistakable and very classy gesture from Team USA to make clear of their intentions.

And finally they understood what was happening since NBC didn't bother getting them an interpreter for this part of the event.

Team Japan had a rough go at this event, however that's the nature of competition against the Sasuke course.  Can't blame jetlag or anything else.  Everyone has to deal with that when they go to Japan.  There shouldn't be an excuse here either since the reverse happened this time.

Nor the fact that Team USA competed in this course just the night before.  Team Japan got some practicing on the first stage at least before the event happened and in Sasuke the vets always had their previous experience in past Sasuke's as a one up against rookies. No one here was a rookie on an obstacle course so no one had a true advantage.  Welcome to competition folks. This is how it works.

So grats to Team USA for winning this event.  Whatever they call it (since it changed names like 5 times during the span of the 1 hour and 25 minutes (without commercials) it aired).

If they have any intention of doing this again they probably will.  This show actually had better ratings than ANY of the ANW5 shows all summer (where there was practically no competition).  So ratings-wise this should have been a wake up call to NBC.  SHOW SASUKE YOU IDIOTS.  The American public wants to see BOTH Japanese AND American competitors in a TRUE international event.  This is my takeaway from this show.

Doing this on purpose to show you who is responsible for the horrible editing in this program.

Send your comments to them and not to the interns in the co-opted Ninja Warrior Facebook. You know.. the forums that was supposed to be for the official airing of Japan's Ninja Warrior? Yeah.. NBC didn't give a crap and decided they wanted 800k+ people instead of making their OWN Facebook and see how little people cared for that format instead of the original.

They share the blame too.  Japan won't ever see this event in Japan either.

Thanks for reading Rambling Rican. You guys have been awesome in your support over the years. I'll continue to write about Japanese Sasuke as long as it continues. Up next are more interviews until more news from the Sasuke ASEAN Open Cup goes live later in February. I hope in that timeframe we hear of more foreigners willing to fly out to Malaysia to support this inaugural event.


band97 said...

If the ratings thing isn't obvious for them then I don't know if we can measure how far they've stuck their heads up their asses. I think the thing that bugs me the most, is how they say Asa's record was "broken". If he did it on the actually Japanese course then I'd be absolutely ok with that, but here it was a different course and overall pretty much bullshit.

Anonymous said...

I think the reason they edited was.. for stage 1.. just not wanting to start with Asa failing that bad so people are not like "pshht" too early.. as for stage 3 they showed Ryo first because they wanted everyone to believe they were back in the game

Arsenette said...

If an event is expected to be "real" then it should be shown how it happened. That's why Sasuke is important and why people like it. They start with a number and stick with it. Let the chips fall as they may. It's more exciting when you don't know wtf is going to happen. That's why people despise with a passion G4's editing of NW because they always had a formula. Sasuke was exciting because you didn't follow a pattern. It.. was real.

Happy Christina said...

Can someone help me understand the difference between Sasuke 30 and ASEAN open cup?
Is it the same thing? If not, why are there no news on Sasuke 30? And is it not gonna be televised - at all?

Arsenette said...

Sasuke 30 is a TBS produced show in Japan part of the regular series that most people know as Ninja Warrior. Sasuke ASEAN Open Cup is a brand new event hosted and created by Sasuke Malaysia as a regional/international event. This is it's first year. Some from the ASEAN event in Malaysia will be featured in Sasuke Japan. This is going to be a yearly event. It's just another spin off show (like ANW) but open to all countries unlike ANW.

Sasuke 30 has not been announced yet but we know it's coming. Should be later in the spring.

Happy Christina said...

Thank you for the answer - but are some of the Sasuke stars not going to be at the ASEAN open event - I heard they were?

Arsenette said...

As was mentioned in Sasuke 29, there are only so many spots for each country participating. Japan is only sending 5 from their team. All other countries that are a part of the ASEAN organization is also sending 5. The rest will be filled with wildcards from the 2 days of open qualifying.

Happy Christina said...

Is it known which five Japanese contestants?

Arsenette said...

Sorry I have comment moderation so I do see these, I just have to log in and accept them as they come along. (I get a lot of spam bots)

There hasn't been a formal announcement yet. We do know 1 name = Yuusuke Morimoto. He was the one that went the furthest in Sasuke 29 and as a result earned his spot on the Japanese team. I'm not sure when TBS will announce the other 4.

As for the rest, Malaysia has the application up and many of the foreigners (since there are few that actually applied given how far this is for a walk-on spot) have been accepted and are planning to participate in open qualifying. Hoping that the closer we are to the actual event I may be able to come up with a preliminary list. We are still over a month away so I don't want to make that list yet.

Happy Christina said...

Okay, thank you for all that info, I will be following you to see when news come out :)

Arsenette said...

Really appreciate it :) Trust me if I find out anything concrete and publishable I'll make sure I will post it. Working on an interview now and that should be up sometime tonight.

Unknown said...

They let Brent Steffensen pass because he DID clear in time. He had the same time left as Akiyama in SASUKE 2003 Spring (11), 0.03.

Arsenette said...

No he didn't. Period. That's fact and not fiction with multiple sources of evidence. Moving on.

Unknown said...

Can you please show me these sources of evidence?

Arsenette said...

I'm not. My (several) sources gave me the information knowing I wouldn't divulge where it came from.

Unknown said...

Well, I meant not telling me who your sources are but how can you prove that Brent didn't pass. What are your evidences?

Arsenette said...

You are asking for my sources. :) This happened 3 years ago now.

Unknown said...

I just wanna know whether you can prove that he didn't pass.

Arsenette said...

Yes. It has been. Repeatedly for 3 years. Sorry you are late to the party.

Unknown said...

This means that you have the words of people you trust and no other evidence. Am I right?

Arsenette said...

To answer your question, No you are not correct. That's the last I will discuss of it. Either believe me or not I'm not divulging anything else.

Unknown said...

You were right about Brent Steffensen. I rechecked it myself. It is seen even on video. After he hit the button the red light was still on meaning that he didn't pass. And they also took off the timer from the screen in one moment but than put it back couple of seconds later. So you can't tell that the time wasn't altered.

Unknown said...

Is it true that Joe Moravsky didn't pass the 2 stage in ANW6 (he ran out of time) but they let him compete in the 3 stage anyway? Do you know anything about it?

Arsenette said...

I know nothing about ANW6 other than the special. I didn't ask as I'm not interested in it.

Unknown said...

Do you know why Yuuji fell off that second board? Was it because of him making a mistake or there was something wrong with that board? Shingo, James and then Yuuji fell there.

Arsenette said...

They all failed it for various reasons. Simple as that.

Unknown said...

I'm especially interested in Yuuji's fail there. Why did HE fail?

Arsenette said...

LOL I wouldn't dare ask him. I figured he's humiliated enough. :p

Unknown said...

OK. I thought maybe he spoke about it himself. As I see it he didn't hold the pressure and just made a silly mistake.

Arsenette said...

Not a problem :) I have spoken briefly with him through Twitter but have not been able to secure an interview with him yet. Trying! Trust me! If that were to happen I'm sure the subject of this special would be on it. I know he was very embarrassed about his performance and hoped people continued to support him.

Unknown said...

Sure enough we DO support him. Tell him, please, there's nothing to be embarrassed about. Everyone can make a mistake. Forget it and go on. Expecting his next victories.