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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Gold Sun to air Sasuke Rising in Taiwan

©Golden Sun TV

As many of you know by now JET TV is no longer showing variety TV and thus dropped the Sasuke license way back in 2009. With Lee En Chi リー・エンチ doing consistently well throughout the years it was a shame that Taiwan had stopped showing Sasuke.  We had hope when a new broadcaster (Gold Sun 國興衛視 or as others call it "State TV") bought the license and showed Sasuke 24. However, that was short-lived with Monster 9 wanting an extraordinary amount of money for the newer shows.
and because there are so many versions of his name and this one is the one I kept for this long.. Taiwan's Lee En Chi リー・エンチ from Sasuke Rising (Sasuke 28)
With the death of G4 and the format of Ninja Warrior (edited by G4TV), the death of Sasuke being shown in Taiwan, and then finally the death of Monster 9 when they went going bankrupt.. it was a grim 3 year void of Sasuke worldwide.  In that interim 3 new tournaments under the title of Sasuke Rising had been taped (2 aired and 1 upcoming) in Sasuke 28, Sasuke 29 and the upcoming Sasuke 30.

 Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠

Stateside USA had it's own issues with NBC renegotiating it's contract with TBS to exclude the provision of being forced to carry/edit Ninja Warrior as part of their license to buy out the ANW license.  Worldwide distribution was screwed when Comcast decided to balk at editing Ninja Warrior and canceling their Sasuke distribution license - affecting millions worldwide.

 Taiwan's Lee En Chi リー・エンチ

JET and Gold Sun however were the only ones showing the original TBS broadcast with just Chinese subtitles.  They were the only ones who didn't buy the Ninja Warrior format.  We thought this wouldn't affect Taiwan.  However, even after sporadic showings in Taiwan after Gold Sun got the license, once Sasuke Rising started to air in Japan, all worldwide distribution of Sasuke just stopped. 

 (Left to right) Sasuke All Stars Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦, Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩, Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟, (Mr. Sasuke) Katsumi Yamada 山田勝己 and Makoto Nagano 長野誠

So the news now of Taiwan officially buying Sasuke Rising in it's original format is encouraging. There are also rumors of UK's Challenge picking up the Sasuke Rising shows with Challenge editing them themselves (rather than buying the Ninja Warrior format).  I hope this trend continues.

Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and Taiwan's Lee En Chi リー・エンチ

Anyway the current airings in Taiwan of Sasuke Rising are coming up in the next couple of days.  Gold Sun actually posted on Youtube a short clip (thanks TCM for the link and Lee for posting on Facebook) with Nagano and Lee (presumably from Sasuke 30) asking people to watch. Here Nagano is introducing himself in Japanese.

Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and Taiwan's Lee En Chi リー・エンチ

Lee introduces himself and asks the support of everyone for the premiere of Sasuke 28 this upcoming weekend!  Thanks to Lee for having the presence of mind to do that while he had Nagano with Sasuke as the backdrop.  The man is brilliant and a huge asset to Taiwan.

 5月31日 晚間七點 極限體能王(上)6/1 13:00~15:00[重]

6月1日 晚間八點 極限體能王(下) 6/2 00:30~02:00[重] 11:00~12:30[重] 15:30~17:00[重]

 Saturday, May 31st : 19:00~21:00 (GMT+8)
Sunday, June 1st : 20:00~21:30 (GMT+8)

Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and Taiwan's Lee En Chi リー・エンチ
Broadcast over two nights, the premiere of Sasuke Rising in Taiwan during prime-time is finally happening!  It was cool of Lee and Nagano to do a short video clip that could be used to help promote of Taiwan's return to showing Sasuke Rising.


Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and Taiwan's Lee En Chi リー・エンチ
Youtube VideoLink
My hope in all of this is that Sasuke is revived in Taiwan and ultimately worldwide. Everyone knows my passion for the show and my frustration at the death of worldwide distribution of the show. I hope this is the start of international distribution again.  Congratulations to Taiwan for taking that first step by ushering in Sasuke Rising's era outside of Japan.  I pray many other countries will follow in their footsteps.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sasuke 30 is officially recorded - Airdate confirmed

Edit 5/20/14: Official Airdate confirmed!

Sasuke Rising's Final Stage Tower ©Masato Inui

As I mentioned before, Sasuke 30 was officially announced. Over the weekend it was finally recorded!  So Sasuke 30 is in the books folks!  Unusually (and I'm quite happy about it) the production team and TBS took to social media to give updated reports FROM THE SET as it was happening!  This never ever happened under Monster 9.

Testers a few days before the start of the tournament in front of Sasuke Rising Startline Sign ©TBS Sasuke Facebook

A few days before taping, they started to post photos from the set being built and tested. It was very smart of TBS to understand that in the age of social media, if you are open with information (even if it's small bits of information), then you can control WHAT is being said. During that week when the final tower was being assembled and people can see it from their houses at a distance, they all went to social media to post that Sasuke was being built. It was visible from people's houses from a distance (more on that later).  TBS was ahead of that news by posting what it looked like up close, so the excitement could build without having security compromised. I hope this continues.  Fans just want to know if it's being taped and that's all really people want to talk about.  They want to share in the excitement. I'm happy TBS realized that and embraced it.

Sasuke Veteran Kenji "Kong" Takahashi 高橋賢次 approving of the long-awaited and final appearance of Sasuke All-Star Bunpei Shiratori 白鳥文平 ©Masato Inui

The other, of course, is the Sasuke Director Masato Inui 乾雅人.  He was brilliant in understanding what information fans wanted to know.  The MAJOR news for any hardcore Sasuke fan was the presence of this man: Sasuke All-star Bunpei Shiratori 白鳥文平.  It was awesome to see Kong celebrate his long-time fellow competitor and welcoming him back after a 6 year competition absence.  While Bunpei is still not 100% (and probably never will be) he was gracious in accepting the Anniversary invitation. It is clear however, that this is his final competition.  He is physically unable to compete regularly. He's just not healthy enough to do so.  Having competed on Saturday, he is now officially retired from Sasuke competition.  That said, I was sooooooooooo happy to see him there. And soooooooo happy that Inui posted the moment he arrived for registration. THANK YOU!

Hedgehog ヘッジホッグ ©Nobu Horita

More shocking was seeing actual obstacles shown in great detail.  They were not shy in sharing photos of the obstacle course. Again, obstacle fans just want to see WHAT obstacles are there and not necessarily WHO passed them. That is what the official airing is for.  When I first saw this photo above  I was thinking "oh there's another banned person from the show.." LOL However Lost in Ube reminded me that Horita is one of the set designers for the show.  Either way, it was interesting to see Sonic the Hedgehog is back.  While a bunch of us were speculating who could possibly pass or fail that obstacle (as Takeda did the last time) I read a tweet that utterly stunned me.  I was thrilled to hear when the First Stage was officially completed.  We didn't have to guess, it was told to us by TBS directly in real time!

Sasuke 30 at dusk ©Nobu Horita

With more teaser photos I was stunned to see he above photo. At first I didn't see the additional obstacle until I read a post by a forum poster.  But once I looked for it in the dark photo the obstacle was VERY CLEAR.  The Gallon Throw (ザ・ガロンスロー) from Sportsman #1 (and the most recent Sasuke ASEAN Open Cup).  How on Earth they are going to incorporate that is beyond me.  So needless to say the forum members went wild with speculation.  Personally I love the obstacle and enjoyed that segment in Sportsman #1. I miss that show....

Second Stage ©Masato Inui

The tweets continued with more and more spoilerish information (more on that in a later).  It was really cool seeing the completed stages all lit up.  They have been testing the lighting for a couple of days already and so people saw THAT in the distance during the evening hours. Again, social media went wild in Japan (those who aren't avid followers of the show) with various tweets asking "oh.. Sasuke is taping?" and various tweets asking if Yamada was going to fail again. LOL

Third Stage (with Final Stage in the background) ©Masato Inui

As was noted by several people on the forums (and I had to check to make sure who was posting the photos) it was uncanny how much the lighting for this particular Sasuke reminds us all of ANW now with the red white and blue lighting. I literally had to make sure they weren't re-posting photos of the Vegas ANW course.  The premiere of ANW6 is literally around the corner and TBS International Sales' Twitter has been re-tweeting the articles with the press releases for the NBC premiere on May 26. I thought it was just more of that, until I saw the current Sasuke obstacles were being represented in the photos while ANW5 still had last-generation obstacles in Las Vegas. Either way, the Vegas set won't be built until June anyway so it wouldn't have been photos of the already built new set. Also, ANW prelims don't have the Final Stage Tower (only the Vegas Final does) so that ruled out which course I was actually looking at.

Competitor's point of view of the Third Stage ©Masato Inui

Oooooooh that's... pretty... This is a friggin' awesome view of Sasuke's Third Stage from a competitor's point of view!  We never see that.  That's epic from this angle. LOL For those confused.. this is taken from the start-line in Stage 3 and this is what a competitor sees. I swear I love the Inui phone photos the best. LOL

Third Stage ©Nobu Horita

Another view from one of the set designers.  This one is purple.. I love purple!  So yep it's Sasuke and not ANW. LOL Again, I'm so excited seeing these photos. No crazy secrecy and no need for anyone else to post obstacle photos. This is JUST enough information to get people excited and want to see the event happen on television.

Final Stage Tower ©Nobu Horita

I love the Sasuke 17 style final so I'm happy to see Sasuke 30 also has that same final (I'm sure tweaked in some way) fully assembled so we had no doubt what the final was comprised of. It has always been my favorite. What you are looking at is a Spider Climb スパイダークライム into a Tsuna Nobori 綱登り (Rope climb). It's just enough random (things like slipping, etc.) that can happen in addition to the rope climb at the end).  Unsure of the exact length of the tower (or time limit), but that's for the forum people to obsess over. Lord knows we saw Nagano fail this 3 times before he finally defeated it in Sasuke 17. Each final attempt being completely different from each other. And who can forget the Spider Climb fail from Jordan Jovtchev from Sasuke 8?

Sasuke 30's Final Stage Tower ©Masato Inui

This is what it looks like completely lit. It's.. beautiful even though I felt like I was looking at an American Tower. LOL  Still though I love the lighting and they should be commended for a gorgeous job. If THIS doesn't inspire people, nothing else will.

Sasuke 30 lit up from a distance ©H.Matsukawa

And here is the proof that people can see the course at night from the rooftops of their own homes. This photo was taken from someone who lives not far from Midoriyama studios. It's literally impossible to not know what is being recorded.  With the tower being lit up so dramatically and all 4 stages backlit, it was clear to the entire town that Sasuke was being recorded. I saw dozens of these photos on social media from the neighbors. Now if it was me living there, I would have employed a telephoto lens. LOL!!

Kenji Darvish 樽美酒研二  awaiting his turn in Sasuke 30 ©Kenji Darvish

I'll create a separate Official Airing (OA) post when we get it from TBS in the future. However, there was a post made by Kenji Darvish 樽美酒研二 (whom you might remember from Sasuke 28 - he is the air drummer for a group named ゴールデンボンバー (Golden Bomber)) where he references an announcement from his management agency saying that the date for Sasuke 30 on TBS (Japan) was July 3rd.  However, I was told by Inui himself it was July 1st.  So, until I read it on the TBS site I'll just say Sasuke 30 airs early July, 2014 which is still a month and a half away. Until then, I'm excited to have as much information as we have now!  Thank you to the Sasuke production team for the awesome information! Btw, as an aside.  Notice the awesome T-shirt the cameraman has that had the taping dates printed on the back of the friggin' shirt!  Yes, Sasuke was recorded over two days.

「SASUKE2014」放送日時は7月3日木曜19時から今回は4時間の放送です! これから放送に向けてPRをしていきます。フォロワーの皆さんも視聴率アップのため、ぜひPRをお願いします!!!

EDIT: TBS officially confirmed the July 3rd Date and time.

New Generation Member Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 and Sasuke 27 Veteran/Sasuke ASEAN Open Champion Drew Dreschel ©Drew Dreschel

Now the elephant in the room.  TBS was so gracious in giving live information that they gave out the same amount of information that they would in a television commercial.  So hints at stages and terms of completion of said stages were not only hinted but outright told.  The live tweeting also from Midoriyama also hinted how far they got into filming throughout the course of the weekend. So, if you are NOT one that wants to know levels of completion (and no they didn't say who advanced past the first stage) then you may want to avoid my blog or the TBS Twitter or Facebooks. I always yelled in the past that TBS doesn't promote their stuff more often however, I can't say that anymore with the Sasuke Rising production team. I am HAPPY this is happening.  So far it's just social media, I'm unaware of how they do in print or local television yet. Still, it's no different than in the past where they would do commercials with the announcer yelling "zomg someone is in the final please watch".  I used to make light of that information in the past and as more and more "new" viewers are introduced to the TBS media style they are shocked at the levels of information that is shared.  This, is not new how they function when they do care about the show. So far, this is the most information shared given how far in advanced we have received it.  This is usually saved for the television commercials. Still, there are people in the past (and present) who have been consistent in avoiding ALL "spoilers" including these types of information which I consider official. So, with that in mind, this is their official warning to not read my blog posts from this point on as well until July, 2014's official airing.  Obviously boards as well as this is the whole purpose of the forums.  As far as this current set of facts is concerned, it was plastered over social media as an extension to their promotion of the show by the official production team and official television distributor. I have only posted official information as rumors don't interest me and can cause more trouble than it's worth.  Personally when I find ANY information to be "official" and part of the advertisement process I will post it. I don't have spoiler tags on the blog for that reason.  As such, I will be following it closely, especially when they start the video commercials. Also if/when a competitor list is officially posted on the TBS site, I will do that as well. All that said, I'm so excited to watch this event!  As more official information is released I will be posting updates.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

2014 Maguro Festival Photos

(top row) New Star Kazuma Asa 朝一眞, Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 (holding on to son Taiou 太皇), New Star Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒  and New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志
(bottom row) All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 (with Nagano's son Kaiou 塊王) and Sasuke All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 ©Hitoshi Kanno

As is tradition here on Rambling Rican, I'm writing about the Maguro Festival again!  I've mentioned I'd be doing this before and this year didn't disappoint with the amount of photos I was able to get within just a day or two! I believe this year was a record for photos!  Thanks everyone for being patient.  This year real life issues including illness and death in the family had delayed this blog post until now.  For those who aren't familiar with this at all, the 23rd Annual Maguro Festival 第23回串木野まぐろフェスティバル took place in Kagoshima Prefecture on Saturday, April 26 and Sunday April 27, 2014 in the city of Ichiki-Kushikino. This of course happens during Golden Week in Japan

 23rd Annual Maguro Festival 第23回串木野まぐろフェスティバル Poster

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. 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 (as he's famously done in the past.. fresh from a hospital stay) 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.  

   Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠, Sasuke All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 and All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 ©Shingo Yamamoto

This incidentally is my 6th year covering this event on my blog.  The first year I knew of it's existence was during the Sasuke Mania days.  My first blog on the event was part of the now defunct Sasuke Maniac episodes that ran during May, 2008.  TBS ran 2 episodes on the festival alone. (Part 1 and Part 2)  The following year 2009 was a lot quieter as Sasuke Maniac had gone off the air.  Thanks to Ube I was able to get photos of the event.  We did however get video for the first time on Youtube of their individual runs.  In 2010 we had less pictures but another set of Youtube videos.  In 2011 we had more photos than usual but less video.  In 2012 we had more photos than usual but no video.  2013 we had a good number of photos but no video.

 New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志, New Star Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒 and Sasuke All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 ©Hitoshi Kanno

Along with 3 of the 6 All-stars (All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟, All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 and Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠), 3 Shin Sedai (New Star Kazuma Asa 朝一眞, New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 and New Star Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒) made the trip to Kagoshima. For those still getting used to the name Shin Sedai (新世代) literally means "New Generation" (or the "New Stars" deriving from the All-stars).  Seems the changing of the guard is happening even down in the Maguro Festival.  More focus on the new generation is being placed now that some of the All-stars are officially retired (Bunpei and Akiyama).

Kanno's wife Emiko 笑子 with their son Yuuto 雄仁, New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志, New Star Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒, New Star Kazuma Asa 朝一眞 and Sasuke All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟
Dinner the night before ©Shingo Yamamoto

This year we had a lot of personal photos from them as they traveled, each from their own regions. The group coming in from the Kanto Region all flew together.  They shared many photos from arriving at the airport to eating dinner together when they arrived.

All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 and Kanno's son Yuuto 雄仁 ©Hitoshi Kanno

Takeda, who was visiting with Shingo, also flew with the crew and joined them for breakfast.  Seems he shaved his mustache and beard before heading to Kagoshima as well!  Here he is posing with Kanno's baby Yuuto.

Kanno's son Yuuto 雄仁 and Sasuke All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 ©Hitoshi Kanno

Shingo's turn to play with the baby.  Seems the boys just swapped out of the same seat for the photo! LOL

Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 ©Makoto Nagano

Later that morning they met up with Captain Nagano, who incidentally is the host of the Sasuke corner at the event.  For those who aren't used to seeing the cabin, this is his new ship, The 50th Konpiramaru 第50金比羅丸.

Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠, Sasuke All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 and All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 ©Makoto Nagano

I love how Shingo always goofs around with the photos.  And by the way I now also have the same shirt that Shingo has.  Thanks Sasuke Malaysia!

Goofing around out at sea ©Shingo Yamamoto

What proceeded was a slew of photos of all 6 guys playing around on Nagano's ship deck.  This photo in particular is hilarious to me because of the unfortunate placement of Kanno's hands.. it looks like he's caught stripping!  By this point though, Shingo is becoming an expert selfie taker!

New Stars Kazuma Asa 朝一眞, New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 and New Star Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒 ©Makoto Nagano

Again, I know this isn't the Maguro Festival but this is the first time we get a "behind the scenes" scrapbook before the event officially started.

 All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 and Sasuke All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 ©Shingo Yamamoto

And.. because THIS is my favorite photo of them all.  If you haven't figured this out yet, Takeda and Shingo are reenacting the famous scene in the 1997 movie Titanic. I literally spit out water all over my keyboard when I opened this photo. I was not at all prepared.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in the movie Titanic

Though in all fairness.. Takeda's hands should be at Shingo's waist.  Still though, we instantly figured out what they were doing, so all is forgiven.

  New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 (with Yuuto 雄仁) and his wife Emiko 笑子 ©Shingo Yamamoto

Not to be outdone, Hitoshi and Emiko also did the pose. However, I'm sure they aren't on the ship so it doesn't count! LOL  Granted Hitoshi can't hold his wife with both hands as he's holding their baby. That said he did get one hand on the waist so I give them partial credit!

  Goofing around out at sea ©Shingo Yamamoto

I'm not even going to ask what they are doing. LOL  Still though I'm happy they had gorgeous weather to go out at sea like that. The past few years it was either raining or dreary/overcast.

  Sasuke boys hanging out on Nagano's boat ©Shingo Yamamoto

I'm happy they had fun!  Them standing at the edge like that with no railings though is totally freaking me out right now...

Maguro Festival grounds ©seiiji

Now we turn our attention to the event itself.  It took place over 2 days.  You'll notice the weather was up and down over the weekend so some photos are sunny and others are cloudy. I don't believe it rained though, so that's good news.

  Maguro Festival grounds ©aokinagano

Here we are at the entrance to the Festival marking the 23rd year.  Just like any county fair, there's a lot of events and food kiosks to partake. Sasuke Corner is just one event.
 金比羅丸船長 (Konpiramaru Captain) Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠
All-Stars Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 and Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩
New Stars Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 and Kazuma Asa 朝一眞 ©aokinagano

Tucked in a corner is the Sasuke event.  There are 4 demonstrations during the weekend.  Each day at 11 am and again at 2:30 pm.  Seems Ryo was a last minute invitation as his name was not on the poster this year.

Sasuke corner ©aokinagano

And yes there are/will be live fish for the kids to play with/catch to take home.  As with previous years, this is actually a coveted event for the kids where they have to draw lots to have a chance to get in the pool.

Sasuke corner ©aokinagano

Looks like they haven't updated the obstacles for the event again this year.  I personally think it's fine. By this point they have memorized how to build this course and have tested it with the crowd for a few years.

Sasuke corner ©aokinagano

Especially since children also partake in these obstacles it's good that it's not crazy difficult.  Just enough difficulty for the stars to show off and easy enough that kids can play around on it.

 Sasuke corner ©aokinagano

The way the event works, the set is open to pretty much anyone to play with (within reason, there are people monitoring the course), then during the 2 demonstration times the guys come out and do a small course run through for those in attendance.

 Sasuke corner ©aokinagano

Overall though I'm happy the event still continues year after year.  Not sure how much more it will continue to do so. I know it's become a staple in the Maguro Festival so I doubt it will be going anywhere anytime soon.

 Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 ©aokinagano

A reminder that this event is held by the port authority in the city and the Sasuke corner host is after all a local fisherman.

Sasuke corner ©aokinagano

Most of the photos today concentrated on the Warped Wall (in Japan it's known as the Soritatsu Kabe そり立つ壁).

Sasuke corner ©aokinagano

Seems they added the Crazy Cliffhanger クレイジークリフハンガー as well for this year. I'm not focusing too much on the obstacles, but since I know many do want to see them, here they are.

Sasuke corner ©aokinagano

And another view of the pool with the obstacles above them and the log balance thing across the center.

 Sasuke All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟, New Star Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒, New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志, Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 (holding on to son Kaiou 塊王's hand), Kazuma Asa 朝一眞 and All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 ©Koteku

The full crew have arrived!  7 of them this year. Geez Kaiou is growing up fast! I'm LOL about Kaiou brandishing a toy gun.  He will be 5 years old this June! Btw, anyone catch the spray paint on the can that sprayed that shirt on to Takeda? LOL

New Star Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒, New Star Kazuma Asa 朝一眞, Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 ©Koteku

I'm going to just post the photos back to back as I don't think I need to comment on all the photos. Enjoy!

New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 ©Koteku

 Raise your hand if you're Sure!

Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 ©Koteku

New Star Kazuma Asa 朝一眞 ©Hitoshi Kanno

Takeda going up the warped wall ©kzum1

All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 and Sasuke All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 mugging for the camera ©kinacco_marinn

Takeda seems to be a chameleon!  He's trying a few different hair colors and styles this year.  Seems every photo of him he looks different.  Shingo is getting goofier as he ages. I love it!

Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠  ©aokinagano

Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 ©Hitoshi Kanno

New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 holding a festival goer with Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 monitoring the line and All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 helping out another festival goer ©Ryo Matachi

Not sure if Takeda is overly enjoying touching a girl's legs or not.  Kanno looks annoyed he has to wait in line. Nagano's probably happy he can delegate this year!

All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩, All-star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟, New Star Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒, New Star Kazuma Asa 朝一眞 and New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 ©Ryo Matachi

Adore this photo.  Seems they are chilling out having tuna for lunch AND posing at the same time. I love how they all get along.  As usual.. check out Shingo! LOL

Sasuke corner ©Ryo Matachi

I laugh at the Warped Wall photos.  How many people does it take to raise a kid up the wall? Apparently 5!  Takeda again is delegating!

 Sasuke All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 ©Makoto Nagano

Proof that even if he's wearing shorts.. Shingo will hike them even HIGHER!  I wonder what he will do if he wore speedos?

New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 with his son Yuuto 雄仁 ©Makoto Nagano

Proud papa holding his son.  Most people haven't seen him.  Should be a pretty long Sasuke Navi story on him. LOL I want to see the wedding photos!

New Star Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒 helping Nagano's son Kaiou 塊王 ©Makoto Nagano

Geez Kaiou is growing up so fast.  I blinked and he's grown into a little boy from a baby. I also see Ryo still is recovering from that massive sunburn from ASEAN Cup.

 New Star Kazuma Asa 朝一眞 with a festival goer ©Makoto Nagano

New Star Kazuma Asa 朝一眞 All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 and New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 ©Makoto Nagano

Warped Wall ©kinacco_marinn

Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 with a fan ©seiiji

New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 and Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 ©Koteku

Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 ©Koteku

"Shhhhhhh....  just stay in that position. That's right.. shut your mouth.. I don't want to hear you..."  Nagano is a sadist. Kanno is a bystander.

 Sasuke All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 and All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 ©Koteku

I had like 10 different quotes for this photo. None I care to repeat.. publicly. For now, I love watching friends spend time with each other.

Sasuke All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 ©Koteku

 So.. is he talking to himself? Someone in particular? or singing to himself? Or out to lunch?

Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠, New Star Kazuma Asa 朝一眞 and New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 ©Koteku

Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志©Koteku

Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 ©Koteku

Ah.. I knew he wouldn't disappoint me.  Here's the annual Nagano annoyed™ look. LOL "Wtf are they doing down there.. seriously.."

Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and New Star Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒©Koteku

New Star Kazuma Asa 朝一眞 ©Koteku

New generation loves showing their underwear or nothing at all. Maybe they are wannabe underwear models?

Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 ©Koteku

New Stars Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒 and Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 ©Koteku

I am convinced "crunchy orange" is sold by the gallon in Japan.  Seriously folks. I thought the whole point of dying your hair is to look DIFFERENT than everyone else? Kinda defeats the purpose if everyone has the same hair color...

New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 ©Koteku

"Check out dem guns!" Wannabe underwear model flashing his pecs. He works hard for the money so you better treat him right.

Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 ©Koteku

Nagano now officially personally enjoying posting to Facebook. Only took him almost 40 years to learn how. LOL

Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 ©Koteku

Yeah yeah.. I'm being yelled at for calling him old.  To be fair, we are only 5 months apart in age. but.. at least I knew how the internet worked for a long while. LOL

Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠  and All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 ©Koteku

Takeda showing the crowd how to do a proper Sasuke caning™ ritual.  And.. seriously.. how tight is that shirt? I mean will he totally rip it if he opens his arms more? I guess we found another use for Sasuke Spray™.

aokinagano and Sasuke All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟 ©aokinagano

Here's one of my photographers today!  I actually don't know his name. Just his twitter handle.  He's been kind enough to send photos for the blog for a couple of years now!

All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩, New Stars Kazuma Asa 朝一眞 and Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒 ©aokinagano
 New Star Kazuma Asa 朝一眞 ©aokinagano

 aokinagano with Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 ©aokinagano

Oh! He's a smart guy! He burned the CD Single (since it was sold as an MP3) where Nagano sings and put it in a CD case with the printed cover.

aokinagano with Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 ©aokinagano

And to top it off Nagano is totally cheesing over the fact that he autographed it!  I sooooo want to get him to sing that song somewhere.

 New Star Kazuma Asa 朝一眞 ©aokinagano

aokinagano with his friends at the festival ©aokinagano

Here's the group that aokinagano hung out with.  Included is actually Keita Tomino 富野恵太 (#4 Cliffer) (middle)

Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 and All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 ©aokinagano

New Star Kazuma Asa 朝一眞 and Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠  ©aokinagano

aokinagano with New Star Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒 ©aokinagano

Sasuke corner ©aokinagano

Seems Asa fell and is totally cheesing on the floor of the Warped Wall!  Did he drop that girl? Or did he slip before she tried to go up?

Sasuke corner  ©aokinagano

Maybe it's an excuse to place their hands on each others butts? Yes? No?  Seriously.. it's a small kid.. why are they trying to hoist each OTHER up? LOL

 aokinagano with New Star Kazuma Asa 朝一眞 ©aokinagano

 Sasuke corner ©aokinagano

New Star Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒, Sasuke All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟, All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩 and New Star Kazuma Asa 朝一眞 ©aokinagano

Sasuke corner ©aokinagano

  New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 ©aokinagano

Sasuke corner  ©aokinagano

Sasuke corner ©aokinagano

I wonder that made Ryo totally facepalm in this photo!  Asa is doubling over laughing.  wtf is Takeda doing? LOL

aokinagano with New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志  ©aokinagano

Sasuke corner  ©aokinagano

Sasuke All-Star Shingo Yamamoto 山本進悟, All-Star Toshihiro Takeda 竹田敏浩, New Star Kazuma Asa 朝一眞, New Star Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒, New Star Hitoshi Kanno 菅野仁志 and Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠  ©aokinagano

LOL Kanno looks like he's saying he fills out the black wifebeater™ shirt better than Nagano does!  At least it looks that way.

Sasuke corner  ©aokinagano

Thanks to everyone involved for providing photos.  Seems with the good weather people were able to freely take great photos and post them online for everyone to see. They seem to get better every year! If I get more I'll add another blog entry. No word yet on videos.  In the meantime the next thing on the event is Sasuke 30 (sometime this summer).