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!
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.
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.