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Friday, March 13, 2015

Nico Nico broadcast review

As I mentioned before, the Sasuke production team was live streaming a special Nico Nico broadcast where they would be discussing the obstacles sent in by fans.  This was part of a contest that TBS held where you could submit an obstacle to be included in the upcoming Sasuke 31 tournament that's airing later this summer. Winners of this contest would get a guest pass to Sasuke 31 to see their obstacle in action.  The show lasted 2 hours.

Sasuke Director Masato Inui 乾雅人

Right off the bat you had the Sasuke Director Inui in rare form.  He's hilarious to talk to with a wicked sense of humor and very personable.  He was main host along with the rest of the production team some of which have been with Sasuke from the very beginning of the show back in 1997.

In fact, Inui presented the originators of the ideas for the Spider Walk and the Warped Wall to the live audience (in order on opposite sides of the screen).  From that introduction they went straight to the fan submissions. The way it worked is that Inui and company would get a batch of print outs and one by one they would hand it over to the woman in front of them (she's currently offscreen).

This woman was sitting on the floor just under the camera for most of the broadcast. She would then face the drawing to the camera so everyone watching at home could see each individual obstacle idea that was submitted during this contest. Btw as an aside.. I know who sent that in and it was supposed to be a joke. LOL  Very surprising to see it start off the show! Ahahahahahha They joked that the obstacle is impossible as someone could impale themselves on the 2nd pole if they missed.

There were several dozen submissions (more than they expected actually) with several countries sending in multiple entries.  They were hoping to find 3-4 obstacles for the First Stage and 1 for the Third Stage.  Some entries they managed to get far ahead of time so they were able to have isolated views for the camera like this. I would say they did this with about 20% of the obstacles submitted though. It was obvious that they were not expecting that many entries as only a few submissions got this treatment.

Some obstacles you could hear the roar in the background of the production staff just cackling in laughter of the absurdity of it all.  This one in particular was more of a "what's the point of the handstand/backflip?"  That actually was just the start of some obstacles that left you scratching your head.  I know half the time I was watching I kept wondering if someone from SMF submitted it. LOL  I then realized that no.. it was the Japanese fan submissions and they are crazier than even those fans in SMF!

A few times they honestly tried to figure out how to do it. They would get up and try to figure out with their bodies how they would actually perform the obstacle.  Remember that these people have to BUILD those obstacles so these instances were interesting to me. They even went int Sasuke trivia (since there was a Body Prop obstacle) explaining that they won't bring that back because it was difficult to get the right spacing. Everyone's arms and legs are different and it would be unfair since they can't properly adjust it for each body type.

This obstacle submission in particular caught their eye because it was just an upside down chessboard.  As you might have guessed, it's basically a variation of the Globe Grasp.  The thing that made it even MORE interesting is that we know who submitted it. It was Miska Sutela from Finland. Funny that he would submit a 3rd Stage obstacle since that's what he adores the most.

A close up of the obstacle in color.  They must have gotten this obstacle pretty early if they already had a zoomed version in color for everyone at home to see.  They were quite impressed with the idea.

This is also another obstacle submission they took time to try figure out.  First Stage obstacle of a pendulum pipe slider combination.. I hope they are kidding because this looks HARD for a First Stage. LOL

Some obstacles came with videos as well apparently (they only showed this one).  This one was an obvious foreigner (whom I found out later was another SMF member!) performing the obstacle he designed and submitted to the show.  The obstacle he sent (not sure if it was another) had hooks in it though and Inui doesn't accept anything with hooks since people could get caught in them causing a safety concerns.  Health and Safety would never approve.

I'm not posting all of the obstacles since there were a lot of them and a lot were crazy stuff that honestly I wondered if they even had Physics.  This one in particular of a Spiderwalk where you could ONLY use your hands.

Inui tried to show exactly what that obstacle was described.  He shimmied from side to side to show how slow someone had to go if they couldn't use their feet.

This one made the entire room cackle and chat explode.  They literally cut out chairs from magazines online to make the obstacle. It was hilarious and this went on for a while.

This one I laughed out-loud because I thought of a Sasuke sign before (Ya'll know my obsession with the ultimate plank from Viking).  This one however, is a CLIFFHANGER sign.  The only thing they really said about this was the "K" would be a nightmare to get over because of the angles.  They'd probably have finger injuries on that letter.

This one took a while to figure out and much discussion ensued as to how this would work.  There was a lot of kanji on the screen so it wasn't like I could read it.

But I didn't need to know Japanese because you saw them physically try to envision it.

Then Inui got up and used the whiteboard behind him and started to visually work it out.

And then shimmy the motion to show to us it's basically an Iron Paddler + Cross slider obstacle. Yeah.. that's difficult.

Then there was mine.. LOL Of COURSE I was going to do a modified Ultimate Plank. I mean.. I HAD to!  Inui joked "you know we can't be the show to constantly steals from another show.. can we?"  Everyone in chat recognized this from Viking. I didn't even have to write the SASUKE Sign at all.. they instantly recognized it so it was obvious it won't get picked. It's too steeped in M9 history even if they brought back the Spin Bridge/Cannonball Run for Sasuke 28. And no they didn't show the 1st Stage obstacle I sent (Rope Swing).

Then came a huge set of obstacles from one person that they were impressed with. These were all computer generated stuff and gorgeous to look at. I think there were like 5-6 total? He was sooooo impressed how creative the foreigners were with the obstacles.

More importantly he was impressed with how many foreigners took part in the contest. He was quite pleased. I personally liked this one.  At one point though someone (off screen) pulled out another stack of papers.. the pile thudded on the table to the left because it was so thick. They didn't even touch it.

This went on for about an hour when out of nowhere Inui tells the "Page Lady" to get off the floor and have a seat with the rest of the crew.  What's hilarious (and sooooo Inui) is that he started to have a random conversation about her personal life! LOL He asked how old she was and if she had a boyfriend (for the record she's single and 30 years old). LOL This went on for about 10 minutes! She was obviously embarrassed as she was not prepared to be the center of attention.  The chat loved it.

This portion of the show was supposed to be dedicated to talking to the special guests.  Inui then proceeds to tell everyone that all the Sasuke competitors he contacted balked at being on the show.. so.. he decided to put them on the spot. He was given a phone and then proceeded to call some of them on the phone!  Some joked in chat that they should call Yamada but Inui said "it's almost 11 pm.. he's in bed right now". He said if they do this again he'll call him early before he goes to sleep.  It's funnier when you know that Inui notoriously is a light sleeper. He's constantly on Twitter at really odd times in the middle of the night. He jokes that he's the Living Dead.

He then got on his phone to get phone numbers and then called Masashi Hioki 日置 将士.  Hioki was shocked since he had NO idea he was going to be called. He (luckily) was watching live. He asked Inui to NOT bring back the Drum Hopper. LOL

Hioki went on to say that Ryo and Yuuji were watching and Inui quips back "oh I don't care".  That sent the room cackling.  I'm used to seeing this side of him.  Quick to joke and make light of a situation and prank whoever he can. He's such a troll sometimes. LOL

He hears someone in the background and instructs Hioki to get off the phone and pass it to his wife. You hear the kids freaking out in the background and then a shy wife gets on the phone.  Page Lady was almost crying at this point because the whole situation was hysterical.

And that's pretty much it. I'm sure on the boards everyone will psychoanalyze the pics that were shown. There were a LOT of them.  Inui admits there were so many that they didn't get to show.  They didn't announce a winner.  He suspects it may be sometime next month however the announcement will come from TBS and posted on the main Sasuke Rising site. All in all the show as funny and a good watch. It was a bit slow at times but most of that is because we didn't know Japanese. I was lucky to have someone who knew Japanese watch with me but even then it was a lot to try to translate on the fly. I am still thankful they did it though and hope they continue to help promote the show by thanking the hardcore fans like this.  They do plan on doing Sasuke Park again this year and also another mall-type promotional show (like LaLaPort) but at a different location.

Finally they announced formally on the stream the pre-orders for the official Sasuke 30 - 5 DVD Disk Limited Edition Set).  The price is ¥12,000(税抜)  (approximately $100 USD without taxes) and ¥12,960(税込) (with taxes) and include free Shipping WITHIN Japan only. It is for sale online on the TBS Store.  They have a pre-order deadline of April 10, 2015.  They have a release date of May 29, 2015.  Please remember this is a Japan DVD Region 2 release.  While I'm excited they are finally doing a DVD release (I've been petitioning for YEARS for something like this to happen), I am disappointed it is Japan only.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Nagano baby has arrived!

Edit: We have his name!
Nagano baby boy #3! ©Makoto Nagano

As I mentioned before, we are were on Nagano Baby Watch™.  However, we had a pretty big scare this morning (again).  I got an email saying that the Naganos (Sasuke Legend Makoto Nagano 長野誠's and his wife Asami 阿紗美) welcomed a new baby boy (thanks Tricia!). I started to think.. wait a minute.. isn't he .. early? Like, way early?  So it seems, just like the last 2 sons that were born, Asami was rushed to emergency cesarean surgery.

I took to Twitter (because of a later photo - see below) and someone who was following Makoto Nagano's Facebook let me know about the message that was attached to the photos. Because someone else sends me updates on them (I don't have Facebook), I had a link to the mobile updates page for him. However, I don't get to see the wall posts explaining the photos. Thanks to Ciro I was able to read the 2 paragraph update written by Makoto Nagano.  Thank you so much!

平成27年3月5日 16時8分 2352g 緊急手術で、長野家3人目の男の子が誕生しました ヘソの緒が身体や首に巻きついて、心音が弱まり緊急で帝王切開で出しました

I had to leave the emotes because they are just adorable and gives his emotions for each of the sentences. The gist of it is that on March 5, 2015 his son was born at 4:08 PM. He weighed 2352 grams (5.18 lbs). He was happy the baby was born safely but was terrified at the emergency surgery part.

ちょうど、休みで帰っていたので良かったんだけど、どうせなら4月に生まれてほしかった… でも生まれてしまえば、母子共に元気であればいいかな まだ、名前が決まってないので決まったら載せます 今後とも長野家を宜しくお願い致します

The second part of the message was that he is acknowledging that he should have been born in April. He also says that at this time (especially since they thought they had another month left) they have not decided on the baby's name yet.  He thanks everyone and assures that Mother and Baby are safe and recovering.

Birth announcement ©Makoto Nagano

Here's the message I had posted on Twitter asking people to help with the name. Across the top is Nagano Asami 長野阿紗美 (I feel like an idiot especially since I should have recognized Asami's name by now). One thing of note is that he is also tall!  47 centimeters or 18.5 inches!  If I'm not mistaken (seems I didn't have those stats for Kaiou), he was born the tallest!  Wow.. if he was born on time that baby would have been huge!  Either way, Thanks to Makoto Nagano for sharing the news for everyone to see!

Latest Chibi-Nagano! ©Makoto Nagano

Finally, (while I'm thinking of it) the 24th Annual Maguro Festival 第24回串木野まぐろフェスティバル will take place the end of next month in Kagoshima Prefecture on Saturday April 25 and Sunday April 26, 2015 in the city of Ichiki-Kushikino. This of course happens during Golden Week in Japan (this year it is the weekend just prior to Golden week). 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.  This will be my 7th year covering this event on my blog!

Update from Makoto Nagano on his Facebook ©Makoto Nagano

EDIT:  Makoto updated his Facebook with the name of their 3rd son together with Asami.  (thanks Emily and Ciro for the heads up!)  His name is "Genou" ( げんおう ). The Kanji for it is 玄皇. (Thanks Bret for the translation!) What is interesting about the name is that it has the same "King/Emperor" part on the end of name as his other 2 boys.  Kaiou's is Sea King, Taiou's is Great King and Genou is "Turtle" + "King"!  Makoto even posted the picture of a 🐢 to make sure!  So he's totally related Master Roshi!