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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sasuke related news - Sasuke World Cup, Sasuke 31 Taping, Sasuke Vietnam Tornado

Over the past 24 hours, major news has come out that have been in the works for at least a couple of years (possibly longer). TBS President went ahead and announced their plans to create a Sasuke World Cup. He didn't mention timeline or format, however he did confirm that it will be held at Midoriyama Studios (which is not a mountain..) in Japan and run by TBS. As more information comes out I'll post whatever is publicly posted. There's a LOT going on in the background and this has changed a few times. This will be an international event held and hosted by TBS at the same site that Sasuke normally records. They've learned the lessons from the previous failed attempts (we are looking at you ASEAN Open Cup) and after seeing the USA do a much smaller version on American soil, they are now confident that people will be interested in their own version in Japan shifting the focus back to the original show which is still very much in existence. I'm excited because they are tying more things to Sasuke Japan giving it more relevance and importance. Should this work, Sasuke Japan (the numbered series) will continue for many years to come. This also will give an outlet to the foreigners that up to now have been either locked out or severely cut from the Sasuke Rising era of the original show back in Japan.





I do find it amusing that they mentioned the WipeOut lawsuit (that ABC lost) over the fact that ABC stole the TBS concept of Takeshi's Castle (what we know as MXC) in order to try to get away from paying TBS for the license fee in this exact article. It's odd because they never mentioned that before.  Still, they have the right to their own format and don't need to pay anyone to do it.  I think this past year has been a huge lesson to TBS.  NBC has their own format but they at least are partnered in (and paid for the rights, something ABC never did) so there's no lawsuit there since it's with TBS' blessing that ANW exists.  However, I don't see NBC as being a part of this.  The formats differ in a lot of ways and the focus of the shows are now opposite of each other.  TBS promotes Sasuke and NBC promotes ANW.  They are no longer the same show.  Curious how it's going to affect the ANW: USA vs. Series that is normally running on NBC the past couple of years. Hopefully TBS' plans will come to fruition and we see a different take on the Sasuke international front. Everyone by now knows what I feel about what NBC did to that international competition.  My HOPE is that it will be within a year. I know a lot has been coming out of TBS and Sasuke lately (especially with the reorganization of Sasuke Europe) with TBS trying to get their show back under TBS control. It's only fitting honestly. Priority wise (and listed last in the article) is Sasuke 31 airing this summer and by now you all know the taping date for it since they announced that publicly too in the past 24 hours. LOL

Speaking of which.. yeah.. so.. right. I'm laughing so hard right now. Here I am being super careful not to reveal the taping date and they announce it worldwide on their website! ahahahahhaaha Now ya'll who contributed to the IndieGogo know when I'll be in Japan! I can now use my now 7  year old video!! SO EXCITED! SO EXCITED!  ONE MONTH TO GO!  That's cool though they will have a lottery audience drawing! I hope it works and it brings excitement to the show! I gave them the suggestion a few years back and it worked well with the early airing of Sasuke 30 (that also had a lottery). I am sure people will LOVE being able to see it live as it tapes! So if you live/work in Japan, it can't hurt to send in your information to be invited to watch! Remember that this is a lottery, it is ONLY for audience participation (since Auditions are complete) and you pay for your own way.

 Sasuke Vietname sign ©Ryo Matachi

Oh yeah.. Sasuke Vietnam almost got reckt! I kid you not.. a couple of days ago I read about Sasuke Director Masato Inui 乾雅人 running for cover because they were having storms. I knew they were going to have thunderstorms.. but I couldn't believe what happened. A TORNADO HIT THEM!

 Tornado damage to Sasuke Vietnam ©Masato Inui

When the sun came up they realized the extent of the damage.  Luckily no one was injured (just severely shaken) and in typical Inui fashion he joked that Mothra was flapping it's mighty wings totally wrecking the place. LOL (Please say I'm not the only one old enough to get that joke... /cries)

Tornado damage to Sasuke Vietnam ©Masato Inui

They got super lucky because the only things that were damaged were announcer booths, and light riggings.  The course itself was undamaged. Seems where the tornado touched down was just to the side of the course, so outside of litterer debris, they don't have to rebuild the course. If you notice in the left in this photo, the Jumping Spider is far in the distance.

Tornado damage to Sasuke Vietnam ©Masato Inui

Inui mentioned that they do have to rebuild a 7 meter (about 23 foot) steel light rig that was blow off by the tornado from it's original position and mangled on the ground.  I'm assuming that this is what we are looking at.  So while the production staff will have to move to another location while they film, it could have been a whole lot worse.

New Generation Star Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒 surveying the tornado damage to Sasuke Vietnam ©Masato Inui

They are obviously shaken up.  The power of a tornado that ripped a 7 meter/23 foot metal rig and turned it into bent mess way off from it's original position could have killed them. Especially considering that everyone was on set that day.  So needless to say, Inui was right that they had a close call and are lucky to be alive.

The Rope Ladder (ロープラダー) ©Ryo Matachi

24 hours later Ryo started to post photos of the course under the lights.  From a production standpoint, the show must go on.  The final auditions were yesterday and today with production for stage 1 officially starting on Friday.  Vietnam floated the idea of doing a Japan vs. event last minute but everyone is balking at it because it's sooo close to Sasuke 31 that they didn't want to risk injury.  Now that we know the date, they are right.. with a month to go until taping of Sasuke 31 in Japan they can't afford to do it. I hope they don't get any more tornados and the show can continue taping without incident.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Sasuke related updates - AnimeNext, Podcast, Sasuke Vietnam

AnimeNext poster

I just realized I never posted on this, but last week I got my approval for my Sasuke panel at the anime convention called AnimeNext.  If you remember from last year, I did my very first panel named "Sasuke/Ninja Warrior impact in the USA Market".  My goal for this year is to rework the same presentation. I learned a LOT from last year and I have to tailor the presentation to my audience which comprise predominantly new ANW newbie who haven't had the benefit of being up to date with the current iteration of Sasuke still going on in Japan.  With G4 gone, and both NBC and Esquire not showing Sasuke Rising, outside of us hardcore fans, most people just have not seen the new shows (Sasuke 28-31).  I was happy (but surprised) to see how eager the audience was to hear the information.  I was a bit sad how little Sasuke information was out there so I have to make sure that I cover mostly the Sasuke Rising era more prominently.  They have missed 4 years of tournaments! The anime convention is as the graphic says, at the Garden State Exhibit Center on June 12-14, 2015 in Somerset, New Jersey. I'm not entirely sure which day I will be getting (hopefully the Saturday) but I'll post any news on that as the date gets closer. Wish me luck!

I've been asked A LOT during the past 7 years I've been doing this blog if I would be interested in doing a Sasuke podcast.  I've done a few YouTube interviews before but I've been hesitant to do more for a number of reasons.  However, after the experience from last year's AnimeNext and the huge support for my upcoming trip to Japan to write a book about Sasuke's history, I decided to give it a shot.  I'm partnering up with my friend William Marchese from TwoDashTwo for the podcast which I hope to do on a monthly basis.  William has done a lot for the Sasuke community including hosting live Sasuke tournament Call-In Pre-Shows over the past few years. He's also held successful Sasuke Guessing Games on SMF for every tournament among other things in the years he's been a fan of the show.  You may have heard the name on my blog as he was one of my videographers for the AnimeNext panel last year. I'll let you know when we have the first episode up as he will be co-hosting with me and will house the video of it on one of his YouTube channels.  We are still organizing and still coming up with format and name of the podcast. I'll keep you posted!

New Generation Star Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒 and Sasuke Director Masato Inui 乾雅人 ©Ryo Matachi

Meanwhile later this week starts officially Sasuke Vietnam's taping.  Director Inui finally was able to make the trip to Vietname for the final preparations. Along for the trip is 2-Time Sasuke finalist Ryo Matachi. You may have remembered him from both of the USA vs. Japan and USA vs. World shows that NBC hosted.  As expected.. it's friggin' hot during the day... gotta love the South Pacific.  All of the official taping though will occur at night when the temperature is a bit more tolerable.  They are however expecting thunderstorms during the next week so this ought to be a wild ride.  Taping is expected to take upwards to 2 weeks.

Third Stage ©Masato Inui

Director Inui was nice to post photos of the course as it's being finalized.  Thank you! Taping starts on Friday so these are photos from the weekend before.  I do notice the pool liners!  Oooh if Japan was as clean.. LOL!

First Stage Jumping Spider ©Masato Inui

I can't tell from this picture of what comes before it (as I had some questions on whether or not it was the cross bridge or the hedgehog.  I'm sure we will find out soon.  Either way, I see that they are properly painting the obstacles as was presented on the 3D mock ups.

Second Stage Double Warped Walls ©Masato Inui

I still find it amusing that they put the Double Warped Walls at the end of the 2nd stage. I'm curious how the Vietnamese will do on this course!  All in all I'm very happy with how the production is doing and the fact that they did manage to build a 4 stage course.  This is now officially the 2nd spin off (after the USA) to successfully build a 4 stage Sasuke inspired course. I'm glad TBS is building it though, with the disappointment of the ANW spin off's having a very muted regionals style course, it's refreshing to see the big one being built. It's just awe-inspiring.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sasuke related updates - Sasuke Europe, Sasuke 31, Tokyo Otaku Mode

 2015 Osaka Auditions ©TBS
As I mentioned before, the 2015 Sasuke Auditions have concluded.  These were the final Japan auditions for the upcoming Sasuke 31 tournament.  The first audition was held in Osaka, Japan which took place on Saturday, April 4th.  The format of the auditions was the same as last year (and Sasuke 28's actually) which comprised of Push-ups, 30 second appeal and finally Q&A.  Each hopeful would be assigned a number and told to wait until their number was called. A group of hopefuls would gather in a room where buzzers were placed on the floor.  The groups (I believe of 30) would have to perform push ups in time with the beat of a Taiko drum that was operated by one of the production staff.  Previous auditions had the max at 100 beats (or 100 push ups), though many dropped out well before that. If your knees hit the ground then your counter was stopped and the amount was recorded as completed.  Those in Osaka were treated to the cheering of Sasuke All-star (Mr. Sasuke) Katsumi Yamada 山田勝己. He lives in that area of Japan and shows up every year to cheer on his Tigers. He even took part in the push-up portion.  At the completion of the first group, another group of 30 would be called to do the same thing until they went through all of the invited hopefuls.  They then had to pray that their number was called to continue on through the Interview section of the audition (which I'll explain below).
 2015 Tokyo Auditions ©TBS

The next (and final stop) was in the capital city of Tokyo, Japan.  The Sasuke 31 production team held a one day audition the following weekend on Saturday, April 11th.  Continuing with the explanation of the process, after the hopefuls were evaluated based on the push ups, they then had to wait to see if they passed to the interview stage.  The interview stage was set up in 2 parts. The first was where you were given a "30 second appeal".  This where you are given literally 30 seconds to "sell yourself" directly to a camera within a foot of your face.  This is of course to simulate being recorded on set by the roving reporters..  This is where they gauged your personality and television appeal and quickness of delivery.  Once that was done each hopeful got back in line to wait to see if their number was called again for a more in-depth interview.

 2015 Osaka Auditions - Interview segment ©TBS

Hopefuls were evaluated based on the push ups and then the 30 second appeal and then finally a Q&A with the production staff (in front of Sasuke Director Masato Inui controlling the questions). They would go over your application and asked specific questions to gauge your personality, television appeal, confidence and general interest.  This is after all a television production so this is where they weed out the last bit of people.  No one is immediately told how they did after this.  What waits for them now is a long (and agonizing) wait to hear if they are selected to appear in Sasuke 31.  Each of the invites will be notified (usually email but sometimes phone call) from TBS officially inviting them to the show.  This won't happen (I presume) for another couple of weeks.  As you know already, Sasuke Vietnam is currently being built with production upcoming very fast (the final trials and filming are next week).  That same team headed by Inui has to go to Vietnam first before they go back to Japan to prepare for Sasuke.  So it makes sense that Auditions were held a bit earlier to accommodate that change in schedule. So it could be May (since Vietnam won't even finish taping until almost the 2nd week of May) before they even hear if they are accepted to take part in the 31st tournament.

Tomohiro Kawaguchi 川口 朋広 (left) Shinya Kishimoto 岸本 真弥 (center) and Yuusuke Morimoto 森本 裕介(right)

Speaking of Sasuke 31, I'm in preparations for the trip! Again thanks to all of you IndieGogo Fundraising Campaign Supporters I'll be going to Japan this year for Sasuke 31! I'm super excited!  I ordered and received the printed photos I'm taking to Japan with me in order to be signed.  Remember that you can still order these if you want since IndieGogo has the page set up to still receive donations. There still is time if you wanted an autograph from these three wonderful Sasuke Stars.  I ordered a bunch of these just in case that happens. I wanted to be prepared! If the perks run out (since I have listed as 5 each), I can add a few more lots. I'll gauge how much people are interested in the autograph photos at this stage.

 Dentsu Aegis Network Logo ©Dentsu

Up next is basically tech news involving Sasuke (Japan) and TBS.  TBS International (which is the world-wide advertising arm of TBS Corporate) posted an article on their main page and then linked a  few articles from different sources on their Facebook on a potentially HUGE shift involving Format Rights in Europe.

April 13, 2015, Cannes, France –
Today on the first day of MIPTV in Cannes, France, TBS and Dentsu announced they have entered into a format rights agreement for the sports entertainment program “SASUKE.” Under this agreement, Dentsu acquires the rights to sell the format throughout Europe (excluding four Northern European countries) for two years. By marketing “SASUKE” in Europe, Dentsu will help TBS build on the high popularity and momentum the format currently enjoys around the world.

I'm still trying to gather information on this but it seems that TBS and Dentsu Aegis (a huuuuuuge advertising .. giant) have teamed up to promote Sasuke (SPECIFICALLY SASUKE) in Europe.  The multimillion dollar deal is for 2 years and affects all of Europe except for key regions which should perk your interest.

Under the terms of the agreement Dentsu Inc. will acquire rights to the format in Europe (excluding Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland) with The Story Lab building on the popularity and momentum the format currently enjoys around the world.

The regions exempt.. are all of those that already have Ninja Warrior Europe.  The ones from Ninja Warrior Europe if you remember involve Eccholine and ATS (currently the builder of American Ninja Warrior in the United States and all of the ANW Spin offs - Sweden, Turkey and the most recent, United Kingdom). I'm assuming the other regions listed as exemptions are upcoming tournaments already in pre-production with the same team that currently aren't announced. They might have spoiled the surprise in their press release. LOL

Remember my previous article about why I wasn't blogging about the other ANW spin offs?  This press release may be a direct answer to my concern about the ANW spin offs NOT mirroring the Sasuke "format".  THIS might greatly change the landscape with TBS taking control of Sasuke worldwide and spreading THAT format into Europe.  Only time will tell exactly what is involved and what specific format we are talking about.  If Sasuke Vietnam's format is any indication, this could be a HUGE deal for the hardcore Sasuke fans who prefer the original Japanese version rather than the American Spin off version that's much smaller in the satellite countries.  TBS could be expanding it's control while spreading the one show I love into territory that doesn't have it.  I personally prefer Sasuke's 4-stage "Steel Castle" (the proper name for Sasuke filmed at Midoriyama Studios) being built by TBS (the same team that builds Sasuke Japan's course) on European soil rather than the small 2-stage ANW regionals course in the region of the world.  This deal does not affect American Ninja Warrior at all. That is it's own deal with NBC and that won't be going anywhere. I'm personally excited and look forward to what this deal will turn out to be.  This will also help address the problem of all of those foreigners whom have been wanting to get on the Sasuke course but because Sasuke only holds 100 people and most of them Japanese.  At least Dentsu's size and reputation makes me believe that THIS will be at least in the scale I hope for. Keeping finger's crossed!  P.S. I'm curious if it will involve spreading Sasuke Rising officially into those areas..  I hope so....

 Tokyo Otaku Mode Logo ©Tokyo Otaku Mode

Next is actually from last month but since it's still in standby mode it didn't matter when I wrote about this.  ANOTHER concern of mine may be dealt with soon™. Back in March, TBS International posted a press release about their future partnership with Tokyo Otaku Mode.  A giant website that sells Japanese pop culture products worldwide (in fact their main offices is in the USA).  Their Facebook alone has 17 million likes to give you a heads up on the scale of production.

In addition, TBS plans to market via TOMPS products based on the “SASUKE” sports entertainment program, which continues to win passionate fans around the world.

While their anime section is open to sell TBS based anime products, the Sasuke section is still not available. No date has been announced for its opening but as soon as I find out, trust me.. I'll let you know! Right now, unless you live in Japan and can buy select merchandise from their clunky TBS page, you've been pretty much s.o.l. in getting anything officially licensed Sasuke worldwide. My hope is that this is the start of Sasuke merchandise FINALLY being sold to us foreigners! I'm running out of fingers to cross!!

 Sasuke All-star (Mr. Sasuke) Katsumi Yamada 山田勝己

Earlier yesterday I saw on my Twitter feed a retweet of a hilarious YouTube commercial that is going around in Japan right now. It features Sasuke All-star (Mr. Sasuke) Katsumi Yamada 山田勝己 as a car in various forms.  Oricon published an article and corresponding commercial on Youtube that featured Katsumi and an 18 year old Japan Idol.  Oricon is an entertainment firm (and not a car company) so it makes the commercial even funnier!

And finally, as some of you already noticed, I updated my site with a new banner retiring the 6 year banner and ushering in the 7 year banner! I can't believe time has flown!  March, 2008 was the start of it all and here we are in 2015 and it's still going strong! How much this blog has grown as well in that time period! SQUEEEEEEE!  I also tried to streamline the website so it wasn't as clunky, along with another attempt to monetize the site with small adds and promotions from various companies.  I'm also going to be updating and maintaining my Youtube Channel with videos of the Japan trip and hopefully adding more content on that to supplement the blog in the long-run. I'm also still on twitter for my personal day to day ramblings.  The bigger stuff though will still be on my blog.  Thanks so much for the support guys. I still can't believe how often you all return and support my rambling about this show!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Sasuke related News - Vietnam, Sasuke 31

2014 Tokyo Auditions with Director Inui (Standing on left) ©Kikaku

Just wanted to get caught up of the goings on in Sasukeland™ over the past month or so.  The Sasuke 31 application deadline has passed and we have an official date for the first of the Japan auditions. First up is Osaka, Japan this upcoming Saturday, April 4th.  They haven't announced Tokyo's Audition date(s) but I assume it will be within a week of it (just like last year).  Then comes the countdown for actual production for Sasuke 31!  Whoot we are almost there!  Again thanks to all of you IndieGogo Fundraising Campaign Supporters I'll be going to Japan this year for Sasuke 31! I'm super excited!

Alexander Mars - Ninja Warrior Sweden (Sasuke Hipsters Blog)

As I mentioned before I am not going to be blogging about ANW (which is taping now in the USA) nor it's spin offs (Sweden, Turkey or the current one filming now - United Kingdom).  Sweden's however was interesting for one particular reason.  (Btw for a recap of the episodes that aired in Sweden you can read the episode by episode synopsis from Sasuke Hipsters.)  During the broadcast they announced that Alexander Mars (last man standing in Sweden) will be in Japan for Sasuke 31!  I hope they all have that perk (yes I'm looking at you Ninja Warrior UK).  Curious if they will do that for them as well. If it is indeed the case then I'm really happy for them. The allure of those shows in the past has always been about the trip to Japan. Heck, most even say they could care less about being paid if they could just go to Japan and compete on the main course. They only take a couple of slots in the lineup and it's a good incentive for the other countries to get on board. I'm still not happy with the NW productions though.. no one should be able to practice on the course and rerun things until they clear it. /facepalm  I'm digressing aren't I? ANYWAY.. the trip to Japan for the last man standing/winner is a nice gesture to give them a chance at the big-boy course.

 Concept photo of Sasuke Vietnam's first stage ©SasukeVN

Speaking of the big boy course.. O.. M.. G.. Sasuke Vietnam.  So THIS is what a TBS production looks like. LOL Holy Moses.  Btw thanks to ASEAN Open Cup Gold Medalist Mike Bernardo for finding this today for us.  As you know, Vietnam was delayed a few times.. but it is FINALLY going to happen. In fact, they proved they broke ground and are actually BUILDING THE COURSE!  I thought this day would never happen. THIS looks like fun. Back when I was in shape (that is not round..) I would have loved to tackle a course like this. Not since Viking have I seen a split stage!
The Long Jump (ロングジャンプ)  ─► The Log Grip (ロッググリップ) .... Then decision time.

Course 1 -  The Hedgehog (ヘッジホッグ) ─► The Giant Swing (ジャイアントスイング) ─►  The Tarzan Rope (ターザンロープ)  ─► The Rope Ladder (ロープラダー)

or.. Course 2 -  X-Bridge (they are using the ANW name but the original name is The Cross Bridge (クロスブリッジ) ─► The Jumping Spider (ジャンピングスパイダー) ─► The Circle Slider (サークルスライダー) ─► The Rope Ladder (ロープラダー)

I'm a little confused though as one side looks unbalanced in one set of mock ups.  The concept art CG and the course chart are the same.. but the hand drawings are different in orientation. There's a huge difference between each set up because if so, they both have skill + luck involved. Otherwise it's totally lopsided as most will take their chance with the Hedgehog (since there is a path) and they don't have to do the circle slider into the Rope Wall combination at the end.  Also, I'm not sure if the competitor determines where they go left or right before they start. I'm curious if they nerfed one side so they can send women and old people on one side and the fit and able to the other.  Minimum age requirement is 18 so we won't have kids.  Either way, we will find out very soon. I'm just happy I can talk about this!  I pray now that TBS is taking control that we don't have the organizational issues that plagued and ultimately destroyed Malaysia's ASEAN tournament.  Vietnam is also stating that they hope to do this yearly. I'd like to see at least one of the "Sasuke" spin offs survive more than one season. Heck not even my beloved Viking survived on Fuji TV for very long.

Concept CG for Stage One ©Sasuke Vietnam

And yes, before you ask, this IS a 4 stage course.  Looks like they adopted side jumbotrons instead of a truck. LOL  It really does look like a "stage". I'm sure there will be a few competitors freaking out about that. It really is imposing.  I'm told all of this will be taped at night since it's friggin' hot in Vietnam right now so it's more tolerable to tape a night when it's cooler.  (Btw just checked weather.. omg.. it's 100F/38C degrees today..)  First stage alone is expected to take a few days to record because they expect 200+ competitors to run only at night. Logistics alone it will take a while to tape this.

 Concept photo of Sasuke Vietnam's Second Stage ©SasukeVN

The Cross Slider (クロススライダー) ─► The Salmon Ladder (サーモンラダー) ─► The Unstable Bridge (アンステーブルブリッジ) ─► The Hammer Dodge/Goren Hammer (5連ハンマー) ─► The Half-Pipe Attack (ハーフパイプアタック) ─► Double Warped Wall/Ni Ren Soritatsu Kabe (2連そり立つ壁)

Second stage is interesting.  Cross slider to the original Salmon Ladder to Unstable bridge (I can't tell if its Ghetto Bridge™ or not) .. wait.. seriously????  Hammer Dodge?  OMG.. THEN the Half Pipe Attack? LMFAO.. finishing with the Double Warped Wall. LOL!!!!!!  Okay they are having WAY too much fun with this course. LOL That's awesome!

Omg it is.. The Goren Hammer (5連ハンマー), referred to on English broadcasts as the Hammer Dodge.  We haven't seen THIS bad boy since Sasuke 9 (FYI the FIRST tournament Makoto Nagano passed the First Stage!!)  Wow.. talk about an oldie. Sasuke 9 was friggin 2002.. a whooping 13 years ago..

 Concept photo of Sasuke Vietnam's Third Stage ©SasukeVN
The Pole Maze ( ポールメイズ ) ─► Cannonball Run/Spin Bridge スピンブリッジ  ─► The Rumbling Dice (ランブリングダイス) ─► The Heartbreaker/Spider Flip (スパイダーフリップ) >> The Cliffhanger (クリフハンガー) ─► The Pipe Slider (パイプスライダー)

OMG.. Spin Bridge in the THIRD STAGE?? LMFAO!!!!!!!!! Cliffhanger towards the end of the course.. omg.. they don't expect anyone to get here right?  Wow.. 2 Viking obstacles in the same stage.  Giggles. This is a hard course.. I can't wait to see it!!! Btw Pipe Slider ftw.. Sasuke fans should be proud.  This course looks AWESOME!

 Concept photo of Sasuke Vietnam's first stage ©SasukeVN

FINAL STAGE -  The Spider Climb (スパイダークライム) ─► Rope Climb/Tsuna Nobori (綱登り)

And finally my favorite of the Final Stages.  Spider climb to Rope Climb (Nagano Sasuke 17).  Full size.. Damn this is impressive (yes that's concept art but TBS can duplicate this, they have already in Sasuke for many years). I'm super stoked and proud that Vietnam asked the pros for help.  There's no reason to reinvent the wheel and I'm sure TBS is happier to produce that course there than have the smaller ones that fit in small spaces with bigger problems.  Go big or go home! Honestly though, this REALLY looks like a love letter to Sasuke's history. I really love the entire course so far in concept. I can't wait to see it in action and I hope people get to the latter stages! LOL That's another story!

Sasuke Vietnam YouTube video announcement

Anyway everyone at TBS will be busy since this production is going on right now then having to travel back to Japan afterwards to get ready for the main show airing this summer. I hope they get paid overtime! LOL  Taping for Sasuke Vietnam (according to their video announcement) is April 26-May 6, 2015.  That's a long taping schedule because they are running more than twice the amount and all at night to beat the daytime sun (similar to what Vegas goes through except Vietnam is friggin' humid on top of it).  And before I get asked (again), Sasuke 31 is after this event. I can't mention when, but this event will be taping first.  I'll do what I can to update you guys but I'm limited to what is published online. Bug Inui to post photos. LOL He's not there yet but will be soon. Also at the end of the month is the Maguro Festival so there's that blog as well.  Also this month is the announcement of the Nico Nico broadcast Contest winner. I'll try to keep to schedule and post what I can when information is public. In the meantime, I'm excited! Sasuke season is here!