Sorry this blog is really late this year. I've been getting ready to fly out to Japan
for Sasuke 31 (as this will be my first international trip) and working on other projects that I can't announce yet and I simply lost track of the fact that I never posted this. It's been sitting in draft mode for well over a week and so I truly apologize for never finishing it and publishing it. During that interim I posted another blog entry about co-hosting a monthly podcast
(which I'll update on this site when each episode goes live). Episode one of the Final Stage Podcast is up and we should get the next one up just before I head back to AnimeNext this year in June
and after I get back from Japan. Sasuke 31 tapes in just over a week from now in Japan so I'm scrambling to finish off loose ends before I head out there! Again, I can't thank everyone enough who helped make it happen!
As is tradition here on Rambling Rican, I'm writing about the Maguro Festival again! This year didn't disappoint with the
amount of photos I was
able to get within just a day or two! This year we broke the record again in photos and I didn't even post all that was available!! Thanks everyone for being patient. For those who aren't familiar
with this at all, the 24th Annual Maguro Festival 第24回串木野まぐろフェスティバル took
place 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
Now that the Sasuke Stars are getting on social media, we get more behind the scenes photos than ever before. Nagano posted a series of photos of when he picked them up from the Kagoshima airport. He and his oldest son (from Asami) Kaiou went to meet them.
New Star Hitoshi Kanno
菅野仁志 with wife Emiko 笑子 and their son Yuuto 雄仁 arrive in Kagoshima being greeted by Nagano's son Kaiou 塊王 ©Makoto Nagano
Kanno and family arrive in Kagoshima and greet Kaiou at the arrivals gate. His son Yuuto is growing so quickly! I think he's 1 1/2 years old?
New Star Kazuma Asa
朝一眞 being greeted by his biggest fan - Nagano's son Kaiou 塊王 at the Kagoshima airport ©Makoto Nagano
This is cute because I know Nagano's son Kaiou is a HUGE Asa fan and even yells his signature call
on his own! He's sooo excited to see Asa arrive even if Asa looks really tired!
I think by this point Takeda was in Kagoshima as he now lives"closer" that he moved further south. A lot has changed in Takeda's life just in the last year to say the least. I'm curious if TBS will make a big deal about it during Sasuke 31 like they did with Sasuke 30.
Dinner with the stars before the event and the public introduction of Takeda's new wife named Aya (he divorced Miyako last year if you remember from the huge fluff piece on Takeda on Sasuke 30's Navi).
A different dinner photo with everyone and their wives and children. It's funny how everyone instantly takes out their own phones! LOL There were a lot of angles on all of these photos so I just chose a few and posted them by category. Otherwise there would be like 500 photos! LOL!!
Kanno's wife Emiko 笑子, Nagano's wife Asami 阿紗美 with sons Kaiou 塊王 and Taiou 太皇 being held by Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano
長野誠 ©Shingo Yamamoto
I believe this is one of the dock areas before the event? Seems everyone just grabbed a bite to eat right on the floor. There were several of these photos as well. Each of the photo links you can hit "next" or "previous" (if they were Facebook links) and see the rest of them in the album.
Shingo had a few funny ones of him hanging out on the side of the deck there. This picture still makes me cringe.. I'm afraid of them accidentally falling off there.. maybe it's because I can't swim?
More casual time on the dock. I'm happy they were blessed with gorgeous weather this year. Last few years have been pretty dreary.
Luckily this year everyone invited was able to attend. There was no need to amend the poster. Yay! The Sasuke corner poster is complete!
There were a bunch of individual photos and group photos from various angles. The way the event worked is that twice a day for two days they would come out as a group and entertain the crowd.
During the demonstrations twice a day, they would address the crowd and do mock time trials through the course Nagano built.
And yes, for the record, Takeda has had about 5 hair colors in the past year and various stages of facial hair. I doubt this will last for the tournament. I expect 1980's striped two-tone with shaved sides for the tournament! LOL
I'm happy that each year you get a mix of the old guard and the new guard for the next generation of fans.
I assume because the weather was so nice, they got a much larger crowd. Seems at least to me that there were more in attendance this year.
Prerequisite interviews before every demonstration. Even so, Shingo always looks distracted. LOL
I can't believe how quickly Kaiou is growing up. He will be 6 years old this year.. He's already a total Makoto mini-me!
This was a great shot this year! I love goofy photos like this and was happy a few people got a cool shot of this pose!
LOL Kanno is being pinched something wicked in this shot! Shingo cheesing up top is absolutely hilarious!
Typical shot I get every year. I wish more of them smiled. This is an awesome photo nonetheless but I much prefer their smiles.
Asa looks so happy in these photos. I hope he's getting more comfortable in the New Star role. Hopefully more of these events will get him out of his shell.
Because I can.
Awesome photo. Though it needs more
Awesome photo from Kanno from on top of the Warped Wall looking down. I love perspective photos from angles like these. Shows what they see!
I love the Sasuke All-Star shirts.. I want one..
Looks like a photo from them setting up on Friday (no people in the background and Takeda has a cigarette tucked behind his ear.. LOL).
The next couple of photos are cute. Kaiou has complete faith in his Dad to carry him on his back to run up the warped wall. It does though give me a lot of faith that Nagano is training harder this year to be able to run up a warped wall with a 5 year old strapped to his back!!
And the inevitable fail that happens every once in a while. LOL Kaiou is just hanging on while Nagano is trying to hang on to him and hoist Kaiou up!
Awesome photo of a happy son! This is Nagano's busy season at work so it's nice that Kaiou enjoys his time with his Dad when Dad is not working.
New Star Hitoshi Kanno
So many great photos to chose from this year! I tried to find the best of the solo photos to give you a sample of the huge pile of photos I had to chose from this year!
Yeah.. they definitely had a lot of people this year! The weather also was hot this year so most of them rocked either the wifebeater™ or nekkid!
Shingo not getting the memo about the dress code.. though that's a personalized All-Star shirt.. so he gets a pass.
No event would be complete with an annoyed Nagano™ photo. LOL Seriously.. he always has at least one photo with that face every year!!
Oooooh Takeda is burning by this photo. LOL!! Omg.. that sunburn... Cute kid even if the socks are incredibly distracting in a 90+ degree day!
Side view from the warped wall to show where they placed the poster for the demonstration. As if all the obstacles didn't give away that THIS is Sasuke corner. LOL
LOL not sure who photo-bombed who! Though seriously.. this looks like Keitaro Yamamoto
#5) next to Nagano! Right? if so.. wtf is he doing with a down jacket in this heat??
Sasuke Stars hanging around the pool running their time trials ©kinacco_marinn3
There were several videos that Nagano linked on his personal Facebook account. I decided to link them individually instead of trying to copy code that sometimes works and sometimes not.
Also there was a video of Shingo Yamamoto goofing around on the Salmon Ladder
This cracks me up. What they do with the people who want to try the warped wall (especially little kids) is that one way or the other, they shove that person up the wall! Though I'm questioning the guy at the bottom. I think he's just there to be inappropriate!
I love this photo! Kaiou is so used to being around the Sasuke stars that he is perfectly comfortable around them. Kanno now being a Dad is getting used to being around kids as well it seems.
So outside of passing popcorn here.. exactly how is pushing their butts in any way helping the kid go up the wall? I mean.. I'm not complaining.. just asking a question here!
I see Shingo got the memo! Nekkid! Though.. he messed up the photo by looking like he was either passing gas or using all of his energy trying to pop any muscle to match the rest of the group. I also see he's rockin' the farmer's tan! Btw.. I recognize the guy in the right but for the life of me I can't place his name...
So yeah.. just showing you what happens when you run around in the hot sun with a wifebeater™ all day long..
Yeah.. you get a WICKED sunburn! LOL Yes.. that's Nagano's back. Yikes.. that looks like it hurts!
Wow.. he's seriously burned.. I assume they don't believe in sunscreen? Or were they out there so long it didn't matter?
Then there's exhibit B.. the other person with a wifebeater™ all day..
Yeah.. he got a burned as well!
Hey is that Moody (Makoto Yahagi)? That's definitely Keita Tomino
富野 恵太 (Cliffer
#4) (which makes me believe that if #4 was there.. then it really was #5 that was in that previous photo!). That's Kanno's wife Emiko 笑子 and their (sleeping) son Yuuto 雄仁. The story of this photo is that because Sakurajima
(yes.. the VOLCANO) was friggin' erupting.. they couldn't fly out of Kagoshima! So they had to kill time until the sky cleared enough for airplanes to leave.
Kanno's son Yuuto 雄仁 trying to look at the airplanes!
So a couple days later they were given the go ahead to fly out. This is an ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE photo of Yuuto trying to see the planes! I'm seriously having a cute attack! Thanks to everyone involved for providing photos. The
great weather allowed for people to freely take great photos and post
them online for everyone to see. They seem to get
better every year! In the meantime
the next thing on the event is Sasuke 31. WHOOT! I'll post on both my personal Twitter
and on the blog as best I can. I will be in an information embargo for a while though so the only things I will be posting will be more "personal" type photos.