ZOMG SOMEONE WON PLZ WATCH!!!!!!!!
Sorry I haven't been around! We had a pretty powerful storm around where I live on Tuesday and it knocked out power for 3 days in my area (in fact there is still power out in quite a few areas still just south of me) so I haven't been able to blog about the most recent commercials and articles, etc.
Look at those eyes from Darvish!!
The first commercials are out along with a LOT of cross promotion of Sasuke and it's stars. A bit late but I hope the cumulative effect will have the desired outcome of having another tournament. Right now Sasuke 32 is hanging in the balance as those on high want to get rid of the show in favor of selling it off in parts as a spin off. We all know that is in contrast of the majority view that both the main Japanese show and the spin offs belong side by side in the world stage. So pray for higher ratings to keep the show.
The first of the commercials was a quick 15 second teaser showing Kenji Darvish just feet from the buzzer! It was a bit of an unusual trailer showing the celebrity announcers who were AT the taping itself and not relegated to watching a taped event. They were there for the whole thing, every single second! Mad props for toughing out two loooooooong days of taping live. I'm sure their emotions were real as it really is completely different being there watching every competitor run live.
They cut to another celeb (I'll deal with names later.. too tired) and a split shot of another celeb showing both the announcers and the talent that ran the show. They did well this time so I'm happy that they don't all wipe out in the first obstacle.
Another cross slider fail this year with more celeb pimping on the right side. Again, this CM was really short. It's really mostly promoting the celeb announcers as they it differently this year than in previous tournaments.
(Thanks to Ube for his translation of this:) Roughly "After four years, a 'total victory' person has appeared." (Or if you stick to the usual translation of －ぶり with extra license for readability "For the first time in four years, someone has completed the course.")
Celebs losing their marbles at the result
So yes that shot of the celebs freaking out in Sasuke is live. They were there and they did call everything. No pseudo green screen of calling events after they were shot (cough.. ANW.. cough). Mad props for legit being there and calling everything. They pulled back to back Full days.
Up next was a cross promotion showing of Sasuke competitor Hioki with his wife Mayumi on another TBS show. Here is the commercial for it.
Mayumi 真弓 and Masashi Hioki 日置 将士
It was a small event on television but I enjoyed the fact that they could toss the name "Sasuke" around and people were interested that it was still going and that it was upcoming and please watch! I wasn't able to watch but those who managed to see it, they thought it was a cute couples event. Positive reviews.
Up next (or in the middle.. I lost track honestly.. sorry.. this week has been a blur) was a small Youtube bit posted on MasuoTV. This was one of the first times people actually SAW what the first stage looked like. He explains he went to auditions but didn't impress enough to be on the show. They did however, let him do a Youtube show the day before the event started. This would have been taped on Friday, May 22, 2015.
Here in all of it's glory is the First Stage start line along with a brand new edition. SEATS! These are reserved for the First Stage Clears. Just to dispel a rumor, if more than 20 had passed, they would have just added more seats. This is not like ANW where there is a cut-off of 20. They just put those as placements and went from there. These exact seats were used for the following 3 stages!
First obstacle is actually an update of an old obstacle already used. This is the modified Barrel Climb where they fused it with the Rapid Descent. This now has a new name ① ^Rolling Hill ローリングヒル. (Thanks Rider for the Rapid Descent!)
Either way he almost wipes out on the other side of the rollers. This is an addition as the previous Barrel Climb did not have rollers on the opposite side. The top doesn't roll for those who are disappointed. This also shows that the announcer booth is directly next to the first main grandstand. It is sandwiched between the two grandstands. The 2nd grandstand is new for this year as they added an audience lottery (which was a success) where people hoped to be able to see Sasuke live that were not already guests of a competitor. While it caused delays for production, it was still a HUGE success with the audience eager to spread the word that Sasuke was a wonderful event worthy of being watched on television.
Next obstacle is the ② Log Grip ロググリップ and I swear it's a bit steeper this year. Only those who really look at them realize if it is or not, but those who passed it had serious bruises on their arms from hanging on. The drops were much more violent this year and more attention had to be paid to hang on tighter as not to fall off.
Orugōru オルゴール and it's really cool and deceptive to look at.
As he painfully found out. He did great going across but was lax on how he was going to dismount the obstacle. This obstacle is all about committing and he didn't.
Jump Hang Kai ジャンプハング改 .
Next is the brand new obstacle that is a huge revamp of an obstacle that was only been in Sasuke once back in Sasuke 5.. in the Second Stage. It's the ⑤ *Tackle タックル (notice that they are dropping the "Machine" part of the name. When competitors saw this obstacle, there were audible gasps. Outside of a strength obstacle being moved to the First stage, it has morphed being larger in size and different in function. Also note, the only clock was moved from this position to the top of the First Stage section the following day.
Next is the return of the single Warped Wall - ⑥ Soritatsu Kabe そり立つ壁. Yes.. AFTER the Tackle.. Don't underestimate the damage this combination can cause. This is why the competitors gasped when they saw the combo at the end of the first stage.
After a short bit of video taping himself on the wall, he passes the camera over and tries one time and fails miserably. He was only allowed one try at the wall since technically he wasn't allowed on the rest of the course since he failed earlier.
Finally the same combination at the end of the First Stage is still intact. The ⑦ Tarzan Rope ターザンロープ directly into the ⑧ Lumberjack Climb ランバージャッククライム to finish out the First Stage.
Then there was a region locked video from TVGuide that gave us the most important information. Sasuke 31 was airing at 7pm (local time) on Wednesday, July 1st, 2015. You didn't miss much as you only saw the TVGuide celebs take on and fail the course.. early.
Next on the list was from a very popular weekend program called King's Brunch (王様のブランチ) that apparently was widely watched. At the end of the 2 hour program they had an entire section about Sasuke!!
Gone is the name Sasuke Rising as they are going for Sasuke 2015 going back to the "year" title. We all know it as Sasuke 31.
Confirmation that there is a 4th winner. Draw your own conclusions from that tidbit! Remember also since this is within a show, you get a box on top with the random celebs/hosts watching the video.
They go through the celebs of whom they are pushing for. We know Darvish by the mask though this year he has his hear buzz cut!
Tackle タックル in motion in an obvious spoiler. LOL Yes.. 3 separate boxes that you have to push into each other.
A camera is put inside the first box to show the face of the competitor. Trust me.. there were some really funny shots from this angle during the tourney when I was there. It was broadcast to everyone in the audience on a big jumbo TV screen.
Flash to the 2nd guy from Golden Bomber (the group that Darvish is from)
Followed by boy band member from ABCZ
After 4 years.. we get a 4th winner. Yep. No ambiguity there. No Nagano, No Yuuji and obviously no Akiyama. Bring on the new Champion!
Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦
Sasuke All Star Kazuhiko Akiyama 秋山和彦 - Sasuke 4 Champion
Next is the living Legend Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠
Sasuke All-Star Makoto Nagano 長野誠 - Sasuke 17 Champion
Then inexplicably they went back to being TBS
and publicly shaming ... er.. going back to the golden age of Sasuke when this guy was good. Sasuke All-star (Mr. Sasuke) Katsumi Yamada 山田勝己
Reminding people that he hasn't won despite what people think (no seriously.. to this day people think Yamada won Sasuke at some point..)
So! Thrill of victory? or agony of defeat?
Sorry but that jumbotron on the first stage showing their name in English is awesome!
And yes, the guy in the insert is the same guy that competed.
Hawking DVD of Sasuke 30 even though they don't ship International....
And some question about Sasuke at the end of the show.
Created by Matsuda
So up next are two things. One already happened and that's Sasuke 31's Navi that aired yesterday, June 25, 2015. I'll work on that during the weekend. In the meantime on Sunday (for us) is another Nico Nico broadcast! That broadcast will cover the Sasuke 31 auditions along with obstacle discussions. The next thing after that is another Nico Nico broadcast that will run concurrently with the Sasuke 31 broadcast on July 1st! Next up for me will be Navi and the 30 second commercial as soon as I can work on it over the weekend. Sorry I'm behind (stupid storm and outage) but I'll get to them when I can. I don't want to get sick trying to catch up. I still have a lot ahead of me!