Yay! We got rid of the Rising! Whoot!
Sasuke spoilerific review ;) Warning.. incoming blog of Sasuke 31.. if you don’t want to know.. you have been warned ( ^ . ^ ) (Just remember.. there is NO USA Broadcast of this. NBC has renegotiated out of their contract to show Sasuke on USA soil. Yes.. you read that right.. Now with the death of G4 official and NBC not giving a damn about Sasuke Japan, we will never see Sasuke Rising on US television (or any overseas country for that matter unless everyone buys the original 4 hour broadcast from TBS). This is the 4th tournament in the Rising era (post Monster 9) and I'm happy that they got rid of the "Rising" part in the headlines! For a preview of this event, please see SASUKE 31 NAVI a half hour preview of Sasuke 31 with fluff pieces of some the major players in the upcoming Sasuke. There were even a couple of runs that were cut from the official broadcast! Thanks for all of the support as I had a horrible month with my health. I'm taking my time on the blogs as I have to limit how much time I can stare at a computer screen. I'm still getting cluster headaches but the cycle this time seems to be winding down long enough for me to work on getting these out! I have a backlog of things to do but working through it slowly. This past week we had the stomach flu hit our home.. yay.. uuuuugh..
(Massive thanks to TBS for posting the names of all 100 competitors! Thanks to Ube for his help on the names in English!!)
Back in Nico Nico.. Ryo Matachi (Cliffer #2) 又地諒 is lamenting the #100 fail and the back to back to back Warped Wall fails that happened in Sasuke 31. Much hope was riding on him coming in as the 2 time Finalist but he didn't deliver. To say he was disappointed is the understatement of the year. I wasn't sure how he was going to react on camera sitting next to Kawaguchi, his fellow Sasuke 30 finalist. You can tell though he's still bitter 3 months later. Curious if this experience will change his cockiness. I hope so.
Finally time for the Second Stage!
Kenji Darvish 樽美酒研二
Time for interviews!
Yusuke Morimoto 森本 裕介
I got squished here last year.. ain't happening this year.. yo..
Okay enough of that.. check out our purty lights!
Oh yeah we got new Talking Heads™.. ehem.. Shift change except for Kabira who's marathoning today.
Who will get out of the 2nd stage alive?
Who's cuisine will reign supreme?
Dangit.. now I want McDonald's.. btw.. I'll take combo number 3..
Ryuusuke Itou 伊藤隆佑 TBSアナウンサー
Interesting seeing him as 2nd chair. He's a first Sasuke competitor turned announcer! He's competed in 3 Sasuke tournaments! He has competed in Sasuke 20, Sasuke 22 and the last in Sasuke 24!
To give you an idea of where I was.. the grandstand section built for the first time is next to the Wall Lift (left of screen) so we could not see a clock but we could see the jumbo screen (right of screen).
See the big jumbo screen? It was directly across the 2nd stage from all of us in the grandstand.
17 people survived the First Stage out of 100 competitors.
Up first is Masashi Hioki 日置 将士
First obstacle in the 2nd stage is the ① Cross Slider クロススライダー
You put your body in an Iron cross position but use a body prop technique of using core strength only to keep you within the sliding rig and hopefully land like Hioki did on the pads floating on water.
Then it's the new Salmon Ladder to replace the broken Swap Salmon Ladder that frustrated the crap out of me the last few years.
The salmon ladder is actually delineated as 2 different obstacles. This first section you come across is called the ② ^Salmon Ladder Nobori サーモンラダー 上り (which literally means "UP" Salmon Ladder)
You get to the top of the "UP" part and have to jump across to the bar waiting for you on the top part of the second half of the obstacle. Contrary to all other Salmon ladder versions, you do not carry the bar with you to the 2nd half.
safely across you use that bar to continue down the 2nd half.. yes.. DOWN..
So, appropriately enough, you go down the Salmon ladder on the .. you guessed it.. the ③ ^Salmon Ladder Kudari サーモンラダー 下り (Literally "Down" Salmon Ladder). And here I was laughing at Inui saying it was called "Up and Down", he wasn't trolling me! Sometimes hard to tell with that man since he likes to troll people for fun... LOL
Most didn't see this.. but the Kudari has a net to prevent/dissuade people from cheating the Kudari to jump to the platform. Unlike ANW, they encourage people to not parkour/skip obstacles on an obstacle course.. this isn't a free running competition.
Once done with both the salmon ladders, you return to a familiar sight, the ④ Spider Walk スパイダーウォーク . I'm just so happy to see the Ghetto bridge gone...
This ④ Spider Walk スパイダーウォーク has strobe lights.. yo..
Also (finally) considered it's own obstacle, the ⑤ *Spider Drop スパイダードロップ is back.
As I mentioned in the obstacle podcast, I'm not a fan of the obstacle but I don't hate it either. It just gets a "meh" from me.
transition tunnel to the obstacle I do hate.. LOL
Hioki putting on his goggles in the tunnel
It's baaaaack.. ⑥ Backstream バックストリーム
Yep... I still think swimming is a sport.. not an obstacle..
Safely going around the fire hose of death™
going down another tunnel you finally see the brand new grandstand
Hioki takes a second to get a quick breath of air before taking on ⑦ Wall Lifting ウォールリフティング
⑦ Wall Lifting ウォールリフティング is comprised of 3 walls. First wall is still 30 kg (66 lbs)
.. did he even lift the 2nd wall?? 40 kg (88 lbs)
Well he sorta lifted the last 50 kg (110 lbs) wall
This time a lot more comfortable clear.. last year he collapsed with the last klaxon blaring.
Hioki's wife Mayumi 真弓 and their daughter Miyuna 心結菜 and their baby son Ryusei 琉青.
Edit (thanks Jon): The guy which had the Kanji you were asking for (Which btw was his father) was Masayoshi Kitagawa (北川正義)-san.
Edit: Just checked his kanji - 義父 is Father in law so yeah her father not his.
Isee myself in the 2nd row.. LOL Btw this is a good shot to show the new grandstand. Notice the ONLY clock they had.. it was faced away from all of us so we did not know how much time was left. I strongly suggested to find a way to mirror that clock somewhere.. even if it was on the jumbo screen.. it would have helped gauge if someone was going slow or fast.
Yep.. on the left next to hubby (2nd row)..
Talking Heads™ are happy
Masashi Hioki 日置 将士 - SECOND STAGE CLEAR!
Miyuna already walking over to daddy
Family hug! Note that the competitors families and other VIP sat at a different section (the usual place that in other years everyone would stand). They were provided with chairs to sit on should they chose to do so.
More love for Darvish who still has a bit to go before his turn
Black Tiger's time.. Yamada himself hasn't competed in this stage in er.. 12 years..
Fist bumps.. yo
Black Tigers cheer on as their only member is about ready to go
Hiroshige Yamamoto 山本浩茂 represent!
Flameglow™ from the various flame throwers in the 2nd stage! LOL
meanwhile at the techno stage..
Clear on the Cross Slider and onto the Up Salmon
Success on the Up Salmon
Smooth transition onto the Down Salmon
Black Tiger's view as they all scream encouragement
better view of that net as he safely jumps from the Down Salmon
onto the Spider Walk
More screaming as you see the "Clear" chairs section to the right lit up under the Sasuke sign.
now for the Backstream
He might have swallowed water (like what happened to Shingo last year...)
Yamada noticing he's not moving..
he's stopped.. yeah I think he swallowed water.. he's trying to catch his breath and grabs on to the rigging to keep his head above water.
Yamada encouraging him to get going
about 10 seconds later he finally starts to move again
slowly working his way to the end of the tank
Clearly Yamada disappointed as it's obvious he's failed the 2nd stage.
and this is where he times out completely. So.. er.. hmm.. is this a Backstream fail? or a Wall lift fail? I'm calling it Death by Backstream since clearly the damage was done there and he never got out of the tunnel to touch the wall.
Replay on his gasping for air yeah.. he probably inhaled at the wrong time and Shingoderped™
Yamada is not having any of it..
Hiroshige Yamamoto 山本浩茂 - Death by Backstream
Prepare to fast forward!
Doh.. I guess another one that will be training the Salmon technique when he gets back home.
Riku Hanamoto 花本莉丘 - Death by Salmon Ladder Nobori
A concerned Darvish looks on at the string of fails
Poor double Fast forward..
You can see the timer from this angle.. but my brain was counting down the klaxons.. and I knew he was out..
The shot fired for time up was already done before he hit the button sadly..
But they opened one gate for him so he wouldn't hurt himself since he lunged his body forward..
Zhang Wang Yan 張汪洋 - Death by Time up on Wall Lifting
Final confirmation on rules for Salmon Ladder since this is the first time he's seen the show.. LOL
Anastase Ragivaru ラギヴァル・アナスターズ
He's a Polynesian Dance instructor
And has done competitive canoeing
and won medals for team competition in that sport
I'm sure TBS is totally kicking themselves for not approving Sasuke Park this year... LOL
Anyway, his knowledge of the show CAME from going to Sasuke Park with his girlfriend last year when he moved to Japan from Tahiti..
He now trains at his in-laws (to be) home ledges
Anastase Ragivaru ラギヴァル・アナスターズ
LOL he's so much bigger than everyone else
clear on Cross Slider and onto the Up Salmon
Thank you TBS for getting rid of the Swap AND the stupid rule. This is NOT a disqualification this year. Hurray!
muscles up the Salmon Ladder with brute force..
Muscles up again
Clears the Up portion with sheer brute force (more on that later LOL)
Safely onto the Down Salmon Ladder
And safely clears
Spider Walk time as his height shows how narrow the walkway is
overhead angle of the Spider Drop
POWERS through the Backstream
Almost clotheslines himself but down the tunnel
on the first wall
does better on the 2nd wall
clean jerk technique on the 3rd
and again, the rookie taking the tournament by storm!
Stunned looks by the Talking Heads™
Love seeing history from my seat ♥
A very appreciative Anastase gives kisses to the crowd and then up to the sky
can I get a HELL YEAH!
Anastase Ragivaru ラギヴァル・アナスターズ - SECOND STAGE CLEAR!
And now there are two!
Loincloth literally. LOL
Some thought it was his shirt rapped around him to cover his otherwise exposed.. yeah..
Emphatic stop of clock
This is just a cool shot..
Kung-Cheen Howng 洪 恭芹 or who I know as "Jin" and the reason why I'm here today
I took a while to figure out how to write this part because it was such an unfortunate accident but for a while I was furious over the whole thing. I needed time to calm down, especially since it took time to finally got the whole story. The story behind this is that after Anastase powered through the course, he caused serious damage to the Salmon Ladders (both of them) which caused an almost half hour delay (I think it was like 20-25 minutes?) where they literally had to drill (sounded like a jackhammer to me) both sides of the obstacle to get it functional for the rest of the competitors still to go. Meanwhile Jin was just standing at the cage up top not sure how much longer he had to wait. I'm not sure if they even knew how long the wait was going to be but they kept him up there hoping it was just a short break.
There's a bit of speculation as to exactly what happened, but ultimately something happened during that break that made someone inadvertently forget a mechanism that stabilized the Cross Slider. He was perfectly centered on the Cross but the sideways lock was not completely engaged. Both locks are controlled manually via rope to stabilize the sideways movement and another to keep the Cross from sliding forward. The lock was either not engaged or the line was too slack.. something was not quite right (and still not confirmed as to exactly what happened but there are 2 major theories on what went wrong) and could have been just an unfortunate oversight due to the fact that there was already a 3 hour delay (because of organizing around the new larger audience for Stage 1 and the addition of an audience in the 2nd stage). Remember this is the end of Day One and this was already around 10-11 pm at night (lost track.. it was a long time later) with still more than half the field to go. We also just came back from a half hour delay and everyone was tense to just finish wrapping up day 1 already.
So as a result of the obstacle moving 360 degrees (instead of just forward), he couldn't control the obstacle and fell off. The other camera angle shows it moving sideways while this one doesn't. Last year was a completely different story as it was his own error of not setting up correctly before going. This year he trained like crazy not to embarrass himself in the same way and was prepared even with that half hour wait in the cage. Just something went wrong. We all agreed that it was an unfortunate oversight and not sabotage. It was not on purpose and no one was "out to get him". It was just an unfortunate mishap that occurred when rushing to try to get back on schedule since the day was running way too long. The mistake did cost Jin his run and by the time the mistake was noted, he was unable to get a rerun. From my own vantage point, as soon as he was getting out of the water, we immediately assured he was going to get a rerun so we didn't panic.. but by the time we found out that they didn't admit a mistake happened, everyone was already leaving to go home. I'm sure if it was brought up to the correct people on Day 1 (meaning Inui - because he didn't see the 2nd stage runs he was backstage), I'm sure he would have remedied the problem. But, we didn't know he didn't see it nor did we know he wasn't going to get a rerun until it was just too late.
Mistakes happen unfortunately and that kind of crap happens in television productions all the time. I'm not angry (anymore). I'm just disappointed. I was furious after Day 1, don't mistake that, but I've had 3 months of people looking at the footage, Inui looking into it personally and time to calm down. This is Sasuke and they are not immune to inadvertent human error. Jin will just train harder and come back stronger next time to vindicate himself. We blame no one. It was overwhelming though the strong support for Jin immediately after he hit the water. They all knew something was "off" that night (but couldn't figure out what until we saw the footage in detail came a few weeks later). My favorite of the responses/condolences to what happened to Jin came from Kong himself shortly after taping finished that night. Kong, who was a former tester and has been shafted twice in Sasuke competition due to human error (Final Stage and Swap Salmon Ladder) and after experiencing the same obstacle himself (later in the broadcast) said "yeah that didn't look right when I saw it rock violently only for your run.. and you were perfectly square too.. but this is Sasuke and crap does happen. Maaaaaan.. that sucks.. I'm so sorry for you." That literally made me cry. I am honored so many offered him sympathies for what happened TO him. They took 2 months looking at the footage to help pin point what happened. If they thought it was his fault (like last year), they would not have spent the time to do it. I thank them for that.
Ultimately it doesn't change the fact that he failed the obstacle. Everyone was extremely surprised to see him fall from the sky like that.
They knew his training for that obstacle and they knew what happened last year and they saw him perfectly square. So this was a shock for everyone who saw it.
Missing from the broadcast though was the Kabira explanation that was heard throughout the lot that night. He was so surprised how much that obstacle rocked right from the start (that also was not shown on the broadcast but was in the unedited footage). The Talking Heads™ did talk about it for a bit among themselves between the set up for the next person. They sent out a tester after Jin's fall to test the obstacle in case it broke. The safety mechanisms were in place for that though so the obstacle itself was not broken.
Jin wondering wtf just happened. It haunted him for a month until he got the explanations in detail. For an athlete, you just want to know how to train for it later if indeed your training was originally flawed.
Replay starts after the rocking already started and doesn't show that it started from the beginning.
Kung-Cheen Howng 洪 恭芹 - Death by Cross Slider
Not going to lie. It still hurts to watch, especially since this angle was the only one used in the broadcast. I know why it was done that way and I know it was an accident. I still laugh with Jin that he would have preferred this being fast forwarded and his First Stage shown but oh well. LOL It will just sting when I see the footage (and it will be the last time I see it) and one of the reasons why I delayed writing about the Second Stage. I wanted to write it without going postal. All is good though now and I'm confident it was an accident and not a conspiracy to take out my friend. Just hurts is all. He worked his ass off and I'm extremely proud of him. Just sucks human error took his chance away. Kong knows the sting well and knows that sometimes, that is what happens in TV. Time to move on for me as well. Good job Jin and hope you kick ass next year! I hope to be able to see it as well. ♥
Remember this is RIGHT after Jin's run during the testing phase since the testers were out to make sure the thing didn't break. Everyone is now super careful to make sure they are perfectly square.
Up next is Jin's friend Okada. He was kinda freaked out seeing what happened to his friend who constantly trains with him. Remember how tight-nit the Sasuke family is. No one is ever immune to emotion. He's also the next one right after the testers deemed the obstacle safe. I'm sure that course person holding that rope is holding on to that damn thing tight right now. LOL Everyone was tense. Coupled with the fact that this is his first ever Second Stage run. No pressure or anything...
Yuuichi Okada 岡田祐一
Safely across the Cross Slider
time for the Up Salmon Ladder
Safely across but he's taking an eternity
Safely Down but that took a full 20 seconds..
Safely down the Spider Drop
A bit slow through the water
over 20 seconds though.
He looks tired..
Smiling as he almost drops the wall
determined to lift it over his head
Klaxon blaring but still determined to get it over his head..
Finally ducks down to see his time..
and down he goes.. we were in SHOCK
Later, away from the cameras, he admitted he wanted to pass the walls with it over his head so he won't be accused of cheating. He felt if he just crawled under it, he couldn't face his daughters. It was all about personal pride. I can't blame him, especially with the hate against Ryo for doing that. Just sad.
Wife Kaori かおり Daughters Noa のあ and Sora そら
They are in shock to see him fail with 20 seconds to complete it..
They all were talking about how he would have cleared if he crawled under neath it instead of insisting of lifting it over his head.
Yuuichi Okada 岡田祐一 - Death by Time up on Wall Lifting
Kids upset that he failed
He's not ashamed though, he could hold his head high.
Hiraki Fukanuma 深沼 開
Clear on Cross Slider
Onto the Up Salmon Ladder
clear on that and onto the transition to the Down
and he banged his wrist instead of grabbing....
Ouch.. so he failed the Kudari since he missed the transition? Eh.. that's what I'm calling it.
Darvish is not in a happy place right now..
Hiraki Fukanuma 深沼 開 - Death by Salmon Ladder Kudari
Kenji Darvish 樽美酒研二 is all smiles
LOL with him concealing his identity.
So yeah.. 8 people gone and only 2 clears
The star that they sacrificed half the broadcast for.. Kenji Darvish 樽美酒研二
oooooh I see a problem already.. not sure if he kicked off or just grazed his feet..
but also confirmed by that angle.. he his shoulders buckled..
Golden Bomber wtf!
LOL Tomo almost laughing.. must.. contain.. must..
just ran out of strength..
I think he just wasn't prepared for that obstacle. You have to be seriously strong to hold in place in an iron cross across a moving plane on a diagonal.
LOL he can't stop cheesing.. he knew it.
I think he did kick off throwing his center of gravity all over the place
and sadly he just didn't have the strength to control all that movement
Shoulders buckling here as his body is rocking and rolling.
it's over already but good props for trying to stay up! you can tell he tried to reach the platform he almost got to!
HIJKLMNOP is upset
I'm so sorry.. please forgive me!
Poor guy.. he's not pleading for people to forgive him while he takes the time to crack a joke and have fun in the situation.
His bandmate is cracking up at the obvious self deprecating humor.
He's a cool guy. I hope he comes back stronger and kicks ass and takes revenge on the Second Stage! Go Golden Bomber!
Well deserved round of applause
Kenji Darvish 樽美酒研二 - Death by Cross Slider