There just isn’t living up to the star power the All Stars had first and foremost. None of the Morimoto Sedai have it and the prominent competitors who are left (Yuuji, Hioki, Kanno, Tomo, Ryo, Yoshiyuki, Shunsuke) don’t have it either except MAYBE Hioki, who I’ve heard is popular among the audience (both live and TV).
The All Stars gripped audiences because they all stood out on their own. M9 adorned them with personalized music themes. All of them except for Bunpei sometimes wore the same outfit for each tournament. They all looked like hardened men, not kind of nerdy like the Morimoto Sedai and Yuuji/Ryo) except for Shingo lol but even he looked like a hard working and admirable man and performer. They had great comraderie partly because the M9 edit knew how to actually film competitors off the course in between runs. They all looked great and like action heroes in their own right. People were gravitated to these real men with real friendships who had real jobs.
The Shin Sedai (Yuuji, Kanno, Ryo) were very novel and impressive at first. Kanno looked amazing in Sasuke 23, Yuuji the shoe salesman looked amazing during his win in 24 with his tabi boots and all, and Ryo looked enthusiastic and vibrant in 27. Unfortunately Yuuji did not match Nagano in confidence or on camera flare, Kanno started turning into a vain body builder, and Ryo’s weaknesses began to greatly catch up to him right after his breakout performance, and he began getting a hardened heart for Sasuke. That with dwindling ratings made them incomparable to the All Stars before them even if they were doing better. No one gravitated toward them at all. Two of them were even borderline unemployed for much of the time of their prominence.
Then we started seeing more of Hioki and Tomo. Tomo has no star power. Hioki does by virtue of wearing his uniform and being a first and foremost funny family man which everyone resonated with watching. He’s the only one IMO equivalent to an All Star on character alone.
The Morimoto Sedai are a bunch of smarty pants uncharismatic dudes who have absolutely zero grip on audiences compared to the All Stars except Sato who is just an uncharismatic parkour enthusiast.
If we’re basing the comparisons on both character and ability, it’s not easy. Obviously Yuuji/Yusuke match Nagano in record at least and Sato Jun and Hioki are Stage 3 fodder like Takeda. Kanno is similar to Shingo results wise in so far as his Stage 1 losing streak has developed AND he has literally failed the same obstacle as Shingo 5 times (6 if you include the Spin Bridge in 27 which is what injures him to retire) and the same stage in every tournament except 28-31! Akiyama is Ryo because he could win but just gets smashed in the earlier stages. No one is as bad as Yamada, but Tomo could come close if he keeps up what he’s been doing the last two tournaments. He’s also over shown like Yamada and doesn’t deserve it so that definitely fits. Bunpei was very consistent but kinda peaked early after first stage unsuccess early on, so maybe Tada could turn out to fit that way.
Performance: Nagano - Yuuji or Yusuke Takeda - Hioki or Jun Shingo - Kanno Akiyama - Ryo Yamada - Maybe Tomo Bunpei - Maybe Tada
Problem is Yuuji, Hioki, and Tomo are around 40+. The rest are around 30 except Kanno who is 35/36. Keitaro and Araki are left out but they don’t match anyone performance wise yet at least.
Character wise; Nagano - Yusuke and maybe Yuuji now, extremely pushing it for both Takeda - Hioki and Jun combined? Jun’s cockiness and Hioki’s work ethic Akiyama - Ryo actually fits mostly Yamada - Kanno but he’s old Yamada-lite Bunpei - No one IMO. Bunpei was just too classy and graceful. Shingo - Again no no one. No one matches his humour or character
So final answer:
If I had to pick 6 (bad) All Stars clones overall a few years ago knowing what I know now from what we’ve got it’d have to be
What explanations are you referring to? Arguably there are explanations for every fail hahah. I mean let’s go through them:
SASUKE 24: Stupid mistake, tried to go too fast not really sure why 25: Just didn’t get enough height 26: Didn’t get far enough into the walls 27: Ran out of strength 28: Ran out of stamina 29: I’ll give you this one: his foot was injured, but I’m not ruling out that he could’ve failed the wall again 30: I’ll also give you this one: he shouldn’t have been DQ’d 31: ran out of stamina again 32: just had problems with the warped wall as before
Fair enough that 29 and 30 were different circumstances, but the rest I think are due to poorer stamina and technique as a result of age and no longer having the same desire to compete as he did before. There’s only so many first stage fails a competitor can take before they decide to retire, I can think of countless examples of this
25 he always struggled with springboards. He did poorly at a sportsman event prior and in 17 he nearly failed.
26 He was probably dealing with personal difficulties given his father died later that year. 26 was also announced on a really short notice giving competitors a very short time to train. 26's jumping spider was probably the hardest version of the obstacle ever. Yuuji even came close to failing.
27 He hadn't trained for the ultimate cliffhanger extensively in particular the small ledge. It's worth noting his performance was tied for top 7 and he went further than any competitors in 25 and 26.
28 The show was cancelled prior so it's likely he wasn't training. His morale was probably low aswell since he was being forcefully retired. Nagano spends entire months on a sea vessel, what this means is that his legs are probably less used stable land, weakening his lower body strength. Akiyama suffered from the same problem. The material on the wall was altered aswell due to the complele redesign. His performance was still top 10 that tournament.
29 He got his finger tips on top of the wall multiple times. If he didn't get the injury he would have made it.
31 and 32 Age and stamina yes. For 32 he still got top 10 which isn't bad for his age.
In 28 Nagano said that he failed because of his technique on the 2nd wall. Instead of leaning back and jumping like he always did, he tried to scale the wall by running like he did in the smaller one. Just a case of wrong approach. Once he timed out he had another go with the correct technique and cleared it easily.
I agree with everything you're saying and it got me thinking that I feel like Inui has tried to almost mimic the dynamic of the playing field during the main All-Star era. Where you'd have the All-Stars who'd get the majority of the screen time which was fair enough given that they carried the show and it's ratings and ultimately are to thank for Sasuke still being here today, and then we had some other recurring strong competitors who would sometimes get shown but often get digested in favour of the All-Stars; people like Asaoka, Kobayashi, Koji Yamada etc.
Inui's basically tried to do the same thing here by centring the show around a select few people like Hioki, Tomo, Morimoto, and Yuuji, while being supplemented by digests and brief runs of other strong but perhaps not as well known competitors like Sato, Tada, Suzuki etc. The problem is that these centred competitors aren't a formulated group and don't act like one either, in the same way that the All-Stars were this standalone, show-carrying entity. There's no sense of camaraderie like there was with the All-Stars; Tomo's only shown because of Per-Adra's affiliation with Sasuke at this point, Yuuji and Morimoto are capitalised on because they're champions but still aren't really seen in the same vein or group, and Hioki's great but again he's not really part of any grander scheme of competitors (if anything, he's treated almost as an outsider due to him always running with a much lower number).
I don't think Inui's really tried to capitalise on the Morimoto Sedai and I think he's done this on purpose because it would be a lost cause to try and hype them up as this sort of new All-Star group given that half of them (Keitaro, Ugajin and Araki) really don't have that brilliant a track record and none of them really have unique personalities or outfits that distinguish one from another, rather they're all nerdy Sasuke kids who started competing from the ages of 15-16 (which is similar to myself so I resonate with them personally but in the grander scheme of things they just don't have the personalities to carry the show). Besides, the group was only treated as a group in Sasuke 36 due to a couple of their breakout runs but ever since then it's just been Tada and Morimoto being given screen time; Sato is technically a part of the group but gets treated as the separate 'parkour guy' so the way they're treated in the broadcast also causes a lot of confusion as to who's actually in this group. How can you root for a particular group if you don't know who's a member and who's just another competitor who gets his clear fast forwarded?
And finally we have the Shin-Sedai who were initially shaping up to be a strong group, but as m4tt3r0x said this idea kind of fizzled out and once again it was never made clear who was actually in the group, which again just annihilates the whole impact of a new set of personalities 'competing with' or 'replacing' the All-Stars as you just don't know who to root for anymore. The term would often just get thrown around to address anyone who was under the age of 30 and made it to the Third Stage. An example being Sasuke 28 where they just decided to call the last four men standing THE 'Shin-Sedai' and basically ignore Koji Hashimoto (who was one of the most prominent Shin-Sedai prior) just because he failed Stage 1. In fact that tournament I'd argue was probably the biggest failed attempt at trying to establish a new group to compete with and replace the All-Stars, because the method by which they tried to achieve this (retiring the All-Stars) just caused so much backlash, spoiled the results (which made the term just seem like a gimmick given that they were basing the group on who did well in that one tournament, like Asa who was previously a nobody), and the whole novelty got thrown out of the window from the following tournament anyway.
Long story short, the answers I gave for the modern day equivalents of the All-Stars were based mainly on performance and occasionally on some personality querks (e.g. Yamada and Kanno both have among the colder personalities within their respective groups), but I feel like there's been this desperation to try and replicate a particular group to carry the show that has often just resulted in failure due to constant U-turns as a function of competitors suddenly doing well or badly, throwing the name around willy nilly, and not giving those people the screen time or credit that they deserve/should be expected of a new mascot of the show.
Last Edit: Jan 14, 2021 14:11:49 GMT -5 by tns8597
Funny you say a lot of the things you said because after typing my post I was trying to think if Inui could ever possibly glamorize the 6 All Star replacements I listed in addition to the Morimoto Sedai, but as separate groups. The Black Tigers get that treatment, except at least for me I don't care about any one of them except Yoshiyuki Yamamoto, I don't even ever remember the other one's name.
My point is though that when I was typing that I remembered back in the day you had the 6 All Stars and then you had the vets like Okuyama, Kong, Kobayashi Shinji, etc. It felt easier to root for those individuals because there were way less of them relative to the 6 prominent stars who had their own group. Now like tns said we just have an array of individuals and none of them have enough show time to be true TV material imo.
So my proposition actually was going to be just make an Old Guard group (Yuuji, Kanno, Hioki, Ryo, Tomo, Shunsuke) who reliably won't retire (like Kouji Hashimoto did) who are actually still threats and can do at least clear a Crazy Cliffhanger Jump (I also don't think Shunsuke is retiring any time soon) and have the New(er) Guard group as the Morimoto-Sedai. It's a lot of competitors, but personally I don't have any problem with fastforwarding guys who don't put in the performances (Keitaro, Araki, Kanno, Shunsuke) until they do. For whatever reason I think groups work. They're easier to market. You'd still have to buff up the actual competitors in the group TV persona wise, but not that many. I think Yuuji, Hioki, and Morimoto are all fine as is.
Anyway the actual problem is the new "Old Guard" (because now the All Stars are the Old Old Guard), while still capable of all getting back to Stage 3 imo, are getting up there in age except Ryo. That's why I said if they were to do something like this it would had been better to have tried it a few years ago. Still though, I think Sasuke competitors on a whole are raising their longevity on the course age wise. People typically excpect Hioki and Tomo to make Stage 3 still and they're like 40. The All Stars at 40 were all perceived as a bunch of corpses relatively lol
This is all wishful thinking. The idea is you turn the actual vets into the "celebs" (for lack of a better term, I never saw the All Stars as "celebrities") rather than relying on Snowman and Darvish to clear Stage 1 every tournament. Most of the Morimoto Sedai are just Morimoto-lite to a T and the other guys I listed would need a big overhaul too, and I think it's obvious it would never happen now. Kanno has a family and doesn't train like he used to, Shunsuke likely will never reattain his luster, Tomo is declining... Yeah.
Regardless of all of this like I said no one is ever reigniting the flame the All Stars had. (Edit: PS, look at when Takeda was declared DQ'd in 38 and was on the sideline standing with Yamada, Nagano, and Shingo. Shots like those are what made old Sasuke)
But anyway--Groups. They're cool.
Last Edit: Jan 14, 2021 14:47:46 GMT -5 by m4tt3r0x
Post by PizzaKing57 on Jan 14, 2021 15:02:41 GMT -5
Another thing I really disliked about 38, was that there were three Morimoto Sedai challengers who apart from Isa, were the only people to be digested clearing the 1st Stage, just so that Inui could focus on showing the celebrities instead, which was just downright annoying for me. And like I said before, I'm not counting Ugajin to be a proper member, as he's only competed for three years and that none of his runs have ever been shown as a whole. Unless he returns and performs better than he has ever done recently, I'm only going to consider the other five people to be the real members of the squad and two of them who are like brothers in a way need to improve their performances more, especially Keitaro who I am still frustrated hasn't even beaten Stage 2 yet.
As with the Shin Sedai, I've only considered six people to be proper members of the group, which are Urushihara as the leader, Kawaguchi, Ryo, Hioki, Asa and Kanno as the real group was introduced after the Rising era began. Although Shunsuke was referred to as a Shin Sedai back in the early days, he isn't really a proper member as for a start, all members of the group are originally Trial Qualifiers which Shunsuke isn't and secondly, he firstly competed in the era when the All-Stars were still performing well and even before the real group was conceived. This is also the case with Kongu, who should've actually been considered an All-Star and that would have been possible if he didn't take his hiatus from 8-15, when the original group was still being enlarged.
Shin Sedai was a fishy term because the group members seemingly weren't ever set in stone and the term fizzled out. First (I believe) it was considered Naoyi Tajima, Sato Jun, Kouji Hashimoto, Yuuji and Kanno at the time of Sasuke 24/25. Then when Rising began Kouji seemingly got the shaft, Tajima and Jun haulted competing, and Asa and Ryo were added along side Yuuji and Kanno. Then Ryo and Yuuji started sucking while Asa and Kanno were actually still delivering consistently solid performances, and the "Shin Sedai" term just lost its meaning and fizzled out.
Hioki and Tomo were indeed trial qualifiers but as far as I know never were called "Shin Sedai" on the show ever. They weren't called anything. Same with Shunsuke actually although I could be wrong about him as I forget what announcers said from 17-19.
Last Edit: Jan 14, 2021 15:13:20 GMT -5 by m4tt3r0x
Post by PsychoDelusion on Jan 14, 2021 15:32:15 GMT -5
I don't really think that anyone from the new generation is marketable enough to be put in a group. The Black Tigers are getting that treatment cause they have Yamada leading them and now they look better than ever too. Yamamoto looks like Final Stage material. He has that "something" and I can't wait to see how he progresses. The main idea behind the All-Stars was that all these people were common working class men that happened to have the necessary talent to take on the course. A fisherman, a firefighter, a crab fisherman, a civil employee and a man doing all odd jobs to chase his SASUKE dream. This trend sort of continued with Yuuji, Kong and Okuyama to name a few. A shoe salesman, a one-man delivery businessman and a retired athlete who saw SASUKE as his new Olympics. It's settings like these that made them interesting to watch. Nowadays what do we get? Stage 3 specialists who can barely clear Stages 1 & 2 and people whose sole backstory are that they are long standing fans of SASUKE. It's the reason why Kawaguchi is still regarded that highly by the production. He still has a great story. On the other side, Morimoto is not marketable at all cause he never had a story apart from the one the production pushed. A kid who grew up watching SASUKE and now he's competing. His track record speaks greatness but is he all that exciting to watch? Not really in my opinion. Same goes with Keitaro. I think that people like Tada should be pushed more. He showed potential ever since he was a kid and he kept being ignored by the production till SASUKE 34. But I'm getting a bit off topic now so I'll put a pause here.
If I were to create a new group of 6 competitors I'd include Yusuke, Sato, Tada, Yamamoto (BT), Nagasaki and Isa.
I would want competitors that can do exceptionally in all stages in my group, not just minions who can do well in Stage 3 and struggle in Stages 1 & 2 which is why I can't include people like Keitaro or Ryo. They need to bring balance across all stages back in SASUKE and they'll reprioritize who gets more air time and who gets to compete from the celebrities. Hopefully they will, especially with how the ratings are at this point.
The reason why the All-Stars are friends is that they were grouped together and regarded in the same light which is what ultimately brought them together; sure Akiyama and Yamada knew each other (Yamada hated Akiyama initially) beforehand, but the whole 'All-Star' thing consolidated them as a group. A key example being Bunpei, who was just another digested competitor until he became friends with the All-Stars, by which point he was constantly seen on the sidelines with them, and hung out with them outside of competition as well. But then a lot of people would also argue that it's hard to just put similarly aged and strong competitors in a group if they don't have any basis to resonate on/weren't already friends, to begin with. Many would say that the competitors themselves would actively have to want to form that group for it to gain any traction: a key example being the Black Tigers who purposely joined that group and thus are quite distinctively represented as such, without any ambiguity.
Long story short, do you group competitors due to similarities in their performances and run the risk of it not really gaining traction due to the competitors themselves not feeling this whole movement (which could be said of the 'Shin-Sedai' in Sasuke 28), or allow competitors to form their own group based on the narrative that THEY want to push forward but run the risk of this not just happening (most competitors in this era are all friends and all train together, so I don't feel like they'd want to exclude anyone)
The issue is that at this point the competitors have established themselves in their own ways for a while now, particularly the old guard who have done so for 10+ years, so I'm not sure how they'd feel about being just bundled into this group of supposedly dying stars. Also, the Morimoto Sedai don't really seem to have set themselves apart or referred to themselves as a group, so I'm not sure how they feel about the whole thing either; these groups are simple marketing exercises for the tournaments in which some of them do well which is why they tend not to last.
The one group I can really do without though are the celebrities, like ABC-Z, Snowman etc. I'm just so tired of every fail or clear cutting to them to hear their thoughts on the matter, and getting like 10 minute fluff pieces. Back in the old days, we actually had celebrities that were both interesting and sufficiently strong enough to get the screen time they deserved, and even they weren't brown-nosed as much as Inui does with Darvish. People like Iketani, Wakky (who a lot of people don't like but I found him quite funny), and Omori. Those guys all had their own likable personalities as well, whereas I find a lot of the current roster just pretty cringe and annoying.
PsychoDelusion makes a good point in that the best competitors today are just (not that it’s easy) Stage 3 specialists and it’s kinda dull. I too miss when Sasuke was well rounded and Stage 1 during Shin Sasuke to 26/27 felt like more of a dynamic slaughter fest that couldn’t be so easily predicted. The changes of real note the current Stage has faced IMO is the Tackle in 31 and Dragon Glider in 35, going from 28 to 38. Sasukes 18 to 27 had so many updated killers I’m not even gonna list them all.
Last Edit: Jan 14, 2021 17:07:54 GMT -5 by m4tt3r0x
Agreed, also how Stage 3 just seems to fit a particular body type and barely anyone else can break through.
It would be nice to see a range of different athletes from different backgrounds actually do well on Sasuke as it adds much more variety to the mix, like Paul Terek and Travis Allen Schroeder etc.
As it stands the only people who do well on Stage 3 are people who are under 5'5 and are avid rock climbers; that's basically it. That's why I found it so refreshing to see someone tall like Rene just absolutely annihilate the course, because it was so unexpected based on his body not being supposedly ideal for Stage 3.
Post by PsychoDelusion on Jan 14, 2021 18:38:23 GMT -5
If I were to make the show better I'd change these:
1)Stage 1 is fine but it's too short. Maybe another obstacle would be nice to see.
2)Stage 2 is starting to get proper, but what I'd change is the Wall Lifting. Makes the walls fall the way they used to fall so competitors won't be able to pull a Yusuke (lift them 2 feet and pass underneath cause they know they fall slowly). I'd also bring back the Metal Spin to replace the Reverse Conveyor. Would be brutal after being wet.
3)In Stage 3 I'd replace the Vertical limit with 2 obstacles like the Wall Climbing or the Floating Boards (make them ascending maybe?), in general obstacles that are equally hard for all competitors or that maybe give the shorter guys a hard time since they have the advantage on the Cliffhanger and make Pipe Slider as hard as it was pre-Nagano Kanzenseiha. The bar used to slide way more back then and I have the impression that the distance was a bit larger.
In general after each Kanzenseiha the main purpose is to create the course in such a way that defeats the person who beat it so let's see if they'll do that.
PsychoDelusion I agree with points 2 and 3 but not 1.
Stage 1 isn't fine when majority of joke competitors are able to reach the Dragon Glider where they are 99.9% going to all fail; it just makes the whole stage drawn out and boring to watch given that most of these guys have zero chance of clearing. That's partially due to the Silk Slider doing basically no damage, but the first half of Stage 1 being way too easy just made the stage really boring to watch until the last few runs.
They need more do-or-die obstacles, where one mistake results in immediate failure. Having only the Dragon Glider means that majority of people will just fail there as Sasuke 38 proved which made the results boringly homogeneous.
I'd say: - Remove the Rolling Hill given that it's very easy to take a slow and steady approach and still clear; maybe replace with something like a Pole Maze where you have to maintain momentum on the Quad Steps (which most people don't anymore; they just stop on the last step before dismounting) to get enough speed to move the pole, and the obstacle is also much easier to fail to ween out the joke competitors. - Get rid of the Silk Slider: the clear rate speaks for itself. So many more 'Covid-friendly' but far more failable obstacles, plus if they kept the Spider Walk and Rolling Log (which the competitors wrap their entire body around) then why did they have to remove the Wing Slider? If the Wing Slider truly isn't an option for the next tournament then I'd go with something like the Propeller Bars in ANW. - Dragon Glider, Tackle and Warped Wall are fine as is: if the first half of the stage is harder then we'll get fewer Dragon Glider attempts but from competitors who actually have a chance of clearing the obstacle. Though given that there's a renewal I'm excited to see how they'll modify or even change these obstacles for Sasuke 39.
Going off what PsychoDelusion said about Stage 1 needing more obstacle and tns saying the first stage needs more do-or-die obstacles, what do people think of replacing the Warped Wall with a modified Crooked Wall? Or something akin to the twisted wall prototype on kuro-ovi? If you brought back the Crooked Wall it could also lead right back into the old Rope Climb from Stage 1.
Personally I'm bored of the Tackle + Warped Wall and although it still works, I think it could use an upgrade now.
Some of the obstacles from KuroOvi were actually pretty damn cool and could definitely be used on Sasuke; things like that twisted wall you shared just now would add a much more interesting and varied element to Stage 1.
The only issue I had with KuroOvi personally is that where Sasuke's rules are arguably sometimes too stringent and/or straight up dumb, KuroOvi just seemed to have NO rules whatsoever. Like you'd frequently see competitors outright skipping obstacles or using the apparatus that technically isn't a part of the obstacle to get past, and no one seemed to care. Like in one section they give you a ladder which one guy just used to run across the twisted wall and skip a couple of other obstacles.
But anyway, some of those ideas were cool as hell, let's just hope that if they were to make it into Sasuke they don't get the standard Inui do-over where you get disqualified for breathing in the wrong way while traversing the obstacle.
One idea I thought would be cool would be to keep the Tackle and Warped Wall as it is, but then follow this with a Triple Swing straight into Lumberjack Climb (like a Spider Flip sort of move). I think that would be an appropriate increase in difficulty and would defo cause some unexpected fails, which given that it's right at the end would produce significant shock factor. Though this would require the Dragon Glider to be replaced given that they sacked off the last two obstacles in 35 to make way for how long the DG is.
The hypothetical argument is that it would be way more expensive to draw out Stage 1 beyond it's current length, like digging more pits for water etc. The reason I don't buy this is because if Sasuke 34 and 35's length are the same, then surely they either would've had to move the Tackle and Warped Wall further forwards or every obstacle before the Dragon Glider backwards, and completely restructure everything just to fit the Dragon Glider in, to ensure the last two obstacles directly replace the Tarzan Rope and Lumberjack Climb etc. which imo would be pretty f***ing expensive.
The only reason I like this current iteration is because the time limit is far more stringent this time round and the stage is just objectively way more difficult; remember in Sasuke 34 where basically half the field cleared with more than 20 seconds left, and as a result it arguably became one of those tournaments where we got too many Stage 1 clears, particularly from a lot of competitors who were never going to make it past Stage 2, resulting in loads of digested runs, bad editing, etc.
I do get the argument though that the clears being right after the Warped Wall are really anti-climactic compared to scrambling up the final ascent obstacle to finish in time. Hence I think that IF length truly was the biggest issue, I'd happily switch the Dragon Glider with the classic rope then climb obstacles, but it needs to be difficult enough to offset the removal of the DG and to accommodate the expected increase in difficulty of the renewal. I'd be quite disappointed if this new 'revamped' Stage 1 allowed for more clears than in 36-38.
That's why I think Triple Swing or something even harder like the Chain See-Saw straight into Lumberjack Climb would work wonders, and make sure the time limit is stringent enough that most of those who do get that far are really fighting the clock; even Jun Sato shouldn't be able to clear that easily.