I'm on a bit of a Ninja Warrior (or Sasuke in its native country of Japan) rush, so I decided to start this topic to allow any other possible fans on here to discuss what they think about the competition, the competitors, the tournament results, whatever strikes their fancy.
For anyone unaware of just what Ninja Warrior is, it's a tournament usually held biannually in Japan (though after the 23rd tournament, they seem to be going faster). It's a four stage obstacle course, with the first two stages and the last stage timed. And it is hard. Very hard. In 24 tournaments, each with 100 competitors, the only tournaments with a total victory were the 4th, 17th, and 24th. And no one has beaten it more than once.
Now that I've recapped the premise of the show for anyone who is unaware, or needed a reminder, how about we discuss it? As a starting point, out of the competitors who have been in more than one tournament, who are your guys's favorites? Likewise, who do you watch and just wait for them to fail so they can get out of the way, or just because you dislike them?
For the former, I have a few choices. Most of the All-Stars (except one, who I'll get to later, and another one who I'm always a bit "meh" about) are extremely friendly, both with themselves and others, and they look at the course as it should be: a challenge, an accomplishment, but still entertaining. The All-Stars I'm referring to here are Makoto Nagano (who achieved total victory in the 17th tournament), Shingo Yamamoto (the only competitor to be in every tournament), Toshihiro Takeda (who has been to the third stage more than anyone else, though he is the only All-Star to never make it to the final stage), and Bunpei Shiratori (who is a lot stronger than he looks, and in hell of a good shape for being over 40, but has missed the last 4 or 5 tournaments due to injuries).
Besides them, my favorite competitors are Shunsuke Nagasaki (who hasn't been in since the 18th tournament. :( ) for his prodigal skill on the course (beat the first stage at 17 and a half years old, the second at 18, and the third at 19) and his relativity (when he fell from the Cliff Hanger in the 16th, he shouted something, but refused to repeat it for the reporter, saying he was "frustrated" when he said it) and the newest champion Yuuji Urushihara, for just being really damn friendly. And he has a very unique voice.
On the flip side of the coin, there are a few challengers I just dislike. The worst of these is Yukio Iketani. While he shares a cockiness problem with his brother Naoki, he is much less talented than him, going out twice on the log grip. Despite that, he still found it in him to laugh at his brother while Naoki was struggling on the Warped Wall in the 24th tournament. You know, the obstacle Yukio didn't even make it close to.
Besides him, I also dislike the sole American on my list, Levi Meeuwenberg (Meeuwunberg? Meeuwenburg?), because while he is quite skilled, he also showboats like no one's business. And yet, he still keeps coming back.
Finishing off my list, we have the All-Star I referred to earlier, Katsumi Yamada, also known as Mr. Sasuke. My problems with him are simple. He takes the course way too seriously (seriously, he lost his job a while back when the steel factory he worked at shut down, and spent the new time training, rather than finding a job or ranting online). On top of that, he is really, really stuck-up. He hasn't made it past the first stage since the 14th tournament, but to hear him talk, he's one of the best competitors to ever grace the show. Needless to say, he doesn't really fit in with the rest of the All-Stars.
Sorry about the list. This "initial post" ended up a lot longer than I thought it would. Agree with my list? Disagree? Have some to add? Want to change the subject to something else Ninja Warrior related? I'd love to hear from you fans. I can't be the only fan on this site...