It is the world’s most difficult, and most beautiful obstacle course ever constructed…a course so difficult that thousands have tried to conquer it, and only a handful have been able to do what the Japanese call:
“Achieve Total Victory!’
Welcome to Mt. Midoriama!
As the latest season of “American Ninja Warrior” airs on NBC and Esquire network, I want to congratulate all of the amazing Athletes who are attempting the impossible: successfully finishing all four stages of the Ninja Warrior course!
Welcome To Japan’s Original “Sasuke!”
The American version of “Ninja Warrior” is a huge hit, because it is a show where Athletes must do their all to overcome impossible odds. I wanted to show you some behind-the-scenes pictures I took during my trips to Tokyo for the running of the original Japanese show “Sasuke” – what they call “Ninja Warrior!”
I attended the taping of “Ninja Warrior” four times while at G4 – and I got to see up close just how difficult and impressive the course is. One hundred Athletes show up in the morning to run this difficult course – a television event that is made possible by the incredible team at TBS – Tokyo Broadcasting System – who do an amazing job staging this television event.
“Sasuke” has aired for years on Japanese television, a huge television event that is one of Japan’s most popular. Tokyo Broadcasting System just posted a picture showing the new course for 2015!
I was fortunate enough to meet many of “Ninja Warrior”‘s most legendary athletes like Makito Nagano, the first person to ever “achieve total victory….
I also got to meet the legendary “Octopus Man”, and ran into athletes who were passionate about “achieving total victory”, which is the show’s motto, including one Athlete who “wears” his passion for the event:
Head Over Heels For Sasuke!
Speaking of passionate, here is what our four American competitors did when they saw the course for the first time in 2011:
I was there several times with some of G4’s terrific talent, including Kevin Pereira and Olivia Munn, who both ran the course – along with Producer John Hill, who willingly tried a “test” obstacle for us the day before the official competition got underway…
Oh, and here is how he looked AFTER he tried the test obstacle:
Both Kevin and Olivia took on the course as well, but first, they had to shoot some behind-the-scenes stories on the competition, and that meant they had to climb up to the top of Mt. Midoriama!
Yes, as part of our G4 coverage, Kevin and Olivia were escorted to the top of Mt. Midoriama – a very exhausting and laborious trek, since they were attached by safety cables the entire time!
Olivia Takes On Sasuke!
Both Olivia and Kevin were willing to take on the course, and here is the first obstacle they faced:
As you can see, a small group of family members are allowed to observe the first stage of the competition only – sworn to secrecy of course – and this energetic cheering helps the competitors when it comes time to run…
While she may have pretended to be nervous, Olivia stepped up bravely and gave it her all, taking on the famed Sasuke course, the world’s most difficult obstacle course!
Both Olivia and Kevin ran the course, giving it their all. In the 24+ runnings of the competition, only a handful have ever successfully beaten all four stages of the course, including “Mt. Midoriama”! One Athlete who has done is the legendary Makito Nagano, shown here with his son.
“Ninja Warrior” Behind-The Scenes!
Here are some shots of the course during the day as well as at night. Filming goes on until the last of the one hundred competitors has either fallen into the water or “achieved today victory!”
At night, when the air gets cold, they actually light a bon fire for crew members to stay warm…making Mt. Midoriama look even more impressive in the night sky…
Bravo To Sasuke!
I want to take a moment to thank the entire team from the Tokyo Broadcasting Company – they put on the world’s most challenging obstacle course, and they are consummate professionals every step of the way – no wonder competitors come back over and over to compete in this coveted TV event! It was a great shoot with a terrific team, both in front of and behind the cameras…
I was fortunate enough to attend several tapings of “Ninja Warrior” in Japan, and we also had other talent take part int he event…none more successfully than the talented Athlete Sara Underwood!
Bravo To Sara!
Sara Underwood competed in “Women Of Ninja Warrior”, and she won the first stage of the competition!
Sara also competed in the early G4 versions of “American Ninja Warrior” as well…
Along with competition in “Ninja Warrior”, Kevin and Olivia shot a lot of stories while in Tokyo, and many of them involved getting dressed up and hitting the streets of Tokyo!
Olivia and Kevin Pereira shot episodes of “Attack Of The Show!” from Tokyo, including this hilarious sketch at the world famous Shibuya crossing with the legendary “Dancing Stormtrooper!”
Olivia has portrayed Princess Leia many times…you can see some more of her “Star Wars” performances here…
And now, Olivia has become a “Super Hero” herself!
Director Bryan Singer excited fanboys around the world when he announced on twitter a casting for his latest film, X-Men: Apocalypse. “Excited to welcome Olivia Munn as Betsy Braddock aka Psylocke.”
Olivia recently shared her thoughts on this with Entertainment Weekly:
“It’s one of the coolest things,” Munn said. “It really doesn’t feel really. It’s a very cliche thing to say, but it’s just a really surreal thing when you’re on set. … I try not to mess up anything or touch anything, don’t break anything because they’re going to ask you to leave. It’s this feeling of very surreal and temporary in a way, if that makes sense. Like a dream.”
Bravo to Olivia for this great role, she is going to rock it! And remember, she’s not G4’s first Superhero:
Sara Underwood As “Bustice!”
Yes, Sara willingly became G4’s first Super Hero “Bustice” for a series of comedic sketches for our live Comic-Con shows…
And of course, all of G4’s talent went to Comic-Con, and with that incredible pop culture event about to begin, here is a look at what they wore:
So kudos to all of the Superheroes and Super Talent from G4 – including all of our Ninja Warrior champions!
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