Sasuke (TV series)

Last updated

Sasuke Title.jpg
The title card for Sasuke.
Also known asNinja Warrior
Sasuke Rising
Sasuke Ninja Warrior
Genre Sports entertainment,
Obstacle course
Created byUshio Higuchi
Directed byUshio Higuchi (1997–2011)
Masato Inui (1997–2005, 2012–present)
Voices of Takashi Matsuo (1997)
Tsutomu Tareki  [ ja ] (1998–2005)
Ken Taira  [ ja ] (2005)
Kiyoshi Kobayashi (2006–2011)
Yuya Takagawa  [ ja ] (2012–present)
Masato Obara  [ ja ] (2014)
Narrated by Ichiro Furutachi (1997–2003)
Takahiro Tosaki  [ ja ] (1997)
Keisuke Hatsuta  [ ja ] (1998–2008, 2010–14)
Wataru Ogasawara  [ ja ] (2005–2011, 2019–present)
Fumiyasu Sato  [ ja ] (2009–2011, 2018)
Tomohiro Ishii  [ ja ] (2012–14)
Ryusuke Ito  [ ja ] (2010, 2015)
Shinya Sugiyama  [ ja ] (2016–present)
Kengo Komada  [ ja ] (2004, 2015–18)
Shinichiro Azumi  [ ja ] (2018–present)
Country of originJapan
Original languageJapanese
No. of episodes38 competitions (list of episodes)
Executive producer Ushio Higuchi  [ ja ]
ProducersYoshiyuki Kogake
Makoto Fujii
Production locationsMidoriyama, Aoba-ku, Yokohama [1]
Running time120 to 360-minute specials in Japan;
30-minute episodes (United States, France, Finland, Estonia, Indonesia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and others);
30- or 60-minute episodes (Singapore);
50-minute episodes (Czech Republic, Serbia)
Production companies Monster9  [ ja ]
Tokyo Broadcasting System
Original network Tokyo Broadcasting System
Picture format16:9 4K UHDTV
Audio formatStereo
Original release27 September 1997 (1997-09-27) 
Preceded by Kinniku Banzuke
Related shows Kunoichi ,
Pro Sportsman No.1 ,
Viking: The Ultimate Obstacle Course
External links

Sasuke (サスケ; stylized in Japan as SASUKE) is a Japanese sports entertainment television special, airing since 1997, in which 100 competitors attempt to complete a four-stage obstacle course. An edited version, named Ninja Warrior, is screened in at least 18 other countries.



Recorded on location at a Midoriyama studio in Yokohama, it airs on Tokyo Broadcasting System between Japanese television drama seasons. The show's name Sasuke is named after Sarutobi Sasuke, a fictitious character in Japanese storytelling. [2] Each three-hour special (with the exceptions of Sasuke 24 and 36 which lasted 5 12 hours and 6 hours respectively) covers an entire competition; there are normally 100 participants. There have been 38 specials produced, approximately one new special per year (twice per year before Monster9's bankruptcy, now reduced to once per year since 2012, then became twice again since 2017). The show is produced by TBS and is one of the spin-offs of Muscle Ranking (筋肉番付, Kinniku Banzuke), another sports entertainment competition, which aired on G4 under the name Unbeatable Banzuke . Until the 10th competition, Sasuke was broadcast as a special part of Muscle Ranking, but it became an independent program when Muscle Ranking was discontinued. The first competition was held indoors, marking the only time Sasuke did not take place outside. Competitions generally start in the daytime and continue until completed regardless of weather or darkness. [3] After Monster9's bankruptcy in November 2011, all rights to the show fell completely into the hands of its broadcaster, Tokyo Broadcasting System. Following their acquisition of all rights to Sasuke, TBS renamed the show Sasuke Rising for the 28th, 29th and 30th editions, but have since reverted to the original name. TBS has renamed the show once again, to Sasuke Ninja Warrior since the 35th edition. TBS changed the show's logo for the 36th edition.

Applicants are interviewed or auditioned and trial rounds are held to test their physical ability until the field is narrowed to 100 competitors. Sasuke consists of four stages of increasing difficulty; competitors must complete a stage to advance. Before the 18th tournament, a 1,200-meter run was held in order to determine the competitors' starting positions. Each competition is taped prior to the air date, edited for time, and broadcast as a three-hour show. Exceptions may be made as in Sasuke 24's case should TBS decide the broadcast should go over three hours, but this is a rare exception.

In its 38 seasons, all four stages of the course were only completed a total of six times, by four different competitors. These were Kazuhiko Akiyama [4] in the 4th competition (1999), Makoto Nagano in the 17th competition (2006), Yuuji Urushihara in the 24th (2010) and 27th (2011) competitions, [5] and Yusuke Morimoto in the 31st (2015) and 38th (2020) competitions.


The popularity of Sasuke has led to the creation of a number of spin-off shows and international versions of the show. Kunoichi , perhaps the most well-known spin-off, is a version of Sasuke restricted to female competitors with an emphasis on speed, balance, and stability.

American Ninja Warrior is the United States version of the show. Originally integrated with Sasuke (with American finalists participating on the Sasuke course in Japan), it was at one point the G4 network's highest rated show. [6] As of season 4, American Ninja Warrior's popularity has allowed it to move to the NBC network and expand as a stand-alone spin-off with a full replica course in Las Vegas, although Americans have continued to enter Sasuke even after the inception of ANW.

Other international versions of the format have aired in India, Singapore, Malaysia, Turkey, Sweden, Denmark, United Kingdom, Bahrain, China, Indonesia, Russia and Vietnam, with versions also launching in France (TF1), Germany (RTL), Italy (NOVE of Discovery Networks) in 2016, and Israel (Keshet Media Group) in 2018. An Australian version launched on Nine Network in July 2017. Netflix also started airing Ultimate Beastmaster , broadcast in six different languages in 2017, a Sasuke inspired show.


The show hosts a broad spectrum of participants. While most are from Japan, national television personalities and Olympians from other countries, including the US, Bulgaria, China and Korea, have taken part in the competition. Some of the more enthusiastic competitors dress up in costumes, bring props to the starting stage, or show off some of their talents.[ citation needed ]

Sasuke All-Stars

The Sasuke All-Stars were a group of six favored competitors, established by the TBS network, originally thought to be the most likely to clear all four stages. It included two of the men to complete the Sasuke course, Kazuhiko Akiyama (1999, 4th tournament) and Makoto Nagano (2006, 17th tournament). The membership of the All-Stars has remained unchanged despite other successful competitors in later tournaments, notably, Yuuji Urushihara who completed the course in the 24th and 27th tournaments. The All-Stars were officially 'retired' in the 28th tournament. Two of them continue to compete independently, and are now referred to as 'former All-Stars'.[ citation needed ]

The six consisted of:

 – Nagano touched the top of the Shin-Cliffhanger after swinging from the second to the third ledge. He disqualified himself, admitting his error and bowing out after he reached the next platform.

* – Nagano was allowed a second attempt at the First Stage due to a malfunction of the Slider Jump.

 – Takeda had no number in the 18th tournament. He was around the 86th person to run the course. Takeda injured his shoulder when running the Wing Slider in 36th tournament.

 – Yamamoto was hurt in the 7th competition when he dislocated his shoulder and in the 23rd he re-injured his shoulder.

 – In the 12th competition, Yamada was disqualified on the Spider Walk for failing to remove his gloves used on the Chain Reaction obstacle. Although he was disqualified, he did manage to clear the 2nd Stage with 3.4 seconds remaining.

Sasuke New Stars (Shin Sedai)

The Sasuke New Stars (in contrast to the All Stars) are new younger competitors who have made a name for themselves on mostly the Shin-Sasuke editions of the course. "Shin Sedai" or New Stars became famous since Sasuke 17, after Shunsuke Nagasaki made it to the Final Stage. There was a brief hiatus before the term was re-popularized in Sasuke 22 when Yuuji and Kanno made it to the Third Stage. Membership in the New Stars has included the following:

† – Kanno touched part of the frame with his foot and climbed along the side of the platform, thereby going off the course.
‡ – Kanno withdrew before Double Salmon Ladder because of a shoulder injury.
†† – Kanno dislocated his shoulder immediately after clearing the Warped Wall, and timed out on top of the wall.

† – Kishimoto did not run the course because of his back injury.

Morimoto Generations (Morimoto/Sasuke-Kun Sedai)

The Sasuke New Stars (in contrast to the All stars) are new younger competitors who have made a name for themselves on the recent editions of the course. "Morimoto Sedai" or Morimoto Generations became famous after Sasuke 31, since Morimoto made his victory, there are many competitors who has been the same age as Morimoto and train with him. Morimoto Generations has been introduced in Sasuke 36 when Tada and Araki finally made it to the Third Stage. Membership in the Morimoto Generations has included the following:

Notable competitors


World-class athletes, including Olympians, have attempted Sasuke:

Japanese athletes

Several Japanese athletes have competed in Sasuke over the years, including professional team handball player Daisuke Miyazaki, who was featured in the 20th, 21st, 22nd and 26th competitions. In his debut, the 20th competition, he failed on the Halfpipe Attack. His best performance was in Sasuke 21, where he made it all the way to the Third Stage Devil Steps. In Sasuke 22, he timed out on the Net Climb in Stage 1, and in Sasuke 26, he failed the First Stage's Rolling Escargot.

Sprinter Hisatsugu Suzuki, who competed in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, appeared in the 13th competition where he fell in Stage 1 on the Cross Bridge.

Another competitor from the 1992 Olympics, gymnast Yoshiaki Hatakeda, competed in the 6th tournament, making it all the way to Stage 3 before falling on the Cliff Hanger.

After the 27th competition, three Japanese Olympians competed: Tomoko Hagiwara, Koki Sakamoto, and Daisuke Nakano. Hagiwara competed in the 28th competition, but she failed the Quintuple Step. She also competed in the 29th competition, but she failed the Hedgehog. Sakamoto competed in the 28th competition, wearing #95 (the highest number for non all-stars that tournament), but he timed out on the second Warped Wall. Nakano competed in the 29th competition, but he failed the Jump Hang Kai, while trying to grab both nets.

Pole Vaulter Seito Yamamoto, who competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics, 2016 Summer Olympics, and also 2018 Asian Games, appeared in the 35th and 36th competition where he fell in Stage 1 on the Dragon Glider twice.

American athletes

Various American athletes, including Olympians and athletes who are regular American Ninja Warrior competitors, also compete in Sasuke.

Olympic gymnasts (and twin brothers) Paul and Morgan Hamm have competed together. Paul made it to the Second Stage in the 14th and 16th competitions but failed to make it further – in the 14th, he cleared Wall Lifting but forgot to hit the button at the end before time ran out, and in the 16th, he was eliminated by the Metal Spin. He competed in the 15th competition as well, but he failed to make it past the First Stage's Warped Wall. Morgan timed out in the First Stage before he could attempt the Rope Climb in the 14th competition, but he made it to the Third Stage in the 15th, failing on the Curtain Cling. In the 16th competition, he failed the First Stage's Warped Wall.

 - Paul Hamm cleared the Second Stage with 0.1 seconds left, but walked through the gates without hitting the buzzer. As a result, he was disqualified.

Decathlete Terek competed four times in total. He first appeared in the 17th competition, making it to the Third Stage before failing the Cliffhanger. The announcer pointed to his immense size (6 foot 3 and 215 pounds) as a barrier to his advancement. After earning the title of Pro Sportsman No. 1 in 2007, Terek appeared in the 19th competition but failed the First Stage's Jumping Spider. He helped G4 oversee the 2nd American Ninja Challenge competition in early 2008, but he did not compete in Sasuke's 20th competition due to his training for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing (though he eventually had to drop out of the running for the Olympics after suffering a torn meniscus in his left knee). He made his return to Sasuke in the 22nd competition but failed on a new obstacle in the First Stage, the Slider Jump. He failed the same obstacle in Sasuke 24. In 2010, Paul Terek announced his retirement from international competition, so it is likely he will never compete again.

Cejudo, a gold medal-winning wrestler at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, competed in the 21st competition, but failed the First Stage's Halfpipe Attack.

Meeuwenberg, a free runner from G4's American Ninja Challenge 2, first competed in Sasuke 20, where he was one of only three people to clear the First Stage and the only person to clear the Second Stage. He cleared Stage 2 with a record time of 38.5 seconds left. He failed the Third Stage's Shin-Cliffhanger. In the 21st competition, he failed the Salmon Ladder in the Second Stage; in the 22nd, he failed the new Slider Jump; in the 23rd, he made it back to the Third Stage but failed the Shin-Cliffhanger again. He missed the 24th competition but returned for the 25th, where he failed the first obstacle of the Second Stage, the Slider Drop. However, he couldn't compete in the 26th competition after breaking his wrist while participating in Jump City: Seattle , a televised professional parkour tournament.

Levi did not compete in American Ninja Warrior 3 to try to earn a spot for Sasuke 27 because of a big movie scene that came up for him during the time of the tryouts.

Levi however did compete American Ninja Warrior 4, however he failed the Quad Steps (Godantobi in Japanese), the very first obstacle. It was clear he was very tired as he had flown in from the Philippines hours beforehand and tried to rush.

He has not competed in American Ninja Warrior ever since. It is known that he stopped free running altogether, and became a farmer instead. [8]

In the four times he completed the First Stage, he had the fastest time out of everyone who finished Stage 1.

 - Levi was supposed to compete in the 26th tournament, having earned a spot in the American Ninja Warrior preliminaries, but was ultimately unable to do so after breaking his wrist on Jump City: Seattle , which occurred prior to the 26th tournament. His spot in the tournament went to ANW alternate, Adam LaPlante (who failed on the Halfpipe Attack in Stage 1).

  • David Campbell , an American musician and American Ninja Warrior stalwart nicknamed "The Godfather".
  • Brent Steffensen  [ ja ], a Brazilian-American stuntman who became the first American to complete the Ultimate Cliffhanger during American Ninja Warrior.

Nicknamed the "Real Life Ninja", Dreschel also participated in American Ninja Challenge and then became an American Ninja Warrior stalwart once NBC and G4/Esquire created an entire American-based Sasuke competition, eventually becoming the third American to achieve total victory in Las Vegas in ANW 11 in 2019. He competed in Sasuke 30 (reaching the Third Stage), after he won the Sasuke Asian Open Cup 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (where he achieved a gold medal in overall stages) and ANW Season 7 and 8 (where he competed in the Vegas Finals) in the space of a calendar year. He competed again in Sasuke 31 and failed the Crazy Cliffhanger. He made his fourth appearance in Sasuke 32; he is the first person ever to beat the Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger and the third American to clear the Japanese Cliffhanger, after Travis Allen Schroeder in Sasuke 4 and Kane Kosugi in Sasuke 8, but he failed the next obstacle Vertical Limit Kai. In Sasuke 33, he failed the second trial on the Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger, due to timing problems on the moving ledge. He fell at the same place just like the last tournament in Sasuke 34. He managed to clear the Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger, the second time he cleared it. Unfortunately, he failed on the first ledge of the Vertical Limit, he managed to get hold of the ledge and made it halfway before falling in Sasuke 35. In Sasuke 36, he went down the ramp from the Backstream too fast and slid off the mat, resulting in a course out.

  • Jessie Graff , a stuntwoman who currently works on the Supergirl TV series. Previously a pole vaulter in college, she initially competed in multiple seasons of American Ninja Warrior, becoming the first woman to complete Stage 1 in Las Vegas in 2016. In 2017, she became both the first woman to complete Stage 2 in Las Vegas (ANW All-Stars) and Stage 2 at the original Mt. Midoriyama (Sasuke 34). In Stage 3, she went out on the Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger at the first transition, but not before earning an invitation to the next tournament. She returned back in Sasuke 37, where she made it back to Stage 3 again, only to fail the New Cliffhanger Dimension.
  • Kacy Catanzaro , the first woman in the world to clear the Warped Wall and the Salmon Ladder while competing in American Ninja Warrior (ANW 6 in 2014, during the Dallas qualifiers). In 2016, she competed at Sasuke 32 but narrowly timed out on Stage 1 after passing the Warped Wall.
  • Jamie Rahn, an American Ninja Warrior regular who competes in superhero attire and is known as "Captain NBC" after the network that airs American Ninja Warrior (originally Captain G4). He competed in Sasuke 37 but did not pass the first stage.

Bulgarian athletes

Bulgarian gymnast and six-time Olympian (1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012) Yordan Yovchev (spelled on G4 as Jordan Jovtchev) first competed in the 8th competition. During that competition he reached the Final Stage but became the first competitor to suffer a 15-second timeout on the initial Spider Climb portion, falling when it spread apart. Rain and a two-second late start also hurt his performance. He made it to the Third Stage three more times in competitions 12, 14, and 16, failing the Cliffhanger each time. He competed in the 15th competition but failed the Warped Wall in the First Stage. He later came back to compete in Sasuke 20, where he failed the Warped Wall again. He also competed in Sasuke 23, where he managed to pass all of the other obstacles but sadly timed out on the final rope ladder.


Korean athletes

South Korean gymnast Yeo Hong-chul, silver medalist in the men's vault at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. He competed four times but has never gotten past the First Stage. In the 7th competition, he was unable to beat the Rolling Log; In the 8th, he failed the Quintuple Step; In the 11th, he timed out on the Warped Wall. And in the 12th, he timed out on the Rope Climb.

Polish athletes

Polish gymnast Leszek Blanik, bronze medalist in the men's vault at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and gold medalist in men's vault at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, competed in the 23rd tournament but failed on the Curtain Slider in the First Stage.

Spanish athletes

Spanish gymnast Gervasio Deferr, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Champion in the vault and 2008 silver medalist in the floor exercise, competed in the 10th competition but timed out a few feet from the buzzer on the First Stage's Rope Climb.

Taiwanese athletes

  • Lee En-Chih  [ ja ] (who was incorrectly listed as Lee Yen Chi in the US version and was mistakenly called Lee Enchi or Li En Zhi for years), is a professional rock climber from Taiwan. In his first attempt in Sasuke 17, he cleared the First Stage but failed the Second Stage's Metal Spin. In Sasuke 18, he failed the Jumping Spider in the First Stage. After a two-tournament absence, he competed in Sasuke 21 and was one of only nine competitors to make it to the Second Stage, timing out on Wall Lifting. In Sasuke 22, he was one of four people to make it to the Third Stage, ultimately failing the Shin-Cliffhanger. In Sasuke 23, he failed the Second Stage's Metal Spin. In Sasuke 24, he made it to the Final Stage for the first time but timed out 19 meters away. Li became the third foreigner to reach the Final Stage since Yordan Yovchev and Kane Kosugi in Sasuke 8. In Sasuke 25, he went to the Third Stage, but he failed the Ultimate Cliffhanger. He made it back to the Ultimate Cliffhanger in Sasuke 26, but again failed there. In Sasuke 25 and 26, Li finished first overall, becoming the only foreigner to have progressed further than any competitor in consecutive tournaments. After making it to the Ultimate Cliffhanger two times, it looked as if Li would go all the way in Sasuke 27. However, he shocked many when he failed the Step Slider in Stage 1. This was his earliest defeat ever, and first time failing Stage 1 since Sasuke 18. He failed the First Stage yet again in Sasuke 28, on the Spinning Bridge. He finally cleared the First Stage again in Sasuke 29, but timed out on the Passing Wall, on the Second Stage. He failed the Crazy Cliffhanger in Sasuke 30. He decided to retire from Sasuke due to replacement by Taiwan representatives. Since Sasuke 31, his fellow Liao Long Zhun fully ruled the Taiwan representatives. He is also the only foreigner to clear Stage One six times in a row (Sasuke 21–26).

Tahitian athletes

  • Ragivaru Anastase  [ ja ], a Tahitian dance instructor, competed in Sasuke 31. He was fastest with 35 seconds left. But he failed on the Crazy Cliffhanger. Then, he joined Sasuke 32. He had the fastest time again in the First Stage and Second Stage, but he failed the Flying Bar when he ran the obstacle in bad weather. In Sasuke 33, his run was digested and surprisingly failed the Rolling Hill. He made it to the Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger in Sasuke 34 and fell before the first transition.

Mixed martial artists and wrestlers

K-1 mixed martial artist Genki Sudo has competed in five tournaments, failing at the Jump Hang (6th, 12th), the Rolling Log (13th), Duodectuple Step (23rd), and the Log Grip (24th). Another mixed martial artist, Sanae Kikuta competed in the 8th and 10th tournaments, where he fell off of the Rolling Log in the First Stage; in the 12th tournament, he fell on the Plank Bridge in the First Stage. Other K-1 fighters who have competed include Tatsuji (19th competition, failed the Jumping Spider), Yudai (20th competition, failed the Rokudantobi), Andy Ologun (18th competition, failed the Rope Glider; 20th competition, failed the Log Grip), Bobby Ologun (22nd competition, failed the Log Grip), Bernard Ackah (19th competition, failed the Jumping Spider), and Takeru Segawa has competed in four tournaments, failing the Hedgehog (30th), Warped Wall (31st), Tarzan Rope (32nd) when his foot touched the water, cleared the First Stage (33rd) but failed the Salmon Ladder Nobori, and Backstream (34th). He had a surprising fail on the modified Fish Bone (35th). Hirotaka Urabe has competed twice, failing the Rolling Hill (34th), Wing Slider (36th).

Former Pride Fighting Championships and Pancrase Japanese mixed martial artist and pro wrestler Ikuhisa Minowa, competing in DREAM known as "Minowaman", was featured in the 26th competition wearing red wrestling tights, pads, and boots. He failed the second obstacle, "Hazard Swing" after jumping from the swing, and missing the rope on the platform, falling into the water below. He also competed in the 29th competition, but failed the first obstacle, the "Long Jump", where he landed feet first onto the sandbox and jumped backwards into the water. Japanese featherweight mixed martial artist from DREAM Hideo Tokoro (announced as a "freelance fighter") was featured right after Minowaman in the 26th competition where he failed to grab the rope to swing himself to the other side in the first obstacle "Step Slider".

Several professional wrestlers have also competed, including Tiger Mask, The Great Sasuke (referred to as Great Ninja Warrior in the US and UK versions), Minoru Suzuki, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi and Naohiro Hoshikawa. Suzuki and Tanahashi were the Triple Crown Heavyweight and IWGP Heavyweight Champion, respectively, during their runs in the course.

Japanese entertainers

Several Japanese or Japan-based entertainers have taken part in Sasuke, including action movie star Kane Kosugi and his brother Shane. Kane made the Third Stage in the 1st, 4th and 6th competitions, failing on the Pole Bridge, Cliffhanger and Body Prop, respectively. In the 7th competition, he made the Second Stage but failed the Spider Walk, his earliest exit from a competition. He reached the Final Stage in the 8th competition, becoming, alongside Yordan Yovchev, the first foreigner to make it that far. Competing in heavy rain, Kane timed out on the Rope Climb; he has not competed since. Shane timed out on the Second Stage's Wall Lift in the 2nd competition, then failed the First Stage's Rolling Log in the 3rd competition. In the 4th, he came close to completing the First Stage but timed out on the Rope Climb. In the 6th and 7th competitions, he made it to the Third Stage, failing both times on the Body Prop. In the 8th competition, he failed to get past the First Stage's Warped Wall. Unlike his brother, Shane competed in the 9th competition, where he failed the Big Boulder in the First Stage.

Other entertainers who have competed include Hiromichi Sato  [ ja ], host of several NHK children's programs; Shigeyuki Nakamura, a champion of the Muscle Gym event in Kinniku Banzuke ; actor-singer Kazumi Morohoshi, a former member of the band Hikaru Genji who is now a solo artist; actor/announcer Kenjirō Ishimaru; and actors Masaki Nomura and Shōei. Sato debuted in the 18th tournament and failed the First Stage's Flying Chute. In the 19th tournament, he failed the Log Grip. In the 20th competition, he timed out before he attempted the Tarzan Rope. In the 21st competition, he timed out on the Warped Wall. In the 22nd, Sato finally cleared the First Stage but failed the Metal Spin in the Second. In Sasuke 23, he failed the Jumping Spider. In Sasuke 24, he failed the Metal Spin again. He missed Sasuke 25, but failed the Jumping Spider again in Sasuke 26. He missed Sasuke 27 and 28 but competed in 29, where he shocked the crowd by unexpectedly going out on the first obstacle, the Long Jump. Nakamura made it to the Third Stage in the 2nd competition, failing there on the Pipe Slider, but in the 6th competition he was eliminated by the First Stage's Jump Hang. Morohoshi debuted in the 20th tournament but failed the Log Grip in the First Stage. Ishimaru has never made it past the First Stage; his two closest attempts, in the 16th and 17th competitions, timed out on the Rope Climb. Shōei competed three times. He competed in Sasuke 6, and failed the Jump Hang when he tried to go under using only his arms. He timed out on the Rope Climb in Stage 1 in Sasuke 7. He finally made it past the First Stage and Second Stage in Sasuke 8. He struggled in Stage 3 on the Propeller Bars, and failed the Body Prop.

Actor James Okada, a graduate from a martial arts academy, competed in the 6th and 7th competitions. In his first attempt, he failed the Jump Hang in the First Stage, but in the next tournament, he made it all the way to the Third, where he was defeated by the first obstacle, the Propeller Bars.

Actor and singer Tetsuji Sakakibara competed four times (23rd–26th tournaments) but never cleared the First Stage, failing on the Jumping Spider in the 23rd and 24th tournaments, the Jump Hang in the 25th tournament, and the Half-Pipe Attack in the 26th tournament.

Actor Ryosuke Yamamoto competed in Sasuke 30 and Sasuke 31. He never completed the First Stage, failing in Jump Hang Kai in Sasuke 30. In Sasuke 31 he did slightly worse by failing the Orugōru (also known as the Music Box) before he could reach the Jump Hang Kai again.

Voice actress Tomoko Kaneda competed in Sasuke 31. She failed the Rolling Hill on the First Stage. Her husband, Wataru Mori, an actor, also competed in several competitions. Mori has competed since Sasuke 16; he failed Rolling Log. Then he competed again in Sasuke 21 and failed Jumping Spider. After an eight-year hiatus, he competed again in Sasuke 32; he timed out on the Lumberjack Climb. He competed again in Sasuke 33, where he completed the First Stage, and timed out at the Reverse Conveyor. In Sasuke 34, he surprisingly failed the last steps on the Quad Steps, his foot slipping to the left. He eventually timed out on the Warped Wall in Sasuke 35. In Sasuke 36, when he reach the Reverse Conveyor, he used his legs to support himself on the sides of the Conveyor. This is something which is against the rules and thus he was disqualified.

Golden Bomber members Kenji Darvish  [ ja ] and Yutaka Kyan  [ ja ] also competed in Sasuke 31. Kyan failed the Rolling Hill on the First Stage. Darvish had previously competed in Sasuke 28 and 30 and failed the First Stage. In Sasuke 31, he finally completed the First Stage and failed the Cross Slider in the Second Stage. In Sasuke 32, Kyan did better on the Rolling Hill, but he lost his balance on the new obstacle Tie Fighter. Darvish failed at the Tie Fighter when he lost his balance. In Sasuke 33, Darvish almost cleared the First Stage but shockingly failed the Lumberjack Climb with only several centimeters to finish the obstacle. Kyan failed Quad Steps. In Sasuke 34, Darvish made it to the 2nd Stage, but he struggled in the Reverse Conveyor. He made it to the Second Stage, he professed slightly further, timing out after lifting the first wall of the Wall Lifting, while Kyan failed the Dragon Glider in Sasuke 35. Darvish finally made to the Third Stage, he failed the transition to the Sidewinder Kai while Kyan failed the Dragon Glider in Sasuke 36.

Model Shimon Okura competed in Sasuke 30. He failed on the Log Grip on the First Stage. He came again to Sasuke 31, doing better on the Log Grip, but he missed the nets on the Jump Hang Kai. Then he joined Sasuke 32. He fell on the new obstacle Double Pendulum when he tried to get to the red sandbag.

A.B.C-Z member Ryoichi Tsukada  [ ja ] competed in Sasuke 31; he timed out at the Lumberjack Climb. Then, he competed again on Sasuke 32. He completed the new obstacle Tie Fighter and Double Pendulum, but he failed to reach the top of the Warped Wall. In Sasuke 33, he cleared the First Stage for the first time. He failed Salmon Ladder Up. In Sasuke34, he cleared the First Stage once again and this time failed Salmon Ladder Down. He failed on the TIE Fighter in Sasuke 35. He failed the Dragon Glider in Sasuke 36. Johnny's Jr., SnowMan member Hikaru Iwamoto  [ ja ] He failed the transition from Quad Steps to the Rolling Hill in Sasuke 33. He failed the Fishbone in Sasuke 34. He failed the Dragon Glider in Sasuke 35. He timed out on the top of the Warped Wall in Sasuke 36.

Japanese comedians

Several Japanese comedians have taken part in Sasuke, including Akira Omori  [ ja ] ("The Monkey"), Koriki Choshu ("the most famous gut in Japan" and 2nd on G4's Craziest Contestants Poll), Passion Yara ("screaming wacko" and 5th on G4s craziest contestants poll), Masaki Sumitani ("Razor Ramon H.G." or "Hard Gay"), Yoku Hata ("Guitar Samurai"), Tetsurō Degawa, and Kinnikun Nakayama  [ ja ]. Most of these compete for entertainment value and do not represent serious challenges – for example, Choshu's only accomplishment was being the first person to clear the Rope Glider in the 18th competition. However, some have seen success. Omori made it to the Final Stage three times in a row (1st–3rd competitions), a record that is shared with Sasuke all-star Makoto Nagano, but since then he has not been able to clear the First Stage. Nakayama made it to the Second Stage in the 9th and 11th competitions; in the 9th, Nakayama failed the Spider Walk, and in the 11th, he missed hitting the Second Stage's final button by a split-second. He competed in Sasuke 27. He had footage showing himself training for the new course. He wore #30, and despite his training, he failed the Rolling Escargot when he could not get enough momentum to get the structure spinning, and fell into the water when trying to restart the obstacle. He got revenge on it in the 28th tournament, but timed out on the second Warped Wall. In the 29th tournament, he almost cleared the First Stage for the first time in 10 years, but ultimately, timed out at the top of the Rope Ladder. Recent comedians include Yoshio Kojima, who competed in five competitions (22, 24, 26–28), where he failed at the Log Grip twice, Hazard Swing, Step Slider, and Rolling Escargot respectively. Funnyman Masumi Yagi was featured in the 26th competition but failed on the Step Slider. Cocky comedian Eiko Kano (aka "Mr. Narcissus") was featured in the 25th competition and failed at the Dome Steps, but got past the first obstacle in the 26th competition and failed at the Rolling Escargot.

Penalty comedian[ clarification needed ] Wakky  [ ja ] competed nine times in Sasuke. He debuted in Sasuke 20 and failed the Halfpipe Attack. In Sasuke 21 and 22, he failed the Jumping Spider. In Sasuke 23, he got revenge on both the Jumping Spider and the Halfpipe Attack, only to fail the Slider Jump. In Sasuke 24, he failed the Halfpipe Attack again. He returned for Sasuke 27 and cleared the First Stage for the first time. In the Second Stage, he failed the Double Salmon Ladder. In Sasuke 28, he timed out on the Rope Ladder. He advanced to the Second Stage in Sasuke 29 and 30, but failed the Swap Salmon Ladder.

Other notable competitors

65-year-old Minoru Kuramochi, known as "the Octopus" because he usually brings an octopus with him, is the owner of the Edokko Izakaya octopus bar in Tokyo and is one of the oldest competitors. He has competed several times, never making it very far into the First Stage. Despite this, he seems to be a fan favorite. In the 20th competition's preview special, he welcomed the G4 American Ninja Challengers to his bar, served them his special octopus meal, and showed off his physical skills to them. He is No. 4 on G4's Craziest Contestant poll. His best performance was in Sasuke 26, where he managed to make it to the Rolling Escargot. He got further than in Sasuke 19, when he timed out on the Pole Maze.

Toyohisa Ijima, a martial arts dance instructor and former member of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, competed in the first several tournaments. He is known as the "Japanese Bruce Lee" because of his resemblance to the late action star, which extends to dressing and acting like him. He has only made it past the First Stage in the 1st tournament; in the 11th tournament, he missed hitting the final button on the Rope Climb by a split second because he had wasted time posing for the crowd after completing each obstacle. He is No. 3 on G4's Craziest Contestant poll.

46-year-old Katsuhide Torisawa is a former weightlifter who has competed in every single Shin-Sasuke tournament (except Sasuke 22), starting with Sasuke 18. He always displays his strength before his run; he has brought a barbell and lifted it over his head multiple times, ripped off his shirt, and crushed an apple and full cans of beer with one hand, and also snapped a baseball bat in half. He has never cleared the First Stage.

Women in Sasuke

The first woman to have completed the First Stage is former Super Sentai stuntwoman Chie Nishimura, who did so in the 2nd tournament. [9] She attempted the Second Stage's Spider Walk in a non-optimal fashion, because her legs were too short to reach across the obstacle the proper way, and failed. She also competed in Sasuke 3 but failed the Rolling Log. She hasn't competed in Sasuke since.

Masami Yusa (G4 mislists her first name as "Miyabi" in some tournaments), a beach flags champion, has competed eight times. She debuted in Sasuke 6, but failed the Barrel Climb. In the Sasuke 13 trials, she became the first woman to beat the Jump Hang, although she timed out there. During the actual competition, she was able to grab on to the redesigned Jump Hang, but she misjudged her jump, slammed face-first onto the platform, and fell into the water; this failure earned her a "Warrior Wipeout" during G4's broadcasting of this tournament. In Sasuke 14, she became the first woman to beat the Jump Hang and the Crooked Wall in competition, but she ultimately timed out on the Warped Wall.

All three women who achieved kanzenseiha on Kunoichi (Women of Ninja Warrior), the female equivalent of Sasuke, have also competed in Sasuke itself, though none have cleared Stage 1. All are also acrobats who worked with Muscle Musical.

American gymnast Kacy Catanzaro, who famously became the first woman in the world to clear both the Warped Wall and the Salmon Ladder during American Ninja Warrior qualifiers in Dallas in 2014, traveled to the original Mt. Midoriyama for Sasuke 32 and cleared the Warped Wall at the second attempt before narrowly timing out.

Another American woman and American Ninja Warrior standout, stuntwoman Jessie Graff – the first woman to complete Stage 2 in Las Vegas (ANW All-Stars) – was one of the two invited US entrants including Drew Drechsel in Sasuke 34 the next year. She became only the second woman in Sasuke history after Nishimura to complete the First Stage, doing so with 14.5 seconds left on the clock (which would have been under the limit set for the male competitors as well; the female competitors were given an extra 10 seconds.) She then surprised everyone once again when she managed to complete Stage 2 with 4.4 seconds left on the clock, becoming the very first woman to ever clear the Second Stage in Sasuke. In Stage 3, Graff started strongly, completing the first three obstacles in good form. However, despite her determination, she failed the Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger when she attempted the first jump from the first to the second ledge and was unable to hold on. However, having impressed the onlookers, she was invited back for the following tournament. She did not return until Sasuke 37, however, but she went on to clear stage 1 and 2 again, becoming the only woman to reach stage 3 twice. She failed the first flip of the Cliffhanger Dimension, in the same place as Sasuke 34. (insert list of runs here)

A Shinkin Bank employee who has been competed on Kunoichi, Ayano Oshima  [ ja ], She first completed in Sasuke 31. Her run was digested, but it was shown that she had timed out as she was getting up the Warped Wall. Ayano once again returned for Sasuke 36. She was the first Japanese woman to ever clear the Dragon Glider. Although, she became to tired after finishing the tackle, and timed out at the Warped Wall.

American Ninja Challenges

In fall 2007, the G4 network held a contest called the American Ninja Challenge, whose grand prize was a trip to Japan to compete in Sasuke's 19th competition. Ten semifinalist videos were selected on August 3 via internet poll to determine three finalists who would appear on G4's Attack of the Show! on August 28–30 to demonstrate their Ninja Warrior skills. On August 31, Michigan State University Economics student Colin Bell and the runner-up, Greenville, South Carolina native Brett Sims, were both selected, and they became the subjects of an hour-long G4 special on November 14 during G4's Ninjafest. Ultimately, both Colin and Brett qualified for the course thanks to their impressive physical abilities, but they both failed the Jumping Spider.

The second contest by G4 wrapped up in March 2008 and aired as part of G4's Ninjafest 2 on May 18, 2008. Levi Meeuwenberg of Ann Arbor, Michigan and Brian Orosco of San Francisco, California were both chosen to compete in Sasuke's 20th tournament; both are free runners. They competed alongside surprise guest Brett Sims, who was given the opportunity to return by G4. Sims failed the First Stage's Warped Wall, while Orosco failed the Flying Chute. Meeuwenberg, however, made it to the Third Stage before he ultimately failed the Shin-Cliffhanger. In that tournament, he was the last man standing (as he was the only competitor in the entire tournament to make it to the Third Stage).

The third contest by G4 wrapped up in August 2008 and aired as part of G4's Ninjafest 3 on November 12, 2008. Viewers voted for their favorite competitors, the top three of whom would be flown to Japan to compete in Sasuke's 21st tournament. The winners were Brian Orosco (who qualified with a different video), gymnast Mark Witmer of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and free runner/stuntwoman Luci Romberg – the first woman to qualify – of Valley Village, California. They joined American Ninja Challenge 2 winner Levi Meeuwenberg and both hosts from Attack of the Show! , Olivia Munn and Kevin Pereira, to compete in Sasuke 21. In that tournament, Munn failed the Sextuple Step, while Pereira's run ended after his feet hit the water on the Log Grip; on the TBS broadcast, Munn's run was shown only in part while Pereira's run was cut completely. Romberg failed the Halfpipe Attack, while Witmer failed the Log Grip due to a severe ulnar nerve injury that he suffered while warming up. Orosco completed the First Stage with just 0.6 seconds left on the clock but failed the Second Stage's Salmon Ladder. Meeuwenberg cleared Stage 1 with the fastest time, with 21.5 seconds remaining, but similarly failed the Salmon Ladder.

The fourth contest by G4 wrapped up in March 2009 and aired on June 21, 2009 on G4 as part of Ninjafest 4. The competitors' videos were judged by Attack of the Show's Olivia Munn. The winner, David Campbell, was joined by Munn and previous competitors Levi Meeuwenberg and Luci Romberg. Munn failed the new Circle Hammer in the First Stage; Romberg failed the First Stage's Jumping Spider; Campbell timed out on the final First Stage obstacle, the Rope Ladder, and later told the sideline reporter that he "underestimated the cardio" involved in the course. Meeuwenberg failed a new First Stage obstacle, the Slider Jump.

After this, the American Ninja Challenge was discontinued and replaced by American Ninja Warrior .


The following is a list of available information of people who achieved the best results in each competition and also the number of competitors who failed in the lower stages. Under each competition, the results are listed in order of best performance. Their names are listed along with their number (1–100) from the competition, and the stage/obstacle they failed to complete (or Total Victory). In the 10th competition the number system ran from 901 to 1000 to indicate that 1000 competitors had attempted the First Stage, and then ran from 1901 to 2000 in the 20th competition to indicate that 2000 competitors had attempted the First Stage, and from 2901 to 3000 during the 30th competition to indicate roughly 3000 attempts on Sasuke. All air dates are of the Japanese broadcast on TBS.

Sasuke 1

Aired: September 27, 1997

Sasuke 2

Aired: September 26, 1998

Sasuke 3

Aired: March 13, 1999

Sasuke 4

Aired: October 16, 1999

Sasuke 5

Aired: March 18, 2000

Sasuke 6

Aired: September 9, 2000

Note: This is the first tournament where no one failed the Second Stage.

Sasuke 7

Aired: March 17, 2001

^Went 2 1/2 meters up then fell down.

Sasuke 8

Aired: September 29, 2001

^ Jovtchev fell off the Spider Climb after the walls split at the 15 second limit.

Sasuke 9

Aired: March 16, 2002

Sasuke 10

Aired: September 25, 2002

Sasuke 11

Aired: March 21, 2003

Sasuke 12

Aired: October 1, 2003

Sasuke 13

Aired: April 6, 2004

Sasuke 14

Aired: January 4, 2005

Sasuke 15

Aired: July 20, 2005

Sasuke 16

Aired: December 30, 2005

Sasuke 17

Aired: October 11, 2006

Sasuke 18

Aired: March 21, 2007

Sasuke 19

Aired: September 19, 2007

Note: This is the first tournament where nobody cleared the Second Stage, marking the earliest end of a tournament.

Sasuke 20

Aired: March 26, 2008

Sasuke 21

Aired: September 17, 2008

Sasuke 22

Aired: March 30, 2009

Sasuke 23

Aired: September 27, 2009

Sasuke 24

Aired: January 1, 2010

Sasuke 25

Aired: March 28, 2010

Sasuke 26

Aired: January 2, 2011

Sasuke 27

Aired: October 3, 2011

Sasuke 28

Aired: December 27, 2012

Sasuke 29

Aired: June 27, 2013

Sasuke 30

Aired: July 3, 2014

Sasuke 31

Aired: July 1, 2015

Sasuke 32

Aired: July 3, 2016

Note: This is the second tournament where no one failed the Second Stage.

Sasuke 33

Aired: March 26, 2017

Sasuke 34

Aired: October 8, 2017

Sasuke 35

Aired : March 26, 2018

Sasuke 36

Aired : December 31, 2018

Sasuke 37

Aired : December 31, 2019

Sasuke 38

Aired : December 29, 2020

Sasuke 39

List of Sasuke stages and obstacles

Stage 1

One hundred participants are given the opportunity to attempt the First Stage, a course which primarily tests one's speed. The object is to hit the buzzer at the end of the course before the allotted time expires. If a competitor goes out of bounds or comes into contact with the water in any of the pits below the course, he or she is disqualified from the competition.

Typically, 85 to 90 of the 100 original entrants are eliminated in this stage. However, in the 4th competition, a record 37 of the original 100 competitors made it past the First Stage. After the 4th, 17th, 24th, 27th, and 31st competition, the First Stage was thoroughly redesigned to be much more difficult and prevent large numbers of people from moving on. In fact, a G4 special inside the making of the 18th Sasuke competition revealed that the redesign of the First Stage for the 18th competition was done with the intention of seeing all 100 challengers fail it. This did not happen, however, and that has only spurred the production team on to make this and all stages to follow even harder.

That goal was almost met in the 19th competition, where much to everyone's surprise, only two competitors cleared the First Stage (neither of the two being Sasuke All-Stars), a record in Sasuke history. (The only time something similar has happened was in the first Kunoichi, where again, only two competitors cleared the First Stage.) Executive producer Ushio Higuchi said in interviews later that even he was surprised at the results, anticipating that around 10 to 12 people would survive in spite of the production team's attempts at making the First Stage unbeatable.

+ — This obstacle is an immediate successor to the previous obstacle, without any way to recuperate between them.

^1 Although the names of the obstacles were different from the second tournament, the obstacles were still the same.

^2 TBS officially considers that they are two different obstacles as their two names "フリークライミング"(Free Climbing) and "壁登り"(Wall Climb) are separately shown on the screen in the Japanese version (Sasuke #1) and also in the Sasuke Mania Official Site. However, Ninja Warrior has referred to the Free Climbing/Wall Climb combination as the "Mountain Climb" in subtitles.

^3 This Hill Climb is completely different from the one that would later be replaced with the Warped Wall after the 4th competition.

^4 On Ninja Warrior, the "Prism See-Saw" is called the "Prism Tilt" in subtitles. The Japanese announcer calls it the "Prism See-Saw."

^5 On Ninja Warrior, the "Cross Bridge" is called the "Bridge of Blades" in subtitles. The Japanese announcer calls it the "Cross Bridge."

^6 Although referred to as the Jump Hang, the obstacle in the 13th competition consisted of many ropes hanging vertically, completely different from the rope net used in all other competitions. Some call it the "Rope Hang," but that name is erroneous.

^7 The Rope Ladder's name and obstacle symbol was not shown in Ninja Warrior's obstacle chart in the 18th due to lack of room for TV screening. However, in the 19th they had the Rope Ladder and NOT the Tarzan Rope. The Japanese announcer still calls the last two obstacles by their official names.

^8 On Ninja Warrior, the "Double Pendulum" is called the "Tick Tock" in the UK English dub.

^9 On Ninja Warrior, The X-Bridge is called the Bridge of Blades in subtitles just like the Cross Bridge.

^10 On Ninja Warrior, the "Rolling Escargot" is called the "Rolling Snail" in the UK English dub.

^11 On Ninja Warrior, the "Lumberjack Climb" is called the "Flip Climb" in the UK English dub.

^12 On Ninja Warrior, the "Tackle" is called the "Triple Tackle" in the UK English dub.

^13 On Ninja Warrior, the "TIE Fighter" is called the "Prop Slider" in the UK English dub due to not having the rights from Lucasfilm to use the name associated with the Star Wars fighter after which the obstacle was named.

^14 On Ninja Warrior, the "Spinning Log" is called the "Spinning Tube" in the UK English dub.

^15 On Ninja Warrior, the "Log Drop" is called the "Tube Drop" in the UK English dub

^16 On Ninja Warrior, the "Rolling Log" is called the "Rolling Tube" in the UK English dub.

^17 On Ninja Warrior, the "Three-Stage Rolling Log" is called the "Rolling Tube" in the UK English dub.

^18 On Ninja Warrior, the "Log Grip" is called the "Tube Grip" in the UK English dub.

Stage 2

Those with enough skill to complete Stage One then take on an even more grueling set of obstacles in Stage Two. 283 competitors have reached the Second Stage. Like Stage One, the obstacles alter throughout the competitions, but all hold to the same principle: if the competitor makes a single mistake they fall into the water below. The obstacles determine the time limit, and it is usually between 50 and 100 seconds.

Unlike the First Stage, which has always required the competitors to hit a buzzer at the end of the course to stop the clock and pass the course, the Second Stage did not have a buzzer at its end until the 8th competition. Before then, the competitors simply walked through an open gate to stop the clock. From the 8th competition onward, the buzzer opens the gate. If the competitor breaks the gate open without hitting the button, they are disqualified. In addition, the course judges can hold the gates closed if a competitor committed a foul earlier in the Second Stage that would result in their disqualification, such as using the Chain Reaction gloves on the Spider Walk as "Mr. Sasuke" Katsumi Yamada had done in the 12th competition.

On average, 10 to 15 competitors attempt the Second Stage on each competition. A record 37 competitors attempted the Second Stage during the 4th competition. Also during the 4th competition, a record 11 competitors cleared the Second Stage. During the 5th competition, however, only three men made it to the Second Stage due to new, tougher obstacles in the First Stage. In the 19th competition, neither of the two qualified competitors cleared the circuit (a fall and a timeout on the Salmon Ladder), marking the earliest end of a Sasuke competition.

+ — This obstacle is an immediate successor to the previous obstacle, without any way to recuperate between them.

^19 The Moving Walls and Spider Climb are actually included in the Spider Walk, but TBS officially considers that they are three different areas as their three names "スパイダーウォーク" (Spider Walk), "動く壁" (Moving Walls) and "スパイダークライム" (Spider Climb) are separately shown on the screen in the Japanese version (Sasuke #1) and also in the Sasuke Mania Official Site. Ninja Warrior just sees them as a single obstacle and calls it "Spider Walk".

^20 The onscreen Japanese graphics "五連ハンマー" reveal this obstacle's official name as "Five Continuous Hammers". On Ninja Warrior, this obstacle is referred to as the Hammer Dodge.

^21 In those competitions there are two "Moving Walls" in the Spider Walk, but TBS does not officially call them independent obstacles, and just considered the whole Spider Walk as one obstacle only.

^22 After the 27th tournament, there was one bridge (with four chains) instead of two.

^23 The Rolling Log appeared in SASUKE 37 as the original first obstacle of Stage 2, but due to rain, it did not function correctly. The judges decided to start Stage 2 at the Salmon Ladder Ascent with a lowered time limit of 100 seconds.

Third Stage

The Third Stage has no time limit, allowing contestants to go at their own pace. Contestants are allowed a few seconds of rest between obstacles during which they can apply "sticky spray" to improve their grip. While the first two stages focus on speed and agility, this course almost exclusively tests one's upper body strength and stamina.

Out of 3,000 total competitors and 283 Second Stage competitors, 139 have attempted the Third Stage. The Third Stage is so grueling that, on average, someone passes it only every other competition. Only 22 individuals have ever passed it, and only six have passed it more than once, namely Akira Omori, Shingo Yamamoto, Makoto Nagano, Yuuji Urushihara, Ryo Matachi, and Yusuke Morimoto.

+ — This obstacle is an immediate successor to the previous obstacle, without any way to recuperate between them.

^24 On Ninja Warrior, the "Pole Bridge" is called the "Pillar Path" in subtitles. But the English version and the Japanese announcer call them the "Pole Bridge."

^25 The onscreen Japanese graphics (針山) reveal this obstacle's real name as "Pincushion"; on Ninja Warrior, it's called "Eye of the Needle."

^26 The onscreen Japanese graphics (ハングムーブ) reveal this obstacle's real name as "Hang Move"; on Ninja Warrior, it's called "Chain Swing".

^27 Ninja Warrior calls the "Pole Jump" the "Super Vault."

^28 On Ninja Warrior, the "Climbing Bars" are called the "Bridge of Destiny" in subtitles. But the English version and the Japanese announcer call them the "Climbing Bars," one of the many gairaigo (words borrowed from English) used to describe Sasuke obstacles.

^29 In the 19th and 20th this obstacle was the Sending Climber, but in the 21st they changed the obstacle and the name to Hang Climbing. G4 calls it Ascending Climb.

^30 On Ninja Warrior, the "Lamp Grasper" (as well as its Descending variant in the Shin Sasuke Era) is called the "Globe Grasp" in subtitles. But the Japanese announcer calls it the "Lamp Grasper."

^31 The Vertical Limit Kai was modified to have three separate sections instead of two.

^32 On Ninja Warrior, the " Roulette Cylinder " is called the " Roulette Wheel " in the UK English dub.

^33 On Ninja Warrior, the " Bungee Rope Climb " is called the " Rope Climb " in the UK English dub.

^34 On Ninja Warrior, the " Chain See-Saw " is called the " Chain Saw " in the UK English dub.

^35 On Ninja Warrior, the " Sidewinder R" (as well as the "Altered Sidewinder R") is called the " Wind Chimes " in the UK English dub.

^36 On Ninja Warrior, the " Planet Bridge" is called the " Body Prop " in the UK English dub.

^37 Due to rain during the taping of SASUKE 37, the Cliffhanger Dimension's motorized parts were disabled

^38 On Ninja Warrior, the " Iron Paddler" is called the " Rolling Steel " in the UK English dub..

Final Stage

To date, the Final Stage has known six forms. Each of these share a single, common goal: to scale the tower and reach the button at the top before time expires. If the competitor does not reach the top platform in time, the rope is cut and the competitor falls (they are caught by a safety line). Starting from the 18th competition, the rope is no longer cut. Reaching the top is referred to as kanzenseiha (完全制覇), translated roughly as "complete domination", and rendered on Ninja Warrior as "total victory". The Final Stage's time limit is between 30 and 45 seconds.

Of all the competitors to attempt to claim victory, only 24 have been admitted to the Final Stage, and only six of them have gotten there more than once (Akira Omori in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd competitions, Shingo Yamamoto in the 3rd and 7th, Makoto Nagano in the 11th, 12th, 13th, his victory in the 17th competition and in the 23rd competition, Yuuji Urushihara in the 22nd and his victories in the 24th competition and 27th, Ryo Matachi in the 27th competition and 30th, Yusuke Morimoto's victory in the 31st competition,the 35th competition and his second total victory in the 38th competition.). Currently there are only four victors: Kazuhiko Akiyama defeated Sasuke in the 4th competition, Makoto Nagano in the 17th, Yuuji Urushihara in the 24th and in the 27th, and Yusuke Morimoto in the 31st and 38th.

The original Final Stage consisted of climbing a 15-meter (49 ft) rope. The contestant must start climbing from a seated position.

The second version of the Final Stage was unveiled in the 7th competition, when Shingo Yamamoto became the first to attempt it. The height of the tower was increased to 22.5 metres (74 ft). It consists of a 12.5 metres (41 ft) Spider Climb followed by a 10 metres (33 ft) Rope Climb. After 15 seconds, the walls of the Spider Climb spread apart. This ensnared Yordan Yovtchev during the 8th competition, when he failed to complete the Spider Climb before it began spreading, and fell off the tower.

The third version of the Final Stage was revealed in the 22nd competition, when Yuuji Urushihara was the first to try it. The height of the tower remained mostly the same as the second version of the Final Stage, but two new obstacles were used: a 13-metre (43 ft) "Heavenly Ladder" and a 10-metre (33 ft) "G Rope." The time limit was increased to 45 seconds, then reduced to 40 seconds in the 23rd competition. Competitors are not dropped due to the Heavenly Ladder being in the way.

The fourth version of the Final Stage was revealed in the 27th competition, when Ryo Matachi was the first to attempt it. The height of the tower was reduced to 20 meters and consisted of a 20-meter (66 ft) Rope Climb similar to the first version of the Final Stage, but with a 5-meter height difference. The time limit stayed at 40 seconds. Unlike the first version of the Final Stage, competitors started at a standing position instead of a seated position.

The fifth version of the Final Stage was briefly seen in Stage 3 and in a trailer of Sasuke Rising. Its design was similar to that of the fourth version of the Final Stage consisting of a Rope Climb. Unlike its predecessor, this version is 4 m taller, and the competitors would have likely climbed up the rope in a seated position. The time limit would have likely been 35 seconds, as Urushihara may have cleared this particular version with one second left. It was used for only one tournament.

For the sixth version, with the removal of the previous version of the Final Stage, it was not unusual to see a change similar to that of the 18–24 version from the Metal Ladder to the Heavenly Ladder. The previous Final Stage consisting of a Rope Climb was thrown out all together and the return of the 7–17 Final Stage took its place. The Spider Walls seem to take up less space this time, and the Rope Climb appears to take up more. Nevertheless, the height of the tower has once again increased, this time to 24 m. The Spider Climb (スパイダークライム) appears to be the same as its predecessor, at 12.5 m, while the Rope Climb (綱登り) was slightly modified in length at 11.5 m from that of its original predecessor, at 10 m. The time limit is likely to stay the same at 30 seconds, though a 35-second Final Stage is not out of the question.

The prize for completing the Final Stage was ¥2,000,000 (about US$ 18347). The prize has now increased to ¥4,000,000 (about US$ 36693.99) since the completion of the 17th tournament. In the 24th tournament a Nissan Fuga was also a prize if anyone could complete the Final Stage.

Typically, only one or two people make it to the Final Stage, if any make it at all. However, both the 3rd and 24th competitions saw a record five competitors attempt the Final Stage. After the 4th competition, though, the Final Stage was only achieved on average every other tournament.

^1 According to the Sasuke Mania Official Site, the official Japanese names for the ropes in 1st–4th, 5th–17th, and 25th–27th are "15m綱登り", "10m綱登り" and "20m綱登り" respectively, in which "綱登り" means "Rope Climb". Ninja Warrior just calls them "Rope Climb", without the length of the ropes.

^2 If the "Spider Climb" is not completed in fifteen seconds, the walls start to slide back, making it harder to traverse, and finally impossible if not completed soon after.


The logo for Ninja Warrior is the idea for changing SASUKE into Ninja Warrior. Ninjawarriorlogo.jpg
The logo for Ninja Warrior is the idea for changing SASUKE into Ninja Warrior.

International versions

Below is an incomplete list of the international versions with their own Sasuke/Ninja Warrior courses, excluding the original Japanese version and its rebroadcast in other countries.

  Currently airing
  An upcoming season/version
  Status unknown
  No longer airing
CountryLocal titlePresenter(s)ChannelPremiered
Flag of the Arab League.svg Arab world Ninja Warriorبالعربي
Ninja Warrior bel-arabi
Ahmed Fahmi
Jennifer Aazar
ON E March 2017
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Australian Ninja Warrior Rebecca Maddern
Ben Fordham
Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff
Nine Network 9 July 2017
Flag of Austria.svg  Austria Ninja Warrior AustriaDori Bauer
Mario Hochgerner
Florian Knöchl
Puls 4 24 October 2017
Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain Ninja Warrior Bahrain2015
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 极限勇士
Sasuke: X Warrior
Ultimate Warrior
Shi Zhenghan
Ma Li
Su Dong
Zhang Chunye
Jiangsu TV 9 June 2015
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark Danmarks Ninja Warrior Pelle Hvenegaard
Christiane Schaumburg-Müller
Kian Fonoudi
Kanal 5 7 September 2015 [17]
Flag of France.svg  France Ninja Warrior : Le Parcours des héros Denis Brogniart (Season 1–)
Christophe Beaugrand (Season 1–)
Iris Mittenaere (Season 3)
Sandrine Quétier (Season 1–2)
TF1 8 July 2016
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Ninja Warrior Germany Laura Wontorra
Jan Köppen
Frank Buschmann
RTL 9 July 2016
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary Ninja Warrior Hungary Attila Till (Season 1-)
Péter Majoros (Season 1)
Vivien Mádai (Season 1)
Tibor Kasza (Season 2)
Luca Stohl (Season 2)
Zoltán Szujó (Season 3-)
Ramóna Lékai-Kiss (Season 3-)
TV2 16 October 2017
Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia Sasuke Ninja Warrior Indonesia Fadi Iskandar (Season 1–)
Pica Priscilla (Season 1)
Sere Kalina (Season 2)
Daniel Mananta (International Competition)
RCTI 20 December 2015
Flag of Israel.svg  Israel נינג'ה ישראל
Ninja Israel
Assi Azar
Rotem Sela
Niv Raskin
Rotem Israel
Keshet 12 25 July 2018
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Ninja Warrior Italia Federico Russo
Carolina Di Domenico
Massimiliano Rosolino
Gabriele Corsi
NOVE 17 October 2016
Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia Sasuke Malaysia TV9 2011
Flag of Mongolia.svg  Mongolia Монголын Нинжа дайчид MNB 29 September 2019
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands Ninja Warrior NL Kim-Lian
Dennis van der Geest
Jack van Gelder
SBS 6 9 March 2017
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland Ninja Warrior Polska Karolina Gilon
Łukasz Jurkowski
Jerzy Mielewski
Polsat 3 September 2019
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Ninja Warrior RomaniaRaluca Aprodu
Costi Mocanu
Daniel Niţoiu
Pro TV 9 September 2018
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Русский ниндзя Yevgeny Savin
Timur Solovyev
Yulianna Karaulova
Channel One Russia 26 November 2017
Flag of Singapore.svg  Singapore Sasuke Singapore Mike Kasem
Hamish Brown
Joanne Peh
Mediacorp Channel 5 9 August 2012
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Ninja Warrior EspañaArturo Valls (Season 1–)
Manolo Lama (Season 1–)
Patricia Montero (Season 2–)
Pilar Rubio (Season 1)
Antena 3 9 June 2017
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden Ninja Warrior Adam Alsing
Mårten Nylén
Karin Frick
Kanal 5 29 January 2015
Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland Ninja Warrior SwitzerlandNina Havel
Maximilian Baumann
TV24 16 October 2018
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey Ninja Warrior TürkiyeHanzade Ofluoğlu
Jess Molho
Hakan Akdoğan
Fikret Engin
Murat Özari
TV8 17 September 2014
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom Ninja Warrior UK Ben Shephard
Rochelle Humes
Chris Kamara
ITV 11 April 2015
Flag of the United States.svg  United States American Ninja Warrior Blair Herter (Season 1)
Alison Haislip (Season 1–3)
Matt Iseman (Season 2–)
Jimmy Smith (Season 2–3)
Jonny Moseley (Season 4)
Angela Sun (Season 4)
Akbar Gbaja-Biamila (Season 5–)
Jenn Brown (Season 5–6)
Kristine Leahy (Season 7–10)
Zuri Hall (Season 11–)
G4 (2009–2013)
NBC (2012–present)
Esquire Network (2014–2016)
USA Network (2017–present)
Telemundo (2020–present, in Spanish)
12 December 2009
American Ninja Warrior: Ninja Vs. Ninja
(formerly Team Ninja Warrior ) (Spin-off format)
Matt Iseman
Akbar Gbaja-Biamila
Alex Curry
Kacy Catanzaro (College Madness)
USA Network 19 January 2016
American Ninja Warrior Junior (Spin-off format)Matt Iseman
Akbar Gbaja-Biamila
Laurie Hernandez
Universal Kids 13 October 2018
Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam Không giới hạn - Sasuke Việt Nam Nguyên Khang
Diệp Lâm Anh
Thành Trung
VTV3 18 June 2015

Mt. Midoriyama conquerors

These winners are not including the "kanzenseiha" (Total Victory) winners from the original Japanese version, or under any other varied rules (including Team Ninja Warrior in Denmark and the United States).

CountryWinner(s)Broadcast date
Flag of the United States.svg  United States Geoff Britten14 September 2015
Isaac Caldiero [lower-alpha 1]
Drew Drechsel16 September 2019
Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam Flag of the United States.svg David Campbell29 September 2016
Nguyễn Phước Huynh
Lê Văn Thực
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom Tim Champion1 June 2019
Flag of France.svg  France Jean Tezenas du Montcel2 August 2019
Nicolas Cerquant
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Ben Polson [lower-alpha 2] 10 August 2020
Charlie Robbins
Zak Stolz
  1. Caldiero was awarded the $1 million prize after completing the Final Stage with a faster time.
  2. Polson was awarded the $400,000 prize after completing the Final Stage with the fastest time, with Robbins second and Stolz third. [19]

United States

The program previously aired on G4 in the United States under the name Ninja Warrior. Each episode now lasts thirty minutes and it also includes some minor changes in the on-screen graphics. Throughout the episode, there are the "Ninja Killer" (for the obstacle that took out the most competitors) and "Warrior Wipeout" (honors the best wipeout) segments. The Japanese play-by-play commentary and interviews with the competitors have English subtitles, while the competitor profiles, replays, and introductions were dubbed by voice actor Dave Wittenberg.

The show became the highest rated program on the network since its debut. Aside from a few sporadic occurrences, reruns of Ninja Warrior stopped airing regularly sometime in December 2012 in wake of G4 slated to be rebranded as the Esquire Network on September 23, 2013. The last four episodes to air on G4 appeared as a two-hour block on April 10, 2013. It is unknown if Ninja Warrior would return to the network's schedule or if some other channel would acquire the series. Commercials on G4 show American Ninja Warrior to air on G4 in July, marking it the last program being advertised on the network as a G4 program, and not an Esquire channel presentation.

As of August 3, 2016, an article released by USA Today says that "Esquire has obtained rights to 27 Ninja Warrior tournaments...along with all eight Kunoichi spinoff contests that feature only women contestants." and that they "...will return as a 63 hour Labor Day weekend marathon (Sept. 3, 7 a.m. ET/PT) in Japanese, with English subtitles." Whether this is referring to the original broadcasts or the G4 broadcasts is unknown right now due to little notice, but it seems to lean toward the G4 broadcasts. They also stated that "Additional newer tournaments of the series, never seen in the U.S., will debut next year." As of 2021, new episodes have not been shown on U.S. airwaves, and the 27th competition remains the most recent one to be aired in America.

American Ninja Warrior

The popularity of the American Ninja Challenge has led G4 to produce a version of the series featuring American contestants called American Ninja Warrior, which is produced by Pilgrim Films and Television, Inc and is currently hosted by Akbar Gbaja-Biamila and Matt Iseman. Auditions on G4's website ended on August 18, 2009. Open tryouts were held in Los Angeles on August 29 and 30, 2009, and were taped for the show, with ten finalists competing on the 23rd tournament of the original Ninja Warrior course in Japan in September 2009. The eight-episode series began airing on December 12, 2009.

The qualifying round consists of over 300 competitors, running an obstacle course strongly influenced by Sasuke's First Stage. The course consists of the Quintuple Step, a Rope Swing, the Jumping Spider, a modified version of the Pipe Slider, and a much smaller Warped Wall. The preliminaries used a leader board, and the 30 fastest times moved on to the semi-finals, which included the preliminary course plus three obstacles, the Tarzan Jump, the Jumping Bars, and a Net Climb.

American Ninja Warrior aired only the American finalists during the Sasuke obstacle course. The Japanese competitors were later aired on April 10, 2010.

A second season was cast on G4's website as of April 10, 2010 and aired in hour long specials starting December 8, 2010. The top 10 contestants would participate in Sasuke 26. Three episodes were run for the first two weeks. The first three episodes covered the opening round of the competition; the fourth covered the semifinals. This was followed by four days of a "boot camp" where the fifteen winners of the semifinals were divided into three five-man teams and put through several different Pressure Challenges, with the losing team having to complete a punishment while the other two teams got extra training time on models of some of the Sasuke obstacles (The Warped Wall, Double Salmon Ladder, Balance Tank, and Circle Slider). The teams would then run through a grouping of the obstacles with some sort of hindrance (usually carrying something heavy between obstacles). The teams with the worst time would be forced to send two members to an elimination challenge, with the losing person forced to leave.

After boot camp, the ten final winners traveled to the Sasuke course to compete. Once again, only the American competitors were aired during the special, with the rest of the Sasuke competition to air later. The most successful of the American competitors in the past, Levi Meeuwenberg, withdrew from the competition due to a fractured wrist, giving his spot to Adam LaPlante. Five members failed in the First Stage: Patrick Cusic and former American Gladiators champion and gladiator Evan "Rocket" Dollard both fell from the new Rolling Escargot obstacle, LaPlante fell on the Halfpipe Attack and Adam Truesdell fell from the Giant Swing, a new variation of the Jump Hang, the only one out of all 100 competitors to do so in the whole tournament. In addition, veteran Shane Daniels once again timed out on the Cargo Net. In the Second Stage, four of the remaining five cleared, while Travis Furlanic fell on the Balance Tank, an obstacle he struggled on during boot camp. In the Third Stage, Paul Kasemir failed the Doorknob Grasper. Brent Steffensen made it to the Ultimate Cliffhanger before falling into the water. David Campbell, despite having the fastest times of all the competitors to compete (finishing the Second Stage with over 24 seconds left) failed at the Ultimate Cliffhanger as well. Brian Orosco fell at the very first obstacle, the Roulette Cylinder, which he had passed easily in the previous competition. While the $250,000 prize went unclaimed, Sasuke 26 was the start of a successful showing by a collection of American competitors.

The third season of American Ninja Warrior debuted on July 31 on G4, again with 300 competitors at the tryouts in Venice Beach. While many top competitors were absent including Levi Meeuwenberg, Rich King and Luci Romberg, a talented crop of new competitors took their place including Denver Broncos wide receiver Matt Willis, who finished the course but did not qualify for boot camp. Other notable competitors who failed to advance to boot camp included two-time Sasuke veteran Shane Daniels, season two veterans Evan "Rocket" Dollard, Adam Truesdell, Adam LaPlante and Patrick Cusic, top first round qualifiers from the previous season Trevor Vaughn and David Money, and former world freerunning champion Tim Shieff. In addition, professional freerunner and Survivor: China competitor Michael "Frosti" Zernow ranked in the top fifteen and was invited to boot camp, but injured himself and was replaced with fellow Jump City: Seattle competitor Jake Smith. Other competitors from Jump City who advanced to boot camp also included Brian Orasco, Drew Dreschel and David "Young Flip" Rodriguez. The level of competition in boot camp was noticeably higher in the third season, as competitors were only given one attempt at each obstacle in challenges, leading to a large increase in time penalties. Promising competitors Dustin Rocho, Brandon Douglass, Alan Connealy, second-seeded qualifier Chris Wilczewski and five-time Sasuke veteran Brian Orosco all saw their Sasuke dreams come to an end at boot camp.

Of the ten who advanced to Sasuke, nine easily cleared the First Stage. The only exception was Dreschel, who injured his knee landing on the Halfpipe Attack, and despite a valiant attempt at the Warped Wall, was unable to put any weight on his leg and stated on his Facebook that he will not be available for Sasuke 28. The high hopes of the remaining nine took a major hit in the Second Stage, as five more were eliminated including Rodriguez on the Slider Drop, Smith on the Double Salmon Ladder, and newcomer Travis Rosen and veterans Travis Furlanic and Brent Steffensen on the Metal Spin. The remaining four competitors made it to the Third Stage only to be outdone by the Ultimate Cliffhanger. Ryan Stratis failed to make the fourth ledge while James McGrath and fan favorite Paul Kasemir failed the transition to the fifth ledge. The last competitor, David Campbell almost made it through the entire obstacle but on the final ledge his grip gave out. Even though no one earned a $500,000 K-Swiss Endorsement Deal, the competitors at Sasuke 27 were by far the strongest group of Americans to date. The final episode of the third season aired on NBC on August 29, 2011 as a two-hour special in prime-time.

A fourth season of the program began airing on May 20, 2012 and the show aired on both G4 and NBC for the Regionals and the Championship with the grand prize of $500,000 and the coveted American Ninja Warrior title. The entire format was changed as well – regional qualifiers in different parts of the country were aired and the Mt. Midoriyama course was recreated just off the Las Vegas Strip for the national finals. The regional qualifiers would narrow its selections down to 30 contestants who finished its qualifying course in the fastest time as well as the contestants who finished the furthest the fastest. Qualifying obstacles would include common Stage 1 obstacles such as the Quintuple Steps and the Warped Wall, but its contents would change from city to city. The 30 contestants were then cut in half in the regional finals where the course would extend to include common Stage 2 and Stage 3 obstacles such as the Salmon Ladder, Cliffhanger and Body Prop. The 90 contestants who qualified (including wild cards) earned tickets to Las Vegas to challenge Mt. Midoriyama.

The show returned for its fifth season on July 1, 2013 in the same format. This season, if a contestant were to finish the course, that player would be guaranteed a spot in the next round. The show returned once again for its sixth season on May 25, 2014 on both NBC and Esquire Network with the same rules as in previous seasons. NBC has renewed the show for its seventh season in 2015 with the grand prize now doubled to $1,000,000. So far, it has produced, among other things, the endorsement of Makoto Nagano, the first American to complete the Ultimate Cliffhanger (Brent Steffensen in 2012), the first woman to complete the Salmon Ladder (Kacy Catanzaro in 2014), the first woman to complete the Jumping Spider (Meagan Martin, also in 2014), the first two Americans to achieve Total Victory (Isaac Caldiero and Geoff Britten on the same night in 2015) and the first female to complete Stage 1 of Mt. Midoriyama in Las Vegas (Jessie Graff in 2016, who also became the first female to complete Stage 2 of the original Mt. Midoriyama in 2017 during Sasuke 34. [20] ) The network has renewed the show once again for its eighth season in 2016 with new qualifying cities including Los Angeles and Oklahoma City. The network has renewed the show for its ninth season in 2017 with three new cities: San Antonio, Daytona Beach, and Cleveland. The tenth season of the show began airing on May 30, 2018 with returning cities and a $10,000 bonus for finishing the Mega Warped Wall. The eleventh season began airing on May 29, 2019 with two new cities (Tacoma and Cincinnati), a chance to go directly to Las Vegas with the Speed Pass in the Power Tower duel between the two fastest players, and a new co-host, Zuri Hall. In addition, Drew Drechsel became the third person to achieve Total Victory at the end of the season.

USA vs Japan

In 2014, the first Sasuke-based team competition was started, pitting five Sasuke All-Stars and New Stars representing Japan against five American Ninja Warrior stars representing the United States in what was dubbed by some as the inaugural Sasuke/Ninja Warrior world championship. The first meeting took place at the Mt. Midoriyama reconstruction in Las Vegas and was first broadcast in America on January 13, 2014 on NBC, with a second meeting already scheduled for the original Mt. Midoriyama in Aoba-ku in 2015.

At the first match in Las Vegas, Team Japan was composed of Shingo Yamamoto, Yuuji Urushihara, Ryo Matachi, Hitoshi Kanno and Kazuma Asa from Sasuke, while Team USA was composed of Brent Steffensen, Paul Kasemir, James McGrath, Travis Rosen and Brian Arnold from American Ninja Warrior. The match was composed of four rounds – one on each stage, with each round being a best-of-five of one-on-one races and each competitor running once per stage until the stage outcome was decided. Stage 1 was worth one point, Stage 2 worth two points and Stage 3 worth three, with the tiebreaker being the Final Stage tower. Despite the Japanese boasting superior experience and pedigrees (no Team USA member had completed Stage 3, either in Yokohama or Las Vegas), the Americans pulled off a stunning 6–0 win that included only one Japanese one-on-one race win (Matachi against Arnold on Stage 3.)

American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs. Ninja

With the success of American Ninja Warrior, Esquire Network announced a spin-off to the series called Team Ninja Warrior on October 9, 2015. The spin-off consists of 24 teams of three members featuring past and current ANW contestants from the first seven seasons and is unique for being a head-to-head event where two teams or competitors run the course at the same time. The series began airing on January 19, 2016 and is hosted by regular ANW hosts Akbar Gbaja-Biamila and Matt Iseman with sideline reporter Alex Curry.

One edition of the format is College Madness featuring college teams in a five-week competition, with the second season debuting on November 22, 2016 with Iseman and Gbaja-Biamila as hosts and ANW season six contestant Kacy Catanzaro as the sideline reporter.

USA renewed the show for its second full season.

In 2018, the network renamed the show to American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs. Ninja with Iseman, Biama, and Curry as hosts and new teams for its third season.

American Ninja Warrior Junior

On May 2, 2018, Universal Kids announced a second spin-off of Ninja vs. Ninja called American Ninja Warrior Junior. The spin-off consists of 192 kids from across America as they compete head to head in three different age brackets: 9-10, 11-12, and 13–14 years old. Each bracket will be mentored by All-Star Ninja Mentors: Drew Dreschel, Barclay Stockett, Kevin Bull, Natalie Duran, Najee Richardson and Meagan Martin. The series began airing on October 13, 2018, with Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila joined by Olympic gold medalist gymnast Laurie Hernandez as hosts.

United Kingdom

The American-edited Ninja Warrior episodes are broadcast in the United Kingdom on Challenge. The show has been re-edited to remove the subtitles from the footage of the competitors taking part in the stages, but retain them for contestant interviews. The "Ninja Killer" and "Warrior Wipeout" sections remain, but there is only one advertisement break halfway through the show.

The show was voiced-over by Stuart Hall for its first three series, aired between 2007 and 2008. In the fourth UK series, aired in 2011, Jim North took over as the voice-over. Challenge has now removed Hall's commentary from the first three series, following his imprisonment in June 2013, and re-dubbed them with new commentary by North. As of July 2012, all American edited episodes, covering all tournaments up to Sasuke 27, had aired in the UK. A new run of edited episodes airing in March 2016 was produced in the UK for Challenge, covering the Sasuke Rising tournaments, once again voiced by North. Another run of brand new edited episodes airing in June 2018 was again produced in the UK for Challenge, covering Sasuke tournaments 31–34, also voiced by North.

Ninja Warrior UK

It was announced on 22 December 2014 that a UK remake of the format, similar to that of the American version, would be aired on ITV in 2015. The first series began on 11 April 2015. It is produced by ITV Studios subsidiary company, Potato [21] and hosted by Ben Shephard, Rochelle Humes and Chris Kamara. [22] The show includes a recreation of the Mt. Midoriyama course at Manchester Central Convention Complex and produced the first Briton to achieve total victory in Tim Champion in 2019.


American Ninja Warrior and Swedish Ninja Warrior are broadcast in Australia on SBS Two. The play-by-play commentary and interviews with participants are subtitled in English, while the introduction, player profiles, and replays have been dubbed by a voice actor.

Australian Ninja Warrior

On 19 June 2016, Nine Network announced they are creating Australian Ninja Warrior, an Australian version of the show which will be produced by Endemol Shine [23] and hosted by Rebecca Maddern, Ben Fordham and Freddie Flintoff. [24] [25] [26]


The program can be seen in Bosnia as Nindža Ratnici (Ninja Warriors) every day from Monday until Friday at 18:20 (UTC+1) on the Hayat TV channel and on Mreža Plus syndicated TV program.


The program is broadcast in Bulgaria on bTV Comedy as Най-добрият нинджа (The Best Ninja) weekends at 16:00 (UTC+2).


An unlicensed Chinese edition, 极限勇士 (Sasuke: X Warrior), started on June 9, 2015 on Jiangsu TV. While the show contains courses directly based on American Ninja Warrior 6 and follows a similar structure, the version is unofficial and not directly related to Sasuke. The Chinese edition contains four international competitions, the Chinese team playing head-to-head matches against contestants from Netherlands, United Kingdom, Singapore and the notable contestants from American Ninja Warrior .


The program is broadcast in Colombia on Canal Uno on Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 PM, and a version of American Ninja Warrior (as Guerrero Ninja Americano) is broadcast on Canal RCN on Saturday and Sunday at 4:00 PM.


The program can be seen in Croatia on Nova TV as Ninja Ratnici (Ninja Warriors) from Monday to Friday at 09:45 (UTC+1) and 17:15 (UTC+1) narrated by Davor Jurkotić and Mario Lipovšek Battifiaca.

Czech Republic

The program is broadcast in the Czech Republic on Prima Cool as Ninja faktor (Ninja Factor). Episodes are 50 minutes long and split in two parts.


The program was aired in Estonia as Ninjasõdalane (Ninja Warrior) on the TV6 channel every Saturday and Sunday at 19:00 pm to 20.00 pm. Running time was 30 minutes per episode.


In 2016, the inaugural season of Ninja Warrior France aired, on TF1, with Midoriyama located in Cannes. The show is titled Ninja Warrior Le Parcours des Heros. [NB 1] The obstacle course itself is called Le Chemin des Héros. [27] [28]


The Ninja Warrior version of the program was broadcast in Germany on RTL II and DSF for the first time in 2009/2010. A German version titled Ninja Warrior Germany was aired by RTL in July 2016.


The program can be seen in Greece as Sasuke on the Skai TV network every Saturday at 16:00 (UTC+2). The show is voiced-over by Akindynos Gkikas and Kostas Papageorgiou.


The original Japanese version was broadcast in Indonesia for the first time in early 2007–2008. The show is dubbed in Indonesian and is broadcast by TPI (now known as MNCTV).

In 2015, an Indonesian version called Sasuke Ninja Warrior Indonesia (or Ninja Warrior Indonesia) was aired on RCTI. [29]


The Ninja Warrior version of the program is broadcast in Italy on GXT or on GXT +1. The Italian version includes "Ninja Killer" and "Warrior Wipeout". In October 2016, Italy produced a local version Ninja Warrior Italia transmitted on NOVE and presented by Federico Russo, Carolina Di Domenico, Massimiliano Rosilino and Gabriele Corsi.


The program is broadcast in Latvia on LNT every day from Tuesday to Friday at 13:00 local time (UTC+3  – summer time). Every day on LMK at 20.00 o'clock.


Kovotojas Nindzė on TV6.


The program is broadcast in Malaysia on Disney XD and TV9 as Ninja Warrior.

In 2011, Malaysia did a qualifier for Sasuke 27, which Farid Isham won. In 2014, Malaysia organized the Sasuke ASEAN Open Cup, a tournament held in Malaysia as a competition of different countries going head to head. Team USA was represented by David Campbell, Brian Kretsch, Ryan Stratis, Mike Bernardo, and Drew Drechsel and won gold. Team Japan was represented by Shingo Yamamoto, Yusuke Morimoto, Kazuma Asa, Hitoshi Kanno, and Kenji Takahashi and won silver. Team Malaysia won bronze with their team captain being Farid Isham. There were three stages and the tournament went for two days. Also, Drew Drechsel got first place in all three stages, giving him a spot in Sasuke 30.


The program is broadcast in Mexico on Azteca 7 as Guerrero Ninja from Monday to Thursday at 8:30 PM.

Middle East

The program can be seen in the Middle East as محارب النينجا (Ninja Warriors) on MBC Action every Monday at (20:00 Mecca local time / 17:00 UTC / 12:00 EST). The whole program is dubbed into Arabic.


The program is broadcast in Russia on Sony Turbo as Путь ниндзя (Way of the Ninja) daily at 16:10.


The program can be seen in Serbia as Nindža Ratnici (Ninja Warriors) every day from Monday until Friday at 19:00 (UTC+1) on B92 (from 13 August 2012), narrated by Igor Brakus and Vladimir Đorđević. The program was previously seen on Fox TV (now Prva TV), narrated by Ivan Tešanović and Miljan Milićević.


The program broadcast in Singapore is the non-edited version of Ninja Warrior, with the exception of the subtitles being white instead of yellow. The program will be broadcast on MediaCorp Channel 5 every Wednesday at 20:00 (UTC + 8) and screened two episodes back to back. It was later moved to Thursday at 20:30 (UTC + 8), airing one episode. The show's run ended with the 17th competition of the Sasuke series.

The show returned on December 23, 2009, airing Wednesdays at 20:00, showing at various times two episodes, three episodes, or a single episode. The show's run ended with the 24th run.

Singapore has its own edition of Sasuke, which aired on August 9, 2012 at 8:10 pm, after the National Day Parade. It started airing August 15, 2012, and has its own winner going to Japan to take on the Sasuke course.

Season 1 was won by 22-year-old SAF's Naval Officer, Isaiah How Jia Jie. He placed 9th in the First Stage but managed to beat 21-year-old NUS student, Jenson Ngoh by 0.1 seconds in the season's 20 meter Rope Climb in the Second Stage to win.

Season 2 began with a new twist in its first episode: five Singaporean contenders competed with five Malaysians contenders; whichever country scored the first three points would win. Eventually Team Singapore beat Team Malaysia with a score of 3–2. For the competition, a 26-year-old gymnastics trainer edged out the other 12 contenders for the season with the time of 23.9 seconds, just 2.4 seconds shy of beating Isaiah How. He accompanied Isaiah to Japan in supporting him. However, in a twist of events, the production crew brought good luck to Alan Zhang in allowing him to participate.

The series concluded in its 13th and final episode with Isaiah How and Alan Zhang conquering the obstacle course at Mount Midoriyama, Japan. Both crashed out in the fourth obstacle (Jump Hang Kai) and third obstacle (Spinning Bridge) in the 1st Stage, respectively.


The program can be seen in Poland as Wojownicy Ninja (Ninja Warriors) on MTV.


The program is broadcast in Romania on as Ku Ninja In Atak (When Ninjas Attack). The show is hosted by two color commentators.

Slovak Republic

The program is broadcast in the Slovak Republic on JOJ Plus as Ninja faktor (Ninja Factor).

South Africa

The program broadcast in South Africa is the Sony MAX CHANNEL version of Ninja Warrior, with the "Ninja Killer" and "Warrior Wipeout" sections.


The program is broadcast in Thailand on Modernine TV as Ninja Warrior on Tuesday 8:35 PM.


The Ninja Warrior version of the program is broadcasting in Turkey on Fox TV narrated by Hayri Hiçler and Hopdedik Ayhan. A Turkish version titled Ninja Warrior Türkiye was aired by TV8 (2014–2015).


In Ukraine, Sasuke is broadcast by channel Mega (the same channel that broadcast Unbeatable Banzuke ), under the name Япона-мать (Yapona-mat`, Japan-mother).


The Vietnamese version, Sasuke Việt Nam: Không Giới Hạn (Sasuke Vietnam: Unlimited), started airing season 1 on VTV3 in 2015.

Sasuke Vietnam Season 1 began airing on June 18, 2015. Stage 1 was a split course that shared the first two obstacles (Long Jump, Log Grip), but then split into Stage 1A and Stage 1B. The obstacles on each side were different, and the top 20 fastest times on each side advanced to Stage 2. In Stage 2, common Sasuke obstacles (Salmon Ladder, double Warped Wall) appeared, and competitors had 100 seconds to clear this stage. Only eight competitors made it to Stage 3, which featured typical Stage 3 obstacles: Pole Maze, Spinning Bridge, Rumbling Dice, Spider Flip, Cliffhanger, and Pipe Slider. All competitors failed on Stage 3, with Le Van Thuc making it the furthest (failed dismounting onto the platform from the Pipe Slider).

Sasuke Vietnam Season 2 began airing on May 19, 2016. Stage 1 again included a split course but this year, the first two obstacles were the Quad Steps and Log Grip.

The show Viking: The Ultimate Obstacle Course airs on ESPN2 and is also produced by Monster9  [ ja ] for Fuji TV. Many of the competitors from Sasuke also compete in the Viking competition.

Sasuke executive producer Ushio Higuchi  [ ja ] co-created Muscle Musical  [ ja ], a live athletic and comedy-oriented performance featuring several notable Sasuke and Kunoichi competitors, who have included Ayako Miyake, Naoki Iketani, Sayaka Asami, Terukazu Ishikawa, Kayo Haga, Daisuke Nakata, and Rie Komiya, as well as other Japanese athletes and entertainers. Its popularity in Japan and its growing popularity in the United States has resulted in a long-term run at the Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Every January TBS airs the Pro Sportsman No.1 competition, also produced by Monster9. Several people who have competed on Sasuke have participated in this competition.

On Odaiba island, Monster9 has built Muscle Park, an indoor theme park based on events from Sasuke and other Muscle Ranking related programs. Some well-known Sasuke participants, such as Katsumi Yamada, have made live appearances there. Sasuke champion Makoto Nagano was honored in a celebration where he participated in the ribbon cutting there. [30] Since April 2007, Monster9 has been airing episodes of Muscle Channel, [31] a show to promote Muscle Park, the Muscle Musical, and people and events related to Sasuke. Muscle Channel usually airs on BS-i on Thursdays from 8:00 to 9:53 JST and is hosted by Hiromichi Sato. Past guests include Katsumi Yamada [32] and Shunsuke Nagasaki. [33]

See also


  1. "heros" is spelled without an accent

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Yordan Yovchev Yovchev, also spelled Jordan Jovtchev, is a retired Bulgarian gymnast. He took part in six consecutive Olympic Games, more than any other Bulgarian athlete in Olympic history. He is president of the Bulgarian Gymnastics Federation and also serves as a sports commentator.

<i>Viking: The Ultimate Obstacle Course</i>

Viking: The Ultimate Obstacle Course, sometimes abbreviated to Viking: TUOC, is a Japanese obstacle course endurance game show using an obstacle course produced by Fuji TV and Monster9. The English version of Viking is produced by ESPN2 with two American commentators calling the action. In Europe it airs on Eurosport 2 with the American commentators in the first season and British commentator Colin Bryce in the second. In the Philippines, Viking was aired in TV5 and hosted by Brod Pete, Richard del Rosario, and Gabe Mercardo. In Taiwan on JET TV in its original form with Chinese subtitles and Thailand on Channel 9 MCOT in Thai program "แชมป์ เฉือน แชมป์" in 2009, later this program are broadcast other Japanese game show like Original Iron Chef, Unbeatable Banzuke and Sasuke Ninja Warrior. The entire show is broadcast from Tokyo Bay.

Paul Anthony Terek is an American Olympic decathlete. He graduated from Livonia Franklin High School in Livonia, Michigan. His personal best in decathlon is 8312 points, achieved in July 2004 in Sacramento at the United States Olympic Trials. Terek won the bronze medal and was placed on the United States Olympic Team. Out of the ten decathlon events, Terek is strongest in the pole vault, and he is comparatively weak in the 100 m and 400 m sprints.

Makoto Nagano is a commercial fisherman, captain, and musician. He is captain of his vessel F/V Konpira Maru 50 (第50金比羅丸), and was previously captain of the F/V Konpira Maru 28 (第28金比羅丸). He is regularly seen on the Japanese television show Sasuke where he was one of the "SASUKE All-Stars," a group of favored competitors who were thought to possess the greatest potential in completing the obstacle courses. He can also be seen on the lesser known precursor to Ninja Warrior, Viking: The Ultimate, where he was the only competitor to make it to the final round.

<i>Kunoichi</i> (TV series)

Kunoichi is a women's obstacle course competition held in Japan and broadcast on the Tokyo Broadcasting System. It is a spin-off of Sasuke, another obstacle course series. Kunoichi is different from Sasuke in that the competitors are exclusively female. The show is re-broadcast as Women of Ninja Warrior on the American G4 channel. It originally ran for 8 tournaments between 2001 and 2009. In 2017, after an 8-year hiatus, it was renewed for a 9th tournament which aired on February 12, 2017. A 10th tournament followed shortly afterwards on July 2, 2017. The 9th and 10th tournaments took place on an indoor course at the Makuhari Messe Convention Hall, unlike past tournaments taking place at Midoriyama Studio City.

Daisuke Nakata is a trampolinist who competed for Japan in the 2000 Summer Olympics. Daisuke also performs on SASUKE, where he is one of the most well-known competitors.

<i>American Ninja Challenge</i>

American Ninja Challenge was a nationwide competition sponsored by G4 TV to send a number of American citizens to Japan to compete in the TBS hit TV show Sasuke. American Ninja Challenge has been held since Sasuke 19 and currently merged into the TV series American Ninja Warrior that premiered on December 12, 2009 and succeeded American Ninja Challenge.

<i>American Ninja Warrior</i> American competition television series

American Ninja Warrior is an American sports entertainment competition based on the Japanese television series Sasuke. It features thousands of competitors attempting to complete series of obstacle courses of increasing difficulty in various cities across the United States, in hopes of advancing to the national finals on the Las Vegas Strip and becoming the season's "American Ninja Warrior."

David Campbell is an American athlete and musician known for performances on the Japanese program, Sasuke and its USA equivalent, American Ninja Warrior. He is one of only two people to have competed on every single season of American Ninja Warrior as of 2021.

Jessie Graff American stunt performer

Jessica Lauren Graff is an American professional stunt woman and athletics-based television personality. She is a black belt in Taekwondo, a black sash in Kung Fu, and is trained in five other styles of martial arts. She is also a championship pole vaulter and a competitive gymnast.

<i>Ninja Warrior UK</i> British realty/sport competition television series

Ninja Warrior UK is a British physical obstacle assault course game show, created for ITV. The show was based upon the format of American game show American Ninja Warrior, which is in itself based on the Japanese game show Sasuke, created by Ushio Higuchi, which was aired in the United Kingdom and other countries as Ninja Warrior.

The sixth season of American Ninja Warrior premiered on NBC on May 26, 2014. Matt Iseman returned for his sixth season as host, while Akbar Gbaja-Biamila and Jenn Brown each returned for their second season. Similar to previous seasons, the winner receives $500,000 and the coveted title, "American Ninja Warrior".

The fourth season of American Ninja Warrior began on May 20, 2012, and aired on NBC and G4. This was a landmark season for Ninja Warrior, as the entire format was overhauled. For the first time, the finals took place on U.S. soil. In addition, regional qualifiers were added, taking place in Dallas, TX, Miami, FL, and the series' flagship location, Venice Beach, CA. New co-host Jonny Moseley replaced Jimmy Smith, while Angela Sun replaced Alison Haislip. Again, the winner would have received $500,000 and the coveted American Ninja Warrior title. Brent Steffensen became the first contestant to complete the ultimate cliffhanger.

Isaac Caldiero is an American athlete, rock climber and carpenter, who competed on American Ninja Warrior in seasons five, six, seven, and ten. He is best known for finishing all four stages of the National Finals course in season seven and becoming one of the first three Americans to achieve what is known as "Total Victory". Caldiero was awarded a $1,000,000 cash prize after completing Stage 4 in a faster time than Geoff Britten.

The first season of the sports entertainment reality competition series Australian Ninja Warrior premiered on 9 July 2017 on the Nine Network. The season was hosted by Rebecca Maddern, Ben Fordham & Freddie Flintoff.

American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. The World is a television special aired approximately once a year on NBC. It features a team of American Ninja Warrior fan favorites competing against teams of competitors from other regions of the world, including Japan, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia, for bragging rights and the American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. The World trophy. The competitors race on the same Mount Midoriyama course used in the annual ANW finals on the Las Vegas Strip.

The third season of the sports entertainment reality competition series Australian Ninja Warrior premiered on 8 July 2019 on the Nine Network. The season is hosted by Rebecca Maddern, Ben Fordham & Freddie Flintoff.

The fourth season of the sports entertainment reality competition series Australian Ninja Warrior premiered on 26 July 2020 on the Nine Network. The season is hosted by Rebecca Maddern, Ben Fordham, Freddie Flintoff and Shane Crawford.

The fifth season of the sports entertainment reality competition series Australian Ninja Warrior premiered on 20 June 2021 on the Nine Network. The season is hosted by Rebecca Maddern, Ben Fordham, Shane Crawford and Nick Kyrgios.


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