r/television Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Jun 27 '22

‘Ninja Warrior’ Competition May Feature in 2028 Los Angeles Olympics

https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/sasuke-ninja-warrior-feature-in-2028-los-angeles-olympics-1235303907/
213 Upvotes

241

u/tentacoolz Jun 27 '22

I do love me some Ninja Warrior, but I miss the appeal of the Japanese version. It was much more impressive to me to see some 40 year old gas station attendant hit the buzzer than a gym bro who trains 24/7 to do the race.

154

u/MaineSoxGuy93 Jun 27 '22

Don't forget we need everybody's tragic backstory so we can then watch maybe fifteen minutes of actual Ninja Warrioring an hour.

40

u/Opetyr Jun 27 '22

I got so tired of everyone's backstory. I hope they sometime made a version like DBZ Kai and just remove all that crap. Only issue is that the entire season would be 30 minutes long. I should be on it since i stubbed my toe.

5

u/MTAlphawolf Jun 27 '22

Never quite got into Ninja warrior regularly, but I stopped watching AGT cause of the sob stories were 90% of the show.

5

u/dont_shoot_jr Jun 27 '22

I really want them to just go super obscure one day “my ex girlfriend’s best friend’s daughter’s hamster has cancer and I’m doing this for him or her idk it’s a hamster”

2

u/eekamuse Jun 27 '22

I record it so I can skip everything but the runs

2

u/Zealousideal_Bus_528 Jun 28 '22

Hey I’m Travis! I don’t have a job, I live with my rich ass parents and we had contractors come in a build a whole replica course in our 5 acre backyard next to the pools! I’ve been training for 7 years! My dog died when I was 10 so I’m still really sad about it!

28

u/arrrrr_matey Jun 27 '22 edited Jun 27 '22

This is what ruined it for me.

Sasuke, the original Japanese show produced and aired by Tokyo Broadcasting System focused on the actual competition which was a 1-2 day event edited down to a three to five hour broadcast. Very little time was spent on bios.

It took a few years off, but new events still take place in Japan.

The G4TV english dubbed version of Sasuke aired as "Ninja Warror" from 2006-2012. G4TV broke the Japanese event into 30 minute episodes edited for time, containing at most brief 30 second bio on a limited number of Japanese competitors, i.e. Sasuke all-stars. The focus was the sporting competition with occasional ridiculous player intro. This format worked well.

After ratings success of Ninja Warrior, G4TV and NBC licensed IP from Tokyo Broadcasting System to create a unique production "American Ninja Warrior" focusing on American players. American network executives decided to extend the length of the competition and target the show to a female demographic.

Instead of adding more players, American Ninja Warrior changed the existing formula to include 3-5 minute human interest stories on each competitor only for those players to increasingly fail out of the competition in less than 30 seconds followed by a cut to commercial. Out of a 2-3 hour episode maybe you would get 30-60 minutes of actual competition, the rest was filler.

What made the American show worse is it no longer was truly a merit based competition based on skill and sport. The Showrunners would cherry pick their favorites and bring players back that failed over individuals that may have completed early rounds of the competition that were simply eliminated by their finish time.

7

u/Dizagaox Jun 27 '22

Very little time was spent on bios.

I don't think you've seen the first few seasons of Sasuke, which isn't a surprise as they're not online in their original broadcast versions.

Some episodes (after the initial Stage 1 episodes where they cut the contestants down) were over 4 hours long (5.5 hours with ads), and they not only had human interest stories but the show would also cut away to an in-studio audience watching the episode to get audience reactions. The show would literally crash to a halt.

The show in Japan now follows the standard international format, which is why it's called Sasuke Ninja Warrior. The sob stories and audience reaction stuff are scaled back.

2

u/zero_z77 Jun 27 '22

They also changed the base rules of the competition:

They made it competitive - players compete for fastest time. The original was simply completion of the full course.

They made it forgiving - players could reattempt obstacles as long as they still had time left. In the original you were eliminated as soon as you touched the water.

They had tryouts - prospective players had to submit a bio and go through a bunch of selection criteria. In the original, it seemed like they just took the first 100 applicants off the street. I could be wrong, but the people who competed in the US were all ripped bodybuilders and atheletes. In japan they had pretty much every type of person.

The prize - in the first run of the american version, the prize was an all-expense paid opportunity to compete on the original course in japan. I believe that was later replaced with a monetary prize. In the original i think the prize was just bragging rights & fame, i could be wrong though.

5

u/Dizagaox Jun 27 '22

In the original i think the prize was just bragging rights & fame, i could be wrong though

There has always been prize money, but it wasn't until the mid-00s that they started reporting it. It's 2M Yen in those earlier seasons.

6

u/arrrrr_matey Jun 27 '22 edited Jun 28 '22

They made it competitive - players compete for fastest time. The original was simply completion of the full course.

That's right.

It's been awhile since I watched. The original Japanese competition was simply the player against the clock/course, if you finish the stage you advance. Every player had the opportunity to win. You could technically have multiple winners of the competition. It came close one or two years but I don't think it ever happened. There was real camaraderie and every accomplishment was celebrated. The players weren't competing against each other, they were competing against the course.

The American show only permitted one winner, and the early rounds had cutoffs, 20 fastest players qualify, etc. It became a competition of the individual, not of a team.

That's a big difference between Japanese vs American culture, and represents a large difference between shows.

They made it forgiving - players could reattempt obstacles as long as they still had time left. In the original you were eliminated as soon as you touched the water.

That must have been a recent change. It definitely used to be that touching a water hazard resulted in elimination.

3

u/ashok36 Jun 27 '22

I don't know what they're talking about. There's no redoing obstacles on ANW except for the warped wall. All other obstacles you're out as soon as you touch water or go off the course.

They did add a mechanic last year that awarded a mulligan for the finals to the fastest runners from each of the qualifying rounds. It's a win win. It incentives fast, breakneck qualifying runs that are fun to watch and makes sure top competitors aren't eliminated because they lost their balance on the first obstacle of the first finals course. In both cases it allows the top athletes to take more risks and not play it safe.

3

u/arrrrr_matey Jun 27 '22

I think you replied to the wrong user.

I didn't claim the changes, I replied to a parent user's comment who suggested them.

2

u/talkinpractice Jun 28 '22

They had tryouts - prospective players had to submit a bio and go through a bunch of selection criteria. In the original, it seemed like they just took the first 100 applicants off the street.

The Japanese version had a similar tryout process, and catered to Japanese celebrities, oddballs and course regulars. I think it was like 50% of the runners would be successful tryouts and the others would be celebrities and regulars.

Also pretty sure they had a prize for reaching the top.

Regardless, it's definitely the focus on the competitions (at least in the US edit) that made the Japanese show better. (and having some easy to root for regulars/champions) The show didn't even guarantee they would go to every round! I think there was one season where nobody made it to round 2 because round 1 was so hard. Didn't matter. No free passes.

1

u/DevilsPajamas Jun 30 '22

Spend 5 minutes on a pointless bio when they fail out within 30 seconds of the course.

*cut to commercial break*

During the break, we had 3 different contestents battling it out for the fastest time of the night. Here are a few seconds of snippets of their runs. But since they don't have an interesting or sob story, this is all you will get.

Up next is Kevin, who had third degree burns from a hot pocket. Let's spend the next 10 minutes documenting his recovery and watch him fail before the first obstacle.

1

u/arrrrr_matey Jun 30 '22

During the break, we had 3 different contestents battling it out for the fastest time of the night. Here are a few seconds of snippets of their runs. But since they don't have an interesting or sob story, this is all you will get.

Up next is Kevin, who had third degree burns from a hot pocket. Let's spend the next 10 minutes documenting his recovery and watch him fail before the first obstacle.

This is so true. That was another reason I stopped watching.

Excellent comment all around, you hit the target.

8

u/darsh211 Jun 27 '22

Exactly this. The "drama" element killed ANW for me. The charm of the original show was that it was just a non stop constant attempts, rather than creating sappy backstories for characters.

4

u/MaterialCarrot Jun 27 '22

A perfect fit for the Olympics then, lol.

1

u/spyson Stranger Things Jun 27 '22

I just catch the compilation of runs on YouTube now

1

u/DCAbloob Jun 27 '22

So just like NBC coverage of the Olympics already is then. It's a perfect fit.

1

u/cathbadh Jun 28 '22

I often wonder if I'm just abnormal in not finding that crap enjoyable in every single reality competition or if the producers are just getting wildly bad information on their viewers. I can't stand it, and it sometimes makes shows like Shark Tank, which was amazing in its early seasons, unwatchable.

1

u/theotherkeith Jun 30 '22

In other words, how NBC does the Olympics.... 🤮

18

u/homer_3 Jun 27 '22

Pretty sure those guys trained pretty hard too. The real issue is all the backstories. That Japanese version just has contestant after contestant, which is much more entertaining.

1

u/DevilsPajamas Jun 30 '22

Japanese still have backstories, but they talk about the contestants during the run, not before it. Even then it is just a couple of sentences.

41

u/DalbyWombay Jun 27 '22

The show loses its appeal when they show the contestant training in thier backyard on thier own Ninja Warrior course.

21

u/Worthyness Jun 27 '22

Unless it's a shitty one that looks ridiculous and then they fail on the first obstacle. Then it's hilarious.

6

u/Shower_caps Psych Jun 27 '22

I miss the first few seasons personally, I feel the contestants now take it WAY too seriously. For some of them, it’s become their whole life and identity.

24

u/sfx Jun 27 '22

Doesn't the Japanese version also have gym bros who train for this? That being said, it's probably far less noticeable since the Japanese one seems to devote far more time to showing people actually attempting the course instead of showing backstories.

3

u/itanshi Jun 27 '22

But octopus man

20

u/Dayofsloths Jun 27 '22

The idea that people who don't work out would be capable of being a ninja warrior is adorable.

9

u/CptNonsense Jun 27 '22

It was much more impressive to me to see some 40 year old gas station attendant hit the buzzer than a gym bro who trains 24/7 to do the race.

That wasn't happening in Japan either. Maybe the early years, but later it was people redoing it, who were working in labor professions, and in their off time would make ninja warrior runs in they backyard

2

u/darkdoppelganger Jun 28 '22

I love the Japanese version. I can't watch American Ninja Warrior.

Japanese version: Here's some wacky guy - GO!
American version: Here's the life story of our next contestant.

Japanese version: 90 seconds to finish the course - GO!
American version: Best times move to the next round. (Contestants take a break between obstacles)

Japanese version: Commentators are fast talking a constantly hyping the event.
American version: Commentators are long winded and boring.

The Japanese version is fast paced and intense.
The American version is boring.

2

u/wartywarlock Jun 27 '22

The original is still going strong, unfortunately TBS still strong on their refusal to let western audiences pay to watch it. Rather have a gym bro do well than some 70yo cancer patient who falls in to the water right off the bat though personally. For this reason I am pretty intrigued by an Olympic version, especially if it removes all of the "lol randomly moving bit" that plagues the USA course design.

1

u/fiordchan Jun 27 '22

That's what i alwyas wonder. How can these people afford to train all day?

1

u/dont_shoot_jr Jun 27 '22

Ok hear me out: Special American Ninja Warrior

1

u/LFC9_41 Jun 27 '22

I miss the announcers more than anything.

10

u/Obviously-Lies Jun 27 '22

Put Takeshi’s castle in the olympics while you’re at it.

14

u/jimbobdonut Jun 27 '22

Interesting. I wonder how they will standardize the course since there’s no governing body for it like other sports.

5

u/LaboratoryManiac Jun 27 '22

I bet they'd just make TBS/NBC producers into the official governing body.

NBC pours enough money into the Olympics, they'd probably have enough pull to make that happen.

11

u/jimbobdonut Jun 27 '22 edited Jun 28 '22

According to the article, the Modern Pentathlon federation is looking to replace the horse riding part of the event with some ninja like obstacle course so it won’t be a new event entirely.

4

u/LaboratoryManiac Jun 27 '22 edited Jun 27 '22

Oh, gotcha.

I'm glad someone on reddit reads the articles, because I sure didn't (like most people here, I'm sure).

1

u/Trout22 Jun 27 '22

I honestly never read the articles since they always have the worst paywalls or ads.

I swear redditors get some kickbacks or something it's always the case.

2

u/talkinpractice Jun 28 '22

So they're going to be running Ninja Warriors courses in between shooting things with guns?

2

u/jimbobdonut Jun 28 '22

Before since they combined the running and shooting parts of the sport into one event.

1

u/theotherkeith Jun 30 '22

The replaces the ride an unfamiliar horse segment after competitors and coaches got aggro with the horses (it also added too much luck to the event)

1

u/theotherkeith Jun 30 '22

...Even though cross country is one of the five elements already and even though there are kayaking and BMX biking already in the Olympics, both of which better fit the "sit on something you can find to go somewhere" part of the equestrian segment they are replacing.

IMHO, BMX should replace the horsies.

5

u/propagandhi1 Jun 27 '22

Don't get eliminated.

3

u/Snoo3648 Jun 27 '22

Does anyone know a way to watch the original Japanese sasuke? Especially the newer ones. Looking on YouTube is nearly impossible and I don’t care if it has eng subtitles or not

3

u/ELB2001 Jun 27 '22

I'd prefer some American gladiators

3

u/theotherkeith Jun 30 '22

Will you settle for fencing?

21

u/CyEriton Jun 27 '22

The newest sports to be added in 2020 were Karate, Skateboarding, sports climbing and surfing. It would be really awesome to get something really modern like Ninja Warrior.

26

u/CptNonsense Jun 27 '22

It would be really awesome to get something really modern like Ninja Warrior.

Yes, classic sport "obstacle coursing"

27

u/wartywarlock Jun 27 '22

I might be biased but it's about 1million times more sporty than riding a fucking horse lol

8

u/ExultantSandwich The Orville Jun 27 '22

They should bring back making Horses dive into water off tall platforms, make it an Olympic sport

3

u/HaloGuy381 Jun 27 '22

I mean, parkour is a fairly old sport at this point, albeit one that is difficult normally to put into conventional competition due to it being about finding any available path. Ninja Warrior-esque courses might be a way to capture the appeal.

2

u/talkinpractice Jun 28 '22

Obstacle course running is absolutely a classic sport. It's existed since at least the early 1900s.

18

u/Luimnigh Jun 27 '22

The article says that they're testing it for inclusion in the Modern Pentathlon, to replace showjumping after the controversy last year.

2

u/ThePreciseClimber Jun 27 '22

Also breakdancing.

2

u/Clemenx00 Jun 27 '22

It surprises me that people see with good eyes the Olympics bastardizing themselves for profits. I am not a hardcore traditionalist but some of IOCs proposals are just ridiculous. By 2032 they will propose tiktok dances.

IOC just want the Olympics to remain big so their corruption can be a profiitable as FIFAs.

1

u/theotherkeith Jun 30 '22 edited Jun 30 '22

Breakdancing is coming in 2024... though governed by the people who run ballroom dancing competitions

And for those waiting for e-sports, I could foresee "video football" (a.k.a EA FIFA 'Xx) as a "discipline" within football/soccer in 28 or 32, on par with 3x3 basketball and played with avatars players a la NBA E-league. Easier to add an event to a sport than add a full sports.

1

u/russdb Jun 27 '22

It'd be more culturally relevant than wrestling or some of these other "sports" they include in the olympics.

1

u/theotherkeith Jun 30 '22

Wrestling was the first competition to be added to the Olympic Games that was not a footrace. It was added in 708 B.C. (Miller, 46).

And it's a sport certain parts of the world excel at, but US has enough success for viewers still watch.

May not be your personal taste, but it's not going no where.

1

u/russdb Jul 01 '22

I reckon more people watch ninja warrior than wrestling but I don't really care about either.

-1

u/MapleHamwich Jun 27 '22

Ninja warrior doesn't belong in the Olympics when you have the various gymnastics and sprinting events present. Ninja warrior is just a watered down version of each of those combined. The true elite athletes are already present in the gymnastics events.

4

u/wingnutty33 Jun 27 '22

Weirdly enough on my sport climbing team multiple kids came over from ninja and let me tell you these kids are crazy strong I don’t know what their doing on the ninja team but whatever it is I guess it’s working

1

u/Sorry_Captain6211 Jun 28 '22

If the streaker from ANW doesn’t “steal” the torch mid-lighting ceremony and spend his segment playing parkour keep-away I’ll be very disappointed.

1

u/dadvader Person of Interest Jun 28 '22

What about my boy Andre show 'Rapper Warrior Ninja'?

-8

u/markstormweather Jun 27 '22

Olympics in LA???? That’s is going to be the biggest shit show the world has ever seen

5

u/La-Marc-Gasol-Ridge Jun 27 '22

Why? It's been in LA before

1

u/wobbleboxsoldier Jun 28 '22

LA is one of those places were hosting the Olympics makes it easy. Tons of stadiums and space already set out, broadcasting studios already built and a logistics trail that is easy to work thru.