Sasuke 35: Predictions

Welcome, one and all, to my latest attempt at predicting the results of the Japanese show, Sasuke. Last year, I had a crack at predicting the stage and final obstacle for fourteen competitors … and I didn’t do too well. I got six correct stages and one correct obstacle. Oops!
So, this time around, I’m making it even harder by taking on 18 predictions! Sasuke 35 airs on March 26th. Let’s see how I get on …
Sasuke.jpg
Shin Sedai

  • Shunsuke Nagasaki – The veteran trampolinist had a disappointing tournament last year, becoming the first competitor to fail the second stage Spider Walk since Sasuke 17. I doubt that he’ll take that lying down. This time around I see going further but not reaching the final stage: Third Stage Fail – Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger
  • Yuuji Urushihara – The only two-time champion timed out in the second stage last year, improving on his previous three performances but not getting near his previous form. He’s driven though, and I want to see him get back on track here: Third Stage Fail – Planet Bridge
  • Hitoshi Kanno – Previously a consistently strong competitor, he failed on the first stage in both Sasuke 32 and 33, then couldn’t compete last year due to injury. Here, he’ll be looking to show that he hasn’t lost it yet. I’m going to go bold with him here: Final Stage Fail
  • Jun Sato – The youngster has been a permanent fixture in the third stage for three consecutive tournaments now, and I expect him to do much the same here: Third Stage Fail – Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger
  • Ryo Matachi – He was the last man standing, failing the final stage back in Sasuke 30, and hasn’t cleared the first stage since. This year, he’ll likely improve, but I don’t expect him to go much further: Second Stage Fail – Backstream
  • Masashi Hioki – He’s been inconsistent since his debut in Sasuke 25, but there’s something gloriously likable about him. Last year saw him return to the third stage, and that should drive him to reach for the stars again: Third Stage Fail – Planet Bridge
  • Tomohiro Kawaguchi – Despite a blip in Sasuke 33, he’s been a high performer most of the time. I see him equaling his run from Sasuke 34: Third Stage Fail – Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger
  • Yusuke Morimoto – The most recent champion, the Sasuke Kid, was the last man standing last year, which was no mean feat given how strong a field it was. This time around, I’m hoping it’s his year: Final Stage Clear

 
All Stars

  • Toshihiro Takeda – One of only two all stars remaining, Takeda has failed the same obstacle two years running now – the Salmon Ladder Kudari in stage two. There is no reason that he can’t clear stage one again, but I do think that he’ll struggle in stage two: Stage Two Fail – Backstream
  • Shingo Yamamoto – Ever a favorite in our household, poor old Shingo has failed to clear the first stage three years on the trot now, thanks entirely to the Double Pendulum. So, he’ll be happy to see that the obstacle has been removed this year. I want to believe that he can regain the magic, I really do, but his old shoulder injury is going to make stage two difficult if he makes it: Second Stage Fail – Salmon Ladder Kudari

 
Black Tigers

  • Satoshi Obata – The most successful Black Tiger will be looking to better his Sasuke 34 performance, and I think that he’ll do it. After last year’s fantastic run, I see him going far: Third Stage Fail – Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger
  • Hiroshigi Yamamoto – He came so close to clearing stage two last year, timing out on the final obstacle. With each of his stage two appearances seeing a slight improvement, I can see him becoming the second Black Tiger to clear stage two here: Third Stage Fail – Planet Bridge

Others

  • Drew Dreschel – Since Sasuke 30, the American has never failed to reach stage three, and this year is likely going to be no different. Interestingly, actor Kane Kosugi was the first American to compete in the competition and is so far the only American to reach the final stage. Of all the others that have competed, Drew seems like the most likely to better this, so I’m going bold again here: Final Stage Clear
  • Yusuke Suzuki – A good run last year should be equaled here by Sasuke Sensei: Third Stage Fail – Sidewinder Kai
  • Ryoichi Tsukada – The last two tournament shave seen him show slight improvements, which is a trend that should continue here: Second Stage Fail – Spider Drop
  • Takeru – In a similar way, this K-1 fighter has also seen slight improvements each year. This year, I see him coming painfully close to the third stage: Second Stage Fail – Wall Lift
  • Kenji Darvish – After a heart breaking Sasuke 33 (seriously, the shock in this house was insane), he returned to stage two last year, only to time out close to the final obstacle. This time around, the face painted drummer should better himself: Third Stage Fail – Planet Bridge
  • Seiki Takasu – The protégé of fan favorite grand champion Makoto Nagano has competed only twice before, both times reaching the second stage but failing on the Salmon Ladder. I can see him improving on things here, but not quite reaching the heights of his mentor just yet: Second Stage Fail – Reverse Conveyor

 
So, those are my thoughts. How about you all? Any predictions?

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