It’s late and I can’t stop watching Ninja Warrior on Esquire. It was on at 1 and I thought I might watch one 30-minute show and then turn the TV off and get some work done. But I couldn’t do it. It’s now 3:30am and I’m still watching the show. It isn’t great. It is by no means compelling and yet I can’t stop watching. One episode ends and the next just continues where the previous left off.
I’ve been aware of American Ninja Warrior for a few years after I first saw it on one of the TVs they have at the gym. At first I thought it was just a 21st century American Gladiator knock off after the reboot of that show failed. I was wrong! It is based on a Japanese sports competition show–less LOL than Most Extreme Elimation Challenge/Takeshi’s Castle. I loved MXC and I even managed to see a couple of episodes of the unedited Takeshi’s Castle a few years back. When I was first reading about the show, they had said no one had beat Ninja Warrior and the American show was actually a tamer version and champions would be eligible to compete at the “big tournament” in Japan later on.
As luck would have it, tonight’s Ninja Warrior featured a number of “All-Stars.” As it turns out there have been four people who have completed all four challenges of Ninja Warrior and the All-stars included some of those winners. One of them was Nagano Makoto. He was competing again and I got to watch him get within a second or two of finishing the final round. I was cheering for him! I don’t know why as I’d only just learned of who he was but I couldn’t help but want him to win again. It is also worth noting that the competitors on this show seem to be friendly to each other. Some of the older players are even coaches to the younger challengers.
As the show continued, Kunoichi began, which is the ladies competition (Ninja Warrior is actually called “Sasuke” in Japan). They announce that a Playboy model, Sara Jean Underwood would be competing. As I watch I learn that Sara has hired a former competitor to help her train for this. As a male with a healthy appetite for the female form, I should be looking for photos or videos. Yet when I grab my iPad, I can’t help but Google to learn more about the American “star” who has gone to Japan to compete on this show. I can look for the photos and videos after my nerd desire for knowledge has been satisfied by Wikipedia.
I am also excited to learn that All-star champion Makoto’s wife is competing! Her name is Nagano Asami and both she and Sara are eliminated in the competition. Although the competition isn’t the exact same obstacle courses as the men’s, they do seem challenging. “Girl pushups” wouldn’t cut it for these challenges. In the end one of the women does make it and becomes a champion. Finally, an infomercial comes on and I am able to pry myself from the television which gives me the time to type up this story.