Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ninja Warrior Sverige: Stage One

Three episodes in we have gotten to know the first stage (known as the qualifying round) in the Swedish Ninja Warrior rather well. Since it's based on the American format rather than good old Sasuke, 125 competitors are starting out and the 25 (or is it 30? I must say I'm not entirely sure) with the best time will move on to "the semifinal", which is what should be known as Stage 2.

Anyway, stage 1 is as follows:

We start out with a classic, the Quintuple Step. I love it when people fail this one, it's always such an amazing let-down to fail on the first obstace.

I've spent forever trying to figure out the English name for this one? I haven't seen it outside of Sweden yet, but I know it exists because I've seen this superhot pic of Asa Kazuma doing it in the USA vs Japan special (which we haven't got our hands on yet, something that pains me every day).

After looking it up on YouTube it seems to be kinda like the Hang Slider, although I've yet to see anyone rotate while doing it. Mostly they fail because they grab one handle too quick and then the other shoots up and away from them.

(Edit: it is called the Silk Slider, thank you, Arsenette!)

Next up is the Cross Bridge, and I can't recall if we've seen anyone fail it. After the quintuple step it doesn't seem to be giving anyone much trouble, as long as they don't trip.

Okay, but NOTHING is funnier than seeing someone make a spectacular jump on the Jump Hang, grab onto the rope and then get fucked over by gravity and fall into the water. They always look so shocked and I always laugh. This one gets SUPERCLOSE to the water when you climb under it, and several competitors have failed just because their tees dropped into the water. Baggy clothes isn't very ninja.

Spider Climb! A classic. It's just 8 meters long, nothing is moving and doesn't involve going up or down or through any kind of obstacles. Compared to what we've seen in Sasuke it's not really that impressive (and looking at how people move through it you can see the different between seasoned Sasuke competitors and Swedes who've never done this before).

And of course, a classic at the end: the Warped Wall. I think it's 4 meters high, which isn't that impressive compared to Japan's 4.5, especially not given how much taller Swedes tend to be compared to Japanese people. Since time is counting up, not down, you only get three tries on it, like in the American version.

When I first watched this, never having seen any of Sasuke, I found stage 1 pretty impressive but having seen it's more recent Japanese incarnations we're mostly rolling our eyes. I don't wanna talk shit about my gender (girls are the best), but two women have passed it so far and saying "she is one of only three in the world to finish stage 1!!!" sort of loses its charm when it's so much easier than the original. Even so, here's Jenny Adolfsson (known from Swedish Gladiators) looking great while finishing it:

Since it is based on the American version rather than Sasuke stage 2 is apparently just gonna be a repeat of stage 1 that is slightly harder, adding the Salmon Ladder, Arm Rings and Rope Ladder after Stage 1. I'll post an update once we've seen that on TV, and I'll definitely keep you posted on stage 3.

Anyway, I'm off because later tonight I'm forcing a friend of ours to watch Sasuke for the first time. I'm sure she'll love it just as much as we do.


  1. The obstacle name you are looking for is Silk Slider (


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