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Kinniku Banzuke known as Unbeatable Banzuke in English language airings, was a Japanese sports variety show that ran from July 7, 1995 to May 4, 2002. Banzuke contained over 100 unique events, but is most famously know for containing the first 9 SASUKE tournaments, as well as KUNOICHI 2001.

History and Concept[]

Kinniku Banzuke began as a weekly serialized spinoff of the popular program Sportsman No.1, containing almost exclusive events that appeared in that show. over the first 9 months of broadcast the show grew it's own identity, and beginning in the 1st Quarter of 1996, it began premiering new events based on courses (i.e. Hand Walk) and events based on sports target practice (i.e. Struck Out).

Like SASUKE, it's derivative program, when a competitor earned Kanzenseiha in one of a handful of events, it was completely redesigned but the general purpose stayed the same. to reflect this, the event name had a roman numeral added to the end of it (For example, after Hand Walk was defeated, a new course was made for the event, now known as Hand Walk II). in addition to this, many events had special versions with names and no number. These were special, typically with only a limited amount of taping and episodes, that acted as supplements to the event without counting as a major version.

Due to injuries that occurred during an event titled "Power Island", the show was put on a temporary hiatus and relaunched 5 months later in October 2002. Due to this hiatus, SASUKE 10 was broadcast as an independent program, and has remains ever since. KUNOICHI 2 was broadcast as a special in the rebranded program "Taiiku World", but broadcast as a standalone program for KUNOICHI 3 following the series finale of Taiiku World.

Rebranding History[]

The Banzuke series has seen numerous iterations through the years. Below are a series of tables explaining the relationships between each of the many shows. For a more detailed look at each series chronology, please see each respective show's page.

Main Canon[]

The Main Canon is determined as the core entries in the series that are directly related to one another and have been officially acknowledged by the series creators. These shows were all broadcast on TBS and direct sequels to each other.

Nickname Official English Name Romaji Name Japanese Name Network Number of Episodes Start Date End Date
Sportsman Muscular Athlete Championship Sportsman No.1 Keitteisen スポーツマンNo.1決定戦 TBS 39 Specials 1993/12/29 2010/01/07
Banzuke Muscle Ranking Kinniku Banzuke 筋肉番付 TBS Exact Unknown, >250 episodes + >20 specials 1995/07/07 2002/05/04
Taiiku Taiiku World Taiiku Ookoku 体育王国 TBS 35 + 1 special 2002/10/12 2003/09/13
GM Golden Muscle Ougon Kinniku 黄金筋肉 TBS 28 + 3 specials 2003/10/15 2004/06/29


Series Reboots / Spiritual Successors[]

Following the closure of production Studio Monster9 that had been handling SASUKE, Kunoichi and other shows from 2005 until 2011, TBS relaunched Sportsman No.1 and Kinniku Banzuke as reimagined versions. These shows are considered fully canon to the original series and feature flashbacks to the original forms of challenges.

Nickname Official English Name Romaji Name Japanese Name Network Number of Episodes Start Date End Date
Spodan Sports Danshi Grand Prix Saikyo Sports Danshi Chojo Kessen 最強スポーツ男子頂上決戦 TBS 11 Specials 2012/11/12 2022/03/22
Taiiku Kai Hono no Taiiku Kai Hono no Taiiku Kai 炎の体育会 TBS 227 + 25 "Extras" + 2 Bunka Kei Specials 2011/01/01 Ongoing

Spin-offs[]

In addition to the main series described above, the Banzuke series has had several spin-offs.

These spin-offs have been based on:

  • Events that grew popular enough to have their own dedicated broadcast (SASUKE, KUNOICHI, KASSO)
  • Supplementary broadcasts holding behind the scenes footage and recaps (Muscle Elite, Muscle Pilgrimage, Kane the Muscle, Sasuke Mania)
  • Recaps or previous events (Muscle Kingdom, Sportsman No.1 Legend)
Nickname Official English Name Romaji Name Japanese Name Network Number of Episodes Start Date End Date
Sasuke Ninja Warrior SASUKE 究極のサバイバルアタックSASUKE TBS 40 specials 1997/09/27 Ongoing
Muscle Elite Muscle Elite Muscle Seiei 筋肉精鋭 TBS ~45 2000/04/05 2001/02/28
Muscle Pilgrimage ??? Kinniku Angya 筋肉行脚 TBS 25 2001/04/04 2001/09/26
Kane the Muscle Kane the Muscle Kane the Muscle ケイン・ザ・マッスル TBS 20 2001/10/03 2002/03/27
Kunoichi Women of Ninja Warrior KUNOICHI くノ一 TBS 11 specials + 2 episodes 1999/10/30 (original), 2001/12/22 (standalone) Unknown
Muscle Kingdom Muscle Kingdom Vol.1 Kinniku Ookoku 筋肉王国 TBS 1 special 2005/02/15 N/A
Sasuke Mania Sasuke Maniac Sasuke Mania サスケマニア TBS TBC 2006/07/02 2008/09/28
Sportsman No.1 Legend Sportsman No.1 Legend Sportsman No.1 Legend 令和に蘇る!スポーツマンNo.1決定戦 レジェンド TBS 1 2020/06/08 N/A
Kasso KASSO KASSO KASSO TBS 2 2024/03/18 N/A

Extended Canon[]

Following the main series entries, there are additional shows that are generally considered to be canon to the main Banzuke series.

Between 2005 and 2008, the studio Monster9 worked on several sequel series. Monster9 was formed by former TBS employees who made their own company. While these series have not been directly referred to as canon by TBS due to airing on other networks, they act as direct sequels to the original series and are considered by most fans to be fully canon.

Nickname Official English Name Romaji Name Japanese Name Network Number of Episodes Start Date End Date
Viking Sea Muscle King Viking Umi Kinniku O 海筋肉王 Fuji TV ~70 + 10 specials 2005/03/22 2007/03/25
Muscle Channel Muscle Channel Muscle ch マッスルch BS-TBS 18 + 2 specials 2007/04/19 2007/09/13
Sports Casino Sports x Casino Supo*Kaji スポ★カジ TV Asahi 6 + 1 specials 2007/06/13 2007/09/26
Jikan Taiiku no Jikan Taiiku no Jikan 体育の時間 TV Asahi 14 + 2 specials 2007/10/23 2008/02/26

Sportsman Derivative Events[]

50m Backflip[]

Banzai 90[]

Teams of six have a minute and 30 seconds to launch one teammate onto the high logs. Red, yellow, green, and blue. After they get all four teammates on the logs, then they must hold on for 10 seconds to win.

Beach Flags[]

Body Clock[]

Brain Panic[]

Clock Athlete[]

Daruma[]

Competitors use a sledgehammer to knock out all the blocks without letting the Daruma head or any of the blocks fall. There are four versions: Daruma, Daruma 7, Super Daruma, and Daruma 7 Ace.

Dokodemo Pump Up[]

The Final Push-up[]

The Final Sit-up[]

Monster Box[]

Muscle Gym[]

Competitors will have 3 minutes to do as many exercises as possible for one minute each. First with sit-ups, then back extensions, and push-ups. The competitor with the highest score wins.

Muscle Record 9 Minutes[]

Quick Muscle[]

Competitors will have 3 minutes to do as many push-ups as possible. The competitor with the highest total of push-ups wins.

Seesaw 60[]

Teams have one minute to transfer a barrel from one side of the seesaw to the other without letting either side of the seesaw touch the floor. One competitor coaches from a distance to help guide the two players on the seesaw. After transferring the barrel to the other side of the seesaw, then they must return to the center before time expires.

Shotgun Touch[]

Super Kendama[]

Trampoline[]

Competitors must launch on a trampoline and try to land on narrow foam columns. It has three stages. There were no victories in this event because all had failed.

Untouchable[]

Course-Based Events[]

Amazing Road[]

  • Description: A 15-meter long narrow beam that must be crossed while dodging numerous bars mounted on turnstiles. There were no victories in this event because all had failed.
  • Versions: 1

Bamboo Derby[]

  • Description: Obstacle course where competitors must use a set of stilts. There is no Break Zone. This event has two confirmed winners.
  • Versions: 3

Born Connection[]

Cannonball Catch[]

Cannot Fly[]

ESCAPE[]

  • Description: A six-stage obstacle course with a prison theme. Similar to SASUKE, it begins with 100 competitors. The 2nd to 4th Stages all use various team formats.
  • Versions: 5

Fantastista[]

Game Maker[]

Giant Ball[]

  • Description: Competitors must get atop a large red ball and roll it across an obstacle course without falling off or straying from the course. If the ball gets stuck in a pothole, competitors will have 10 seconds to escape or fail. There were no victories in this event because all had failed.
  • Versions: 1

Hand Walk[]

  • Description: Competitors must attempt an obstacle course while walking on their hands. The course features a Break Zone near the halfway point. This event has at least four confirmed victories.
  • Versions: 7 (4 Regular, 3 Special)

Kangaroo[]

  • Description: Obstacle course that must be attempted on a pogo stick. The course features a Break Zone around the halfway point.
  • Versions: 1

KUNOICHI (Strong Mama in the G4 broadcast)[]

  • Description: Female exclusive obstacle course consisting of nine obstacles. The first five and last four are divided by a Break Zone and have different time limits. This event was reworked into the more well-known KUNOICHI in 2001 without any victories in the original version.
  • Versions: 2

Like a Pierrot[]

  • Description: Competitors ride a unicycle through an obstacle course. The event has around 8 confirmed victories.
  • Versions: 6 (5 Regular, 1 Special)

Muscle Focus[]

Nakama[]

  • Description: A two-person team is tied together with various ropes connecting them, and must pass through an obstacle course in 70 seconds or less.
  • Versions: 2 (1 Regular, 1 Special)

Neko de Drive[]

  • Description: A man-woman two-person team must take on an obstacle course, with the woman riding atop a cat-shaped wheelbarrow while the man pushes said wheelbarrow through the course. There were no victories in this event because all had failed.
  • Versions: 3 (2 Regular, 1 Special)

Ottoto 9/A Craftsman[]

  • Description: Obstacle course that must be completed through balancing a pole on the index and middle fingers of whatever hand is dominant without letting the pole fall or touch any obstacle resulting in letting the sparks ignite. The course features a Break Zone. The event has one confirmed victory.
  • Versions: 2

Power Island[]

  • Description: Special event course based on a strength concept. Open to general applicants, totaling at 34 confirmed. Two accidents occurred on this event that violated recently implemented safety guidelines, requiring the rebranding of Banzuke as a result. Overall success/failure ratio is unknown.
  • Versions: N/A (Never broadcast due to injuries)

Rolling Seesaw[]

SASUKE[]

  • See the link for more details

Sasuke Junior[]

Skeboarder[]

  • Description: Competitors, using a skateboard, ride through a specially-designed obstacle course without bailing or putting a foot down. This event has at least 2 confirmed victories. This event later reworked into KASSO in 2024.
  • Versions: 2

Spider Walk[]

  • Description: Competitors wedge themselves between a set of parallel panels and cross an arranged distance within. This event has at least two confirmed victories and was ultimately reused in SASUKE as a single obstacle with numerous variations.
  • Versions: 1

Snow-X[]

Sponge Bridge[]

  • Description: Competitors walk atop a series of vertical Styrofoam boards that are delicately balanced. This event has at least two confirmed victories.
  • Versions: 4 (2 Regular, 2 Special)

Power SASUKE[]

Super Dog[]

  • Description: Competitors coax/work with their pet dog through an obstacle course.
  • Versions: 4

Super Helico[]

  • Description: Competitors pilot a remote-controlled helicopter through a specially designed obstacle course. This event has at least two confirmed victories.
  • Versions: 1

Super Rider[]

  • Description: Competitors ride a mountain bike through an obstacle course. This event has at least six confirmed victories
  • Versions: 7

Vase Transportation[]

Panel Event[]

9 Hoops[]

Balloon Shooter[]

Big Arch[]

ChaChaCha[]

Fishing Kyubei[]

Hustler[]

Kick Target[]

Long Shoot[]

Perfect Arms[]

Punch Out[]

Service Ace[]

Spray Hitter[]

Struck Out[]

Super Dive 97[]

Super Touchdown[]

UFO[]

Concepts Used In SASUKE, KUNOICHI, American Ninja Warrior and other international formats[]

Many obstacles, events, and concepts were reused for the SASUKE, KUNOICHI, American Ninja Warrior and other international tournaments, which itself was a spinoff of SASUKE.

Gallery[]

Logos[]

Graphics[]

External links[]

Unbeatable Banzuke Wiki | Fandom

See also[]

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