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Nagano Makoto (長野 誠), a fisherman from Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan, and captain of his boat "The 28th Konpira Maru", is a SASUKE All-Star and one of only three men to have completed the course, doing so in SASUKE 17. He is widely regarded as one of the most likely competitors to repeat this feat. His height and weight are recorded at 162 cm and 62 kg respectively. He holds the record for most Final Stage appearances (five), and has achieved fastest times in the First and Second Stages on numerous occasions. He also is the only competitor who attempted both the second and third versions of the Final Stage.

Nagano is known for his consistency in the competition. He reached the Final Stage three times in a row (the 11th, 12th, and 13th competitions), but failed each time. Of the three, the closest he came to winning the competition was in the Fall 2003 competition (SASUKE 12), missing the red button by 0.11 seconds.

In his 19 appearances, he has cleared the First Stage twelve times, the Second Stage ten times, the Third Stage five times, and the Final Stage once.

Early Tournaments

He debuted in SASUKE 7 and while his run was all cut, it is known that he timed out on the Soritatsu Kabe. He returned in SASUKE 8 wearing #41. The course was drenched in rain, and he once again timed out on the Soritatsu Kabe like many others. Before the 9th competition, he built a replica of the obstacle at his home to train on, and the results showed, as he cleared it in one attempt and completed the First Stage with 22.72 seconds to spare. He then managed to advance to the Pipe Slider in Third Stage, missing out on the Final Stage only by inches as his jump towards the goal platform fell short.

After this impressive run, Nagano was officially inducted as an All-Star. Expectations were high for the 10th Anniversary competition, but surprisingly he fell on the Jump Hang in the First Stage. He was to make up for this disappointing showing, however, by advancing to the Final Stage in the very next tournament. Having taken too much time transitioning from the Spider Climb to the Rope Climb, he was unable to scale the tower in time. In the 12th competition, he again advanced to the Final Stage, achieving fastest times in the First and Second Stages on the way. Though he climbed at a faster pace than the previous attempt, he timed out inches from the buzzer. Standing on top of the tower, he refused to look down at the view, saying that he would do so only when he achieved Kanzenseiha.

In the 13th competition, despite a renewal in the First Stage, Nagano made his way yet again to the Final Stage, only to meet another time-out. Naturally disappointed with this result, he returned with a vengeance in the 14th competition, completing the First Stage with an amazing 30 seconds left to spare only behind Takeda Toshihiro. However, three new obstacles were introduced in the Third Stage in this tournament, and Nagano was to fall during his attempt on the Jumping Bars. In the 15th tournament, he failed the Metal Spin in the Second Stage, an obstacle he had passed the previous tournament. This was his first Second Stage defeat.

Perhaps the strangest failure that Nagano suffered was in the 16th competition. Nagano once again had made his way towards the end of the 3rd Stage. Nagano took his time and rested on the green pipe directly before the Devil's Swing obstacle that leads to the Pipe Slider. Instead of trying to generate momentum from an idle position on the trapeze-like Devil Balanço, Nagano instead grasped the Devil Balanço with one arm, and held onto the green pipe with the other. He then swung back and forth, eliminating most of the effort needed to get to the Pipe Slider. However, one of the chains on the Devil's Swing got caught on the green pipe. Nagano eventually got himself free, and even got a hold on the Pipe Slider with one hand, but he couldn't hold on. When he let go, the orange pipe slid a short ways down the track. With no choice but to generate as much momentum as he could, Nagano fell short of the pipe.

Kanzenseiha

In SASUKE 17, Nagano wore #99, behind Yamada Katsumi who vowed to retire after the tournament. Nagano cleared the first stage effortlessly, pounding his chest atop the Rope Climb and pressing the button with 12.4 seconds left. He proceeded to shout words of encouragement for Yamada, who would time out atop the Soritasu Kabe. Nagano flew through the second and third stages to reach the Final Stage, joining Nagasaki Shunsuke.  After Nagasaki timed out, it was Nagano's turn. Determined to redeem himself from the close failures in the 12th and 13th tournaments, Nagano reached the rope with 18 seconds on the clock and finished the Final Stage with 2.56 seconds left. This earned him the title of Grand Champion, joining fellow All-Star Akiyama Kazuhiko as the only two to do so.

Shin-Sasuke

His accomplishment paved the way for the completely redone SASUKE course, which was unveiled at the 18th competition. During this competition, Nagano made it all the way to the 3rd Stage, but was disqualified when he attempted the new Cliff Hanger. The fourth rendition of the Cliff Hanger, which was rebranded as "Shin-Cliff Hanger," has the second bar inclined upwards and shortened, making the gap between the second and third bars a jumping distance, rather than an arm's reach. While Nagano cleared the jump, his hand grabbed the frame of the Cliff Hanger, thereby going off the course and he was disqualified. He stopped after he got off the Cliff Hanger and announced his mistake himself.

The 19th competition was the scene of his most shocking defeat to date. He showed some impressive speed on the first few obstacles until he reached one of the newest obstacles, the Flying Chute, which he cleared easily in the 18th competition. Nagano mistimed the obstacle and just grazed the rope with his hands (a similar mistake made by Nagasaki Takamasa), instead of grabbing the rope from under his arms, which is the technique needed to successfully clear the obstacle. He then lost his grip and forcefully fell backwards into the water, shocking the entire audience and the announcers, as well as his fellow All-Stars. It was his first defeat by the first stage since 2002. In the next tournaments, he would lose some of his famed consistency, falling to the Second Stage's Downhill Jump in the 20th competition (he had spent two weeks in the hospital just prior to this tournament), and again the First Stage's Slider Jump in the 22nd competition, but his potential is still as high as ever, as shown by his performance in the 21st competition where he failed at the end of the Third Stage, perhaps as a result of an error in design of the Gliding Ring, the last obstacle, that made it similar to the Pipe Slider, requiring competitors to force the ring down the track instead of easily gliding down.

Controversy

SliderJumpMalfunction

The Slider Jump malfunctioning during Nagano's run in SASUKE 23.

In SASUKE 23, Nagano showed great speed in the First Stage until the Slider Jump, where he failed for the second consecutive time. However, the wire holding the pipe got caught on the framework of the obstacle and did not allow the pipe to reach the end of the track. Nagano disputed and won. After approximately 43 minutes of repairs, Nagano was given a second attempt and finished the stage. Nagano then went on to clear the Second Stage and was able to get revenge on the Gliding Ring that took him out in SASUKE 21, reaching the Final Stage. Nagano cleared the Heavenly Ladder with 23 seconds remaining, but lost time climbing the G-Rope and was just short of the button as time expired.

Due to his near miss in the previous tournament many people expected him to clear all four stages in the 24th tournament. He cleared the first three obstacles with ease, but at the end of the Spider Walk section of the Jumping Spider he was too low and slipped into the mud pit below. It was the earliest he had ever failed (along with his Jump Hang failure in SASUKE 10). In the interview after his run, he said he wanted to clear the first half of the stage quickly so he could have a lot of time for the end of the stage which made strong competitors such as Yamamoto Shingo and Kanno Hitoshi time out. Nagano Makoto and Harashima Masami lost his balance on the Dome Steps and quickly fell into the water bellow.

Kanzen Renewal

In SASUKE 25 Nagano was given #99 and was the lone represenitive of Miyazaki Prefecture. During the tournament he started shaky. On the Dome Steps he slipped on the last step and was barely able to make it to the mat and on the Bridge Jump he nearly slipped off the rope. He seemed to recover and he made it to the Circle Slider, but he failed to hit the springboard cleanly and he failed to even touch the ring.

In Sasuke 26 he was given #99. He started with a good speed. However, he was too short on the Jumping Spider and he failed it.

Viking

Nagano competed on the second and third Viking: The Ultimate Obstacle Course Challenge tournaments, bringing several All-Stars with him. In the second tournament, he was one of 10 to clear the First Marine Stage and one of the two that clear the Second Adventure Stage. In the Third Fantasy Stage, he finished the Ultimate Plank and the Bio Clock to earn him a spot in Final Viking (Viking's final stage), becoming the only person to do so. He had just a 10 meter rope climb left with 50 seconds on the clock but ran out of energy and could not clear in time. In the following tourmanent (which was Viking's final regular tourmanent), he failed the Parley in the First Marine Stage.

Sportsman

On January 7, 2010, Nagano made his Sportsman debut by participating in the 2010 Monster Box competition. He was joined by SASUKE All-Stars Takeda Toshihiro and Yamamoto Shingo. He cleared up to the 14th level of the monster box, failing on the 15th level at 2 meters, 26 centimeters.

Trivia

  • Excluding his Jump Hang failure in SASUKE 10, his Jumping Spider failure in SASUKE 24 and his Final Stage appearances, all obstacles Nagano has failed were on his first or second try. It should be noted that the Jump Hang was slightly modified for SASUKE 10.
  • Nagano has trained three people for KUNOICHI, the all-female spinoff of SASUKE.
  • Nagano has the SASUKE record for most times being the last man standing, doing so seven times. He also holds the record for most times wearing #100 at eleven.
  • In September 2008, Nagano made his first United States appearance at the Chibi-Pa Festival in West Palm Beach, Florida.
  • On June 3, 2009, Nagano's third child, Kaiou Nagano, was born.
  • Nagano was the first to pass the Rumbling Dice, Lamp Grasper, Cliffhanger (9-17 version), Salmon Ladder, Stick Slider, Net Bridge, Shoulder Walk, Curtain Swing, Hang Climbing, and Spider Flip.

Results

Sasuke

SASUKE # Result Notes
7 87 Failed Soritasu Kabe (First Stage) Time Out. All Cut.
8 41 Failed Soritasu Kabe (First Stage) Time Out
9 61 Failed Pipe Slider (Third Stage) Last man standing.
10 999 Failed Jump Hang (First Stage)
11 96 Failed Tsuna Nobori (Final Stage) Time Out. Last man standing.
12 100 Failed Tsuna Nobori (Final Stage) Time Out. Last man standing.
13 100 Failed Tsuna Nobori (Final Stage) Time Out. Last man standing.
14 100 Failed Jumping Bars (Third Stage)
15 100 Failed Metal Spin (Second Stage)
16 100 Failed Devil Balanço (Third Stage)
17 99 Kanzenseiha Last man standing. Finished with 2.56 seconds left.
18 96 Failed Shin-Cliffhanger (Third Stage) Disqualified, Course Out.
19 100 Failed Flying Chute (First Stage)
20 2000 Failed Downhill Jump (Second Stage)
21 100 Failed Gliding Ring (Third Stage) Last man standing.
22 100 Failed Slider Jump (First Stage)
23 100 Failed G-Rope (Final Stage) Time Out. Last man standing.

Granted Stage One mulligan due to Slider Jump malfunction.

24 100 Failed Jumping Spider (First Stage)
25 99 Failed Circle Slider (First Stage)
26 99 Failed Jumping Spider (First Stage)

Viking

VIKING # Result Notes
2 90 Failed Vertical Rope (Final Viking) Time Out. About 50cm from goal.
3 99 Failed Parley (First Marine Stage)

Sportsman

Sportsman # Result Notes
2010 N/A Failed 15th level (2m, 26cm) 50 competitor Monster Box competition.

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