Now, I left this website for an undisclosed reason, but I had no where to turn for this, and figured it would make a great critical thinking question. Concluding my experience watching Ninja Warrior 25 (Sasuke 25) I noted something in the back of my mind that literally just pissed me off. Before I get into it though, for those of you who do not know what Ninja Warrior is, it is a series of obstacles spanning over 4 stages, that test's and pushes the limits of the human body to their limit. The obstacles have changed over the years (1997, to 2010/11 for Sasuke 25/26). Most changed come when a person rises to the top of the final stage, a grueling rope climb.
Now getting back on track...... Ninja Warriors first winner came in 1999 during Ninja Warrior 4. Kazuhiko Akiyama cleared the 15 Meter Rope climb in 24 seconds. Pretty impressive considering you have 30 seconds to do so. Since he won the every stage got a make over, as with every winner. All obstacles became harder. With Kazuhiko being named the first person to achieve total victory, he was crowned Ninja Warrior's first Grand Champion. Pretty prestigious in Japan. The stages gradually got minor changes in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd stages, adding the cliff hanger, in which you have to move across with just your finger tips on a piece of wood, and pass 2 gaps to the end, a pipe slider to a swing gap to advance to the final stage.... a lot tougher than what Kazuhiko had to deal with. Kazuhiko never returned to the final stage. The final stage got a change. A spider wall in which, you wedge your legs on the walls, and move up the walls with your hands and feet for 12.5 meters, to a rope climb for 10 meters, with 30 seconds to do so, a lot more challenging then the original. In Ninja Warrior 17 (2006), Makoto Nagano became the 2nd grand champion, achieving total victory with the spider wall variation of the final stage. More changed to the entire course ensued, making the final stage yet again even harder. The final stage changed the spider wall, to the "Heavenly Ladder", a 13 meter ladder climb, to a 10 meter "G-Rope" climb (Bungee cord, stretched as you climbed pulling you down making it harder). In Ninja Warrior 24 (2010), Yuji Urishihara achieved total victory, and became Ninja Warrior's 3rd Grand Champion. Now in Ninja Warrior 25, all the stages were changed, and one incident I noticed made the entire course impossible to beat, the Ultimate Cliffhanger. But that is not the point.
Through out the entire 5 episodes, Makoto Nagano and Yuji Urishihara were being named the "Grand Champions" of Ninja Warrior. Where is Kazuhiko Akiyama on the list of Grand Champions? Yes, Kazuhiko Akiyama won on a substantially easier course then the other 2 winners, but yes, he did win, and was crowned the FIRST Grand Champion. It sounds to be like he is being demoted, or dishonored even, as if his course is considered "too easy" and no longer "Grand Champion" worthy. He has not achieved as much success as Makoto since his win (Makoto before his win, almost won twice, and after his win almost twice more, appearing in the final stage 5 times in his life), leaving Kazuhiko to never return to the final stage. But on his FIRST and last time entering the final stage, he became the first Grand Champion. Yuji Urishihara has made it to the final stage 2 times, his first attempt on Ninja Warrior 22 almost winning, his 2nd attempt winning Ninja Warrior 24.
Through all of this banter, the real question to you all is, do you think it is fair that Kazuhiko Akiyama is not mentioned as being a "Grand Champion" anymore, even though he was the first out of three Grand Champions to achieve total victory?