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Cliffhanger

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The Cliffhanger (クリフハンガー) is one of the longest-enduring obstacles in SASUKE to date, having proven to be brutal throughout the history of SASUKE.

In essence, competitors must traverse through at least three narrow ledges, which are 3cm wide, only long enough to support the fingertips. Since its introduction, it has five renewals.


Version 1 (SASUKE 4)Edit

Cliffhanger Straight Version
Cliffhanger1
The original version of the Cliffhanger.
G4 Name Cliff Hanger
SASUKE Competitions
Stage Third Stage
First SASUKE 4
Last SASUKE 4
Total 1 competitions
First Attempt SASUKE 4, Asaoka Hiroyuki
First Clear SASUKE 4, Asaoka Hiroyuki

The original version of Cliffhanger was introduced in SASUKE 4. Its actual name is 直線型クリフハンガー (literally Cliff Hanger straight version). Every ledge was at the same height, and each ledge was 1.2 meters long, and each gap was 50 centimeters long. It only lasted for the one tournament, as the producers increased the difficulty of each stage afterward due to Akiyama Kazuhiko's kanzenseiha in that competition.

Competitors' Success RateEdit

  • All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found
SASUKE Clears Attempts Percentage
4 5 10 50%
Total 5 10 50%

Version 2 (SASUKE 5~8)Edit

Cliffhanger Drop Out Section
Cliffhanger2
Yamamoto Shingo attempting the second version of the Cliffhanger in SASUKE 5
G4 Name Cliff Hanger
SASUKE Competitions
Stage Third Stage
First SASUKE 5
Last SASUKE 8
Total 4 competitions
First Attempt SASUKE 5, Yamamoto Shingo
First Clear SASUKE 5, Yamamoto Shingo

The second version of Cliffhanger appeared in SASUKE 5, where the final ledge was raised 30 cm and was renamed as the 段差型クリフハンガー(literally Cliff Hanger Dropout section). Yamamoto Shingo was the only competitor to attempt this version more than once. He attempted and passed it in SASUKE 5 and SASUKE 7.

Competitors' Success RateEdit

  • All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found
SASUKE Clears Attempts Percentage
5 1 1 100%
6 1 2 50%
7 1 3 33.33%
8 3 3 100%
Total 6 9 66.67%

Version 3 (SASUKE 9~17)Edit

Altered Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger3
The third edition of the Cliffhanger.
G4 Name Cliff Hanger
SASUKE Competitions
Stage Third Stage
First SASUKE 9
Last SASUKE 17
Total 9 competitions
First Attempt SASUKE 9, Nagano Makoto
First Clear SASUKE 9, Nagano Makoto
In the third version of Cliffhanger, the length of the first ledge was doubled, the second ledge raised by 30 cm, and the last ledge lowered by 45 cm. It was renamed again, this time as the クリフハンガー改 (literally Altered Cliff Hanger). This version lasted the longest thus far of any iteration. In later competitions, the obstacle marked the halfway point and passing it was a major accomplishment. This was also used as the ninth obstacle in the American Ninja Warrior 5 Venice Finals, defeating all but a small group of competitors to make it that far. Those competitors to fail the Cliffhanger still received a spot in the Las Vegas finals, seeing as many competitors were also eliminated by the Salmon Ladder.

Competitors' Success RateEdit

  • All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found
SASUKE Clears Attempts Percentage
9 1 1 100%
10 1 2 50%
11 2 4 50%
12 5 9 55.56%
13 2 3 66.67%
14 2 5 40%
15 3 4 75%
16 3 7 42.86%
17 3 4 75%
Total 22 39 56.41%

Shin-Cliffhanger [Version 4] (SASUKE 18~24)Edit

Shin-Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger4
The Shin-Cliffhanger (top) compared to the Version 3 Cliffhanger (bottom).
G4 Name Cliff Hanger
SASUKE Competitions
Stage Third Stage
First SASUKE 18
Last SASUKE 24
Total 7 competitions
First Attempt SASUKE 18, Nagano Makoto
First Clear SASUKE 21, Takeda Toshihiro

The fourth version of the Cliffhanger came after Nagano's completion of the course in SASUKE 17. It has been renamed once again, this time to the Shin-Cliffhanger (新クリフハンガー) to emphasize its redesign. The second ledge was shortened to 77cm, but also on an incline of 12°. This caused the horizontal gap between the last two ledges to increase to 1 meter. To make up for this large gap, the width of the first part of the third ledge was increased to 6 cm. Also, the ledges have been beveled to increase the difficulty.

Due to the large gap, it seems that competitors must now clear the obstacle by jumping across from second ledge to the third one. The first person not to attempt a jump, Nagasaki Shunsuke, was not able to clear the obstacle. However, in SASUKE 23, Takahashi Kenji was able to successfully clear without jumping, being the only contestant to do so.

In SASUKE 19, a metal sheet was placed above the first and third ledges to prevent competitors from getting disqualified like Nagano Makoto in SASUKE 18, who accidentally grabbed the top of the Shin-Cliffhanger instead of the ledge.

This version of the Cliffhanger proved to be one of the toughest obstacles in the history of the show as the first four competitors to try it, all failed (spanning three tournaments). TBS showed testers clearing it in SASUKE 20 and SASUKE 21's introduction, but it wasn't until Takeda Toshihiro cleared it in SASUKE 21 that it was finally conquered in competition.

Vlcsnap-10678096
Takahashi Kenji reaching over the gap of the Shin-Cliffhanger. He is the only person to ever successfully do so.
Scnoi1217Added by Scnoi1217

Competitors' Success RateEdit

  • All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found
SASUKE Clears Attempts Percentage
18 0 3 0%
19 0 0 N/A
20 0 1 0%
21 2 2 100%
22 2 4 50%
23 5 6 83.33%
24 7 7 100%
Total 16 23 69.57%

Ultimate Cliffhanger [Version 5] (SASUKE 25~27)Edit

Ultimate Cliffhanger
Ultimatecliffhanger
Ultimate Cliffhanger, SASUKE 25
G4 Name Ultimate Cliff Hanger
SASUKE Competitions
Stage Third Stage
First SASUKE 25
Last SASUKE 27
Total 3 competitions
First Attempt SASUKE 25, Takahashi Kenji
First Clear SASUKE 27, Hashimoto Kouji

The fifth version of the Cliffhanger came after Urushihara's completion of the course in SASUKE 24. It has been renamed once again, this time to the Ultimate Cliffhanger (アルティメットクリフハンガー) to emphasize its redesign. It is by far the largest and longest Cliffhanger to date, with a total of six ledges, double of any previous version. The obstacle first consists of two ledges. The first is 2m and on a 24° angle and requires competitors to climb right, with a gap of 20 cm, the next is also 2m and is on a 12° angle, requiring competitors to climb left. After that there is a 60cm upwards vertical gap to the third ledge which is 3.2m long. Competitors must then cross a 90cm horizontal gap to another 1.2m ledge. At the end of that, they must jump and catch themselves on a small 15cm ledge. From there, they must swing to the final 2m ledge and traverse that to complete the obstacle.

In its first tournament, SASUKE 25, the obstacle proved to be unbelievably difficult. All four competitors who attempted it failed before any could even touch the third ledge. In SASUKE 26 the third ledge was lowered to make the transition from the angled ledges easier but this resulted in making the transition to the fourth ledge much harder. To compensate for what would have been a 1.2 meter gap between the third and fourth ledges, the third ledge was also lengthened slightly to make it a gap more similar to the gap between the second and third ledges of the second cliffhanger. Also a large sheet of metal was placed at the base of the obstacle in order to hide the metal supports that were visible in SASUKE 25. Lee En-Chih and Okuyama Yoshiyuki, in their second attempts, made it to the end of the fourth ledge but failed while building momentum to swing to the small fifth ledge.


Vlcsnap-12953465
Ultimate Cliffhanger in SASUKE 26 with the lowered third ledge.
Scnoi1217Added by Scnoi1217
In SASUKE 27, the obstacle was moved from its previous position as the fourth obstacle to the third obstacle. As a result, it was finally conquered by Hashimoto Koji in his second attempt and also completed by eventual Finalist Matachi Ryo and eventual two-time champion Urushihara Yuuji, both their first attempts of the obstacle. The obstacle was nearly cleared by David Campbell as well but his grip gave way on the final ledge, moments before he could reach the other side.
Ultimate Cliffhanger ANW4
ANW4 Ultimate Cliffhanger
Emoinuyasha9Added by Emoinuyasha9
In American Ninja Warrior 4's Finals course in Las Vegas, Brent Steffensen, who himself failed there in SASUKE 26, became the first American to beat the Ultimate Cliffhanger in competition and made history. 

Competitors' Success RateEdit

  • All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found
SASUKE/ANW Clears Attempts Percentage
25 0 4 0%
26 0 4 0%
27 3 8 37.50%
ANW4 1 1 100%
Total 4 17 23.53%

Crazy Cliffhanger [Version 6] (SASUKE 28~)Edit

Crazy Cliffhanger
Crazycliff
Crazy Cliffhanger, SASUKE 28
SASUKE Competitions
Stage Third Stage
First SASUKE 28
Last SASUKE 29
Total 2 competitions
First Attempt SASUKE 28, Asa Kazuma
First Clear SASUKE 29, Morimoto Yusuke
During the SASUKE RISING Navi, the preview of the Third Stage saw a new incarnation of the Cliffhanger, known as the Crazy Cliffhanger (クレイジークリフハンガー). The first wall consists of three ledges, the first and third being equally high off the ground but the second having been raised by 30 cm, almost identical to the SASUKE 9-17 Version (Version 3). However, the Third Ledge has been shortened to a point where the competitor cannot reach safety from it. Opposite the Third Ledge is another wall with a fourth ledge. The competitor must maintain momentum and jump from the Third to the Fourth Ledge much like the Spider Flip, and only then can they transfer to the safety pad. Unlike the Shin and Ultimate Cliffhangers, the ledge that must be jumped onto is not wider than the other ledges, making the transition more difficult.
Crazycliff2
Crazy Cliffhanger showing the jump from the 3rd to 4th ledge.
G4fan2007Added by G4fan2007
 So far, only one contestant, Morimoto Yūsuke, cleared this obstacle (which he did in SASUKE 29). While weight plays an important role in every version of Cliffhanger, this version seems to be based more on the weight of the competitor rather than technique or stamina due to the style of the last ledge transition. Asa Kazuma and Hitoshi Kanno who had practiced this obstacle, were not that fatigued, however they failed to keep themselves on the 4th ledge, mostly due to their weight. On the contrary, Morimoto Yūsuke, who had struggled with the Iron Paddler compared to the other third stage competitors in SASUKE 29, cleared this version rather easily, using his light-weight body to his advantage.

Competitors' Success RateEdit

  • All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found
SASUKE/ANW Clears Attempts Percentage
28 0 3 0%
29 1 4 25%
Total 1 7 14.29%
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