The Tourenban (倒连板) is an obstacle in the Third Stage of KUNOICHI, first introduced in KUNOICHI 3. The obstacle was somewhat of a successor to the Sponge Bridge event in Kinniku Banzuke. The objective is to cross 40 foam dominoes of increasing height and sensitivity (the further along the competitors went, the less stable the dominoes would become), without losing one's balance. This was one of the most iconic obstacles in KUNOICHI, and also one of the most difficult, as it has the lowest success rate of any obstacle in KUNOICHI history.
KUNOICHI 3-6 Version
The first incarnation of the Tourenban lasted for four tournaments. It was comprised of a grand total of forty foam dominoes, split into four zones, each zone taller and thinner than the last.
The first zone, the blue zone consisted of twelve dominoes, all at the same height. It was roughly one meter high. The second zone, the green zone, consisted of eight dominoes. The first half of this zone had it's dominoes at about 1.25 meters high, while the second half raised the height to 1.5 meters. The third zone, the yellow zone, was modelled exactly like the green zone; however, the height of the dominoes was increased to 1.75 meters and 2 meters. Finally, the red zone was the final section of the Tourenban. It was composed of twelve foam pieces, the first four at 2.25 meters, the second four at 2.5 meters, and the last four at 2.75 meters. The yellow and red zone, were the most lethal portions of the obstacle, accounting for fourteen out of sixteen failures. Using hands during this obstacle were not allowed, demonstrated by Iwai Tomoka in KUNOICHI 6.
KUNOICHI 7 VersionThe second version of the Tourenban was similar to the first; however, the red zone had been replaced with ten rounded posts, somewhat similar to the Buyoishi known as the Tourenbou (倒連棒), which is considered as an individual obstacle not part of Tourenban, as the third obstacle of the stage. In addition, each zone now had ten dominoes a piece instead of the twelve-eight-eight-twelve format. Though, not much is known about the new red zone since no one attempted it; however it looked as if the the red zone was potentially spring-loaded, or had the potential to move much more than the original red zone, making it much harder for competitors to traverse.
Competitors' Success Rate
KUNOICHI 8~ Version
The third and final version of the Tourenban was toned down in the course re-design of KUNOICHI. It was placed in the Second Stage and was composed of 17 foam dominoes, all about 1.5 meters tall. Unlike the original Tourenta, the top of the foam pieces had their edges cut off, possibly to keep competitors in a straight line, making the obstacle harder to traverse. Due to its modification and stage relocation, it's success rate was much higher than its predecessors.
This version would eventually return for KUNOICHI 9, where it was identical to the version from the previous tournament, aside from an aesthetic color change. It was still located in the Blue Stage (Second Stage), as the fourth obstacle and was renamed as the Sponge Bridge (スポンジブリッジ) (which also the name of an event on Kinniku Banzuke, in which this obstacle was inspired from). The number of foam dominoes was reduced to 15. This version proved to be brutal, as only one out of five competitors could complete it. This version also appeared on KUNOICHI 10, where it was located in the Black Stage (Third Stage) as the third obstacle. This time, all three competitors who attempted it could complete it.
This version was also used on American Ninja Warrior 5 as the third obstacle in Venice Beach, becoming the first KUNOICHI obstacle to be used on American Ninja Warrior (since American Ninja Warrior was mostly based on SASUKE). In this version, there were only 7 dominoes instead of 17. In addition, the dominoes were at a gradual incline. Unlike the KUNOICHI version (where competitors took a slow approach to complete it), most competitors used a fast approach, by skipping some dominoes.
Competitors' Success Rate