The Tsuna Nobori (綱登り) is an obstacle, firstly introduced as the first (and only) obstacle in the Final Stage of SASUKE 1. Due to its placement, it is essentially the final obstacle of the entire SASUKE course. The basic concept is that competitors must climb up a rope to reach the button at the top of the tower before the time ran out, in order to achieve kanzenseiha. Throughout the numerous tournaments the obstacle has been in SASUKE, it has gone through six versions.
Version 1 (SASUKE 1-4)
The first version of the obstacle was 15 meters in height and also served as the only obstacle in the Final Stage. Competitors were given 30 seconds to complete the obstacle and hit the button at the top of the tower. Also, competitors were to start the obstacle in a seated position.
Although the function was very simple, in the first 3 tournaments that it were presented, the obstacle was proven to be difficult, as no competitor was able to complete the obstacle (with the closest one was Yamada Katsumi in SASUKE 3). However, in SASUKE 4, Akiyama Kazuhiko (who was also the only competitor in that tournament to reach the Final Stage) was able to beat it with 6.0 seconds left, achieving the first ever kanzenseiha in SASUKE and his first and only kanzenseiha during his overall appearances in SASUKE.
Version 2 (SASUKE 5-17, 32~)
After Akiyama Kazuhiko's kanzenseiha in SASUKE 4, the obstacle was modified by lowering its height to just 10 meters. However, one new obstacle was introduced to the Final Stage below the Tsuna Nobori, the 12-meter Spider Climb, with a 0.5-meter gap between the two obstacles. Also, the time limit was kept the same at 30 seconds.
With the addition of the Spider Climb and keeping the time limit at 30 seconds, this version of the Tsuna Nobori became much more difficult than its predecessor, as numerous competitors were not able to complete the obstacle (with the closest one was Nagano Makoto in SASUKE 12). However, in SASUKE 17, Nagano Makoto was finally able to beat it (after 3 fail attempts from SASUKE 11 to SASUKE 13) and the whole Final Stage with 2.56 seconds left, achieving the second ever kanzenseiha in SASUKE and his first and only kanzenseiha during his overall appearances in SASUKE.
This version of the Tsuna Nobori would later return in SASUKE 32. This time, the obstacle was preceded by the 8-meter Spider Climb and 7-meter Salmon Ladder. However, due to the difficulty of the Third Stage (particularly at the Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger and Vertical Limit), the Tsuna Nobori (along with the new Final Stage) was not attempted until SASUKE 35, with a 45-second time limit to complete the stage.
Version 3 [G-Rope] (SASUKE 18-24)
After Nagano Makoto's kanzenseiha in SASUKE 17, from SASUKE 18 to SASUKE 24, the Tsuna Nobori was renamed as the G-Rope (Gロープ) , with the Spider Climb being replaced with the 13-meter Heavenly Ladder. However, due to the difficulty of the Third Stage (particularly at the Shin-Cliffhanger), the Tsuna Nobori (along with the new Final Stage) was not attempted until SASUKE 22, with the 45-second time limit to complete the stage. However, the time limit was lowered to 40 seconds in SASUKE 23 and SASUKE 24.
While aesthetically looking the same as before, competitors notably had a much harder time climbing up the rope than in previous and future versions of the obstacles, climbing at a relatively slow pace. This was suspected to be due to the original rope being changed to a bungee rope, making it much harder to climb, hence the name change.
In SASUKE 24, the obstacle was finally beaten by Urushihara Yuuji with 3.57 seconds left (after his previous fail attempt in SASUKE 22), achieving the third ever kanzenseiha in SASUKE and his first kanzenseiha during his overall appearances in SASUKE.
Version 4 [Ultimate Rope Climb] (SASUKE 25-27)
After Urushihara Yuuji's first kanzenseiha in SASUKE 24, the Tsuna Nobori returned to its first version (as the only obstacle of the Final Stage), and was renamed as the Ultimate Rope Climb (アルティメットロープクライム). However, the obstacle's height was increased to 20 meters, with the time limit of 40 seconds. Unlike the first version, competitors could start the obstacle in a standing position.
Due to the difficulty of the Third Stage (particularly at the Ultimate Cliffhanger), this version of the Tsuna Nobori (along with the new Final Stage) was not attempted until SASUKE 27, with Urushihara Yuuji successfully completing the obstacle in that tournament with 6.71 seconds left, achieving the fourth ever kanzenseiha in SASUKE and his second kanzenseiha during his overall appearances in SASUKE.
Version 5 (SASUKE 28)
After Urushihara Yuuji's second kanzenseiha in SASUKE 27, the Tsuna Nobori's height was increased to 23 meters. However, the obstacle was not attempted, making it the only version of the Tsuna Nobori (along with the Final Stage) that never been attempted in SASUKE.
Version 6 (SASUKE 29-31)
In SASUKE 29, the Tsuna Nobori returned to the one used from SASUKE 5 to SASUKE 17 (as the obstacle was preceded by the Spider Climb). However, both the Spider Climb and Tsuna Nobori had the same height (at 12 meters each), with no gap between the obstacles. In addition, the time limit was lowered to 30 seconds.
This version of the Tsuna Nobori (along with the new Final Stage) was not attempted until SASUKE 30. One tournament later, Morimoto Yūsuke successfully completed the obstacle with 2.59 seconds left, achieving the fifth ever kanzenseiha in SASUKE and his first kanzenseiha during his overall appearances in SASUKE.
Due to the course reboot of KUNOICHI, the Tsuna Nobori debuted as the second and final obstacle of the Final Stage in KUNOICHI 9, renamed from Tenkumou from KUNOICHI 7. This obstacle was preceded by the Sayu Hashigo in KUNOICHI 9 and was lowered to 7 meters due to the height of the hall. The Sayu Hashigo was replaced by the debuting Spider Climb in KUNOICHI 10, making it similar to the version used in the Final Stage of SASUKE from SASUKE 5 to SASUKE 17 and SASUKE 29 to SASUKE 31.
The Tsuna Nobori (called as the Rope Climb) would become notable on all parts of the world, due to its appearance in the Final Stage/Mount Midoriyama tower for all of SASUKE/Ninja Warrior's international formats (e.g. Ninja Warrior UK and Australian Ninja Warrior), with most of them had the obstacle as the first and only obstacle of the Final Stage/Mount Midoriyama.
American Ninja Warrior
On the first three seasons of American Ninja Warrior, there would be American representatives that were sent to Japan to compete in SASUKE, meaning that the Final Stage at that time was the same as in SASUKE.
Starting on American Ninja Warrior 4, the national finals (SASUKE's 4-stage course, referred as Mount Midoriyama) would eventually be built in the U.S. soil (specifically Las Vegas). On American Ninja Warrior 4, the national finals' Stage Four consisted of a Tsuna Nobori (referred to as Rope Climb), which was 23.5 meters (77 feet) in high. However, due to the difficulty of Stage Three (particularly at the Hang Climb and Flying Bar), this version of the Rope Climb (along with the Stage Four) was not attempted during the regular season until American Ninja Warrior 7 (it was attempted for the first time during USA vs. The World by Travis Rosen from Team USA and Sean McColl from Team Europe, with Sean McColl reaching the top of the tower faster than Travis Rosen, giving his team a victory on that tournament).
On that season, the rope was lowered to 22.9m (75 feet) and competitors were given 30 seconds to complete the obstacle. Geoff Britten and Isaac Caldiero became the first two competitors to attempt it for the very first time during American Ninja Warrior's regular season, and both of them completed it within the time limit (30 seconds), achieved the show's first and second total victories.
However, Issac Caldiero was crowned as the winner due to being faster than Geoff Britten (about 3 seconds), and received the US$1,000,000 cash prize. Isaac Caldiero's US$1,000,000 win once sparked controversies among the fans and viewers, who thought that Geoff Britten also deserved the cash prize as well (due to the fact that only the competitor who completed Stage Four within the time limit in the fastest time would receive the cash prize).
Because of that, NBC has changed the rule for achieving total victory. Starting on the next season, if more than one competitor achieved total victory, the prize money would be divided among the competitors.
On American Ninja Warrior 8, there would be no changes whatsoever in the stage. However, on American Ninja Warrior 9, the Rope Climb's height was increased to 24.4m (80 feet). This version of the Rope Climb was attempted for the first time during USA vs. The World 4 by Sean Bryan from Team USA and Sean McColl from Team Europe, with Sean McColl reaching the top of the tower faster than Sean Bryan, giving his team a victory on that tournament.
SASUKE Ninja Warrior Indonesia
During the first two seasons of SASUKE Ninja Warrior Indonesia, the Final Stage (referred to as the Mount Midoriyama Stage) was similar to the version used in SASUKE from SASUKE 29 to SASUKE 31. Both obstacles, the Spider Climb and the Rope Climb, were at 12.5m high each.
Ninja Warrior UK
On Ninja Warrior UK 4, a smaller version of Mount Midoriyama tower (called as the Rope Climb, with 7 meters in height) appeared as the ninth and final obstacle during the-semifinals, replacing the Chimney Climb.
During the first three seasons, both the Spider Climb and Rope Climb were at 12 meters high each. On SASUKE Vietnam 4, the Final Stage was modified, as the Spider Climb's height was lowered to 8 meters and the Rope Climb's height was increased to 16 meters.
To date, 12 competitors had made it to the Final Stage of SASUKE Vietnam and all of them were in SASUKE Vietnam 2. However, only 3 competitors could reach the top of Mount Midoriyama within time limit (Lê Văn Thực, David Campbell, Nguyễn Phước Huynh). As Lê Văn Thực had a faster time than the other two (23.56 seconds), he was considered as the winner of the competition.
Competitors' Success Rate
- All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found