By Marc Bernardin
Updated November 06, 2007 at 12:00 PM EST

Japanese television is insane, in the best possible way. Trying to detail the madness that makes it on the air over there is a futile proposition at best. So I trust other people to tell me what I should watch. And I got this tip from writer Greg Rucka (if you haven’t read his phenomenal Queen & Country espionage graphic novels, go get some. I’ll wait.).


That’s from a show called Ninja Warrior, currently airing on G4TV. (Remember: the password is “insane.”) The dude running those obstacle courses is named Makoto Nagano. And it looks like he’s barely breaking a sweat. To quote Rucka: “If the definition of true fitness and power is the ability to move one’s own body with precision, the way one wishes to, when one wishes to…he is the walking, talking, definition of this ability.”

What struck me was that these types of obstacle courses look like videogames writ large. I absolutely see some Tomb Raider in there, as well as some Prince of Persia. Hell, even some Frogger.

The only logical next step is to make these live-fire obstacle courses. To make it snappy.