Watch our team of zany reporters run around in loincloths as they attempt to beat Beat Takeshi.

When you think of wacky variety TV shows from Japan, Takeshi’s Castle is like the gold standard. First airing on Japanese television from 1986-1989, the series starred Japanese comedian Takeshi Kitano (better known as “Beat Takeshi”), in the role of castle lord, with everyday punters taking part in crazy obstacle courses in an attempt to get to him.

Well, after 34 long years, the show that inspired Sasuke (Ninja Warrior) and became a cult phenomenon in 150 countries around the world is back, streaming worldwide on Amazon Prime from 21 April.

▼ Beat Takeshi (middle, top), returns as castle lord, with famous celebrities like Naomi Watanabe joining him for the adventure.

Alongside the famous faces appearing in the revival are some familiar faces you’ll know and love — our very own Japanese-language reporters!

▼ You’ll be able to spot them in their fundoshi, because, as you know, wearing loin cloths is second nature to them.

Helping our team and other armies of contestants through the course to the castle is German-born Japanese actor and rapper Subaru Kimura (above), who appears as one of the attack captains. Taking part in the challenge to capture Takeshi’s castle are five members of our Japanese-language editorial team, pictured above and below.

▼ Left to right: Takashi Harada, Mr Sato, Go Hatori and Masanuki Sunakoma watch P.K. Sanjun (above, right) smash through the obstacle course.

These self-professed “old men” make up for what they lack in youth with indomitable spirit, taking knocks on the chin — figuratively and literally — as they find themselves covered in mud and soaked with water while attempting to capture Takeshi’s Castle.

So how did our team make it on to the show? Well, they took part in a remote audition and sent in the required application documents. They were then lucky enough to be chosen as part of the 300-strong army of participants, selected from over 1,300 applicants.

▼ With reporters as enigmatic as P.K., how could we not have been chosen?

The 300 fighters taking part in the show come from all over the world, including Japan, America, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Of course, we can’t say much about what happened on the day of filming yet, but our team did say that the challenges seemed harder than the previous version of the show, and all the reactions you see, from screaming to laughing to crying, are all very real.

“Mr Satooooooo!”

The show is being promoted as a powered-up version of the original Takeshi’s Castle, and it does seem bigger and better than ever, with the challenges taking place on a vast site covering approximately 20,000 square metres (215,278 square feet).

▼ P.K.’s butt threatens to steal the spotlight from all the competitors.

The stars of the show, other than our reporters, of course, are listed below.

Top, left to right: Takeshi Kitano as castle lord, Shinya Ueda, Naomi Watanabe, and Kabuki actor Ennosuke Ichikawa IV as castellans of three castles guarding the centre of Takeshi’s Castle.

Bottom, left to right: Bananaman’s Osamu Shitara and Yuki Himura as chief retainer and vassal of Takeshi’s Castle, Hayato Tani as commander and Subaru Kimura as new commander, who both lead the attacking army.

The show’s release date has been a long time coming, with our team taking part last summer, and then attending a Prime Video press conference to hear attack captains Tani and Kimura discuss the show in Tokyo in January.

▼ Yep — they attended the press conference in their fundoshi too.

The fundoshi proved to be such a hit that it helped Masanuki secure a prime spot on the official promo poster for the show (can you spot him leading the charge below on the bottom right?)

▼ For a sneak peek at what’s in store, see if you can spot our team in the official trailer below!

The rate for a successful castle capture on the original show was only 0.06 percent, so clearing the course to Takeshi’s Castle is a daunting task. Will our team be successful? Tune in to Amazon Prime from 21 April to find out — Mr Sato and the gang are grateful for your cheers of support!

Related: Takeshi’s Castle
Photos ©2023 Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved / SoraNews24
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