5 reasons why you should get excited about the ‘Takeshi’s Castle’ reboot

November 14, 2023 - 12:02 PM
Sassa Gurl, Eugene Domingo and Smokey Manaloto during the press conference of Prime Video's reboot of the game show "Takeshi's Castle." (Bong Godinez)

The term “iconic” is casually thrown around these days, especially when it comes to brands that evoke a sense of nostalgia. 

For those who grew up in the late ’80s, the widely popular Japanese game show “Takeshi’s Castle” holds a special place worthy of such recognition. 

Debuting in the Philippines in 1990 via IBC-13, the show featured comedians Smokey Manaloto and Anjo Yllana delivering humorous commentary in Filipino. 

Takeshi’s Castle not only introduced the concept of Japanese game shows to viewers back then but also quirky Japanese-made programs under the genre, many of which are now easily accessible due to the internet. 

Now, three decades later, “Takeshi’s Castle” is set to return to the streaming platform Prime Video Philippines, starting November 16.

So what makes “Takeshi’s Castle reboot different and a must-watch? Here are five takeaways about the modern version of the beloved Japanese game show.   

READWhat Smokey Manaloto regrets in being a first-time dad in his 50s

Smokey is back

Smokey, having graced the inaugural edition of the game show, is returning to “Takeshi’s Castle” 30 years later. 

Assuming the role of a former employee of Takeshi, Smokey will provide commentaries and insights into the challenges facing the contestants. 

Expressing his gratitude, Smokey shared, “To be part of the legacy of Takeshi’s Castle, nandun ako sa first version at ngayon nandito ako sa bagong version na mas pinaganda, mas pinasaya, mas nakakatawa, mas mamahalin ninyo.

As for his reaction when he was offered the project, Smokey said, “Natuwa ako na parang, ‘Ha, ire-revived nila ang ‘Takeshi’s Castle’?’ Nakakatuwa kasi being a host of ‘Takeshi’s Castle’ before tapos ngayon nandito ulit ako.”

Three times the fun

Joining Smokey for the show’s reboot are social media star Sassa Gurl and award-winning comedienne Eugene Domingo. 

Both are fans of the early “Takeshi’s Castle,” making their inclusion in the show a surreal experience. 

“Ito yung show na walang commitment. Free-flowing talaga ang saya,” said Eugene.

She revealed how each host began rooting for certain contestants during the competition, making their commentaries more lively and authentic.

“Nagkaroon kami ng bonding relationship dun sa mga contestant eh sa TV lang naman namin nakikita. Masyado kaming na-affect,” laughed Eugene. 

“So kung ano yung reaction namin habang nanunood kami, yun yung magre-represent sa reaksyon nung mga nanunood sa amin.” 

Meanwhile, director and comedian Jun Sabayton plays Takeshi’s henchman Shitake, who explains the rules of the game to the viewers. 

Sassa Gurl, Eugene Domingo, and Smokey Manaloto exhibit their chemistry as hosts of the reboot of “Takeshi’s Castle” during its media launch. (Prime Video/Released)

The Mariteses next door

The reboot extends beyond the main hosts, featuring a broader cast and an authentic Pinoy neighborhood setting. 

Complete with a sari-sari store and nosy neighbors portrayed by extras and stand-ins, the show’s atmosphere mirrors a barangay, creating a relatable and humorous viewing experience.

“Yung atmosphere ng show namin para kang nasa isang barangay na pumasok ka, nanunood ka tapos lahat sila sabay-sabay na nanunood ng ‘Takeshi’s Castle’,” beamed Smokey. 

“Kahit kami nagulat rin na, ‘Ay, ang ganda ng atake ng show na to.’ Na-experience ko yung previous na ‘Takeshi’s Castle’, ngayon very modern pero at the same time nandun pa rin yung essence, yung fun na binibigay ng ‘Takeshi’s Castle’.”

Eugene playfully added, “Maraming Marites na organic din yung development ng characters nila.”

Celebrity guests

Adding star power to the show is the presence of guest-celebrity commentators, including Maris Racal, Zanjoe Marudo, Ketchup Eusebio, and others. 

Fans are hopeful to see Smokey’s former co-host Anjo as a guest commentator in future episodes.

“Malay n’yo, yung next [episodes] papasok na si [Anjo]. Malay n’yo,” Smokey smiled. 

Tougher challenges for more laughs

Surviving “Takeshi’s Castle” has never been easy, and its modern version promises even tougher challenges. 

This only adds to the fun, as viewers witness contestants navigate from one obstacle to another. 

Eugene shared, “Ang daming saya. Ang saya nung pinapanood na namin yung game, ang saya nung mga komentaryo.”

Smokey couldn’t help but notice how different they do the show now compared to 30 years ago.

The Takeshi’s Castle that Smokey was used to had sparse resources and pretty much a DIY production approach. 

He recalled how he and Anjo would watch the scenes and sequences first before shooting their commentaries, pretending that they were watching the events on monitor as they happened.

Now, Smokey, along with his co-hosts, watch and react to the scenes as they see them unfold on the screen, making their reactions spontaneous and candid.

“Fast forward to 30 years after and ito na yung technology na sayang hindi namin nagawa noon. Kasi ngayon viable na, yung hindi namin nagawa noon, ngayon nagagawa na namin,” mused Smokey.

“Naku, congrats inabot mo!” Eugene jokingly interrupted.

“Try mo mabuhay ng 30 years pa, marami pang improvement ang mangyayari.” 

Smokey replied, “Malamang kasama ko na ang mga apo-apo ko nun.”

Sassa, meanwhile, interjected, “After 30 years mga AI na tayo nun.” 

Going back to Takeshi’s Castle reboot, Eugene assured viewers of a wonderful time from start to finish. 

“All in all, it’s just because it’s very entertaining at alam n’yo naman ‘pag Japan ‘di ba? Japan, Japan, isang box galing Japan, talagang sagot sa kahirapan at kalungkutan. So ito na yun, talagang sobrang saya.”