YMMV: Ninja Warrior

  • Audience Alienating Obstacle: The Ultimate Cliffhanger, due to the fact that it proved to be impossible to beat for 2 tournaments, during a time when the ratings where severely decreasing. To elaborate, the obstacle was twice as long as the previous versions of the Cliffhanger, meaning that it took people a long time to get past it, if their strength didn't run out due to the previous 3 obstacles all being difficult stamina-drainers in their own right. It ultimately called for the entire 3rd Stage to be toned down in SASUKE 27 just to make sure people even cleared it, and even then, 5 out of the 8 people who got to the obstacle failed it. This is why the Crazy Cliffhanger was scaled down in length to just 4 ledges (One of which is incredibly small and only used to provide a grip for the transition to the last ledge), due to how the Ultimate Cliffhanger dominated the stage.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Minoru Kuramochi, a.k.a "Mr. Octopus." He has been ranked at number 4 on G4's craziest contestant poll and the number 4 reason to worship Ninja Warrior.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Some people complained that the English announcer Stuart Hall sounded like a pedophile, which was noticeable in the Kunoichi commentary. In 2013, Hall plead guilty to several charges regarding sexual assaults against minors and more charges are coming his way. As a result, the British version has removed his dub and redubbed it with Jim North's commentary. Doesn't help matters when this conviction reminds the British of the Jimmy Savile controversy.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The Backstream in Stage 2 isn't very popular with competitors or viewers due to it being a swimming obstacle, which is the opposite of the main goal of the course, which is not falling into the water. Heck, it's hated so much, it completely KILLED Sasuke 29's ratings due to controversy regarding the water jets used to make the obstacle harder (The severely reduced time limit from 135 seconds to 90 seconds didn't help either, as it resulted in only 6 out 17 people clearing the obstacle).
    • The Swap Salmon Ladder counts as well. Many people consider it to be boring, as it consists of nothing but ledge transitions and is only half of the height of the previous Salmon Ladders. In addition, mechanical problems with the obstacle, namely retracting rungs so people don't try to cheat their way up the obstacle, mean that the bottom two rung sets don't retract, so if one end of the bar lands on them, it's an instant out. This problem became really apparent during SASUKE 30, and it's been confirmed that the Swap Salmon Ladder will be removed come SASUKE 31.
  • Shocking Elimination: Arguably every time an "All-Star" (save Katsumi Yamada) fails to make it past Stage 1. Ayako Miake in Kunoichi 7 on Stage 2.
    • In Sasuke 27, Li En Zhi failing the first obstacle of the first stage, after having made it past the first stage in the last 6 attempts.
  • That One Level: The Cliffhanger, on stage 3, where you have to move laterally while hanging on to a ledge about one knuckle deep, has ruined the runs of many all-stars, until they started figuring out that you need to swing like a pendulum, and only move your hands when you're at the right peak when your weight is at its lowest.
  • The Woobie: Katsumi Yamada's legacy of failure and the consequences in his personal life.
    • Kazuhiko Akiyama as well. After his victory, his health worsened and his sight started to fade. The announcers always let us know about this fact.