Takeshi’s Castle Returns With Modern Take On Mayhem

Takeshi and the gang are back in action with Prime Video’s Takeshi’s Castle reboot, with palace hijinks commentated by hosts Smokey Manaloto, Eugene Domingo, and Sassa Gurl. 

The Prime Video show, set to premiere on November 16, provides a Filipino twist courtesy of old and new faces that hope to bridge nostalgia and the next generation of challenge-run lovers.  And with the Smokey-Uge-Mima trio, both youngsters and young-at-heart can enjoy the delightful attempts of challengers to brave the hilarious dangers of Takeshi’s stronghold.

Smokey, Uge, Mima headline Takeshi’s Castle reboot in the Philippines

Prime Video’s Takeshi’s Castle Reboot takes place in a sari-sari store, where groups of bystanders join the commentator trio as they do a blind commentary of each episode. They are, in a sense, all mariteses (gossipers) as contestants attempt to overcome the castle’s challenges.

Smokey Manaloto returns to the iconic castle as its resident commentator, taking the role of Takeshi’s former employee who offers “insider” knowledge about the game. Older Takeshi fans may remember his hosting of the original Castle’s iteration, making him the perfect rules mediator and a “bridge” that connects classic Takeshi thrills to the Castle’s more modern spin on its challenges. 

Celebrated as one of the country’s most versatile actresses, Eugene Domingo brings her comedic charm to Takeshi’s Castle as the game’s resident marites. Uge is no stranger to hosting, with Dear Uge, Celebrity Bluff, and Comedy Bluff just some of the numerous projects she brought to life with her vibrant take on quips and one-liners. It would be interesting to see Domingo offer chismosa-centered commentary to make Takeshi’s Castle more relatable to Filipino fans, especially after her performance in Prime Video’s Ten Little Mistresses.

Representing younger viewers is Sassa Gurl, whose magnetic energy may upgrade Takeshi’s Castle comedy with her authentic sense of self and signature take on “kanal humor.” With Mima, viewers among 90’s Kids and Gen Z-ers may find Takeshi’s Castle Reboot just as appealing to them as the original show was to their older relatives. 

Completing the Takeshi’s Castle Reboot gang is Jun Sabayton, taking the role of Takeshi’s henchman Shitake, who is in charge of explaining the rules of the game. Episodes feature guest commentators like Maris Racal, Zanjoe Marudo, and Ketchup Eusebio, ensuring a unique perspective for every crazy session.

What is Takeshi’s Castle

The original Takeshi’s Castle boasted 133 episodes between 1986 and 1990, featuring eponymous comedian Takeshi Kitano, who set up a castle to challenge anyone brave enough to face him. The show involves up to 142 contestants who must overcome various challenges. The winners of each get to progress to another obstacle course until the final Cart Battle that pits them against Takeshi and his highest officials. 

The Filipino-dubbed iteration of Takeshi’s Castle aired in 1989, just around when the Japanese show began establishing itself as a cult classic across local and international audiences. The Pinoy version of the show in 1989 and 2006 featured original characters such as a local Takeshi (Anjo Yllana), Iwakura (Smokey Manaloto), as well as Takeshi’s right-hand Taru Gokoyami (Joey de Leon) and sumo wrestler Kakawate Tamehome (Ryan Yllana), complete with skits and in-universe lore. Ovaltine also created an in-show game as part of an endorsement deal. 

Such was the impact of Takeshi’s Castle that it became an inspiration for comedic game shows and extreme challenge-run shows, most notably Sasuke (also known in the West as American Ninja Warrior).

New hijinks and shenanigans await Filipino viewers as Takeshi’s Castle resurfaces on Prime Video beginning November 16, 2023.

Rhenn Taguiam

Rhenn Taguiam is a frustrated journalist with a knack for comic books and video games. He likes pizza and pasta, and has an uncontrollable urge to gush over anything Super Sentai, Star Trek or X-Men. He is currently on his way to get his Master's Degree - unless he creates his own video game or graphic novel first.

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