I'm literally tingling all over right now. Finally, after working on it for the last two weeks, I get the 1-all! It wasn't pretty and it wasn't my highest scoring game ever, using all my lives and going through a bunch of bombs in the stage 5 boss battle, but I'm super stoked I made it.
I started stage 5 with 4 lives in reserve and lost two pretty quickly, foolish mistakes, but totally maximized the next two and got the extra life from the Panzer Jaeger. Once I hit the halfway mark, I lost another life cause I was trying to horde some bombs and got into a bad spot.
The end boss battle wasn't much to speak of - some decent dodging and some luck, but definitely some seat of the pants moves that surprised even myself. I finished the battle with no bombs or lives left.
When that boss went down, I stood up, incredulous that I did it, shouted a frankly scary YEAH! and sat down to watch the ending of my favorite game. The surge of emotion at the 1-all surprised me.
So many times I watched superplays and thought to myself that I would probably never see the end of the game or hear that awesome closing track as a result of my own play, but I did.
Not sure if I will attack this seriously now or if I'll take a little break and try something else like Guwange, but beating Ketsui feels so good it's hard to describe. Like some sort of life goal or something. In stoked beyond comprehension. :)