20 May 2012

The Shounen Club 24 February 2002 review

First episode of 2002, but still a part of the old season as seasons for year long programs start in April for Japan.

The guest for this episode is the Junior group Musical Academy which is primarily a dance unit. Three of the four members are still with the agency, IIRC, and the most well known would be Yara Tomoyuki who still guests on Shounen Club from time to time and is a regular cast member for PLAYZONE since 2009.

KAT-TUN is missing Ueda Tatsuya this episode, but they do not perform as a group outside of the introduction dance so it does make much of a difference.

J-Support is missing two of their members, most notably Kato Shigeaki, but Yokoo Wataru is back, and easy to spot as he is the tiny one.

Apparently A.B.C. was a six member group, which is the later line-up of four with two other Juniors that must have either been taken out of the group later or quit the agency. Though it could easily be the former seeing that the line-up for the group actually went through a few changes early on before it finally settled to be the quartet that most are familiar with.

After the introductions we get a song lead by Ikuta Toma who is later joined by Hasegawa Jun and Jimmy Mackey. One thing that jumped out to me as the first line of Junior back dancers is the original Ya-Ya-Yah line-up, so we get little Yabu Kota and Yamashita Shoon now. Another thing is that I am sure I spotted a little Miyata Toshiya in the line behind the Yax3 line. He is the unblurred Junior in red in the screen cap if I am right.

So tiny, so cute.
Speaking of the little Yabu, the studio segment has them watching a VTR (Video Tape Recording) of Yax3 singing Sekai ga Hitotsu ni Naru Made. Those who have been watching SC in the past year should recognize the song as the young Juniors have covered it a couple of times if I am not mistaken. But originally it was a Yax3 song and the coupling track to their one-shot CD, Yuuki 100%.

From the start Yax3 was Yabu centric with most of the other members being back up vocalists/dancers for him. But still, I get to see a young Shoon, which makes me happy as he was pretty cute back then.

They do what looks like a type of Madlibs with MA during the guest segment. It is so strange to see a younger Yara as I first saw him with Budokan back in 2007/2008. And I was surprised to see him with a nose piercing as he either no longer has it or makes sure he does not have it in when he is working.

MA perform a song and prove why they work better as a dance unit and not a vocal unit. Though I know Yara has gotten much better since this but I cannot vouch for the others. Also it seems like they decided to get creative with the lyrics and use symbols in place of the non-words in the song.

Of course he get Junior Fight IV, and KAT-TUN is pretty adorkable in it, especially Kamenashi Kazuya. It was surprising to see as he seems much more serious these days compared to his Junior days so far.

Of course for me Yokoo stole the segment when he got a turn. He had to do an impersonation of Nakai Masahiro from SMAP and according to Yamashita Tomohisa did an excellent job of it. But honestly Yokoo is just adorable at this point no matter what he does.

Yamapi gets to lead a song this episode and has Kame and Akanishi Jin as his back-up vocalists. I cannot help but wonder if this is part of the start of the push of those two to make them the duel leads for KAT-TUN.

The topic of this week's question is "my boom", which is your interest. It is one of those cases with a borrowed word being used in Japanese in a way that it is not used in its native tongue. Nothing about the answers really stand out, other than Miyata's name being on it, confirming that it is most likely him that I spotted earlier in the episode.

 We get Heart no Energy for the end song again, this time sung by "Johnny's USA" which consists of Jimmy Mackey, and the Eddy brothers, Seaun and Rafai. I kinda feel sorry for the trio as they fall into the half-Japanese Junior fate of being there to speak English and be "foreign", get random pushes by the agency and then disappear at some point, usually coupled with leaving the agency. It is because of this pattern that I find Yu Marius' debut with Sexy Zone such a big thing as it finally breaks this trend and gives me hope that other half-Japanese Juniors actually have a shot to debut someday instead of just leave Johnny's.


mon2x said...

hi, i was wondering if you still have this file or if you know where i can download it? I've been searching everywhere for, i think this episode... is this the episode where chibi yabu teaches toma and friends the hand gestures for sekai ga hitotsu?

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