02 May 2012

The Shounen Club 9 April 2000 review

I know I have reviewed this episode in the past but I think as the first episode of the show it is worth re-watching. Especially since it has been a long while since I viewed this episode.

Little bit of history of the program here. The Shounen Club replaced another Junior based music program called The Music Hour. Music Hour is the program that you will probably only see these days when the Johnny's from the era that Arashi and Tackey & Tsubasa were still Juniors. The Shounen Club began featuring the Juniors that can considered part of the You&J era(which to me are the Johnny's who were Juniors around the same time not so much were in that fan club together), NEWS, KAT-TUN, Kanjani8, Ikuta Toma, and so forth. It also began as only a half hour program in a studio instead of in NHK Hall where it is filmed today.

People do remember he had a music career right? Or am I that old?
Have this screen cap mostly because I think it really shows how dated this program is with them using not only a non-Johnny's song to do their opening dance to but it being Will Smith that they are dancing to.

Taguchi Junnosuke, Jimmy Mackey and Akanishi Jin. 
This other stage is in the same studio as the first but on the other side. There is a ramp/walkway area that the boys can use to go between them.

Back when the most popular wore the most hideous outfits.
Unfortunately this is one of those episodes that someone recorded on a VHS tape and later converted to a computer video file so the quality is not great, even less so for screen caps so I cannot truly share the horror of the outfit Yamashita Tomohisa is wearing for this opening part. That dark loop thing around his shoulders looks to be fake fur and on the back of the outfit there is a big reflective square. It is one of those Johnny's outfits that needs to be exercised and burned.

Nothing says live audience like canned laughter.
After this introduction we cut to a studio segment that is without an audience, but with a laugh track. We have four hosts, with Yamapi as the main host, Jimmy Mackey, Hasegawa Jun and Yokoyama Yu there as a guest host. Though honestly it is pretty clear Yoko is there because the other three are extremely green so he is to help move things along as they are supposed to.

In this segment there is a board in the background that gets panels flipped to show the topics they will cover in the episode.

SC game to play: Who else wears this outfit?
After getting introduced to the parts of the episode that will be covered we get another performance, with Yamapi leading the song. It is a good section to go hunting for future members of KAT-TUN as most appear on this episode and get spotlights during performances with the future members of Four Tops.

One of the reasons I took this screen cap is because I am certain that this outfit has been in use for many years since then. I am not sure if they are still using it or something similar but I would not be surprised if they were because some of these outfits on SC are easily a decade older or more.

Back when Arashi could be the pedo group.
The guest for this episode is Arashi as they are releasing there Sunrise Nippon single around this time. So lots of little Arashi, though Ohno Satoshi does not looked like he has changed much over the years outside of hair color/styles.

Dance practice.
They have two of the younger Juniors show some footage they shot of Arashi when they were practicing. So we get to see one of the dance rooms as well as dance trainer/coordinator SANCHE, who I know I have seen his name in the credits of Johnny's releases before. I was amused at how scared the young Juniors were of getting SANCHE mad by being there so I can only assume he taught the Juniors the dances they did as well.

"It helps if you look at the camera Yamapi."
Back at the studio they go over a few news points, which includes Tanaka Koki in the movie, Colorful, and Akanishi Jin in a NHK drama. They also interview Arashi a bit before moving on to the next performance segment, this one featuring their guests.

Who needs personal space?
Arashi then do a live performance of the full version of Sunrise Nippon. They use both stages in this which is nice though it does show that this program is still a bit on the amateur side of things as a boom mic ends up on camera for a second.

Ueda used to be so cute.
 We then get Junior Face Fight, which as a segment can probably be considered a fore-father to the Junior Colosseum segments of the modern Shounen Club as it sets Juniors against each other in challenges. The Face Fight is simply a staring contest between one of the younger Juniors and future KAT-TUN member Ueda Tatsuya with Yamapi being the referee.

Attack of the hideous flower print outfits.
We get another music segment, this time with Musical Academy performing a song called Romantic Time. It is really odd to see any of the dance units actually doing a singing and dancing number but this was also a time where there were not so many Juniors let alone Junior groups.

Can't get over how young some of them are.
We then get little Tanaka Koki and Hasegawa Jun performing the song Suki ni natteku Aishiteku which is a song written by Kinki Kids. It is really strange to see such a young Koki as he is not so confident and lip-synching really badly here.

Nino rocking out.
Then Arashi take the stage again for the song Ai no Arashi which seems to be mainly highlight the fact that Ninomiya Kazunari can play the guitar. But it is a fun performance to watch if just to see Matsumoto Jun get really into it and do his usual over dancing.

I see Kato Shigeaki's name!
We then have the predecessor of the Junior ni Q segment of SC. This is basically a board with a question that would have the Juniors have their names on either side of it, as one would have the answer 'Yes' and the other 'No'.

I want that Domo-kun.
This segment is hosted by Ikuta Toma. I rather love that this show was aired around the same time Domo-kun was the mascot for NHK. I love Domo-kun so to see him with Johnny's is a wonderful combination of my loves.

Some things never change.
 We get a closing song lead by Yamapi with the other Juniors. The outfits are some of the better ones for the episode but honestly that is not saying much.

I think for now I am most interested in seeing what You&J Johnny's I can spot in these episodes. I have never been a big Yamapi fan but it is pretty apparent that he is going to be one of the main focuses of this show. But I believe it will not be much longer before we get the formation of Junior groups like KAT-TUN (so strange to be thinking of them as a Junior group), A.B.C. and Ya-Ya-Yah, so those will get me more interested in the program. And until then there is always Yoko.

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