08 August 2012

The Shounen Club 08 June 2003 review

I honestly just wanted to hurry up a bit to get through these episodes by doing another Wednesday review and had no idea that this was going to be a Kanjani8-centric episode.

So apparently this is the first episode that is done in Osaka instead of Tokyo for Shounen Club, hence all the Kanjani8.
Unlike the typical Osaka episodes of the past few years for this own they actually brought most of the Tokyo Juniors over, including some of the back dancers. So we get the usual introduction with the usual groups. First thing I noticed was that K.K.Kity have "new" outfits, which is a nice change to see with them.

And it looks like I jumped the gun earlier by thinking that A.B.C. had finally gotten to being the four member group most remember it as. It can be clearly seen that they are still five members as all five are actually present for this taping. So I guess they are still in flux.

Speaking of groups in flux Ya-Ya-Yah has entered the next phase of the group as there are only four members present here and Yaotome Hikaru is listed as being one of them. IIRC, there was a short period of time that the group was six members right after Hikaru joined and I will assume that this is that period. After being hasty with A.B.C. I will wait a couple of months before believing the group change is final. That said though the four in this episode are the four that will be the members of the group until it is disbanded.

It is a bit disorienting to watch the performance as they have colored robes but the colors do not all match the colors the members eventually have assigned. Like Murakami Shingo is in green instead of purple, which is worn by Yasuda Shota, and Nishikido Ryo is in blue instead of yellow. Though with Ryo blue is the color he is assigned when he is in NEWS but it is not what is expected for him to have on with K8 as blue is Yasu's color in the group. But then you have members like Uchi Hiroki (pink) and Ohkura Tadayoshi (green) that are in the right colors.

After K8 we get our guest of the show, Takizawa Hideaki's abs. Nothing against him or Imai Tsubasa but I would like to see someone else guest on the program, though I have the feeling it will have to wait for NEWS to debut and for them to be promoted to guest status for that to happen.

Instead of just Akiyama Jun and Yamashita Tomohisa as hosts for the episode Jimmy Mackey is added to the ranks. They talk to Tackey a bit about Osaka before the next performance begins.

We then get KAT-TUN performing Harukana Yakusoku, and there is not much difference from their Tokyo performances of the song. Well except for the stage which is a bit smaller minus the wings that lead out to this strip of stage, which gives the cameramen a place in between to duck into while filming.

They make use of the fact that they are in Osaka by having members of K8 also participate in hosting, which is great if just for the fact they can be just as loud as Akiyama so he has to yield to them instead of just dominating the talks.

We get the first of the groups with new songs this episode, K.K.Kity and Sennen no Love Song.

This song has a bit of an interesting history as it debuted here with K.K.Kity and remained one of the group's songs with Private Hearts. When NEWS debuted Private Hearts went to them, and can be found on the NEWS Nippon single CD, while Sennen no Love Song went to the Junior group that succeeded K.K.Kity as the roller skate group, Kis-My-Ft. It was their only original song until Kis-My-Ft merged with A.B.C. Jr. and became Kis-My-Ft2. And most recently Sennen no Love Song was released on CD this year on the bonus CD that came with the Kis-My-Mint at Tokyo Dome DVD limited edition. Not a bad performance life for a nine year old song.

Also with this performance we get to see some core members of NEWS and Kisumai here with there being four members of each group in this mix. Koyama Keiichiro, Kato Shigeaki, Kusano Hironori and Masuda Takahisa (who is one of the skaters in pink and black) all going to NEWS, with Kusano eventually leaving the group. Then from K.K.Kity Yokoo Wataru and Iida Kyohei will make the transition to Kisumai with Kitayama Hiromitsu and Fujigaya Taisuke who are both here as skaters. Of course Iida leaves Kisumai early on during their Junior days though.

Ya-Ya-Yah also gets a new song to perform, Just wanna lovin' you, which will become one of their staple songs. This is a pretty Yabu and Hikaru dominate song with Yamashita Shoon and Ayukawa Taiyo mainly just back dancing for it then doing some back up vocals every once in a while.

Four Tops perform what seems like an original song for them called GO NOW. I figure it has to be a group song for them as it does work in the group name in the lyrics. You can see the everyone has a similar outfit but we are going to do something different with Yamapi's so you know he is the special one of the group going on here.

Kanjani8 do a medley which has members either solo or in small groups cover songs. And one of those songs is Mihari from Johnny's rock group Otokogumi. I absolutely adore this song and love it whenever someone does a cover of it and I was not disappointed with K8's cover, especially with Shibutani Subaru as one of the main vocalists.

The adorable child on the right is Akito.
Also what is great about this medley is that Kansai Juniors that are not K8 actually get some attention. Unfortunately I do not know much about the Kanjuu of this era, other than this is the generation from where the Kanjuu in Veteran mostly come from. But there is Kiriyama Akito of B.A.D. and he looks so young and adorable and his hair is so fluffy. But his smile is as cute and bright as it is now as well.

We have a letter reading segment being called Kimi ni Hitogoto Iimashou, which is something they did the last time they had Kanjuu on the program last season. This one is pretty memorable as you get to see Ryo's poison tongue in action as he asks Ueda Tatsuya what he is trying to be. This stands out to me especially as when I got into Johnny's it was one of the examples people used to "prove" that Ryo and Ueda hated each other.

Yabu then cuts in to do a lead in to the next medley of songs from senpai groups. Yabu is the main vocalist for all of it, but the other groups stick around to dance and goof around.

Near the end of the medley Hikaru joins him and then they are both joined by Tackey.

So the two join Tackey for a solo version of Sotsugyo ~Sayonara wa Ashita no Tame ni~ that uses Juniors with sheets to do the dance for it.

After that it is time for the end song and everyone gathers for it. So we get a really crowded stage and when they line up they have to make use of the stage's wings just to all fit.

A fun episode though surprisingly Tokyo Junior-centric for being an episode in Osaka. But even then we actually got to see Kanjuu that are not K8, so that is at least something. Though it would have been nice to have seen them actually perform something on their own. I guess there is one more episode for the month that could happen but I will not hold my breath.

Other than that this is an episode I would say is worth hunting down because you have so many firsts going on in it with the Junior groups. I was surprised that we get three new group songs in one episode but I guess they must have realized that they needed to make sure they could fill the time with performances and have the groups get new songs would be an easy way to do that. Though poor A.B.C. got left out in this.

In fact A.B.C. at this point seems to be more of a back dancing group than anything else. I can imagine that changing perhaps once NEWS debuts and they need to fill the empty spots from the groups disbanded from that with something. I guess I will see for myself in a couple of months how that will go.

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