12 August 2012

The Shounen Club 15 June 2003 review

Sorry for being a day late again. I worked yesterday and felt too tired afterwards to write this up after doing my first watch of the episode.

Since this is filmed the same day as the first episode of the month there is really nothing majorly different with the introductions. Though Four Tops are actually introduced together and as a group first instead of individually in between the introductions of the other groups.

Takizawa Hideaki gets an introduction at the end of it before he launches into the first song of the show. I have to say I am somewhat amazed that he found a shirt for his outfit that manages to still show off a bit of skin and not manage to pull it open at any point during his performance.

We then get Akiyama Jun being the main host for this episode talking to Tackey with KAT-TUN just hanging around behind them. The talk eventually leads into the introduction of the first medley of the episode a classical music medley.

They have Ishigaki Daisuke (as the keyboardist of FiVe here) play some music a bit before actually launching into the medley. The medley ends up being classic music inspired dance pieces mixed in with not so classic songs.

Case and point would be K.K.Kity performing Sennen no Love Song. Though the thing that amazed me most about the performance is that the guys where skating over a noticeable wire on the stage without tripping up on it.

One of the non-classic songs is Yamashita Tomohisa's solo, Kaze wo Ukete Hashire, which is actually a song I enjoy. So I was happy to hear the little snippet of it in the medley. And it made me miss these kinds of pop songs from Yamapi, as I really do not care for his most recent songs even though I do still like his earlier releases.

The medley ends with Yabu Kota, Yamashita Shoon and Yaotome Hikaru singing Andalasia ni Akogarete. For some reason Yabu and Shoon open their shirts, not sure if Hikaru forgot or actually was not meant to. I really do not get why they have the young Juniors do this kind of thing as you can see with Yabu there is nothing worth seeing at all so it just looks like he forgot to finish dressing before going on stage.

They have a segment where various Juniors get to confess to things and say that they are sorry. Most of it sounds like joke stuff than anything serious.

Kamenashi Kazuya gets to do a solo medley. I am not a big fan of the tone of his voice but I do not mind watching him perform as he moves so fluidly it is fun to watch.

At the end of the medley Kame is joined by the rest of KAT-TUN to perform a song together.

Watching this the thought occurred to me about what a step up it was to move this show to the NHK Halls. In the studio the camera angles were pretty limited, especially if they had a live audience but with the NHK Halls they have a lot of space they can give the cameras which really opens up what they can do. Live have a group on stage and to easily see each member.

After the song KAT-TUN go to the side of the stage and meet Mini Kanjani8. Kanjani8 are out of sight somewhere but lend their voices to "dub" the kids as they pretend to be their counterparts. One of the Kansai Juniors used is Hamada Takahiro, who was Maruyama Ryuichi, and is a Kanjuu still with Johnny's.

The segue this into the next performance by having mini Subaru lead them to the stage and ready for a switch with the real Kanjani8.

I cannot help but think that only the audience in the first floor seating would not be able to see the switch out behind the veil but I guess as long as it works for the largest audience, the TV viewer, it works.

In answer to Kame's solo medley Shibutani Subaru gets one of his own. Even though I like Subaru's voice I found the medley disappointing as most of the songs did not fit it well. I did get a surprise when I recognized one of the songs, Aishiteru Aishitenai, and doing some researched confirmed that B.I.Shadow was the group I heard sing it before. I think it fit their voices better as Subaru is better suited for songs that do not make him restrain his vocals like this one did.

Like with Kame's medley Subaru at the end is joined by his group and they perform a song together, Do you agree? I am a bit iffy on the song as the verses do not do anything for me but I love the chorus as it is really energetic and that seems to work best for K8.

The best part of the song is the group pose at the end that is done in a very K8 style.

We then switch to Akiyama with Yamapi, Yabu and Hikaru. They talk a bit about being in Osaka when they bring up that someone is missing.

Yabu and Hikaru go into the crowd to find Tackey and they do as the lights for the seating area go up and he is at one of the cameras. He then joins them as he starts the first song of his medley by taking a seat with them.

He continues his medley and eventually he is joined by Four Tops as back up singers for him with the rest as dancers as the stage is crowded by Juniors.

For the end theme we have Tackey singing it, but the Juniors stay on stage. There does not seem to be any dance moves to it either so they are more shuffling on stage than anything else through it.

I think I preferred the first June episode overall but this one had some good highlights going for it. Either way it looks like the show is slowly beginning to take shape and find its footing. The switching of venues for it so far has been great and I am really glad that they are at NHK Hall now.

Still I would like another choice of guests outside of Tackey & Tsubasa, but I have the feeling I will not be getting that for a while as I do not believe Arashi will show up again for sometime and that should be their final time as well, IIRC.

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