04 August 2012

The Shounen Club 18 May 2003 review

I just realized that already I am close to hitting the halfway point for the 2003 episodes of Shounen Club. That of course has me excited as it means in couple of months I should be at NEWS' debut and then in probably a couple more Kanjani8's as IIRC they debut early on in 2004. I would like to get to their debut episodes this year with this being their 8th anniversary, and I should, especially if I do a few weeks of two episodes per week as I plan to now.

The episode starts with introductions with Jimmy Mackey saying everything in English so we get Japanese subtitles for it. Other than that there is nothing much to say about the introductions as they are the same as the last episode seeing as both episodes are taped on the same day.

Akiyama Jun and Yamashita Tomohisa seem to be locked into the regular host positions for this season so far. Though most of the time it is Akiyama talking with Yamapi adding only a little bit of conversation every once in a while.

The first medley features KAT-TUN singing their own songs. They end up doing a costume change in the middle of it so we get to see some glimpses of that. This interests me as I think it gives some reasoning to why some costumes are the way they are when you see that they have to be worn over something else and can be so easily ripped off so they can do a quick change and have so many outfits to wear during a concert.

There is a short talk segment with Yabu Kota that leads into the next performance. I want to say it is becoming noticeable that Yabu is growing, he still looks tiny but I do not think he is as tiny as he used to be. But I would not be surprised if he is one of those Juniors that seems to go through puberty overnight.

The song performed next is Ya-Ya-Yah's Sekai ga Hitotsu ni Naru Made, but a remixed version so at least it is a little different.

Most interesting thing about this performance for me though is spotting Juniors that will eventually debut and this is actually a good performance for that. Behind Yabu here to the right is Masuda Takahisa jamming away and on the top left is Inoo Kei again. I think Arioka Daiki should be the next Hey! Say! JUMP member to start appearing, though I am not sure if Nakajima Yuto shows up around the same time or not.

And we have a Miyata Toshiya spotting this time around too, with him being the one at the top here. I know Fujigaya Taisuke can also be seen with another group of Juniors but I have already highlighted him last review and he is not as prominent.

The first guest this episode is Hideaki Takizawa. In fact technically the guest this episode is the same as last, Tackey & Tsubasa but the duo are treated as individual guests this episode with neither of them being on stage at the same time.

But we get to see him and his abs. Well there was more to the performance than that but really Tackey's abs are something worth writing about at some point as he has such a nice six pack going on. Not to mention it is a bit hard to focus with those and shirtless KAT-TUN in front of you.

Tackey does two medleys the second being more focused on the Junior performances in Thailand at the Pattaya Music Festival. We even get to see some clips from that during the performance.

There is a medley of Shounen Club original songs. Yamapi proves to be a bad senpai to his fellow Juniors as he dances in front of members of K.K.Kity when it is their turn to perform a song.

Then it is Imai Tsubasa's turn of having a solo medley. He sadly does not seem to share the love of showing off his body that Tackey does though.

Yamapi get a medley but is later joined in it by the rest of Four Tops.

And I will go ahead and talk about some thoughts about Yamapi right now. I think this change for this season is definitely setting things up to set up a division with the Four Tops with it being Yamapi and his back dancers for the most part. While all four had a good amount of focus in the previous incarnation of the show since the new season began the focus has shifted mainly in Yamapi's favor. Ikuta Toma is still fairing alright but the others, Kazama Shunsuke and Hasegawa Jun definitely seem to be slipping into the background more and more. Perhaps this will change in the next few episodes but even if it does it is not fated to last long with NEWS' debut coming up.

We get the return of Pchan no Hitorigoto this episode. Yamapi tells the story of where his nickname Yamapi came from. For those who do not know basically Yamapi was usually given pink outfits to wear so eventually Tackey began calling Yamapi as a shortened version of 'Yamashita pink'.

Making use of the fact that they have V.West over for the month there is a VS segment with them, starting with performances by V.West and Jimmy Mackey & FiVe. I personally think both groups would be better without their lead vocalists.

We then get a battle of comedy of Yamada (Maruyama Ryohei and Yasuda Shota) vs. Tanaka (Tanaka Koki and Nakamaru Yuichi). The winner was decided by the audience which is probably why Tanaka actually won as even though I am not fluent in Japanese I was able to follow each gag and the Yamada one (which was a play on words that sounded similar to 'hanami') was more interesting than Tanaka's (which was just Koki getting mad at something silly Nakamaru said), IMHO. But I could also be a bit biased but on the other hand I know Tanaka can be better than they were this time which is also part of my disappointment.

Afterwards though everyone in the VS battles sings JUMBO together. I think I liked the performance solely based on the fact it got Ohkura Tadayoshi out from behind a drum set.

The end song is a new song for Shounen Club, Non STOP, Don't STOP. It's performed by the usual suspects and we get another group round up at the end.

I did not find much that was stand out this episode though it does help seem to cement some of the formula for the show since the start of the new season. I am pretty certain that future episodes will be more in line with these May episodes than of the April ones from previous watches of old SC episodes.

I think the big change that has really stood out to me is the change in hosts. I guess I got so used to the Four Tops with Jimmy Mackey combo having it switch to Akiyama, Yamapi with Jimmy Mackey is taking some getting used to. Especially since I find none of them all that interesting, especially since Yamapi usually does not add much to the talks that they do for the most part. But I guess by the end of the year the host will have to switch again and I will be interested to see what combination is next.

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