22 August 2012

The Shounen Club 3 August 2003 review

I really was thinking that there could not be enough new footage in this recap episode to make it worth doing alone and thought about doing two episode reviews today, except whoever produced this episode must have realized how little footage they had to recap. So there is actually quite a bit of new footage mixed in to make this worth reviewing after all.

We begin the episode by meeting the hosts for it, Four Tops. They pretty just sit there and comment on the various clips that are shown in between them. Which makes watching the recap clips a bit boring if you have already seen them as there is no difference to them.

Someone putting this episode together thankfully realized that they should have some kind of original content for it. The first of this is a segment about various things that go into a taping of the show. Murakami Shingo it the main host of this segment, and he starts off by interviewing some of the fans waiting in line outside of NHK Hall before they open the doors.

Unlike concerts the postcard you get that allows you to watch a taping of Shounen Club is not assigned to a seat so if you want a good seat you have to show up early, usually at least a few hours. Hence the line here.

We also get to see various Juniors come in and I broke into a big smile seeing Masuda Takahisa and Taguchi Junnosuke together. And Massu even gets to say something. Honestly if you are a big Massu fan this is actually a pretty good episode to watch for him during his back dancer period.

We then get to learn a bit about the rehearsals. I believe it is saying that in one day (which I am assuming is the taping day) that the Juniors typically have to perform about 20 songs. And this sounds right if you count the songs in medleys as individual songs. Also at this point for SC there are performances that get cut but more on that a bit later.

The camera rehearsals interest me as it means that the boys should be aware of where and when they are. I bring this up as not too many Juniors play up to the camera, and those who do seem to stand out quite a bit.

We then get to have various Juniors interviewed backstage before they go on to begin the filming.

One of the amazing things about SC is that it is filmed in one go so there are no do-overs. So it actually is not too different than live filming though there is editing usually just to keep the episodes the right length for broadcast.

The next segment with new footage is not actually related to SC. It is footage from that year's PLAYZONE musical as Four Tops, minus Yamashita Tomohisa, were in it. So we get to see some clips of them and Shounentai.

We get a recap segment dedicated to the episodes filmed in Osaka. While most of it is from those episodes there is a clip at the start that was cut but being shown for this episode. It was Yokoyama Yu's birthday on that day of filming so they had the audience all sing Happy Birthday to him. It is cute to see him so embarrassed about it and you could tell that he really was touched by it.

We then get an omake (extra) segment. These are clips of performances that had to be cut from the program because of time constraints. It is kinda surprising that they would have to cut performances as they program moves from performance to performance rather quickly. I think it does show which groups/Juniors get favored as most of these omake clips have K.K.Kity in them.

Probably the best part of the medley is A.B.C. singing a Japanese version of I Will Survive, that is titled Koi no Survival.

The omake is Tanaka practicing their routine. They try out various skits and various reactions and even have to explain the joke for one of them.

We get another medley that was cut and it is a K.K.Kity medley. I cannot say that I am surprised that this is one of the medleys cut as the group just does not get the same kind of pushing as some of the others, but I am glad they decided to air it at least. And they do it by doing a mix of rehearsal footage with the live performance.

It is with this episode that I finally notice that the light pink portion of this outfit is actually see through. Could not get a good screen cap to show this but watching it move as they move it is noticeable.

Masuda Takahisa
The roller skate boys really get a good chance to shine as they get featured with the group. At this point I would almost consider them unofficial members of the group.

With this medley it is really easy to see the split in this group, which is probably one of the early signs that the three Ks are being considered for debut. But as the three Ks wear the pink outfits, ity is in outfits that let them blend in with the other roller skate boys, which probably is not surprising that they will late be the members of Kis-My-Ft later.

Kitayama Hiromitsu
Near the end of the song the roller skate boys get highlighted so if you want to see some of them clearly this is a perfect chance for that.

I was surprised to see a Yamapi lead performance of Stompin'. I always think Ya-Ya-Yah for this song so I did not realize it had been performed as an all Junior song. Though it still sounds like a Yax3 song as the mikes were either turned really low for just about everyone but sometimes Yamapi with Yax3 still being the loudest voices or they used a backing track that did not have the vocals for the older Juniors on it, minus the "stompin'" line as that has been sung by older Juniors in previous performances.

We end the episode close to how we start it, with the Four Tops as they introduce the final recap footage of one of the end song performances.

I was dreading this episode because it was a recap episode but seeing how much new footage that they worked in made it much better than I expected. I was still bored by the recap footage as there was not much to recap and because of the rate I have been going through episodes it feels like I just watched those episodes and do not need to be reminded of what happened in them.

As a NEWS fan this episode was great, as my favorite NEWS members are the current four and while Tegoshi Yuya still has yet to make an appearance it is still great to see the other three. And this episode gives those three quite a bit of screen time compared to the other episodes. Especially Massu, he actually had a noticeable presence for once.

With this being the lone August episode it leaves two months worth of episodes before the big Junior shake up as NEWS is formed.

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