25 August 2012

The Shounen Club 7 September 2003 review

Getting excited about these reviews the closer to the November 2003 episodes I get. Though this episode is actually quite fun to watch on its own merit.

Just want to point out the outfits here as this is a much better example of showing off the transparent part of the shirt. I think these days if they are worn it is over something, which I think looks better even though the top part in general is pretty ugly.

Yamashita Tomohisa ends up being the main host of this show as the rest of Four Tops and Akiyama Jun are missing. He does get help though, first from Kamenashi Kazuya and Akanishi Jin to introduce the first performance, a summer song medley.

The medley is mostly Ya-Ya-Yah and KAT-TUN. Of course Yax3 in this is the three that will stay with the group until it is disbanded.

Jin proves to not always be the best of sempais as he pesters Yabu Kota during the performance.

We also get Taguchi Junnosuke juggling randomly during the medley. He does manage to drop the balls a couple of times during it but then gets to be the lead vocals for one of the songs so overall he does fine for himself.

We then get to learn who the guest for the episode is, Kanjani8. I have to say I am surprised at how much K8 has been showing up on the program since the move to NHK Hall. I do not think any other Kansai Junior group has gotten this much attention on the program.

Also Shibutani Subaru continues to try to get his creeper stare on camera as much as possible.

Of course after they introduce Kanjani8 they have a KAT-TUN medley. It is just getting strange for the group to have the "bad boy" image but have really energetic and poppy songs to perform. 

We then get to see who will be the main hosts with Yamapi this episode, Kanjani8's Yokoyama Yu and Murakami Shingo. They talk about sports to segue to the next segment of the program. 

We are introduced to the Johnny's Jr. Sports Daikai, which is a "sports" competition. It starts off with Yax3 performing Yuuki 100% and the two teams, one lead by Kame the other by Jin, are introduced. I was happy to see Masuda Takahisa on one of the teams though he was probably only there because A.B.C. has an uneven number of members and they wanted to keep the teams even. But still, he was there and it made me happy.

The first event was jumping rope with trying to get as many members of the team jumping at the same time as one is added with each jump. The Kamenashi team is up first.

They ask who was at fault and Kame brings out Ueda Tatsuya. Ueda says his shoes are heavy to explain why he messed up.

Looking at his shoes it does look like a valid excuse as those soles are pretty thick. Tanaka Koki tries to use the same excuse for messing up for his team but is called out for having regular shoes on.

Next event is acrobatics and each team had to choose three members of their team to participate. Jin picked the three that were undoubtedly the strongest acrobats for his team, Junno, Kusano Hironori and Tsukada Ryoichi. Hina and Yoko had doubts about Kame's choices, though mainly Ueda and not so much Yamashita Shoon and Akama Naoya. Kame insists it will be fine as Ueda has taken his shoes off and is taking off other things that will get in his way like his necklace.

It is Akanishi's team up first though and Junno proves a great choice. I have always been impressed that he has kept up with his acrobatics even post debut even though KAT-TUN is not the kind of group where those skills are required.

SC 07SEP2003
Tsukada ends for the Akanishi team by cart wheeling across the stage. If you watched this month's A.B.C-Z special SC episode it was shown there. And looking at the two screen caps I cannot wait to get to the HD episodes.

Shoon proves to be a great choice for team Kamenashi as he seems to be able to contend with Junno easily for acrobatic skills.

Ueda on the other hand proves right to have been questioned about being Kame's choice. I am not sure what he actually does as it looks between a cartwheel and a flip but at least he does it with a lot of gusto.

I think Jin's face here is a good reaction to whatever Ueda was doing.

The final game of the competition brings in audience participation as they debut the giant balloons that have been used on the program a few times. It is a simple race for the members of the audience to try to get the balls to the right team first. It is actually a bit of a surprise of which team wins this one.

The winning team gets to stay on the stage as Yax3 ends the competition with how they began it, singing Yuuki 100%.

After the performance is over Yax3 and the team captains are brought over, mainly to kill time as the stage is prepared for the next performance. Hina and Yoko mainly talk to Yax3, particularly Yabu.

Yamapi was missing as he gets to lead the next performance. He has the younger Juniors as his main back dancers and the two on the right should be familiar faces, Nikaido Takashi and Inoo Kei

We get a talk with members of KAT-TUN, I guess mainly to fill time. The topic of course was about the acrobatics so Ueda and Junno got a good amount of spotlight before they moved to the next performance.

Moriuchi Takahiro gets a duet with Yabu Kota this episode, though he is the main vocals for the song. Again Takahiro's vocals are pretty impressive and I can see why he was selected to debut. I can only imagine how mad the agency must have been for him to have left the group so quickly after debut though.

Next talk segment is a bit of a game segment. Each Junior has a tongue twister they need to say quickly three times. Kame got a surprisingly difficult one that he at first did not even bother to actually try and spouted nonsense instead. Of course having Jin blowing in his ear probably did not help either. 

Yoko and Hina show Yamapi that he has a tongue twister of his own to do. Yamapi is not happy about that but manages to do it in the end. Yoko and Hina are reminded that they need to get ready for the next performance and leave Yamapi with Jin and Kame to introduce it.

K8 perform their medley. I felt a bit bad for Ohkura Tadayoshi as he played drums for all the songs so he was stuck in the way back for it all.

Yamapi gets to do his little speech corner where he talks about hosting and the people that have helped him with it. He gets interrupted by Hina and Yoko as Yoko tries to get him to talk about him.

Yamapi tries to just ignore them and breaks Yoko's heart.

We get a solo medley for Jin this episode. One of the songs he covers is Hitori Bocchi no Hairbrush and I noticed he switched 'sono' for 'kono' with the lyrics. I guess that is the draw back fro having the lyrics on the screen is that everyone can tell if you get them wrong.

I do love this song and while I prefer the original Jin does a good job of it, minus the flubbed word. But I think this solo does well to showcase his voice which has improved since the last time he had a solo song.

Like the previous solo medleys the show has had it ends with the rest of the group showing up to perform a song.

While at this point I normally start to zone out during the end song I am glad I pay enough attention to notice the big thing for this one. Massu and Kitayama Hiromitsu actually get to sing in it this time. Though I am sure the main reason they have gotten the chance is because the rest of the Four Tops are busy it is still a big step up for the both of them. Also I want to believe this is also part of the start of Massu getting a pre-debut push, especially with next month being when he gets paired with Tegoshi Yuya to sing for the first time.

Like I said at the start this is a fun episode to watch. I think what really makes it stand out are the games which tend to be the most fun segments of the show. Of course having K8 around helped too as Hina and Yoko made sure the host segments did not bore. And we actually seemed to get a bit more of those talk segments which is actually nice because you can actually get to learn about some of the Juniors with that.

I would say that this is the best NHK Hall SC episode so far. It will be interesting to see the changes that will happen in the next few episodes though as things are bound to get shaken up.

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