13 September 2012

The Shounen Club 14 December 2003 review

Finally at the final episode of the 2003 year. This also means the first season of Shounen Club at the NHK Hall is coming close to an end as well with the final episode being a recap in March.

Since these are December episodes one of them is unsurprisingly dedicated to the big holiday of the month, Christmas.

Our main MCs for this show are the same for the last, Akimoto Jun, Jimmy Mackey, Ikuta Toma, Hasegawa Jun and Kazama Shunsuke.

Toma, Hasejun and Kazapon are the main performers of the first medley which is a ranking of favorite Christmas themed Johnny's songs. Near the end they go of into the crowd and give a few the stage gift boxes. Of course I could not help but wonder if there was anything in those or they gave them empty boxes.

Up next is more King of the Club with KAT-TUN. Akanishi Jin pretty much wins by completely failing. He was supposed to be singing while using the hula hoop but could not get the hula hoop going at all. He still manages to win based solely on the fact that Yokoyama Yu says that he likes him.

Ueda Tatsuya is up next and does Matrix impressions. Needless to say the judges, Yoko, Shibutani Subaru and Murakami Shingo were not impressed and he is lead off stage with the net over his head.

Tanaka give it another go this time sticking to a single joke.

I think at this point Yoko just wanted to play with the xylophone more than actually make a judgement. So Tanaka actually got a pass this time around.

KAT-TUN do a Christmas medley though only sing one Christmas themed song. The second song of the medley is their song Fight all night and I fail to see how this ties into Christmas.

Kamenashi Kazuya then gets to read a letter to Santa. Since they do not have Santa there they have a giant teddy bear be his stand in for Kame.

This segues into a performance by the younger Juniors, including Inoo Kei and Nikaido Takashi.

After the song Inoo and Matsumoto Kouhei remain on stage and begin talking about wanting to see Santa Claus.

Three Santas take the stage to meet them but the two are skeptical. Inoo points out how weird it is that Santa has an Osaka accent. The three abuse their accents though until they get them to give in and say it is okay.

This is totally how one lands a flip, right?
He then asks them to prove that they are Santa by having them doing various physical tasks, like do a back flip. To say the least these Santas do not quite measure up to the boys' standards.

The trio then do a Christmas medley and actually manage to have all the songs by Christmas songs.

There is a VTR with Toma as he interviews the members of TOKIO. They talk about Christmas and then they get their plug in for their new song Love Love Manhattan.

We get to see a bit of the PV for the song as well and that pretty much wraps up that segment.

The next medley is a Christmas Present medley which is the Juniors performing the Junior songs from past seasons as a present to the fans. Toshin Yoshikazu & A.B.C. get to start off the medley and the other Junior groups join them on stage throughout the medley.

With everyone on stage we get a Detective Tomas segment, where those in the audience can pick anyone on the stage to ask a question to.

This is how Yokoo Wataru actually gets some decent screen time for these episodes. He is asked about his favorite Christmas song and he answers that it is Kinki Kids' Kinki Kids Forever. I'm not sure how Christmas-y that song is as I have never heard it myself but I am sure Yokoo has his reasons for choosing it.

We get one of the cutest members of the audience to ask a question. I can only assume his older sister, who I assume he came with, must have put him up to it as he asks Ueda the exact same question Nishikido Ryo did some episodes back about what he is trying to be.

Ueda though plays it cool and gives an answer that makes him sounds cool, though I could not catch it all so I do not want to try to translate in case I am off.

Jimmy Mackey gets to sing a song. I guess since so many classic Christmas songs are in English it makes sense they would pull him out to do a performance. He gets A.B.C., Yabu Kota and Matsumoto Kouhei as back vocals for it.

The final song is a mix of the English and Japanese language versions of the song Silent Night. They have a group on stage than later have Juniors come through the aisles in the audience seats to join them.

Seeing Kitayama Hiromitsu here brings back memories of ever having to be a part of or watch a school Christmas pageant. I think it is the look of complete boredom on his face that does it, as there is always someone who refuses to hide how much they do not want to be a part of the pageant at them.

So while they were able to get Yamashita Tomohisa in with the first episode he is not in this one, which would make this the first episode without him that I know of. I think even though NEWS has not had their official debut there are signs of some of the shuffling going on with the Juniors to set them up for going on without those members being Juniors anymore.

I am at the time of year that I am not looking forward to seeing Christmas stuff out in stores, as there are enough that start stocking the stuff before Halloween has past to be annoying. So the Christmas theme of the episode just seemed as out of place to me. But it is more on me for that for watching these episodes as I am. Perhaps by the next Christmas episode I will be more in the mood for the holiday.

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