22 September 2012

The Shounen Club 15 February 2004 review

Going to keep up with this current pace until Wednesday when it will be the first episode of the next season of the show then go back to twice a week reviews.

NEWS is absent this time around for the introductions and from the episode. Yamashita Tomohisa though is introduced by himself and we still have Kanjani8.

After the introductions three of the Juniors are left center stage, Hasegawa Jun, Yamashita Tomohisa and Tanaka Koki. Akiyama Jun then explains that these three would be graduating high school, and seeing that the next new episodes would be in April (as the next and only March episode is a recap) after graduations they would be centering this show around the theme of graduation.

The episode starts with a medley lead by KAT-TUN. I really liked the starting song, which was a duet between Akanishi Jin and Kamenashi Kazuya, called Sayonara. It really is a nice ballad and since KAT-TUN is not using it anymore I kinda hope it is given to a current Junior group.

Next up is Ya-Ya-Yah with a performance. I keep looking at them and wondering when they will finally go through their member change and drop two of the five members here and add Yaotome Hikaru, who seems currently MIA, to the group. I guess it has to happen soon as I know I have seen Yax3 in 2004 as the four member group most remember them as.

There is a letter exchange with Hasejun and Yamapi. They seem to have kept them mostly lighthearted.

Afterwards there is a medley with Hasejun, Ikuta Toma and Kazama Shunsuke, with Hasejun looking quite out of place in just a tank top.

There is the return of the new game segment Attate Pon!, this time with Kame being the one the panel of Kanjani8 members have to guess which is the truth and which are the lies. Probably the most outstanding thing of the segment is that Ohkura Tadayoshi actually speaks, something that even surprises his fellow group mates.

This time around they have to guess what story is true out of three surprising stories, one about being bit by a tiger, another about having his foot run over by a truck and then one about being caught walking around in his boxers. Truly the fangirls are the real winners of this game.

Then Yamapi gets to debut a new solo song, Yubiwa. This is on the Seishun no Amigo single that he did as a temporary duo with Kame. I guess that should be around the corner too, which should be interesting to see.

Toma has another Scoop VTR segment with Arashi and as you can tell they are just positively delighted to be there.

The get to talk about graduation and Sakurai Sho gives the words of wisdom "The next step is the exit!!" (could be a bit off with the translation here but that should be the gist of it at least). They then show some clips from their latest group movie to end the segment.

Kanjani8 get to do their medley which kicks off with Shibutani Subaru getting to sing his solo, Fight Man.

It eventually moves onto the group Dreamin' Blood where Yokoyama Yu shows off his camera bombing skills.

For the Detective Tomas segment things are done a bit differently and we have what looks to actually be the abake segment that those more familiar with the current show will recognize. It is a segment where a group is sitting onstage with "blindfolds" and their mics are adjusted so their voices will sound high pitched and then they are asked questions, usually like who thinks they are the best at something or wanting to say something to somebody that is annoying them.

Is that a guilty face? I think it is.
Toma manages to be the first to screw up and say somebodies name, revealing who was talking. But he tries to make a valiant attempt at saving things even though it probably was not going to happen.

Akiyama gives a call out to Goseki Koichi as being another high school graduate and Goseki's reaction is pretty cute.

Toshin Yoshikazu & A.B.C. of course then get a performance this episode and are in very familiar outfits for it. Still find their acrobatics a bit shaky, but that is probably from just comparing it to their current level.

Yamapi gets his talk segment again and uses it to read a letter he wrote for his friends and classmates in regards to his high school graduation.

There is a performance of Tackey & Tsubasa's song Sotsugyo ~Sayonara wa Ashita no Tame ni~ that most of the Juniors are a part of. What is rather surprising about this performance is that Kawai Fumito actually has solo lines. I cannot even recall if he has had solo lines during his group performances so this seems like a really big thing for him here.

The end song is lead by the high school graduates, which is not only the three highlighted at the start but also Goseki and Kitayama Hiromitsu.

Yamapi gets to do the final speaking segment but I was okay with that as we got this during the final song, and cute Kitayama is totally worth a few moments of Yamapi rambling on about something.

After watching Japanese programs for so long it feels odd to have a graduation themed episode for February as the traditional month for that is in March. But I also feel like this might also be a graduation of sorts for Yamapi from the program. Kinda like how Yokoyama Yu got his special send off from being a host on the show a couple of years back. Yet this one is subtle if that is the case and I cannot help but think that Johnny's must have known that Four Tops were popular as a group and if they did not do something they could face quite a bit of backlash from fans. So I think the oddness of NEWS' debut may actually come from that. But that is just my speculation on the matter.

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