18 September 2012

The Shounen Club 18 January 2004 review

Finally beginning to feel better and I hope I have this bug kicked soon. Being able to breath through my nose would be awesome. At least watching these episodes give me a nice distraction from the unpleasantness.

We get a pretty cool looking opening with this episode where all we see is this screen with the kanji from the names of various Juniors that is all white at first then some turn red to spell "Jr." before it goes up with the curtain on the stage and we begin the episode.

The first medley is a winter medley lead by Ikuta Toma, Hasegawa Jun and Kazama Shunsuke.

After that we get what looks to be the new standard for the show's host, Akiyama Jun with Jimmy Mackey as a co-MC from time to time.

This launches into a skit starring KAT-TUN working in a doctor's clinic with Kamenashi Kazuya as the doctor. His first patient is Yabu Kota and he is more interviewed than checked out.

After he leaves Tanaka Koki comes in as a patient. There is some silliness with a stethascope and the heart beats of various members of the group (like Ueda Tatsuya not even having one) until the phone "rings" and "Higashiyama Noriyuki" calls wanting to see Doctor Kame. They rush out and the skit ends around there. I think it is a fairly easy to follow skit for someone who does not know too much Japanese and the comedy is easy to follow so I would recommend watching it if you are interested in that. Or if you are just simply a KAT-TUN fan and you want to see Akanishi Jin dressed up as a nurse.

After that Ya-Ya-Yah get to perform a new song for the group, HA RU NA TSU A KI FU YU. The current group of little Juniors have covered this song a couple times at least. It is a pretty fun song and I am glad to have it back on the song rotation with the recent Shounen Club season. But here for the debut performance of it we get the full song as well as concert streamers for the performance.

This episode gives us another Kanjani Tsushin VTR segment. Again it is the elder three members of Kanjani8 with Kansai Boys. There is a quick appearance by Maruyama Ryuhei as he demonstrates doing impersonations by doing one of SMAP's Nakai Masahiro.

After that the Kansai Boys are given takoyaki by Yokoyama Yu which they are quick to devour.

When Murakami Shingo and Shibutani Subaru try out a couple from the other box they discover a surprise with theirs, as there was something really hot put in the ones they ate. Yoko tries to hide the rest of the takoyaki from them and the segment ends on that.

Returning to the filming Akiyama is with KAT-TUN and reads a letter from a KAT-TUN fan. The fan asks about what they do to keep arm and the guys give their answers.

Kame's is the old standby of putting your hands in the sleeves of your clothes as well as stretching out shirts to cover your knees. I am not sure about him but whenever I did the latter my parents would scold me for stretching out the shirt when I was a kid.

While the medley is lead by KAT-TUN it has an extended lead in that highlights the members of FiVe. It is rather nice to finally see the group get a bit of the spotlight as they are in every episode but always stuffed in the back.

When KAT-TUN does take the stage it is with a small army of Juniors so it is more like a Junior medley that KAT-TUN is featured in. Even the songs they sing sound they should be going to younger groups than KAT-TUN.

We also have another Junior Ha~i! School segment. This time around they get to add speech/thought bubbles to a couple of works of art.

Akiyama and Jimmy return for Akiyama to read another letter. This time from a fan from Los Angeles who is a fan of Jimmy.

Jimmy Mackey does a cover of Change the World originally by Eric Clapton. It brings quite a bit of nostalgia as this song was everywhere when it came out in the States (1996). I think Jimmy did okay with it, he just has this light and airy sounding voice which is quite different than Clapton's and you cannot help but feel the emotion lacking in comparison as well. I do not know why they keep insisting on giving Jimmy songs that do not suit his voice or solos, as I think he does better backing others up, but at least they are not making him butcher a song this time around.

We then get one final medley, this time with Toma, Hasejun, Kazapon and KAT-TUN in various shuffle units performing the songs.

The end song is the usual Don't Stop, Non Stop, this time lead by Yax3 for most of it. Only A.B.C. gets in introduction during the break portion.

From what I remember of the few 2004 episodes I have watched I think things are more or less moving to what will be the standard for this upcoming season. With KAT-TUN continuing to dominate and the other remaining groups getting a bit more screen time. Of course we are getting close to Kis-My-Ft. and J.J. Express being formed, as they are both 2004 groups, but already there are some signs of things coming together for them between ity being with the group of Junior Boys where the permanent members of that group will come from and then also the pushing of the current group of little Juniors that will lead into JJE.

I was surprised that after them pulling Tackey & Tsubasa out to be guests in the first January episode they are no where to be seen in this second episode. It really makes me wonder if T&T was just a last minute thought to have been added. Oh well, it was actually nice not to have a guest for an episode for a change.

The episodes for next month will the last new episodes of the season, as the March episode is just a recap. So it will not be long before the next season starts and the show gets a bit of a shake. up.

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