06 September 2012

The Shounen Club 2 November 2003 review

Finally at the episodes I have been looking forward to for a while, the ones with NEWS' first appearance. Though watching just this first one I think I can understand why this debut was confusing to both fans and the boys in the group.

Other than the lack of certain groups and an individual in the starting introductions the other thing to note is a name change with A.B.C. They are now being introduced as Toshin Yoshikazu & A.B.C. which means that the A.B.C. group is the familiar quartet of Totsuka Shota, Tsukada Ryoichi, Goseki Koichi and Kawai Fumito.

After the introductions we get the big screen lowered so a new group can be introduced, which is done by Akiyama Jun who will be the main host for the episode.

Each of the nine members get a solo shot with their name next to it before we get this group shot with the group name, NEWS.

The full group go on stage and perform their debut song NEWS Nippon. This is the only time you can see all nine members perform on Shounen Club for reasons I will touch upon with the next episode review.

One thing I noticed about the performance was that each member of the group got some focus by the camera so it seemed like all the members were equally seen.

Also Yabu Kota and Matsumoto Kouhei sing in the performance, the parts with the child voices. These lines are also in the recorded version and since all the members of NEWS have had their voices break already I can only assume these two are those voices on the CD as well.

After that performance is done the group is split into smaller units to do a medley of performances starting with Nishikido Ryo and Uchi Hiroki singing a duet.

Yamashita Tomohisa gets to sing his usual solo song, Love Song, on his own after them.

Then Koyama Keiichiro, Kato Shigeaki and Kusano Hironori sing Private Hearts, which is one of the B-sides to the NEWS Nippon single.

Then it is Moriuchi Takahiro singing Ima, Arigato, another B-side to NEWS Nippon. He is joined near the end of the song by the final two members of the group, Masuda Takahisa and Tegoshi Yuya.

After that they rest of the group go on stage and finish it all up with more introductions followed by singing a short version of NEWS Nippon.

We get some VTR of NEWS in their dressing room. To start the segment they have to search for a couple of their members, like Yamapi.

Then they find Massu hiding in one of the lockers.

Even though Yamapi is supposed to be the leader Koyama does most of the talking and seems to be the one who is actually working to bring the group together. So I am quite glad that with current NEWS Koyama gets to be the official leader even though it has been the job he has been doing since the beginning.

Each member of the group goes around and gives themselves a label about their character. Such as Tegoshi deciding that since he loves to sing he has a singing character. And once they are all done the VTR wraps up.

After that VTR we go to the remaining members of Four Tops, Ikuta Toma, Kazama Shunsuke and Hasegawa Jun. They do a talk to lead into the next performance, a children's song medley.

It is far from being the most entertaining performance but it gives us little Inoo Kei blowing bubbles so it is not all bad.

There is then a Ya-Ya-Yah and K.K.Kity medley... I guess the first thing in this episode that makes the NEWS debut debatable it is the fact that K.K.Kity is still performing as a group in this episode. Massu also joins them for the medley, so at least it shows that he is benefiting from being a part of NEWS.

But as you can see K.K.Kity do all perform together as a unit, with the 3Ks in the black and ity in white.

During the medley we get four little Juniors get to sing. The usual two of Kouhei and Inoo and two other Juniors, with one of them being Nikaido Takashi. This is Nikaido's first time singing with the mic on the program so congrats to him for getting this status bump.

We get another 'things I want to say to you' corner but instead of the Juniors saying something to each other we get postcards read from viewers with things to say about certain Juniors.

We get all the Juniors of stage blowing kisses at the camera, except for Kusano Hironori who instead tries to give Tegoshi a kiss.

At the end of the line is Kamenashi Kazuya who plays it up for all it is worth and sends the crowd into a tizzy with his blown kiss.

Toshin Yoshikazu & A.B.C. get to do a talk segment with Akiyama. Each member gets to give an introduction of themselves with a tag line to go with it.

They then perform a medley of daisempai songs with the performance of course highlighting their acrobatics. Though after seeing A.B.C-Z and their level of acrobatics seeing most of the members in their earlier days they do not come off as refined or smooth as I am used to from them. Especially as Tsukada does not land as soundly as he should of here.

But I guess he still manages to rebound quickly so there is still a strong level of professionalism from the group that I have come to expect from them.

KAT-TUN get brought over to talk to Akiyama and Yamapi. Like all the groups before they go over something each individual can do or is known for. Then Akanishi Jin goes on the stage as Kame finishes the talk.

Jin then gets to perform a solo that he has joint lyric writing credit for. The song is called Hesitate and most likely because it was a song picked with him in mind it ends up being his best solo song performance yet.

I was thrown off during the performance when I noticed that Massu was one of the three roller skaters for it. I think this also throws in how shaky this debut must have seemed when you still had one of the members being used as a back dancer.

After the song he is joined by the rest of KAT-TUN for a medley beginning with their introduction raps. So every member gets to be highlighted.

The end has a bit of a change in that the ending introductions are dropped in favor of just highlighting the various K.K.Kity members dancing.

And to add to the confusion in the credits for the episode NEWS gets listed as if the unit was the guest of the episode. Though I guess Kanjani8 also gets listed like that when they have guested but then again while not debuted they are coming from another part of the country and the Kansai Juniors are considered to be separate from the Tokyo Juniors. So if anything this is just even more confusing and does not help lean the group in either direction of being a long term debut or not.

Even though this is an episode I have watched before I never paid so much attention to it to have caught on to some of the things that would make it hard to tell if NEWS was temporary or not. And from various interviews the members of the group where not even sure of this.

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