27 September 2012

The Shounen Club 4 April 2004 review

Okay, finally after this episode I will be going back to the twice a week rate I was going at before for these reviews. This is the first episode of the second season of Shounen Club since the move to NHK Hall so there are some changes to be seen.

Also there is another change not so related to the program but of the videos I have. The video quality, and for this episode the audio quality, has taken a nose dive. I am sure this probably has something to do with the fact that none of the members of Four Tops are in this episode and that NEWS status as a debuted group would have been cemented with their second single that was released that month, as there will be another issue with file quality that will appear around the time Hey! Say! JUMP debut. This is just part of the earlier days of fandom where one fan was pretty much the only one sharing video files of a show and of course if their favorite leaves then you tend to end up being S.O.L. Thankfully these days there is no longer a single source and so this issue will go away around the time the show begins to air in high definition as that is when we get a good stable source for SC episodes.

First thing different that you notice is that the show does not begin with introductions. Instead it starts off with a song, lead by KAT-TUN who are only five members strong this month. And after some quick words from KAT-TUN they launch into a KAT-TUN medley.

Afterwards they are joined on stage by Koyama Keiichiro who is there for I really have no idea. I guess to be the MC for this portion and pop up later in the game segment. Those are the only two times we see him this episode. Perhaps the second episode of the month will shed some light on this.

The talk leads to the next medley that has Tanaka Koki and Nakamaru Yuichi popping up during performances by other groups to do their thing of rapping and beat boxing.

For Toshin Yoshikazu & A.B.C.'s performance in the medley each member gets a solo line. If I am not mistaken this is the first time everyone in this groups has had solo lines so it feels like the group has hit the next milestone for them.

We get the return of Junior Hai~ School! but with some changes for the new season. The biggest change is that instead of Academia Kazama we have Professor Kamenashi as the MC for the segment.

Another change is that instead of the audience being the judge for the winner one of the Juniors get to choose. For this episode that Junior is Akanishi Jin, as they a picture of him to add a caption to.

Afterwards we get member introductions for KAT-TUN. Even though Taguchi Junnosuke is not there for this month they still make sure he gets his introduction as well.

Kame teases that they have a guest that will help them out and during the performance Imai Tsubasa shows up making the group KAI-TUN. Though it is apparent he does not know the group song they are performing but he tries his best.

They then move of songs that Tsubasa knows, his solo songs with the first being Get Up. The song has some interesting choreography to start it off with.

KAT-TUN get to do another skit, this one is about a high school basketball team who is missing their Ace, Junno. Everyone gets to be wonderfully eccentric and over the top and overall it is rather easy to follow along with.

Without further ado we finally get the debut of the Junior group Kis-My-Ft. This original line-up is introduced to us with Kitayama Hiromitsu as the K, Iida Kyohei and the I, Senga Kento as the S, Masuda Takahisa is standing in for an absent Matsumoto Kyohei as the M, Yokoo Wataru as the Y, Fujigaya Taisuke as the F and Tomita Mao as the T.

They of course perform a Hikaru Genji cover as it is easy to see that they are meant to be a Junior version of that group from the age gap between the older members and the younger members as well as of course the roller skates. Though part way through Senga takes off his skates to show off his dance skills but it ends up looking rather awkward when he has to join up with the rest of the group without the skates.

Since the video quality was bad I could not get a good look at the little Juniors roller skating during the performance. Though I was able to catch that at least Nikaido Takashi is one of them. I would not be surprised if at least one of the other younger members of Kis-My-Ft2 was there as well.

Jimmy Mackey then appears out of nowhere and has a solo song, covering the 80s American hit song Jump. He sounds okay but I think I am happier to see at least one of the members of the old guard still around.

KAT-TUN then read a letter and do the usual talk for this segment. By now I think it is safe to say that they will be taking over MC duties for the program this season.

We get a group performance for the Junior groups, minus the new one, of Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana. Kame gets to be surrounded by fans so he gets some props from me for being brave enough to do that.

The new end theme for the new season is called Shining Day! No. 1 and all the Juniors join in for this. Even Kis-My-Ft., minus Massu, show up.

With this season it looks like things are well under way for moving towards the SC I knew when I got into fandom. Of course there are still about three years worth of episodes to catch up to that then another five to reach the current episodes.

But at least the Juniors are becoming more familiar and I think I will find this season interesting to see as there will be Kis-My-Ft2 members to see and we should be getting J.J. Express soon, which means at least tiny Nakajima Yuto and more little Inoo Kei. Also Yaotome Hikaru should be making his return and Ya-Ya-Yah finally becomes a quartet. I think most of this happens in the next few months to come so I have a lot to look forward to. Not to mention the Kanjani8 debut later in the year.

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