04 November 2012

The Shounen Club 12 September 2004 review

Figured it was time to start getting these reviews back on track. I am first aiming just to get the Saturday reviews on track and then move to focus on Wednesdays as well. Once comfortable with those schedules I will do some Monday reviews to catch up for the weeks I missed.

We start the episode with Kamenashi Kazuya and Akanishi Jin on the side of the stage before the curtain rises. We get introduced with the guest of the episode, Takizawa Hideaki, at this time as they goof off a bit right before things kick off for the episode.

Not much to say about the introductions, other than Ya-Ya-Yah are missing, which probably has something to do with them doing the Stand By Me play I would guess. Also A.B.C. Jr. are present but do not get introduced. Otherwise the usual intro followed by the usual opening talk with the theme of the episode announced to be Kizuna which translates to "bonds".

When they ask J.J. Express about something that comes to mind about the theme they talk about the bond between them and Nakamaru Yuichi and Tanaka Koki who they say are really kind to them. This embarrasses Koki but it is not the first time one of the little Juniors has brought this up so I am willing to believe that it is true and Koki's soft side is being revealed.

The Kizuna medley is actually pretty fun to watch as there is a good mix of Juniors participating and some of the performance points are just really fun to watch as the boys seem to be enjoying themselves.

Near the end of the medley we get a couple of other guests, Kanjani8's Yokoyama Yu and Murakami Shingo. They join the medley to help finish it off.

Yoko and Hina get to talk to KAT-TUN a bit, partly about the theme of the episode and their bonds with other Juniors. These leads into the introduction of the next performance though from the song introduction I would have had no idea what the song title was.

The English title that was garbled of the song J.J.Express performs is Stronger Without You, which seems to be a pretty mature theme for a song for a group of young teen and preteen boys. But they do well enough with it though I find it strange to see Arioka Daiki and Nakajima Yuto stuck in the back of a group, but I guess that will be changing up eventually.

After this we get a new segment that will become a regular segment on the program. It is lead by Taguchi Junnosuke and he has Inoo Kei and Matsumoto Kouhei as his helpers. The segment is called Dajyarebu, with dajyare being the Japanese word for pun which is the kind of Japanese comedy Junno is best known for. They read a letter and of course Junno ends it the segment with a pun.

This segment is followed by the Junior Hai School segment. Kame is still the MC for it but Junno is brought in to be the referee for this episode. They have two teams, each with either Yoko or Hina as the leader and the other four members of KAT-TUN divided between them. This episode's game is that an item category is given and they have to find something that will best fit it.

For example the first category is item that heals. Nakamaru gets handkerchiefs from the audience while Ueda grabs A.B.C.'s Totsuka Shota from the back and dumps him on the stage after carrying him all the way there. Nakamaru explains the handkerchiefs help heal things like nose bleeds while Ueda has Totsuka do a silly rhyme, that I can only assume is meant to make you feel better emotionally.

They do this a couple more times then the losing team has to do a batsu game, which this time is eating half an unsweetened lemon. While the expressions of Jin and Yoko are pretty funny I was more amused by the fact that Ueda had no reaction whatsoever and just ate his lemon half as if it was just any other piece of fruit. I guess he must have a high tolerance for bitter things.

With the game segment out of the way we get Tackey's first performance of the show. And while I am not a fan I do admire him for always putting forth a lot of effort when he performs. I do not think he could ever put on a lazy or half-hearted performance and I do admire him for that.

After that performance he gets to talk to KAT-TUN about the theme of the episode. We get to see a bit of his trollish side as he refuses to link arms with Jin then immediately does so with Kame when Jin is facing the audience.

There is another Tackey performance as he shows off his "ero" dance, which seems to mean a lot of hip rolls and pelvic thrusts.

Koki gets to sit and talk about an old friend of his that he has a strong bond with. It leads into him doing a rap followed by the rest of KAT-TUN joining him to do a group performance.

After the song ends we get a MC break with Yoko and Hina in the audience with KAT-TUN uchiwa. They talk a bit before introducing the next performances.

Jimmy Mackey gets his performance in and it is a cover of Bon Jovi's Runaway. I think this is actually one of the better songs for his voice but I still fail to be won over and most likely never will.

After a short talk segment with Taguchi Junnosuke and Matsumoto Kouhei, KAT-TUN perform the song Aki, which is an Otokogumi song. Since Jin and Ueda are on guitar for this there really is nothing in the way of dance moves for the song but since it is a rock song it is not so bad, but probably not the most entertaining of performances.

Yoko and Hina decide to join the audience for the final performance and cheer KAT-TUN on, and it looks like they found uchiwa of Jin and Kame to use this time. So the camera moves back and forth from the stage to where they are in the audience. And with that the episode ends.

Not a bad episode to get back into the swing of things with. Overall it is pretty fun and you can see the Juniors overall seem closer than in previous seasons. I think it helps that they are using more groups for performances and having the medleys that include several groups. And of course Tackey always just fits right in with the Juniors, as he has managed to keep a good connection with them post-debut.

Something I have not brought up in my reviews, even though it does get mentioned from time to time in the episodes, is the "leader" of the Juniors. I have avoided this because there seems to be no longer any leader for the Tokyo Juniors but there does now seem to be leaders for the Kansai Juniors currently so I figure I will go ahead bring it up here real quick. But the leader of the Juniors seems to be something that came from Tackey's time in the Juniors, with him having that role. It may have existed before but that is as far back as I have seen it mentioned. After Tackey debuted the title was given to the Four Tops and when Yamashita Tomohisa debuted, leading to that group breaking up, it seems to have been handed off to KAT-TUN. To my knowledge they are the last Tokyo group to hold the title though I believe it used to be argued that Ya-Ya-Yah took over from KAT-TUN but I need to get to those episodes to see if they get called leaders like those before them. Other than that the title is currently being used for B.A.D. being the leaders of the Kanjuu which can be seen in the TV program Maido Jani and IIRC the latest Osaka SC episode.


Nanu fui said...

I love that episode !! the game was really funny maybe because of tottsu´s song!!! Kanjani8 and Kattun were a good combi in those years

Thennary Nak said...

So far I think this is my favorite episode of the year. Everyone just seemed to be really into it.

And I agree, K8 and KAT-TUN do seem to be a good combination, or at least for this time period. They play off each other so well.