28 November 2012

The Shounen Club 14 November 2004 review

I feel rather proud to get back to the twice weekly schedule again this week. There is hope yet that I will get through reviewing everything eventually. And it looks like this era of episodes are going to be interesting for me to watch as there are Hey! Say! JUMP members making their Junior debuts as well as getting pushes into the spotlight.

The introductions show that J.J.Express have already changed their membership roster as they are down to four again, but it is Tamamori Yuta out of the group which leaves Nakajima Yuto, Inoo Kei, Arioka Daiki and Asaka Kadoi as the current members of the group.

Tamamori though has not disappeared though as A.B.C. Jr finally gets a proper introduction and the four younger Kis-My-Ft2 members are all in the group.

The theme of this episode is "kodoku" which cane be translated to solitude/loneliness. Even though other Juniors remain on stage only KAT-TUN discuss the theme.

We get the usual medley of the song that has the other Junior groups performing with members of KAT-TUN songs that seem to be a mixed between songs about loneliness and getting over it.

Since I did not mention it with the introductions but Yamashita Shoon is back but Ayukawa Taiyo is missing so Ya-Ya-Yah remains at three members for another episode. I do wonder how their outfits were picked seeing as none of them really match and only kinda sorta have the same coloring.

We get the return of the Ueda no Heya corner, which I honestly forgot even existed. Honestly I fail to see the purpose of this corner as it is just the basic letter reading (This one asking about advice for studying.) and does not really show why this has to be tied to Ueda especially.

The next medley was actually KAT-TUN free. The first part focused on the newest member of J.J.Express, Kadoi and had a familiar face backing him up in the performance.

I do not think I can express how happy I was to finally see Takaki Yuya on the program. He has been my favorite HSJ member since the original HS7 and still remains my favorite of the group. For some reason I always thought he was not in the agency until the next year but I am glad to see that I was wrong. His appearance here is easily the highlight of the episode for me.

The other three from J.J.Express then get to sing a song. Arioka Daiki is so emotionless when he sings it is rather shocking. Probably because I am used to him being the opposite of this, but I guess I can look forward to see how he grows out of being so stiff with the mic to the more energetic performer he eventually becomes.

Kis-My-Ft. get to perform Midnight Shuffle in the medley. It is a bit weird for me to see as it has Kitayama Hiromitsu as the sole lead of the group and I am just so used to having him be double lead with Fujigaya Taisuke.

The VTR of the episode has NEWS using the Shounen Club box to answer questions about the theme of the episode as well as any news about the group. It is easy to see that the members are more at ease with each other and are getting used to being a group. At the end they announce that they will be having a winter concert tour, which seems to be the main reason for them in the segment.

After the VTR KAT-TUN perform their new song I LIKE IT. Still do not care much for the song and hope they get another new song to perform, or go back to one of their older songs.

They have a new game segment, Sagutte Pon, that they use to introduce the guest for this episode, Imai Tsubasa. The only contestants of this game are members of KAT-TUN and they have to agree or disagree with the story they are given about Imai from an anonymous informant (Takizawa Hideaki, who they do a rather poor job trying to hide who he is).

Imai actually is the highlight of the game segment as he reacts to the obvious lies Tackey tells about him. The stories are long though so this ended up taking up a lot of the time for the episode and it just looked like the members of KAT-TUN were in on the joke Tackey was probably playing on Imai with this which made their answers boring because you could tell they knew what their answer would be before the stories were even told.

Imai performs his solo queen of R with the older Juniors back dancing for him. While it is not a song I would listen to regularly it is pretty fun with some energetic dance moves which really helps make this performance an enjoyable one.

Nakamaru Yuichi and Ueda come out in their feudal Japan and fairy costumes to play a game that involves the audience. It is being called Yonde Pon in the episode, though I am not sure if it has kept the name as I know it has been played in latter episodes as well. But basically there is a three syllable word shown on the screen that the players cannot see but the audience can. With NHK Hall having three floors for seating each floor is to yell out one of the three syllables but at the same time as the other floors. The contestants then have to guess what the word is.

I am sure I would have enjoyed this more if not for the fact I was feeling pretty annoyed that there were two game segments in this episode that only had KAT-TUN members participating in.

Since we are hitting the end of the episode it means we get another KAT-TUN performance. This time they are singing a song titled solitude, which I cannot way that I am familiar with. Honestly it was a rather forgettable song.

And we get the end song sung by only KAT-TUN. At this point I was pretty bored but thankfully someone had the idea to having the younger Juniors "decide" to push over KAT-TUN to lead to a lot of play fighting for the rest of the song.

I cannot help but wonder if my feelings towards to KAT-TUN on the program now are like the way non-HSJ fans feel about watching SC these days. But I guess KAT-TUN at least have the excuse that they are still Juniors unlike HSJ.

That said I do not think it would be so bad if other Juniors got to play in the game segments. Because those were pretty KAT-TUN only it really made this feel more like a KAT-TUN program than an all Junior program. In fact the only time there was not even a member of KAT-TUN on the screen was the one medley that focused on the Juniors and the Imai performance. I think that is just way too much presence for any one group to have on a program that they are only supposed to be one part of.

I can only hope that things get better when the new season starts in the 2005 April episodes.


Nanu fui said...

hello !!
I do remembre that as been a Kattun fan that things didn´t actually bother me until I became a Kis my ft fan then I was really angry with the show. My question was Why is always Kattun? last year when HSJ took over Shokura I have the feeling that it wasn´t a juniors show anymore and I was seriously angry about it! its not that I don´t like HSJ but is more an issue of liking the juniors!!!
Great review!!!

Thennary Nak said...

Well in an earlier episode it was mentioned that they were the leaders of the Juniors, which I guess producers meant they would always get the lion's share of time on the show. Which honestly was not so different from when Yamapi was still a Junior and he and his group the Four Tops took up the bulk of the screen time. Thankfully no one really took up the mantle of leader of the Juniors when KAT-TUN debuted so this kind of thing was avoided for quite some time.

Of course it seems to be happening again with HSJ taking over MC duties. Honestly I had hoped they would just have the same role that Koyama and Nakamaru did as MCs but someone in Johnny's seems to have decided to use SC as another show to promote the group. Even as a HSJ fan I find it annoying as I am also a Junior fan and I watch SC for the Juniors. There are other shows I could watch for HSJ which is not really an option for the Juniors, or at least the ones I like.

Anonymous said...

The only reason me and my friends even watch SC is because of HSJ. If they weren't there, we wouldn't have known it even existed. And this is coming from a non-jpop fan. HSJ got us into jpop, and then we'd watch SC. You know actually, as a result, I've come to recognize a few junior themselves, and come to like them.

And the bottomline is, it works both ways I think. I mean, I am admittedly an HSJ fan. I only know of SC because of them. I wouldn't have searched a junior I don't know, just to watch him perform in some show. But from watching HSJ in SC, I've come to be familiar of these juniors.

It's actually good marketing for the juniors.I mean yeah, some people could know of the juniors and like them(and begin to follow their progress?), because they were already a jpop fan, but most people wouldn't even know they existed(trust me), people like us would only know about them via the already popular groups(like HSJ). So I don't see anything wrong with it. Most people are fine with it to be honest.