24 November 2012

The Shounen Club 17 October 2004 review

While I missed my goal of doing two Shounen Club reviews this week I do think that I will manage to succeed this coming week as I am getting this review done sooner than usual. And with this episode I really want to move on to see some of the changes in motion play through.

Something I missed in the introductions of the first episode of the month is that J.J.Express has had yet another membership change. Matsumoto Kouhei is nowhere to be seen, though he could just be absent for the month, and we have new members in Asaka Kodai and Tamamori Yuta. While Tamamori will only be in the group briefly Kodai will stay with the group for a much longer stay, that is if this is his official joining now.

The theme of this episode is Romance, and they have KAT-TUN talk about the theme with the two youngest Junior groups, Ya-Ya-Yah and JJE.

Things kick off with a Romance Medley, which had to be one of the easier ones to put together considering how many love songs there are in the Johnny's song library.

We are given another new corner on the program that pairs Nakajima Yuto up with Nakamaru Yuichi and Tanaka Koki called Naka Naka Ii Jyan. It of course uses the 'naka' in their names to explain why it is them. It is basically another letter reading corner with Yuto being adorable.

After that we get a medley for the Junior groups not called KAT-TUN, starting off with Toshin Yoshikazu & A.B.C. The A.B.C. part of the group all play instruments, which surprised me as I did not realize they all could. This makes me wish they would do this more as a debuted group.

J.J.Express then perform with Kadoi getting a lot of spotlight during the performance.

And then Kis-My-Ft. finally get another chance to actually sing than just back dance. It threw me off when Kitayama Hiromitsu did the rap part for the song, A.Ra.Shi, instead of Fujigaya Taisuke. I guess it is a reminder that this group still has a ways to go before it begins to resemble the Kis-My-Ft2 I know.

For Junior Hai School we get a KAT-TUN versus Kanjani8, sorta. It was mainly KAT-TUN that had to play out giving a love confession with a member of K8 of their choice getting to play the role of the girl. Needless to say the slash fangirls out there would be quite happy with this game.

Even though the "couples" in the game were pretty random.

I personally thought Nakamaru's and Maruyama Ryohei had the best with having to give the confession on the surface of the moon and for Maruyama's reaction.

At the end all of K8 have to give a confession to the camera. My favorite was Shibutani Subaru's incoherent rambling while pointing. He is truly the poet of his generation.

We then get K8's only performance for this episode, which is of course of their debut song, Naniwa Iroha Bushi. This time they do not use as many Juniors, which is nice as Ohkura Tadayoshi can actually be seen in the background on the drum in this performance.

J.J.Express get to do a medley by themselves and midway through we have Yuto, Arioka Daiki and Inoo Kei getting the spotlight, literally. This does seem to be the point where there is a shift in promotion for the members of this group to these three, especially when it comes to Yuto with everything else he is getting to do this episode. This should continue on as it is about half a year away from when Daiki and Yuto have roles in the Kimura Takuya drama Engine, which should mean a lot more pushing of them during that time.

Koki and Kamenashi Kazuya get to go on location to interview Takizawa Hideaki about his lead role in the Taiga drama Yoshitsune. It is a pretty big thing to be in one of these dramas as they run for an entire year and tend to be highly rated. And if this interview is any indication they start filming pretty early before the drama begins to air as Yoshitsune began airing in January 2005 and this interview had to have been done around September 2004.

After the VTR we get Ueda Tatsuya reading a letter at a piano that is covered in red roses.

KAT-TUN then performs Andalasia ni Akogarete, and to be honest I do not care for the arrangement they used on this song. Or the fact that it is performed as a group song and not a duet. I think this song works much better with less performers than more.

It is obvious there was some cutting somewhere when the next number starts up shortly after the end of that with Kanjani8 and KAT-TUN singing SMAP's Yozora no Mukou with KAT-TUN in completely different outfits that were not under the ones they were wearing before.

At this point the only reason I feel watching the end song being performed is for the group interactions. I am getting tired of this song and the fact that it always seems to be KAT-TUN getting the focus with most of the other Junior groups being stuck just back dancing for them.

While this episode remained fun I did not enjoy it as much as the first episode of the month. I think it does not help that I am not a huge KAT-TUN fan yet they are a major part of all the SC episodes at this point. In any case I feel like I am experiencing burn out with them. I am not sure if I look forward to the next year as much as I did initially knowing that they do not debut until early 2006. I guess I can only hope that there is more focus given to the other Juniors before then.

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