08 December 2012

The Shounen Club 12 December 2004 review

Finally at the final episode of 2004 and it is not a bad way to end the year with. Of course the next season does not begin until April, as with all year long programs in Japan. But it should not be long until I can finally reach those.

Being the second episode of the month there is little to say about the introductions. But Koyama Keiichiro does get to do them with Jimmy Mackey, so it kinda feels like things possibly could be getting in gear for him to become one of the hosts of the programs much later down the road.

Unsurprisingly the theme for the episode is Christmas. They have Yaotome Hikaru onstage to talk a bit about what he thinks about when it comes to Christmas.

Of course there is a medley and it focuses on the Christmas songs from Johnny's groups. The medley is mainly the younger groups with KAT-TUN only coming in at the very end for a song.

This episode sees the return of Sakenpon, the game where the three sections of the audience have to shout one syllable of a word each at the same time and the ones on stage have to guess what the word is. This time they go with teams, one having members of NEWS and the other members of KAT-TUN, which easily makes this game more interesting having more participate in it.

NEWS performs Towairo no Koi, which at the time is a concert/live only song for the group. In fact it did not end up on a CD until the group released their third album, color. It is a song that has that winter song feeling to it so it fits with the theme fine even though it is another slow song in a show with a good share of them.

We get a continuation of the VTR from last episode, where Kamenashi Kazuya and Nakajima Yuto are talking with Kinki Kids. They talk about Christmas and the duo bring up that they usually are doing concerts on Christmas or rehearsing for them. They let Yuto talk about Christmas as well and he talks about eating Christmas cake and presents.

We get to see clips of the duo's PVs over the years which I find interesting to see the level of technology progress to give less hokey looking PVs and video effects over the years. And of course it is all to promote the second best of album Kinki Kids is releasing at the time.

We get another letter exchange corner this month. This time it is between Akanishi Jin and Yamashita Tomohisa. It is not as fun to watch as the one last episode but you can still tell that the two are friends and have no issue with teasing each other.

At the end of the segment Yamapi introduces the next song, SUMMARY, which NEWS and KAT-TUN performed together at the SUMMARY concerts earlier in the year. They pair members up for the performance and I think NEWS easily wins the better costumes award.

There is a MC segment then featuring Yamapi. He talks a bit about Christmas and somehow ends up playing out a scene of a date by himself at the end. From what I could get he was playing the part of the girl for most of it and it is a rather disappointing date with the guy being late and taking her to a fast food place.

KAT-TUN performs a medley of their newer songs that I have not cared much for, I LIKE IT and Messenger. The only good thing about the songs is that they are more energetic and are enjoyable to watch still.

TaNaka reunite to do some comedy, holiday themed of course. I wonder if I would find them funny if I knew more Japanese.

There is a Christmas medley, though I do question how the song Question? perform, Feel It, is in any relation to Christmas or even winter. It is a pretty standard rock song and I am very happy to see Question? getting the chance to perform on their own. I guess maybe it can be seen as a present to them in that way.

Finally getting to the Christmas portion of the medley is first Jimmy Mackey followed by Toshin Yoshikazu & A.B.C. to both perform a song called Christmas Eve. I have to say that Toshin & A.B.C. seem to be doing rather well for a Junior group lately with getting more and more chances to be singing on stage instead of being stuck as back dancers like they were before.

KAT-TUN then get to sing a Christmas song, a slow ballad so the guys are either sitting or standing on the stage. So it is a rather plain and lackluster performance from them after the more energetic numbers they performed earlier.

There is some time to kill so KAT-TUN just talks among themselves with some playing teasing sent Nakamaru Yuichi's way.

Instead of the usual end song they sing the Japanese version of Silent Night, and the Juniors that join KAT-TUN actually get to sing along as well.


Reviewing a Christmas episode during the Christmas season is nice. It just has the right feeling for the time of year. Though if I have any say in things the next time this happens is when they do one for a December episode in 2013. I really do not want to be trying to catch up with the program for another year.

That said I am really happy to see that the show has not reverted to being more KAT-TUN centric. This episode has a good enough balance that even if the group still gets a lot of focus there are still plenty of time for the other Juniors to get screen time. Which is a great thing as the younger groups seem to be starting to shine a bit and be more attention grabbing.

1 comment:

Alli said...

Hi!
Could you please tell me the name of the vocalista who sings with Question?
Thank you