19 December 2012

The Shounen Club 13 February 2005 review

On the final month of this season of Shounen Club, or at least the final month of new content as March only has one lone recap episode. I am hoping for some changes with the new season as things are feeling a bit stale on the program right now.

We get the standard introductions for groups at the start. Toshin Yoshikazu is alone this month as it looks like all of A.B.C. is missing. I can only assume they are busy with some other kind of work as it would be odd to have an entire group missing otherwise.

The theme for the episode is Try. KAT-TUN talk about it, with mainly Kamenashi Kazuya and Akanishi Jin doing the talking. Kame brings up that it is test time in schools while Jin brings up Valentine's day.

For the Try medley only KAT-TUN sings the songs with the rest of the Juniors only back dancing for them. There is really no excuse for this and even though they do cover some songs I love I cannot find myself enjoying the medley much as this seems to be a clear early sign that this is going to be a KAT-TUN heavy episode.

We get introduced to the guests of this episode, NEWS, and this time they have the full eight member roster present for a change.

Koyama Keiichiro and Yamashita Tomohisa are taken to the side of the stage by Kame for a chat. Koyama of course naturally dominates the conversation but Yamapi is able to get in and talk a bit before the stage is ready for them to do their performance of the episode.

NEWS performs one of their album tracks, Say Hello, which is a fun jazzy number. Watching these older performances it is rather interesting to see that the members that have left the group have tended to be the ones that got the most spotlight during these early years.

There is a letter reading segment between Taguchi Junnosuke and Inoo Kei. It is another fun one with Junno being mainly sweet and Inoo's letter having a couple of moments that trolls Junno, who has some great reactions to those.

Ya-Ya-Yah get to sing their song Singin' For You. And if I have noticed anything they tend to switch off with J.J.Express with performances for episodes, so I expect not to see much of them for the second episode of the month because of this.

The VTR segment gives us the return of Ikuta Toma as he supports Inoo as he interviews Imai Tsubasa. Tsubasa definitely has a lot to talk about with being in Endless Shock, having his first solo concert as well as being in the drama Haru to Natsu.

We get to see some clips from Haru to Natsu which looks to be a drama I would love to see as it also has Nakama Yukie as well as the recently departed Mori Mitsuko.

KAT-TUN perform a very un-KAT-TUN-ish song, Oh-E-Oh! Taiyou no Salsa! I honestly think of Tackey & Tsubasa or early NEWS for this type of song, so it seems off that it has been given to KAT-TUN. Worst of all it ends up bring rather boring aside of the Junno-Koki dance battle in the middle of the song.

We are introduced to another set of guests for this episode, Sankyodai, which is made up of Kanjani8 members, Yokoyama Yu, Shibutani Subaru and Yasuda Shota. They get to do an ~ o abake segment, but they are set up for a prank from the start with Uchi Hiroki and Nishikido Ryo being brought on stage after they put the eye masks on. Of course there are plenty of fun moments to this, one being Yasu falling off of his chair for no apparent reason. This is definitely a big highlight to the entire episode.

As they ready the stage for the next performance Jimmy Mackey talks to the members of Question? I am rather surprised to see Question? put up and center like this as FiVe was always stuck in the back and barely recognized in comparison. It is a pity that Q? really could not capitalize on this as much as the other Junior groups and push their way to a debut.

Sankyodai perform the song Mikan, which is Subaru on main vocals, Yasu playing the guitar and backing vocals and Yoko gets to speak some lines in the middle of the song. Or they are playing to each of their own strengths.

Inoo Kei gets to read a letter all about doing your best. I rather like these as they give the younger Juniors a way to stand out a bit.

KAT-TUN then perform the song FEEL YOUR BREEZE which is a cover of a V6 song that was the theme song for Gokusen. It is actually rather fitting as this is the time period where Kame and Jin are in Gokusen 2 the sequel to the popular drama.

For the ending the guys get to play around a bit but still overall it is a snorefest. If anything I am glad that soon I will not have to listen to this song anymore.

With NEWS showing up more and more I hope we are moving closer to when Koyama and Nakamaru Yuichi become hosts of the program. Partly because it was that era of SC that I began watching the program and I am eager to revisit it. That and I know by then KAT-TUN will have debuted and I will no longer have to see one group dominate the show so much until the current SC era begins.

Thinking about changes to the show with the start of new seasons I am gathering hope that we see some of that with the current program. I may love Hey! Say! JUMP but I do not care to see them all over SC and since we have a group like Bakaleya6 that is proving to be a hit perhaps we can see HSJ with a reduced role to make room for them and other Juniors that are rising in popularity. I guess we shall see in April 2013 if this will come to be or not.

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