05 December 2012

The Shounen Club 5 December 2004 review

Final episode of the year of 2004 and hopefully things will be more inline with this episode from here on out. But I guess I will not talk too soon as I do have another episode for this month to still watch.

The only change to the introductions is Ya-Ya-Yah finally back to the group's full roster again.

The theme is Egao (Smile) and the guest of the month is NEWS (sans Nishikido Ryo and Uchi Hiroki who are probably off doing something with Kanjani8). With NEWS there they decide to have the member of the two groups do a bit of a smile off so no surprise it is Taguchi Junnosuke and Masuda Takahisa picked for it.

The opening medley has a good mix of Juniors, especially of Toshin Yoshikazu & A.B.C. This is much more in line with the kind of opening medleys I have enjoyed in these episodes, where while there is KAT-TUN in it, the other Juniors groups also get a good amount of spotlight.

We get the Ueda no Heya segment again and this time Kamenashi Kazuya is there to help talk about the postcard they read. Still find this to be a rather pointless segment since there is no difference than other times they do this for an MC segment.

We get a Yax3 medley and it is undeniable that they are lip syncing the entire thing. I say this because they sing most of their older songs and sound exactly like they did before Yabu Kota's voice began to drop. In fact in one of the songs you hear his lines but looking at his mouth he is not singing them. I can understand why they lip sync but I would think they would at least re-record once voice begin to change to avoid this.

We get the first ... o abake segment even though they have done a similar segment before, but under a different name. But basically each participate puts on an eye mask to block their vision and their mics distort their voices to make them sound like they just took in a bunch of helium. They then answer questions about other members. These segments are always a blast to watch and thankfully most, if not all have subs out for them in various corners of the internet.

Thankfully someone had the foresight to let Koyama Keiichiro do one of the MC segments where he got to talk about the song that the group would perform. As throughout the episode it is clear that if he has a mic he will use it, even if he is not the one doing the talking.

NEWS then performs one of their B-sides, Devil or Angel. I have never cared for the song but I do like that each member gets a solo line in it. In fact one nice thing about NEWS is that even though they were a large group they still had some songs like these to have everyone have at least a line to sing solo.

The VTR segment is being called Ano Toki, Kimi wa Wakkata! (That time, you were young!) and has Kamenashi Kazuya and Nakajima Yuto interviewing Kinki Kids. This is of course means we get clips from the show Music Jump replaced before it was replaced by Shounen Club, Idol on Stage. We get to see the time frame it ran for, October 1993 to March 1997, which of course covers a good portion of the time that Kinki Kids were Juniors.

We get to see some clips from then, one that even includes a young Nakai Masahiro. Also to note is that one of the clips has Kinki Kids singing Hoshikuzu no Spangle, so apparently this song has been around for a while. It makes me wonder where exactly it came from.

We have exchange letters this episode and it is between Kitayama Hiromitsu and Fujigaya Taisuke. I do not think I have seen a letter exchange that the participants had so much fun as both teased each other with stories about each other. I think it is easy to see how well the two work together even back then and Johnny's was right on with making them dual leads for their groups.

One of the songs is Can Do!, Can Go! and here Yabu actually sounds like he has been in the past couple of months which makes it even more apparent that they were using old recordings for the Yax3 medley. But hey, here is a cute little Takaki Yuya who gets to be lumped with the five/six Fresh Juniors used a bit in this episode.

This episode introduces the KAT-TUN song GOLD, which is honestly one of my favorite songs from them as it is on their debut album. Of course I never noticed how odd some of the English lines are but still I love the song and it is the usual strong performance from the group.

We get an MC break that Jimmy Mackey gets to talk about Christmas and what he usually does for it.

Nakajima Yuto gets to read a letter that has the test for it show up on the screen. Again it is getting obvious he has been put on the track to get promoted as the next golden Junior after Yabu Kota.

Afterwards JJE and KAT-TUN sing a song together with the grouping of six Fresh Juniors hanging around to look cute basically.

They seem to need to kill time and KAT-TUN chat a bit. They try to get Junno to do a pun but he cannot think of one on the spot to do and Akanishi Jin ends up pulling one out for him eventually.

I guess someone else must be realizing how stale the end number is getting as they try to make it a bit more interesting with the choreography. Jin does not let Junno in between his legs though, I guess there is no accounting for good taste.

So glad that this first episode of the month was much more balanced than last month's. In fact I did not feel so sick and tired of KAT-TUN this episode. Though it probably helped that they performed one of my favorite songs of theirs. But even then having NEWS around was a bit like have K8 around in the sense that the guests got featured enough that it broke up the usual KAT-TUN monopoly.

This is probably one of my favorite episodes in a while and I have hopes for the next as NEWS should stay around for that one as well, and there will be no stopping Koyama from getting a word in if given a mic.

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