28 January 2013

The Shounen Club 11 December 2005 review

We have the first episode for the last month of 2005 and it looks like I can safely stop grinding my axe for KAT-TUN on the program as NEWS is hosting again. Of course there is still the chance they may do the show takeover newly debuted groups do, but as long as it does not go on for too long I think I will be fine with it.

A couple of missing Juniors to note, one being Miyata Toshiya from Kis-My-Ft2. The other is Yamashita Shoon from Ya-Ya-Yah.

The producer for this episode is Kato Shigeaki and his theme for the episode is Arigato "Thank you".

In the Arigato medley we see that the older four are being listed as Kis-My-Ft2 now, so the Kis-My-Ft. from last episode was probably before they decided that this was indeed a permanent change for the group.

One of the songs performed in the medley is Arigato Ima, from their first single, which I was interested in seeing as it was a song that was almost a Moriuchi Takahiro solo. They turned it into a Tegomass duet, which makes sense as they were the supporting vocals for the song, and I kinda prefer this version.

There is a letter exchange segment after the medley that featured Yaotome Hikaru and Nakajima Yuto. Watching it now is interesting in the sense that back then it was just the usual exchange between members of different groups but now it has the added meaning of an exchange between future group mates, even if they did not realize it at the time.

This leads into Yax3 performing 2 of Us. At this time period Yax3 just keeps getting great songs. This one has a Motown vibe to it and has Fujigaya Taisuke and Kitayama Hiromitsu helping out with the backing vocals for the chorus.

Shige talks to Yax3 after the performance to talk to them about who they want to say thank you to. Yabu Kota answers the staff for the past SUMMARY concert while Ayukawa Taiyo says his friends that helped him with school work when he was busy with drama work.

Shige has to then excuse himself so he can go on standby for the next performance and the trio are left to continue the MC on their own. Yabu asks Hikaru about what his theme would be for when he gets the chance to produce an episode and he answers with Ramen. And we finally get to see the dorky Hikaru that is probably more familiar to current fans.

NEWS perform a song called Ashita e and I cannot help but wonder if the new songs they performed in these episodes of late would have ended up as B-sides or album tracks down the road if not for the group getting suspended when the next scandal hits them. Ashita e is a fun and energetic song that I wold love to have a full version of on a CD.

While I have no real hopes for Ashita e the next song in the medley they are performing is titled Just do it! and Shige is credited for writing the music and lyrics for it. It is another fun and energetic song, so it would be perfect for current NEWS, plus with Shige being the songwriter for it there should not be an issue of bringing it back outside of someone remembering that it exists.

Masuda Takahisa gets a solo MC segment where he talks about someone he wants to thank, TOKIO's Yamaguchi Tatsuya, who wished him good luck when he debuted.

The game segment is the return of Nisemono wa Dare da?! with A.B.C. being the members that the contestants have to guess which one is lying. This time it is a skill that a member says that they have, from cooking, ballroom dancing, karate and being a Romance of Three Kingdoms buff.

Like last time each members gets the chance to try to prove that they have the skill they claim. They overall seem a bit more serious about showing what they can do, but there are still some fun moments of goofiness still.

Shige then performs a solo song called Survival. This is a Shige solo I would be more than happy to forget about. Honestly Shige is not the kind of idol that is a natural at the typical idol talents of singing and dancing, even though he has improved over the years, but paired up with a terrible song like this the performance is not what I would call good, Shige fan or not.

Tegoshi Yuya gets his own solo MC as well and he talks about wanting to thank his friends, for pretty much being their for him.

It is a pity that Miyata is missing this episode as Kis-My-Ft2 finally get to perform a song where they are all on roller skates and even all have matching outfits. They cover the Hikaru Genji song Sayonara Jounetsu. This performance just makes me feel like the group is actually a group now.

Shige reads an essay and I really wish I knew more Japanese as he goes into the kanji that the word "arigato" came from. I love learning about things like that so it is frustrating that I cannot follow along to pick up a new factoid like that.

Tego, Massu and Kusano Hironori then perform Arigato no Uta. It is rather nice to see these three together as they are the stronger voices of the group. I feel bad that soon Kusano is going to be lost as he looked like he had quite a bit of potential in the group if he stayed. Near the end the rest of the group shows up to join in singing the song.

We get some VTR of Takizawa Hideaki who has to do the Shounen Club Box by himself. So he answers the questions on the back of the cards, or doesn't as no one is there to hold him accountable really. Either way he shows why he was on the track on becoming a soloist as he carries the segment solo effortlessly.

When we go back to the recording it is already time to do the wrap up MC, as well as plug the usual information about sending in letters/postcards with suggestions to the show.

Wonderful World is really only good for the little moments of fun that the group performing inject into it. Otherwise still a boring song and I am glad we are almost done with it.

A good episode with some nice segments and change ups so it will be one of the episodes I feel like I will be able to remember it months from now. Of course part of that will be because of the bad solo but there was plenty of good, like Yax3's performance and the game segment was pretty fun too.

This all said I am really looking forward for the next season. While it has been nice to have KAT-TUN replaced by NEWS I think the program still needs a greater shake up, or pretty much become the show I am more familiar with. I have the feeling the next season will be that season but we shall see.

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