02 January 2013

The Shounen Club 15 May 2005 review

I really cannot wait until getting to the 2006 episodes of Shounen Club. I know those are the episodes that I will be able to see more of the Hey! Say! JUMP members not to mention more of the current older Juniors when they were considered to be the younger Juniors. I really look forward to those. I just have to watch more of KAT-TUN than I would have cared for to get there.

This episode begins completely different from the rest with Yamashita Tomohisa along on the stage. He speaks for a while and announces that he is the producer of the episode and the theme is "tomodachi"(friends).

Things then officially kick off with all the Juniors singing a song called Zenbu Dakishimete, where each group got to be introduced during the performance. We also get some cute interactions between groups.

After that it is KAT-TUN and NEWS onstage to discuss the theme of the episode as well as Yamapi being the producer for it.

Outside of the shorts they have Tegoshi Yuya in I rather like NEWS' outfits. I think they manage to balance the pink out well with the amount of white and black in the outfits.

Of course this moves to the theme medley of the episode. It is a good medley for the promotion of the most recent batch of little Juniors, which include Morimoto Ryutaro, Hashimoto Ryosuke, Fukazawa Tatsuya and Yamada Ryosuke. They all get to back dance for the first song and do a chain of adorableness here.

Then the first three with two other Juniors get to sing a bit of NEWS' Cherish, with Hasshi getting to start it with a solo, before NEWS comes in to take over. Yamada is around for this but only as a back dancer and serves as a reminder that he was hardly a "golden boy" from the start.

Yamapi talks to Jimmy Mackey and Uesato Ryota to read a letter asking about advice in what I believe is an argument.

This is followed by NEWS performing one of their album songs, Kirameki no Kanata e. Like past NEWS performances there is a good balance of getting the popular and not so popular members up front and having lines in the song. I think this is something I am coming to truly appreciate with the group.

The game segment is a return of the newer game Mister X. I think I preferred the way they did it the first time as even though the audience at NHK Hall gets to see who it is before the reveal the TV audience does not. I guess if you want to guess with the contestants it works but I liked seeing the Mister X react on screen to what was being said about them more.

Also we get an odd moment where Kitayama Hiromitsu is pulled off stage just to return a minute after for reasons I do not think are completely explained. I can only assume someone made a mistake somewhere.

After the game segment Yamapi gets to talk to J.J.Express. Matsumoto Kouhei and Inoo Kei are the ones that get to talk the most this time around.

We get a medley that starts off with a solo for Yaotome Hikaru as he covers the song Kuroi Asa, Shiroi Yoru. It is favorite Kinki Kids song for me but Hikaru really does not have the voice to deliver with it as it is a rockish song and child voices just do not lend themselves to that genre well.

It is followed by a J.J.Express performance and it looks like Matsumoto has already reclaimed the center position. He has to share with Nakajima Yuto though who I would still consider to be the center of the group as he fits the cute little Junior role that Johnny's likes to use with the Juniors.

Yamapi and Koki get the chat for a bit about the theme of the episode. There really is little straying from this topic in the MCs for the episode.

I was surprised to see that Yamapi did not do a solo and have NEWS join him for a group song like KAT-TUN has been doing in the same performance slot. But since NEWS is around for much of the episode I do not mind that KAT-TUN get the performance for them as they actually do not have a chance for this otherwise in the episode.

This episode does give us another Junior ni Q segment but this time we get it for the Kansai Juniors and have Maruyama Ryuuhei and Yasuda Shota joining Tanaka Koki and Nakamaru Yuichi to host it. I can only assume this means next month will be the Osaka episodes for this season of SC, as I doubt they sent Koki and Nakamaru over there just to talk to Kansai Juniors for a short segment.

A.B.C. kicks off the next performance segment performing a song called Wild Style. They get to show off their acrobatics during the performance which are really looking sharp now.

Kis-My-Ft. perform what looks to be their current group song, Kaze no Naka no Shounen. They do so with the random two Juniors with them that get to stay on the roller skates for the full performances with Yokoo Wataru as the other three change out of them about half way through the performance. It seems a bit weird that those two do not even get their names on the screen, but I guess Johnny's did not see them as members of the group and did not want to confuse people into thinking that they were.

Koki gets to read a letter about friendship on the stage before moving to the next performance of the show.

NEWS and KAT-TUN then sing the song FRIENDS together and honestly it is a rather forgettable song, but at least it is a break away in terms of the final song before the end song being KAT-TUN only.

NEWS sticks around to sing the end song, Wonderful World, with KAT-TUN. And at this point I think this song is just really weak. Perhaps if it was better I would be able to stand the thought of having to see KAT-TUN perform it all throughout these season but since it is not it is bound to be very tempting to just skip the ending.

This has to be one of the most balanced episodes I have seen of SC for a long time. Of course I am sure most of it is because of NEWS, or more importantly Yamapi. I think it is safe to say I can count on Yamapi trumping KAT-TUN as he has always maintained the Golden Boy status in Johnny's from his Junior days.

But it was nice to see all the groups get to perform something and even the little Juniors that have yet to be grouped get to perform. I will treasure this episode though from the Junior ni Q next month is likely the Osaka episodes and hopefully Kanjani8 have a strong presence in those.

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