21 January 2013

The Shounen Club 16 October 2005 review

This episode gives us a bit of a break from the norm and it is a welcome change.

The episode begins in a medley of English songs with Ya-Ya-Yah and Jimmy Mackey leading it. There are some group introductions and we see that Johnny's has figured that they just need to go with the outfits they usually give the groups of Junior back dancers to have at least J.J.Express have matching outfits.

The producers for this episode are Jimmy Mackey and Yabu Kota. The theme they have for the episode is Himitsu (secret). I am so glad that they are going to have other Juniors be producers, as that should help change things up a bit for the episodes.

As expected from an episode not produced by a KAT-TUN member there is a good mix of KAT-TUN and the other Juniors, primarily Yax3, in this medley.

Jimmy and Yabu of course as producers get to take over some of the hosting duties and get an MC segment to talk about the show's theme.

This is followed by a letter exchange between Tanaka Koki and Nakamaru Yuichi. One of the more entertaining letter exchanges as from Nakamaru's reaction Koki is reading lies about him.

Yax3 then sing Yuuki 100% and thankfully they have finally updated the backing track so it actually sounds like they boys have hit puberty.

And we get a Yamada Ryosuke spotting as the song has a dance break worked in to showcase each of the members of the group.

We get a different kind of game this episode titled, Nisemono wa Dare da?! The way this works is that they have a group, in this case A.B.C., all claim something, playing instruments, and the contestants have to guess which ones are telling the truth and which one is lying.

The members get to try to prove they are telling the truth by pretending to play the instruments on the stage. And after that the contestants make their guesses and the members show if they were lying or not.

This was a fun game, though if you were familiar with A.B.C. you would have known they have played instruments before on the show so it would be pretty easy to figure out who was lying. But the guys brought a lot of energy to it and I wish they would have brought that same energy and sense of fun with their ... o abake segment they were in for the January 2013 episodes.

Yabu then reads various letters that had suggestions for episode themes, ending on the one that suggested Himitsu.

KAT-TUN then perform the song Freeze, which is one of their Junior songs that eventually found its way onto a CD release. It is a rap heavy song so a lot of Koki in it and very much in the hip-pop style that the group switched back and forth with rock-pop for their sound around their debut.

We then have Junior ni Q. Unfortunately most of the Juniors in this segment have left the agency, but we do get to see a tiny Watanabe Shota who looks adorable. The topic is of course about secrets.

We then get performances for A.B.C. and Kis-My-Ft2. Looks like there will be no official introduction of Kisumai, but I am still happy that they exist finally and to see them perform.

Interesting to note is that only the older four have roller skates for this performance. I know a couple of the younger members have used roller skates in the past so I can only assume that they were considered not up to par or they wanted all of them to be able to roller skate before they could join the older four.

And we get to see that the pairing of Kisumai and A.B.C. is continuing on for the groups, which is something that will be a standard for years to come and bring forth the Ebikisu nickname for the two groups.

Imai Tsubasa keeps rolling out the songs that seem to be a good fit for him as he performs 1DAY 1NIGHT in this episode.

Yabu and Jimmy get one final MC segment before the show goes back to the standard of having KAT-TUN get the last two performances.

It starts with KAT-TUN covering SMAP's song Yozora no Mukou, which is one of the more popular songs. It is a nice ballad and KAT-TUN do sound good covering it.

They do at least bring Yabu and Jimmy in to perform Wonderful World with them. It is nice to see non-KAT-TUN members singing the song, as I think it is safe to say that KAT-TUN have gotten bored with the song (not that I blame them about that), so having someone who genuinely looks happy singing it is a nice change.

This is the kind of episode I have been waiting for with SC this season. One where KAT-TUN does not need to be taken out of just lessened their presence so other Juniors can get seen more. And honestly with KAT-TUN's debut coming up in a few months it would be a good time to start shifting focus a bit so when they leave the program the other Juniors would actually have the chance of being able to carry it.

That said I know there are still some things to come that will affect the show but I will wait until I get to those episodes before saying more.

Overall though I am liking these season better than the last, even though it sadly has to deal with some issues beyond its control.

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