30 January 2013

The Shounen Club 18 December 2005 review

And we are finally at the final episode of 2005.

The episode begins differently than usual with each group singing a bit of a song then all of them singing together at the end. This of course is much more common for a start for the program later on, but for now I believe this is one of the first times they are doing it this way.

Because it is the episode airing closest to Christmas we have the holiday as the theme for the episode. All of NEWS is credited as being the producers for the episode, though I am sure that is more because the theme was mandated so it would not be fair to have someone have it be their episode to produce.

The Johnny's Christmas medley is the usual good mix of Juniors and NEWS, even though for the Juniors it does favor Ya-Ya-Yah mainly. I think it is safe to say that Yax3 were being promoted to be the Junior group to take over from KAT-TUN when they make their debut.

It always makes me pause a bit when I notice that a certain grouping is of Juniors that will debut like this. Of course looking at things J.J.Express is probably the group that had the best percentage of its member debut without having the group itself debut. Even though eventually the group is going to go through some roster changes that will probably change that.

The first MC has Yamashita Tomohisa reading a fan letter from a Inoo Kei and Ayukawa Taiyo fan who asks them about Christmas presents. It ends with a bit of an awkward hug between the two.

There is then a random Tegoshi Yuya solo. Like the other new songs for NEWS around this time it is a new song that of course never made it onto a CD. This song is titled YOU - world is yours- and I would have much rather have had it be on the bonus disc of the NEWS best album instead of his solo version of Ai Nante. Also it is nice to hear Tegoshi sing a slow tempo song without deciding that he needs to power vocal through it all and get all shouty.

We get the return of the Mister X wa Dare da!! but there are only NEWS members as the contestants for this one.

Again they go with showing the audience at NHK Hall who the person is without letting the audience watching the show see. While I do not personally care for this way of doing it I do have to commend them for at least being a bit creative about it. It also makes some sense to why they chose this way because the guest did need to change to get out of the Santa outfit.

I guess it was no surprise that Yamapi was the one to get it right, I honestly would have been disappointed if he got it wrong as his friendship with Ikuta Toma is rather well known. I was surprised to see Toma back on the program but I guess it shows that even though he did not debut he still maintained a good amount of popularity.

Toma then is a part of the follow up MC segment were Koyama Keiichiro reads a fan letter that requests for Toma to be a guest on the program.

Toma then gets to perform on the show by kicking off and being a big part of the second Christmas medley on the show for this episode.

For Junior ni Q we have Kato Shigeaki and Tegoshi Yuya hosting the segment. For Juniors featured that are still in the agency we have a couple. I was surprised to see Morita Myuto as I did not realize that he has been with the agency for so long. He makes Tegoshi really happy by saying that he is the senpai he looks up to.

We also get Nakajima Yuto, who is still all kinds of cute at this stage, especially of his "attack" on Shige and Tegoshi after something Shige says about Yuto being the choice of a Christmas present for one of his group mates.

NEWS gets an MC segment where they are each handed a phrase that they need to say to the camera. Of course you can expect them to be pretty embarrassing to the guys, which gives us some fun reactions. Not to mention Kusano Hironori messing up and saying the action he is supposed to do with the phrase.

I do not think anything beats Masuda Takahisa's reaction to having saying his by just walking off onto the stage.

We then get the one song from the recent group of new NEWS songs to make it onto a CD, Rainbow. I rather love how this performance has the guys waving their rainbow flags here. But joking aside coming to be a NEWS fan in 2007 I do not think I really got why it was so exciting for Rainbow to have been one of the B-sides to their single weeeek. After watching these SC episodes I feel I get it now because if it was up to me all the songs they have been singing on the program would have been on a CD already.

The next MC segment is focused on Question? as a fan from the U.S. (L.A.) wrote in and the guys are asked to talk about how they feel about having fans in a place like America and also about having their own lives (concerts).

Next performance is Toshin Yoshikazu & A.B.C. doing a Christmas medley of Shounentai songs. I did not realize that Shounentai had Christmas songs, let along enough to make a medley of. I wish the song libraries of the older groups were raided more as in these times that they are there are always at least a couple of gems that come from them.

The next MC segment has a postcard that gives a tongue twister using Yamapi's name that Yabu Kota and he have to try.

We then get a cover of the J-Friends' song CAN YOU FEEL THIS CHRISTMAS? by NEWS. For me you cannot go wrong with J-Friends so I have no complaints.

The final song is Silent Night, the Japanese version which is titled Kiyoshiko no Yoru, with NEWS and the Juniors, including Toma.

I will confess as much as I am enjoying seeing more NEWS I feel like I am ready for KAT-TUN to come back. If just because it would be a focus on another group. I think with this era of episodes it just shows that this format for hosting just does not work well in the long run unless you plan on switching out the hosting group on a regular basis.

Having Toma comeback though was great. He was always a lot of fun on the show and I was sad to see him slowly get removed from the program.

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