05 January 2013

The Shounen Club 5 June 2005 review

Looks like I was right that the Kansai Junior Junior ni Q segment meant the June episodes would be the Osaka Shounen Club episodes. I am quite prepared to enjoy these episodes as I doubt they would focus so much on KAT-TUN for the two episodes the Kansai Juniors get a year for them.

The start of the episode would not tip off a viewer too much about the change of location, other than KAT-TUN and A.B.C. being the only Junior groups introduced at the start. This is quickly fixed as it is revealed that they are at Osaka's NHK Hall.

When they start the opening talk Murakami Shingo is called on stage and he is introduced as being the producer of the episode. He then introduces the theme of the episode, Battle, citing the rivalry Kanjani8 and KAT-TUN show in Dream Boys, which the two groups are headlining at the time.

The opening medley is a Dream Boys medley so we get a lot of boy band "battles" as they go through some of the songs featured in the musical.

One of the songs sung is Kizuna, which while I still like best as a solo I was okay with duet. Perhaps it would have been better to have two others than Kamenashi Kazuya and Shibutani Subaru as the duo though as Subaru's voice easily over powered Kame's but they both sounded good. So I was disappointed when the rest of their groups showed up to join in singing the song as it seems like the more voices added to the song the less I like it.

As it may be noticeable there is a member of Kanjani8 missing and that would be Uchi Hiroki. Around this time he was diagnosed with pulmonary pneumothorax, which is a condition that causes holes in the lining of the lungs to form, so he had to be hospitalized and do surgery for the holes that had formed.

Now that K8 are a debuted group we are getting to see more of the Kansai Juniors, like in this medley that highlights two of the Kansai Junior groups. The first being Kansai Boys that sing their own version of Back in Time, which J.J.Express also have as a song. Members to note are of course Hamada Takahiro, as one of the older Kanjuu still around.

As well as this little Junior, Kamiyama Tomohiro, who will eventually become a member of 7WEST. He also looks like the first of that group to appear on the program but I expect to see others from that group to show up in the next set of Osaka episodes.

We have B.A.D. do the second and last song in the medley. It is so strange to think that Kiriyama Akito is only fifteen here and Nakama Junta seventeen. Mostly because they did not even show up on my radar until they got roles in Gokusen 3 with Takaki Yuya so I have always seen them as being around that age and older. But even back then they seem to work well as a duo and I am glad they are still together.

A.B.C. get to do a MC segment, which is great for them as they do not get seen that much this episode. The MC does pretty confirm that they are there because of Dream Boys (I can only assume the musical had a run in Osaka and they timed filming these episodes with it). Kinda strange to see them in the outfits K.K.Kity used to wear seeing that Kis-My-Ft.'s Yokoo Wataru was a part of that group. But I do like these outfits so it is nice to see them still being used.

This episode has another iteration of Mister X wa Dare da! I wonder if I should proud or worried that I have been able to tell who Mister X is from the baby photos they show as the first clue. I think if you pay attention to how people look as they grow up you can start paying attention to some of the features that do not change much which makes it easier to tell who they are when looking at old photos or taking guesses with how they will look when they get older.

I am happy to see that they returned to having the corner screen of who Mister X is after a while because Subaru looked like he was having a blast listening to the clues and reactions to them.

We then get the introduction of the Kanjuu group B.A.D. which is not a duo. I know the group used to be bigger but it still surprised me to see five members here and not just the two the group will eventually become. Probably because in the earlier performance it was just Kiriyama and Junta performing and being listed as B.A.D. on their own.

This also serves as a reminder that as strange or bad Junior group names can be for the Tokyo Juniors they tend to be worse for the Kanjuu. Proven by being told that B.A.D. stands for Beautiful American Dream. I have no idea how that works in any way for a Kanjuu group but someone thought it did.

At the end of the MC Junta gets a chance to show off his Chinese language skills by introducing the next number in Chinese, and Japanese viewers get some subtitles to go with it.

Kanjani8 perform their single song Oh! Enka to a very pink and Japanesque looking stage. Like with their Naniwa Iroha Bushi performances this one also seems to intent to giving the stage a festival look and feel.

We then get a Junior ni Q segment that looks like a continuation of the last one as it features the same hosts and of course the Kanjuu again. I find it sad that there are not many Kanjuu to highlight in the review as sadly most of them from this era have left the agency. Thankfully Hamada seems to be quite pushed at this time and we get to see him do a magic trick.

For another pushed Kanjuu, we learn that Junta went to school in Taiwan from third to sixth grade and of course all his talk is focused on his Chinese. He tells the hosts their names in Chinese which leads to laughter for Maruyama's that ends up being Wansan. (Wan wan is the onomatopoeia in Japanese for a dog barking so the name would conjure the image of a dog for someone who knows Japanese.)

Being in Osaka, which is known for its comedians, we get a comedy battle between TaNaka (Tanaka Koki &  Nakamaru Yuichi) and YamaDa (Maruyama Ryuhei & Yasuda Shota).

TaNaka do their usual thing while YamaDa do a traditional manzai skit with Maruyama as the boke (funny man) and Yasu as the tsukkomi (straight man). Personally I would have voted for YamaDa since I actually understood their skit and it was funny to me.

KAT-TUN perform GOLD, thankfully without any weird variations to it. It still remains one of my favorite songs of theirs and unless they do something horrible to it, like that ballad version, I will not complain to see them sing it.

There is a letter exchange segment and of course to go with the theme Ueda Tatsuya and Nishikido Ryo have been the two selected for it. I guess the "feud" between the two is still being played up even though they both had only smiles and laughs to give each other.

Kanjani8 then sing Eden, which is easily one of my favorite K8 songs. It is a lovely ballad and I really need to hunt down the version of their mini album that has it on it.

Between Eden and the final song K8 and KAT-TUN talk on stage a bit to do the usual episode wrap up talk.

Kanjani8 and KAT-TUN then end the episode with a collaboration between the two groups as the sing the song, Everytime ~Yume no Kakera~.

I have come to truly love the Osaka SC episodes. While these episodes are still rather K8 heavy there is a clear move to start showcasing the other Juniors more and of course having a couple of Kanjuu groups to introduce helps with that.

I do find it a bit unfortunate that we do not get to see more of the Kanjuu over the course of the year with SC, as there are sure to be plenty of changes during that time that unless you are able to follow the Kanjuu elsewhere you do not get to see. I know the 2006 episodes in Osaka should have quite a few changes, as more of the members that will be in 7WEST will probably be around and we will most likely have Nakayama Yuma in the agency by then. Not to mention the group/member changes that will happen with B.A.D. and BOYS.

No comments: