17 February 2013

The Shounen Club 16 April 2006 review

And we have the second episode for the month that for fans of KAT-TUN is probably one you would want to hunt down.

We start off though with the Junior groups, each one performing a short version of one of their original songs, that is if they have them as A.B.C. is stuck with singing Shounentai's ABC instead.

After that is done KAT-TUN comes on stage asking if something was forgotten as they were not part of that introduction segment. This leads to the guys all singing a song, that I guess is one that is connected to graduations in Japan, as they are then told that with this episode KAT-TUN is officially graduating from Shounen Club.

The theme for the episode is KAT-TUN, so no surprise that the producers are KAT-TUN as well. With the fact they just announced that the group is graduating from the program I am fine with another KAT-TUN heavy episode. Now if they graduate just to come back in the next couple of episodes and dominate the screen time just as much as these episodes I would have an issue.

The theme medley of the episode is a KAT-TUN medley that only has the members of KAT-TUN singing in with some of the Juniors back dancing for them. Each member sings a group song solo until the end when they all finally sing a group song as a group.

Kis-My-Ft2 are featured in a MC segment with Nakamaru Yuichi. Kitayama Hiromitsu reads a letter from a fan. All I could get was that they ended up talking about CDs, perhaps an incident with Nakamaru for buying one but I did have trouble following things.

After that Ya-Ya-Yah perform their group song, Just wanna lovin' you. Looking back on this group it just seems to obvious that Yabu Kota and Yaotome Hikaru had much more attention given to them and they tended to get be set apart from Yamashita Shoon and Ayukawa Taiyo, even when they performed together.

There is a letter exchange segment between Fujigaya Taisuke and Tanaka Koki. We pretty get to see Fujigaya talk about his admiration of Koki and Koki show a glimpse of why Juniors tend to like him and consider him kind.

Koki and Nakamaru then perform a song from the group's album, ONE ON ONE. Have never cared much for this song and this performance really has not changed my mind about it.

We have a KAT-TUN wo abake for the game segment but it is not the abake segment that most associate with the name. Instead the members of the group have to guess which one of them was voted number one for various categories that Juniors were asked to rank them in.

The segment is not without its moments though, like when asked to rank the member that would be what I would believe would translate to being foolish in love Nakamaru not only won by a landslide but they also show the Juniors giving their vote for him and a few even explaining why they picked him.

They also troll Koki by giving false results and showing footage for some of the Juniors choosing him as the most popular. Of course the actual winner is Kamenashi Kazuya.

Afterwards Akanishi Jin and Ueda Tatsuya perform another album track, BUTTERFLY, and they get to show off their guitar skills.

There is a VTR segment with Kanjani8 (I miss them and hope they return to the program soon.) who celebrate KAT-TUN's debut and give them a present in YamaDa (Maruyama Ryuhei and Yasuda Shota) doing some manzai in honor of them. Then they talk about a couple of times they have hung out with members of the group.

We return to an MC segment with KAT-TUN with members of Kisumai getting to be wallpaper for it. Most of the talk features around Ueda and his hobby, boxing.

A.B.C. then get to perform a new group song, Freedom. It reminds me why I never really got into the group, I do not care for most of the songs they were given. They just come off as mainly bland to me.

The Juniors give the group a bit of a roast treatment by mentioning something bad about each one, like Jin being a narcissist and that Taguchi Junnosuke is the only one that enjoys his puns.

They then perform the Arashi song Ashita ni Mukatte all together. This is their final song for the program but there is time leftover still for another performance.

That performance is given to KAT-TUN to perform their debut song, Real Face, closing this episode as they opened the one before this.

During the credits KAT-TUN just wave good-bye and it feels more like an end to a concert than a show. But I guess they wanted to do something a bit different with this being the final episode they will be considered regulars on the program for.

Again if I look at this episode as more of a one off deal because of KAT-TUN's debut it is not that bad an episode. The Juniors have a presence even if reduced because of the great focus on KAT-TUN. But the fact that Junior groups actually got to perform their own songs is a good sign that we have a new period that will start putting focus onto the Juniors.

Of course with 2007 not that far off now this is the time they need to make this kind of switch to start promoting Juniors that will eventually end up in the 2007 FIVB group, Hey! Say! JUMP. We have most of the members active and regular Juniors on SC but we are still missing Chinen Yuri, who should be showing up sometime soon, and Okamoto Keito, who we will not see until right before HSJ is announced to debut.

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