07 February 2013

The Shounen Club 5 March 2006 review

For those who are following along regularly, no I did not skip a month or am missing any episodes. Instead we have two more "lost" episodes, as in episodes that were recorded but not aired. Or in this case not aired in full, as I shall go ahead and explain about.

So sometime in what had to have been early February the second underage drinking scandal hit NEWS. While in Kusano Hironori's case nothing was 100% proven, unlike with Uchi Hiroki's scandal, the fact that it was not even a year since that first scandal it was still seen a big thing. Especially since it was a member of one of the same groups Uchi was in. So Kusano was pulled out of NEWS (it is said he withdrew but I doubt he would have been allowed to stay even if he wanted to) the group was put on immediate suspension and it looks like we lost two episodes of Shounen Club as none aired that month.

On the flip side we get two March episodes, both recap episodes but it looks like they tried to salvage some things from those February episodes at least. From the footage it was yet another set of episodes hosted by NEWS, which is what made them unairable after the scandal. But since by then they were involving the Junior groups more anyway they had enough footage from the taping without Kusano in it to make this special episode.

This special is hosted by Yamashita Tomohisa and Yabu Kota. Probably the thing that stands out the most to me about them is that Yamapi's happy mood he had in the recent months is completely gone. Understandable with having lost another group members and his group being put on indefinite hiatus. This episode does have a theme, or what is likely what would have been the theme of at least one of the episodes that did not air, Ai (Love).

We have what looks like what was part of an opening medley as you can see at least two members of NEWS walk off stage with mic stands as J.J.Express launches into their performance of Love Me Baby. And you know it has to be new footage as Yamada Ryosuke is mixed in with the group, though still not listed as a member. If this had been aired before in another episode I know I would have remembered this.

The medley is not completely without NEWS members though as Koyama Keiichiro and Kato Shigeaki sing Yume Monotagari for a part of it, but you can tell there are some obvious cuts done between some of the songs to keep the screen Kusano free.

Between these clips we return to our host in front of a green screen, who both seem to lack much spirit in doing the job. Not that I feel like I can really blame them as Yamapi's future at this point would be rather up in the air and Yabu was probably just following his lead being the junior of the two.

We get a VTR segment with Tegoshi Yuya talking about the topic Yabu and Yamapi did, jounetsu no ai (passionate love). From what I have gotten from the episode it was most likely that one of the episodes was produced by Tegoshi which is why he gets this VTR segment that no one else does.

The reason I figure Tegoshi was an episode producer is simply because after the VTR he solos a medley of songs. It is interesting to see him getting this kind of push. It makes the creation of Tegomass as a unit seem like something rather natural than Johnny's just randomly deciding to create it.

I am going to skip the talk parts with Yabu and Yamapi unless there is something I am able to catch that I find interesting. Even though the two seem to eventually move into better moods for the most part they are pretty awkward for the most part.

Next clip is a performance from Ya-Ya-Yah, which is starting to look more and more like a duo of Yabu and Yaotome Hikaru with their back dancers Yamashita Shoon and Ayukawa Taiyo. That is once the other two finally show up around halfway through the song.

Next up is JJE covering the Tackey & Tsubasa song Venus. Well technically it is JJE plus Yamada. Looking at the full group I think I can understand why they decided to take Nakajima Yuto, Yamada and Morimoto Ryutaro out of the group to group them with other Juniors, as there is an obvious difference in looks, with those three looking younger than the rest of the group.

Then Toshin Yoshikazu & A.B.C. perform a medley of songs, of course their acrobatics being the most standout part of it. Though it is really looking like Toshin is a bit of dead weight as he really does not do the acrobatics.

We get parts of one of the game segments. This one is edited so we do not see all of it and probably the only reason they showed it was because it was another game segment that had most of the Junior groups onstage so it would be easy to hide Kusano in plain sight that way. The game has Yabu hit a button to pair a random Junior with one that was picked to do some kind of challenge. Like Nishikido Ryo and Toshin had to hula hoop together with the same hula hoop.

Masuda Takahisa and Yamashita Shoon were the other pair shown in the footage and the had to confess things about each other that they liked.

Then we have Question? performing their song Kanjite Miro. They are still only four members this month so I think I can assume that they have indeed lost their second guitarist and it should only be a matter of time for Igo Akun to join the group.

Yamada hits another milestone for his career as a fan letter is read that brings him up to say that they like him. So even though he has not had much screen time he is already gathering fans.

After this we see that a Junior ni Q segment was saved as it was hosted by Shige and Massu. The highlight of it was Yuto who talked about his younger brother in a doting matter, finding him cute.

Kis-My-Ft2 are shown performing Sennen no Love Song again, and again they are missing Miyata Toshiya from the group.

We get an idea of what the theme most likely was for the other episode filmed with a Nippon (Japan) song medley. Since no members of NEWS are in it i can only assume that the producer for that episode was probably one of the Juniors. Though there was not enough from other performances to try to figure out who it could have been.

We get another Yax3 performance, this time all four are present for the whole song, Just wanna lovin' you.

There is a Yamapi solo that we get to see as well. This could have been cut and I think nothing worth seeing/listening to would have been lost. The song, LET ME, is bad and it looked like Yamapi decided to borrow parts from one of Akanishi Jin's costumes for the performance.

The special ends with Yabu and Yamapi just doing the wrap up talk at the end of the program.

While I am glad that they decided to air parts of the episodes post-scandal this format does not lend itself well to flowing nearly as well or being as entertaining. Also because the game segments had to be mostly cut I feel we missed out some of the more entertaining parts of the program.

On the bright side Shounen Club has been unaffected by scandals since this one with Kusano so no more unaired episodes because of them.

All that is left for this season is a recap episode for KAT-TUN to go with their debut now.

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