02 February 2013

The Shounen Club 8 January 2006 review

We finally enter the 2006 episodes now and will be hitting the end of the season unexpectedly early.

NEWS is still the main hosts of the program. The introduction at the start begins like the previous episode with the Junior groups joining in on a song as they get onscreen labels of who they are with NEWS coming to join them in the end.

This episode has Kusano Hironori as the producer with the theme being "Boys Be Ambitious!", a popular quote in Japan from William S. Clark, an American that went to Japan to teach in the 19th century. So basically the theme of the episode is about ambitions, which works well for an episode airing after the New Year's. They get to show off what their ambitions are by showing a scroll that they have written them on.

The first medley is an Ambitious Medley that really does not have anything stand out about it. It is nice to think that having the Juniors, that were not KAT-TUN,  actually perform, as in both dance and sing, in these medleys has become the norm now.

The MC segment following has Ya-Ya-Yah show their ambition as a group, which they sum up in the word "cool". I can understand why they would want that as it is clear that they are no longer the group of little Juniors anymore and as teens would probably want to be seen as cool now. Yamashita Tomohisa rather fails as a host here as he completely blocks Yamashita Shoon from the camera in the group shots.

Yax3 get to perform yet another new song for them on the program, Ikujinashi. I do not like as much as the other newer songs they have been performing but it is still a solid pop song and helps give them that cool feel they want to aim for. It kinda sounds like the kind of song I would expect Tackey & Tsubasa to get as a B-side or album track actually.

The rest of NEWS then get to show what their ambitions are for the year. I wish I understood Japanese more so I would know what they all are. I know Yamashita Tomohisa was talking about wanting to be remembered, like by the Juniors if I followed that right.

Kusano then gets to perform a solo song. I really wonder how things would have been different if Kusano had not had his scandal. He was really starting to get pushed and was one of the better voices of the group so he was getting grouped with Tegoshi and Massu for songs. I think he was well on his way to becoming one of the more popular members of the group, but unfortunately we can never know what would have happened.

With Junior ni Q the Junior to note is Goto Hiromi, who is the violinist that can be seen playing at various concerts and future member of the now defunct group Question? His ambition is of course about playing the violin and says that he wants to practice it daily.

We have a new game introduced this episode. It is not too different than the previous ones but this time the focus is on the childhood of the mystery person. The segment is titled Ano Ko wa Dare de SHOW?! I could easily tell who the Junior was from the first picture, it is hard to mistake that nose.

After the contestants make their guesses and the Junior is revealed, Kitayama Hiromitsu, Kitayama gets to stay onstage to explain some of the hints that were given about him. Such as the fact that Kondo Masahiko's Midnight Shuffle was the first single that he ever bought.

The game is followed up by the second solo of the program, Nishikido Ryo's. I think I have become so used to him singing a certain kind of song for his solos I was surprised to find this song to be rather different from them.

The next MC has A.B.C. and Kis-My-Ft2 showing their ambitions with two members from each group as representatives. I find it interesting to see A.B.C. asking for their own corner on the program to show their appeal when they actually currently have something like that with the Shounen Club Spin-Off mini episodes that play with the regular SC episodes.

Of course this MC also signals that the two groups are up to perform a medley together. They are not the only ones performing in the medley though as we get some of J.J.Express singing and including Yamada Ryosuke. This marks the first time Yamada has been given the chance to sing on the show and is probably the start of JJE eventually splitting with the older (or older looking in Hashimoto Ryosuke's case) members continuing under the group name and Yuto becoming the lead of a group of young Juniors including Yamada and Morimoto Ryutaro as well as Kyomoto Taiga, Chinen Yuri and Morimoto Shintaro when they show up.

It is interesting to notice that the older four of Kis-My-Ft2 get much more attention than the younger members. Most of the time the younger members are just stuck in the back so I guess this group being divided with one grouping get more attention than another is nothing new for the group. I can only assume this is something that changes at some point though.

Kusano reads an essay for the theme but it seems someone forgot or decided to just not put the text read on the screen unlike past times they did this segment.

NEWS performs Mafuyu no Nagareboshi, which is another song that eventually made it onto a CD. It seems like the songs I really liked from these episodes have been stuck in limbo and the songs I have only thought to be more on the level of okay have managed to have CD releases. That is disappointing.

If there is anything to note about the end of the episode is the Junior in the red shirt here. He is not officially introduced this episode so why they had him in the end here dancing with Nakajima Yuto I do not know. But this is Joey Tee who I will talk about more when he does get an official introduction.

Things are plugging on towards the end of the season. We are getting a couple of signs of things to come, such as Yamada getting to finally sing on the show and the small glimpse of Joey Tee at the end of the episode. We are heading towards an unexpected gap in episodes soon though, not to mention the debut of KAT-TUN which will be in March, 2006. So there is a lot to look forward that can be seen starting here.

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