16 March 2013

The Shounen Club 10 September 2006 review

An episode with thankfully a bit more focus on the Juniors than the guests of the episode.

We start off with KITY leading the opening song, Prima Bella ~Shakuntesu no Megami~ (a Shounentai song), with the members of the temporary unit still in their outfits for their groups that they get introduced with.
Inoo Kei is the producer for this episode and his theme is Tamashii (soul/spirit). From the conversation it is being used in the sense of having spirit mostly for the episode.

The medley for it is a Rock Damashii Medley. And I have noticed that Nakamaru Yuichi and Koyama Keiichiro perform more than I remember them doing so in these episodes so far. Though it does not seem as overbearing as Hey! Say! JUMP in the current Shounen Club episodes it is there, or at least now with it being the new format of the show.

The medley pretty much just features the members of KITY though, even though they are joined by Question? at the end but otherwise the songs are all soloed by the four Juniors, minus Inoo at the start with Koyama and Nakamaru, leading up to that.

GYM return as guests for this episode as well and they start off with a talk asking them about what they thought of each other. It is pretty apparent that Golf and Mike are only so-so with their Japanese and are rather limited with what they can say in it.

Afterwards they sing Fever to Future, I guess they really wanted to promote the single this month. I guess if anything the performance does make sure to use the Juniors as at least back dancers.

There is a letter exchange portion for this episode and we have it between Yamada Ryosuke and Yaotome Hikaru. If there was ever a sign that Yamada was being pushed by Johnny's at this time this would be it. It is pretty amazing to see how far he came in such a short time. I would not be surprised to see him get some more opportunities to be up front soon.

We get a Ya-Ya-Yah performance following this up. I was happy to see that we did not go back to the Yabu Kota and Hikaru featuring Yamashita Shoon and Ayukawa Taiyo completely with Shoon and Taiyo getting more to do than just back dancing and singing in the song's chorus.

And J.J.Express also get to perform together, and it does indeed look like Nakajima Yuto and Morimoto Ryutaro have been taken out of the group now. And without Yuto in the group the attention has moved around a bit to be more evenly spread across the remaining members. I kinda feel bad for Arioka Daiki here as Hashimoto Ryosuke is already taller than him despite the two year difference in ages.

This is followed by the game segment. This time the game is that Juniors are to show off things that show their spirit and Yamapi gets to judge them if the do a good job. And as luck would have it all three Juniors that are featured are still with the agency. The first being Senga Kento who shows off a card trick.

Next up is Hikaru with an air guitar. It is about impressive as it sounds and I am not surprised that Yamapi found a way to do better with it.
Then we finish off with a little Kyomoto Taiga that shows off his karate by going over the forms.

This is followed up by another medley featuring more than one Junior group. This time it was A.B.C., B.A.D. Boys and Joey Tee. It was nice to see B.A.D. Boys do something this episode instead of being forgotten about as they were not the main guest this episode.

There is then is a VTR segment where we get the return of Uwasaman. I definitely remember watching this before as it had both Takaki Yuya and Yamada featured in it as Uwasaman arm wrestles them. This is all to show whether or not Totsuka Shota is weak. I also now appreciate the fact this lets us see a little of the backstage stuff for the program as this is done in what looks like the shared dressing room of the Juniors.

We then return to a talk segment with Yamapi. I do confess I was distracted by the English on his shirt and trying to imagine what a "Dressed Punk New World" would be like.

GYM gets to perform again this episode and it is the only other group song they had, My Angel, which is a B-side to their single. I really do not get why they had to perform Fever to Future now if they were going to perform this song as well. Not to mention the performance is on the boring side as they just stand and sing for the most part.

Inoo reads an essay about his theme and also recounts why he wanted to become a Johnny's in the first place. He was watching a TV program and saw boys eating food and asked his mother who they were. She told them that they were Johnny's and it was then he decided he wanted to join Johnny's because he thought it would mean he would get to eat lots of food as well.

This is followed up by a medley of mostly debut songs being covered by the Juniors, but for their respective groups Koyama and Nakamaru join in. And while I know it would impossible for it to be planned at this point I do find it a bit eerie that all the Juniors singing with Koyama end up debuting in the same group together eventually. Sure it meant nothing at that time but it is one of those things that jump out to me as someone watching these episodes years later.

And with that we are at the end of the program so we are once again stuck with the end theme for the season, gooood. The little interactions between the Juniors really is what makes the song bearable to hear. I know there is a season of the show that has more than one ending theme and I wish we were at that already.

I guess the episode was not as bad as it seemed to me at first when it came to how much of the Juniors that was seen. I guess the fact that I do not care much for GYM, though I do like Fever to Future, clouded that and also the fact the episode before was so guest heavy.

But there are little moments in this episode I enjoyed a lot and a part of me is starting to feel really excited because I am reaching episodes I can remember watching before, or at least parts of. It will still be a years worth of episodes before I began to watch the program but that looks like it will come up quickly.

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