23 March 2013

The Shounen Club 8 October 2006 review

Just realized that the 2006 episodes are almost at an end. But this year does give us something extra before it does end.

The show starts off with all the Juniors singing the song Beautiful, with Nakajima Yuto announcing names and groups as they come in to sing a part. I think this is the first time I have noticed that Nakajima's voice has changed. It still has a ways to go until it finishes its change but it is no longer his pre-puberty voice.

The producer for the episode is Totsuka Shota and his chosen theme is Michi (road/way/path). It is strange to see him look so stiff while talking as I am so used to A.B.C. as they are now, with being very natural on the stage in just about everything they do.

Up next of course is the Michi Medley. Something I have noticed with Shounen Club is that the performances that the Juniors do tend to also be performances they do for concerts. Like in the talk before this medley they talked about concerts, and around this time the Juniors were having their own concerts, so I would not be surprised if many of the performances on the show are variations of concert performances. Which makes sense since they might as well make the most of the fact they had the Juniors learn them.

Following this is a letter exchange between Fujigaya Taisuke and Morimoto Ryutaro. It seems a bit random to me but I guess this segment can be a reminder sometimes that Juniors are not stuck to only interacting with their group members.

The Nakajima group then performs a song D.N.A, which I have to wonder if the boys even know what the English lyrics even mean. At the end J.J.Express come out to sing Back in Time for a few lines before ending the performance.

The guest for this episode is Masuda Takahisa. The NEWS fan in me is just very happy to see Massu and Koyama Keiichiro together as it will be some time before we can see the full group together again.

He performs his solo Akatsuki, which is one of the solos that was released on the bonus disc for the LE of the NEWS best of album. I have always liked Massu's solos and this one is not exception to that. And I do like the fact that even though it is a slower paced song it is not one that has Massu just standing and singing but has a full routine with quite a bit of movement.

The game segment is after this and it is another one that has the guest of the episode be the judge. It also again has all Juniors that go on to debut, starting with Nikaido Takashi with an illusion trick. Though the trick has some flaws that Koyama and Nakamaru Yuichi take advantage of.

Yaotome Hikaru tries this corner again but with an air drumming gag this time. It goes pretty much the same way as his air guitar gag from last time.

And finally it is Kitayama Hiromitsu up and he shows off his calligraphy skills by writing the kanji of the theme of the episode.

Following this is a medley of Question? and A.B.C. singing a song each. Both songs are original for the group with Question?s being a new one for them, bitter-ender. It has a TOKIO-esque sound to it and the lyrics would fit that group as well. A.B.C. performed their song Kodoku no RUNAWAY for their portion of the medley.

We get a Uwasaman segment, which should be no surprise with this episode being produced by Tottsu. Nakajima gets to do some impersonations, including one of Akanishi Jin that is his best one.

The final talk lets them announce that this year the program will have a Christmas Special episode because of popular demand. So December will have three episodes instead of the usual two.

The next performance is Nakamaru doing a solo song called My Weather, which I do not recall at all hearing before. It really does not stand out when compared to his other solo songs that I have heard. But Kis-My-Ft2 are his back dancers for it so I had something to be interested in for it.

Tottsu reads what he wrote about the theme and why he picked it. I just picked up that he tied it to concerts, which again makes me think the Juniors must of had one around the time of this being taped.

We then have the Otokogumi song Midnight Train being performed by the older Juniors and lots of confetti falling down on the stage.

And we get an entire month's worth of episodes without gooood being performed. Instead we get the far better Sekai ga Hitotsu ni Naru made, which was one of the songs that was on Ya-Ya-Yah's single. So no surprise that they get to lead the singing of the song as they are later joined by the rest of the Junior groups.

Another enjoyable episode and I cannot help but feel that this is how Shounen Club should be. Sure Koyama and Nakamaru get to join in performances and do solos but in the medleys they are typically performing with the Juniors and not just having them in the back ground. And the Juniors in general are seen enough throughout the episode when Koyama or Nakamaru do a solo song it does not seem like they are making their presence overbearing on the program as a whole. In fact I think making sure the hosts are only hosting the game segments instead of participating in them helps make things go a long way.

I guess by the time I hit the more recent episodes I am going to already sound like a broken record on this, but this period is one of my favorites for the program for those reasons.

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