24 April 2013

The Shounen Club 11 February 2007 review

And this is the last episode for the season, as they just skipped doing a March episode this year. So the next episode will kick off the next season of the program.

Nothing much to mention about the Junior introductions. Just the standard dance introduction for each group.

The producer for the final episode of the season is Nakamaru Yuichi. The theme for the episode is Kokuhaku (confession, especially of love) as the episode is airing close to Valentine's Day.

The theme medley has various Juniors say love confessions, from the songs that they are covering in between them. Not sure if I am noticing it more because I am looking back at these episodes years after they aired but it looks like Yabu Kota and Yaotome Hikaru are getting separated more from their group to sing together than they have been recently. Yet that is mainly going off this episode so I could be over thinking things as having the two get much more screen time is not completely new.

We get A.B.C. covering Arashi's Wish in this medley so Kawai Fumito breaks out his Matsujun impersonation for it.

And I love seeing interactions between members of other groups, especially if they end up being in the same group down the road. But Hashimoto Ryosuke and Totsuka Shota are adorable here at the end.

The first MC segment has Morimoto Ryutaro, Nakajima Yuto and Chinen Yuri talking about things people may not have known about them. I really could not follow the first two but for Chinen he brought up that he actually entered Johnny's about three years ago. He is one of those cases where you will have a Junior enter but for whatever reason not be seen much until suddenly they start doing the usual Junior activities.

The next performance is of the Little Six who are later joined by JJE in a medley of songs. Could not help but notice that Chinen is without a mic so he is just back dancing for now.

Like with the last episode Yamashita Tomohisa gets introduced just to start off with a performance. This time though it is a solo medley for him. Or at least until the song, Fever to Future, when Kitty comes out to join him in singing that.

Then the medley ends with Koyama Keiichiro joining him to sing NEWS Nippon. Guess I have not mentioned it but with the 2006-2007 Johnny's Countdown concert it was announced that NEWS would be returning in 2007. Since this is the first episode recorded after the announcement it is the first with signs of that, not only from this song but you can see in the audience a few girls with a "NEWS Omedeto" (Congratulations NEWS) banner. It made me happy every time I saw it.

After the performance we get the MC segment with Yamapi. The topic is about confessions and Yamapi and Koyama are prompted to confess something to each other. I believe Yamapi brings up Koyama's eyes and Koyama talks about underwear.

This is followed by the game segment of the program. This one has Juniors, and Koyama, give love confessions based on a prompt. Yamapi gets to be the judge for it. It starts off slow but by the end you can tell the guys are just having fun with it.

Then we have a Ya-Ya-Yah medley of Just Wanna Lovin' You and Itoshi no Playgirl.

It is Junior ni Q time again, with Fujigaya Taisuke and Nakamaru again. While not all the Juniors called up are with the agency the theme allows for another Junior to be called over and for those that Junior still is. Like with Wesley being called over to talk about his corn rows.

Senga Kento is brought up to talk about Miyata Toshiya and his silly walk. Of course they have him show it off like the last time this was brought up but this time they try to get him to change his posture to see if it would change it to something more normal looking.

Then there is a little Morita Myuto who wanted to know about how another Junior had such big eyes.

Takaki Yuya is the last one brought up and he talked about admiring Nakamaru for being able to count well. Fujigaya and Nakamaru did not think it was a good enough answer to the theme so Takaki confesses to not being able to take a bath alone until he was thirteen, and until then bringing his little brother with him.

This ends with what is a first with Nakamaru introducing the next performance from the VTR.

And that performance is a Kis-My-Ft2 medley, starting with Fujigaya's solo song Maria, followed by Kitayama Hiromitsu's solo Chikara then the group performance of Inori. Out of all the songs released on the Kis-My-Zero CDs for the group I am most surprised that these solos have not been among them. It gives me hope that we could be getting one last disc of unreleased Kisumai songs as there a few others that have not been released on CD yet.

This is followed by a MC segment that reads a couple of letters from viewers that ask for advice about making confessions. Kitayama says he thinks it is best to be straight about it.

Nakamaru instead of doing a solo instead sings with the Juniors to cover the song Anniversary. I think one of the reasons Koyama and Nakamaru worked so well as hosts of this program is that they really cared about being good sempai, which meant making sure the Juniors had chances to shine and were willing to put them out front with them. I think a part of that came from the fact that they were Juniors that benefited from that kind of treatment from Takizawa Hideaki and naturally they were the kind of people that would take care of others.

The final song is gooood, which I hope is the last time we hear the song on the show. Putting aside my dislike for the song it does seem fitting for it to be performed on the final episode of the season. And I am happy to see that the older members of JJE are finally able to join the older Juniors for the final song at the end of filming.

This was a pretty solid season and I really look forward to the upcoming one. Partly because I do remember them better so I have an idea of what will be changed with the new season. Of course there is also the debut of Hey! Say! JUMP that will be coming up to throw things off but that is still a ways off.

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