17 April 2013

The Shounen Club 14 January 2007 review

2007 started out strong for Shounen Club episodes as this one has some memorable moments.

We open up to the Juniors performing the song SUMMARY, with the usual set up of each group or grouping singing part of it on their own as they get introduced.

We continue on with the episodes getting groups as the producer as we have Question? this time. I can only assume they already knew they would be dropping this part of SC with the new season and wanted to get everyone in before then. Their theme for the episode is Nazo (puzzle, mystery).

They do the usual theme medley, though without understanding the lyrics well I cannot say how well they stick to that theme. They do have Question? perform all throughout the medley instead of just keeping them in the background like they usually do.

There is a letter exchange after the medley with Takaki Yuya and Arioka Daiki. I am proud to say that I actually understood a bit of what was being said too. Takaki talks about how Arioka is "my pace", or basically does things in his own time, and that he is the mood maker for J.J.Express. Arioka brings up that Takaki is the most cool in JJE but also the most childish. And for him that is about all I got.

Following this there is a Little Five performance of Pleasex3 that starts off a medley for them and JJE. What I found interesting with this performance is that all but Morimoto Shintaro got a solo line in this song. And I forgot how deep Morimoto Ryutaro's voice was. He may have been one of the youngest but from his voice alone he sounded like he should have been the oldest. But speaking of voices it is fun to see how much they have changed for the rest, I think Nakajima Yuto may have had the most drastic change of this grouping.

JJE perform Kanjiru mama ni You & I and I think it is starting to become apparent what the break down of the group is now, with there being a main four members, Inoo Kei, Arioka, Takaki and Hashimoto Ryosuke, as they are the ones that get introduced first and get more time in front of the camera. And Takaki seems to be on the rise here between getting the earlier spotlight of the letter exchange then getting solo lines in this song. Which makes sense looking back as he was one of the members of the group selected to be in the Junior version of Hey! Say! 7, so he should be showing signs of gaining popularity or being pushed for that choice to make sense.

There is then a MC with the guests of the program, Tackey & Tsubasa. They first talk about the theme of the episode then show the hand moves of their song, X -dame-, that the audience is meant to copy.

If there is anything I relate to T&T is that they are the group that has the more memorable dance moves to me. Probably because it always looks like they try to have something for each of their songs that stands out enough there is no way you could confuse it. Which in part is what makes them good for the dance pose games in later seasons of the show. That and the dances look like they were probably fun for the Juniors to do.

We have the game segment next and it is one of the games where Juniors get to come out and showcase some talent with the guests of the episode as judges. These games so far have had a high rate of showing Juniors that are still with the agency and this time is no exception as all three shown have all debuted.

Starting off is Yabu Kota with a magic trick. I am glad that it did not involve cards in anyway and I am actually really curious to how he pulled it off, as it looked like he rubbed a needle on a piece of thread until it threaded itself through the needle's eye.

Then we have Yaotome Hikaru who seems to be brought on so he can fail at something. This time it is recognizing stones and knowing with month of the year they are associated with.

Up next is Kawai Fumito ready to show off his impersonation talents, which includes the debut of his infamous Matsumoto Jun impersonation. I thought that by now I would not be so amused by this as it has been done a few times since but I still found myself laughing at it. Especially since I made sure to pay attention to Matsujun when Arashi was on the show a few episodes ago and noticed that Kawai was not that off the mark with his impersonation as Matsujun did overdue things. Perhaps not to the extent Kawai showed, but it was noticeable.

With that segment wrapped up on a high note we switch over to Kitayama Hiromitsu and Fujigaya Taisuke up on the balcony to read a fan letter writing about Nakamaru Yuichi's solo song performance. This segues to them introducing Nakamaru to sing a new solo song on the program.

Nakamaru performs Key of Life, his solo song that is on the second KAT-TUN album. Of course to me this signals that it will not be much longer until Akanishi Jin comes back, as that album was released shortly before his return. But that aside I like the song as I find that KAT-TUN's songs from the first couple years or so since their debut to be my favorites for the group. Especially the solo songs.

The next segment is a VTR and it is the return of Uwasaman. This time Totsuka Shota looks into the rumor that Kitayama and Kawai have a natto lovers group. The two proceed to make a natto creation, called Fumi-kyun Toast, which is toast with lots of mayonnaise, a strip of seaweed and natto on it. They then have Tottsu eat it.

Back at NHK Hall it is time for another MC segment. This one featuring the members of Question? as each one talks about something people would not know about them. It is sad to note that most of the members have left the agency now. For the two that remain, Ishigaki Daisuke is down for being a scaredy-cat and not taking to roller coasters well, then Fujiie Kazuyori talks about having a big appetite. 

The band then perform a song, Head Banging Boogie. It rather sounds like something Kanjani8 would have been given when they were still Juniors or shortly after their debut. But it is a performance that makes sure the full group is at the front of the stage so I will give it points for that.

We get a quick MC with Koyama Keiichiro and Nakamaru before heading right into the next song that has all the main Juniors performing in it.

This song is a Kinki Kids song and like most of the duo's songs it gets covered from time to time by the Juniors and this one was covered in one of the more current episodes of the program. I always find that interesting as I can compare the different covers and how they were done and by whom.

The end song gooood is back, but since it has been so long since it was last performed I am okay with it. And to note Inoo and Takaki get to be with the groups at the end. This is most likely an age thing as the later filming of the program tends to focus on the older Juniors as it nears time for the legal cut off for work with the younger ones.

Another great episode as the Juniors really get to showcase themselves and show why you should be paying to attention to them. Both Kawai's impersonations and the natto lovers group are things that will come up again on the program so it is nice to see the start of them. 2007 is already showing signs that it is going to be a good year for the program and I cannot wait to get further into it.

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