20 April 2013

The Shounen Club 4 February 2007 review

Another Hey! Say! JUMP member makes their Shounen Club debut with this episode.

We start off with the main Juniors being introduced while singing group songs, though for J.J.Express and the little ones they perform the song they perform together, Carnival Carnival. Of course only three of the little ones are in the performance so it makes me wonder why they just did not have them perform D.N.A then have JJE perform one of their newer songs.

Continuing with groups being the producers of the episode we have A.B.C. up this time. Their theme is Bouken (adventure).

The theme medley looks like it is using a prop from one of KAT-TUN's Junior concerts series for it, but it works out. Especially since they start off with NEWS' Sayaendo which was the theme song for a One Piece movie.

And with this medley we get to see Chinen Yuri make his SC debut. This also means that the Little Five are now the Little Six. That and now Morimoto Shintaro has someone his size in the grouping.

Even though Takaki Yuya has always been a favorite of mine I have been wondering why he was picked from everyone in JJE to be in the Junior Hey! Say! 7. Since Inoo Kei has looked like the more logical choice with all the time in the spotlight he has had and being in Kitty. Yet I am now starting see that like Chinen, Takaki got a late push and that had to have been what carried over for him to be selected for that group. As both he a Arioka Daiki seem to be getting a bit more spotlight as we get into 2007.

The following MC has Totsuka Shota, Yaotome Hikaru and Yamada Ryosuke talking about various adventures they have had.

This is followed by a Ya-Ya-Yah performance of Te o Tsunaide Yukou. This time they have a horde of little Juniors to be a part of the performance.

There is a letter exchange segment between Tsukada Ryuichi and Senga Kento. I do not believe there has been a letter exchange with the two Juniors responding to each other's letters so much before. And Tsukada is great to watch as he is so animated when he does so.

Kis-My-Ft2 then have a medley performance of their songs Endless Road and Kis-My-Me-Mine. On their skates for both songs of course. And I like that the group has moved to the point that they give all the members some screen time. I await when this starts happening again for the group post-debut.

Next up is the game segment, which is again one of the most entertaining parts of the episode. We get members from A.B.C., Yax3 and Kis-My-Ft2 doing games that will eliminate contestants until there is one winner left. So there will be spoilers for it as I really want to highlight so much of it. The Juniors figure out how to divide themselves into teams for the first game, tug of war, with some silliness involved.

After the losing team leaves the stage the remaining four have to ride tricycles for the next game. Again the best part is before the game actually starts Ayukawa Taiyo tries to get himself to fit on it.

The final game is the one where the guys have to put their hands in a box to feel something inside and guess what it is. This is always fun because of the reactions of the guys.

Yamashita Tomohisa is the guest of this episode but instead of doing the usual solo song performance he instead performs a song, KISS de Tsutaete with a few of the Juniors. The Juniors that join him for the performance are Fujigaya Taisuke, Kawai Fumito, Yabu Kota, Yamashita Shoon and Takaki Yuya.

During the following MC Yamapi mentions that while shooting for his recent drama (Byakkotai) he thought about doing something like this because of working with a Junior, Fujigaya Taisuke, for that. So he help write that song to perform with them.

It is then time for Junior ni Q and we have Fujigaya Taisuke stepping in for Koyama Keiichiro for reasons not explained. But this is one of the rare Junior ni Q segments where all the Juniors shown are still with the agency. First up is Chinen, being the little adorable fanboy he was as he talks about the first time he met Ohno Satoshi.

Then we have Nikaido Takashi. I got that he was talking about walking in Shibuya but that was about it. I was mostly distracted by noticing how badly his face was breaking out. I guess I have not been enough attention to him on the show recently to notice before.

Then the final Junior is Ishigaki Daisuke who talks about playing at Budokan for a concert and the rest of Question? is brought over to talk about it.

The following performance is by Question? as they perform Head Banging Boogie. While it is not a bad song it does not really sound like something that fits with the rest of the songs Question? has or will get.

Then it is a MC corner with A.B.C. and Tsukada gets to show off his slow motion back flip.

A.B.C. perform an extended version of Star Seeker that gives each member a chance to show off their dance skills.

But tend it with singing it as a group. At the very end Nakamaru Yuichi comes over and pretends that he was in the performance as well, after trying to go with them as the group went to the stage.

This takes us to the end performance which is of the song Wana for this episode. And since it is the ending theme filmed early on we get the little ones in the mix of Juniors for it.

Watching these SC episodes I cannot help but wish that the current episodes would be more like them. So this Junior program could be about the Juniors once more.

Other than that, A.B.C. are already proving why they need to be seen to understand their appeal. An acrobat idol group may sound odd but the guys make it work with their performances and they are a lot of fun to watch even when they are not performing. Which is probably a good part of why their Johnny's Journey seems to already beat the others in being entertaining, IMHO.

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