18 May 2013

The Shounen Club 1 July 2007 review

Apparently I mis-remembered which month was the Osaka episodes month, as it is July not August as I had thought it was. But that is fine, I've been eager to get to these episodes as there is a lot to go over with them. It has been well over a year since Shounen Club filmed in Osaka and there are a lot of fresh faces that today are familiar faces in these episodes.

We start off the episode with the Kansai Juniors singing a Kanjani8 song, Sukiyanen. Osaka., with B.A.D. leading things. And we get to see three faces that are new to the program in this episode but should be quite familiar to current viewers, Nakayama Yuma, Fujii Ryusei and Kamiyama Tomohiro as the Kansai Junior group TOP Kids.

Partway through the main Kansai Junior groups get introduced right before Kanjani8 come out to join them on stage. With the Junior introductions there are glimpses of other familiar faces like Shigeoka Daiki being in the grouping of Kanjuu here.

For this episode we have a few of the usual Tokyo crew over, like Koyama Keiichiro to be co-host with K8's Murakami Shingo and Yabu Kota and Yaotome Hikaru were brought with him to be supporters like usual.

The theme for the episode is Osaka, which is a rather apt theme for an episode focusing on the Kansai Juniors and Kanjani8. The theme medley had one of the members of K8 performing with Kanjuu for each song, starting off with Ohkura Tadayoshi with Muay Thai Mukai Brothers, the group of the two Mukai brothers when they were both in the agency. Mukai Koji is the only one in the agency and he is the smaller of the two here.

K8 are the first to get a MC segment and they are their usual selves. They end up talking about favorite foods from Osaka until Yokoyama Yu at the end "messes up" and says a Nagoya dish instead.

They perform their song, Zukkoke Otokomichi, which is one of my favorite early songs from the group. And I love it when the performances let the performers leave the stage. I especially like how with this one they have the audience as their background near the end. It really gives off that concert feel for me.

Following this we switch to the Kanjuu as the next MC is with BOYS. During the MC the group gets to explain their name which stands for Bokutachi Osaka Yankee Shounen (We are Osaka Yankee boys). Which seems to be a reminder that as strange as the Junior group names can be for the Tokyo groups they at least have better explanations behind them than some of the Osaka groups. The group in its present form though actually has three of the four members that are still with Johnny's. Hamada Takahiro of course as well as Yamasaki Kunta and Muro Ryuta, who I believe are both in Veteran now.

BOYS then perform the song Love or Guilty. I have to say the camera work for this episode is worth noticing with them getting angles that help make the performances more interesting if just because they are not made of the usual camera shots.

We get to the game segment of the show and it is with the members of K8 playing, minus Hina who gets to be the MC. The game is to play out prompts given, all of them dealing with the typical romance prompts. We do get one Kanjuu in the segment with Nakayama being the helper.

What really makes the segment is Yoko's constant messing with Ohkura, from raising his hand for him to playing with the buzzer Koyama has as the judge.

We then have a MC segment with TOP Kids. The trio get to introduce themselves then Nakayama gets to talk about how they want to be like K8.

Hina then prompts Fujii into saying that he likes NEWS. When Koyama asks which member he likes the most Hina tells Fujii to say Yamapi. Then when Fujii is asked which member of K8 he likes he just looks over to Hina expecting to be given another answer to say. He instead gets tapped on the head by Hina's book.

The segment is followed by a medley for the Kansai Junior groups, which of course TOP Kids are featured. The three of them are so adorable here.

Yoko almost makes the Shiroyagi to Kuroyagi segment watchable. It is still easily the most boring segment on the show but Yoko helps breath some life into it by not being afraid to be silly with it. I was disappointed that he was not successful in getting the two to actually try to at least pretend to fight over their answers.

This is followed by the Junior ni Q segment which actually helps avoid making the previous segment feel like it was dragging as much, as this is rarely as high tension as a performance is. The prompt is about things that make it seem like it is summer. Up first is Mukai Koji who talks about pools.

Then is Yamasaki Kunta, and that is where the Kanjuu I recognize and know are still in the agency ends for this segment.

Yabu and Hikaru get to perform and do Itoshii no Playgirl. Not sure how this ties into Osaka at all, but I guess you could consider them guests for the episode and chalk up this performance for that.

There is a long MC segment at the end that lets B.A.D. and BOYS talk some. I can only assume we will be getting more of B.A.D. with the next episode as they were not in this one much compared to the other Kanjuu groups.

We end with a group song of one of Kanjani8's songs, Osaka Romanesque. Like the introduction song it begun sung with the Kanjuu with K8 coming in near the end to join them.

What is really nice about this episode is that even though it is still Kanjani8 heavy it is less so than in the past so we get to see much more of the Kansai Juniors.

I am glad to see more of the Kanjuu as this looks to be the time that most of the ones that have become staple members among them are joining. It makes me glad to go back and see them when they were younger. Especially since in the past couple of years by interest in the Kanjuu has become love and I have come to know more of them then before. It really makes going back to watch all these episodes more than worth it as I have new reasons to enjoy them.

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