29 June 2013

The Shounen Club 10 February 2008 review

We get the return of an old Shounen Club feature this episode.

This time with the introduction song the Juniors introduced are all by their individual names. It is the usual groups, with Yamashita Shoon and the Hasshi-trio for this. Also at the very start it has the little Juniors standing back to back with some of the older and I had to laugh a bit at seeing how small Morimoto Shintaro is compared to Hashimoto Ryosuke. That boy has grown so much since then.

And like last episode the guest for the episode joins the Juniors at the end of the song, Yorokobi no Uta. We get a change in guests this time as Taguchi Junnosuke comes out followed by Nakamaru Yuichi to finish the song with the Juniors.

In the the intro talk they announce that this episode will have a producer and bring out Yamada Ryosuke who will be doing so. He then announces the theme of the episode Love Song and remains (mostly) cold towards Junno's energetic showings of love to him.

Again the theme medley is just with the unofficially grouped Juniors and has Nakayama Yuma popping up to sing with the Fresh Junior group. But we also really get to hear Hasshi sing as he opens up the medley with a solo and pretty much proves that he can sing.

There is a letter exchange segment but with Yamada reading a letter to those special to him (I honestly cannot figure out what Minu is so I am dropping that part.).

Yamada then performs his first solo song, Perfume, backed by Chinen Yuri and Morimoto Ryutaro. I think this was the point when it was pretty apparent that Yamada was finally surpassing Nakajima Yuto as the most pushed member of the group. And while some fans begrudge him for it I never did, I may have wanted to see some of the other members get pushes as well but I have always liked Yamada and still do.

After that it is an MC segment with Junno dressed up in his "samurai" outfit that draws out some remarks from Koyama Keiichiro. They of course ask him about love songs. He does an impression of B'z singer Inaba Koshi singing the band's song Hadashi no Megumi. That happens to be the first single and CD I bought for B'z so I have new random reason to love Junno.

Of course Junno is in that outfit because he is performing his solo Samurai Love Attack. I love Junno's solos because they were really poppy and fun and this song is the most fun of them all. And not only does it have Junno in a ridiculous outfit but the little Juniors get to be his cheerleaders for it.

For the game segment Junno is back on stage to act as judge, though really it is for him to confirm who won after the audience is asked to respond to which one they thought did better. The game is where they have to do certain prompts. Like the first prompt is to a move from the Real Face choreography. The next is say a phrase in baby talk, followed by feeding your girlfriend.

The final prompt is about getting on a train, or not getting on the train if I followed what happened in the skits they played out.

Arioka Daiki, Takaki Yuya and Inoo Kei are up next for the MC segment where they start off getting prompted by Nakamaru to say romantic phrases. They then move on to say what their favorite (Johnny's) love song is.

Following this is Yaotome Hikaru singing his latest solo, Honoo -Flame of Love-. I have also been surprised that neither Hikaru or Yabu Kota have had any of their solos released on CD. They have plenty of them and have always had a good amount of popularity since their Junior days.

We get a sorta return of the Takizawa Hideaki Special Project segment as well as Tackey talks about Butokan then we get to see the group to a pre-recorded studio performance of Now and Forever. I do not see why they just could not have the group at the regular filming of SC as it seems off to see them perform for no audience for a SC performance.

Hikaru and Yabu then get an MC segment to talk about their favorite (Johnny's) love songs. I believe overall a lot of Kinki Kids songs were selected which can be seen as testament of the impact the duo has had with their music.

The performance after is with both Kis-My-Ft2 and A.B.C. as they sing Real DX together. It is during this period of time the two groups had quite a bit of activities together, mainly thanks to Tackey wanting to use the two groups for his concerts and butai.

The end song is Hoshikuzu no Spangle which is kicked off with Junno and Nakamaru singing. The rest of the older Juniors and Hey! Say! BEST come out during the song to join in singing it to wrap up the program.

Again there are too many performances by debuted Johnny's to make this feel like a nicely balanced episode. This month neither Kis-My-Ft2 or A.B.C. had group performances and they could have easily been one of the performances in this episode instead of the one with both of them together. I guess as long as HSJ remain a part of the program there is going to be balance issues, though they will stop being regulars with the next season until they return to host the program.

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