13 June 2013

The Shounen Club 11 November 2007 review

Looking back I do not think Hey! Say! JUMP had too much of a presence on Shounen Club for this time frame. I think it seemed like it was a lot more than it was because Yabu Kota and Yaotome Hikaru did not have their roles reduced on the show after debut. So there is still a lot of them but not nearly so much of the rest of the group.

This episode begins with Kis-My-Ft2 leading with the song Wana. The other Juniors come in at different parts but until Hey! Say! JUMP show up at the end it is mainly Kisumai leading the song.

During the MC take about what the theme of the episode is Nakamaru Yuichi brings up that for this episode it would be 7 for Hey! Say! 7 but the members of HSJ correct him and say that it is Power, which is what the P in JUMP stands for.

The theme medley is a medley of all the old end songs from mostly the pre-NHK Hall days of the show. I loved hearing them again as they were some of the better end songs the show had. And we can see the start of the push Morimoto Shintaro is going be getting post-HSJ debut as he is center for one of the songs. But overall there is a good mix of Juniors used in the medley without a single debuted Johnny's in sight.

This is followed by a letter exchange segment between Hashimoto Ryosuke and Totsuka Shota. This is one of those things that looking back at it gives this a different meaning as they will eventually be in the same group and debut together. From what I could get Hasshi talks about how he views Tottsu as an older brother to him, and cannot keep a completely straight face for the entire letter.

Hasshi then perform a Kinki Kids song, Natural Thang with the current grouping of Juniors he is in. Right now it is with four other Juniors, fellow ex-J.J.Express Kamei Taku, Kato Kan, Nozawa Yuki and Sanada Yuma. This should change soon with Hasshi with two other Juniors, first Kamei and Sanada with Nozawa replacing Kamei later, then remain a trio until Hasshi is placed in A.B.C-Z. Kamei was replaced in the trio as he breached the no-dating contract rule for being in the Kinpachi drama and had to leave the agency while Kan just eventually leaves to become a novelist.

The following MC segment is with HSJ and they do another introduction of the group. Then they bring up the topic of what the group's power is and they give communication as the answer. Again as they take the stage Nakamaru tries to go with them but is sent back being reminded that he is Showa.

Of course we get Ultra Music Power yet again as the song for the group to perform. I do really like these outfits for the group, except for the shorts that they have Takaki Yuya in. They made them look rather weird, especially with the longer socks he has.

The game segment is a imitation game where each team has a member try to fulfill a prompt to imitate something or someone. The first is a puppy at a pet shop, the next is a girl who has been waiting for her boyfriend to show up, Kimura Takuya and then the best proposal in the world. I really do not think that last one should count as an imitation but since it was Kitayama Hiromitsu and Fujigaya Taisuke I have the feeling that they just wanted to make sure the two had a romance based prompt.

It was a fun segment but not nearly at the same level as the other recent game segments. Though there is an extreme reaction worth watching it for.

Koyama Keichiro and Nakamaru get to be the ones asked about the topic of the episode by Yabu and Hikaru. This leads to them doing a Showa Power medley. Yabu copies Nakamaru's gag by trying to go on the stage with them to be pulled back and reminded that he is Heisei.

Koyama and Nakamaru cover Johnny's songs from the Showa era with A.B.C. being their main back dancers as well as joining them in singing for parts.

Then we have more Takizawa Hideaki's Special Project VTR. This time we have Yara Tomoyuki talking to Tackey about the song for the group. Then it is Yara with the members of the group, where the fifth and final member, Tsukada Ryoichi, is revealed.

We go back for an MC segment with Kis-My-Ft2, who have a board with the three things that give the group power: sleeping, food, and fans' smiles.

The group then perform Endless Road. I could not help but notice that the scarfs they have for this does have the seven colors that will become the seven group colors for the members, but only Tamamori Yuta has the color that will eventually be designated for him (yellow).

The end song is Va Ni La ~Burn it up!~. With pretty much just Kisumai, Ebi and Question? on stage for the performance the stage seems a bit bare. On the other hand it does give those groups a bit more screen time that they do not have to share with so many other Juniors which I imagine is nice to have.

I really wish the current SC episodes where as balanced as these. I know the most recent debuts were all bunched together so it was going to be rather debuted groups heavy, but it has been over a year for all of them and only one group is no longer a regular group for the show. And do not get me started with how HSJ heavy things are on top of that. After Sexy Zone's debut I expected to start seeing the Juniors that are expected to have the best chances for debut start rising like with these post-HSJ episodes but it really has not been the case so much. So watching these episodes just makes me disappointed with the current state of the program.

In this episode I noticed that some fans also had a banner with Ya-Ya-Yah's name on it, so I think it is safe to say that the resulting ban of uchiwa and banners came from the fan backlash for that group being dissolved. It is a bit surprising that Yax3 was pretty much the only group that got such a strong response and not Four Tops when NEWS debuted. Yet with NEWS it was a rather uncertain debut at first unlike with HSJ where it was made much more definite. It makes me wonder if the fact that Junior groups for the Tokyo Juniors are no longer formed as regularly anymore or do not remain for too long comes from Johnny's wanting to make sure they avoid another issue like the Yax3 fan reaction to HSJ's debut.

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