26 June 2013

The Shounen Club 3 February 2008 review

Onto the first episode of the February episodes for 2008 and we finally see the shift back to the Juniors.

In the introduction all the ungrouped Juniors get introduced simply as Johnny's Jr. with Morimoto Shintaro and his lot of little Juniors up front so you cannot really see who the older Juniors behind them singing.

And this episode has another member of Kanjani8 guesting, Yokoyama Yu, so the introduction is of the Juniors singing the Kanjani8 song Dreamin' Blood with Yoko joining them in the end.

The theme of the show is Takaramono (treasure) and Takaki Yuya gets to talk about the theme. This is most likely because his push has started as he has his main role in Gokusen 3 at this time.

For the theme medley we just get the ungrouped Juniors, or officially ungrouped Juniors as there is of course the Hasshi-trio. But there is a bit of a surprise when Nakayama Yuma shows up to sing with the group of Fresh Juniors that has Takada Sho in it. This is probably because the two are starring in a drama, Battery, at that time.

The first MC segment is with the group of five that they are calling the Fresh Juniors. Juniors to note in this grouping are Takada and Masuda Ryo. They each talk about something that they treasure. MasuRyo answers a guitar while Takada's answer is his siblings. When it was MasuRyo's turn Koyama Keiichiro calls him Massu to get Nakamaru Yuichi to correct him that it is a different Masuda than Masuda Takahisa who is in NEWS with Koyama.

Next up is a performance of Real Face by various Juniors but lead by Morimoto Shintaro. Shintaro's rise will follow Yuma's for a while as Shintaro gets cast in a couple of the same dramas so they get built up around the same time. In fact he is also in the drama Battery, playing Yuma's younger brother. Other than him Kyomoto Taiga and Anderson Casey got the most camera time for the performance.

The Shiroyagi to Kuroyagi segment breaks the momentum of the episode like usual. I have done a quick check of upcoming episodes to remind myself of things coming up and I was happy to see that this segment does go away with the new season that starts in April.

Question? thankfully kicks things back into gear with a performances of Mezamero! Yasei. I feel bad that Question? was never really able to go anywhere with Johnny's. I would have loved to have seen them debut as another band group but I guess they never picked up the momentum Johnny's wanted them to for that.

Following this is the game segment and we have the return of introdon. Yoko is brought out to participate but of course not as a judge like usual as this is a game that needs none. Instead Yoko is there for something called Yoko Chance, where Yoko takes a turn and each team beforehand has to decide if they will beat on Yoko being able to get it right.

The introdon songs are all K8 songs so the chances of Yoko are high but it makes it a bit more challenging to the rest as they typically do not back dance for K8 as much. In fact for one song they audience has to give a hint for the guys to figure out what it is.

Yoko then gets his MC segment where he talks about what he treasures, the members of Kanjani8. He brings up that the group has felt like family to him even back when they debuted about three years ago.

Yoko then performs a solo song titled ConfUsion, which I cannot seem to find information on so it may be a concert only song. I know he should have a few since he has done solo concerts before.

This episode's Junior ni Q is on the topic of charm points. Hashimoto Ryosuke is called over to explain what he wrote, which is style. He does some poses but it is hard to tell if it shows off his style if he is stuck in a stage outfit.

They bring over both Shintaro and Yuma to talk about their charm points. Yuma put down that his was his eyes.

Shintaro had wrote being mischievous, which he gets to talk a bit about as you really do not see that with him on the show. And I rather love how Koyama Keiichiro fixes the collar of his outfit during this. I have always had a weakness for Koyama's paternal nature with the younger Juniors. The two get a chance to promote their drama before the segment is wrapped up.

There is then an MC segment with Hey! Say! JUMP with each member talking about something they treasure. I will only go over a few as doing all ten would take long. Chinen Yuri continues to prove what a big fanboy he is of Ohno Satoshi by writing Ohno's goods, and brings up a telephone card that Ohno wrote on. Nakajima Yuto talks about a pair of sunglasses that Matsuoka Masahiro gave him, which was probably from when he starred in a TOKIO PV. Arioka Daiki also had a gift from a sempai, this was a birthday present from Kimura Takuya from when the two were in a drama together, a soccer ball that Kimutaku wrote a message on.

HSJ then perform Star Time, a B-side off of their debut single. Inoo Kei plays the piano for the performance and for some reason someone thought it was a good idea to have Junior back dancers for this song, a ballad, on an already crowded stage.

The final song is lead by Yoko with it being the Kanjani8 song Mugendai. With Yoko starting in the audience than joining the rest of the Juniors and HSJ on stage for the rest of the song.

This episode did much better with balancing the amount of focus on the debuts Johnny's and the Juniors than the past few. I think it helped that they only had HSJ perform once in the episode and left them out of the theme medley.

Honestly this balance is what I have been expecting to see once more on the program the further away from 2011 we have gotten. So it saddens me to see no such change. I want to see more of the Juniors that are meant to become debuted acts one day not the ones that have already reached that in their careers.

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