08 June 2013

The Shounen Club 7 October 2007 review

And this is the final month of episodes pre-Hey! Say! JUMP debut, which means the final look at the Junior groups, Ya-Ya-Yah and J.J.Express.

The episode starts with the individual members of Ya-Ya-Yah and Hey! Say! 7 (and Chinen Yuri is present this time around) being introduced followed by the groups A.B.C. and Kis-My-Ft2. The only other introduction given is for the guests of the episode, Tackey & Tsubasa.

In the start of episode talk it is quickly brought up that Tackey & Tsubasa are celebrating their 5th anniversary of their debut. The theme for the episode is Anniversary to coincide with this.

Instead of the usual theme medley there is a T&T medley by T&T in celebration of their anniversary. Notable back dancers for it are the two in the red outfits, Okamoto Keito and Uekusa Yuta. They are both second generation Johnny's, as in their fathers are Johnny's. Yuta though eventually leaves the agency after his parents divorce and goes by his mother's family name now, Higuchi

The first MC corner is with a few of the Juniors. It is set with Morimoto Shintaro asking what "Anniversary" is. His older brother, Ryutaro talks about how it is his three year anniversary for joining Johnny's, then Inoo Kei talks about it being his anniversary for his dog being adopted by his family. 

There is then a Kinki Kids medley, as they were having their ten year anniversary that year. The leads of the medley are the three from the MC segment with various Juniors backing them. I am impressed with Shintaro as over the year he has come to look very comfortable with a microphone. His dancing is still a bit stiff but otherwise he no longer has a trace of looking lost anymore like he did when he started out. It does not seem like a surprise he would be seen by Johnny's as a Junior to push.

This is followed by a Shiroyagi to Kuroyagi segment. Still get completely bored watching this segment. I think the main issue is that it goes on for far too long.

Next up we get various Juniors highlighted as they sing ballads. Only Ishigaki Daisuke and Goto Hiromi are still with the agency of the four they showcase.

The game segment of this episode gives us something new. The two teams have to guess from five hooded figures which ones are Takizawa Hideaki and Imai Tsubasa. The teams can ask questions and based off the answers they are to make their guesses.

I would say Tackey gives himself, and Nakamaru Yuichi, away when he whacks Nakamaru on the head for something he said, which has Nakamaru's hood slip so his hair could be seen. Of course since Nakamaru's hair color is completely different from Tackey and Tsubasa's that is a dead giveaway he is not either of them. And really only Tackey would do something like whack someone up the head, so he gives himself away by doing that.

The following MC corner is with T&T as they talk about their anniversary, or Tackey talks and Tsubasa mainly just chills and nods his head for most of it. And of course they get to plug their best of album that got released for their anniversary.

T&T then perform Kamira Tamara. I really cannot think of much to say about the song as it leaves not much of an impression on me at all. The duo have much stronger songs than this, which sounds like a B-side or album track.

We have the return of Junior ni Q and they go through quite a few Juniors this time around. Unfortunately most are ones I do not recognize and assume are not in the agency anymore or I know are not in the agency anymore, which includes Uekusa Yuta. But we get to see more of Hiromi as he was one of the ones brought over.

And there is also Chinen, who gets to talk about gyoza, as the topic is favorite homemade food.

Then lastly is Totsuka Shota who talks about something called Tuna Egg, which is some kind of creation using tuna and eggs.

Yabu Kota and Yaotome Hikaru are then the main focus of the following MC segment. Hikaru talks about his anniversary of moving to Tokyo, as he was originally from the Sendai area.

Ya-Ya-Yah then perform their latest, and looking back now their last, new song, Baby Babe. Knowing that there is only one final episode with the group is distracting, as it just makes me think various what ifs for the group, but at this point none of that really matters in the end.

There is a new end song, DAYS, that has the various groups coming in to sing a bit each on their own. We get a glimpse of J.J.Express finally together here. Looking at the magazine I have for around the time Hey! Say! JUMP debuted it does look like JJE was officially down to five members with Fukusawa Tatsuya no longer with the group. So I can only assume he has already been placed with the other Juniors that will eventually come to from Mis Snow Man.

While the episode is not as Junior focused as I would have liked it to be because it was T&T's anniversary I am okay with it. There were some strong Junior performances even though there were not as many as usual. I do hope to see more of the Juniors with the next episode, especially the ones we did not see much of for this episode.

I am both excited and full of dread about watching the next episode as it is the final one before HSJ have their debut announced. It seems a bit silly as these are hardly new episodes, but having watched them in their entirety for the first time I have come attached to the Juniors of this era and really do not want to move from it. But then again if I do not will be missing out on other favorites that have yet to have their time in the spotlight on the show. And for them I really want to continue going on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dropping by to say how much I enjoy reading your reviews of older Shounen Club episodes. I only recently got into Johnny's last year and really appreciate you uploading all the older Shokura episodes! Nice job :D