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.
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.
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.
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.