15 June 2013

The Shounen Club 9 December 2007 review

And this is the final of the regular episodes of the year for 2007. There is still a Christmas Special episode though to be the last of the year.

With only Kis-My-Ft2, A.B.C., Hey! Say! JUMP and the shows hosts, Koyama Keiichiro and Nakamaru Yuichi being the ones introduced at the start of the program there does not seem to be much to be said about the intros. I really wish we would get some of the ungrouped Juniors get introduced as well.

The theme of the episode is not directly tied to HSJ surprisingly. It is Negai (wish/desire/want) and there is a bit of the usual discussion about the topic before the theme medley.

Like with the past episode the theme medley is mostly the various members of HSJ being paired with various ungrouped Johnny's with the couple of Junior groups still around getting to do parts on their own. While I would not mind seeing less HSJ seeing Takaki Yuya with Hashimoto Ryosuke made me happy as the two have been friends since J.J.Express.

The first MC segment is with Kis-My-Ft2. They go over some various wishes the group wants. They bring up points that they want Miyata Toshiya and Senga Kento to improve on; then they talk about wanting to go on vacation together.

Koyama, Yamashita Tomohisa and Nishikido Ryo perform the song Change the World, which is an album track. Koyama started out sounding shakey but recovered some as the song went on. I think it is safe to say that NEWS by then had become a live singing group.

Afterwards it is an MC with the three about things they want. Yamapi talks about smiles and Ryo talks about friends, I think about wanting to make some because with his schedule it is hard to do so.

This is followed by a letter exchange between Tsukada Ryoichi and Yodogawa Yoshihiro. Like usual Tsukada is interesting to watch when he talks. He is just so animated, though not as much this time around as he was last time.

A.B.C. then perform their song Crush, which is one of the few songs of theirs that I like. Like a lot of A.B.C.'s songs it does emphasize their performance skills, with this one having ample breaks to let the guys show off their dance moves. And more songs need to end with the guys laying on the floor.

With only a one-line introduction there is the next performance, Question? singing Beautiful Mind. Still love this song and feel like the group should have had more chances. But I guess Johnny's just is not longer interested in band groups anymore.

The game segment is a quiz about things in 2007. It is pretty much a fill in the blank game about various Juniors as well as the two guests of the episode, Yamapi and Ryo, who are also participating. This is a rather language heavy game and it was rather difficult for the guys to figure out the answers. Of course for the first round Senga ended up looking at the answer on the screen and was not allowed to play for it.

Because there is no penalty for guessing there is a lot of random guessing and most questions have to be giving a clue or two before someone finally guesses the right one. One of the questions I had no trouble in figuring out was the one about who the funniest Junior was, with the number 2 (Yaotome Hikaru) and number 3 (Miyata Toshiya) already being given.

Hey! Say! BEST get to perform their first unit song, Su Ri Ru. This has been my favorite HSB song since I first heard it watching this episode back in 2007. I do not think I noticed back then that Takaki had issues with opening his shirt up all the way though, but I noticed it this time around. He does not seem to have much luck with outfits in performances.

There is then the final VTR for the Takizawa Hideaki Special Project. It follows Tackey as he works with the staff that will help him make the music video for the group he put together. It also shows the group practicing a bit before cutting back to Tackey who announces that the video will debut with the Christmas Special episode.

Yamapi sings one of his solos, Gomen ne, Juliet. I guess I should have expected that he would be performing a solo since Ryo did last episode. Just with the NEWS song performance earlier in the episode it seems a little much and I would have rather seen another Junior performance.

The final song for the episode is NEWS' Dreams, that has the NEWS trio, HSJ and the Juniors all singing it to close out the program.

This episode is heavy on the debut groups, so I did not care for that. I do not mind having debuted groups get an episode or two of focus if there seems to be a good reason for it, like a long awaited comeback or such, but otherwise it bugs me. I guess it could be argued Yamapi and Ryo were brought in to make sure ratings stayed steady with HSJ's recent debut shaking things up. But on the other hand HSJ is still on the program.

At least I know that as they start figuring out which of the ungrouped Juniors they want to push this will be less of an issue, though we are still a ways off from having new groups formed.

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