31 July 2013

The Shounen Club 6 July 2008 review

This month is the episodes filmed at NHK Hall Osaka, so it gives us the chance to see what has changed with the Kansai Juniors after about a year.

The episode opens up with the main Kansai Juniors singing Sunrise Nippon. One noticeable group missing is B.A.D. who I can only assume where busy with Gokusen 3 promotions at the time as both were in that drama. But BOYS, OSSaN, ungrouped Kanjuu that will become Veteran later are there.

Then we have a new group, Hey! Say! 7 WEST, which is a four member unit at this time with the members being Nakayama Yuma, Kamiyama Tomohiro, Fujii Ryusei and Takemoto Shinpei. The group will be a seven member unit for a while until Yuma gets his solo push. It will also undergo a name change to become 7WEST and go down to four members again when Shinpei and Shingaki Yuto quit Johnny's later. So out of the four original group members only two remain, Kamiyama and Fujii.

The theme of the episode is SUMMER and we get the usual theme medley to follow its announcement. The medley not only features the Kanjuu groups but also has Nakamaru Yuichi performing with Butokan (minus Yara Tomoyuki). Then Koyama Keiichiro performs to introduce the guests of the episode, Tegomass, to end the medley.

Tegomass then have their MC with the hosts, and you can tell that Koyama and Nakamaru are happy to have them there. Koyama because they are NEWS members and Nakamaru because he is friends with Masuda Takahisa.

The duo then perform their song, Aiaigasa. And the show is still in love with using the fog machine to cover the stage for ballads. And like always I love how close the audience is to the main stage here in Osaka compared to Tokyo. It gives the performances more of a concert feel to me.

HS7WEST get an MC segment then. The four members get to talk about things they think of when it comes to summer. Yuma answers with baseball, Kamiyama goes with the beach, Takemoto wrote down ice cream and Fujii put down first concert.

There is a Nakayama Yuma medley that starts out with Yuma performing solo but then is joined by the rest of HS7WEST. You can see Shigeoka Daiki back dancing in this, which seems so strange considering he is the ace for 7WEST.

Following this it is the game segment. Like with the past game segment we get to see a lot of Kanjuu that are mainly back dancers, which is nice except I do not recognize any of them and can only assume they are no longer with the agency. There are a few of the older Kanjuu participating as well so there are some that I know and are still with Johnny's. Like Hamada Takahiro and Hamanaka Bunichi.

Tegomass are the judges and the two teams compete in different things and they have to decide which side did it better. Massu though gets to join in when one of the challenges involved arm wrestling.

Butokan are then called out to do an MC segment and they are with Yara this time. Of course Bunichi gets some focus, as he is a Kanjuu.

The true highlight of this MC though is Senga Kento though as he is prompted to talk about a documentary he watched about turtles laying eggs. He is then goaded into doing an impression of this that is well worth hunting this episode down to see.

The group then performs C=Normal for the first time with all five group members. I rather like the canes used as props for this performance. It helps make it stand out from their others rather easily and they are actually used to do more then give their hands something to do.

Koyama then performs a solo, Private Hearts, which was a K.K.Kity song that became a NEWS song to become a solo for Koyama. Or more like Koyama liked the song so much he made it into a solo for him.

There is a letter exchange segment and it is actually between two Kanjuu that are still with Johnny's as they are both a part of Veteran now, Muro Ryuta and Yamasaki Kunta. At this point though the two are members of BOYS though I am pretty certain that does not last too much longer as BOYS eventually becomes a duo and both Ryuta and Kunta are dropped from the line up to do so.

BOYS then perform their group song, Battle. It is a nice energetic song and I wish I could remember if it has been given to another Kanjuu group or not since BOYS disbanded. I hope it has or will as I rather like it, though perhaps more as a performance song than anything else.

This then takes us to the end of the episode and all the main Kanjuu since Kanjani8's Osaka Romanesque. It is a rather slow song to end the episode on but being the final song of the episode it can work like that.

This is the episode that I recall watching and taking notice of Nakayama Yuma. Back then I was not really a Kanjuu fan, I just knew Bunichi because of Butokan and B.A.D. because of Gokusen 3, and mainly kept my attention on the Tokyo Juniors. Yuma was a big part in getting me to take notice of the Kanjuu, and I am a bit sad that he now falls under the Tokyo Juniors instead. But thanks to him I ended loving B.A.D., 7WEST and sticking with the Kanjuu to be a fan of Kin Kan and Naniwa Oji. And a part of me will always wish that he could debut with a new Kansai group.

Of course now that I am more of a Kanjuu fan I wish we got to see more of them. There are just so many I am not familiar with, partly because Shounen Club is a big part of how I keep track of Juniors. So I am glad that they now have a regular feature on the program and hopefully we will get to see some not so familiar faces on it.

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