06 July 2013

The Shounen Club 9 March 2008 review

And now the final episode of this season of the show.

We start off with the Juniors singing Ao no Jidai. There are no introductions past having those singing having their names on the screen, which is just A.B.C., Kis-My-Ft2, Hasshi-trio, Yamashita Shoon and the two hosts of the program, Koyama Keiichiro and Nakamaru Yuichi.

They bring Senga Kento over to announce the theme of the show, Seishun (youth). They then go on to discuss some of the things that this episode will have in it before introducing the theme medley.

We get the Juniors from the last theme medley in this one. I think it is easy to see why Nozawa Yuki was picked to join the Hasshi-trio later with this. He looked so comfortable on stage when singing LIPS with Hashimoto Ryosuke and some of the other Juniors he was being grouped with at the time. He managed to stand out and looked like he had a good sense of where the camera was.

Following this there is a talk with some of the Hasshi-trio and a couple other Juniors as they talked about things they did when they were young, though honestly they all are what I would consider young. One of the Juniors wrote about doing splits and someone from the audience called something out to Koyama which prompted him to try to do the splits himself.

The next performance is of the trio of little Juniors that are getting the most spotlight, Kyomoto Taiga, Morimoto Shintaro and Anderson Casey, singing the Junior song A-HA-HA. Probably the nicest thing about the performance is that you can hear what their voices actually sound like. Especially Kyomoto's who is the vocal lead for the song.

It is Hey! Say! JUMP up next starting with a MC segment. Various members are called on to speak. I got Yamada Ryosuke talking about cooking and I believe Yabu Kota was saying something about exercise. And I was lost with Yaotome Hikaru's story, though Inoo Kei did jump in a couple times to help him with it.

They perform a special medley, which is Ultra Music Power mixed in with some of their concert songs, which include their sub-unit songs and Hey! Say! thrown in as well. I am quite happy that they cannot where these outfits anymore. They may not be the worst that they have had but I really do not care for them much at all.

Following this we have the game segment, which is the final one for the season. It is a new game where get challenge is only given a minute to be done. Such as with the first one is that one member of each team has to look at a list of words about spring and then try to write down as many as possible within a minute. To liven things up Yokoo Wataru comes out to randomly dance to give the audience something more interesting to watch then two guys writing, or trying to remember what they need to write on a board.

The next event has one member of each group strapped with step counters, one for each leg and arm, and the one with the most steps counted wins. Like with the last game the other members of the teams come out to help entertain.

They then play charades, and since most of the prompts are easy to figure out it is an easy one to play along with.

They end up having to do a tie-breaker game to figure out which group is the season winner and gets the prize for it. They decide to do janken with the team captains, Yabu and Hikaru.

The winning team gets to perform a song, Wana, together afterwards with the losing team having to sit in the background and watch them. I guess it is hard not to spoil who won but it is still a game segment well worth watching.

An MC with NEWS, who are still the guests of the month, have them talking about various topics. Koyama brings up Kato Shigeaki's photography hobby. It is an interesting MC to watch as you can tell that the four members that currently make up the group already have built a strong connection with each other as their topics seem to revolve around each other.

NEWS then performs one of their B-sides, Utsukushisugite Beautiful Eyes. And you can tell it is a ballad as we have the fog on stage for the performance.

The best thing about this Shiroyagi and Kuroyagi segment is that this should be final one. At least this one does not seem to break the energy of the show so much coming after a ballad number.

There is time for another group performance and we get Kis-My-Ft2 with a new song on the program, Brand New Season. I have always loved this song and I am so glad that there is a CD version of it. Pretty much all the songs the groups gets for the next year or so land in my favorites from their time as Juniors.

And we now have the final song of the season as the older Junior groups sing Va Ni La ~Burn It Up!~. I will miss the end songs from this season as they have been some of my favorites yet. And the Juniors tended to look like they also enjoyed performing them.

With that we end another season of Shounen Club with a nice Junior-centric epsiode. While it looks like they are still figuring out which Juniors they want to really promote they are giving quite a few some good chances to shine. And it really looks like A.B.C. and Kisumai are really benefiting from being a couple of the remaining Junior groups as they seem to be really stepping things up for themselves with making the most of the screen time they get.

It will be nice to have HSJ out of the way for a bit so the Juniors can get more time dedicated to them. This is really what I have wanted to happen with the more recent SC episodes but it does not seem like we have been getting it much.

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