31 August 2013

The Shounen Club 9 November 2008 review

I cannot believe I am almost through all the 2008 episodes. I feel like I am actually catching up to the newer episodes now.

This episode actually starts with the theme, Arigato (thank you), announced by Fujigaya Taisuke and Hashimoto Ryosuke before they join their respective groups in the singing of the opening number, SMAP's Arigato.

The program's hosts, Koyama Keiichiro and Nakamaru Yuichi, then do the usual opening talk, again announcing the theme of the episode. They have Fujigaya talk and he brings up that in December Kis-My-Ft2 and A.B.C-Z will be having their first concerts so they are thankful for that. Hasshi gets asked to say what he is grateful for and he says the other four members of A.B.C-Z.

The episode then moves on to do the theme medley. I am starting to recognize some of the little Juniors back dancing as those that will be in the Snow Prince Gasshodan group, but I never did learn all their names and I cannot remember which ones are still with Johnny's or not. Other than that the medley gives a good mix of the Juniors in it and there are some good moments for seeing Juniors together that normally would not be mixed as they are.

For the first MC segment it is Kyomoto Taiga and Uekusa Yuta, who will be paired up with Taiga quite a bit before he leaves the agency. They are asked what they are thankful for and Taiga says going to karaoke with Uekusa.

The two sing Tegomass' Kiss ~Kaeri michi no Love Song~. As I already mentioned these two will be paired up quite a bit and mostly to sing Tegomass songs. They actually work well as a duo as they seem to be two of the stronger singers for the younger Juniors. Though Taiga's voice has yet to really crack so it is still a good ways away from what it currently sounds like.

Part way through the performance Tegomass come on stage to join the two. Knowing what a Tegoshi Yuya fan Taiga is I can imagine that this is one of his favorite performances.

Tegomass then of course are the focus of the next MC segment. They talk about what they are thankful for and then Nakamaru gets prodded to talk about the theme as well.

Tegomass go on stage again to perform Ai Ai Gasa then have Koyama join them on stage to perform Happy Birthday. The former is the typical early Tegomass song, a ballad like song that lets the two show off their vocals. Happy Birthday is a fun NEWS song that helps bring some energy to the stage.

There is the game segment next and it for physical challenges this time around starting with chin ups. I rather love how they all get to sit and watch this one. This is followed by a limbo challenge where the guys have to go under the pole in pairs of two.

The final challenge is to have the entire team to skip rope together. Had to feel sorry for Dream Bombers as they had to do this a couple of times as the rope hit the side of the stage and messed them up.

A.B.C-Z is then up to perform a new unit song, Vanilla, which looking back really does not seem to be quite appropriate for a sixteen year old Hasshi to be singing. But being age appropriate has never been Johnny's strongest suits.

There is then a Kansai Junior ni Q segment. The topic for them is their lucky color. Fugal Shawn Goku is up first with his answer being yellow and blue.

Then it is Nakayama Yuma who answered with orange, and even has a T-shirt with the color on. He says its his favorite color because he is a Giants (a baseball team) fan.

Following him is future Veteran member Kikuoka Masahiro who answered with rainbow. He gets a hard time with the fact that he is not wearing anything with rainbow colors on it.

Then it wraps up with Hamanaka Bunichi who put down pink. He is obviously embarrassed about it as he does what he usually does when he is completely embarrassed, tries to hide as much as his face as he can with his hands.

Question? then performs a song completely written by their lead vocalist, Yonemura Daijiro, My Way. It seems rather bitter sweet watching this now as Yonemura is the first of the group/agency to leave and will be doing so sometime in 2009.

For the Heisei Post segment Nakamaru has Kisumai with him to read and answer letters. The first requests Senga Kento to do his impression of a turtle laying eggs. Then the second is a question about who spends the most time fixing their hair and the answer is given is Tamamori Yuta.

Kisumai then have a special stage that they kick off with a dance with light rods. The actual song that they perform is Fire Beat. I venture to say that it is really with this upcoming concert that the colors assigned to each member gets cemented. Especially with the outfits they have been wearing throughout most of the episode. I do not think the colors were really used as much beforehand.

With that it is time to wrap up the episode and the older Juniors all sing Arigato no Uta. They have a section where they all in twos or threes say "arigato" to the camera and at the end it is revealed that Tegomass has joined them on stage. With them and the Juniors on stage they finish off the song and end the episode.

Now with the KisuEbi concert around the corner the two groups are on their way to debut. The next couple of years or so of Shounen Club episodes will have the two groups rise in prominence, especially Kisumai as they have a few tours before they debut.

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