18 September 2013

The Shounen Club 11 January 2009 review

And with this episode we have an official introduction to Hip Hop Jump and see that Hey! Say! 7 West has made some big changes since we last saw them.

The introduction at the start has a minor change with each group or grouping announced getting to dance to the music of a debuted group's song. It seems a bit weird since they have not done it before. But Hip Hop Jump get to be introduced without Morimoto Shintaro being attached to them.

The theme of the episode is Favorite Song and they do a special version of the usual theme medley. What sets it apart is that the songs each get an introduction by the Junior that chose them as their favorite song. I will go ahead and highlight them all because I am sure something like this will interest quite a few. The first song is Amagasa by TOKIO selected by Totsuka Shota.

Then Kitayama Hiromitsu gets his pick of Otokogumi's Mihari. We get to see him play the guitar for this and I wish Kis-My-Ft2 had more songs that let the members who can play instruments do so.

Kawai Fumito is up next and his pick is V6's Can do! Can go!, which he explains was the song he danced to at his audition. This song is actually known to have been used for quite some time at auditions for the Juniors so it is something Juniors are expected to know the dance routine for.

Senga Kento gets to pick a song and goes with Bonnie Butterfly, a Kinki Kids song. He is paired up with Tamamori Yuta for the performance as Tamamori is starting to get pushed in the group, as I believe it has been announced by then he would be making his drama debut with the Gokusen 3 SP.

Then Miyata Toshiya performs his song choice, FRIENDS, another Kinki Kids song. This uses the remainder of Kisumai who have yet to perform minus one, who gets to perform the final song of the medley.

Fujigaya Taisuke's song is Hoshikuzo no Spangle, which he performs with Morimoto Shintaro and Nakajima Kento. The song is originally a Shonentai song but it has been covered by quite a few newer groups and even Sexy Zone performed it at their debut concert, IIRC.

The medley is followed by a Heisei Post segment that focuses on Hip Hop Jump, or mainly Tanaka Juri as the postcard from a fan asks about siblings and of course Juri can then talk about his older brother Tanaka Koki. But with this for the first time the names of all the members of the original line up for the group can be seen. And all but Camu Cade are with Johnny's. In fact all those four, Juri, Jesse (still going by Lewis Jesse at this point), Hagiya Keigo and Morita Myuto, have all been in the late night NTV dramas and are a part of the current older Juniors groupings.

It is then a Fresh Junior medley, which means most of the ungrouped Juniors will be featured as the label 'fresh' can be extended for a long time for some. It is mostly Sanada Yuma, Nozawa Yuki, Jr Boys, and Hip Hop Jump with some others mixed in for the medley.

Afterwords Koyama Keiichiro and Nakamaru Yuichi get to talk about their favorite songs. For Nakamaru is it Cinderella Christmas and for Koyama it is Believe Your Smile by V6.

Question? then gets to perform their favorite song, their own song Parallel World. When they finish the song the performance is not over though as the guest of the episode comes out, Uchi Hiroki. This episode is the return of Uchi to the program after he was promoted from trainee to Junior. He performs Ima, Koko ni with Question? and I guess this could be thought of the beginning of the decline of the band for reasons I will probably get into later, like another episode review.

The game segment is next and Uchi is there as a judge for it. Being one of the games that needs to have an actual judge it is the one where the teams are given prompts that they have to pick a member to act out and compete against a member of the other team. It also means it is one of the games that it helps a great deal if you know Japanese.The highlight of the game is Kawai Fumito pulling out the Matsumoto Jun impersonation but adding another layer to it with making it also a Kimura Takuya impersonation with the dance being Matsujun but the singing Kimutaku. And now that I have been a Johnny's fan for some time I actually got the "Cho Matte yo" at the end.

Then there is an MC with Uchi, I kinda wish they broke these segments up a bit. But Uchi talks about his favorite song which was All the Way, a song from the Playzone musical he was in that was his trial for getting his Junior status returned. At the end he and Koyama traded cute nicknames for each other before Nakamaru broke it up.

Then it is a full performance from Uchi, as he performs a song called Crave It. Again I wish we did not have this huge block of Uchi in the episode. But that is part my personal bias against him. I will give this performance this, the song suits his voice much better than the one he sung earlier and he brought energy to it.

It is then a special Kansai Junior ni Q, where there is only B.A.D., BOYS and Hey! Say! 7 WEST w/Yuma. The latter group is now larger so it actually has seven members, counting Yuma of course. And I will go ahead and go over the answers for each Kanjuu that is still with the agency. First up is Hamada Takahiro with TOKIO's Jibun no Tame ni.

Then it is Nakayama Yuma with Akanishi Jin's solo song Murasaki. He explains that when he first heard it he thought it was cool.

Kiriyama Akito goes with a song from his unit, Sakamichi. I do not think this has ever been performed on Shounen Club but in this segment they play the songs being discussed in the background so it can be heard.

Shigeoka Daiki is next and he picked Kanjani8's Sukiyanen, Osaka. which he explains was the song that he danced to for his audition.

Then it is Nakama Junta's turn and he shares his choice, Moments. I do not think it is mentioned anywhere who has this song and I do not recognize it.

Fujii Ryusei picked a solo song of Kanjani8's Okura Tadayoshi which has only been performed at concerts. The song is called Butterfly I Loved and from what could be heard of it in the background it makes me wish it would make its way unto a CD someday.

Kotaki Nozomi is next and he chose a KAT-TUN song, Never Again. It seems like after he passed his audition he was a part of a KAT-TUN concert as one of the background dancers and came to like the song through that.

Then the last Kanjuu that is still with the agency to answer is Kamiyama Tomohiro who answers with a song from the HS7W unit, Nijiiro no Uta. It is another song that has never been performed on the program to my knowledge though I wish it would be.

When we go back from that segment Kis-My-Ft2 have an MC segment. Of course since most had already had their say on what their favorite song was and why from the earlier medley it focuses on one of the members that did not, Tamamori. The song he picked was Kinki Kids' Diamond Story. Of course like I mentioned earlier Tamamori should be seeing the beginning of his push that will eventually place in the front of the group about this time.

The group then performs a medley of songs starting with a Hikaru Genji song, BRAVO! Nippon ~Setsu to Koori no Fantasy~ then moving onto their own unit song SMILE. And Tamamori actually got a solo line in the fist song, another sign that his star is on the rise.

This leads us to the ending song which being the second episode of the month is only for the older Juniors to perform. The song is Ki Se Ki, one of Takizawa Hideaki's solo songs.

If I have to name a least favorite Junior it would be Uchi. And it has nothing to do with his scandal but it was an opinion formed of him after his return to active Junior status. I was okay with him at first but over time he just got on my nerves for reasons I cannot fully figure out. I do still think it is cute how happy Koyama is to have him there on the program with him, but Koyama is always happy when a group member is on the program, and I guess that it extends to ex-group members as well. But Uchi grates on my nerves so it is hard to enjoy it much.

But outside of my dislike for Uchi I did enjoy the episode and honestly this is one of his better guesting appearances on the show so unless you actively hate on the guy you will probably also enjoy it.

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