07 September 2013

The Shounen Club 14 December 2008 review

And we have the final regular episode of 2008, but there is still a Christmas special for the year.

In the introductions we get the name for the group of younger Juniors that Tanaka Juri is fronting, Hip Hop Jump. But that is about all we get from that group when it comes to new information. The line-up for the group is Juri, Hagiya Keigo, Morita Myuto, Jesse, and Camu Cade, with the last member the only one not with Johnny's any longer. And they do get attached to Morimoto Shintaro a bit, IIRC, though he is never a part of the group.

The theme for the episode is 2008, which is fitting with it being the last regular episode of the year. Instead of a theme medley though we get a hit medley, so there are the popular songs from Johnny's in 2008 mixed in with some of the classic Johnny's songs. Like A.B.C-Z kick off the medley with covering Arashi songs from 2008.

And then we also have Kis-My-Ft2 donning their roller skates to cover Hikaru Genji's STAR LIGHT.

This is followed up with a Heisei Post segment with Nakamaru Yuichi and A.B.C-Z. And we see Hashimoto Ryosuke looking like a giant compared to the other group members despite him being the youngest of them all. The fan letter talks about seeing the group at the EbiKisu concert and being impressed with Goseki Koichi's dance and talks about their Star Seeker performance.

This of course leads to Ebi performing Star Seeker on the program. This is of course is one of the original songs A.B.C. had that they have had to change up a bit to fit Hasshi into it. And I am happy to see him doing some acrobatics for the performance, even though he is understandably not at the same level as the rest of the group.

The episode guest gets brought out for Koyama Keiichiro and Nakamaru to talk to and it is the same guest from last episode Maruyama Ryuhei. He talks about the things his group, Kanjani8, has done in the past year before talking about a special performance for the three to do next.

The three all perform songs from the groups that they are members of from 2008 in a medley. It starts off though with Nakamaru beat boxing while Maruyama plays the bass.

The medley is not just the trio though as members of Ebi and Kisumai also sing with them. With the final number of the medley, White X'Mas, has the trio performing it together.

The game segment is next and it is one I have been waiting a long time to get to. It is dancing musical chairs, so it is the basic musical chairs rules, there are less chairs than participants so whoever is not sitting down when the music stops is out. The dancing part of it is for the Juniors to try to do dance moves to songs from the debuted groups, which is used as the music for this.

This is a really fun game to watch as it has the guys moving around and there is almost no language skills needed to follow along. It also leads to some funny moments as the guys get pretty competitive going for the chairs.

It is really worth watching and if I had to choose a game to bring back to the program it would be this one.

Koyama and Nakamaru then talk a bit about Question? before the group performs Mezamero! Yasei, which they released as a one shot CD with daisempai Kondo Masahiko earlier in the year.

This is Senga Kento's Michael Jackson impersonation.
There is a new VTR segment that has the Juniors competing with each other as one or two will do an act, so there are quite a few impersonations done.

There are also some comedy duos and this gives us Morita Myuto with Juri to doing a routine. Thankfully Juri gets to drop this part of trying to be a mini Tanaka Koki as he does not seem to be any better at it than his brother.

Kisumai get to sit down and talk about 2008 and of course they highlight their concerts with Ebi as the main event of the year for the group.

The group then performs Inori which at this point has become one of their standards with Firebeat. I am glad that even after debut they still have Senga keep his solo lines in the song as well as the other pre-debut songs. He and Nikaido Takashi are actually good singers so I feel they are painfully underused in the group post-debut.

The end song is Days, performed by the older Juniors on the program as they are all dressed in white so the groups blend in with each other, minus Sanada Yuma and Nozawa Yuki who are in blue instead. And halfway through they get back dancers even though the song is a ballad. But I guess they needed to use MADE for something in the episode after their introduction at the start of the program.

It is nice to see more Junior groups finally emerge. I rather miss having actual groups instead of groupings when it comes to the Juniors. I just find it easier to learn about the Juniors when they are in a group instead of floating around from grouping to grouping like they are now. Though I guess if Twenty Twenty happens there will be that mega group to try to follow until they debut in 2020.

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