14 September 2013

The Shounen Club 4 January 2009 review

And now we begin the 2009 episodes, where not much has changed from the finish of the 2008 episodes.

The show opens up with a performance where we get the usual introductions. The song is Hatsu Uta, which should be familiar with those who have watched Johnny's Countdown before. A few of notable things with the introduction is that Sanada Yuma and Nozawa Yuki seem to be getting more and more connected with the Jr Boys group. This will eventually have them be officially merged to create Mis Snow Man later in the year.

Morimoto Shintaro is back after being missing from the Christmas special. Also Takahata Misaki is missing from this episode. I am pretty sure he has not left Johnny's yet as I do recall the initial four member B.I.Shadow line-up had him in it but shortly after he was gone and Kochi Yugo was added.

There is the usual opening talk to introduce the theme which is Mirai (future). And of course this leads directly to the usual theme medley. It now seems like the new norm for it is to have the older Juniors be mixed in with the younger ones for the songs. But some of the Jr Boys members get the chance to have their names on the screen during one of the songs which is a step up for those few.

The first MC segment gives Nakajima Kento and Kikuchi Fuma a chance to be highlighted as they talk. I could not really follow what they were saying though but it sounded like Fuma was saying something about water.

The Juniors then perform a medley of songs starting with Morimoto Shintaro leading a performance of Tackey & Tsubasa's song Diamond. I actually like the song and it makes me miss hearing Shintaro's singing voice, which is fairing through puberty well from the snippets of it I have been able to hear of it.

Then it is Nakaken and Fuma singing Arashi's Hadashi no Mirai with the Junior grouping of those their age, like Takada Sho and Masuda Ryo.

Then Butokan, with all five members for a change, are brought out for a talk segment. Yara Tomoyuki does most of the talking as he brings up dancing for what he thinks about the future then talks about the new song the group will be performing which is a ballad.

The song is called Yuki no Furu Hi and you better believe they found a way to dance to this. I am still trying to figure out how I missed that Hamanaka Bunichi had a strong presence when it came to the vocals of the group. I guess I must have been focusing too much on Senga Kento of something to miss something that is so obvious to me now.

I dare anyone who has not watched the episode before to
guess what Fujigaya was supposed to be drawing.
Then it is time for the game segment which brings Yara on to be a judge. The game this time is a drawing competition where contestants are only given the prompt as a word then have to draw it. The best drawing of course wins. This is really mostly fun to see which Juniors fail at drawing. And it was rather easy to guess who would win each round by just looking at the results.

This episode not only has a guest but also a special guest with Takizawa Hideaki being the main guest and Yamashita Tomohisa. Tackey is there to promote his first solo CD release which was tied to the debut of his Takizawa Kakumei butai. In the MC it is brought up that Yamapi was on one of the coupling tracks for the CD with Tackey and a few other Johnny's and he gets to talk about that.

Tackey then performs the title track of his solo debut, Ai Kakumei. I have never cared much for the song and still do not. And this whole era for T&T seemed like a mess as someone seemed to really want Tackey as a soloist even though he really did not seem to care much for that for the long run.

Following this is time for Junior ni Q with the return of the topic about nabe (pot) foods. Tanaka Juri gets called over to explain his answer of oyster nabe.

Anderson Casey also gets a turn as he talks about a Korean stew dish called chige. Koyama kinda takes over with talking about it as he brings up that Korean food is delicious.

Then Takada Sho is brought over to talk about his answer which is for a dish that uses tofu. He seems to really love the dish. And he is the last of the Juniors in the segment that is still with the agency.

The segment is followed by a letter exchange between Kawai Fumito and Goseki Koichi. This is definitely one of these segments I wished I had subtitles for as it seemed like it was a lot of fun from all the cheers they got while reading their letters.

A.B.C-Z then performs Crazy Accel, which of course has had some changes made to the performance to fit Hashimoto Ryosuke into it. But he is not sticking out as much as he has been with a performance like this as he does do some acrobatics as well and does not come off as too shaky this time around but it probably helped it was nothing complicated on his end.

The show ends with A.B.C-Z and Kis-My-Ft2 leading a performance of Daybreaker. It really makes a good end song to be performed as it is upbeat and gives plenty of opportunity for the guys to have fun with it as it has very simple choreography to go with it.

There are hints of changes to come when it comes to the Junior line up with things getting set up for B.I.Shadow and Mis Snow Man. It feels rather exciting as my memories from being in the Junior fandom as these things happened come back. It makes me wonder how I will view the episodes of this current year when I get to them and they are at least a year old by then.

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