06 October 2013

The Shounen Club 5 April 2009 review

And we kick off a new season of Shounen Club, but unfortunately the video I have of the episode is pretty bad. I think it is around the summer or fall of 2009 the issues of finding the show for overseas fans to watch is settled but until then the files can differ greatly in quality as you will notice.

It's a pity the video is so bad as this episode has B.I.Shadow as a four member unit for the first time as Matsumura Hokuto has been added to the group. Unfortunately this means that Takahata Misaki's time with Johnny's is almost over.

When it is time to introduce the theme of the episode a few of the Juniors are brought up front to do so, Kitayama Hiromitsu, Tanaka Juri and Hagiya Keigo. They introduce the theme of the episode, Fresh, and the two younger ones get to talk about being in middle school.

This of course leads to the Fresh Medley. The medley is mainly made up of the more recent singles released by the debuted groups.

Part way through the medley they introduce some Fresh Juniors. Out of all the ones introduced the only one I recognize is Shimekake Ryuya, who was one of the Juniors in the Bad Boys J drama and member of Travis Japan.

The following MC continues to introduce the Fresh Juniors from the medley with Kitayama assisting Koyama Keiichiro and Nakamaru Yuichi with it. Shimekake wins points by saying that he admires Nakamaru.

The guest for this episode is the Hey! Say! JUMP sub-unit Hey! Say! 7. They start off performing a medley of their songs, which includes one of my favorite unit songs for them, Brave Story.

The MC segment has the unit talking about their solo concerts that they had during this time. And it pretty much ended up being the only unit concerts the group has ever had.

The MC does not last long though as HS7 goes back on stage to perform another medley of songs. It starts off with Salsa Ii na Ii ne! which was a song that played on a children's programming block for a while. Being such it is a very cutesy song and not one I would see the unit performing these days. But the performance is all kinds of cute and I would not mind seeing some of the younger Juniors perform this one day.

The game segment has been changed up a bit, the first noticeable change is that it is now called Junior Colosseum.

It has gotten rid of the teams from previous seasons and for the first game of the season, a dance battle, there are four pairs of two. It is set up like a tournament where two teams go against each other to see which one moves on to the next round so there are only two teams remaining for the final.

The dance battle is rather simple, all of it is to guess a song from one of the members of a team performing the dance and the other guessing. The level of challenge comes from how much of the dance can be done, with the final round being only one pose they have to use to guess.

Question? is up to perform next and it looks like Goto Hiromi is on his way of being worked into the group as he is playing violin for this. The song is called Kimi o Omou Toki and about halfway through the song Kitayama shows up to take over lead vocals. Do not really think that needed to happen but I guess looking back it could be seen as a sign of Kis-My-Ft2's rise and Question?'s decline.

There is a new VTR segment which is called Junior no Dengonban. It is like a video message board of sorts with one Junior leaving a message for another then that Junior gets to leave a message for another Junior and so on.

It is a bit of a hard segment to get to work as you would expect things to be replied to but they are not. And it ends up being Juniors talking to the camera and little else. Not to mention that they are probably limited to only be able to leave a message to Juniors that are at the taping so it is not fun as the dengonban feature in the Wink Up magazine.

So it probably is no surprise that the segment did not last, in fact I have the feeling that it did not last for the full season of the show, but I guess I will find out as I watch it.

Heisei Post has been given an update and is now being called You no Otegami Yomitai Desu!, with the 'tai' using the kanji from the daisempai group Shounentai. For this first segment it is only hosted by Juniors, but they are all the usual ones from Kisumai, A.B.C-Z and Question?

Kisumai then get to perform a medley of songs for the final group performance of the episode. And it is pretty much all my favorite songs from the group with Good-bye, Thank you, BRAND NEW SEASON, Inori and Kaizoku. And I love how they start Inori a capella. A great medley for the group overall.

The show wraps up with a performance of Jonetsu JUMP being performed by HS7 with Juniors joining them. Honestly I cannot see why this song was not made into a single A-side as it was one of their volleyball support songs and at this time they were due for a new single. In fact they could have thrown Salsa Ii na Ii ne! on as a B-side as well as the ending theme for the Nintama Rintaro anime they did at this time, Yumeiro. That should have been plenty of tie-ins for the single for it to do well enough and would have set them up to release their first album in 2009. But I will end this rant here and try not to continue it with other episodes as there is no changing the past.

Not a bad start to a new season. Probably the best part about it is that focus is shifting to the newer Juniors finally. We also get the mix of updated segments and new ones but it is really only those that have been updated that still remain on the program even if they have been changed a bit since. It has been a long time since a new segment has lasted on the program.

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