19 October 2013

The Shounen Club 5 May 2009 review

And Hip Hop Jump begins its history of ever changing group members with this episode.

The introduction for this episode is the standard group and grouping introductions as each does a short dance when it is their turn. As I just mentioned Hip Hop Jump is definitely doing its member shake up as there is only Tanaka Juri and Hagiya Keigo around for this episode. HHJ will be in flux until they are officially broken up, but the group really exists so Juri can have his own Junior group.

It is Tamamori Yuta with Morimoto Shintaro up to introduce the theme of the episode, Kazoku (family). It is kinda funny to watch the two as even though he is much younger Shintaro comes off as much more comfortable and relaxed speaking on stage than Tamamori.

Of course they go straight into the theme medley afterwards. The interesting part of the medley for me is that for Tamamori's performance of Kizuna they have Masuda Ryo and Kishi Tadayoshi brought out to help sing the song with him. I believe this is the first time Masuda gets to do something to show that he is a talented singer on the program so I look forward to him getting more chances from now on.

We have another Fresh Junior corner, though it features a not so fresh Junior. I guess even though he showed up on the program about two and a half years ago Jesse is somehow being counted as a Fresh Junior here.

But he is not the only Junior shown in the corner that is still with the agency, Konno Takayuki is among them as well. The two in front get to talk a bit with the ones in the back only introducing themselves so not something that a Jesse fan would be missing by not watching this.

Butokan then performs their song Now and Forever. They are surprisingly light with the dance for this but the performance is spiced up a bit by having the PV for the song playing on the big screen in the back of the stage.

This is followed by the You no Otegami Yomitai Desu segment, which has Fujigaya Taisuke as the MC for the segment which features the three Juniors that are a part of the natto appreciation group, Kitayama Hiromitsu, Totsuka Shota and Kawai Fumito. The letter is from a fan that had tried natto because of the trio and liked it. After that the trio went over different foods to eat with natto that they thought tasted good.

The first guest of the episode is then introduced and we have the return of NEWS. They perform Koi no ABO, which is a fun song with a pretty fun performance to go with it.

Instead of the usual MC segment afterwards there is a NEWS o Abake segment instead to take the place of the usual game segment. Watching it now I think it is pretty apparent that they know, or at least if they are nest to them, who is talking. This is definitely one of the best o Abake segments with one of the highlights being Koyama Keiichiro getting out of his chair and not remembering how to get back to it. And of course the fact that it turns into just making fun of Kato Shigeaki by the end of it.

And this is an episode with two guests, with the second one being Takizawa Hideaki. He performs a medley of songs from his second solo single, Sha la la/Mugen no Hana. What is nice is that Fujigaya, Kitayama, Tottsu and Kawai sang back vocals for Mugen no Hana so they get to perform the song with Tackey in this instead of just back dancing.

Tackey then does a short MC with Koyama and Nakamaru Yuichi. It is mostly just promoting the release of the single and is one of the shortest MC segments I have seen in a while with a guest.

We get the return of the Dengonban segment and it already has had changes made to it. Instead of going from which Junior was given a message from the last one it just randomly goes to various Juniors who give a message to another Junior.

The segment still does not do much to get my interest as it is still mostly Juniors talking to a camera. Though we do get Tamamori doing a funny impression of Shimakake Ryuya with this one.

A.B.C-Z then get to sit down for an MC segment. Hashimoto Ryosuke gets to talk about his older sister who was the one that made him join Johnny's. You finally get to see that Ebi has done quite a bit in getting Hasshi out of his shell as he shines with his story about this instead of being awkward like usual.

The group then performs Vanilla. It is hard to think of something to say about the performance as it does not stand out from the other times the group has performed it. And while it is a good song it is not something I would consider outstanding. But if you are a fan of the group than you are bound to enjoy it.

The ending song is MOTHER/FATHER, and since this is the ending with the younger Juniors we have Juri doing the rap part, but thankfully with Fujigaya. While I am a fan of Juri I am not a fan of his rapping ability. It just lacks a distinct flow that it necessary for it to even begin to sound good. And it is not like he does not have a decent singing voice, but most probably have no clue about that as he rarely gets to show off his singing.

While a bit guest heavy this episode I think the Juniors got enough spotlight, if only because this is not the norm for the show anymore. And no matter who is doing it the Abake segments are usually quite fun to watch, even if you know little Japanese. Of course they are much more fun if you can understand them, especially the NEWS ones as members of the group are not afraid to make fun of each other.

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