10 November 2013

The Shounen Club 16 June 2009 review

And Kochi Yugo makes his Shounen Club debut with this episode.

Start off with the basic dance introductions. I do wonder who picks the outfits for the Juniors as the outfit combination for Mis Snow Man is terrible. There is no way the jackets go with those pants.

We get to see a guest for the episode with Hamanaka Bunichi being brought up with to introduce the theme of the episode with Totsuka Shota. The theme is Dance and Butokan is brought up, which is of course why Bunichi is there.

But first it is the theme medley which Bunichi gets to be a part of for one of the songs. And there is still a noticeable push for Tamamori Yuta, but I doubt it is going away so I probably will not bother to mention it for a while at least.

With this episode's group of Fresh Juniors we have Kochi Yugo's first appearance on the show. Of the four in this grouping he is the only one I know that is still with the agency. I am happy to see that his first performance is still with members of B.I. Shadow, even though he will not be in the group until the next month.

Honestly I was certain that Yugo made his first appearance on the program as a member of B.I.Shadow so I was surprised to see him being introduced with this episode. I guess I need to make some corrections for that. But anyways he is here and looking so young and awkward, but is much more comfortable sitting and talking than he is performing on stage.

This is followed by Butokan performing their song, C=Normal. It is the usual solid performance from this group, but there is a mid-song dance segment that lets each member showcase their dancing skills.

We get the MC with the group afterwards of course. As expected the members of the group have plenty to talk about in the relation to the theme of the episode. And since they keep it to stories about the other members it keeps the conversation interesting.

There is then a Junior performance of Arashi's truth, lead by Morimoto Shintaro. So we get the usual Juniors around his age as well as B.I. Shadow and the Juniors around their age performing the song. Personally this is one of my favorite Arashi songs so I was inclined to like the performance from the start. My only issue with it is that they inserted a rap in the song that was not there just because Tanaka Juri was in the performance.

There is then the return of the Junior Dengonban but with the Kansai Juniors. Still do not care for this segment as it is the same as with the Tokyo Juniors with them just talking to the camera. Even Kiriyama Akito was not able to save this even though he was easily the most lively and entertaining.

We get the guest of the episode, Uchi Hiroki, up next performing a song called Juicy. The song seems to bring out the things about his voice that annoy me the most and overall I do not care for it. It made sitting through it rather hard for me as I just wanted to skip to the next part of the episode.

There is not a following MC with Uchi though, instead we have this month's Gekkan Koyamaru segment. It is Koyama Keiichiro's turn and he shares photos of Tegoshi Yuya picking on him.

Then it is the game segment that has Uchi there to be the special judge. What is nice about this segment is that they have Nakajima Kento there so it is not just the members of the main three groups participating like usual. The game itself is that a prompt is given and the contestants have to give their best interpretation of it. So it is a game that it is nice to know some Japanese to figure out what they are trying to do.

And we still are made to wait for the next performance as up next is a letter exchange segment with Hashimoto Ryosuke and Goseki Koichi. I think you can really see how far Hasshi has come with coming out of his shell with this as he has quite a bit of fun with his letter and I doubt he would have been ever comfortable with doing that before being in A.B.C-Z.

And like with all letter reading segments it is followed up with a performance. A.B.C-Z perform their song, STAR SEEKER, after they do an accent dance before it. This remains one of my favorite songs from the group and Hasshi is starting to really fit with the group, in fact he does acrobatics with the rest during the song instead of being placed out of the way for them.

We are now at the end of the program and the ending song is WA ni Natte Odorou, which was for a long time the song that Juniors danced to at their auditions. Since the last episode only had the older Juniors this is the ending song with the younger ones included.

So another good episode despite not caring for the guest. And I would have liked to have had a performance mixed in with all the talking segments. But honestly what we got was mostly enjoyable.

I do like being able to go back and see Hasshi grow after joining Ebi. Even back then I felt him joining the group would be a good thing for him and I fully stand by it. I think Juniors like Hasshi tend to fall into cool but quiet type when they debut with groups but being with a group like Ebi forced him to become more open and goofy. And to me it was all for the best.

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