22 December 2013

The Shounen Club 8 November 2009 review

And we continue to see Hey! Say! JUMP slowly return to the program as regulars with this episode.

This episode opens up with Takaki Yuya and Nakajima Yuto doing the intro at the very start. Like Arioka Daiki in the previous episode they are "helpers" for Koyama Keiichiro and Nakamaru Yuichi for hosting the program.

With the introductions Hip Hop Jump still looks to be in flux with its members as only three are present. Unfortunately we do not get a good look at them all but Tanaka Juri and Hagiya Keigo are definites.

Like with the previous episode we are introduced to the guest at the beginning and Yamashita Tomohisa is back on the program. This is around the time his solo activities were picking up as he had his first solo concerts. The theme of the episode is Yuuki (courage).

There is an actual theme medley for this episode though the medley is more a chance to show off the younger Juniors as many get to show off other skills than the usual singing and dancing as they pull out soccer and basketballs and even have roller blades and a trick bicycle being used at one point.

The following MC is with Yamapi and the talk is about his solo work, especially his solo concerts. But he brings up the differences between doing something solo compared to being in a group.

He then performs Loveless. I like the song, in fact I do like Yamapi's early solo singles in general, I did find the performance underwhelming. Most of it coming from the fact that he just stands in place for most of it and while he does hand movements it seems lacking without a dance of some kind to go with it. In fact if he even just had a couple of Juniors back dancing on stage it probably would have helped liven the performance.

Up next is the Gekkan KoyaMaru segment with Koyama as the one with a picture to share. Tegoshi Yuya is the NEWS member in the picture this time around and Koyama talks about how it came about.

Question? then performs Beast Soul, and just the one song so we get to hear more of it than last time. This performance just makes me miss the members of the band that have left. It is a real pity they ended up in Johnny's when the agency had pretty much given up on bands.

Following this we have the game segment and it is one with various games with the participating Juniors being paired off into groups of two to compete. This is a pretty fun game segment to watch as the games are easy to follow and Kitayama Hiromitsu does quite a bit to bring some added humor like pointing out that his partner, Nozawa Yuki, looks like the outfit he is wearing is something a "hotelman" would wear. And the fact that they have Juniors that normally do not participate in this is also a plus.

There is then an MC segment with Yuto and a few Juniors: Masuda Ryo, Sanada Yuma and Kyomoto Taiga. MasuRyo talks about trying manzai for SUMMARY, and Sanada said something about ghosts I believe. I was not able to catch what Taiga talked about but I do marvel at how much he seems to have grown since I last noticed him. His voice is noticeably cracking too, so the cute tiny Taiga is quickly disappearing.

There is then a Junior medley that kicks off with MasuRyo singing You & I ~Sono Hi no Tame ni~. Then it is Mis Snow Man with Genkai Meter, followed by Taiga singing Shunkashuto solo. Then it is Mou Tomaranai with MasuRyo and the usual Juniors he is grouped with. MasuRyo is always an interesting Junior to look at when it comes to how flaky seeming promotion can be for Juniors. He gets this huge push around this time to disappear for a while before getting pushed again more recently. It feels like Johnny's is not sure what to do with him, as they do not seem to be able to think of anything more than pushing him based on his singing.

Some Juniors Johnny's seemed to have much more definite plans for, Nakajima Kento, Kikuchi Fuma and Tanaka Juri, are up next for an MC segment. They do not talk for long as they are mainly there to introduce a VTR segment they did for this episode, Junior Kagai Jyugyo.

The trio are to learn about speaking to help them when they have to do so on programs and at concerts. They have a NHK announcer to give them some tips on the subject that they get to try out. They go over some Japanese grammar, and honestly unless you know some basic Japanese and are interested in learning a bit more about the language this may be a good segment to skip as it is just the boys listening and answering questions.

We go back to a letter exchange with Senga Kento and Miyata Toshiya. While the split with Kis-My-Ft2 is there these little things like having those of the back four get to do something like this where they are in the spotlight made it bearable. It is partly why I hope Busaiku continues past the one single as it is giving s-My-2 that something.

One would not think this based on which songs have been released on CD from their Junior days, but Tamamori Yuta does actually have solo songs. He performs his first one, Tsong1 ~CAN TRY~, and while he hardly has one of my favorite voices he is far from one the worst. If anything it is on the thin side so it lacks power behind it so it is better suited to be mixed with a stronger voice like it usually is with the group songs.

Kisumai does come on to perform a group song, Hair. And if there needs to be a sign that this group is on the rise the fact that they perform the full song and not just a portion of it right after Tamamori did his solo is a good one. The group is easily getting the most screen time and that should not change for some time as they get closer and closer to debut.

With that over there is only the final song to perform to wrap up the November episodes. I am sure since it was announced that the theme of the episode was Yuuki that readers may be wondering when Yuuki 100% was going to be performed. Wonder no more as here it is at the end and they do make sure to have all the younger Juniors in this, which means this was taped out of order. They also seem to have cleaned up the audio quite a bit as you can barely hear the audience in it.

This is a solid episode though it does seem off to have A.B.C-Z missing and I am interested in learning some more Japanese. It is nice to have things mixed up a bit though. After watching so many episodes it is nice to see things being changed up a bit at this point as it was getting a bit stale.

And with this only two more episodes before I reach 2010, as there is no Christmas special for 2009.

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