03 January 2014

The Shounen Club 13 December 2009 review

And we are now at the final episode for 2009 as this year does not have a Christmas special.

As I just mentioned this year does not have a Christmas special episode so as the final episode for the year gets to sorta stand in for it. And we get to see this with the opening medley that Arioka Daiki starts off with Nakayama Yuma w/B.I.Shadow.

The medley is of Christmas related Johnny's songs and acts as the introduction of the main Juniors as they have their names show up on the screen as groups and groupings perform. Hip Hop Jump is back to five members with this episode. Let's see how long that lasts.

Daiki is introduced as the special guest, Santa. While they talk about that I do not believe they actually announced the theme of the episode. Of course the theme is Christmas and it is shown on the screen, not to mention by now it should be pretty obvious.

YuBIS then perform, starting with two songs for the group, I Can Catch the Moon and Akuma na Koi. The former I am not sure where it is from but I do not think we see it performed again on the program.

Then B.I.Shadow leave the stage so Yuma can continue the medley with a couple of songs for him to sing solo, Aoi Kiseki and Jigoroizumu. The first is a B-side off the NYC boys single and a song that was never performed as much as I think it should have been.

In the following MC the main topic discussed is the announcement that NYC boys will be on Kohaku Uta Gassen. I had forgotten that it was NYC boys and not just NYC that went on the program for the first year. I guess this means Nakajima Kento and Kikuchi Fuma have been on Kohaku twice as an act with this previous Kohaku (as I am not counting back dancing) but with Sexy Zone.

To keep the spirit of Christmas alive in the episode Arioka comes on stage, still in the Santa costume, to do some "magic", which is mainly CGI that was added in for the TV broadcast. I cannot imagine it being too impressive to have seen this live.

The following performance is Yara Tomoyuki with TheyBudo singing Yuki no Furu Hi, which of course was a Butokan song originally. And while the performance is not bad I really miss the vocals of the full Butokan group in this one. But as one would expect from Juniors that specialize in dancing everything else was spot on.

There is more of Arioka as Santa as we get a short skit. Matsumura Hokuto and Kochi Yugo make an appearance to pretend to be goats when Arioka!Santa is looking for reindeer.

This is followed by a medley by Kis-My-Ft2, starting with Inori then Fujigaya Taisuke sings his solo Maria. The whole group then finishes it off with Firebeat.

The game segment is an A.B.C-Z versus Kis-My-Ft2 battle. They do four games to determine a winning group starting with one where one member has to spin around then run over to pick up another member and carry them back across the stage. This is followed by a game where one member sits on a pile of cushions while another member has to remove them from under them one at a time.

And at sometime uchiwa have been allowed again for the show's filming as for the third challenge the guys had to borrow some from the audience. Instead of finding one of his own Tamamori Yuta ended up picking up one for Nakamaru Yuichi to use that drew attention from the hosts.

The final game was dancing musical chairs which of course is always a joy to watch. Though I cannot help but think that it was probably a bit unfair to use everyone as Kisumai outnumbers Ebi.

A You no Otegami Yomitai Desu! segment follows this, so if you felt like you did not get enough EbiKisu from the past segment here is some more. Kawai Fumito gets to do some impersonations near the end, first doing Yamamoto Ryota then Totsuka Shota.

A.B.C-Z then gets to perform and start off with Sayonara Box before moving on to Kodoku no Runaway. Then they finish up with Vanilla. The group remain consistent with their level of performance though I kinda wish we got them moving more during this medley.

Morimoto Shintaro gets an MC segment with the hosts as they discuss his movie and new unit, Snow Prince Gasshoudan. The performance for the song that is the title track for the group's one off single, Snow Prince, is brought up to talk about the sign language used. Koyama Keiichiro gets to talk a bit about this as he had learned some sign language himself recently.

We get another classroom segment for the VTR in this episode. This time it is Morimoto Shintaro and a few of the other Snow Prince Gasshoudan members learning about sign language. Like with the past segment like this if you have decent grasp of Japanese and are interested in the topic than this is probably will be interesting. Otherwise unless you are a big fan of one of the boys in this you can probably skip it.

There is then the stage performance of the song, with of course the sign language used in it. And I totally forgot just how tiny everyone in this group was. This is the final formation for the group and Juniors in it that I know for certain that are still in Johnny's are; Kishimoto Shintaro, Nakamura Reia, Kurita Kei, Haba Yuki, Hashimoto Ryo and Inoue Mizuki.

And by now it is time to wrap up the episode with the final song. This is not a Johnny's song, I am not sure who the original singer was but I know I have heard it covered by non-Johnny's as well. The title of the song is Miagete Goran Yoru no Hoshi o and it is a slow folksy-sounding song.

And with that 2009 closes. It feels weird not to have a Christmas special as it had been tradition until this year. Though it does help with trying to catch up with the program.

This is definitely an episode for EbiKisu fans with how much those two groups are featured. But they do remain fun to watch and the game segment was one of the main highlights of the program. I would not mind seeing all the games played in this episode resurface again in the more current episodes. Though I do hope we get Juniors playing them as well.

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