02 March 2014

The Shounen Club 2 April 2010 review

A new season begins with plenty of returning faces.

The episode begins with the Juniors doing a theme medley that also serves to introduce the guests of the episode. Starting with Hey! Say! JUMP, who are officially supporters from the program though they honestly do basically the same thing they would do if they were guests.

And it looks like these five are the line-up of Hip Hop Jump. For some reason I thought Jesse was in it still, but I guess there is still time for things to get changed around. All I know is that when Morimoto Shintaro starts appearing with the group it means that it is almost time for it to be disbanded.

Another thing to note with the introductions is that Butokan will be in this episode. They are missing a member though, Hamanaka Bunichi, most likely because Johnny's did not want to pay for his travel just for a Shounen Club recording. But the group has not faded away quite yet at least.

Things end with a performance of Kizuna which the Juniors performing are joined by the main guest of the episode, Kamenashi Kazuya.

Then we get a crowded stage as Kame remains and HSJ join the hosts to do the usual first talk segment. HSJ are announced to be supporters for the program, which they will remain for the rest of the season, and introduce the theme of the episode. The theme is Tomodachi (friend), which could be guessed from the fact the opening medley was labelled the Tomodachi Medley.

Even though the theme medley has been done we do get another medley to feature the Juniors after the first talk segment. The starting performance is good to show what is going on with Snow Prince Gasshoudan, the taller/older boys of the group are getting pushed as the younger/shorter ones are mainly just back dancing.

Also in the medley there is a sense that the groupings are looking like they could be in a state of flux as we get a mix of the ones that get places with Kyomoto Taiga and Shani (Masuda Ryo) being main performers for the final couple of songs. Though outside of Yasui Kentaro none other than the other two mentioned have as much presence on the show as they did then.

The You no Otegami Yomitai Desu! segment has been kept and is the next segment for the episode. It looks like B.I.Shadow gets to join A.B.C-Z and Kis-My-Ft2 in having at least one member be included in the segment. The first postcard is a school related matter then they have one that compares Chino Aoi (who is no longer with Johnny's) to a mascot character so they bring him out to show that. Miyata Toshiya then gets compared with a kanji character that of course highlights his big nose.

A.B.C-Z then performs their group song STAR SEEKER then moving onto HIGHER! FLY. Like most of the group's performances there is a strong emphasis on the choreography of the performance, which of course is solid and the highlight of the performance.

Kame gets to get the usual guest MC segment after this. They start off bringing up the fact that it has been a while since Kame was last on the program and Kame brings up that the length of the mics had changed as during rehearsal he ended up hitting the end of his not realizing how long it was. The theme of the episode is then brought up as a topic so Kame talks about friendship.

He then has a solo performance and performs a KAT-TUN B-side, On My Mind. It always seems a bit off when a group song is performed as a solo or vice versa but that is more an issue of just being used to hearing something a certain way. This is one of the few KAT-TUN B-sides I am familiar with and I think it works well as a solo with it being a slower song.

Next up is the game segment of the show. It is another round of the dance game where each member has to do a dance move then add one until someone forgets to do one or how to do one. This time though they are having the four champions of the previous times they have played this game compete. Because of the low number of contestants Nakamaru Yuichi is made to join them as Kame is brought out to be a judge with Koyama Keiichiro.

It is then time for another performance, this time Kis-My-Ft2 have their performance for the episode. They are performing SHOOTING STARS on the show for the first time. This is one of their roller skates songs so there is plenty of energy. But perhaps a bit too much at the start for Kitayama Hiromitsu as he almost falls but miraculously saves himself.

B.I. Shadow get to have an MC segment with the hosts as they talk about the following VTR segment. They were sent off to do a lesson and this time it was juggling.

Juggling is one of those skills that Johnny's seems to always want a few in the agency to be able to do. Though out of those who have debuted only Taguchi Junnosuke and Yaotome Hikaru come to mind for those who have showcased this ability. And despite having this lesson no one from BIS have really taken this talent on as a way to be showcased.

And speaking of Hikaru, the next performance starts out with BIS showing off some juggling to be joined by Hikaru before he takes over the stage to perform his solo song Akogare no Egoist. BIS does show up about halfway through to back dance and provide some back vocals as well at least.

It is then time for the final song of the episode. It is Seishun Amigo, which of course is incredibly fitting for not only the theme of the episode but also the guest. In fact Kame joins the Juniors and HSJ in performing it and with that the episode closes.

It is rather sad to remember that this is the final season of the show with Koyama and Nakamaru as hosts. While I do think it was time for them to move on from the program they really built a place fro themselves on the show.

Outside of that it was a good episode. Even though it could have been easy for the guests to have overshadowed the Juniors there was a good enough balance between them that it was not an issue. Also in some ways these episodes are reflecting the current ones with how A.B.C-Z and B.I.Shadow are moving in to host segments with Kis-My-Ft2. The later may no longer be regulars on the show but seeing as the BIS members that get the chance to host these segments are also the two that debut with Sexy Zone it does make it feel like some things were set in place long before the more current seasons.

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