26 April 2014

The Shounen Club 14 May 2010 review

This episode lives up to its theme as I find plenty to smile about from it.

It starts off looking like it will be a standard introduction song, with the younger Juniors singing Yuuki 100%. We even get some groups and a grouping introduced before Kitayama Hiromitsu and Fujigaya Taisuke come on stage with a large box. Inside is the guest for the episode, Taguchi Junnosuke, who joins in singing the song to finish off the first performance for the episode.

The following talk segment has the hosts of the show, Koyama Keiichiro and Nakamaru Yuichi, with the supporters, Takaki Yuya, Arioka Daiki and Nakajima Yuto, come on stage. They introduce the theme of the episode, Egao (smile), which they quickly note is a fitting theme for Junno.

There is then a theme medley that has members of Kis-My-Ft2 mainly leading the songs in it. Nakajima Kento and Kikuchi Fuma feature prominently in it as well as most of the other Juniors were just accompanying them.

The MC afterwards is with Junno as they talk about how smiling is a part of his image. And we get plenty of chances to see his smile during the conversation.

He then performs a special medley of his solo songs, most have been released on CDs. But overall it stands as a reminder of how much his vocals have improved in recent years for me. I love the performance still as I enjoy the songs and Junno always brings a good amount of energy to his performances. Plus the bit with Koyama and Nakamaru was fun.

It is then time for the Gekkan Koymaru segment. The segment has the theme of 'behind the scenes' as photos of the boxes for the costumes was shown as well as shots of Kisumai, Question? and A.B.C-Z in the dressing/rehearsal areas.

The next performance is for Ebi and they do a medley of their group songs. They work in acrobatics between each song in the medley which is probably the real highlight of the performance as they do some of the more involved stunts.

The game segment lets us see some new faces to the segment. It is a dance quiz and I think having some of the younger Juniors helped as they tend to have to have a larger and more diverse array of songs that they have to remember the moves for as the older groups tend to stick to really only back dancing for select groups and get more chances to perform their own original songs.

The HSJ members get to be the main focus of the next MC segment. They end up talking about their latest single at that time, Hitomi no Screen, which leads into talk about Yuto and his drumming. This is a lead in for the next performance where the three perform a medley of songs that starts off with a drum solo by Yuto.

I love that Takaki's solo song, Kumo no Ito, is a part of the medley, but most of it is Hitomi no Screen. And watching the live performance makes me so glad the spoken part worked into it is not in the CD version of the song as it feels like such an unnatural break in the song.

It is then the Junior ni Q segment and the theme is a moment that made them laugh/smile. Kawashima Noeru is called over and he talks about an incident when he was a part of a musical in Osaka that happened with Casey Anderson.

Jesse is up next and his moment is at a concert when he realized he had his shirt inside out. This prompts Koyama to recall a time where Kato Shigeaki made the same mistake.

Kikuchi Fuma then gets to talk about Masuda Ryo, who gets called over as well to show what Fuma is talking about. It is basically how MasuRyo went from laughing to suddenly looking stoic.

There is then a letter exchange segment between MasuRyo and Takada Sho. I was able to catch that they bring up that they first met each other at HSJ's debut concert. And that is about all I could follow and feel confident in understanding what was being said.

The following performance is a mix of Junior groupings with a few members of Mis Snow Man as they perform a song called Sekai wa Bokura wo Mamoteiru. This definitely seems to be one of the times that MasuRyo is getting pushed as he leads the next song in this medley, Tsuyoku Dakishimete. Also to note, many of the Juniors getting pushed now seem to already being getting mixed together with this performance.

This then takes us to the final performance of the episode with the older Juniors performing Anniversary. B.I. Shadow and the Juniors from the last performance now seem to be moving into this bunch as they lead the song.

Even if Junno was not the guest for this episode I would rate it highly. The Juniors have a good presence in the episode and it is nice to see newer faces in the game segment. And the performances by non-Juniors did not seem to dominate the episode which is what my main issue with the more current episodes is.

I do not think I am ready to start thinking of BIS and the Juniors around their ages as the older Juniors quite yet. But perhaps that is mostly because they do have older Juniors around them, like Ebikisu. But it is getting harder not to notice that the boys are growing up and I am getting ever so closer to the current run of episodes where there is not doubt that they are the older ones on the program.

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