24 May 2014

The Shounen Club 9 July 2010 review

The show gets to juggle having two guest groups, because reasons?

The program opens up with the usual three HSJ supporters performing Jounetsu JUMP, which was a live only song for some time before finally being released on their debut album. Halfway through they do a quick intro for some of the Juniors before moving on to continue the song with A.B.C-Z and Kis-My-Ft2 joining in the performance. And I can remember fans of those two groups complaining about them performing a Hey! Say! JUMP song. So glad the two groups debuted and a lot of the resentment against HSJ went away.

The theme of the episode is HOT, inspired by the fact that it is summertime. During the opening talk Nakajima Yuto gets to bring up the concerts for HSJ, KAT-TUN and Kisumai to give them all a bit of a plug.

The theme medley afterwards starts with Kyomoto Taiga singing Sunadokei a cappella. I really wish he was not shuffled into the mix of older Juniors as he is nowadays as it is rare for any of them to really get a chance to shine like this. And I know he does not have the tone of voice that is generally pleasant to everyone but I like it. Especially when paired with a deeper voice like Jesse's or Masuda Ryo's.

The rest of the medley continues and just about all the Junior groups and groupings that do not get as heavily featured as the rest get a chance to perform something. Even Hip Hop Jump got to perform without Morimoto Shintaro leading them. It is weird to see Tanaka Juri and Hagiya Keigo getting pushed more than Jesse back then. But it is a good reminder that he spent a good amount of time in the back before he got his chance to be in the front.

After that the HSJ supporters start showing up with Juniors performing with them. And honestly I am okay with that. It is only when the debuted Johnny's start taking the Juniors off the stage or shuffling them to the back to merely back dance do I get annoyed by it. And it is interesting to see how little has changed when it comes to some of the Juniors that get pushed on the program.

KAT-TUN are brought out for an MC segment. They mainly talk about their world tour, which honestly would be stretching things calling it an Asian tour as they only went to two Asian countries outside of Japan for it. They bring up that Kis-My-Ft2 will be with them for these concerts.

The following performance is a special stage that starts off with Kisumai performing one of their group songs, Tension, before KAT-TUN take their turn to sing one of their songs. They perform No More Pain, which is the title track of the album that they released around this time.

Then there is a Gekkan Koyamaru segment with Koyama Keiichiro showing pictures he took of members of Hey! Say! BEST backstage.

It's been a while but Question? gets to perform as a group and it is for one of their group songs, Beautiful Mind. I love this song and like always this is a good solid performance from the band. The kind of performance that really makes me miss them.

And just in case there were not enough guests for this episode, Yara Tomoyuki is here and gets an MC segment. At least in Yara's case he is still a Junior, just not a regular on the program. Yara gets to talk about/promote the fact that he is in PLAYZONE with Imai Tsubasa that year.

Then Yara performs with They Budo, one of the Dance Umbrella groups. With They Budo around now it is probably safe to say that Butokan is no more. If mainly because Yamamoto Ryota is a member of They Budo and it is rather rare for Juniors to be in more than one group at a time.

We are not done with the guests yet, though it is starting to feel like it has been a long time since we have seen the Juniors that are program regulars by now. But Hey! Say! JUMP get to talk and mainly promote their first album release.

They then perform a track off the album, TIME. I love this album as the album tracks are all strong and TIME is no exception. And it is always nice to see a non-A-side single track performed by a group. And it is about this time that the height difference in the members starts getting rather apparent. But the camera does try its best not to let it show that much.

While they do not get an MC segment A.B.C-Z are up next to perform. They sing Vanilla but start with Totsuka Shota playing the guitar with Hashimoto Ryosuke dancing. I wish they performed the whole song acoustic instead of just that intro as they go to the usual backing track afterwards for the actual song performance.

It is then time for the Junior ni Q segment and the theme is "things that are currently 'HOT'", if I am not mistaken. Nakajima Kento is called over first as the hosts are curious about his answer of poems.

Next we have two Juniors up with Sanada Yuma and Watanabe Shota talking about skateboarding. Or it is mostly Sanada seen talking.

Anderson Casey gets to talk about Magic, as in magic tricks. He of course gets to show off a trick and he chooses a card trick.

Then Kyomoto Taiga is brought over and he gets to talk about his love for Tegomass, especially Tegoshi Yuya, who is the senpai he most admires. He also gets to do his impersonation of Masuda Takahisa. And that wraps up this segment.

There is then a letter exchange with three Juniors, Sanada, Masuda Ryo and I believe Fukuda Yuta, who I am not sure is with Johnny's anymore or not. He appears and disappears on this program rather quickly, IIRC, but I believe he may still be in the dance groups if he is still around.

The three then perform SMAP's Arigato then Dear WOMAN as a trio for the first song and are joined by other Juniors for the second. In a way the performance would not seem too out of place in a current Shounen Club episode, minus having Fukuda there. But we have definitely entered the time that Masuryo and Sanada really start getting their pushes. Whether or not those will ever lead to a debut is still undetermined.

KAT-TUN then gets to close out the program by performing their song, SMILE. I do not recognize the song so it has to be either a single B-side or album track. But it is a mid-tempo pop tune that could easily be given to any other Johnny's group. Though I do think SMAP when listening to it. Near the end of the song the Juniors file on to stage to backdance.

For an episode with as many guests as it has it did well enough balancing it all out. I do not get why KAT-TUN and HSJ had to be guests in the same episode with KAT-TUN already the guest for the previous episode for the month. I guess they really wanted to promote the group's tour so when the announcement came about Akanishi Jin leaving the group they would not have to worry about fans not wanting to come, even though it was announced already they were doing the tour without him.

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