12 July 2014

The Shounen Club 5 November 2010 review

I swear every time I am almost done with downloading a series of something I remember something else I wanted to watch but did not have the chance to. Thankfully I have recovered most of the Shounen Club episodes I had, and should be good for now with the episodes I have to keep myself on schedule from here on in.

The episode opens up with the usual medley that gives the viewers a glimpse of the main Juniors of the episode. From the song selection it could be guessed that it is a sempai medley, which it is, as the Juniors perform a song from one debuted group.

At the end the guests of the episode, NYC, enter the stage to perform the song NYC. I wish B.I. Shadow would have joined them for it, but I guess Johnny's wanted to make sure it was clear that NYC was just the trio of Nakayama Yuma, Yamada Ryosuke and Chinen Yuri.

It is the usual opening talk and we get introduced to the theme of the episode Tsunagari (connection). The theme is clarified for the episode in that they will be focusing on the connection of the sempai and kouhai in Johnny's.

With the sempai connection firmly in place the theme medley is another sempai medley like the opening performance. When they do songs for the debuted groups that have members present they join in so there is quite a bit of mixing of group members of debuted and Junior groups which is always interesting to see.

B.I.Shadow then get an MC segment where they talk about sempai they have connections to in various ways. Nakajima Kento of course brings up the sempai he admires, Yamada, but also Okamoto Keito who he talks about speaking English with. Kikuchi Fuma gives a story about having a run-in with Nakamaru Yuichi while Kochi Yugo talks about Yaotome Hikaru, who he is with on the School Kakumei variety program. Matsumura Hokuto brings up that Yamashita Tomohisa is his admired sempai but scores points with Koyama Keiichiro by telling him that he is his second favorite member of NEWS.

While labeled a B.I. Shadow medley it is because they are the group performing it all, not because of the songs which are all sempai songs. And the songs are from much older groups, like the Four Leaves, and not all the usual songs from such groups that are usually performed. Overall I enjoyed the medley, especially since all four members of the group got a good amount of screen time.

There is then a letter exchange between Kitayama Hiromitsu and Kawai Fumito. It is one of those segments I wish I had the subtitles for as the reactions sounded good from the audience. The one thing I did catch was that someone from the audience as Kawai was finishing his letter yelled out that he was cool and he thanked them, earning a questioning look from Kitayama and a good laugh from the audience. It was being able to deal with things like that in such a natural and at ease kind of way that made me think even back then Kawai would be great hosting a program.

A.B.C-Z and Kis-My-Ft2 then perform Daybreaker, which is considered to be the joint song for the two groups. While it is a good song and the performance is solid it seems to be lacking in something. Maybe it just needs a bigger stage or the fact that the two groups are capable of so much but the song does not really showcase that. But it does showcase how well the two groups get along and that does make it feel worth it to at least watch.

The game segment is a Johnny's song quiz, where they play the start of a Johnny's song and the participants have to guess the song and the artist correctly. They had four teams of three which gave us a good mix of Juniors playing and went through the game tournament style. The final round they changed things up where they played two different songs at the same time to make it more challenging. It definitely worked as usually one song could be heard rather clearly but the second was much harder to decipher. But it did make the round much more interesting than the first two.

While the Daybreaker performance may not have really let A.B.C-Z show what they were truly capable of their performance of Crush amends that. Not only do they get to show off what they are best known for, their acrobatics, but near the end Totsuka Shota gets to bring out a guitar and Hashimoto Ryosuke a mic to show off his vocal skills a bit more than usual.

There is a Kansai Junior ni Q segment following that. While I could find the words of the theme for it they make little sense to me together, but from the conversations I have to assume that it was about pointing out the good aspects in someone else. The only Kanjuu called up that I know is still with Johnny's is Hamanaka Bunichi. His words of praise are for Hamada Takahiro.

Having the only other MC segment of the episode is NYC. Like BIS they talk about sempai that they have some kind of connection with. For Yuma it was Kondo Masahiko, who he was in a drama with, and Kanjani8, as they are all from Kansai. Yamada of course brought up Domoto Koichi, who he has always admired. And if you know Chinen then there is no surprise whatsoever that he talked about Ohno Satoshi.

The trio then performed their song, Yoku Asobi Yoku Manabe. It is the typical NYC song, fun, energetic and encouraging. And it is the perfect excuse to use the younger Juniors for a performance, if only just to back dance.

The end song though was more of an older Junior affair as they performed Midnight Shuffle with debuted Johnny's. A perfect song to end on as it has a good amount of energy plus it helps tie-in the theme of the episode being a sempai song for everyone performing.

This was really a good SC episode. There was a good balance of debuted Johnny's and Juniors and all the segments were entertaining. The theme of the episode was mostly kept on track throughout the episode instead of being forgotten part of the through as well. Or basically everything I wish the series could currently be like.

Looking at the date for this I realize that we are getting closer to the end of the season for the program, which means the final episodes with Koyama and Nakamaru as hosts. I think that will really be the closing of an era when they leave.

Now back to downloading and hopefully watching some of these so I can do reviews for them.

No comments: