23 August 2014

The Shounen Club 04 February 2011 review

This marks the first episode I decided to review as I waited for my main laptop with the rest of the episodes on it to be fixed. I have gone through to make some edits but most of the review was what I wrote months ago.

The episode starts off with the Hey! Say! JUMP members that are the supporters for the episode, Arioka Daiki, Nakajima Yuto and Takaki Yuya introduce the theme medley. Morimoto Shintaro with Hip Hop Jump are the first up to perform.

The guests of the episode, KAT-TUN, finish up the medley by performing their song LIPS. I think this is an early sign that the group is going to have a stronger than usual presence in the episode than most guests.

KAT-TUN stay on stage as Koyama Keiichiro and the HSJ supporters come on stage to officially announce the theme of the episode, Koigokoro (one's love, awakening of love).

B.I. Shadow then take the stage to perform a medley of older Johnny's songs. It is nice to see all four members of the group performing throughout, though since they are wearing outfits that were originally for Ya-Ya-Yah I cannot shake that feeling of doom for any group of four that wears them.

There is then an MC segment with what can now be considered the main three of Kis-My-Ft2, Kitayama Hiromitsu, Tamamori Yuta and Fujigaya Taisuke. They talk about first love with Tamamori being asked to go first. Hiromitsu gets to say something too but has to keep it short as they need to leave to get on stage for the next performance.

Kisumai perform their song 3D Girl, which I never cared for too much but I guess the style actually lines up with the group's image post-debut.

The next MC is with KAT-TUN, so it is basically Koyama Keiichiro on his own to lead it and keep it on track. KAT-TUN may not be a favorite group of mine but I do think they are interesting to watch when they are all allowed to talk as you can get some interesting comments and reactions.

KAT-TUN performs what was their latest single at the time, ULTIMATE WHEELS. It was about this point that I began to really loose interest in the group, though it had been waning before, mostly because their newer music just did not click with me, like this song.

For the game segment they had Kame come out to be the judge for it. It had a mix of Juniors with Yuto, Daiki and Takaki compete against each other for who did a prompt better. Of course all the prompts dealt with Valentines Day.

I really wish they would have Kochi Yugo participate in the game segments more again. He was easily the highlight of the game segment with how he deviated from the standard lines and responses for the prompts.

There is then a special performance, with two members from the Junior groups, Kisumai (KitaFuji), A.B.C-Z (Hashimoto Ryosuke and Totsuka Shota) and BIS (Nakajima Kento and Kikuchi Fuma), performance Kimi wo Omou Toki (Romanesque Version). It is a stripped and slowed down version of the song so it can highlight the strength of the singers and it is a nice piece to see being performed.

The Junior ni Q segment takes us to Osaka as the Kansai Juniors get a turn. The topic is about the latest thing they are obsessed with. First up is Fujii Ryusei who claims to be obsessed with the hair of one of his fellow group members, Takemoto Shinpei, who is no longer with the agency.

Shigeaki Daiki is up next and I believe he talks about balls, or at least tennis balls from what I could tell. And that is all the Kanjuu featured that I am certain are still with the agency.

This episode gives us some introductions of some of the members of JaPAnese Hi!, or the large group of Fresh Juniors that just passed their auditions about a month before this was filmed. They should be familiar faces though as the four are Hayashi Takuto, Hayashi Ren, Kuramoto Kaoru and Sato Shori. (Though from what I have heard Kuramoto has recently left Johnny's.) It is really these introductions that make going back to watch these older episodes so interesting as there is no doubt that they have grown so much since then. Especially when it comes to nerves on stage.

They go and join the rest of their group to perform Marui Chikara. With so many members performing it is hard to assess the performing level of many of them. Though it does remind me of how many Juniors I have failed to keep up with over the past few years.

It is then time to wrap up the episode which they do with KAT-TUN performing the final song, PROMISE SONG. The older Junior groups get to come back on stage to back dance for them and that is how the episode closes up.

Over a good episode and I can finally say I have gotten over the KAT-TUN fatigue from their pre-debut days as I was happy to see the group as a guest. While I cannot recall if this is the final time KAT-TUN guests on the program it does feel like this would be a good final episode for that.

And of course it is great to see more of the Fresh Juniors, especially as a good chunk of them are now the ones that are making their way to the fore fronts. Not to mention that this also means we are only missing two members of Sexy Zone to have their Shounen Club debuts now.

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