27 August 2014

The Shounen Club 11 February 2011 review

This episode gives us more chances to learn about the wave of new faces that joined the program.

The episode starts with the usual theme medley with the theme being Tabidachi (setting off on a trip) and the Hey! Say! JUMP supporters, Nakajima Yuto, Arioka Daiki and Takaki Yuya starting it off with Dreams come true.

It is easy to see which members of JaPAnese Hi! are getting pushed as only four are a part of this medley and get to perform with Morimoto Shintaro. Sato Shori of course being the prominent over time but back then things looked more level.

Since there is no guest this episode it is just the hosts, Koyama Keiichiro and Nakamaru Yuichi, with the HSJ supporters on stage afterwards to talk about the episode theme.

Yuto, Daiki and Takaki then perform their group song Arigato ~Sekai no Doko ni Ite mo~. As they do so they introduce a few Fresh Juniors that have some skills to show off quickly. Not sure who is still with the agency outside of Hayashi Ren, who gets introduced again with his older brother Takuto. The others were Nishi Reito, Ichimiya Daiki and Fukumoto Daiki.

The introduction to JaPAnese Hi! members continue as the couple that can speak foreign languages get to show off their skills. It is mainly Kanazuru Hideki speaking but Okubo Lewis gets to use his Spanish near the end.

There is then a Junior performance which is mainly Morimoto Shintaro with Hip Hop Jump performing a song called 1 for YOU. This is the kind of song that I could see them performing today, or at least the remaining ones of this grouping of Juniors.

This is followed by a You no Otegami Yomitai Desu! segment which is hosted by various members of A.B.C-Z, Kis-My-Ft2 and B.I. Shadow. The first letter is asking about advice in relation to being a high school student.

The following letter is about Juniors that resemble animals. They also pull in Nakamaru Yuichi for this one but mostly focus on Kawai Fumito and his assumed resemblance to a horse.

Kitayama Hiromitsu and Fujigaya Taisuke then perform their duet, No. 1 Friend. There is not a lot to say about the song itself as it is rather bland and makes me miss the rest of the group. But KitaFuji were the ones getting pushed at the time so having this song was not so surprising.

The Gekkan Koyamaru segment is next with a theme for this one, sempai. Koyama and Nakamaru are able to share a photo that he managed to get with his sempai Domoto Kochi.

Nakamaru then gets ready to do a solo performance of two songs, Shooting Star and Film, with both songs having lyrics at least written in part by him. A good solid performance from him but honestly I would be disappointed by anything less from someone with his experience.

The Gekkan Koyamaru segment continues after the performance as Nakamaru takes a turn mostly talking about photos, including one with some of his fellow group members, as usual.

It is then Koyama's turn to perform a solo which is his solo song Uri Sarang, which uses Korean in the lyrics. It is also one of the solos released on the bonus disc of the limited version of NEWS' best of album.

Then it is Junior ni Q time with the Kansai Juniors. The theme this time is talking about things they want to see changed in others. Mukai Koji gets mentioned as one of the Kanjuu that someone wants to see a change with.

Nakama Junta gets to air a grievance he has with the other half of his duo, Kiriyama Akito. I was able to catch that it was something about his use of Kansai ben. And with that the segment ends.

A.B.C-Z get to sit down for an MC segment. Yamashita Tomohisa is featured in a VTR for this, as he talks about the members of A.B.C-Z. Or at least the ones that he pretends that he can remember.

The group then perform Dream ~5tsu no Negai~, which is a ballad so it lacks the usual energetic dances from the group's other songs. They seem to be trying to make up for that by adding a large star to the floor of the stage to have the members move around during the song so they are not just standing around during the performance.

With that we are at the end of the episode and it is time for the final song to close things out with. The older groups perform Sotsugyo ~Sayonara wa Ashita no Tame ni~, another ballad and with so many on stage it falls into the issue of just having everyone mainly just stand in place on stage.

And this is about where HSJ starts spending too much time on stage compared to the Juniors. It is not so bad with this episode though as at least one of the performances is to help highlight Fresh Juniors but I still have yet to recover from the HSJ-dominated era of the program. And it will probably be only made worse with the fact that I am heading right into those episodes now.

Other than that at least this is a time where at least some Juniors will be able to get a good amount of screen time, or at least anyone in the groups, Kis-My-Ft2, A.B.C-Z and B.I. Shadow. Only down side to that is that it makes it seem like there has been very little change in who gets featured on the program when compared to the most current episodes.

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