01 July 2015

The Shounen Club 13 May 2011 review

Another month and another Shounen Club episode review. I am happy to have a schedule for this again, even if it means going very slowly through them.

The episode starts off with Nakajima Yuto announcing the theme of the episode, Yuujou (Friendship), then making way for the Juniors to be introduced as they sing a medley of songs.

The medley starts off with a mix of Juniors performing WA ni Natte Odorou. Or more specifically the lead members of the older Junior groups of Kis-My-Ft2, A.B.C-Z and Mis Snow Man.

Then it is basically the rest of the prominent Juniors for the next song, with B.I.Shadow, Hip Hop Jump, Kyomoto Taiga's grouping, and Morimoto Shintaro with the smaller Juniors.

The hosts of the episode, Yuto, Arioka Daiki and Yaotome Hikaru then take over with the Juniors behind them to perform a Hey! Say! JUMP song. Though I am pretty sure the group had a better song to tie into friendship than School Kakumei by then. But that then wraps up the opening medley.

The opening talk is with the members of B.I.Shadow as they go over the theme of the episode. Matsumura Hokuto and Nakajima Kento both get to tell short stories about their friends before they need to get ready for the following performance.

BIS then perform Seishun Amigo, which is a song that seems to be a complete no brainer to have for an episode themed friendship. And it is nice to see a BIS performance that is rather even with highlighting all the members instead of the usual heavy focus on Nakaken and Kikuchi Fuma.

There is then a letter exchange segment between Yasui Kentaro and Ishikawa Takuto. Of course Yasui should be a familiar name for those currently following the Juniors but I have no idea about the status of Ishikawa. Yasui brings up the fact that they usually end up being the assistants for teh Junior Coliseum segments of SC. Ishikawa talks about how Yasui is like an older brother.

This is followed by a performance of Marui Chikara by the group of Fresh Juniors of the time. This of course means focus on Juniors like Sato Shori and Matsushima So and Takahashi Fu does get his name on the screen.

Unlike the little Jinguji Yuta who at least does a good job of grabbing some attention by making sure to look at the camera.

The medley continues with a performance by Hip Hop Jump before moving on the finish up with Sanada Yuma and Nozawa Yuki performing with a grouping of Juniors that tend to be stuck just back dancing on the show. In fact even though they do sing they do not get their names on the screen unlike Sanada and Nozawa.

The guest for this episode is Yamashita Tomihisa. He is joined by Totsuka Shota and Kawai Fumito when he is brought out to be introduced and have his talk segment with the hosts. They first bring up Yamapi having a solo concert to tie the A.B.C-Z members in to the talk then they move on to talk about friends. This of course lets Yamapi bring up his friendship with Ikuta Toma.

Yamapi then performs his solo song, Tokyo Sinofonietta, with the Junior dance unit Four U (or however you romanize it) as his back up dancers. Someone was really autotune happy with this song as you rarely hear Yamapi's voice without it. And you would think with that much autotune the performance would have more dance moves for Yamapi to do.

After that it is the Junior Nekkatsu Battle segment, which is a drawing competition with Hikaru as the judge as the other two HSJ members just host. The contestants are Hashimoto Ryosuke, Kikuchi Fuma, Matsumura Hokuto and Kyomoto Taiga. Like all drawing corners like this we get to see some real masterpieces and I would recommend hunting this down, though it is short with only the one round.

The three hosts then sit and talk among themselves about the theme and end up talking about their group and being able to communicate with each other like during concerts like through eye contact.

Finally that ends and we move onto a performance. A.B.C-Z is up and perform their song Bokura no LOVE & PEACE. It is a nice song that builds up its energy which helps get over the lull that was the previous talk segment. The dancing looks really sharp in this performance and it helps showcase the group as one that really places focus on the performance side of things.

There is then a VTR segment that features footage from HSJ's spring concert, most specifically the concert at Yokohama Arena on May 5th. There is just a lot of short clips of the performances but it does show solo perfomances, which not something you can really get much of from this group outside of concerts. You can also see a glimpse of Tamamori Yuta in one of the clips, who was probably there as a guest.

Following this Kis-My-Ft2 is up for a talk segment. Even though it would be easy for the group to cover the episode theme as there are members who are friends instead the conversation is about Tama being a mysterious type. This can be attributed to the push the agency was giving him as the group headed towards debut so he could be placed in the front three with the group's lead singers. Of course the conversation is able to go over the theme of the episode and there is some fun with Miyata pretending to be the jealous sort.

Of course with the theme we cannot get away from Kitayama and Fujigaya performing their duet, No. 1 Friend, but at least the rest of the group join them as it moves into a performance of the group song Smile.

Then it is time to wrap up the episode with the final song performance. The older Juniors with the hosts perform the song Zenbu Dakishimete. And Question? finally get some screen time with this as they start it off and the other Juniors come on stage by group to join them. Really wish we could see more of the interactions between the groups, as it was mostly just with Question? and Ebi. But still a nice way to wind things down for the end of the episode.

That wraps up the episodes for May, where we can see things more or less getting back to usual. The only real difference probably is the lack of a lot of effects for performances on the show, which makes sense as electricity conservation was still something urged at the time.

At this time though the Juniors had some strong performers that gave matching performances so it was not like it was something all that noticeable in the end.

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