01 December 2015

The Shounen Club 03 June 2011 review

No your eyes do not deceive you, this is another Shounen Club episode review. I confess I fell behind with watching the program regularly when new episodes came out as well as dropping off with doing reviews for these earlier episodes. But with SixTONES becoming more of a regular feature in the program I have started back up and figured I should probably see about doing at least a couple more reviews before the end of the year. I am still hoping to at least review an episode a month, but I cannot make promises.

Onto the actual review now. The episode opens up with Morimoto Shintaro and B.I.Shadow leading a performance of the SMAP song Original Smile. We get to see the main Junior groups and groupings but the focus remains on Shintaro and BIS for most of it.

That is until the big name groups come out, which is all ten members of Hey! Say! JUMP, A.B.C-Z and Kis-My-Ft2. Or basically all the groups that were already debuted or debuted soon after.

It is odd now to look back and see HSJ with its original line up as now that it has been over four years it has been plenty of time to get used to them being only nine members. But Morimoto Ryutaro's scandal is just around the corner and I think this month is the final time he can be seen on the program.

HSJ are the hosts for the episode and they introduce the theme which is Warai (smile, laughter).

This is directly followed by the theme medley that features mostly the Juniors but some HSJ too. Like Chinen Yuri, Yamada Ryosuke and Arioka Daiki starting off performing Smile Song.

Most of the Junior performances are with mixed groups which is nice as that is something that makes the performances stand out a bit more. And for those on watch for little Juniors on their way to debut Sato Shori and Matsushima So get some good screen time during the medley.

The medley ends with a performance of the Morimoto brothers, Shintaro and Ryutaro, for what I am sure is the final time they are seen performing together on the program. According to the screen the song they perform is Maby Your Love. I somehow don't think that is quite right though.

Daiki, Yamada and Yabu Kota are the MCs for the first talk segment where they talk to various Juniors about times that made them smile. The Juniors they talked to are, Tanaka Juri, Kikuchi Fuma, Kawai Fumito and Matsushima So. Fuma talks about how Miyata Toshiya trying to look cool made him laugh, Juri had a story about his dog, So talked about the first concert he back danced for, and then Kawai had a story about talking to some fans who when asked who the liked answered with "Yamada".

B,I. Shadow then do a medley of songs, or basically the few group songs that they had. It was nice to see all four of them on stage from the start instead of it just starting with Nakajima Kento and Fuma with the other two coming in near the end.

It is then time for another talk segment and it is HSJ up this time. Inoo Kei gets to tell a story about Takaki Yuya and how child-like his excitement was. Then then go over a part of their new song, OVER, to explain it a bit for how the word is used in things like radio communication.

The group then performs the song. This will be the A-side to their final single as 10 as Ryutaro's scandal hit right before the release date. I rather like the song and it felt that HSJ was finally on their way to creating a more mature image for themselves. Who knew they would get stuck in this phase between cutesy and mature for so long?

After the performance is the Junior Nekketsu Battle, that HSJ members judge the four participating Juniors, Senga Kento, Goseki Koichi, Nakaken and Kawai. They all have to act out scenarios, most of them romatic but a few cover other topics, like Goseki having to act out a scene involving him being mistaken for another idol on the street.

After that wraps up A.B.C-Z perform a medley of their group songs. The medley actually only consists of two songs and the second one gives Question? some focus with them. But both are high energy songs that fit Ebi's style perfectly.

This is followed by a Junior ni Q segment where Juniors are asked to show off something that they have kept secret. Some of the answers to note is that Kochi Yugo talks about a story involving Matsumura Hokuto during a concert noting that the latter's fly was open as they were performing on stage.

That segment is followed by the Junior Youbin segment that has Nakaken, Yugo and Kawai reading fan letters. They start off with one that asks to learn more about Hagiya Keigo so he is brought out with a board of information to go over.

And that is all they have the time for as the segment ends you can see the audience getting up from their seats in preparation for the next performance. From the rise in volume from the cheers it is not surprising to see that Kis-My-Ft2 is up and they perform their group song Smile. The has Yokoo Wataru on the guitar and being a slow tempo song not a lot of movement in general for the performance.

It is not the final song of the episode as directly after it HSJ with a bunch of little Juniors come on stage to perform Bouken Rider.It is a remixed version of the song with more classicaly instruments used  and honestly i would have loved to have had this version find a way onto a CD. I doubt it will ever happen though.

With this and the next episode the shadow of HSJ losing a member looms. Especially with this episode where Ryutaro gets the chance to be highlighted a bit with his performance with his brother.

Getting past that it is an enjoyable episode of the program. There feels to be a good balance between HSJ and the Juniors. It's easy to tell which Juniors are the highest in the pecking order, Kisumai at the top but seeing as they are not long before their debut but Ebi and BIS not too far behind.