The Shounen Club (ザ少年倶楽部) schedule has been a bit less predictable recently, but hopefully it’ll get back to normal starting in October. Anyway, this is the much-anticipated second September episode.

Shounen Club Title

The Hey! Say! Jump hosts for this episode were the same as for the first September episode – Arioka Daiki-kun, Chinen Yuri-kun, and Yaotome Hikaru-kun. Since the theme is “arigatou”, it makes perfect sense that they kicked things off with “Arigatou ~Sekai no Doko ni Itemo~”:

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Their three voices took care of the song quite nicely – surprisingly well, in fact – as they performed a two-minute version of the song. The dance moves were all still there, though only an outline of what they’d do with the whole group present.

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After the opening, they read a letter from Fukushima-ken’s strawberry-san and introduce the theme.

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Then it’s time for the Sexy Zone medley. Sato Shori-kun began it with Arashi’s “Kansha Kangeki Ame Arashi” (感謝カンゲキ雨嵐) with Jinguji Yuta, Kishi Yuta, Takahashi Fuu, et. al. backing him up.

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I couldn’t really hear Shori-kun’s voice distinctly, and remain curious about his singing ability. Next up was Matsushima Sou and Marius Yo with “Kawaii Kimi no Koto da Mono” (カワイイ君のことだもの).

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Considering how upbeat the song is, the two of them seemed to be moving in slow motion. That said, it’s really nice to hear this song again, and it’s really suited to these two. Hopefully they’ll do an improved version some other time.

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Nakajima Kento-kun performed SMAP‘s “Arigatou” next and he, at least was his normal energetic self.

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He was followed by Kikuchi Fuma-kun with one of my favorite KAT-TUN songs – “Yorokobi no Uta” (喜びの歌):

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And he was definitely feeling this song – he was moving around so much it was hard to get any screencaps of him. The rest of SZ joined him on stage to cap off the medley.

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It was refreshing to see SZ perform something other than their singles. Of course, it beats me why they can’t do “If You Wanna Dance” again – they’ve only done so once on Shounen Club, and it was probably their best performance to date. Oh, well, I’ll take this over another rendition of “Lady Diamond” or “Kimi no Tame Boku ga Iru.” Thumbs up on the costumes, too.

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Then the hosts introduced the Bakaleya 6 performance . . .

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. . . which was another KAT-TUN song – “Le ciel ~Kimi no Shiawase Inoru Kotoba~” (Le ciel ~君の幸せ祈る言葉) – with Kyomoto Taiga-kun and Lewis Jesse-kun doing the duet part:

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No need to wonder about their voices – they’re crystal clear. There aren’t any vocal fireworks, though – just basic harmony.

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Tanaka Juri-kun comes in to do the rap part à la his elder brother. I don’t like rap so . . . yeah.

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The rest of Bakaleya 6 take the stage for the rest of the song with some spirited dancing. If anything, they seemed too energetic for the song, which is no problem at all.

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This time for the final pose, they were too out-of-breath to grin and mess around.

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They are so lucky to get those costumes. Anyway, a western invasion takes to the stage, as the most prominent Kansai Juniors perform next.

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I really don’t follow the Kansai side at all, so I don’t have any reference to compare this performance to. The song was pure Kansai cheerleading, and at first I thought they would do a medley, but that was it – just “Let’s Go West . . .”.

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I always like it when performers look like they’re having fun, and they did, but the song itself was boring and repetitive. The fact that they were standing at microphones was also a drawback, since it made the performance very static. They did all they could to move around while standing there, but it was underwhelming.

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Next, A.B.C-Z’s Kawai-kun and Totsuka-kun hosted “Gekkan Ki ni Naru J”:

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The Junior guest was Morimoto Shintaro-kun:

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Unfortunately, he’s not very talkative, giving very brief responses to everything Kawai-kun asked. Thankfully, he has other skills, and performed a back-flip.

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Then we got the introduction of Sexy Boyz (hereafter SB).

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I really, really hope this is temporary, and think the odds of that are good. SB performs their song “Ame Datta” (雨だって).

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The song is a light Broadway-style piece. It’s smoother than “Sexy Summer” – its A-side – but also completely uninteresting musically.

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The performance was a typical junior performance, and in terms of charisma, a number of the juniors did better than Matsushima and Marius – including Kuramoto Kaoru-kun and Jinguji Yuta-kun. Matsushima and Marius are a long way off from being able to front a group.

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After “Ame Datta,” the rest of SZ joined Marius and Sou on stage to perform “Sexy Summer ni Yuki ga Furu.”

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While the singing is fine, the song is still leaves a lot to be desired musically. Since I hadn’t heard it since the last Shounen Club three weeks ago, I had almost convinced myself that it couldn’t have been that bad as I made it seem in the last review. It is.

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A.B.C-Z  joined some of the Kansai Juniors for a rendition of the Four Leaves’ “Kimi ni Kono Uta wo” (君にこの歌を).

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Then A.B.C-Z did “Zutto Love” – this time, with backdancers.

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I have to say, the backdancers did damage to what would otherwise have been a good performance. They just looked so much sloppier than the A.B.C-Z guys, with such an energy deficit . . . maybe they’re just practicing this time so they can do it for real next month?

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Then it was time for the Battle – a Johnny’s song intro quiz!

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The contestants were the five Kansai Juniors, Kawai Fumito-kun, and Nakajima Kento-kun. I’ll leave the result as a surprise, even though it wasn’t much of a surprise to me.

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Then we got a junior medley, starting with Tackey and Tsubasa‘s “Kamira Tamara” (カミラ タマラ), then quickly moving on to “Balance” (バランス). The performers were . . . oh, no – it’s another group without a name. Umm . . . let’s see, there was Yasui Kentaro, Anderson Casey, Takada Sho . . . you know the guys who were backdancing for noon boyz last time, but really should be their own group.

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And sure enough, noon boyz show up for “Fantastipo,” and they’re still in sky blue.

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To make sure the color combination was as annoying as possible, the director decided to light the stage green at the start of “Heartbreak Club” – another KAT-TUN song.

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Well, this team is looking a lot better, and I look forward to the day when they integrate noon boyz with the rest, so everyone can wear the same costumes.

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Next up was Kis-My-Ft2, with the group sneaking reluctantly onto the stage for the interview.

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This was the first sit-down interview of the show, presumably because the game segment created time constraints.

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After Chinen-kun had some trouble wrapping his mouth around the words “Shake It Up” (inserting a w somewhere) . . .

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. . . Kis-My-Ft2 performed “Shake It Up” and “Wanna Beeee!!!”

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The set was sort of comfy looking, and the use of the furniture was a nice variation on the standard Shounen Club performance.

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It’s too bad they didn’t perform “Shake It Up” at length, but since both songs are enjoyable, it wasn’t a big problem.
I hope Kis-My-Ft2 continues to put out songs like this.

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The finale was, as you might expect given the theme of the show, Hey! Say! Jump’s “Thank You ~Bokutachi kara Kimi e~” (Thank You ~僕たちから君へ~).

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In the end, this was an okay episode. The soft spots were the SZ “Ame Datta/Sexy Summer” bit, the Kansai Juniors (I think they were capable of a far more impressive performance than we got) and the “Zutto Love” performance (because of the backdancers).

The Bakaleya 6 performance was very good, but I’m getting used to seeing this from them. I was also disappointed that none of them got to participate in the Intro Quiz battle – in fact, none of the contestants were Kanto juniors.

Comparing this episode directly with the first September episode, this definitely seemed weaker than that one on a performance-by-performance basis, with only the Kis-My-Ft2 number an improvement, so I’ll have to give it a 7 out of 10. Hopefully, we can look forward to something better in October, which is just around the corner.