The theme for this episode of Maido Jani (まいど ジャーニ~) was “favorite songs”. Given the context, the choices were confined to songs from the Johnny’s agency.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0012012.10.24 Maido Jani 007

The hosts were the two-member version of Kin Kan (Mukai-kun and Kaneuchi-kun) and the regular three-member Naniwa Oji (Nagase-kun, Onishi-kun, and Nishihata-kun), and their first words were about something that made them happy recently.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0022012.10.24 Maido Jani 004

Onishi-kun sort of reminds me of Chinen-kun in the way his responses revolve around his favorite idol, Sato Shori-kun, which parallels Chinen-kun’s Ohno obsession.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0032012.10.24 Maido Jani 0052012.10.24 Maido Jani 006

The male guest was Uenaka Jouya-san (上中 丈弥), the vocalist and lyricist for the rock group “The Inazuma Sentai” (THE イナズマ戦隊 – The Inazuma Sqaudron). I actually thought it’d be hard to figure out how to render his name, but the band popped up in Google without any fuss, and even has a nice website – inazumasentai.com.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0082012.10.24 Maido Jani 0092012.10.24 Maido Jani 010

The female guest was Handa Akari-san (半田あかり), a Kansai comedienne. I think a note at the bottom said that Uenaka-san, Handa-san, Mukai-kun, and Kaneuchi-kun all appear (or appeared) together on “Ahoyanen! Sukiyanen” – a Kansai area broadcast.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0112012.10.24 Maido Jani 012

With everyone seated . . .

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0132012.10.24 Maido Jani 014

. . . it’s quickly clear that Uenaka-san is much more of the center of attention than previous guests were.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0152012.10.24 Maido Jani 016

Thought that’s not to say the others didn’t get a fair share of the camera.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0182012.10.24 Maido Jani 019

Nishihata Daigo-kun got to share his favorite song first, and (hoping that mentioning these doesn’t constitute too much of a spoiler) it was Arashi’s “Wild at Heart”. I thoroughly approve.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0212012.10.24 Maido Jani 022

If you can see in the tiny box in the corner of the next screenshot, the song led the guys to all get up and dance briefly.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 023

The juniors get first crack at commenting about the song . . .

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 024

. . . and following them, Uenaka-san had comments which would probably have been illuminating. After all, it’s not often we get to hear people outside of Johnny’s and its collected fandom discuss Johnny’s songs and groups – especially not other musicians. Arashi’s an easy one for him, though.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0252012.10.24 Maido Jani 0262012.10.24 Maido Jani 027

Nagase Ren-kun picked Yamashita Tomohisa-kun’s “LOVE CHASE”, which is a good choice. I can certainly see where he’s coming from with it.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0282012.10.24 Maido Jani 0292012.10.24 Maido Jani 0302012.10.24 Maido Jani 031

I suppose Onishi-kun’s choice was no surprise at all – it was Sexy Zone’s “Kimi no Tame, Boku ga Iru”, with lyrics written by Sato Shori-kun. Again, a very Chinenesque consistency here, and I hope Onishi-kun stays just as unwavering. There’s something uniquely amusing about it.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0322012.10.24 Maido Jani 0332012.10.24 Maido Jani 0342012.10.24 Maido Jani 0352012.10.24 Maido Jani 036

Mukai-kun went with V6’s “KEEP ON.”, which is an unconventional choice . . .

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 037

. . . to which Mukai-kun dances. I’m guessing he picked the song as a dance number rather than for its melody.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0382012.10.24 Maido Jani 0392012.10.24 Maido Jani 0412012.10.24 Maido Jani 042

Kaneuchi-kun introduced his favorite song with a funny voice, which was fitting because it was Kanjani8’s “Zukkoke Otokomichi”, which is a free-spirited song.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0432012.10.24 Maido Jani 044

And if you were wondering why Kaneuchi-kun went last even though it’d be more natural for the host to be last, it’s of course because the mention of Kanjani8 kicked off a much more extensive discussion of the group’s work.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0452012.10.24 Maido Jani 0462012.10.24 Maido Jani 047

You see, Uenaka-san is present to analyze the appeal of the lyrics to some songs, and while he had Kis-My-Ft2’s “Everybody Go” in there for variety, it was otherwise stacked with three Kanjani8 singles – “Zukkoku Otokomichi”, “It’s My Soul”, and “Musekinin Hero”.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0482012.10.24 Maido Jani 049

Uenaka-san highlights certain lines that are worthy of discussion as the juniors listen.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0502012.10.24 Maido Jani 0512012.10.24 Maido Jani 052

And Handa-san throws in comments to get laughs from the crowd.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 055

It goes on like that for a while, but without a clear sense of what Uenaka-san is saying, I can’t contribute much. Well, except for some more screencaps including the lines he pointed out.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0562012.10.24 Maido Jani 0572012.10.24 Maido Jani 0582012.10.24 Maido Jani 0592012.10.24 Maido Jani 0602012.10.24 Maido Jani 0612012.10.24 Maido Jani 064

I’m not even sure how Nagase-san managed to get a comment in there edgewise. He hasn’t done too much speaking up on this show, so it was nice to see him pipe in.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 065

Seeing a chance to give the others a chance, too, Mukai-kun asked Onishi-kun a question after Nagase-kun finished speaking, and then tossed it to Daigo-kun and Kaneuchi-kun as well.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0672012.10.24 Maido Jani 0682012.10.24 Maido Jani 069

After that, they brought up a Kansai junior song that really gets the fans pumped up . . .

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0702012.10.24 Maido Jani 071

. . . and there was a final note from Uenaka-san.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 072

The performance at the end of the show started with A.B.C-Z’s “Za ABC ~5 stars~”, and might I say that the juniors did an excellent job of it. We really need to see more of this lot in the Kansai Junior segment on Shounen Club.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0752012.10.24 Maido Jani 0762012.10.24 Maido Jani 077

Then all five hosts joined an assortment of juniors to sing “WANNA BEEEE!!!” from Kis-My-Ft2. This included a critical mass of juniors I don’t recognize.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0782012.10.24 Maido Jani 0792012.10.24 Maido Jani 080

Then they did Onishi-kun’s favorite song, Sexy Zone’s “Kimi no Tame, Boku ga Iru”. That brought a thought to my mind – why didn’t they perform three of their favorite songs instead? Okay, I know it’d take some extra practice they might not have had the time for so they went with songs they already had down, but judging from the dancing level we already see, they’d still be a notch above their contemporary Tokyo juniors with just a nominal amount of preparation. And since the songs were their favorites, they’d certainly be motivated.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0812012.10.24 Maido Jani 082

And that’s the song they closed it out with.

2012.10.24 Maido Jani 0832012.10.24 Maido Jani 085

This was a fine episode. The theme was an excellent choice, and clearly Uenaka-san was an appropriate guest, giving expert opinion about lyrics. I’m not sure what Handa-san was doing there, though – her contributions were more often than not silly distractions that I think we could have done without.

There was balance between the four seated boys, but we actually heard very little from Mukai-san this time. He didn’t need to drive the action as much except when he made sure each of the members had a say after Nagase-kun spoke up. That was a very nice move on his part.

It’s going to be really interesting to watch Onishi-kun grow up.

The performance segment was very good, and certainly compares favorably when I picture how the Tokyo juniors would have handled the songs. Still, I’ll be happy to see them work in a wider range of songs as the go along.