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.

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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.

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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.

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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 –

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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.

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With everyone seated . . .

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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. . . 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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.