Wanting to get past the blowdart episodes in Johnnys’ Jr. Land, I’ll risk reviewing too many JJL episodes in quick succession, and offer a look at this June 10th episode.
We’ve already seen the blue team (Miyachika Kaito, Nakamura Reia, and Akiba Ryusei) and pink team (Kajiyama Asahi, Abe Aran, and Yoshizawa Shizuya) do plenty with the darts, so I continue to be disappointed that we’re going to get another episode of this.
Putting that aside, though, the reason we’re getting another episode of it is because they didn’t really finish in the previous episode. We also get a special round at the end.
In the main competition, each person gets two rounds, and ultimately, it’s just a matter of tallying up all the points at the end to figure out the winning team. Three players didn’t get to do their second tries in the previous episode, so that’s what we start with here.
The pink team dominated last time, so the question is whether the blue team can step it up to stage a comeback win.
In the end, their instructor gives her assessment of their performance . . .
. . . and Abe Aran-kun faced a special challenge – the shodan test (basically, the black belt test) – because he had the best result in the competition.
So basically, Abe-kun is potentially a future ninja if he can pass the test.
After they wrap things up in the blowdart range . . .
. . . it’s time for Debate Island, where Kawasaki Shota, Chida Kyohei, Akiba Ryusei, Takahashi Saneyasu, Matsukura Kaito, and Yamashita Kazunari discussed how to reconcile with a friend after a fight or disagreement.
I’m still unable to translate stuff like this, but I can give some impressions. Akiba-kun started things off by talking about the spirit in which the approach is made. Chida-kun brought up Kinpachi-sensei.
Mogi-san made sure everyone got a chance to air their thoughts individually, and the members who most often piped in on their own were Matsukura-kun and Akiba-kun.
The flow was fairly good . . .
. . . and they concluded with some concrete suggestions:
The Jr. Dream Live featured the usual selection of juniors – Kishi, Jinguji, Takahashi Fuu, Haniuda, Kuramoto, Tanimura, Reia and others – performing “Boku no Senaka ni wa Hane ga Aru”, “Misty”, “Kibou ~Yell~”, and “LOVE Together”.
Though there were a lot of juniors, they all managed to get some camera attention. Otherwise, it was a solid but fairly generic medley. I couldn’t get as many screencaps as I would have liked this time because of an issue between the file format and my method for capturing them.
They moved on to the Junilan Pressure Press Club next, and the featured junior was Akiba Ryusei-kun.
I’m surprised he’s no longer in Johnny’s, because he’s really good at this stuff. It sounds like he was inspired to get into Johnny’s from a KAT-TUN concert, though I’m not clear on that. The senpai he admires is Yamapi.
Some of his answers are very much like a famous person might give to reporters. For instance, when Miyachika-kun asks what dream he’s had recently, he says he had a dream where he was walking with Miyachika-kun.
One of his strong points was English (!) and his pronunciation and stresses in a brief self-introduction were very good.
In every case, he answered the questions very quickly – he doesn’t have much trouble putting his thoughts into words.
Well, there was one exception – he had a dramatic delay when answering the question about a junior secret.
Even though we’ve already had plenty of stuff going on in this episode, it isn’t over. The show concludes with a Jr. World Dancer update, where the juniors continue to learn the intricacies of Irish tap dancing.
Despite some frustrations, we see a lot of improvement here. I’m still wondering what they’re going to do with these skills, though, since we sure don’t see them put it to use on Shounen Club.
Thanks to the fact that there were five different segments, this felt like a very quick episode with a lot going on.
While I didn’t think the blowdart challenge needed an extra day, I was happy to see Abe-kun getting that attempt at the shodan test. The Debate Island segment was probably the slowest part of the show, but at least the topic made sense this time. The Dream Live was standard stuff – not great, but not bad. Pressure Press Club and World Dancer were the stronger segments of the show.
This was definitely a step up from the previous episode, so I’ll give it a 9 out of 10, though it was borderline. While there was a lot going on, none of it was spectacular, and I’m hoping for a more compelling challenge in the next episode.