Tag Archive: Hirano Sho


Shounen Club 2014.09.10 Review

Shounen Club (ザ少年倶楽部) is a music variety show hosted by Kawai Fumito of A.B.C-Z and Kiriyama Akito of Johnny’s West that showcases the song-and-dance skills of the Johnny’s Entertainment agency’s most recently debuted groups – A.B.C-Z, Sexy Zone, and Johnny’s West – as well as the agency’s trainees (known as juniors).

The second episode for September begins with A.B.C-Z introducing the theme of the show – 15th anniversary year again, even though I still have no idea how they figure that – and then performing “Legend Story”. Hashimoto-kun’s opening wasn’t quite as striking as before – more muted this time.

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Maybe it’s because it’s at the start of the show, but it seemed lacking in energy and not as sharp as the previous time I saw this performed.

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So, I’d call that an iffy opening. The song itself could probably work if it was done with some over-the-top exuberance, but they were restrained on it this time.

Moving along, Kawai-kun and Kiriyama-kun introduced the first performers – Hirano Sho, Nagase Ren, and Takahashi Kaito. This is a bit unusual since we’ve normally had one of the other debuted groups out to do the talk at this point even when a junior group was preparing to perform.

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Shounen Club 2014.09.03 Review

I have a growing list of Shounen Club (ザ少年倶楽部) pet-peeves, and at the top of that list is the way all the elder juniors – the reasonably popular juniors who are above eighteen years of age – are often lumped together into one big mega-group for performances even though this doesn’t do justice to their talents. And at the start of the first Shounen Club of September, here’s the same sort of thing:

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It’s not quite all of them singing “Anniversary” by KinKi Kids, but it’s enough that it’s a jumble – especially since they’re all wearing white. Aside from Jesse, Nozawa Yuki, Sanada Yuma, Masuda Ryo, and Hanzawa Akatsuki, I did notice that we got a sudden influx of SnowMen. The members of that group don’t get much SC attention – not in a featured role like this – so that was a positive.

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Pretty soon, A.B.C-Z, Johnny’s West, Nakajima Kento, Kikuchi Fuma, and Sato Shori took the stage, and things got really cluttered, but I like the whole-cast opening in general.

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The second Shounen Club (ザ少年倶楽部) for August began with the three elder members of Sexy Zone singing “Sexy Summer ni Yuki ga Furu”. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you already know how I feel about this song. If you haven’t: I hate it. I still consider it a mess of randomly assembled musical phrases and sound effects rather than a proper composition. The dance is weak, too (lots of arm-waving, very little leg work).

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Thankfully, they didn’t spend much time singing it, as A.B.C-Z quickly took the stage for a verse or two of “Walking on Clouds” Not the best A.B.C-Z song by a long shot, but certainly an improvement on “Sexy Summer” – especially thanks to Hashimoto-kun’s singing.

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They’re still missing Totsuka Shota-kun, by the way.

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The pattern for this opening is obvious – each of the debuted groups get to do a teensy bit of a song – so I wasn’t surprised to see Johnny’s West take the stage next for “Banzai Yume Mansai!”

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It’s not my kind of song and for some reason always reminds me of an AKB song, but they had the most sophisticated choreography of the three groups.

I don’t like opening medleys in general, but at least this one eventually got the audience pumped up.

Hosts Kawai Fumito-kun and Kiriyama Akito-kun talked to the members of Johnny’s West, and Daiki Shigeoka-kun got to introduce the theme of the show: Summer. Let’s see how many summer songs they actually do (I’m not going to count “Sexy Summer” since it can’t decide what season it’s in, has Christmas themes throughout it, and they wore Santa costumes when initially promoting it).

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SHARK 2 Ep 11-12 Review

Note: this was a double episode, and is alternately referred to as Ep 11 as well as Ep 11 and 12.

So this is it – the last hour of SHARK Season 2. Right at the end of the previous episode and going into the beginning of this one, we get the ridiculous setup for the climactic battle between BtS and Cloud5 – that the two bands will face-off in front of fans again, and if Cloud5 loses, they’ll have to disband.

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Now, even the most gullible viewer would have to scratch their heads at this. How can a record company force a band to disband? Even if the band is under contract, nothing in that contract could ever allow the company to compel the members to disassociate. At the most extreme (and I can’t think of a case of this) the group might have to change its name, but it’s relatively common for bands to switch labels. There are some peculiar situations – like Johnny’s – where everything is vertically integrated, but that’s not how it works when a label signs an independent rock group. The group retains certain rights – like the right to exist and to freely assemble.

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Apparently, Matsuyuki wants to produce just one new group, and the company is willing to lose the potential profits from Cloud5 on his whim. First of all, what a lazy bum, not to mention a liar. But in any case the situation then should be that Cloud5 simply gets dropped from the company roster and becomes an independent band. I wonder if any other record company might want to take a chance on a popular young group that was just dumped by a label because their producer was an asshole?

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And at what point do the members of Cloud5 all walk into Matsuyuki’s office and tell him to shove it? If, after having been manipulated as they have been, they are just going to be thrilled to be under Matsuyuki’s umbrella again, what sympathy do they deserve?

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SHARK 2 Ep 10 Review

There is one unmistakable fact in SHARK Season 2 – Matsuyuki (Toyohara Kosuke) absolutely hates Cloud5 and takes extreme delight in bringing them down. Sure, he claims that the struggle will be for their good, but I wouldn’t trust a doctor who grins so malevolently when giving me an injection, nor a surgeon who talked excitedly about the need for surgery.

Of course, Matsuyuki isn’t the only frustrating character in this series. Kota (Yasui Kentaro) and Makoto (Kaede) are another two. Get ready for a lot more sneering and snide remarks from Kota and nonsensical remarks from Makoto.

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Can you believe that Makoto actually tried to get Kota to come back by tapping into his concern about the pet fish, even though she knows that the original fish died because of her lack of care and the current one is a sneaky replacement? Got to hand it to her, she’s got some nerve.

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Despite giving us the impression that Saku (Shigeoka Daiki) had rallied the band together at the end of the previous episode, Aruto (Abe Aran) is still non-cooperative and afraid to perform because he feels he can’t compete with Asahi (Iwahashi Genki). Why the other members don’t immediately sense this, I have no idea.

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