Tag Archive: Morita Myuto


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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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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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 main fascination with the show, at least for me, is to try to figure out which of the juniors will emerge as the next generation of stars. This episode opens with some prime candidates handling the intro, as Jinguji Yuta, Iwahashi Genki, Abe Aran, and Kishi Yuta led a cadre of other juniors in SMAP’s “Bang! Bang! Vacance”.

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They made way for the elder juniors, who continued the song. While the four listed above seem to be in a stable grouping (except that they’re missing Miyachika Kaito), the elder juniors have no such luck, and every time I turn around, they’re in a totally different arrangement.

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For the final phase of the song, Sato Shori, Nakajima Kento, and Kikuchi Fuma of Sexy Zone as well as the entirety of Johnny’s WEST and A.B.C-Z (except Totsuka Shota) joined the rest on a very crowded stage. Fair enough, though, since I typically like this type of all-in one-song opening for Shounen Club. It feels right to have the whole cast out front to kick things off.

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We saw a lot of familiar performances in the first July episode of Gamushara J’s Party!! (ガムシャラ J’s Party!!), but perhaps that means we’ll get more new stuff in this edition. Let’s find out.

Once again, the participants were Jesse, Morita Myuto, Nozawa Yuki, Morohoshi Shoki, Kyomoto Taiga, Kouchi Yugo, Tanaka Juri, Morimoto Shintaro, Haniuda Amu, Nagata Jiei, and Matsumura Hokuto, and we got the same Shiritsu Bakaleya Koukou-inspired opening as last time.

The first song was “Darkness” with Morohoshi, Juri, Myuto, Kouchi, Taiga, and Shintaro on stage. Well, I sure haven’t seem them do this one before, and while it’s not a traditional opening song, it was a very good choice to get viewers interested.

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I’m thrown off by the random combinations of juniors, as the agency insists on not even hinting at stable groupings. While I liked the fact that this was something new, I didn’t sense the group cohesion here that we saw with the former Bakaleya members in the previous episode. That’s probably because they haven’t performed this song together as much, and so are more focused on the moves than the mood.

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The next performance was something totally new – “Love yourself” with Haniuda Amu-kun and Nagata Jiei-kun. I thought these two would only get to backdance, but here they are with their own stage.

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But again, while I appreciate the freshness, which is what I entered this episode looking for, I didn’t like the fact that the backing track totally drowned out their voices. If they can’t sing, they can’t be the only ones on stage – find a junior who can sing to put them together with. “Love yourself” is not a difficult song.

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This episode of Gamushara J’s Party!! (ガムシャラ J’s Party!!) started with a long opening as usual, but with strange credits this time – they were apparently trying to imitate Shiritsu Bakaleya Koukou based on the background music, but having the names of the juniors on black background instead of directly on their images was unhelpful and choppy.

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The Dramatis Personae this time were Jesse, Morita Myuto, Nozawa Yuki, Morohoshi Shoki, Kyomoto Taiga, Kouchi Yugo, Tanaka Juri, Morimoto Shintaro, Haniuda Amu, Nagata Jiei, and Matsumura Hokuto. So, pretty much the usual number of participants. I’m having trouble separating who has appeared in Gamushara versus who has performed in J’s Party, but I think the newbies in this one are Kyomoto Taiga-kun, Kouchi Yugo-kun, and Nagata Jiei-kun (who is in because of the pole dancing challenge).

Just in case the opening credits were inadequate, they took the liberty of identifying everyone during the opening. Each performer got to greet the audience during the Overture. Interesting to note that the poles for that challenge were already up, and presumably had to be there for the entire concert.

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Haniuda-kun and Nagata-kun were not on stage for the opening and the first song – “Luv Sick” – but everyone else was present.

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