Tag Archive: Takaki Yuya

VS Arashi 2014.07.17 Review

In this VS Arashi (VS 嵐), the guys waste no time telling us that there is, in fact, a new game! Now, while that’s very exciting, and I’ve been waiting quite a while for this, I have to point out that the previous new game, Popcorn Hitter, went nowhere and the one before that, Shotgun Disk, is only rarely played and generates practically no drama. Meanwhile, a lot of my game-related complaints have to do with existing games that aren’t played enough – like Jumping Shooter and Falling Pipe, which are games that the Arashis can still do poorly in despite being the regulars and which also pit the two teams against each other head-to-head.

The new game is called “GoGo Sweeper”, and from the little view in the corner, it looks like it only involves two people at a time, and if it takes any skill at all, would be relatively easy to develop an optimum strategy for. That’s just a first impression, though, and I’ll give my definitive review of it at the end. Will it be a keeper, or will it end up another Popcorn Hitter?

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Sakurai-san is about to call out the guest team, but Ninomiya-kun wonders if it’s all right – whether they’ll need to put up a mosaic to pixel out (for censorship). That gets the audience’s attention (eh!).

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And yes, it is the Suikyu Yankees team. So, as if the promise of a new game isn’t enough, we get a bright young team making one of the more epic entrances on VS Arashi that I’ve ever seen. Don’t worry, they’re not required to play all the games in their swimsuits.

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So, the Suikyu Yankees team is composed of Hey! Say! Jump’s Nakajima Yuto-kun and Takaki Yuya-kun along with Yamazaki Kento-kun, Ohara Sakurako-san, Oomasa Aya-san, and Kurashina Kana-san. Kurashina-san is the eldest of the bunch at twenty-six. Of course, it’s very nice to see Yuto-kun and Takaki-kun competing against their senpai, and I hope we see some exciting performances in the games.

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Took a bit longer to get it, but the community came through as it so often has, and here we have the second Shounen Club (ザ少年倶楽部) of August. The opening was led by Hashimoto Ryosuke-kun, Jesse-kun, and Matsumura Hokuto-kun in a very odd way – with their back to the audience, facing the upstage camera. While that gives the TV audience a good view of NHK Hall, I don’t approve – it’s bad form to open a stage show with your back to most of the live audience.

They and Noon Boyz kicked things off by singing SMAP‘s “Original Smile”.

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Totsuka-kun, Goseki-kun, Marius-kun, and Matsushima Sou-kun followed by singing “Yuuki 100%” with extensive junior assistance. I like the way the August openings have mixed everyone together instead of keeping the groups discrete – it has a good feel to it.

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The stage is sure getting crowded, though, but that led to some interesting methods in choreography that worked out nicely, I thought.

To round out the opening medley, the remaining members of A.B.C-Z, Shori-kun, and Kikuchi-kun joined the members of Bakaleya4 to sing V6’s “Wa ni natte Odorou” and then Kento-kun did Kinki Kids‘ “Jet Coaster Romance” with the Bad Boys team.

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Going into Shounen Club (ザ少年倶楽部)’s first August episode, there are a few questions on my mind – one for each of the debuted groups that are part of the show. Will Hey! Say! Jump return to their previous duties as the primary hosts of the show? Will Sexy Zone verifiably have five members this time or will it be vague as in the July episodes? And since A.B.C-Z has a new variety show where they also have live performances, will they have less of a role in these episodes, or will they still be dominant as in the July episodes?

As usual, I’m also wondering what we’ll see from the juniors, but that’s the big question mark and drama of every Shounen Club.

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To my surprise, I got one answer delivered in convincing fashion right away – the show opened with just the five members of SZ on stage. I’ll take it.

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Unfortunately, they were performing “Sexy Summer ni Yuki ga Furu”, the song from them that I like least. On top of that, Shori-kun’s attempt to sing the opening bars was . . . unconvincing. Hopefully we’ll get better from him later.

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SZ gave way to A.B.C-Z singing “Walking on Clouds”, which actually works quite well following “Sexy Summer” – it’s as if the songs were written as a pair.

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Shounen Club (ザ少年倶楽部) is a music variety show hosted by Japanese idol group Hey! Say! Jump that showcases the song-and-dance skills of the Johnny’s Entertainment agency’s most recently debuted groups – A.B.C-Z and Sexy Zone – as well as the agency’s trainees (known as juniors).

This episode started with “Ame no Melody” from Kinki Kids. Bakaleya 4 (that is, the Bakaleya team without Jesse-kun and Matsumura Hokuto-kun) took the stage with noon boyz first, in what continues to be introduced as one of two new six-member groupings. They were soon followed by the other new team – the Bad Boys with Iwamoto Hikaru, Fukusawa Tatsuya, Yasui Kentaro, Hagiya Keigo, Morohoshi Shoki, and Morita Myuto.

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Jesse-kun and Hokuto-kun took the stage as a pair to close out that song, with some of the Elder Juniors including Masuda Ryo-kun supporting.

Then A.B.C-Z took over, singing “InaZuma Venus”. This singing could easily be used as the theme song for something – it sounds fit for an anime, actually.

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We get the three-person Sexy Zone again this time, but apparently Marius-kun and Matsushima-kun will be rejoining the group next month, so fans can breathe a sigh of relief. But if you’re interested in this group, please be vigilant for the sake of the kids.

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This Shounen Club (ザ少年倶楽部) has a lot of questions to answer. There are two much-anticipated songs: Hey! Say! Jump’s “Come On A My House” (which may be a single, or may not) and Sexy Zone’s “Bad Boys” (which definitely will be on a single). How will those songs play on the Shounen Club stage? There’s also the general format of the show, which undertook a radical change last week after years of pretty much the same system. Will it have better flow this time? And finally, what about the Twenty-Twenty thing? Will what this episode reveals clear up concerns about the new group, or heighten them?

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With all of that to deal with plus the slightly depressing new opening sequence, we might need a bit of courage to get through this. So, it’s totally appropriate that they started with “Yuuki 100%” (勇気 100% – Courage 100%).

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The main performers were SZ’s Sato Shori-kun, Matsushima Sou-kun, and Marius Yo-kun, but there were plenty of mid-to-younger juniors who got their time front and center, too.

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Hey! Say! Jump’s Yamada Ryosuke-kun and Chinen Yuri-kun joined in at the end. With Arioka Daiki-kun, they’re the three primary hosts for this episode, though the members of A.B.C-Z will doubtless play a large part as they did in the last episode. The theme for this episode is radiance/shine (輝き – kagayaki).

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