Tag Archive: Yaotome Hikaru

VS Arashi 2014.04.17 Review

The Arashi members started off talking about the guests right away in this episode of VS Arashi (VS 嵐). The guest team this time is a prefecture team from Miyagi, but the key is a deep rivalry between Aiba-kun and one of the guest team’s members. By the way, Hanyu Yuzuru-kun got another mention from Arashi in this episode (he’s from Miyagi) – I’m still waiting for him to show up on an Arashi show at some point.

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No Hanyu on the Miyagi team this time, but it was still an illustrious pack.

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The leader of the Miyagi team was rocker Ohtomo Kouhei-san (大友康平), and alongside him were the comedy duo Sandwich Man (Date Mikio-san and Tomizawa Takeshi-san), Miss Universe Japan Hara Ayako-san (原綾子), lovable loser Kanou Eiko-san, and Yaotome Hikaru-kun of Hey! Say! Jump.

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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).

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Juniors Matsumura Hokuto-kun and Jesse-kun kicked off this episode, starting the performance of Kis-My-Ft2’s “Everybody Go” . . .

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. . . before stepping aside for KMF2’s own Kitayama Hiromitsu-kun. The backdancers were the Elder Juniors, noon boyz, and the Bakaleya juniors.

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There’s a lot of flux in the Johnny’s agency these days – especially with regard to its young talent. To get a sense of what’s going on with the next generation of Japanese male idols, we naturally turn to Shounen Club (ザ少年倶楽部). Will this May Day episode give us a clearer sense of where things are headed, or just raise more questions?

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The show begins with Sexy Zone’s Sato Shori-kun, Nakajima Kento-kun, and Kikuchi Fuma-kun taking center stage amidst a sea of pink-clad juniors. They performed their new single “Real Sexy” wearing the outfits I’m going to henceforth refer to as the space prince costumes.

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The SZ performance was the only song for the opening, which is fair enough since the air date was the single’s release date. But I thought “Bad Boys” was the song these three did without Marius-kun and Sou-kun – why aren’t the younger two on stage for this at all, when it’s part of the single’s promo effort? At the very least they should be dressed in pink with the juniors, but they aren’t present at all.

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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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Shounen Club (ザ少年倶楽部) is hosted by Japanese idol group Hey! Say! Jump and 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).

For the new season, Shounen Club has a new opening:

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I don’t know whether that’s going to be permanent, but at the risk of seeming resistant to change, I have a few objections. The opening we’ve had for years can boast one definite benefit – it puts us right at the start of the action, and the first sound we hear is the audience cheering. It’s hard to come up with a more positive or energized way of opening a show than with screams of delight from a crowd. This opening replaces that with tacky computer graphics (apparently done on a system no less than ten years old) and opening “music” by someone named Kenta Harada which, unlike the old method, doesn’t blend into the music of the first song. So . . . it’s just twenty wasted seconds, right?

The real show starts with hosts Arioka Daiki-kun, Nakajima Yuto-kun and Takaki Yuya-kun performing HSJ’s “Arigatou ~Sekai no Doko ni Itemo~”. The little nametags have gotten a graphics upgrade, but still no furigana or romaji so that we have an idea about how to read the names.

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We did get to hear all three of the performers’ voices clearly for a bit – a little spot-check on how their vocal aptitude is progressing. I haven’t heard Takaki-kun in a while, and he sounded a bit nervous/strained.

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HSJ’s Inoo, Yabu, Hikaru, and Keito then took the stage to do “Magic Power”. Looks like the hosts have been tasked to start the new season off right.

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