Posts Tagged ‘Iwamoto Hikaru’
I somehow managed to get “Paraiso” stuck in my head from the previous episode of Gamushara J’s Party!! (ガムシャラ J’s Party!!), so will the second part of the summer festival provide me with a new accidental soundtrack?
At the very beginning of this episode, they have the announcement of which team won the competition (the double dutch team). They then proceed with a Sexy Zone medley to start the latter half of the concert. The two members of SZ – Marius Yo-kun and Matsushima Sou-kun perform a straightforward singles medley (literally going through each of their singles in order) with assorted juniors.
When I say assorted, I mean it – I don’t know the names of most of the kids in red.
As for the performance, it was really nothing new, though I guess it’s nice to see that Marius-kun and Sou-kun can handle all the songs with a little bit of help from their junior friends.
Okay, so this month’s episodes of Gamushara J’s Party!! (ガムシャラ J’s Party!!) are that thing they’ve been building up to all summer in Gamushara – the Summer Festival. It’s going to be a very different pair of J’s Party episodes than we’ve been getting the past few months because there will be at least twenty juniors involved rather than the usual ten – the sort of breadth that I’ve been pushing for. At first glance, this should be exactly what I’ve wanted to see on this show.
It all begins with an extended look at how everything started in February and some of the challenge highlights along the way . . .
. . . and then a clip of the Natsu Matsuri announcement . . .
. . . and finally an explanation of the four teams and their challenges. Altogether, that intro VTR took almost four minutes – not the best possible start to a show (it’s always better to get directly into the action and save the exposition for a little further in).
We finally got to the main event with Marius Yo-kun of Sexy Zone doing a squeaky introduction in English and Japanese. He and fellow SZ member Matsushima Sou-kun were the only two debuted Johnny’s members present.
Other than the twenty juniors participating in the challenges, there were also a lot of chibi juniors present dressed in white costumes. The opening song was a theme written specifically for the show – “Gamusharara” – and it was performed by the two SZ members, Iwahashi Genki, Jinguji Yuta, Matsumura Kaito, and Matsuda Genta. They weren’t the only ones singing, though – the white-clad juniors were also miked up, so no chance to assess vocals on this one.
After spending about two months having four teams battle it out by taking on different challenges, Gamushara (ガムシャラ) decided to take the time for a debriefing episode led by Yasui Kentaro-kun.
Actually, it’s more of a deleted scenes episode, as we get to see some stuff that they didn’t include while telling us the story of the challenges the first time around. Probably most of this stuff should have just been included in the first place, but at least we get to see it now.
First, the team leaders each offered some thoughts.
But I don’t think they got thirty seconds before the annoying announcer took over to narrate the video clips we missed.
The breakdance team was covered first and we got more focus on the windmill move which they seemed so unprepared for.
This episode of Gamushara (ガムシャラ) follows the August 10th one more or less directly, and I recommend watching both together. In fact, there are multiple versions of the events depicted being mixed-and-matched, as in the August 16th special and also the September J’s Partys. The one thing the August 16th special lacked that this episode has, though, was the final result – which team won.
We begin with the formidable double dutch team – Matsumura Hokuto, Morohoshi Shoki, Morimoto Shintaro, Tanaka Juri, and Kyomoto Taiga. Unlike some of the other teams, this team went into the challenge with some basic skills in this area, and early on I thought that the main thing they had to learn was how to turn the ropes.
I’m sure they will show us some tremendous skills, but editing has so far hidden most of their attempts to practice those. In the interest of surprise, the editor has made this team’s segments one of the most difficult to appreciate. They focused a long time on the speed-step, and only in this episode do we get to see what they were really up to. We first see then three days before the big day.
And I think they are the only group who we are told (by the commentator) did their entire run perfectly during practice.
If you’ve watched and enjoyed any of the Gamushara (ガムシャラ) episodes in the past month or so, you’ll probably want to tune in to this one and the next one, because we finally get to see the results of all the effort the juniors have been putting in during that time.
It is all in the auspices of the Gamushara Summer Festival, which also got its own special on August 16th. I’m not going to review that special, though, because we will be seeing most of the action in these regular Gamushara episodes anyway.
This episode covers the breakdancing team (Iwahashi Genki, Takahashi Fuu, Takahashi Kaito, Matsuda Genta, and Hayashi Ren) and the basketball trick team (Jesse, Hanzawa Akatsuki, Masuda Ryo, Fukusawa Tatsuya, and Iwamoto Hikaru), while the August 17th installment will deal with the other two groups.
We start with the breakdancing guys, and find out that Iwahashi-kun has been nursing a fever (if you recall the previous episode, Matsukura Kaito was also ill, so apparently something was going around). As a result, he wasn’t able to attend the practice two days before the main event. The staff noted that his temperature was at 39.5 degrees Celsius – 103 Fahrenheit.
The team rallies in the absence of their leader.
This is the last episode of practice for the four teams in Gamushara (ガムシャラ), and then we’ll see the product of their work in the following two episodes. With the special tasks over with and having spent five weeks on these challenges already, is there really enough new material to fill this episode or will it feel like more of the same?
Flipping the original order, we see what’s going on with the double-dutch team first. When we last left them, they were improving on the speed steep and Tanaka Juri-kun was having trouble. The focus is still on Tanaka-kun as we pick up their story in this episode.
Not much to say about this. What kind of commentary can I deliver in response to Shintaro-kun saying that his team wants to win? It’s a stock phrase that everyone always uses in variety shows when they have nothing better to say.
Morohoshi-kun informs us that everyone is trying their best. Another stock statement. I don’t blame them – everyone does it – it just doesn’t give me much to write about.
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).
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.
They’re still missing Totsuka Shota-kun, by the way.
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!”
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).