Posts Tagged ‘Kouchi Yugo’
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Haniuda-kun and Nagata-kun were not on stage for the opening and the first song – “Luv Sick” – but everyone else was present.
Shounen Club (ザ少年倶楽部) is a music variety show hosted 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 show begins with A.B.C-Z performing their debut song “Za ABC ~5stars~”. There are a lot of juniors in the background and many of them even have microphones, but I’m pretty sure A.B.C-Z can do this song without their help. The stage was way too crowded for me at the very start.
Thankfully, they started doing some specific introductions, beginning with Takahashi Kaito-kun, Nakamura Reia-kun, and Takahashi Fuu-kun. Hmm . . . I was sort of hoping they’d skip surrounding Kaito-kun with skateboards and the like, but it looks like they’ve replaced the rollerskates with head-spinning, and Kaito-kun continues to look a bit slow by comparison. Worse, it’s inconvenient to have two Takahashis in the same trio, isn’t it?
Miyachika Kaito, Abe Aran, Haniuda Amu, and Tajima Shogo also got individual intros. This is sort of strange, though. I was thinking that this would be one of those things where they’d go through all the juniors on stage, but instead they stopped at those seven. I mean, they didn’t even do Jinguji, Iwahashi, and Kishi, even though the other two members of the group were named. Do you suppose some of it was cut out?
In the first Gamushara J’s Party!! (ガムシャラ J’s Party!!) of June, I was surprised by how Yasui Kentaro-kun didn’t get to do a performance despite the fact that he was in the spray art challenge. Well, they made up for that by starting off with him this time (when I say start with, I mean after the two minute opening that they force us to sit through before the show really starts).
Yasui-kun starts the show singing “Kizuna”, and unlike the second episodes in previous months, this didn’t feel as much like it was starting in the middle of nowhere. That said, they could have just been lucky to have performance ot open with – I’m still not convinced that when they record the live J’s Party events, they have the need to edit them into episodes in mind.
Anyway, Yasui-kun was great, of course. The twenty-two year old (going on twenty-three in a month) followed “Kizuna” with “Take Over”, and while he’s engaging on his own, I still hope that they find an appropriate and stable group to put around him soon. His voice is on the thin side, and could do with support.
Speaking of voices, Masuda Ryo, Jesse, and Hanzawa Akatsuki joined Yasui-kun on stage to perform “Suna no Glass”. No problems with this combination, of course – even in off-stage activities it’s pretty easy to see how they could work together in variety shows and such, since their personalities are different.
Trying to catch up with the activities of juniors on Gamushara (ガムシャラ), I’m pleased to see some new faces in the mix for the main challenge this time:
The newcomers are Kouchi Yugo, Matsukura Kaito, and Kajiyama Asahi, and they join Morita Myuto, Jesse, Jinguji Yuta, Takahashi Fuu, and Kishi Yuta in a whole lot of eating. Well, not quite – you know how much I hate eating shows – but this promises to be a bit more interesting. As you can see on the left in the screencap below, they’ll be taking on the chilliest food in the neighborhood – a street that is apparently known for this sort of cuisine.
The question is, which team will consume less water when faced with the flaming hot food? The teams were divided as follows:
The blue team was the Kishi Team, and the red team was the Jesse Team, and they were each given a two liter pot of water that they could drink from. The remaining water volume would be measured at the end. I have to admit, this aspect of the challenge was genius (and I’m sure done in other shows before).
It’s May and things are heating up. Shounen Club (ザ少年倶楽部) has a lot of competition for attention this spring, with Gamushara and J’s Party giving the juniors the room they need, Maido Jani still giving the Kansai guys a good venue, Sexy Zone Channel really showing what SZ has to offer (not to mention all their other TV appearances), and even though I only get to watch it inconsistently these days, ABChanZoo still features the A.B.C-Z guys doing their thing. But this is still the only place where they all get together so . . . maybe this show can capitalize on that unique side?
First up, Iwahashi Genki, Jinguji Yuta, Miyachika Kaito, Kishi Yuta, and Abe Aran lead the juniors in a performance of NEWS’ “weeeek”.
We got the first bit of English I think I’ve heard from Genki-kun and he didn’t do a bad job of it (he said “let’s enjoy this song” and I could understand it – my threshold for whether English is being spoken well or not). I know Genki-kun is enthusiastic about learning English, and I think he’s been a bit more cautious about throwing it out there as a result.
I think I also have to make a note about Abe Aran-kun’s blonde hair (for his role in SHARK 2) here. I don’t normally comment about hair, and tend to prefer them to keep it black unless they’re going to pick a really shocking color, but I have to admit that blonde really, really suits Aran-kun.
He’s really caught my attention in SHARK 2 as well (still trying to understand enough of the dialogue to write reviews on it).
Anyway, personnel notes aside, “weeeek” is always a good song, and it looks like they’ve decided to give some old NEWS costumes to the Fab Five (as I guess they now are). I don’t normally recognize costumes, but I remember these – especially Tegoshi-kun’s pink jacket – vividly from the opening of the NEWS Pacific Concert DVD – the very first Johnny’s DVD I saw, I think. And what a great intro to Johnny’s that was!
Ahem, it seems to be my day for digressions. Everyone else among the juniors managed to get some camera time during the song – it’s a great song for this sort of distributed attention.