TV Pia No. 591
Dated : 16th of March 2011
Since 2006, Keiichiro Koyama and Yuichi Nakamaru have hosted NHK's “ザ 少年倶楽部 (The Shonen Club)” for the past five years. But as of the show's 10th anniversary special on March 10, the two will graduate from their posts. We caught up with them after their shoot to talk about their junior days, memories, and what makes the show special.
Q: How do you feel having finished your last shoot?
Koyama: Like it’s really finished now.
Koyama: It really hit me!
Nakamaru: Yeah, I feel like I accomplished something. It’s sad though.
Koyama: Well, we did do it for five years.
Nakamaru: It became a part of our lives.
Q: Do you have anything you want to say to each other?
Nakamaru: So many things.
Koyama: I’ve got a lot of things too.
Nakamaru: Koyama always got things going like clockwork, and even though I was meant to do that too, there were times I let him take the lead. He let me do what I wanted to!
Koyama: I made sure that things are based on the script, and then Nakamaru would jump in from a different perspective. It’s like I was the foundation and Nakamaru was the cherry on top. We made a good team I think. (laughs)
Nakamaru: Well, having done it for five years, you’d expect that. (laughs)
Koyama: I did wonder why it was the two of us in the beginning. (laughs)
Nakamaru: I know! (laughs)
Q: When you found out that you’d be hosts, did you get together and talk about it?
Nakamaru: No, not really. I’d been told that there could be a change to the hosts as well.
Koyama: That’s right.
Nakamaru: So we didn’t have any, “let’s go for it team!” moments.
Koyama: But I think we managed to help one another out. (laughs)
Nakamaru: That’s true!
Koyama: He was so easy to work with. I think that by working with Nakamaru-kun, we were able to make that breezy Shonen Club environment.
Q: What’s the most memorable moment you had on the show?
Koyama: Well, hosting the show has been the biggest highlight of course, but the first time I ever performed on the show is up there too. Johnny-san told me to get into costume, learn the dance moves, and on the day he told me, “when I push you, run out to the center and dance”. When I watched the show on TV, they had labeled us as “Fresh Jr.” and I was dancing in the center.
Nakamaru: I remember when Koyama first went on TV. Juniors usually have two ways of coming on stage, either they just jump out, or they start coming on stage little by little. That day, the juniors that jumped out were all tiny kids and how old were you, Koyama?
Koyama: I was in high school! (laughs)
Nakamaru: Which was why I was like, “who is that!?” (laughs)
Koyama: I was surprised too. (laughs)
Nakamaru: My most memorable moment would be holding a mic for the first time. I sang “Boogie-woogie Cat”. But for some reason just before the shoot, they told us to take off our costumes and wear the clothes we had worn to work that day.
Koyama: Your private clothes?
Nakamaru: Yeah, and my clothes that day were really plain (laughs). Well, not really plain, but I do remember thinking that if only someone had told me further beforehand then I would’ve worn some better clothes (laughs). Actually, don’t you think that the juniors these days get to hold mics faster than we did? (laughs)
Koyama: I hope they can appreciate it as much as we did! (laughs) Cause we worked so hard for it eh.
Nakamaru: It’s almost like kids these days have too many opportunities! (laughs)
Koyama: They do! But I think it’ll raise their chances of being recognized so I hope they learn to work hard.
Q: As hosts of the show, what have you been able to get from this experience?
Koyama: I got to break down that wall separating me and the juniors. And learning how to ask juniors questions in a way that made it easier for them to answer. It was really hard, but I think it was great training for me.
Nakamaru: Being able to watch the show as a whole. Until this came along I’d only been interested in watching the bits I was in, but now I can start to think about what would make the show more interesting for our audience.
Q: Surely you’ll be invited back on the show as guests in the future?
Nakamaru: That is going to feel SO much easier!
Koyama: I know! We should just mess things up! (laughs)
Koyama: But then again, we know how to host so I guess we can help out too.
Q: What’s your most memorable song?
Koyama: “青春のフィーバー (Seishun no Fever)”. That was the ending theme to the show where I had a mic for the first time. The ending theme changes every week so I can hear a song and remember when that was and what I was doing.
Nakamaru: The song where Tackey (Hideaki Takizawa), Subaru-kun (Shibutani), and Yamashita-kun (Tomohisa) came into it with their dance routine. They sung it as a medley on TV and it was one of our senior’s songs. I remember thinking that they looked so cool. It’s just that I’ve forgotten which song it was. (laughs)
Q: What advice do you have for the next hosts, Hey! Say! JUMP?
Koyama: A lot of the juniors today really admire members of Hey! Say! JUMP. So for them, I think they’re really excited that their heroes are hosting their show. It might be hard at first, but you’ll definitely learn something good from this experience.
Nakamaru: I’d recommend that they have more fun rather than concentrate on trying to do a good job. I think a lot of the skills will come to them naturally before they realize it.
Q: Finally, can you tell me what the highlight of “Shonen Club” is?
Nakamaru: I think it’s being able to enjoy seeing tomorrow’s pop stars. This is really a place where future pop stars grow up, but it’s also a really fun show by itself.
Koyama: It’s a show that has made a lot of Johnny’s & Associates history. You can enjoy watching these guys starting as back dancers and then moving their way to the top, months or even years before you spot them on music shows. There are a lot of gems in there who aren’t polished yet, so I think this is a show where fans can find the gems that will eventually shine.
translations credit to momoedgewood
thanks to tesshimassu