Johnny's 2020 World, January 19, 2014
The show opened, like last year, in the audience, with one of the little juniors getting picked up by a "staff member" who's actually one of the G-Rockets dancers. I don't recall what the skit was about last year, but this yeah, the little junior was in a "fight" with a girl in the audience over a seat, saying it was his spot and her saying she had the ticket to that spot. The "staff member" comes to check what's going on, and finds that the boy's seat is actually on the 3rd floor. There is no third floor in the Imperial Theatre, but she offers to show him to his seat and then picks him up, and they fly together. She tells him to hold on, but he gets dazzled by flying and lets go, and slips, but she grabs him before he can fall, and the lights go to black and the opening music begins to play. On December 15th, the little boy was Vasayegh Wataru, but I didn't recognize the kid and only saw him from behind on January 19th.
When the lights come up again, Shori is suspended above the center stage, with Jinguji and Genki flanking him. He announces the beginning of the show, welcoming everyone and introducing Kento and Fuma, as well as Juniors like Snowman and... Sexy Boyz. Apparently, they're using that name again, this time to describe the four member unit of Jinguji, Genki, Kishi, and Miyachika, and putting us back on track towards the 2015 debut, woo. All three fly around while singing Put On A Happy Face (from the musical Bye Bye Birdie). Snowman, Sexy Boyz, Reia/Amu/Fu/Kaoru/etc, and a bunch of other Juniors joined them for this number, and it was really cute. Fuma actually smiled and looked happy dancing with Snowman, and Reia's hair in January was crimped and completely adorable. ♥ There's a lot of flashing flying and dancing until Shori accidentally hits a set piece and it falls, sending the juniors scattering and Shori crashing to the ground. I also noticed in January that the thing that fell, a large globe, rolls over Genki, knocking him to the ground, and I'm not sure if that was choreographed or not, but... poor Genki. XD; Shori freaks out, but suddenly a voice comes from above, and the Producer (played by Yabu) yells at them that they have to continue, no matter if there's a "happening"! Shori argues that it's not a happening, it's an accident, and people might have gotten hurt, but the Producer announces "Show must go on!" in English, and does some fancy flying himself, straight through the fountains at the front of the stage, getting himself drenched and dripping on the front few rows in the process.
The Producer then introduces a group that are pros at showbiz: ABC-Z. They come on with a gimmick with mirrors that makes it look like they appear out of thin air from behind a curtain in the center of the stage, and do a lot of acrobatics and dancing. This leads into a rock-and-roll number with Sexy Zone in their Bad Boys costumes, Kento on the piano, and former Question members backing them up. Reia was naturally adorable in this number, but since he had been really down in December and didn't have a lot of energy or smiles like usual, I was really happy to see him being more upbeat.
Up next is a big group number with everyone in red costumes, so I call it the Red Number. XD A lot of the juniors come in from the back of the house and come to the stage down the aisle, so I breathed the same air as Jinguji and Miyachika for about a second each. XD; During this section, basically everyone in the show is on the stage, so a lot was happening, and unfortunately, I couldn't catch all of it. However, Hasshi and Shori were hi-fiving one another at one point rather than clapping, and Hasshi and Kento started swing dancing together, with Kento being the girl and Hasshi dipping Kento before the hugging him afterwards. Also, in terms of Juniors, Kishi and Fu were very into it, dancing one in front of the other, and there was a moment when Reia was in front of Jinguji and Jinguji leaned in closer to him and either said or did something that made Reia look back at him. They grinned at one another, and it was adorable.
At the end of the number, everyone but the Sexy Zone members and ABC-Z clear off the stage, and they talk about the Producer. Shori, Fuma, and Kento are angry at him, saying that he doesn't care about the health and safety of his performers. ABC-Z disagree, saying that the Producer knows what he's doing, and that he's experienced and knows more than all of them and is doing something important by making the show. Right at that moment, the Producer shows up behind them, talking about the importance of show business, and of understanding the past in order to shape the present and the future. He starts do to some sort of magic, and Fuma futilely yells at him angrily, asking him if he cares if his performers die, and accusing him of risking everyone's lives for his own end. This leads into a horizontal wire sequence similar to in dream boys. They reuse the "jumping on top of buildings" video to make it seem like the Producer is flying through the air, as well as going through space and time with a sort of spirally background. During this scene, ABC-Z also did some wire stuff over the audience, first Goseki and Kawai doing a thing where they're both holding onto a wire and facing one another, making different shapes by holding hands and linking feet. It was really adorable, because they'd clearly practiced giving one another audial cues, and so every time they changed posts, they mouthed "ready, go" to one another, and were possibly actually saying it quietly out loud. Then, Tsukada and Tottsu did the trick where they're one-above-the-other, like in ABC-Z Summary 2012. Tsukada's split is so much better than Tottsu's. |D;;;
At the end of the sequence, Fuma, Kento, and Hasshi come onstage to sing about the passing of seasons, before Shori appears, contemplating if the year really ends at December, or if a "Tricember" really exists (the Producer may have mentioned this earlier, I honestly don't recall.) The curtain goes up to reveal "January," with all the Juniors playing the shamisen in Johnny's Mansion while Snowman (minus Iwamoto Hikaru, who was always away for Shark filming), Takahashi Rin, and Shori play the water taiko. I love the water taiko, because it's so cute to see the faces they make when they get splashed in the face |D;; Snowman are all pros, but Shori was squinting so much in December, and it was adorable. In January, he seems to have gotten more used to it, but it was still cute. XD;; This scene was supposed to represent the New Year, and then they moved on to February, which I assume was supposed to be the Lunar/Chinese New Year? ABC-Z performed a number with fans and masks, which they did on Shounen Club on January 15th of this year. They also did some stuff with aerial silks, but thankfully, while at that point last year, they took off their shirts to reveal only fishnet shirts, they didn't do that this year. However, all the Juniors in the Mansion took off their shirts, so while ABC-Z was clothed... all the children behind them were bare chested |D;;; I was uncomfortable.
Next up is March, in which last year Hey! Say! JUMP performed their original song Hyakka Ryouran, which they performed on Shounen Club on January 18th of last year (if you google it you can find videos, even though the song was never released.) This year, the Sexy Zone members plus Sexy Boyz singing Sexy Zone's new song, Congratulations. They used the same pink cloaks and walked down the stairs covered with a pink cloth, which seemed like an accident waiting to happen to me. XD; Kishi seemed really wobbly every time he took a step down. |D;; After reading in a magazine that he fell a lot in Johnny's World, I'm really worried for him! XD Fuma seemed ~too cool to do it full-out, so his using the cloak-kimono thing seemed really half hearted. However, when more juniors came on to back them, Reia was beautiful and seemed really enthusiastic and happy, and after last time, when I was so worried about him, I may have cried a little. >__>; Also, yomimashou would like you to know that Amu was enthusiastic as ever. XD;
Next up was April, and you know what that means: the Titanic! This was almost exactly the same as last year. Yabu sang My Heart Will Go On in the background while Goseki acted out a scene with Inoue Mizuki in (who also harmonized with Yabu... voices of angels XD) the foreground and Snowman danced behind them. I know I've mentioned this before, but Sakuma Daisuke is an amazing dancer. I could just watch him all day. Meanwhile, NabeSho did some very emotional lyrical, which was adorable in its own way. |D Then the boat starts skinking and Goseki tries to save Inoue Mizuki, but they drown. |D;; In the end they meet up with Goto Hiromi, who's playing even though the ship is sinking to comfort people, and then they get engulfed in a giant wave. |D;;;; Goseki messed up the timing with the screen behind them in December, but he was spot on in January.
The Titanic is followed by another tragedy: the Hindenburg, which made its fateful journey in May. Tottsu and the rest of ABC-Z played the reporters as footage of the actual Hindenburg flying played on the screen. Then, when it combusted, suddenly, the audience could see a blow-up dirigible thing behind the screen, lit up like it was on fire with red lights. A bunch of Juniors fall out dying (?) and Shori flies through the air, having been thrown (or jumped? It's unclear) from the burning aricraft. The Producer appears, and Shori yells to him that the past isn't all about tragedies. The Producer says that tragedies are often the biggest/most important events in history, but Shori insists that there are happy times, too. The Producer ignores this, however, and brings them into June and July, which are dedicated to WWII. The whole WWII number was really well-intentioned, talking about how Japan was one of the aggressors and lots of people died because of their violence and stuff like that (and honestly, I really do think Johnny's always has its heart in the right place when they ever talk about war) but man was the number in poor taste. They had Juniors playing Nazis (including Matsuda Genta, who was admittedly the cutest Nazi I've ever seen, but still), and other Juniors with guns shooting other Juniors, who like, lay down and died on the stage, and it was just... really unfortunate. XD;
That led into August, which was surrender for Japan, but while Shori's response was "that's good," but the Producer talks about how many people died and how war just leads to more war, like the wars in Vietnam and Afghanistan. But he does accede that some good things do happen between countries, like the Olympics, specifically the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. I have no clue what happened to September, but then October is the Olympics... though I honestly have no idea why. They did a big number with Jesse, Okamoto Kauan, and Kishi (and in December, also Masuda Ryo) singing in English and ABC-Z using their Five Rings rings in the background. Reia did skateboard and Kakuta Yuusei skated, and everyone danced. In the background, at one point, instead of clapping, Nabesho started slapping Sakuma on the back, and Sakuma just went on like this was completely normal XD; Fu also did more adorable enthusiastic dancing, and Reia was amazing at skateboarding as usual~ What really surprised me was Kishi, though... Jesse, Okamoto Kauan, and Masuda Ryo all have a certain something in common, which leads me to wonder if Kishi isn't also half too. Looking at his facial features and bone structure, it seems plausible that he might be half something else Asian (not that that's any sure way to tell, but his features are pretty different from stereotypical/common Japanese facial features). I hope it's true! Being half myself, I'm always happy to find more half Johnny's. XD;
Up next was November, which was Shakespeare! This section was mostly lifted from the second act from last year. Kento played William Shakespeare, and reenacted several of the characters "his" plays standing on the suspended stage above the middle of the house (after saying that he was romantic like Kisumai and singing a line from Snow Dome no Yakusoku XD), starting with Macbeth, with ABC-Z telling him the prediction that he would be king. Up next was Hamlet, and then Ophelia (which was priceless XD), then Claudius, and then he switched to A Midsummer Night's Dream and became Oberon, and then Puck. As Puck, he was on bungee cords, and dived off the stage and into the audience, bouncing above them maybe a foot from their faces (and probably showering sweat on them), and told everyone at this point that they should see his Silver Spoon movie. XD; During this part, the music was from the ballet version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and some Juniors including Miyachika, Kishi, and Matsukura Kaito were prancing around the audience with little butterflies on sticks. XD; It was adorable and hilarious; Matsukura Kaito just had this look on his face like "aww yeah I'm fucking adorable" while Kishi had his normal (o A o) expression the whole time. Meanwhile, Genki and Jinguji were standing on the stage waiting for their cue to start flying in a moment, and in the front row, Genki was right in front of me and looked like he was going to puke (in December, but I'm sure he was feeling ill every time). Miyachika ran up right in front of him with his butterfly and waved it in Genki's face, which made Genki laugh for a second before going back to looking ill, and it was seriously adorable. Next, "Puck" said he was going to make Romeo fall in love with a Capulet, and then Kento became Romeo, while Jinguji and Genki flew over the audience singing. Finally, he changed back to Shakespeare, talking about Shakespeare's wedding when he was 18 to a woman who was 26 (which turns out to be a shotgun wedding lol). In December, that was that, but in January, he did an ad lib with Goto, who asked how he, an 18 year old, could make a 26 year old woman fall for him. Kento, who was wearing a weird hairstyle with his bangs pulled back that day, said the key was showing your forehead, because his forehead was overflowing with "love." lololol.
Next up was December, and the Producer and Shori appeared again, the Producer telling Shori that they were about to witness an important historical event: Macbeth fighting Macduff. Yeah, idek. Last year, it was the 47 Ronin, so it actually was historical. |D;; The curtain opened to reveal the waterfall, with Fuma in full armour playing Macduff and Kento back as Macbeth. Shori starts panicking, saying that fighting is bad, but the Producer tells him he can't change history, and then the fighting begins. After a while of pretty decent (but very wet for the front few rows) fight choreography, Shori and the Producer appear again, and Shori goes crazy, wanting to stop the violence and running into the fighting. The Producer joins the fray in an attempt to protect Shori, trying to tell him he can't change history, but Shori ends up accidentally stabbing Macbeth anyway, changing the course of history. Macbeth dies in his arm (and Shori and Kento were adorable here) before the waterfall starts rumbling, and the Producer says he changed history and now Bad Things are going to happen. He rushes Shori to the top of the waterfall, where it's safe, but before the Producer could get there himself, the waterfall erupts with a huge spray of water, sending the Producer tumbling down the waterfall. Shori screams after him, running down the waterfall and pulling the Producer into his arms, but despite how much he begs the Producer not to die, saying they have a show to do together, the Producer also dies in his arms, and angels Jinguji and Genki arrive to take him away on the suspended center stage, which lowers to the stage so they can put the Producer on it before rising again, taking him away, and with that, the first act ends.
Act two begins ~in space (in fact, they project in English: "Act Two: In Space" on the screen before the curtains open |D;;;), where Shori, Kento, and Fuma have gone to find the producer. I'm not really sure what their logic was here, but there you have it. XD; They recorded English from one of the dancers, since Keito wasn't there this year, explaining how they'd gone to space, before they use another gimmick of the door opening with no one behind, then suddenly Sexy Zone is there (like in Kouhaku), followed by Sexy Boyz. Genki says that it's scary and they should hurry up and go home, but Kishi tells him he's being a baby (and it's adorable XD).
After wandering round the stage for a bit, they discover the Tricember bus stop, and then suddenly the Producer appears to Shori from the center suspended stage, asking him, doesn't he think the stars in space are beautiful? Shori begs him to come back, saying that he needs him, but the Producer just keeps talking about how understanding the past is important to shape the present and the future before disappearing, leaving Shori to think and wonder if Tricember really exists. He then sings Where My Heart Belongs (also performed by Yamada and Chinen on the January 18th episode of Shounen Club in 2013) while Goseki danced with the two foreign dancers that Johnny's employed for ABC-Za also (and probably other shows; they tend to use the same dancers a lot of the time, but I don't see that many stage shows). In December, Kishi and Miyachika danced, too, but in January, they only sang along for some reason. However, Kishi's very heartfelt singing was adorable. XD;;
Where My Heart Belongs segues into a large performance of Let's Go To Earth, with a ton of Juniors in the Mansion while Snowman, Sexy Boyz, MatsuMatsu conbi, and a few others dance with Sexy Zone. Reia was in the Mansion, which was very offensive to me, but he didn't look sad, so I guess that's fine. XD;;; Matsukura Kaito was dancing very enthusiastically, which was adorable, but we were wondering if he made a bet with someone to see who could dance most enthusiastically, or something, because his dancing was seriously crazy XD;;
After the dance number ends, the Mansion parts to reveal ABC-Z sitting on a suspended platform. Sexy Zone asks who they are, and Kawai ad libbed this every time, saying in December that they were Funasshi, but in January he said they were kittens. |D; idek. In any case, Sexy Zone asks if they're aliens, to which they reply not exactly, but they are the guardians of outer space. They ask Sexy Zone if they're looking for someone, and they respond that they're looking for the Producer. ABC-Z asks them to describe him, and in December, Shori described him as tall and a good singer, and Kento did a funny impression of his nasal singing. In January, Shori described him as tall and tall and tall, and Kento added that he did a funny head motion when he performed and reenacted it. XD; ABC-Z offers to help, and in January, when Shori asked how they'd help, Kawai answered, "We'll do a dance!" XD;;;
ABC-Z performed their new song, Space Beat, with Snowman backdancing, then performed Like a Blow, with Hasshi doing the 360º swing trick. After the performance, the other members left the stage, and only Hasshi was left, getting down from the swing as Shori wanders onto the stage. Hasshi asks what's up, and Shori responds that he's forgotten where he is or what he's doing. Hasshi points out a grey planet in the distance, and Shori asks what it is. Hasshi responds that it's the Earth, and that the Producer's shows bringing happiness to everyone was what made it blue, so now it's grey. Shori is upset by this and says he didn't understand up until now how important it was. Then, the Producer appears with Kento and Fuma in sparkly costumes, throwing a costume to Shori too and saying he wants Shori to remember what it feels like to be moved by showbiz. Shori hurries to get changed as the "show" starts with an English musical number that I didn't recognize, but they did a chair dance, and Fuma adorably joked and grinned and laughed with members of Snowman both in December and January. Next was I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady, and then Singing in the Rain (during which Reia was adorable dancing with an umbrella ♥). Next ABC-Z performed Never My Love, and then two songs were added in January that weren't in the December show. Kishi, Jesse, Okamoto Kauan, and Masuda Ryo sang Winter Lover. Then, Sexy Zone and many, many juniors performed their Kohaku medley, and finally, everyone came back to sing the finale song, Dreamgirls. Yes, they all sang "We are dreamgirls." XD;;;
After the number finishes, Fuma, Kento, and Shori are eager to move along, but the Producer yells at them to stop. He tells them that up ahead is a black hole, and if you go in, you can't come back. They ask why all sorts of men and women and children are getting sucked in, and the Producer responds that age and gender don't matter. The Sexy Zone members get confused and worried, and sing Sexy Zone's new ballad while Yabu did a wire stunt walking upside down (he did the same one last year). Yabu, Kento, and Shori left the stage, but Fuma did a wire stunt that made it look like he was walking on the water from the fountains while Tottsu talked about him, saying he had a warm heart even though he seemed "cool" and had passionate emotions. In December, he talked about how it was unexpected that Fuma's admired senpai was Sakurai Sho, but Fuma was actually very serious and studious. Then, however, Fuma and Tottsu get into a disagreement when Tottsu tells Fuma there's something on Earth that isn't here in space, which is the strength of the human heart. He (randomly) starts talking about Gaudi and the Sagrada Familia, saying that the fact that the architecture is 100% integrated with art is important to making the world a happier and better place. Fuma is skeptical, however, and somehow this turns into an argument over whether humans can live without the help of others, with Fuma arguing that it's every man for himself. In the end, all of ABC-Z and Kento and Shori come onstage, with ABC-Z saying it's pitiable that these people are the only hope for the Earth, since they don't understand anything. Fuma, Kento, and Shori argue with them more, and ABC-Z dramatically wonder if the Earth can even be saved, which leads into the climatic song (which I believe also appeared in the January 18th 2013 episode Shounen Club.)
During the climatic song, they all strip off their shirts (of course), Sexy Boyz (who had come on during the middle of the fight) included, and in December, Jinguji had been accidentally wearing lime green boxers while everyone else was wearing black. |D;;; It's pretty clear that ABC-Z and the Sexy Zone members have standardized boxers while Sexy Boyz are just wearing black underpants. |D;;; At any rate, they all fall to the ground at the end of the climatic song, and then only Shori is left standing, and sings this really... random-seeming song about a lone, naked boy with a gun, and wondering if the boy has anything to believe in, or if he'd really be able to shoot the gun. He then goes on to say that there are a lot of countries where children are forced to be soldiers, but luckily, Japan is the most peaceful country in the whole world (lol they said that last year too... but like I said, I really do think that Johnny's heart is in the right place in terms of advocating peace, even if it comes out in a really weird way sometimes). He realizes that that's why they need to continue to do showbiz, in order to bring happiness to people and to the world. The other agree and begin to put their clothes back on, and Shori realizes that actually, Tricember isn't a place, but a "utopia" of happiness that everyone has in their own hearts.
Then, on the horizon, they see a blue planet, Earth, and it gives them hope that they really can save the Earth. Shori invited ABC-Z to come back with them to Earth, and ABC-Z happily agree. He also goes back to the Producer and shakes his hand, asking him to allow Shori to make more shows with him. They share a ~moment, before everyone gets ready to head back to Earth. The Producer readies a spaceship, and everyone uses it to go back to Earth, before the finale, Let's Go To Earth (which was on Shounen Club on January 8th, 2014). This leads to the curtain call, and that's the end~
All in all, I enjoyed the show a lot more this year. I think it had a much more discernible theme (that people should try to bring happiness to others, rather than start wars, and that we need to learn from the past to make a better future), and it was much tigher with a smaller cast. I still think that it was pretty messy though, and there were parts that were really hard to follow and non-sequitorial. Unlike Dream Boys, where the dream sequences and big dance numbers make sense where they're put into the plot, it was really hard to tell what was plot and what was just random in Johnny's World, and I actually really think it would be better with even less characters. Basically, The Lead and the Producer (Shori and Yabu) are the only necessary characters to the first act, and then the Aliens, the Lead, and the Producer are the only necessary characters to the second act. Since Fuma and Kento both played other roles (like the Macbeth characters) besides themselves, it was confusing, and they didn't really serve any purpose as Shori's friends. It was also confusing to have ABC-Z play different people in the first and second acts. I definitely think it can still use a lot of work, but I enjoyed it way more than I did last year!
In other news, I think I'm coming down with something. T___T;; So I'm going to try to get to bed early! I'm sorry if this makes me less productive this weekend than I was planning but... I really don't want to be sick next weekend!