Monday night I spent my evening watching the hilarious Toei Hero Next. It’s like the third of it’s installment, at least for the gekidan heroes series:


Original Movie here
First Stage here

Official Website here
Official Twitter here
Official FaceBook here
Press 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
DVD PreOrder here

CAST and CHARACTERS

Suzuki Shougo as Suito
Saito Shunsuke as Kuroda Ken
Baba Ryoma as Mizuno Satoshi
Moritaka Ai as Momose Niina
Nakajima Kaito as Kirijima Reito
Kinjyou Yamato as Aoki Junzou
Maruyama Atsushi as Kinbara Toshiro
Soutarou as Hara
Matsumoto Hiroya as Mysterious Guy
Kubodera Akira as Kiseki Yuji
Hiramaki Jin as Ruri
Hayashi Tsuyoshi as Ran
Tomita Sho as Sou
Miyuki
Fujisawa Reika
Iwasaki Nami
Hata Mizuho

AfterTalk Guests: Watanabe Tsurugi and Ise Daiki.

STORY

Kinbara is in a writing slump which means Gekidan Bazooka are without scripts and things to perform until then, so they decide to try out being hosts at Club Jewel, but soon they get caught up in an attempted murder, but with no script to guide them, they have to improv. their way to figure out what really happened.

NON SPOILER

This was so fun. I laughter so hard for 2 hours straight. The scripted comedy, the improvised parts, the accidental mistakes and the aftertalk was ALL hilarious. I very much enjoyed myself and it was very refreshing to watch - I expected to be super tired after doing 3 stages and 2 events the week prior - but this was so easy to watch and so easy to be entertained and is a lot of fun! Baba Ryoma is just the king of being over-energetic and funny in an ugly way, Sho-san definitely controlled the AfterTalk and everyone was definitely onboard with whatever crazy requests and daily challenges (higawari) and improvs that came their way. I really hope they do a next install me. And it’s so freaking cool seeing the entire cast and going ‘holy moly they ALL did sentai!’ it’s badass having that realisation in the middle of the play.

Rating: 8/10


SPOILER

The first few parts won’t be spoilerly, so you can read up to the ‘read more’ line without worrying ^_^

When I first walked in, I realised I had an aisle seat... and THEN I realised it was a host set up on the stage... AND THEN I realised there were stairs leading up to the stage, and I was just like ‘oh shit please do not come my way and approach me’ ... my heart was racing anytime they came down the stairs or towards me o_O


The spoiler part of the story is: So Gekidan Bazooka join the host club, with Niina (Moritaka) as a female guest, but then it turns into an incident when Suito (Suzuki) tries to attack the owner of the club and claims that the owner killed his father and that he’s responsible for his father’s death and responsible for why his father and his family have been labeled as murderers. The plan doesn’t go as he hoped so Suito’s only option is to then go on the run so he isn’t attacked or arrested. Thus, Gekidan Bazooka are left to figure out what really happened. I won’t spoil any more about ^_^

Now some random comments about the stage and some scenes itself before I get into the individual character/cast stuff:

Towards the beginning of the stage when they first join the host club, the main Gekidan Bazooka members joked and commented about it being ‘Watashi no Host-chan’ and in all honestly: it really was a parody of it.

I freaked out in the beginning because it went dark and I noticed someone had come in from the left side door in front of me but couldn’t figure out who it was. Then the lights came up and a spot light was on the person, and BAM Shougo is like RIGHT there and immediately he’s all excited and loud like ‘HEY! WELCOME! LETS HAVE SOME FUN!!!’ and I’m like, ‘I cannot handle Shougo being this close to me, being this gorgeous AND being this excited and loud’ my heart was definitely not calming xD

Kuroda Ken (Saito) and Mizuno (Baba) had to play Pocky Chicken which is essentially the game of Chicken but with them putting each end of the Pocky in their mouths and eating it and getting closer until someone freaks out and losses. When Ken first put the Pocky in his mouth he started flicking it up and down, and Baba’s face was gold. Baba (in character) was like ‘stop moving it! stop doing that’ but Kuroda was WAY too excited to get to play Pocky with him. Of course Mizuno losses xD later it almost becomes a Suito vs Mizuno Pocky Chicken but it gets stopped before it even starts because Mizuno is like ‘that’s not a good enough challenge to prove I’m a good host! We must do something that really tests us as Hosts!’ and of course Ken and Niina are totally upset and disappointed by the gaming being stopped - *cough* just like the rest of the audience xD

There was massive shipping all around for Suito x Ken - Shougo and Saito’s character. Everytime Shougo touched Saito there was this pink heart and a ‘kyun’ sound moment from Ken that was hilarious every time xD also Niina was shipping it hard herself xD

To be honest, I do have one little bitty niggle of a negative: I feel it dragged a little towards the end for abou 10-15 minutes but only because we’d been so spoilt with comedy for the first 60-70% or so that for it to suddenly get very realistic and dark, kind of ruined the mood and so that one part drags somewhat before we go back to the comedy again.

There’s two main higawaris and improv parts in this stage that I want to talk about:

First Challenge/Duel: About 20 minutes into the stage, Suito asks his number one guest (played by Miyuki) to decide a challenge for us.

The theme was: Confess Your Love to the Criminal in the Interrogation Room.

Suito: *pretends to smoke cigarette* BANG on the desk! Have you eaten katsudon?! What? You’re on a diet?! I’ll leave you even if you’re round! Lets eat katsudon together again. That’s ALL!

I don’t remember who he was against -- I think it was Baba -- but Shougo obviously won so ^_^

Second Challenge/Duel: Pretty much the finale scene of the stage when the guest of the day comes out and gives them a challenge. So todays guest was Watanabe from Jyuuohger (HyuuohElephant). The higawari at the end and it was between Gekidan Bazooka’s Kinbara and Jewel’s Sho-san.

The theme was: Blouson Lion Jyuurou.

I don’ really remember it much but I remember Kinbara pulling up his pants completely so his white hairy legs were showing and he forced Baba and Kinjyou to help him and he ended by using a Jyuuohger line (because Watanabe was there) ‘このちきゅうになめるなよ!/ Don’t underestimate this world!’ he really was hilarious and tried so hard!

Then it was Sho-san’s turn and again his was super fast and crazy and it made it worse by him asking Miyuki to come back on stage and was like ‘start a beat’ and she did this crazy off beat not good song that added to the hilarity of it all and she REALLY got into it half way through that even Sho-san was losing it a little while trying to perform. I don’t really remember what was said, but he was talking about ‘dont be worried about this... don’t be worried about that’ and every time he finished on a ‘don’t be worried’ which translates to ‘shinpai nai’, Shougo would immediately start yelling “Shinpainaisa~!” WHICH is apparently an iconic scene out of the Japanese Lion King Stage (see here and here) but Shougo does it MUCH better xD and much more hilarious! Every time he did it the audience got worse and worse in terms of how hard they were laughing.

Sho-san’s team ultimately won xD

I really do hope they’ve filmed all the higawari’s too! Especially because not many people were posting the daily challenges on twitter every day so if they weren’t filmed then they’re gone for good and I really want people to at least see this one! xD

Now onto the characters!

Suzuki Shougo as Suito: So he is essentially Jewel’s number one host, and as stated he tries to get revenge for his father’s death and for his family being labelled murderer’s BUT turns out that he only wanted to threaten the owner to get the truth rather than actually kill him and he spends his time on the run feeling awful about it and he’s actually a very nice guy who just wants to make other, especially women, smile. His voice when he did his solo song during the singing show down between himself and Baba was SO good!! Seriously, SO GOOD. I could not look away! I was completely absorbed in his singing performance. And a little part of my brain couldn’t not think ‘OMG look at Kazama!’ (he plays Kazama in the HakuMyu series... shh! I’m not using past tense yet okay!). At first I didn’t think I’d like Shougo with short hair but after seeing him in this, I’m okay with it. My comments about his personality are down in the AfterTalk section below. Suito basically matches his name: He’s a sweet and kind guy. And seriously the shipping for him and Ken was GOLD.

Saito Shunsuke as Kuroda Ken: I forgot about Ken’s phobia against women which made it hilarious because he ends up joining the host club BUT then he ends up crossdressing so he could be one of Suito’s guests and not only does he look pretty (Saito always looks freaking pretty!) but he really suits looking like a girl! When Kuroda dresses up as a girl, Suito obviously notices but he doesn’t embarrass Ken by letting him know and allows him to continue being a female guest at their hostclub. The scene between him and Suito where he’s like ‘you realised I was a guy (crossdressing) but you didn’t say anything, you kept treating me like your guest’ and it was such a touching moment <3 There’s a lot of hand and wrist holding moments with them! I don’t know how Saito does it really, he’s always up for pretty much any role and any type of character. He’s never done an uninteresting character I don’t think and he can very easily play both the more feminine role (like in this one) and the more masculine role (for example in BASARA).

Baba Ryoma as Mizuno Satoshi: Baba Ryoma... this man child. Every time he impresses me because he has such energy and he like never runs out of it and everytime I am shocked and astounded by just how... what the right word to describe him... disgusting in a good way! He’s such a hentai. He literally knows no bounds!

Just before his singing showdown, Niina was taunting him like ‘ミュージカル王子だからね / because you’re the prince of musicals right?’ and Baba’s face was just like ‘ah balls now I have to be good’ and I honestly think it was an unexpected remake and his reaction was real at that moment. During his sing-off with Shougo, he was being so over the top and flamboyant and pulling faces and getting real close to the audience and making them feel uncomfortable as he tries to do these sexy moves but they come off really stingy (on purpose). I’m pretty sure Baba completely broke some rules when he went up to a girl in the front row and was kind like leaning into her and rolling his hips and crotch about in front of her like a strip show xD That boy will never not calm down will he xD

He is absolutely hilarious. Just his facial features and expressions alone are enough to make an entire audience lose themselves in laughter. Watching Mizuno drink himself silly on the first night working at the host club was hilarious too! The theatre goes black and then the lights go back up and him, Saito and Nakajima’s characters are just completely passed out from over drinking on their first night at the host club xD another hilarious moment from Baba is towards the end where Gekidan Bazooka reenact the murder and Baba plays the role of Suito’s father, so he’s mainly just playing dead on the floor, and everytime something breaks the scene and he gets up and then they go back into the scene, Baba (everytime) flawlessly rolled back into the dead body position and it was so smoothly done that it was cracking everyone up xD Baba I love you, never not be stupid, loud, hentai-y, and hilarious.

Moritaka Ai as Momose Niina: She's cute! And I definitely could get on board with her personality because she’s a Fujoushi and would just fantasize (as much as I did) every time she saw Suito and Ken together xD and she always put her hands up and made little bunnies out of them and reenacted the Pocky Chicken scene and imagines Ken and Suito kissing so that was enjoyable too. I’m a little upset that she couldn’t join the rest of the gang because (being the only girl) she couldn’t be a host, but it would’ve been fun if they’re done what they did to Saito’s character and made her cross-dress and try to get by as a male host. Now THAT would’ve added hilarity and more interesting scenes to the already great stage that it was.

Nakajima Kaito as Kirijima Reito: This one I was worried about because he is so young and granted he wasn’t the worst out of the Ninninger’s, but he’s definitely got pressure on him for being a decent performer because in this stage he is surrounded by amazing actors like Suzuki, Baba and Saito. Also I think this was his first stage. But, looks like the directors and such agreed with me, because his character is very normal; obsessed with his phone, not really taking anything seriously, not really wanting to try and help, and his stage time was rather small too. So they let him play it safe which I think was the better option. Maybe in the next stage, when he’s had more experience and more work and mattured a little more, he’ll get more character development and stage time but I’m glad me and the showrunners saw eye-to-eye on Nakajima.

Kinjyou Yamato as Aoki Junzou: I don’t really have much to say about this guy; he plays a police officer who really shouldn’t have been allowed or given that job because he’s not good at his job at all and he lets criminal get away and he never arrests people and he’s too soft and nice. He got his limelight moment though when he had to take over Kinbara’s role and it was super cute where he was acting really badly but you could just hear Kinbara going ‘yeah like that! Ooooo you’re doing great!!’ and that was definitely a hilarious scene he was center for.

Maruyama Atsushi as Kinbara Toshiro: Even though the play is about attempted murder in a host club, it actually starts with everyone learning Kinbara is currently in a huge writing slump, and in order to regain it they all decide to just go into a situation unscripted; it ends up being them joining a host club and thus all the craziness ensues. There’s a point half way where Kinbara accidently gets caught up in a stabbing and then everyone thinks he’s dead -- which ends up becoming a hilarious scene and you could tell he wasn’t really going to die just based on what kind of stage this is (comedy if you didn’t get the hint already xD). The part where Kinbara, or should I saw Maruyama, really shined was during the final higawari of the day. The higawari came from the guest of the day which was Watanabe and each person from both teams (Gekidan Bazooku and Gekidan Blues) had to . Maruyama was devastated he lost xD

Soutarou as Hara: I think this one was a shocker for us all! He ends up being an onee-san and he looks completely different in all his makeup and his girlyness! Even up close he looked very convincing! But seeing him in his normal clothes and in a beard and everything, it’s difficult to believe it’s the same person! During the aftertalk, the said ‘if you keep talking like that (in his high, girly voice) people are going to think you really are that way (implying either gay or wants a sex change)’ and he very seriously looked (I think it was Sho-san xD) at him and said ‘I am that way’ oh dear lord xD his combination with Nakajima was so great and added to the comedy.

Matsumoto Hiroya as Mysterious Guy: Hiroya always seems to pull the short end of the stick. He had such a short amount of time on stage again *cries* his character definitely lived up to his name; mysterious. And his character has such a short amount of time << I already said this but I’m upset about this! I really do think Hiroya is an underrated actor, even in Sentai I think he’s underrated. I’m glad he got to be the MC during the aftertalk BUT Sho-san essentially, and very smoothly, took over as MC xD it was hilarious seeing Hiroya trying to control the group and trying to stay in control when Sho-san and Hayashi were just running amuck and completely taking over and handling the topics of discussion and the comedy. Poor Hiroya >.<

Kubodera Akira as Kiseki Yuji: I freaked when this guy came on the stage. I was like ‘OH SHIT IT’S MITSUHIDE!! (from TouStage)’. I realised who he was straight away and of course I was like ‘I automatically love this character’ even though at one point he gets accused of murdering and being the perpetrator to a crime, I was still like ‘yeah but it’s Akira from TouStage! who cares if he’s bad or not!’ xD he did a great job in this just as much as he did in TouStage. He may be an older man (okay he’s barely just turned 40) but you gotta admit he’s very good looking! and he’s always had this playful yet still mature aura about him. He definitely never shies away from comedy, even in this. Always with a smile too ^_^

Hiramaki Jin as Ruri: Hiramaki Jin’s character surprised me. I expected him to be all cool and like ‘yah I’m a host. Look how sexy I am’ because the pamphlet shows him posing cooly, and let’s be honest that’s the type of image and aura Jin gives off (I don’t mean this in a bad way!), but he turned out to be a super cutie and adorable! He was all happy and jumpy and a little stupid but totally adorable!

Hayashi Tsuyoshi as Ran: I don’t really remember his character. The actor himself was more impressive. He was very funny and during the final song he overdid it a little and was just kind stood there out of breath and like ‘I’m too old for this’ xD he has a great dynamic with Sho-san. OH! The point that really killed us all is at the end of the story/play where they’re all having a heart-to-heart and saying all this nice stuff, but he messed up his line and with pure luck and timing it made everyone, including the cast, just break completely into laughter. No one could control themselves. It wasn’t even that funny of a mistake, but just the timing and the fact the audience had already been in fits of giggles for over 2 hours anyway, it was definitely the last straw that even broke the cast and were like collasped on the floor and laughing while facing each other and stuff. Pure gold.

Tomita Sho as Sou: My dear Sho... I was never even supposed to fall for you but the more I see you, the more I fall for you! You’re just.... so sexy and so funny and so energetic and so great and you rally understand how to shape the mood and make everyone smile while also enjoying the moment yourself. Sho-san’s character was great too. He was the number one host and the main leader of the hosts. Also his character was well known for fucking up names which really helped the comedy and hilarity. He’d be yelling and he’d be like:
‘Will you listen to me Ren?!’
‘It’s Ran’
‘RAN!’
I’m not doing it justice but every time it was pure gold. I’ve already mentioned his shenanigans in the aftertalk, or it will be listed below. Seriously, his is one handsome devil and he’s great at what he does and he’s so funny and....OH! I only bought his bromides; I almost bought Baba’s but in honesty, his pictures in the pamphlet are better than his shots in the bromides. Whereas Sho-san just looks great in both bromides and pamphlet xD I might try and collect his randoms too... I really liked Sho’s character and he was a very good leader and he was a very nice and forgiving character and just wanted to help everyone out. He treats the other hosts so well. He’s just a very good, decent character. Did I mention Sho-san is very unashamed of embarrassing himself and others? Which makes him all the more amazing and funny!
Last thing about his; during one of his entrances from the left side door, he came down and sat on one of the aisle armrests and put his arm over the girl and like winked and her and then went up to the stage xD From the feeling I got from her, I don’t think she appreciated it (she was much older - wow I sound ageist, sorry - than I assume his fans would be, but maybe he’s seen her from his past events sand so knew she was his fan and therefore okay to go to her?) but she damn well should’ve! I had an iasle seat! Come to me!!! xD

The AfterTalk

I’ve probably already spoiled most of the aftertalk when I was talking about the actors individually but anyway, here you go:

During the aftertalk, Nakajima and Watanabe were talking about their time making the new Ninninger and Jyuohger movie and they spoke about how they went for dinner together one time and Sho-san was like ‘what did you eat? How was the food?’ and Hiroya is just like ‘食事グルメ番組になっちゃったな〜!/ This has turned into a Gurume/Food report show hasn’t it!’ xD Hiroya could NOT control Sho-san at all and it was hilarious! At one point Hayashi turned to Sho-san and was like ‘who’s supposed to be the MC here?! You or Hiroya?!’ because he was completely in control of the conversation and the questions xD

They asked the Club Jewel / Gekidan Blues members what it was like being hosts and how they prepared for their role and Hayashi was like ‘well I was a host for like 2 hour but then I quite so I’ve already done it in real life so I didn’t need to prepare’ and then Sho-san was like ‘well I’ve done a lot of host roles so I’m pretty much a professional’ and just the cool way they were like ‘yeah been there, done that, I know what I’m doing’ was soooo good without the being cocky about it and everyone was genuinely interested like ‘when were you a host Hayashi? What other roles were you a host Sho?’ and I was sat there like ‘smoothe buugers’ xD

Suzuki was SUPER quiet during the aftertalk. He didn’t talk at all after he gave his introduction. He just kind of sat there and enjoyed everyone else’s conversation which really surprised me; he’s completely the opposite of his character. I remember being surprised the first time someone told me he usually cries at the end of his stages and I was like ‘nah... Shougo is tough!’ and then I saw him ball at the HakuMyu Live 2 senshuuraku and thinking about it, it it makes sense that he would ultimately be the type of guy who takes a back seat and would be the type to stay quiet and just enjoy everyone else’s conversation rather than butt in (complete opposite to say Sugie Taishi shall we say xD that boy does NOT stop talking. He always loves jumping into conversations! Anyway...) and give his own say in the matter. He only spoke during the greetings, at the very end and when he was directly asked a question. The rest of the time, Hayashi and (especially) Sho-san were running a muck and causing everyone to laugh and controlling the conversation. Poor Hiroya couldn’t wrangle them in xD Sho-san is so funny; I swear to got I fall more for this man every time I see him; he’s just so funny and he really knows how to pull a joke and he knows how to wreak havoc without it going to far or without it becoming annoying and he’s such a great taling; he really should have been the MC for this aftertalk.

The guys doing the sound kindly had Nakajima and Watanabe’s henshin music on standby so they both did their henshin poses and sequences ^_^ but after Nakajima’s he was like ‘I didn’t realise how long mine was!’ because he spent a lot of time just stood there xD

Ise sang the theme song at the end and all the actors (even those from backstage) came out in the sweat wear and Saito went passed me and holy moly he smelt freaking amazing and then cute but shy Nakajima went past me a little. Sho-san was being himself and found an empty aisle seat about 3 rows in and just sat there and getting high fives and waving to everyone during the entire song xD I really wanted him to come over and around the theatre like everyone else but that too was fun to watch - but I was a little disappointed.

Apparently they’ve been filming the aftertalks (or at least they said that they did on this day - so safe to assume they filmed them all?) so hopefully this one is on the DVD too so we can all laugh at Sho-san and co.

---

And that’s all! I hope you enjoyed the review ^_^

 
 
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